Introducing...Garrett Hughes

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We sat down with Garrett Hughes, Lead Supply Manager for PCC Ireland, about his role, his impressions so far, and why he won't be going SCUBA diving again any time soon...

So Garrett, we’ll get right into it. How long have you been with Paragon?

Since 1st September 2020, so ten months now. Everyday is a learning day to say the very least! I make a point of trying to meet someone new every day.

Well, it’s nice to meet you. You can tick that off your list for today. What’s your role, and what does that involve?

I work on Lead Supply for PCC Ireland, and if I get the opportunity for international business, I’ll grab it with open arms. So broadly speaking, I look after the sales end of print, digital, graphic design, storage & logistics services. Altogether I’ve got about 25 years’ experience in this market.

And how are you finding it so far?

Paragon is such a large business, it’s quite hard to get your head around it, especially when you’ve always worked in small businesses. One striking thing is that Paragon has a very open structure, you get a sense that we’re all on the same journey and there’s support everywhere, regardless of your region. To me that’s fantastic and a great way to work.

Well that’s very nice to hear! Is your job mostly client-facing then?

My role is 100% client facing, it’s where I’m most comfortable. Ultimately, the role is to deliver new business to Paragon Dublin and beyond when the opportunity arises.

What’s your background, and is it different to where you are now?

I owned my own small business for years, so working for a big company like this is a huge change for me. But I haven’t looked back! It was a print management business, with small elements of manufacturing, storage and distribution.

And now here we are. What do you think has changed most over the years?  

In the last 12 months it has to be digital transformation, the acceleration of it has been immense to say the least. Our campaign management tool, PEP, is incredible - it’s where most of my conversations would begin.

So what’s new with PCC Ireland?

The big thing over here is our new premises. 120,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art new machinery. It’s a huge place and a lot of work has gone into it. Now we’re coming out of lockdown, I’m really looking forward to the day when we can invite clients in, because seeing is believing. Working over Microsoft Teams feels a little alien to me. When you meet people in real life, you can show clients what you’re all about, rather than telling them how great you are. A huge positive of our new premises is that everything’s now under one roof - we also have Service Graphics and Spicers co-sharing. Previously we had transactional in Sandyford, and Account Management and Creative were up in Ballymount.

Ok that’s quite enough about work. What did you have for tea last night?

We had homemade pizza – wholemeal base, genuine Italian passata, mozzarella, brie, goats cheese. It’s fantastic. I try to eat less during the week to make up for the weekend.

That’s an excellent tea, well done. What’s your favourite biscuit, and why?

It has to be mint viscount. Wrapped in green foil – very posh. They’re a premium biccy and very moreish – you would eat the entire packet in one sitting

They certainly are a premium biccy, and weirdly you’re the 2nd person this week who’s chosen mint viscounts. Personally I find them repulsive, but each to their own I guess. Who’s your hero?

Oh Jesus, and I’ll be shot for saying it, but I have to say my wife Christine. Nearly 25 years married and she’s not killed me. She’s the opposite of me – discreet & more reserved, she needs to be working on fintech.

If you had to choose a superpower, what would you go for and why?

It has to be holding my breath underwater. I love the sea, so I’d love to be able to escape for longer under the water. I live beside the sea, do a bit of canoeing and surfing. In fact, I broke three ribs surfing recently, a number of colleagues commented “surfing at your age”, quite funny. I’ve tried scuba diving, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I was sitting on the edge of the boat, ready for a great entrance, hit the water, lost the mask and the tank as I hadn’t strapped up properly. That was an expensive mistake, so that superpower would be quite handy.

Yikes. Where’s the favourite place you’ve been?

I’ll have to say Mexico – we were there four years ago and had a real active holiday. Did the underwater canyons, sailing, everything like that, and I LOVED the food.

Do you have a favourite word?

I absolutely love the word “sincerity”. Do I need to say more...

Excellent choice sir. Any words you can’t stand?

I really don’t like the phrase “touching base”, as in getting in touch with someone. I do use it, but I try not to!

Thanks Garrett! It's been good touching base with you. I mean that sincerely.