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10th August 2018

Speakers 2018

Aileen Graham

Councillor Aileen Graham (DUP) Deputy Chair of City Growth and Regeneration.  I was appointed to this post in June 2018 having been Deputy Chair of Strategic Policy and Resources Committee in 2017 and Chair of City Growth and Regeneration in 2016 and after carrying out two years as Group Secretary for the DUP Group in Belfast City Council.

I was elected to Belfast City Council in 2014 initially on Shadow Council and now Super Council for the Lisnasharragh DEA.  I work for GEMS NI as an outreach practitioner in East Belfast helping people get back into work through education and training and job opportunities.  At present I am working with 16-24 year olds in East Belfast on a mentoring programme and have been successful in getting a lot of young people back into education, into training and into sustainable jobs.

I have 27 years ex service with UDR and R Irish and I am the elected representative on the Somme Association and Reserve Forces Cadet Association.  I am currently the Veterans Champion for Belfast City Council.

I have an active role on the East Belfast Working Group and East Belfast District Policing Community Safety Partnership.  I am a member of the East Belfast Youth Practitioners Forum.

I am 62 years of age with two grown up daughters, two grown up step sons and eight grandchildren.  I am very active in my community and attend all community group meetings.  I am always looking for opportunities to access funding for my community through different funding streams.  I deal with issues as they arise and recently I have set up meetings with the Departments, PSNI, Fire Service, Kingspan and local churches and community groups to try and solve the parking problems in the area surrounding Kingspan Stadium. 

I am Vice Chair of the Womens Steering Group within Belfast City Council and play an active role within this.  We are developing a gender action plan at present and working with mentoring for women within the Council to encourage them to reach their full potential. 

I also chair the Elected Members Development Group and the Retail Forum.

So far this year I have been involved with the Sister Cities Initiative.  I attended the Sister Cities Convention in Dublin with our colleagues from Nashville and Boston.  I also attended the MIPIM convention earlier this year.  I have also attended a trade mission to Nashville. This has generated a large amount of investment to Belfast City.  I am keen to promote the Council’s Belfast Agenda which will make a difference to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of everyone who lives, works in and visits Belfast.

Alan Wilson

Alan is an International Executive with 30 years’ experience delivering business and technology solutions both in the private and public sector in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.Alan’s sector experience covers software and electronics, finance, aerospace and defence, advanced manufacturing and retail. He has recently worked with colleagues in local government and in DiT to develop Northern Ireland’s Regeneration Pitch Book. This was launched at UK MIPIM in October 2017.More widely, whilst Alan leads on Northern Ireland’s investment strategy, he also assists C level executives of high tech Foreign Direct Investment companies to set up in Northern Ireland. He has also identified significant international trade, export and partnering opportunities for local businesses.

Alistair Reid

Strategic Director of Place and Economy, Belfast City Council

Alistair joined Belfast City Council in May 2018. He leads the City Council’s Planning, Economic Development and Regeneration portfolios. He is an experienced leader of urban development initiatives, including large scale public/private sector and smaller scale community based projects. He has held a range of Director level roles within urban based local authorities for over 17 years, both at service and corporate level. He has delivered projects and secured improvements to frontline services through the setting of defined leadership goals and objectives and by driving robust systems of programme and performance management. He is committed to working in partnership at the local, regional, national and international level.

Alistair is also a keen participant (cycling) and watcher of sport (football, rugby). He recently completed the 2018 Tour d’ Afrique, cycling 7,000 miles from Cairo to Cape Town.

Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly QC is described by the leading industry directory as having “a phenomenal court presence”. Brendan’s practice focuses on the provision of advice and advocacy in cases of fraud, serious crime, and regulatory law. As well as representing individuals, he is also sought out by regulated professionals for cases arising in the workplace. He also regularly advises and represents corporate clients, as well as their individual directors and officers (both in the UK and abroad), in all aspects of business crime.As well as being ranked as a ‘Leading Silk’ in Crime and Financial Crime in Legal 500 and a ‘Leading Silk’ for Crime in Chambers UK, Brendan is ranked in Band 1 for Financial Crime in this years’ Chambers UK Guide where he is described as:“A very measured advocate who commands considerable respect. He is a popular choice for individuals facing charges of fraud, money laundering and bribery. Of late, his focus has been on high-value tax fraud.”

Brian Golden

Appointed in 2014 by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Brian Golden is the Director of the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). As chief executive of the BPDA, Brian drives economic growth in Boston through community-focused urban planning, regulation of major real estate development, workforce training programs, and management of agency-owned real estate assets.

Over the past five years, Brian has steered 50 million square feet of development approvals through the BPDA’s permitting process including more than 20,000 units of housing and more than 4,000 deed-restricted affordable residential units. With 45 million square feet actually built during the same period, the City of Boston has experienced the most robust period of construction in its history.

Brian is a graduate of Harvard College, the College of William & Mary’s School of Law, and the US Army War College. He has served for 26 years in the US Army (active duty and reserve) with assignments in Bosnia, Iraq, Israel/West Bank, and the Pentagon. He was elected four times to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston.

Brian is married to Kristin O’Connor Golden. They have five children.

Carol Fitzsimons

Chief Executive, Young Enterprise Northern Ireland

Carol Fitzsimons was appointed Chief Executive of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland (www.yeni.co.uk) in 2009. Having previously specialised in learning & development in the private sector, she is a strong advocate for the benefits of providing young people with the opportunity to develop business and entrepreneurship skills at a young age. She is committed to providing young people in Northern Ireland with the best preparation for success in the new economy through her work at Young Enterprise – Northern Ireland’s leading business education charity.

Each year Young Enterprise helps over 90,000 young people aged 4-25 from across Northern Ireland explore their entrepreneurial potential, with support from volunteer business mentors. As part of Young Enterprise – Junior Achievement globally, the young people are also encouraged to take a global perspective on the world of business.

Carol is committed to ensuring that the next generation have a strong understanding of the new growth business sectors in the economy of Northern Ireland and the opportunities these will provide for them, including the option of business start-up as a career choice open to them. She enjoys bringing together volunteers and organisations from across all sectors of business with young people of all ages, to help create a more prosperous future economy for Northern Ireland.

Carol is an Alumni of the US Boston College Irish Institute exchange on Youth Entrepreneurship, and was a participant in the Global Ambassador’s Program with Vital Voices. Her involvement in these programmes has allowed her to benchmark the work of the charity against global best practice, and develop & implement a strategic vision to make Young Enterprise NI one of the leading providers of Enterprise Education in the world.

Carol holds the Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She holds a Masters in Organisation and Management from the Queen’s University of Belfast, and a BSSc in Economics and Geography with European Study from the University of Exeter and Université de Savoie in France (Erasmus).

Contact Carol on [email protected]

Caroline Thompson

Caroline Thompson is the newly appointed CEO of BeTheSpark CIC. BeTheSpark is a movement designed to connect likeminded people and to bring together innovation and entrepreneurship. It aims to build a community that will help transform Wales, inspire the next generation and ultimately trigger more start-ups, more innovation & commercialisation, more opportunities and more jobs.

Prior to taking up her position with BeTheSpark, Caroline was the NatWest lead for the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator hubs in both Bristol & Cardiff. Caroline has over 28 years of experience in banking with NatWest in variety of roles – cross division – ranging from Risk & Regulation to Human Resources, and 12 years of experience in leading teams.

Cathal J. O’Flaherty

Cathal O’Flaherty is an accomplished sales executive with over 30 years of successful leadership and sales experience in the U.S. beverage and food industry. Cathal’s tenure in beverages is split almost evenly between Anheuser Busch, Inc. (1986-2000) and Constellation Brands, Inc. (2000- 2017) Cathal’s Anheuser Busch’s experience was within the company owned wholesale operations group – where Cathal held a variety of sales and marketing leadership positions promoting iconic beer brands like Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob. Cathal subsequently joined Constellation Brands Import Beer Division (2000-2017) where Cathal helped to drive the sales and distribution growth of brands like Corona, Corona Light and Modelo Especial. Cathal’s positions for Constellation were all national in scope, including his tenure as Director of National Sales and Business Development. Cathal maintained relationships with a diverse group of global suppliers from Mexico, China, Italy, Germany and England. During Cathal’s tenure, Constellation’s beer division’s dollar sales grew to over 50% of the total U.S. import market – while revenues grew from $700M to over $5B (USD).

In January 2017, Baron Chocolatier, Inc. recruited Cathal to join the Company as Executive Vice President of Sales and Growth where he was responsible for the import, marketing, and sales of European chocolate to the U.S. market. During his tenure, Cathal co-founded Veroni Brands LLC, a separate company focusing on the import and sale of Iron Energy, an energy drink whose brand ambassador is the former world heavyweight champion boxer, Mike Tyson. Cathal successfully marketed and sold Baron Chocolates and Iron Energy to various national retailers.

In July 2018, Cathal co-founded ECLYPSE LLC and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. ECLYPSE LLC.specializesin the importation and distribution of food and beverage products into the United States with a particular focus on products from Northern Ireland.

Cathal is a native of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland and has resided in Boston and Chicago during his years in the United States. Cathal’s wife Tracy, is a practicing attorney with twenty-five years of experience in law firms and corporate America. They have 2 teenaged boys, Jack (15) and Christopher (13) and a menagerie of dogs.

Cathy Craig

Professor Cathy Craig is the recognised go-to global expert in using Virtual Reality (VR) to understand decision making in sport. She has published over 80 scientific papers that focus on furthering our understanding of how the brain makes decisions under pressure. She is continually invited to deliver keynote addresses around the world at world-leading Sports Institutes but also industry led conferences.

Her work has received extensive media coverage with features appearing in the BBC, Sky Sports and international press. She is CEO and co-founder of INCISV Ltd. a UK-owned global technology company with a mission to pioneer the improvement of a player’s ability to make match-winning decisions.

Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan

Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan is the PVC for Research and Impact.

Cathy is responsible for developing and leading our research and impact strategies as a research led university, ensuring that Ulster University achieves its research targets, and that our research informs our teaching and benefits society locally and globally.

She is a Professor of Politics with research interests in the areas of political elites, peace processes, the politics of divided societies, public policy and governance. Until 2016 she was based in the School of Criminology, Politics & Social Policy at Ulster where she was also Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRiSS) from 2010-16. She is a regular political commentator for the BBC on both television and radio and has recently completed making a new radio programme for BBC World Service on Walls and Peace.

Cathy holds a first class honours degree in politics from Queen’s University, Belfast and an MPhil in Modern Middle East Studies with Arabic from Oxford University before becoming a UK Kennedy Scholar in the J.F.K. School of Government and Public Policy at Harvard University, USA. She also holds a PhD in History and International Affairs from Ulster University. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the winner of the UK Political Studies Association’s Bernard Crick Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2007.

