“Work hard and try to be good.” Tom Walsh, CEO and co-founder of Staycity Group

60 Seconds With | Tue 16 Apr | Author – Business & Finance
Tom Walsh, CEO and co-founder of Staycity Group

Tom Walsh, CEO and co-founder of aparthotel operator Staycity Group takes the Business & Finance 60-second interview challenge.


Q. What was your first job?

As a junior engineer with Loctite. I learnt the value of hard work from my father, but had a number of mentors at Loctite who reinforced my belief in the value of hard work. I have always loved problem solving and continue to enjoy breaking down what seem like huge challenges into manageable, achievable chunks. Though I’m in hospitality now, I still have a bit of an engineer’s head on me!

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Professionally, setting up my own business with my brother Ger and waking up one day with the world’s best hospitality team around us.

Personally, parenthood. It’s amazingly rewarding to see my two daughters growing as individuals and to play my part in that, though I’m way overshadowed by my wife, who is a wonderfully generous mother. I just wish I could slow it all down a little!

Q. In three words or fewer, how do you define success?

Happy guests.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Work hard and try to be good.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

Achieving big goals is hugely motivating as is working with like-minded people and watching individuals with different skill sets achieve great things. As CEO, setting targets high and helping others to reach their goals and watching the quietly proud moments unfold as new milestones are reached is massively motivating.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

I’m a huge fan of Michael O’Leary for what he has achieved, though our styles are poles apart and of Martin Naughton, since I did my final year business project on Glen Dimplex. He has achieved amazing things but seems to have remained humble and human. And Gene Murtagh, for the same reasons. These are my real inspirations.

Q. How do you relax?

Mainly by running, although a foot injury has kept me away for 12 months. Just about ready to get back to it for everyone’s sanity! I love having a good old-fashioned newspaper to read too – of the type made out of paper. And a rugby or hurling match or two when Leinster, Ireland or Kilkenny are winning hits the spot, though I’m not sure how relaxing that is!

Q. What’s your motto?

We can do it.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

Over the next few years we want to become the largest pan European aparthotel brand, with over 15,000 apartments. But even more than that we want to deliver ridiculously good guest service making our customers happy, which will enable our growth. To achieve this we need to nurture our next wave of leaders and continue on our journey making Staycity a challenging, rewarding, respectful, diverse, friendly place where our colleagues get a kick out of their work.

As CEO, setting targets high and helping others to reach their goals and watching the quietly proud moments unfold as new milestones are reached is massively motivating.