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Bringing investment back to my hometown has been a priority

Ross Lazaroo-Hood, co-chairman, Clearer Water

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WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

I live in Greater London with my wife and three sons. I have great pride in my Northern Irish roots; I lived in a local council estate for much of my early life in my hometown of Larne and it will always be a special place for me. I moved to England to complete my honours degree in Management and Financial Services as a young adult.

Though it appeared like an obstacle at the time, my early diagnosis of dyslexia never held me back in my career, in fact I credit it for helping me generate ideas and concepts differently.

A career that started as a junior claims broker led to me establishing the global Landmark Holding Group in 2017. My shared family charity, the RUSA Foundation, which I set up with my business partner Sitki Gelmen's family, provides a better future to those competing in grass roots sports and socially disadvantaged families. In 2022, in partnership with Sitki, I established the Soileir Group in Northern Ireland. Bringing investment back to my hometown for the betterment of its people has always been a priority.

In only a few short months we secured the exclusive distribution of WOW Hydrate across the island of Ireland and acquired the award-winning Clearer Water. Clearer Water is situated on the picturesque shores of Larne Lough and is known for its premium, ethical, naturally filtered, alkaline, spring water taken from a deep aquifer.

Clearer Water began life as a social enterprise company and was a proven leader amongst both social and corporate enterprises for championing a mixed ability workforce.

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I was very proud to sign the long-term principal sponsorship, by Landmark, for my hometown’s football club, Larne FC. My friend Kenny Bruce has invested so much to create a community hub, a thriving sports team and meaningful investment in local youth.

I am also very proud to have been granted Freedom of the City London in 2021.

Overall though I am very grateful to be able to give back to others through our charitable RUSA Foundation. I’m proud to be part of the social impact mission at Clearer Water.

My motto is “Be Brave Be Free” and take that leap ...believe in yourself.

BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL SECTOR?

To be part of the ‘buy local’ campaign and to drive local production and Northern Irish products is really satisfying. Clearer Water is found in some of Northern Ireland’s most prestigious restaurants, hotels and tourist destinations and a number of reputable delicatessens in London.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?

Unwinding wouldn’t be something I find easy. But in all honesty, my most privileged role is that of husband and father. Spending time with my family and creating memories either here in London or back home in Larne. The family immerses itself in my wife’s Janice’s culture during our trips to Malaysia which I think is particularly important for our boys.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW

I suppose only a few people know that I have a thirst for reading and have lately taken up a couple of musical instruments. Currently, badly, learning my homeland’s bodhrán drum and the banjo. The banjo was inspired from my love of listening to Billy Connelly on my earphones whilst travelling on the London Underground.


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