She has been elected and/or appointed to a number of national boards including the National Executive Committee of the UK’s Political Studies Association (PSA) from 2012-16 and is also a member of the UK’s Kennedy Scholars Association. Currently, Cathy serves on the boards of Matrix, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel; Catalyst Inc (formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park); and the UK government’s advisory body on EU Exit, Universities, Research and Innovation chaired by universities and science minister Jo Johnson, among other things.

Dr. Cemal Kavasogullari

Dr. Kavasogullari is the Founder and Director of Innovative Healthcare Solutions and is a practicing GP in Glasgow. He holds a PGCert in Aesthetic Medicine (Merit) from Queen Mary University of London. Besides his start-up work, he also is the deputy chair for the Royal College of General Practitioners, Junior International Committee supporting global health initiatives around the world.

Donti Company Profile

Donti harnesses the latest technologies to provide a new, premium dental care experience for you and your family.

Using the state of the art Donti dental scanner connected to our smartphone app, Donti allows you to monitor and maintain your whitest smile from the comfort of your home.

Donti provides tools created by experts to ensure you have the best habits to maintain a perfect oral health.

Donti is a multi-award winning start-up from Innovative Healthcare Solutions, a company established in 2015 in Scotland. The start-up is at pre-revenue stage currently working on its seed funding following a £105k Scottish Enterprise SMART Grant. Company’s prototype Scanner and Smartphone app has been tested and is ready for demonstration at request.

Ciaran Sheehan

As the Managing Partner of Northern Ireland’s leading Executive Search consultancy, Clarendon Executive, Ciaran has a strong track record in connecting the Irish Diaspora with career opportunities back in Northern Ireland. He has worked across the spectrum of companies, from local SME start-ups to large multinational FDI organisations, always seeking to identify and attract the right talent that will help build the NI economy.

Ciaran founded several companies which specialise in the management of care facilities on behalf of the asset owners, each of which are renowned in the sector for delivering excellence. He has also served on the boards of several major organisations which have as their focus, economic regeneration, economic development and Corporate Social Responsibility including Business In the Community, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and the Welcome Organisation amongst them.
Ciaran is also a passionate advocate of entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland and was Chairman of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland for 7 years. Young Enterprise is a highly respected organisation that delivers inspirational entrepreneurial experiences to almost 100,000 young people in NI each year. He is currently President of the Friends of Young Enterprise Foundation Inc, a foundation based in US, which aims to raise the significant additional funds necessary to provide every young person in Northern Ireland with the opportunity to build their entrepreneurial skills and to experience for themselves the great opportunities and dividends entrepreneurship can offer.

Certain parts of Northern Ireland still have unacceptably high levels of deprivation, often stemming from the cycle of intergenerational unemployment and lack of opportunity. Many young people in these areas are being left behind and are becoming increasingly disconnected from society. The purpose of the Friends of Young Enterprise Foundation is to give the young people of NI the experience, confidence and aspiration to be the architects of their own destiny and Ciaran is generating support from the Irish diaspora to support the achievement of this ambition.

Colin Anderson, OBE

Colin founded Anderson Advertising Ltd in 1982 (now known as ASG & Partners) and is now Chairman of the business which has become one of Northern Ireland’s foremost marketing communications agencies. ASG & Partners employs almost 40 staff and it continues to evolve and thrive in the local marketplace and beyond.

Colin is also the founder and Chairman of B-Secur Ltd, which is currently leading the way in ECG biometric recognition and employs just over 30 people in Catalyst Inc, the former NI Science Park.

From 2001-2008 Colin was Chair of Northern Ireland Screen, where he implemented a new strategy to firmly establish the film and television industry in Northern Ireland as a centre of excellence, steering it into its most successful era ever.

A Visiting Professor to the University of Ulster School of Psychology and Communication, Colin is also Past President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry; holding this position for two consecutive terms, 1996/1997 and 1997/1998.

He sat on the board of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board from 1988 – 1994 and he is a former director of the Northern Ireland Quality Centre from 1993 – 1996.
He was awarded the OBE for services to Northern Ireland Commerce and Industry in 1997.

He has built and sold new startup businesses over this period, including The Internet Business Ltd (TIBUS), founded in 1996 and sold in 2008; and travel company, Activitybreaks.com, sold in 2009 to its current Italian owners.

In 2010 Colin established, along with entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star, James Caan, one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative recruitment companies Webrecruit Ireland, which won the Irish News ‘Recruitment Innovators of the Year’ award in 2012 and has continued its award-winning success since then.

He has sat on various charity committees and is very committed to The Wooden Spoon Society, of which he is an Honorary Life Member.  A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Colin is also a member of the Institute of Directors, and The Royal Television Society.

Colin Harvey

Colin Harvey is Professor of Human Rights Law in the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast and a Fellow of the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

He has served as Head of the Law School, a member of Senate, a Director of the Human Rights Centre, and as a Director of Research. Before returning to Queen’s in 2005 he was Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law at the University of Leeds. He has held visiting positions at the University of Michigan, Fordham University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has taught on the George Washington University – Oxford University Summer School in International Human Rights Law, and on the international human rights programme at the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Academic Panel at Doughty Street Chambers, and a Senior Research Associate, Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Professor Harvey was a member of the REF2014 Law sub-panel and a member of the REF2014 Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel. He has served as a Commissioner on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, and as a member of the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council. He is the Editor of the Series Human Rights Law in Perspective (Hart-Bloomsbury) and is on the editorial boards of Human Rights Law Review, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly and European Human Rights Law Review. He has written and taught extensively on human rights law and policy and is currently leading an ESRC funded project on the consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland.

Sir Declan Morgan

Sir Declan Morgan was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar in 1976 and took Silk in 1993. He was Senior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland from 2002 until his appointment as a High Court Judge in May 2004. He was appointed to the Family Division in January 2007 and in September 2008 became one of two judges with responsibility for judicial review.

Sir Declan was appointed Chairman of the Law Reform Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland in 2004. He was Chairman of the Northern Ireland Law Commission from April 2007 until his appointment at Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland in July 2009.

Sir Declan is also Chairman of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission. He was made an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple.

David A. Perlitz

Ground Up Consulting

David is a transportation consultant and airline veteran who works with airlines and ground transportation companies to assist them in drafting operating plans, developing best practices and developing and facilitating training plans.

David has been involved in the airline business since 1985, beginning his career with Pan American World Airways at JFK. In the decades to follow, David has held various positions with both airlines and airline service companies in the US, Canada and Mexico.

David founded Ground Up Consulting in 2013.

David has supported airline start-ups in the US, most recently helping grow a small regional essential air service rural carrier into one that operated at major US airports and in Mexico.

David has written airline business plans, Essential Air Service bids and has experience interfacing with local, state and international government entities and in negotiating leaseholds with airport authorities.

David enjoys strong relationships with major ground service providers like Swissport, Menzies, ATS and McGee Airline Service, which will come in handy when the time comes to secure these services in the US.

David will support Connect Air in developing its business plan and lending his expertise in the US aviation ground and passenger service arenas.

David McCartney

David is owner of DMC Contracts, a construction company specialising in wall and floor finishes within several sectors, such as rail and aviation, in the UK and Ireland. He started his career as an apprentice tiler, working with his brother in law throughout the UK and Ireland in 1990, starting his own company in 1999. Over the last twenty years, the company has grown to now employing forty-five office and 250 site staff, also including the purchase of the Tiling manufacturing plant where he got his first start in 1990.

Outside of work, David is heavily involved in a personal charity he helped set up in Belfast with one of his friends to help less fortunate youngsters to try to stop them sliding into antisocial behaviours like drinking on street corners and drug abuse. This football club started with a team of seven youngsters, they now have over 400 signed up ranging from four-year olds to an over 40s team, girls’ teams and a team for those with disabilities.
He is also involved with a homeless charity in Belfast city centre and is involved in a City Farm where the youth of West Belfast can attend and help the running of the farm. It allows all local schools to attend to let the kids get close to the animals. Due to its success they have now attained a government grant to develop the farm and charity further.

In life he is very open minded and will assist anyone who is in need if he can. He understands the importance of helping others, after being diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2015, it was the help of others that helped him get through it and today he is healthy and living life to the fullest, with many weekends back home in Belfast.

What, for you, is the importance of the global Irish and Scots Irish diaspora and how do you contribute to its success?

It is key in engaging with the youth in society and the next generation of our diaspora, which is necessary in continuing to build a safer and brighter Belfast. St James Swifts contributes to that by providing the youth in Belfast with a safe environment to prosper and to give them somewhere where they can feel part of a community. The homeless charity in Belfast, Compassion Outreach, and The City Farm for underprivileged youth also contribute to this vision.

Tell us how you connect to Belfast:

Born and bread in West Belfast, I still call it home. I return on a monthly basis to catch up with family and friends and enjoy a pint or two in my local haunt, The Rock Bar on the Falls Road, with all my old friends.

You know you’ve got Belfast heritage when…

you get a large tattoo on your back of some of Belfast’s finest land marks (It bloody hurt)

Denis Murphy

Denis is an experience entrepreneur, board member, angel investor, business coach and mentor with a proven track record of building and exiting niche software companies in the mobile telecommunications and enterprise software spaces.

He has been Chairman and CEO of Anaeko, a company he co-founded in 2004, since 2009. Prior to joining Anaeko, Denis was Chairman of Mobile Cohesion, a company he had co-founded after leaving Openwave in 2002.While at Mobile Cohesion he raise $20m in venture capital and exited the company to Aepona in early 2009.
At Openwave he was Country Manager for Ireland and also responsible for the development of the company’s field organization in Europe.

Prior to Openwave, Denis was the Managing Director and co-founder of APiON. Phone.com acquired APiON for $250m in 1999. At that time, this was the largest acquisition in Northern Ireland’s history. Prior to APiON, Denis held a range of Sales and Partner management roles at Aldiscon (Dublin).

Denis has wide experience as a business coach and mentor and is an entrepreneur in residence on the Springboard Program at the Northern Ireland Science Park.
In addition, Denis has a range of technology investments and sits on the board of Young Enterprise NI, a charity that promotes entrepreneurship among young people.

He holds a degree in Business Studies from University College Galway, an MBA from the Michael Smurfit Business School at University City Dublin and postgraduate qualifications in computer science and management information systems. Denis also has a Diploma in Executive Coaching from the Irish Management Institute.

Deirdre Murphy

Deirdre Murphy is counsel in the Business Immigration Group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Boston office. She is licensed as a solicitor in England and Wales (2006) and Ireland (2016), and admitted as an attorney in New York (2011).

Ms. Murphy specializes in the practice of U.K. and Irish immigration law, having gained substantial experience working with leading law firms in London for the majority of her career. Ms. Murphy is responsible for the successful delivery of U.K. and Irish immigration services for the firm’s corporate and individual clients. She counsels top-tier, multinational companies on all aspects of U.K. and Irish business immigration matters, providing strategic advice to manage their global mobility needs in these jurisdictions.

