Go Big Or Go Home! {Ep.14} The Valpak Way With CEO Sean Conaghan

Posted by Casandra Properties on Friday, October 2nd, 2020 at 10:03am.

Episode 14: Go Big or Go Home! The Valpak Way With CEO Sean Conaghan

In this latest installment of the Casandra Properties podcast, CEO James Prendamano is joined by his the very successful local business owner Sean Conaghan, CEO of VAL-PAK for Staten Island and Brooklyn. Interestingly, Sean originally hails from Bay Ridge, but sounds like he was born in  Edinburgh, Scotland. That’s because he’s wasn't your typical kid from 74th Street, Bay Ridge Brooklyn. He also lived a great deal in Scotland playing international soccer as a pre-teen, a teen, and spent a great deal of time traveling around the UK because of it. So how did this Scottish-Irish American kid from just over the Verrazzano bridge wind up an international soccer champ and – is now the successful CEO and entrepreneur? Well you see, some children are born to be fiercely competitive and love sales, while other are not. “You either have it or you don’t,” Prendamano and Conaghan agree. Clearly, both James Prendamano and Sean Conaghan were born with it.

The Early Years, A Big Family, His Mother’s Influence 

He was born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and one of five siblings in a very modest and cramped apartment on 74th Street. Sean Conaghan, however, wouldn’t change a thing about his happy childhood, he says. He credits his success today to his mother, who made sure he was always busy with a little bit of a nudge, “Oh, you’re not going out to do your thing today?” she’d ask. Sean says his mother treated each of her children as individuals and “she had this way of bring out the best in each of us.”

Random Roles in Film and Television

Saturday Night Fever was filmed on location in his Sean’s neighborhood. You may heard of it, “Bay Ridge, otherwise known as Staten Island,” Sean Conaghan laughs! For those of you who’ve never seen this 1977 classic starring John Travolta, you must! (I'm talking to you, Millennials.) See if you can catch a glimpse of Sean in the old neighborhood. Oh, additionally in the eighties, Scott had been chosen to be in a series of AT&T commercials as the campaign at the time was featuring professional soccer players – and they scouted him! 

Playing Soccer, Selling Chocolates, Winning Prizes, Selling his Winnings

Sean admits he never did love the structure of school. He made it through, but he struggled. Sean did learn at that time, however, that he was spirited, competitive, and he was excellent at sales. You could say his sales career started at a very early age selling fundraising candy bars and raffles for his school/s growing up in Brooklyn. Of course, it was his mother who had initially said to him in the first grade, “Sean, why don’t you compete this year with the chocolate sales?” That’s was it; that’s all it took for Sean Conaghan to set him on the right path.

Sean Conaghan won the chocolate-selling and raffle contests sixteen times – that’s twice a year – from first to eighth grade. Among his earnings were sixteen bicycles, which of course, he sold shortly after acquiring them. And that right there, notes James Prendamano, is what you call instinct. That’s a salesperson. You’re either born that way or you’re not. “You and I certainly are kindred spirit,” notes Mr. Conaghan. In many ways, notes James Prendamano, “I had the same experience with school. If I was into it, I was into it. If not, it could not command my attention.” 

Sean Conaghan did a lot more traveling than most kids from Bay Ridge in the 1970s. Of course, that was led by his for passion for soccer. He played tournament after tournament. And unlike America, where everyone (at the time) – had their sports attention divided among baseball, football, hockey, basketball, etc., the UK focused on Soccer. America is definitely a “late adopter” of soccer, both Prendamano and Conaghan joke, “very late to the game.” 

Val-Pak, It’s not just a big envelope of coupons, anymore!

They are a full-service media digital marketing company for your local business needs. They offer a robust package of digital marketing solutions, including website development and Search Engine Marketing. They even have their own patented system to quantify the ROI of the marketing and advertising campaign for their local clients. Moreover, Sean Conaghan and Valpak give back to their local community offering $1 Million dollars to local businesses, which you really need to check out.

James adds, “That is big, especially now, when people need it most during this unprecedented time. It’s one thing to do it when times are good, but to do it when things aren’t easy for anyone – that’s huge.” 

If you want to hear about the time Mr. Sean Conaghan met the famous Pele -- because, of course, he did!! Watch the podcast here on on YouTube Channel! 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our free weekly podcast -- for more local business and real estate information from the professionals!  

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