Catherine Toolan is Managing Director for Diageo Irish Brand Homes which includes Guinness Storehouse, Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Roe & Co Distillery and Smithwicks Experience Kilkenny.
The award winning Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s leading visitor attraction. Prior to Covid-19 the Guinness Storehouse welcomed 1.7 million visitors annually and is a key asset in Dublin city’s tourism product.
As a result of Covid-19 Catherine and the team developed a successful strategy to reposition the Guinness Storehouse to attract domestic visitors through a programme of culture, community, food and arts. Some notable collaborations include the award winning Creatives Against Covid Art Exhibition and world renowned Dublin street artist Aches. Business and leisure tourism are critical economic drivers for Dublin and Catherine plays a key role in the destination recovery strategy taskforce to build back a strong sustainable tourism proposition for the city.
Prior to joining Diageo Catherine had a very successful career in brand experiences, events, business tourism, live music, food and hospitality spanning three continents including eight years in China. Career highlights include overseeing the build, design, food, hospitality and retail for elite athletes at the Summer Olympic and Asian Games in Beijing, Guangzhou, London and Rio De Janeiro leading some of the largest food and hospitality projects in the world.
Catherine is from Sligo on the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way and is a graduate of Galway Institute of Technology, University College Dublin and Tsinghua University, Beijing.