In the context of Brexit, Ms. Murphy works closely with clients to assess the potential impact on their current workforce and future recruitment needs. She advises corporate and individual clients on the steps to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Ms. Murphy has devised a Brexit Toolkit to guide clients through this process, amidst the ongoing uncertainty and UK-EU negotiations.

Ms. Murphy also assists clients with complex personal immigration matters and routinely manages applications for individuals to obtain visitor visas, permanent residence status and citizenship.

Ms. Murphy is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales, Law Society of Ireland, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA), and the New York State Bar Association. She is a regular contributor to immigration articles and client alerts, and she delivers training seminars and information updates to clients and other organizations.

Ellie McGimpsey

Aviation Development Manager at Belfast City Airport, Ellie McGimpsey has responsibility for sustaining and growing the City Airport’s aviation business. Her focus is on attracting new routes and bringing new airlines into Northern Ireland, and delivering on the airport’s promise to be a ‘partner in market’ for their airline customers.

The breadth of her role, spanning strategy, business development, sales, marketing and PR, commercial negotiations and aviation and economic policy, keeps her engaged at every level of the business, and within the business and tourism communities of Northern Ireland.

Ellie is a board member of the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, a member of the CBI NI’s Future Leaders’ Network and an active member of RABA – the UK’s Regional and Business Airports Group. She lives in Bangor, with her young family.

Gerald Hanweck

CEO, Hanweck Associates,LLC

For over 20 years, Gerald Hanweck, CEO and founder of Hanweck, has been at the forefront of derivatives research, strategy and technology innovation. Prior to founding Hanweck, he spent ten years with JPMorgan, where he served as Chief Equity Derivatives Strategist and led the bank’s U.S. Fixed-Income Derivatives Strategy team. Earlier in his career, he worked as a derivatives researcher at Discount Corporation of New York Futures, and as a software developer at Microsoft.

A frequent industry speaker, Mr. Hanweck has also taught master’s-level business courses at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago, in addition to dozens of seminars on financial derivatives. Mr. Hanweck holds a PhD in managerial economics and decision science from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University, and an AB in mathematics from Princeton University.

Gina McIntyre

Chief Executive Officer, SEUPB

Gina is the Chief Executive Officer of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), a cross-border body established under the Good Friday Agreement and working to the Government of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Assembly. She is currently responsible for the European Union’s PEACE IV and INTERREG VA funding programmes, totaling in excess of €0.5 billion. Having spent most of her career involved with EU support programmes Gina has gained extensive knowledge of the complex cross-border development needs of the region and the appropriate European funding instruments available to meet them.Gina is a qualified chartered accountant who trained and qualified with Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC). She is also a member of the Lexxion Editorial Board for the European Structural and Investment Funds Journal (EStIF) and regularly speaks at major conferences and exhibitions across Europe.

Glyn Roberts

Glyn Roberts has been Chief Executive of Retail NI (formerly NIIRTA) since January 2008 after serving seven years as Head of Parliamentary Affairs with the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland.

Glyn was appointed as Chairman of Colleges NI in November 2014. Previously he was a member of the South Eastern Regional College Governing Body. He was also was Vice Chair of the NI Stronger In Europe campaign.

In December 2015, Glyn was appointed to the steering group of the 2016 Year of Food and Drink and as Chair of its Skills Group. He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Forum on Apprenticeships.

He is also a former Vice-Chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (2011-12

Harold Naughton

State Representative, 12th Worcester District

Harold has dedicated his life to serving the community, the Commonwealth, and the nation. A lifelong resident of Clinton, MA, Harold believes in the value of public service and has always sought to do good on as broad a basis as possible.

Throughout his legislative career, Representative Naughton has focused on legislative priorities including local aid, education, economic development, public safety, environmental protection, veterans’ advocacy and constituent outreach. In his current capacity as the House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, Representative Naughton has worked tirelessly to pass productive and comprehensive legislation to raise the level of safety and security for every man, woman, and child in the Commonwealth. He previously served as House Chair of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, passing cutting edge legislation to provide for our honoured veterans.

From 2011 to 2017, he was a member of the US Department of State International Security Advisory Board. This Board is the chief policy advisor to the US Secretary of State.

Jack Butler

As chief financial officer, Jack is responsible for providing strategic leadership to the Finance Department while also working closely with MRP’s parent company, First Derivatives, on corporate-level priorities. As MRP’s senior representative in Belfast, Jack works closely with the office of over 200 sales and marketing professionals focused on creating value for EMEA-R clients, developing future MRP leaders, and growing the overall operation. He is also a valued contributor to efforts aimed at bringing in new investors to Belfast and at strengthening Belfast’s profile as a great international business city.

Jack earned his MBA from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. Prior to this he spent seven years at Johnson & Johnson where he held roles in finance, marketing, and business development. Jack was recognized as a Visionary Leader by J&J Senior Management for his contributions to the company and his success in forging strategic alliances to support high potential products. Jack graduated from La Salle University with a bachelor of science in finance and accounting. Outside of the office, he remains active with his alma mater, along with a number of organizations committed to the betterment of Ireland.

Jackie Henry

Jackie leads the Public Sector business in Northern Ireland, is a member of the CBI Council and the public sector reform committee. Based in Belfast, she also fulfils the role of Senior Partner for Northern Ireland and is responsible for Deloitte’s business in the region. She has over 20 years’ experience in consulting in both the public and private sectors and has supported the NI public Sector in a number of key reorganisation reform projects.

Jayne Brady

Jayne joined Kernel Capital 2013 having held a Senior Executive role in Kernel Capital portfolio company Intune Networks since 2007. Jayne’s investment focus is ICT, Telecoms and Big Data. Jayne was Chairman of the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Northern Ireland (2013/2014), and holds and has held a number of advisory and board roles with organisations focused on economic and social development including Digital NI 2020, the NI Media Cluster, Momentum the trade body representing the ICT sector in NI and the NSPCC.

Jayne’s career has involved leadership positions with both multinationals and start-ups, across a variety of operational and executive roles. Jayne has lived and worked in culturally and politically complex environments in a variety of global locations including Europe, China India and North America. Roles have included international sales, business development, corporate due diligence and ownership of a range of cross functional technical projects of scale. Prior to joining Kernel Capital Jayne spent six years with Intune Networks, as VP of Product Line Management, having previously held senior positions with Flextronics and Nortel.

Jayne holds a 1st Class Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (M.Eng) from Queen’s University Belfast, is a Fellow of the IET and is currently undertaking the Institute of Directors Chartered Director Programme (2016).

Joe O’Neill

Chief Executive, Belfast Harbour

Joe joined Belfast Harbour in 1997, holding a number of roles including Commercial Manager and Port Manager as well as Commercial Director until his appointment as CEO in 2018. Prior to joining the Port, Joe held positions with Undus Ltd and Cantrell and Cochrane Ltd. Joe is currently a board member of the Simon Community.

John Donovan

Lawyer, Chairman of the Boston Belfast-Boston Board

After finishing law school John was appointed an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, Boston, Massachusetts where he prosecuted mostly drug and gang related matters. Following this, he entered private practice where he has been representing individuals and businesses in and around Boston for over 20 years.

A native of Chelsea, MA, he is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Suffolk University Law School.

John Feerick

Oldest child of immigrants from County Mayo. Educated at Fordham University and practiced law at Skadden for 21 years and then served as Dean at Fordham Law for 21 years. Occupies the Sidney Norris Chair in Public Service at Fordham and serves as founder of the School’s Center for Social Justice. Peace and reconciliation activities in Ireland was part of his agenda as dean, leading to the founding of a summer law program by Fordham in Ireland linking Queens in Belfast and University College Dublin. Accompanied President Clinton to Belfast in 1995 and has hosted visitors from Belfast to Fordham and brought many Fordham students and alumni to Belfast.

In 2017, he received the American Bar Association Medal, its highest award, which noted his numerous appointments and services of others and his integrity and compassion. Honored by the organized bar, universities, the Catholic Church, and citizen groups, including the Flax Trust. He served as President of the NY City Bar Association and Citizens Union Foundation and helped craft the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The author of books and articles, he is married to Emalie Platt and they are the parents of 6 children and 11 grandchildren.

John Lynch

John Lynch is the Vice President of Concept to Consumer at Reebok.Appointed to this position in December 2015, John is responsible for Reebok’s Global Business and Marketing Planning, Retail Support, Licensing and Business Development. John drives the Reebok brand through all global markets.

John first joined Reebok in 1999 and has held various positions in Marketing Communications and Sports Marketing. Prior to his current role, John served as Vice President and Brand Director for the Reebok brand from 2008-2012. In that role, John played a major part in Reebok’s rebranding as THE fitness and training brand. Since then, John has played an integral role in developing and launching Reebok’s partnership with Les Mills in 2013.Before joining Reebok, John was the director of marketing for Polaroid Corporation.

John is an active CrossFitter and runner, but loves all fitness and sports. John received his undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts in 1986 and earned his MBA from Duke University in 1990. He lives in Melrose, MA with his wife Mimi, and their three children.

John McGrillen

Chief Executive Tourism NI

John McGrillen took up his post as CEO of Tourism NI on 1 July 2015.  A former board member of Tourism NI, John was previously Director of Development at Belfast City Council where his responsibilities included urban development, tourism, economic and international development and the management of Belfast Waterfront and the Ulster Hall. Previously he was Chief Executive of Down District Council.

During his early career John worked for Short Brothers and the Industrial Development Board, the forerunner to Invest NI, before being appointed Chief Executive of NI-CO, a Belfast based international development consultancy.

John is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast. He also holds an MSc in Engineering Computation and an MBA in International Business.

John is also a Governing Member of Belfast Metropolitan College and a Board Member of Tourism Ireland.

John Shiels

CEO, Manchester United Foundation

John Shiels has been the Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation since January 2008. During this time, John has created the Foundation’s strategy to use the power of the Manchester United brand to change the lives of young people across Greater Manchester, the UK and around the world.

Working principally with disengaged children, the Foundation uses football to engage and inspire young people to build a better life for themselves and unite the communities in which they live. John leads a dedicated team of 55 permanent members of staff, plus casual members and volunteers, who deliver football coaching, educational programmes and personal development, providing young people with opportunities to change their lives for the better.

Over the years, John has conducted countless leadership workshops in conjunction with club icons such as Sir Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson, as well as senior management figures such as Group Managing Director of Manchester United and Foundation Chairman, Richard Arnold. He has recently presented to top business executives, demonstrating how to adapt the secrets of Manchester United’s success into a business environment, and his journey has taken him from Berlin to Australia, with a fifteen city tour of the US along the way.

Under John’s leadership the Foundation has developed tremendously in recent years, with the number of partner schools and community outreach programmes having doubled since 2014. Key relationships with club partners have already taken the charity overseas but John’s global strategy will soon see Manchester United Foundation take on the world in its own right.

