Bill Cullen is a successful entrepreneur and listed as one of Ireland's top 100 businessmen. Bill was born in the inner city tenements of Dublin. One of fourteen children whose mother, Mary Darcy was a fruit seller, Bill was selling on the streets from the age of six.
Bill went on to set up his own motor business, which became the biggest Ford dealership in Ireland. In 1986 he took over the troubled Renault Car Distribution franchise from Waterford Crystal. His turnaround of that company is a business success story well chronicled in his autobiography, It’s A Long Way from Penny Apples,which became a best seller.
Bill is regularly invited to give Motivation and Mentoring Seminarsto schools, colleges, and the business community. He is also a regular Master of Ceremoniesat events and awards around the country and is an engaging and down to earth host with varying styles ranging from the relaxed to the fun and energised motivator. He took over the Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney in 1990 with his partner, Jackie Lavin, who is also his business partner. He also set up the Europa Academy, a training facility in Swords, north County Dublin.
Bill has walked the talk and as one of Ireland’s top achievers, he will inspire and challenge you to focus on your goals. He clarifies the key essentials that can change your life instantly. From Networking to Persuasive Communication, from Positive Attitude to Action Achievements, and he shows how You can get from Good to Great.
In 2005 Cullen released his second book Golden Apples: Six Simple Steps to Success, a self-help book in which he details principles to achieving business success. Related to this release, Cullen took the Guinness World Record on 16 April 2005 for the largest ever book signing by signing 1849 copies of Golden Apples in 10.5 hours in Eason’s, O’Connell Street. This was 32 copies more than the previous record.
Bill is President of the Irish Youth Foundation, which raises €1.5 million a year for youth projects in Ireland giving opportunities for achievement to kids like himself. Bill set up the Bill Cullen Sunshine Scholarships Fund in 2001 in order to assist young athletes make the transition to senior athletics while continuing their third level education in Ireland. Bill was a recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Award in 1998 for instigating the Children's Hour fundraising initiative, which raised €5.6 million for the young people of Ireland.
He was awarded the inaugural Princess Grace Humanitarian Award from the late Prince Rainier of Monaco in September 2004 for his involvement with youth projects in Ireland and was conferred a Doctor of Law of Maynooth University in May 2005. In April 2006 Bill was awarded the distinction of Chevalier De La Légion D'Honneur (which is a Knighthood) by decree of the President Chirac.
Of course, he is better known today as the boss ofThe Apprenticeon the reality television series which aired on TV3 from 2008-2012.
Sir Anthony O’Reilly commented, “Bill Cullen came from the rabbit warrens of despair in the slums of Dublin to become one of Ireland’s most inspirational business leaders”.
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