Home Limerick Business MECO announcement a reflection of Limerick’s re-growth

MECO announcement a reflection of Limerick’s re-growth

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Listening to George Gsell, President of MECO, speak on
Monday one could only be inspired by the story of triumph over adversity, re-growth
and rebuilding. In fact, MECO’s story has many similarities to our own and is
one of the reasons the company has chosen Limerick as the location for its
European headquarters.
On August 29th 2005 the MECO’s base in New Orleans was
destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The storm wiped out every piece of equipment
the company had, every tool it used and every record it had.
“When a storm like that hits it takes your home, it takes
your church, it takes your schools. People were scattered. I moved my family to
Houston in Texas and we decided to rebuild the business there”, Gsell says.
Ministers Jan O’Sullivan, Michael Noonan, Richard Bruton and MECO President Gsell at yesterday’s announcement
MECO is a proud, family-owned business which traces its roots back almost 80 years.The Meco story is one of rebirth. For the last ten years the
company has been rebuilding its business. After establishing a new factory in
Houston, Texas they then built a new state of the art plant in Louisiana where
the company’s roots are. Today the new MECO facility in Louisiana is considered
the most efficient and sustainable business in its discipline in North America
and one that Gsell is very proud of.
Rebuilding the company’s international profile was also a
major challenge. Over recent years the company opened an office in Singapore
employing engineers and sales personnel. The Singapore location was an
important part of the international re-growth of MECO and was the building
block for the creation of the company’s European presence.
“We could have opened our European headquarters anywhere.
The company did consider locations on mainland Europe but ultimately made a
decision on Ireland”, Gsell says.
Meco President George Gsell
Gsell gives great credit to those who worked closely with
MECO to help establish the Limerick base. He credits the values, the work ethic
and the educated workforce as some of the reasons for basing MECO in Limerick.
“We ended up in Limerick purely because of the warm welcome
the company received. There were obvious practical issues such as our central
location and Shannon Airport. We felt we couldn’t beat the people in the city.
We saw a huge talent pool coming out of the University of Limerick and Limerick
Institute of Technology. It made sense to be in Limerick”, he adds.
Chatting with some of MECO’s new employees and management
team it was clear that they are delighted with their decision to base
themselves in Limerick. Many of the team are now living in the city centre.
George Gsell was keen to give great credit to the IDA as
well as local Limerick companies who worked closely with MECO as they
considered Limerick as a base. Holmes O’Malley Sexton, Grant Thornton and
Morgan McKinley were instrumental behind the scenes.
What seems to be clear from listening to Gsell speak
yesterday was the sense that the Limerick community was key to the company’s
ultimate decision. Our business leaders welcome, our sense of working together
and our spirit of friendship shone through.

I wish MECO the very best with their Limerick headquarters
and I hope that the MECO case study can be used into the future as a blueprint
for how to attract new business to our great region.

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