Prior to running the Foundation, John led the Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools and was latterly Head Coach of Manchester United Soccer Schools. He graduated from Manchester University more years ago than he would care to admit.

John Turley

John joined the team at Macaulay Wray Solicitors as partner at the beginning of 2017. His specialism is corporate and commercial law and includes all manner of advice in relation to mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, group reorganisations, hotel sales and purchases and commercial contracts.

He is regularly instructed on general corporate/commercial advisory matters, and has particular experience in advising on the legal aspects of the delivery of domestic sporting events. He also advises sports bodies, sports clubs and sports people in an individual capacity.

A finalist at the Insider’s Dealmaker Awards in the category of Young Dealmaker of the Year in 2016, John’s clients have described him as being ‘commercially minded and practical’ (Legal 500) and he has been praised by clients for his ‘timeliness of delivery and attention to detail’ (Chambers & Partners).

Katie Hauser

Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Katie Hauser is the vice president of marketing and communications for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce where she is responsible for ensuring that the Chamber remains the leading voice of the region’s business community by overseeing all aspects of the organization’s brand and voice across all channels, programs and initiatives.

Katie joined the GBCC in 2015, after 10 years at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority where she held leadership roles in both event operations and communications, including Director of Communications. In this role she oversaw the communications strategy for a proposed $1B convention center expansion project, plus an organizational rebrand and rollout. In this role she also created a comprehensive internal communications and engagement plan which included developing a new, interactive and self-service intranet and leading an internal committee focused on improving morale and interdepartmental communication and collaboration.

Katie is the president of the Board of Directors for HMEA, a nonprofit that offers individuals with disabilities and their families comprehensive services that span a lifetime. She holds her MA in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts where she received the 2010 Alvan S. Ryan award for best literary paper. She holds a B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Roger Williams University. She lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters.

Dr. Karen McCullagh

Karen McCullagh a Lecturer in Law and Course Director for the LLM in Media Law, Policy & Practice at the University of East Anglia. She is a non-practising Solicitor, having qualified and practised Law in Northern Ireland before entering academia. Her research specialism is information rights, encompassing privacy, data protection, and freedom of information. One strand of her recent and on-going research focuses on the data protection implications of Brexit, in respect of which she has provided advice to Governments, Universities, Research Funding bodies, Businesses, and representative bodies e.g. the National Association of Data Protection Officers.

Kamal Al-Solaylee, PhD Professor

Dr. Al-Solaylee is the author of the national bestselling memoir Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes which won the 2013 Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the CBC’s Canada Reads, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction and the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His latest book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone), was hailed as “brilliant” by The Walrus magazine and “essential reading” by the Globe and Mail. It was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Nonfiction, the Trillium Book Award and won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. He was previously a theatre critic at the Globe and Mail and has written reviews and features on arts and politics for all major Canadian publications, including Toronto Star, National Post, The Walrus, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, Quill & Quire and Literary Review of Canada.

Kerrie Sweeney

Chief Executive, Titanic Foundation

Kerrie joined Titanic Foundation in March 2013 and has over 20 years’ experience working in the tourism sector including 10 years between Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, where she was a member of the team that put together the plans for the Titanic Signature Project. Kerrie’s experience is in product and destination development, capital projects and partnership initiatives.

Over the last four years, Kerrie has played a key role in the restoration of the former Harland & Wolff Headquarter building and Drawing Offices into Titanic Hotel Belfast, securing £5million from Heritage Lottery Fund to ensure that the heritage and authenticity of the building is retained. Kerrie is an advocate for Titanic Quarter, believing that it has a key role to play in the future growth and success of Belfast City. The Foundation’s most recently completed project is the Great Light, where a very rare, 130 year old lighthouse optic has been put on public display in a new glass enclosure in the Titanic Quarter public realm. Kerrie has also led the development of a new Destination Plan for Titanic Quarter which covers a range of projects aimed at making the area a globally recognised iconic heritage waterfront, bringing the stories and the vast heritage surrounding the destination to life.

Kerrie holds a BA Hons Degree in Modern History and MSc in Tourism Management. She has undertaken a number of television and radio interviews on the Drawing Offices, Great Light and the overall tourism offer in Titanic Quarter with BBC, UTV, NVTV, RTE and Titanic TV.

Laura Niehorster

Laura has always been passionate about tackling social problems and learning people’s stories. From organising charity events in school to creating Proud Pads to provide a long term solution to period poverty, Laura is particularly passionate about empowering women and endeavours to see the human side of all people, regardless of how their situation has affected them. She fiercely believes that a philanthropic goal can fuel a successful business.

Laura’s degree in Fashion Design at the University for Creative Arts, Rochester, taught her about ergonomics, garment construction and creating appealing products. Internships with London Fashion Week designers while at university taught her how to brand a company and position it within the market. An academic approach to her creative degree and strong research skills earned her a first in her dissertation and a thoughtful, socially conscious approach to design.

Experience designing and playing a key role in the manufacture of Quatro Gymnastics leotards enabled Laura to gain experience communicating with production teams in China. She also honed her design skills for the commercial market and learnt about many aspects of running a small business, such as stock tracking, organising sales and marketing events and customer service. Working in the External Funding department at Gower College Swansea, Laura gained skills in financial analysis, procuring funding and establishing procedures to ensure smooth operations.

Proud Pads Company Profile

Proud Pads are sustainable sanitary pads for modern life: hassle free, comfortable and stylish. Proud Pads can be machine washed for five years, potentially reducing the 200,000 tonnes of period waste create in the UK every year by 97%. The pads are much more comfortable as they’re made from fabric, not plastic like disposables, so feel soft on the skin, allow it to breathe and don’t irritate it.

Laura discovered a gap in the market for Proud Pads while researching sustainable period products for her backpacking trip around Asia. She used the garment production skills she learnt while studying fashion design at university to create her innovative, eco friendly sanitary pad.
Proud Pads will initially be sold through the company’s online shop and independent zero waste, vegan and women’s health shops throughout the country. The company will be targeting supermarket and pharmacy chains in their second year. Laura won Innovate UK’s Young Innovator’s award, has spoken about Proud Pads at TEDx and is a member of the Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator. The product is ready to go to market and Proud Pads are finalising a manufacturer, having carried out extensive market research with 90% of testers saying they’ll buy more.

Lord Haughey, OBE

Lord Haughey was born in the Gorbals in Glasgow in 1956.He served an apprenticeship as a refrigeration and air conditioning engineer.

After working abroad for two and a half years in the United Arab Emirates in the early eighties, he returned to Glasgow and set up the company City Refrigeration in 1985 with his wife Susan. The company started its first year with 4 employees with a turnover of £100k. City is now one of the largest privately owned Facilities Management companies in the world with offices in the UK, France, Australia, Kuala Lumpur and North America and employs just over 12,000 people, with an annual turnover of approximately £1bn. City is proud to have some of the largest companies in the world on its client base, i.e. Wal*Mart/Asda, Wesfarmers/Coles, Giant, Jardine Matheson, South Eastern Grocers and BP to name but a few.

Outside of City, Lord Haughey has many other business interests. He was a Director of Celtic Football Club plc for two and a half years from 1994 to 1997 and is now an Ambassador for the Club.In 2000 – He was voted Entrepreneur of the Year for Scotland.

In 2003 – Received the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for Entrepreneurship in the West of Scotland.
In 2005 – Honorary Doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University – Doctor of Technology.
In 2012 – Received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
In 2013 – Was elevated to the House of Lords.
In 2018 – Voted Entrepreneur of the Year for Sustained Excellence
In 2018 – Voted Entrepreneur of the Year for ScotlandThe Haughey family has set up a charitable trust that has donated over £9m to charity.

Maeve Monaghan

Chief Executive, NOW Group

Maeve was appointed to NOW Group in 2001 and has been responsible for the development of the organisation for the past 17 years.  She has been Chief Executive for the past 10 years and believes passionately in the rights of people with disabilities to have equal access to high quality training and employment. 

NOW Group, a limited company with charitable status, is an award-winning social enterprise that supports people with barriers to employment and learning into the workforce. The organisation has 70 staff and provides over 500 people per annum with the training and support they require to get the job they want and keep it. NOW Group has won 8 high profile awards in the past 12 months.

The organisation also operates two successful social enterprise businesses called Loaf Catering and Gauge NI, the profits from which go back into NOW Group’s work.

Loaf Catering & Cafes is a social enterprise operating cafes in Belfast and an outside catering business servicing the Greater Belfast area.  Loaf has grown from strength to strength since its launch in 2007.  In 2014 it took over management of Belfast City Hall’s Bobbin Coffee Shop and competed against private sector businesses to secure a number of large catering contracts including one with NICVA (Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action). June 2015 saw the social enterprise open a brand-new café and bakery on the site of a vacant, burnt-out bar in West Belfast’s Grosvenor Road, creating 10 jobs for local people along with 100 training placements for catering trainees with learning difficulties per year. This year Loaf opened its latest site in Crawfordsburn, taking over an old pottery to set up a café and arts centre that also sells its own range of ceramics. Gauge NI supports organisations across the third, private, public and philanthropy sectors in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to measure, evaluate and communicate their social impact.

NOW is the organisation behind the award-winning JAM Card initiative. The JAM Card is a credit card sized card and app for smartphones that allows people with learning difficulties and communication barriers to ask for Just A Minute of patience when they need it. There are over 13,000 people now using the JAM Card across Northern Ireland and feedback shows people are finding everyday interactions, such as ordering food in a cafe or counting out change for the bus, easier thanks to the card. It was recently named the Best Disability Initiative at the Legal-Island Equality and Diversity Awards and Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative at the CIPD Awards.

Maeve has an Advanced Diploma in Management Practices and a Masters in Executive Leadership from the University of Ulster. This year she won the Outstanding Management and Leadership Award at the Women in Business Awards and was named in the Top 10 of the WISE 100 women in social enterprise across the UK. She was also awarded a Social Entrepreneur Award in 2007 (Flaw Trust and UUJ), was named one of Belfast’s Top 50 Business People in 2007 and 2011 (Belfast Media Group), was named Female Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 (Social Enterprise Awards Northern Ireland). Maeve has been Chair of the Community Foundation Northern Ireland since October 2015 and is Chair of Give Inc. Ireland’s first Giving Circle.

Mairead O’Donnell

Mairead O’Donnell is a 53-year-old mother of five from the Short Strand. Mairéad is the current Sinn Féin councillor on Belfast City Council. Mairéad was co-opted onto Belfast City Council in June 2016 replacing Niall Ó Donnghaile. Mairéad is hoping to build on the strong Sinn Féin vote in East Belfast. Mairéad has worked within the community sector in the Short Strand since 2000 and since 2014 has been the full time coordinator of the Short Strand Partnership. Within this role Mairéad has dealt with a range of issues including community safety, economic regeneration, environmental improvement and interface issues.

