Donegal Town driving instructor Angela Ward is marking 15 years in business in 2019 - and she’s not slowing down!
In the early days of the Angela Ward School of Motoring, Angela’s first instructor car was a Toyota, so the Kelly’s showroom was a perfect place to gather for some car talk, business talk and cake.
Angela is a much-valued member of the Donegal Women in Business Network, who are celebrating 20 years as network, and they were eager to celebrate her business anniversary too and pick up some of her expert tips.
Like many entrepreneurs, Angela’s journey had plenty of smooth roads, new turns and unexpected detours.
Originally from Coventry, Angela moved to Donegal as a child and went to school in Donegal Town.
She studied Applied Science and her first career move was working as a Lab Tech with the Gallagher Bros in Killybegs.
Angela then worked as a Quality Controller in Neena Models before becoming a Regulatory Affairs Technician at Boston Scientific.
Things took a turn in 2003, when redundancies hit. Angela decided to go in a new direction before her 30th birthday and applied for a driving instructor course.
Her first instructor car was in fact a Toyota Yaris, bought from Kelly’s Toyota Letterkenny Manager Brendan Kelly!
Angela had great advice to share on establishing a business. “It takes three years to set up a business,” she said, and if things don’t go to plan, there are so many roads you can take.
Angela’s journey did have some bumpy times. But she refused to put on the brakes when the recession hit. Instead, she went back to education and followed her second passion – cooking. Angela gained a degree in Culinary Arts at Killybegs Catering College, and this led to a job on campus. Angela juggled two careers for a time before deciding to steer towards driving instructing full-time again.
Now, she is predominantly based in Donegal Town and enjoying bringing learners through the milestone moment of passing their tests.
After 15 years instructing on all things motoring, Angela had great advice to share with new and experienced drivers alike at Kelly’s Toyota. What’s under the bonnet, what you need in your boot and snow-ice essentials were all included in the fascinating talk.
The Kelly’s team were on-hand to share their top advice on road safety too. Lisa Brennan gave a talk on Toyota’s ‘Built for a Better World’ brand promise as well as their FaceItDown App.
With the Hybrid Advantage event taking place at Kelly’s Toyota this weekend, it was a great time for Lisa to share an introduction to Toyota’s self-charging hybrids. With 21% lower CO2 output and with drivers using zero emissions mode more than 60% of the time on average, hybrids are the ideal next step towards electrification for environmentally and cost-conscious drivers.
Lisa explained how Hybrids were first developed by Toyota in 1997 and they continue to lead the way with customers enjoying the cost-cutting benefits each year.
Service Advisor Paul McCormack from Kelly’s Toyota gave some hands-on demonstrations on the latest hybrids in the showroom. Paul gave a guide to changing a tyre, using an air compressor and temporary repairs. The group had many questions for both Paul and Angela during the demonstrations – and lots of notes were taken during the evening!
As the Donegal Women in Business 20th Anniversary #LookingBackMovingForward events continue, the next meeting is the AGM and networking event at Donegal County Library on Thursday 21st November. Members and non-members can book now at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/networking-evening-and-annual-general-meeting-tickets-78616858139?fbclid=IwAR3m5aTxHEBydAfWIAnR63S1QMsRvdQWCv75ZbAkQwZjoqmkR3JjVJDNIqA
See all the photos from the Let’s Talk Cars event below: