As part of our Galway’s Calling jobs newsletter, each month we’ll be bringing you a chat with one of our PorterShed members to talk about what attracted them to Galway and what they love so much about living and working in the City of Tribes…and this week we have Ty Brush, A-LIGN Sales Director, EMEA and Asia Pacific.
“Our CEO, Scott Price, has always loved Galway,” Ty explains as to how he ended up in Galway with A-LIGN, a technology-enabled security and compliance company.
“The love affair with Galway and what Galway represents – it being a cool spot to be – led us to choose Galway over the likes of Dublin. Our company was founded in a city that wasn’t typically a business city – Tampa, Florida – so, when the business was founded, it was similar to that of Galway, it wasn’t looked at as a big city, but there was a growing tech community. It’s paid a lot of dividends for us where we’re picking locations where you can get immersed into a community and it leads to better employees and company culture.”
Today, Ty is based out of the PorterShed at Bowling Green – the newest building that forms part of the Galway City Innovation District. As he explains, Covid-19, coupled with businesses looking to attract talent by accommodating flexibility, catalysed a lot of change. As a result, remote working in Galway can be just as easily carried out as remote working in Tampa or anywhere else. In fact, Ty had already tasted the hub life in the States before making the big move across the Atlantic.
“We had used shared office spaces before in some of the other remote hubs around the US – we had something similar [to that of the PorterShed] in Denver and Colorado. We were in a cool startup vibe place where there was a beer tap and a Kombucha tap and that worked out really well for us.”
The future of working has certainly been rewritten over the last few years as an unprecedented number of people were forced to work from home, and Ty believes that change is here to stay.
“I think the idea of a brick-and-mortar, 9-5 office space is a dying trend anyway, and then Covid put the gasoline on the fire, so to speak, where we’re downsizing our traditional office in the US anyway, but still giving employees more remote options. So, I think places like the PorterShed are going to be integral in our go-forward as a company.”
Ty picks out the highly educated workforce, the National University of Ireland Galway, and ATU as highlights that make Galway an attractive destination for companies looking to invest in the West of Ireland, but there’s also the intangible, untrackable aspects of the city that help it stand out as a positive place for companies to grow and develop.
“Picking a place like Galway where, as a business, you can get involved and become part of the community, it can lead to a more efficient return on investment for certain types of corporate activities,” Ty says.
“Our business is very much people-focused; one of our company pillars is about making A-LIGN a great place to work, and when you live somewhere like Dublin – and there’s nothing wrong with Dublin – your employees are faced with a commute into a big city. They spend a lot of time doing that and that doesn’t breed the work/life balance or the culture that I think many companies are trying to build.
There’s a lot of attention on the talent pool right now, and so I think in order to attract and retain the right employees, you have to provide a culture and a community within a business that people are going to want to stay in. Galway does that in a lot of different facets.”
Ty also points to the success of medtech companies and the presence of big multinationals as examples that demonstrate Galway’s history of being able to attract investment to complement the talent pool. In his own words, “there is a precedent here of people coming to work, live, and stay.”
Crossing the ocean to create a new base in Ireland is not an easy choice to make, but Ty and his wife Sarah are trodding a well-worn path at this stage. Indeed, as Ty describes, Galway is a home-away-from-home for them now, and it could be for so many others in the months and years to come.
“We’ve built a community base. It’s got to the point now where we walk down the street and we recognise all the faces; we know the guy we buy our veg from. We’ve built those relationships that it’ll be tough to leave. So, yeah, I can see it being somewhere we stay indefinitely. As Americans, our family and all of our ties and everything are a six-and-a-half-hour flight away, so that’s trying at times, especially if you’re trying to build a family or something like that, but it would definitely be the type of place we would look to settle down and stay in.”
By Trevor Murray