As coordinator of the SSP, Mairéad has also gained extensive experience of social economy projects.Mairéad is a member of the “cross community” Inner East Partnership and regularly organises events for residents on both sides of the interfaces and sits on Belfast City Councils Tension Monitoring Group.

Through these various roles, Mairéad has gained extensive experience in dealing with a range of statutory bodies including Belfast City Council, DoJ, OFMDFM, Housing Executive, PSNI and the Parades Commission.

Mark D. Croce

Mark D. Croce was born and raised in Buffalo, NY where he currently resides in the suburb of Orchard Park, NY with his wife Jessica, and two young sons Dominic and Dante. As President & CEO of Buffalo Development Corporation, Mark has successfully transformed numerous vacant and underutilized buildings and properties in downtown Buffalo into self-sustaining high-end commercial uses. Mark is also a restaurateur and hotelier and has been at the forefront of revitalizing downtown Buffalo over the past twenty-three years.

Mark’s first adaptive re-use project downtown was turning a rundown brownstone apartment building into the impressive Brownstone Bistro, followed by converting the Warner building into multi venue entertainment operation featuring D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub, LiFT Nightclub and Buffalo’s busiest summer rooftop party bar, SkyBar. As developer and owner of the venerable Buffalo Chophouse that opened in the fall of 2002, Mark brought a whole new level to fine dining to Buffalo, NY with this 5-star Steak House that after 16 years remains Buffalo’s premiere dining restaurant that was built in a former carriage house. Mark also purchased and saved the historic 95-year-old Statler Hotel from the wrecking ball in 2011 turning the 850,000 square foot building into a premiere banquet and meeting space by taking the building back to its original hospitality roots. In 2015 Mark embarked on a twenty-seven- million-dollar redevelopment of the historic Harlow C. Curtiss building by constructing and opening Buffalo’s only 68 room 5-Star Luxury Boutique Hotel. This exquisite hotel features the Chez Ami Restaurant with a revolving bar and VUE Rooftop Lounge with 360-degree views of downtown Buffalo, Canada and the Lake Erie shoreline. Mark is also CEO of Pay2Park, Buffalo, NY’s largest private parking company that he founded in 2004.

Altogether, Mark employs nearly 400 people in the hospitality industry in Buffalo, NY and had been recognized as a driving force in the revitalization of Buffalo’s Theatre and Entertainment Districts.

Mark in his time away from his downtown office is an avid aviator that enjoys spending time in the air flying his private airplane and helicopter to many national destinations.

Mark Dowds

Mark Dowds does nothing in half measures.An accomplished endurance runner and cyclist, a serial investor and startup founder, Mark has earned a name for his ability to motivate others to get “unstuck”—to innovate in old spaces and displace established industries in the name of relevance. He brings that level of commitment to the world of tech whether he is getting a new initiative off the ground or empowering audiences around the world.

In 2012 he co-founded Trov—the world’s first on-demand insurance platform—and today is accountable for all revenue, strategy, and growth as the company expands internationally. In two decades he has helped get dozens of ventures off the ground, through his Canadian-based incubators Fresh Initiatives and Creationstep. During his time in Toronto, he established a co-working facility that helped nurture the city’s emerging web 2.0 community and half a dozen other start-ups, including ServiceCloud that was acquired by Salesforce.com.

Mark was an LP in Bullet Time Ventures, an early seed investor in Uber, Twilio and is a current LP in Anthemis Venture Fund. He is the Chairman of Techstart Ventures, helping entrepreneurs build successful technology businesses from the ground up.

Mark is the Chairman of Generation Innovation – a program designed to bring entrepreneurial experiences to high school students throughout Northern Ireland. He is an advisor to several companies including, Modius Health, StageTEN, and eHarvestHub.

Mark is an electric speaker – tackling topics like disruption, relevance and upending the ways we approach problems primarily in the tech, finance, and insurance sectors. He thrives on pushing people forward to accomplish big things.

If he is not on a plane or a stage, these days Mark is on a bike or spending time creating adventures with his two teenagers and wife of 21 years.

Mark Goldstone

Mark is currently Managing Partner of Freyeur & Trogue, a Specialty Investment Banking firm that provides a unique combination of advisory/consulting services and access to capital to help life science and technology companies realize their growth potential.

Previously Mark was the Worldwide President of Doyle Dane and Bernbach’s (DDB) healthcare business, where he was responsible for a global communications business spanning 40+ offices in over 36 markets. Prior to that Mark held senior positions at Publicis Healthcare Communications Group and at Interbrand where he was CEO of their global Healthcare business.

Mark began his career as a pharmacist with Boots the Chemist and St. Georges Hospital in London. It was, however, a love of writing that led him to a new career in advertising – starting as a copywriter at The General Advertising Company of London Ltd. Later, Mark and a partner, co-founded their own unique Health focused advertising agency, which was quickly acquired by WCRS. The company eventually became part of Havas. Mark moved to New York with Havas at Euro RSCG Worldwide Headquarters, where he helped devise and build their global healthcare business – now Havas Life.

Mark holds a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacy. He is a board member of the prestigious Galien Foundation, a board member of G3 Global Genomics Group, a past Co-Chairman of New York Corporate Development for the American Diabetes Association and a current board member of the Neurogen Foundation.

What, for you, is the importance of the global Irish and Scots Irish diaspora and how do you contribute to its success?
Some of the world’s greatest innovation and greatest entrepreneurs have come from this small population of world class connectors. I hope I can continue to make connections and help stimulate new innovation that transforms lives and economies.
Tell us how you connect to Belfast:
Born in Belfast and spent my most formative years there.
You know you’ve got Belfast/Irish heritage when…

…yer mon tells you to houl on ther, put down the Veda, stop gurning and put on your guddies and go give it laldie.

Mark O’Donnell

Mark is the Director of Regeneration for Belfast in the Department for Communities. Mark’s team has responsibility for physical regeneration in the city, which includes using the Department’s powers for Comprehensive Development, delivery of public realm and environmental improvement schemes, the making of grants under legislation to meet social need and the management of the former Laganside portfolio which includes the Lagan Weir and nearly 5km of the river and its walkways. He has been involved in community and physical regeneration for the last 15 years.

Maureen Bennett

Maureen Bennett represents life sciences and health care clients conducting global clinical trials and research collaborations. For almost 20 years, Maureen has advised clients on the contractual, regulatory, and ethical issues associated with clinical research. She negotiates clinical trial agreements, reviews informed consents, provides advice regarding novel patient recruitment strategies and assists with interactions with regulatory agencies, including the FDA. Maureen also advises clients on emerging regulatory issues affecting clinical research, including the utilization of social media in patient and physician recruitment, the development of virtual clinical trial and telemedicine networks, and personalized medicine strategies implementing the use of biomarkers and companion diagnostics.

Maureen also represents clients in the structuring of complex outsourcing arrangements between life sciences companies and contract research organizations (CROs). Maureen has recently assisted a pharmaceutical company in the negotiation of a master services agreement with a CRO for a Phase 3 clinical trial with over 100 sites on four continents. She also represents clients in the assessment and mitigation of regulatory risks and the negotiation of liability allocation arrangements in M&A, licensing, and other commercial transactions.

Maureen is the Life Sciences coleader for the Firm’s Health Care and Life Sciences Practice Group and is currently serving as cochair of the Boston Bar Association’s Health Care Section. She was honorary cochair for the 8th Annual Boston-Northwest Ireland Golden Bridges Giant Step Conference 2015 and is a regular speaker at industry conferences. Maureen is a member of the Firm’s LGBTQ affinity group.

Meabh Quoirin

Co-owner & CEO, Foresight Factory

Meabh Quoirin is CEO and Co-Owner of Foresight Factory, the consumer trends and data expert. She is also a LinkedIn Influencer and was named in their Top Voices campaign in 2016 & 2017.

Meabh is a pioneer in the field of consumer analytics and new data techniques and an expert in modelling new routes to the future. She has over two decades’ experience in helping businesses globally put trends at the heart of their decision making.

Meabh has also developed a strong reputation in management, strategic vision, and structural and organisational change, is bi-lingual, and is an experienced public speaker.

What she is passionate about:
1. The transformative power of trends
2. The Filter Bubble and Polarised society, wealth, politics…
3. Emotional intelligence and the future of human connections

Michael Brewster

Michael heads the Brewster Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. Originally from Longford, Michael immigrated to America in 1989. He joined Wells Fargo as Managing Director in March 2016 after 8 years in Credit Suisse and a previous 16 years at Lehman Brothers. He has spent the past 26 years managing investments for high net worth and institutional clients. Michael is the sole manager of the MB Value and Growth, MB Strategic Dividend and Income and MB Small Mid-Cap and Special Situations Portfolios.

Michael has been recognized as one of Barron’s Top 1,000 Advisors in the USA. He has been honoured by Irish American Magazine as one of the “Top Irish Americans on Wall Street”. Michael serves on the board for the Irish International Business Network (IIBN), USA Foundation Board, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), The Ireland U.S. Council and advises and fundraises for the Gaelic Players Association in the USA.

Michael graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) in Ireland with a higher diploma in Management Finance and finished his studies in Thomas Edison State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Michael Gorman

A lawyer by trade, Michael has worked in multiple jurisdictions globally where his prior orthodox practice focused on financial services litigation. Transitioning from orthodox practice to implementation advisory has presented numerous opportunities to support numerous multi-national financial services firm in the implementation and execution of regulatory change in the United States, Europe, and farther afield.

Michael is responsible globally for the Regulatory & Compliance Practice at First Derivatives plc where he collaborates with data scientists, technologists, and consultants to enhance the execution of regulatory change for the firm’s clients. He has a keen interest in RegTech and the ways in which technical solutions can ease the burden of regulatory compliance in financial services and farther afield.

Mr Mike Nesbitt

Ulster Unionist Party Leader 2012-2017 | MLA for Strangford, Northern Ireland Assembly

Mike was born in Belfast and grew up during the 30-plus year conflict in Northern Ireland otherwise known as ‘the Troubles’, which claimed over 3,500 lives from a population of 1.8 million; pro rata, that is the equivalent of around half a million lost lives in the United States. On 25 January 1973, the Nesbitt family linen business was blown up by the IRA, sparking Mike’s lifelong interest in politics and in the human cost of conflict.

Mike graduated with an honours degree in English from Cambridge University in England and beginning a Master of Business Administration course at Queen’s University in Belfast, before starting a career in broadcast sports journalism. Mike switched to news and current affairs in 1986, reporting on all the major events in Northern Ireland, including security matters and the peace and political processes.

In 2007, Mike became a Commissioner for Victims & Survivors of the Northern Ireland Troubles, responsible for promoting the needs and interests of those who suffered most during the conflict. In May 2011, he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for the Ulster Unionist Party and quickly became Leader. Mike was praised in many quarters for his progressive leadership, known for his commitment to the promotion of post-sectarian values, inclusion and reform.

