Joe grew up in Dublin where he was educated, graduating in Mechanical Engineering from University College Dublin (UCD).

Mr Kennedy joined Medite on April 6, 1985 as engineering manager. His ability to see solutions rather than problems coupled with his creativity and vision ensured Medite became foremost in the development of the MDF industry.

Between 1998 and 2001 under Medite’s ownership by Willamette Industries, Mr Kennedy moved to France as managing director of the Mediland MDF mill at Morcenx. Under his guidance Willamette purchased the Darbo particleboard mill in 1999.

During his tenure in France he successfully increased capacity at both mills.

Returning to Ireland in 2001 Mr Kennedy became managing director of the Clonmel facility in 2002. In 2006 Medite was acquired by the Coillte Group and became part of its panels products division, along with SmartPly Europe Ltd and Mr Kennedy became an integral part of the leadership team for this new division.

In 2009, a year before retiring, Joe took on the challenging role of director of innovation focussing on Medite’s most recent development, Tricoya and played a key role as advisor and mentor.