Think HBR

Lets talk with Will Creedon

will creedon 5
1. In a few words tell us about your current role.
Owner of numerous hospitality based businesses, accommodation houses, café and restaurant's.
2. How have you reached this point in your professional life?
I"ve been lucky in my life, through my time working with Diageo – one of the largest beverage company in the world, allowed me to live and work in numerous countries, driving beverage market share. This time exposed me to various cultures, ways of doing things, opening my eyes to what can be achieved if you choose it to be.
My sister Hilary was posted to Australia to look after Tourism on behalf of the Irish Government. I came with Hilary on a holiday and while here at a BBQ in Balmain was asked to speak with the Roche Family. Bill and Imelda wanted to build a garden in Pokolbin. It was a match made in heaven, I got stuck into creating Harrigan’s Irish Pub and then took over as GM of Hunter Valley Gardens. This is a diverse property, with Hotels, about 30 retail shops, banqueting, 80 acres of vineyards, numerous restaurants and eateries, the gardens themselves the largest commercial garden in the southern hemisphere, in my eyes is really a gift to Australia from the Roche Family.
Following a terrible accident where I lost a very close friend I decided to re-evaluate my life and decide where to go next, back to US, or Canada or Europe or South Africa. After considerable thought, I settled on giving Newcastle a shot. I felt it was ready to fire, just needed a push. Luckily, I found a pub called Lambton Park Hotel. My life in Newcastle began, and the pub was great to me as were the people of Lambton. A friend and I also started holding some events across the city, it was fun. At the same time I started a receivership management company, it was the time of the dreaded GFC.
All of my endeavours worked out well and then Mark Hosie and I decided we would build a restaurant. Mark has amazing talent, he can make food speak to you, it was a no brainer for us to do something together. This restaurant in my eyes was to be a beacon, something to believe in, a city to believe in, that this city can be, should be a city of the world. Today, I have a number of accommodation hotels and houses across the city. This is a city on the move and we need to provide for this opportunity.
3.When you’re not at work, where can we find you?
I love sport, all kinds, be it soccer, rugby, ice hockey, hurling it doesn’t matter. I read a lot, research everything, and can’t ever get enough information. I cycle a bit, but should do more. Love to eat and try new things and to be honest I’m fond of the drink. It provides the vehicle to bring people together and create memories.
4. Where do you find inspiration?
I believe if you can dream it, you can achieve it. We just need to believe. Over my life, I have been touched by amazing individuals who were determined to succeed. They came into my life at different times each with a different focus, I was lucky to be open to their thoughts and suggestions.
5. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
Go hard, but always be fair. Push the envelope all the time. Life’s too short.
6. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I’m terrified of drowning. When I was young, I nearly drowned three times in one day. The first time was by accident, the second and third time was because I wanted to be able to swim better to beat it. Two of my great mates, Shane and Mark, thought I was mad and ended up holding me so I wouldn’t do it again. In some ways, that little story tells you a lot about me, never ever give up, there is always a way to succeed.
7. How would you like to see the Hunter evolve over the next decade?
I would like to see it continue on its present path, diversifying and just hurry up already.
I feel it call every lose its unique characters, However, I feel we don’t have enough people who stand up publicly on positions that are important to them, there industry etc. We tend to leave it to the next person; the problem is there is never the next person. For Newcastle, I feel the next two big plays are 1) how we program the usage of Public Space. Done correctly this can drive serious visitation, and more importantly lift our liveability index.
2) Sort out Broadmeadow, create a hub, that not alone is to watch some fantastic sporting teams play, but provide a centre of excellence for multiple sporting codes, an area that focuses on sports science and diet (another uni) and this surrounded by affordable housing and connected by multiple transport modes.
8. What’s your favourite Hunter restaurant/café/bar?
Too many to mention –we have had an explosion of great café’s and restaurant’s.
9. Are you reading anything at the moment?
Fiction – one of the series of Jack Reacher books.
10. Do you have a favourite sport or team?
Mancester United (Man Utd) and the Lambton Jaffas.
11. What’s the best line from a film you’ve ever heard?
Rather than a line – the Film that lives inside is The Power of One. Anyone that has seen the film and read the book will understand.