Moira Loughran

Client & Sector Manager (Financial, Professional & Legal Services), Invest Northern Ireland
Moira is a Client & Sector Development Manager for Financial & Professional Services in Invest NI’s Technology & Services Division, with a particular focus on legal services. She manages a team of executives, works with a portfolio of major existing investors and has responsibility for the development and implementation of Invest NI’s legal sector development strategy.

Her key strategic priorities for the NI legal sector are increased internationalisation and the growth of a more expansive cluster in the region. A business & languages graduate from Ulster University with a post graduate diploma in Human Resource Management, Moira has worked in economic development for over 15 years. Before moving to her current role in client, team and sector management in 2018, Moira worked as Regional Manager in Invest NI, leading a team to help develop the economy by assisting new export focused companies and existing SME’s to grow in new markets.

Title of Talk: The evolution of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Sector

Marie Mackiln CBE

Marie Macklin CBE is Founder and Executive Chair of the HALO Urban Regeneration Company.
The HALO brand is an imaginative, innovative and inspirational urban regeneration initiative to revitalise communities experiencing economic challenges.
Marie is Executive Chair of Macklin Enterprise Partnerships, which seeks to invest in entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Marie has been recognised nationally throughout her career and, in March 2017, she was named Non-Executive Director of the year by the Institute of Directors Scotland (IoD) and most recently, in October 2017, she was named Scotland’s Business Woman of the year by Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

In July, Marie accepted an Honorary Degree at Glasgow Caledonian University’s Graduation and Awards ceremony, making her a Doctor of Business Administration.
Marie was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 2014 New Year’s Honours List for Services to Economic Regeneration and Entrepreneurship in Scotland.

What, for you, is the importance of the global Irish and Scots Irish diaspora and how do you contribute to its success?

Every time I visit this great city it always strikes me how much the Irish diaspora inspires new approaches to economic transformation and stimulates innovative and entrepreneurial business. I recognise that Belfast communities are its beating heart and Northern Ireland’s capital is the perfect place to launch the next HALO urban regeneration concept.
Tell us how you connect t

Tell us how you connect to Belfast:

As a regular visitor to Belfast I have many friends and colleagues throughout this wonderful city.

You know you’ve got Belfast heritage when…

you think of your brave Grannie Maggie McBride who sailed from Belfast across the Straits of Moyle to Scotland in the 1800s.

Mary Ann Pierce

Mary Ann is the founder & CEO of MAP Digital: MetaMeetings™ an event Platform as a Service and Smart Venues which embeds MAP Digital: MetaMeetings™ within conference centers worldwide. Last year “Meetings & Conventions Magazine” named her as one of “The Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry” noting: “Pierce is ahead of the curve, as the rest of the industry now embraces data capture and analytics as the next frontier.” She is also the technical director of the first UN sponsored Economic Equality Moonshot to foster Women-run STEM businesses solving the UN Sustainability Development Goals in Emerging Markets.

MAP Digital is headquartered in New York City and produces events globally. Mary Ann Pierce serves on board of Digital Irish, IIBN-NY, Cuala Foundation NYC, is an observer for the MIT Enterprise Forum NYC and an advisor for “Inspirefest” in Dublin. She has worked with J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, The Wall Street Journal, Novartis, Pfizer, and Havas. She taught digital event design at New York University and has been a speaker at “Ideagen UN Empowering Women & Girls 2030 Summit,” “Masters & Robots,” “Evolve or Die” (ICC Belfast), PCMA, and MPI Conferences. MAP Digital is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Dame Mary Peters

In the 1972 Summer Olympics, Peters won the gold medal in the women’s pentathlon, having finished 4th in 1964 and 9th in 1968. To win the gold medal, she narrowly beat the local favourite, Heide Rosendahl.

She represented Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games between 1958 and 1974. In these games she won 2 gold medals for the pentathlon, plus a gold and silver medal for the shot put.

She was appointed CBE in 1990, having been appointed MBE in 1972. In 2000 she was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire, the year in which Denise Lewis won gold in the women’s multi-discipline event, now the heptathlon.

Northern Ireland’s premier athletics track, on the outskirts of Belfast, is called the Mary Peters Track in her honour. In April 2009 she became Lord Lieutenant of the City of Belfast.

Mary Sugrue

Mary Sugrue is the Chief Executive Officer of the Irish American Partnership.Ms. Sugrue has been with the Irish American Partnership for 27 years, serving as Executive Director before assuming the role of CEO. Originally from Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry, she graduated from National University of Ireland Carysfort College Dublin with a degree in education and spent three years teaching primary school in Ireland. As an Irish teacher by training, she possesses an indispensable perspective for furthering the Partnership’s mission through impactful grants to schools, educational programs, and community development initiatives.

Michael J. Fitzpatrick

Michael J. Fitzpatrick was elected to the New York State Assembly, on November 5, 2002, representing the 8th Assembly District. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Mr. Fitzpatrick served as a member of the Smithtown Town Council for 15 years, from 1988 through 2002.

The 8th AD, within Suffolk County, is composed of the Town of Smithtown in its entirety and northern portions of the Town of Islip, notably the Islip portion of Hauppauge, and a portion of the village of Islandia. Assemblyman Fitzpatrick serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly Housing Committee and is a member of the Ways and Means, Higher Education, Agriculture and Labor committees. Mr. Fitzpatrick is an active member of the New York State Chapter of the American-Irish Legislators Society and is currently serving as secretary. Maintaining a presence in the private sector, whose vitality he strives to bolster as a legislator, Mr. Fitzpatrick spent 16 years in the financial services industry.

Active in the community, Assemblyman Fitzpatrick is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and past president of the board of trustees of the Cleary School for the Deaf in Nesconset, New York, where he remains an honorary trustee. He was a member of the Suffolk County Charter Revision Commission and the Human Services Committee of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.Assemblyman Fitzpatrick is a 1975 graduate of Hauppauge High School and a 1979 graduate of St. Michael’s College in Vermont, from where he received his B.A. in Business Administration.

Mr. Fitzpatrick was born in Jamaica, Queens on April 15, 1957 and raised in Hauppauge, Long Island. He is married to the former Lorena Herrera of Chihuahua, Mexico, with whom he has raised two children, Corina and Michael. The couple resides in the hamlet of St. James in Smithtown.

Standing committee assignments for 2017-18: Housing, Ways and Means, Higher Education, Agriculture and Labor. Member of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.

Michael George

Michael George is a partner with The Versant Group (“Versant”), a real estate focused asset management company. Prior to joining Versant in 2017, Mr. George served as a Managing Director of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Prior to joining Fortress in 2009, Mr. George spent ten years with Deutsche Bank where he was most recently a Managing Director in the Institutional Client Group with responsibility for the Bank’s largest North American clients. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 1999, Mr. George served as Co-Head of Mortgage Backed Securities Trading at Lehman Brothers where he started his career in 1986.

Mr. George graduated from St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge University with an undergraduate degree in Engineering Science and a postgraduate diploma in Computer Science. Whilst at Cambridge University Mr. George played Rugby for the University 1st XV for three years, ‘walking-on’ to the team.

Michael George

Michael McGoldrick

A lawyer by trade, Michael has worked in multiple jurisdictions globally where his prior orthodox practice focused on financial services litigation. Transitioning from orthodox practice to implementation advisory has presented numerous opportunities to support numerous multi-national financial services firm in the implementation and execution of regulatory change in the United States, Europe, and farther afield. Michael is responsible globally for the Regulatory & Compliance Practice at First Derivatives plc where he collaborates with data scientists, technologists, and consultants to enhance the execution of regulatory change for the firm’s clients. He has a keen interest in RegTech and the ways in which technical solutions can ease the burden of regulatory compliance in financial services and farther afield.

Michael McGoldrick

Nicholas Malito

Nick is an associate at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP where his practice focuses on commercial leasing, bankruptcy, litigation, and advising emergent companies.He represents national and regional clients in commercial leasing and retail property development, from the inception of lease negotiation to retail store launch. Nick’s broad civil litigation experience includes prosecuting and defending appeals, business torts, intellectual property disputes, real estate disputes, construction claims, bankruptcy avoidance actions, claims for disability and employment discrimination, and mass tort claims. Nick also advises emergent companies across all stages of development.

Orla Smyth

Worked as lawyer in Copenhagen during this period- fell in love with Copenhagen, food, design, culture and of course their coffee! Gave up law- opened up first kaffe o on ormeau road June 2014, online sales kaffeo.coffee June 2015, botanic avenue store January 2016, third unit in city centre October 2017.

Appointed chair of Transplant Sport NI in April 2018 and in addition to chair role am currently working on research project with academics and medics on exercise programme for patients post transplant. Established and executively produced The Curzon Documentary which has just been shown in The Syracuse International Film Festival.

Oh and in the above 15 years, had few years on dialysis, Two kidney transplants and hold world records in the 400m and 800m in world transplant games set in Gothenburg 2011. Currently training for “last” competitive world transplant games in August 2019.

Larry Schnuck, AIA

Larry Schnuck is an award winning architect with expertise in designing higher education facilities. A leader of the Higher Education Team, he leads planning, design and management of hands-on learning environments around the country including University of Colorado, University of Wisconsin, Texas A&M University and UT Health San Antonio.

His passion, humour and genuine concern for clients allows him to becomes a trusted advisor, recognised nationally as an authority in the unique complexities of higher education.

A Vice President of the firm, Larry is responsible for nurturing a diverse, collaborative environment that leads to creative solutions for all of the firm’s clients. Larry is also actively engaged in multiple professional organisations and has provided leadership on college and university projects around the country as well as spoken and been published on the topic of learning environments and how to best adapt these for the changing trends in healthcare and expectations of the millennial generation.

Leo P. McGuire

With over 40 years of public safety expertise, Leo P. McGuire remains on the forefront of innovation, technology, and strategic risk management. After retiring as Sheriff of New Jersey’s most populated county in the NY-Metro area, Leo began LPM Strategies, a full service consultation firm serving businesses nationally and abroad. As SVP of Public Safety Initiatives for Cloudscann Inc., and Director of Risk Management for iLearn Schools Inc., Leo brings his safety and business acumen to the private sector. A former partner in FML Technologies based in Belfast, Leo and his partners were proud to receive the Aisling Events Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award in 2013.

Since his first visit to Belfast, Leo has been a constant voice in the US encouraging businesses and tourists alike to “Go North!”. He forged the relationship between Belfast Metropolitan College and NJ based Felician University, sending graduate and undergraduate students to Belfast every summer to study alongside their Irish peers. Maintaining his Irish roots, Leo serves as a state Director of Veteran’s Affairs for the New Jersey Ancient Order of Hibernians, as a member of Irish Network New Jersey, Bergen Irish Association, and frequents NY Irish Business Organization events. As a proud US Army veteran, Leo serves as the Vice Chair of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Dept. of Defense Program.

Rev Dr Livingstone Thompson

Rev Dr Livingstone Thompson is the new minister for Kilwarlin Moravian Church. Originally from Jamaica, Rev Livingstone Thompson assumed pastoral charge of the Kilwarlin Moravian Church on September 1, 2015, succeeding Rev Patsy Holdsworth who was transferred to Bristol area in England. For many years Rev Thompson served in the pastoral ministry of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, where he also led the Jamaican Province of the Moravian Church as President.

His current assignment also includes responsibility for the University Road Moravian Church in Belfast In addition to a wealth pastoral experience, Rev Thompson is an experienced intercultural trainer with specialties across a variety of corporate fields. He taught at Trinity College Dublin, supervised postgraduate research at All Hallows College and Dublin City University and was external graduate examiner for a graduate programme at the University of the West Indies. Dr Thompson has also served as an expert member of several national and international organisations in the fields of cultural diversity. His international speaking engagements in the fields of diplomacy, culture and religion have taken him to a number of countries, conferences and educational institutions. Livingstone has developed and anchored radio programmes and written extensively as a columnist for a leading Caribbean newspaper.

He is author of several books and peer-reviewed articles. His professional involvement includes serving as president of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR) Europe. In his 20years of involvement pastoral ministry, education and training at local and international levels, From this extensive experience, gained in cross-cultural contexts, he brings empathy and understanding to new assignment in Kilwarlin. His priorities will include growing the congregation, developing the historic site on which the church is located and building ecumenical relations in the area.

Paul McErlean

Paul McErlean is Managing Director and founder of MCE Public Relations Ltd. He has over 25 years’ experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors at all levels focusing in business to business, business to consumer, corporate, financial, political and crisis communications.

Paul previously was joint Managing Director of another major Northern Ireland PR agency and spent a number of years advising the Industrial Development Board and InterTradeIreland in his previous consulting roles – including being the lead communications advisor on the 11 city investment roadshow of North America after the signing of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement in 1998. His career started in broadcasting research and news facilitation with leading independent television company, MacMillan Media and he also spent two years as Head of Communications for one of Northern Ireland’s main political parties. He has degrees from Queen’s and Cambridge Universities and completed an Executive MBA from the Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, in 2002.

On a voluntary basis, he is Chairman of the Cathedral Quarter Trust – a government and Belfast City Council backed stakeholder group charged with developing the regeneration strategy for Belfast’s most vibrant and historic city centre district. He is also the Chairman of the Destination Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District. In 2013 he was made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations having served as its Northern Ireland Chairman in 2006. He is also the current Chairman of his industry trade body, the PRCA, in Northern Ireland and was listed in PR Week’s UK PowerBook 150 in 2011.

Outside of work, Paul still has a keen interest in sport, having played Gaelic football at county level in his younger days, he is now an active underage coach with his local club.

Paul McKernan

Paul McKernan has worked at some of N.Ireland’s fastest growing companies over the last 17 years since graduating from University of Ulster at Jordanstown. As Head of IT at Westland Horticulture in Dungannon he implemented two ERP systems and was heavily involved in the takeover of 3 competitor businesses and the opening a 500,000 square foot warehouse in England at a time when the business grew at a staggering rate.

Then moving to Chain Reaction Cycles, the worlds largest online cycling retailer, he operated as Head of Trading, helping a team of Buyers and Merchandisers meet the challenging daily sales targets and ensuring that the business held the optimum stock mix and levels for demand while still availing of one off ‘clearance’ deals to encourage growth. The role involved selling to over 180 different territories in 52 currencies with 90,000 SKU’s for sale at any one time, this brought with it significant focus on daily administration and people management. Working with others in the business keeping the product range relevant, in stock and attractive to the customer was great experience in one N. Ireland’s major success stories .

Now working with STATSports, the Newry based Sports technology company, Paul is helping the business continue its phenomenal growth trajectory while also managing the many challenges that this brings. With the workforce tripling in the last 12 months, implementation of a new ERP system, a move to new offices and the release of the companies cutting ed

Peter Girvan

After reading Law at University of Oxford (Hertford College), Peter was called to the Bar of England and Wales at Gray’s Inn in 2004, the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2005 and the Bar of the Republic of Ireland in 2011. Peter has developed a varied practice in media, privacy and data protection law, human rights law as well as retaining a broad commercial practice. Regularly instructed in some of the most contentious and high profile privacy cases, Peter has been at the forefront of the development of the privacy and data protection law in Northern Ireland. Peter has applied his tactical expertise in privacy law and deep understanding of data protection principles to cases involving social media and has routinely and successfully obtained injunctions against social media giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter. A landmark case in this field was CG v Facebook Ireland Ltd. [2015] NIQB 11 and [2016] NICA 54, in which Peter again acted as sole Counsel for the Plaintiff, and successfully obtained damages of £20,000 against Facebook for failing to take down violent and irresponsible postings in relation to the Plaintiff. This was the first case in Northern Ireland to find Facebook liable as an ‘information society service’ within the meaning of EU Directive 2000/31/EC. In the Court of Appeal, whilst damages were reduced, the Court upheld the plaintiff’s cross-appeal which asserted liability on the part of Facebook under the Data Protection Act 1998. In AY v Facebook Ireland Ltd. [2016] NIQB 76 in which Peter acted for a Plaintiff who, as a minor, was coerced into providing sexually explicit images which were then posted to a “revenge” site on Facebook. Faced with the difficult question of whether the suggested use of software to target indecent images amounted to permitted ‘blocking’ or illegal monitoring of Facebook, the Court sided with the Plaintiff’s arguments and refused to strike out the claim. Peter is in regular demand from high profile clients, having recently settled a much-reported claim on behalf of George Galloway against Google Inc., in respect of manifestly defamatory videos published on YouTube- Galloway v Google Inc. [2016] NIQB 7.

Philip Cassidy

Philip Cassidy is Senior Vice President (SVP) at Concentrix, a global business services company delivering customer experiences for over 450 brands worldwide. Philip’s journey started with a strong flair for business entrepreneurialism through his experience and work with the Young Enterprise Northern Ireland (YENI).

In 2009 Philip co-founded local Belfast business GEM, an email handling services provider which grew to be one of Europe’s leading independent providers of outsourced multi-lingual, multichannel customer contact centre services.

In 2011 GEM was acquired by Concentrix, a global business services company where Philip stayed with the executive leadership team to grow and develop the wider Concentrix business, whilst continuing to support the Belfast community.

As SVP at Concentrix Philip has been responsible globally for Applications, Solutions, Pricing and Project Management and has been visionary in developing systems and technology in these areas. One of Philip’s more recent successes is the completion of the £14 million re-generation and development of Belfast’s old Maysfield Leisure Centre which officially opened in October last year. The 130,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility is the hub for the company’s Northern Ireland operations and flagship home for the European business.

In a newly announced role, Philip is currently responsible for Strategic Projects and Corporate Development and is managing the integration of Concentrix’ recent acquisition of customer services business Convergys.

Philip can be contacted at [email protected].

Raffaella Folli

Raffaella Folli is a Professor of Linguistics, Head of School of Communication and Provost of the Belfast and Jordanstown Campuses at Ulster University . She studied Philosophy at the University of Milan. In 1998 she completed an MPhil in Linguistics at the University of Oxford and then in 2001 a DPhil in Linguistics, also at the University of Oxford. She joined Ulster University in 2005 having previously held research positions at the University of Arizona (2001-2001) and then the University of Cambridge (2002-2005) .

Her main research area is theoretical syntax. Her standing in linguistics is evidenced by her extensive publications in top journals in the field, various grants from different research councils and extensive collaborations with academics in the UK and the US. In 2011 she was awarded a Distinguished Research Fellowship award in recognition of her research achievements.

She is part of the linguistics team that in 2012 established the Ulster Centre on Multilingualism (UCoM), an information service for people raising or working with children growing up with more than one language. As part of UCoM, she is involved in Language Made Fun, a programme designed to support the language needs of multilingual children or migrant children in Northern Ireland. The programme is in collaboration with the Barnardo’s and is funded by a grant by Big Lottery Fund.

Richard J. Ensor, Esq.

A proven leader in intercollegiate sports, event management and law for over three decades, Richard J. Ensor was named the third Commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in August 1988.

Ensor has provided leadership in a period of transition and growth in intercollegiate athletics and the MAAC. During his tenure the MAAC has secured a stable membership base, expanded the number of championships conducted and developed an extensive marketing program cemented with broadcast agreements with ESPN, a web paged hosted by SIDEARM Sports and secured championship venues such as the Times Union Center (Albany, NY), Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and Disney Sports Attractions.

During a time of tumultuous realignment and ethical challenges within NCAA Division I conferences the MAAC remains a homogenous association of private institutions of similar size and funding, which are committed to student-athlete excellence both on the playing fields and in the classroom. The MAAC’s graduation rate is yearly in the top 25% of all leagues and in August 2018 the MAAC again received a NCAA Public Recognition Award for its member schools placing in the top 10% in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for student-athletes.

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Richard Ramsey

Richard Ramsey is Chief Economist, Northern Ireland, at Ulster Bank and a regular media commentator who has his own blog, ulstereconomix.com. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Finance Minister’s Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Sector Reform (June 2014 – June 2016), and is a member of the Department of Finance’s Statistics Advisory Committee. Before joining Ulster Bank, Richard spent 10 years in the public sector – including spells as Principal Economist at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and with Invest NI. He also held a number of economist posts within the Department of Finance & Personnel. Richard is a graduate of Loughborough University with a BSc in Economics & Human Geography and an MSc in European Economics and Finance.

Rob Hartnett

Rob Hartnett is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Sport for Business, the collective group linking together Ireland’s sporting organisations with the country’s biggest brands through a blend of daily commentary and analysis, networking and events.

He is Chairman of the Dublin City Council Sport and Wellbeing Partnership, an adviser to Tech Ireland in the Sports and Entertainment sector and a columnist on the Business of Sport in the Sunday Business Post.

As the Father of two sons and two daughters he has long been a passionate advocate of equality for Women’s many roles in sport.

For the past five years Sport for Business has published a list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Irish Sport and has hosted an Annual Conference devoted to Women’s Sport.

In September 2018 It hosted the inaugural Sport for Social Good Conference in Dublin.

Sport for Business was named the winner of the Best Emerging Business at the Sport Industry Awards in 2016 and in 2017 expanded to cover the world of Entertainment for Business.

Roisin Molloy

Experienced CEO & entrepreneur building innovative medical technology and currently part of Ignite 100 program. Passionate about translating technology into the hands of doctors and nurses to save money, optimise infection control for the benefit of patients. Connectivity of our vital signs devices will revolutionise patient care and enable rapid upload of patient data to their electronic record.

– Member of Institute of Marketing and 20+ years’ experience in Sales & Marketing medical devices into International markets.
– Director level Sales and Marketing roles in Randox, Bioptics, Andor plc and Arc Devices
– Senior management of 80+ international sales & marketing team
– Implementation of customized CRM across 25 international sales offices.
– Set annual sales budgets across 3 currencies to meet corporate revenue targets.
– Management and reporting of monthly KPIs to the Board.
– Extensive technical knowledge in medical device specification, design, development, regulatory compliance and Go To Market strategy.
– Experience in organizational strategy & planning and budgeting.
– Patent author on medical devices
– Research scientist experience in Pfizer, Kent.
– Experience of 2 start-up companies
– Responsible for £20 million sales budget and delivered growth YoY.
– Knowledge and expertise to accelerate the design, development and commercialisation medical devices for global markets.

Rory O’Connell

Rory O’Connell joined the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) and School of Law in 2013 as Professor of Human Rights and Constitutional Law. He was appointed TJI Director in 2014.

Rory’s research and teaching interests are in the areas of Human Rights and Equality, Constitutional Law and Legal Theory. He is a member of the project team on the ESRC project ‘Brexit and Northern Ireland: The Constitutional, Conflict Transformation, Human Rights and Equality Consequences’ #BrexitLawNI.

Rory is on the Executive of the Committee on the Administration of Justice and is the former editor of the RightsNI Blog. He tweets @rjjoconnell.

Sean P. Moynihan

Moynihan Group

Attorney Sean P. Moynihan is the founder and principal of The Moynihan Group. He is a 1992 cum laude graduate of Providence College and a 2001 cum laude graduate of Suffolk University Law School’s evening division program. He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in January of 2002. He has a dynamic record of professional experience in the insurance, financial services, non-profit, and public sectors of the economy.

Mr. Moynihan spent over a decade in the public service arena. He served in various positions within the Massachusetts House of Representatives including Counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee, Counsel to the Office of the House Majority Leader, and Legislative Director. During his time in the Ways and Means Committee and the Office of the House Majority Leader, Attorney Moynihan worked on a myriad of significant public policy issues – in particular – energy and the environment, life sciences/biotech, education, labor, and the administration of justice in the Commonwealth.

Attorney Moynihan, who holds dual citizenship with the United States and Ireland, has worked with international organizations, in particular those located in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Moynihan Group has co-sponsored and organized the “Gateways to Tomorrow / Boston – Northwest Ireland” conferences held in Boston since October 2009. Moynihan’s efforts in establishing links between his home state of Massachusetts and Ireland was the subject of this article published by the Irish Echo.

Attorney Moynihan serves as Chairman/President of Irish Network Boston (IN Boston) and as Vice President for Global Partnerships of the Boston Irish Business Association [BIBA]. He also serves on the Irish International Immigrant Center’s (IIIC) Internship Advisory Panel. His past volunteer efforts include serving as a “Connector” with the former Boston World Partnerships (BWP) non-profit organization and as a trustee of the Irish Pastoral Centre.

Mr. Moynihan is a former Chairman of the Northboro Democratic Town Committee of Northboro, MA. He has managed and worked on numerous municipal, state legislative, congressional, and presidential campaigns.

Selby Cary

CEO of Casta Spes Technologies (CST

Selby Cary is the co-founder and CEO of CST. Selby is a serial entrepreneur, inventor and engineer with a passion for robotics and automated systems. He grew up in both Zimbabwe and Zambia, where he discovered his curiosity for technology, completing his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, Scotland. Selby has spent time in various industries from automotive to banking, working for Comau, RWE nPower and Lloyds Bank, gaining a range of experience in their operational environments. Selby has been acknowledged for his accomplishments by the Royal Society of Edinburgh with an Enterprise Fellowship, winning the Henry Black and BP Prizes at Heriot-Watt.

Casta Spes Technologies (CST) is a robotics company based in Edinburgh that produces unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) for autonomous data collection. Our vision is to empower humanity through autonomy by enabling accessible robotics. Our first product, Mantis, is a robotic surveillance vehicle that will monitor, survey and patrol perimeters reliably.

CST was founded by Selby Cary (MEng Mechanical) and Michael McDonald (BEng Mechanical-Electrical) who have worked in a range of industries from automotive to banking. Since its inception, CST has won various awards and competitions, raised seed investment and generated partnerships with some big names in security.

Shane Clarke

Shane Clarke is the Director of Corporate Services, Policy and Northern Ireland at Tourism Ireland. He previously worked with Maguire & Paterson Sales & Marketing Limited as Managing Director.  Prior to that, he was Chief Financial Officer at ConocoPhillips Ireland. 

He also held a number of senior Commercial and Financial roles during his 15 years at Diageo. At Tourism Ireland he is responsible for Corporate & Industry Communications, Information & Communications Technology, Finance and Human Resources.

Shane has an extensive background in policy, tourism, and corporate governance with experience in both public and private sectors.

Stephen Cotter

Stephen Cotter is responsible for all the operational aspects of CIE Tours International business covering Ireland and the UK. This includes all supplier contracting, quality control, daily operations and logistics across the company’s scheduled coach tour, customised group, private driver and FIT business. Stephen’s operations team work closely with the CIE Tours product development team on the design and implementation of both new and enhanced products.

As part of the senior management team Stephen also plays a key role in the creation and implementation of the company’s strategic plan and initiatives.

Stephen joined the company in 2001, and during this time has also been in roles responsible for both finance and technology.

Stephen is a qualified Accountant, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Business and Administration (MBA) from Dublin City University.

CIE Tours International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the CIE Group. During 2018, CIE Tours International carried 50,000 passengers, creating turnover of $136 million.

Suzanne Aquino

Suzanne Aquino global Category Manager specializing in Outsourcing and Offshoring with Chain IQ, an independent, global service company providing strategic, tactical and operational procurement for its clients.

As a Global Category Manager Suzanne advises her clients on new ways to create value for their customers in an environment of rapidly changing technology, advancing automation and an increasingly customer experience driven economy.

Prior to joining Chain IQ, Suzanne spent 15 years at UBS where she led strategic sourcing teams responsible for establishing and executing on the bank’s sourcing strategy, identifying opportunities for spend reduction, cost optimization, process improvement and ensuring the effective transition, execution and sustainable performance of the bank’s outsourced portfolios.

Suzanne was born in Belfast and currently resides with her husband in Manhattan. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing and is an active member of the Irish Business Organization.

Timothy Brundle

Timothy Brundle is Director of Research & Impact at Ulster University. Timothy directs Ulster’s research strategy, governance and administration, and guides its commercial output through knowledge transfer and intellectual property commercialisation. He also holds the position of Executive Director of Innovation Ulster Ltd, Ulster’s venturing and investment company. 

Timothy has worked throughout his career in research-led organisations, with a focus on developing their customer-orientation, economic impact, business outcomes and shareholder value. He has led over £100m of research investment, established more than 40 high tech start up companies, secured over £400m of Venture Capital and ensured investor value from over £150m of company acquisitions and from a stock market floatation. He is an experienced and skilled member of the Board of both young companies and mature public Institutions, including serving as a Director of many of Ulster’s spin out companies, Invest NI and the Knowledge Transfer Network, and is currently Chair of Young Enterprise NI and trustee of Blick Shared Studios.

Tim Kennedy

Senator Tim Kennedy, born on October 20, 1976, is a lifelong Western New York resident.

Tim grew up in a blue-collar family in Buffalo, where his parents, Marty and Mary Kennedy, raised Tim and his four siblings to work hard, focus on their education, help their neighbors, and get involved in their community. Tim and his wife, Katie, live in the City of Buffalo where they are raising their three children, Connor, Eireann, and Padraic.

Since being sworn into office in January 2011, Tim has kept a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable in our community. He spearheaded the passage of Jay-J’s law, legislation that Tim introduced to stiffen penalties on repeat child abusers. The legislation was inspired by Jay J Bolvin, a young boy who was brutally abused by his father. Sadly, Jay J’s father received a light sentence due to antiquated sentencing laws. Tim worked with colleagues in both the Senate and the Assembly to secure passage of Jay J’s Law. Since then, he has pushed through several pieces of legislation to reform Child Protective Services, as well as Jackie’s Law, which protects victims of domestic violence from GPS stalking.

Tim has also fought to protect Western New York’s seniors. He worked with community and government leaders to secure funds to transform the former Holy Family Elementary School in Buffalo into a senior apartment complex. He also fought for a significant increase in eligibility for EPIC, a state program to help pay for prescription drugs. With Tim’s support, the income eligibility for single seniors has increased from $35,000 to $75,000, and has increased for couples from $50,000 to $100,000. This has opened up eligibility to thousands more seniors in Western New York.

Above all, Tim knows the importance of growing and protecting Western New York’s workforce. He fought to secure passage of SUNY 2020, legislation which is allowing the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College to thrive. He also has worked to secure funding to support workforce training programs to the long-term unemployed, opening them up to rewarding good-paying careers. Tim voted to fund the Buffalo Billion, which is creating thousands of jobs in Western New York, giving the local economy the boost needed to break away from decades of decline. He also regularly works one-on-one with local companies to link them with state resources that allow them to grow their workforce.

Tim went to St. Martin’s Elementary School before attending St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He then received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy at D’Youville College. As he studied at D’Youville, Tim began to truly understand the challenges facing Western New York. Recognizing that any challenge is an opportunity for a community to grow stronger, Tim was inspired to get involved in government to help move the community forward. As a licensed occupational therapist, Tim has spent his entire career working to help people. For 11 years, Tim worked with geriatric and pediatric populations to help them recover from injuries and fully participate in all life situations.

Tina McKenzie

Tina is the CEO of Grafton Recruitment Ireland, the Policy Chair of the Federation for Small Businesses in Northern Ireland and the Honorary Consul to Finland. With 25 plus years’ experience in the Recruitment and Employment Services sector at an international and local level, she has worked with some of the world’s largest blue chip companies.

Tina returned home to Belfast in 2012 and set up the Ireland Division of Staffline in 2013. Despite only starting out with two members of staff Tina made a bold and ambitious target to expand her operation and hit a target of £100m turnover within 5 years. Under Tina’s strategic and ambitious vision, Staffline entered a period of significant organic and acquired growth. In July 2018 Tina secured the largest acquisition of a recruitment business in Ireland, with Grafton Recruitment joining Staffline’s Group portfolio which already includes PeoplePlus and Diamond Recruitment. The company now has an estimated turnover of £150m, employing 350 permanent staff and a contracted workforce of up to 10,000 people across Ireland.

Tina is strongly committed to growing her recruitment and training offer, bringing a determination and energy to creating jobs and opportunities for people living on the Island of Ireland.
Tina retains strong links with business contacts including members of the Irish Diaspora who she worked with before moving back to Belfast. As Honorary Consul to Finland Tina works to strengthen the ties between Finland and Ireland. In doing so she looks to identify synergies between the respective countries, particularly in relation to education and the economy.

Tina served as the NI Director of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (2013-2016) and as the European Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (2016). She has received a number of awards including The Director of the Year for mid-Market companies from the IOD in 2017 and the Outstanding Leadership and Management award from Women in Business in the same year.

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