External Directors Biographies
Catherine’s career has included the following roles : Early years and primary teacher; Equality officer at the ETUC(European Trade Union Confederation); Deputy General Secretary INTO; Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Philanthropies; Chair at the ARK( a cultural center for children); member of the board of the Abbey Theatre; member of the governing body of MIE ( Marino Institute of Education).
She is currently Chair of DICE, an Irish Aid funded initiative which delivers Development and Intercultural Education to Initial Teacher Education students. Catherine holds a masters in Education and studied acting recently at the Lee Strasberg Institute in NYC. She is a qualified mediator.
Anne Connolly (Chairperson)
Anne is the founder and Director of the SALLI (Smart Ageing Living Labs of Ireland) – a new company established to commercialise solutions needed to address the global challenges of population ageing, particularly in areas such as health, care, food and financial security.
SALLI mission is to provide an international test-bed for trialling and evaluating new technologies and other innovations aimed at improving the health, independence and well-being of older adults across the world. This builds on over 14 years’ experience and track record in the field of ‘smart ageing’, initially as founder and CEO of the Ageing Well Network and later as founder and CEO of ISAX (Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange), a network of businesses with a commercial interest in ageing related opportunities.
She is a Non-Executive Director of Redesdale, a recently established Private Equity & Corporate Finance firm which launched a €100m Food Tech Investment Fund. Earlier board positions included being a Ministerial appointee to the board of of SEAI (Sustainable Energy Agency Ireland) and a member of the Board of An Post and their Audit and Risk Committee. She is also currently a Governor of the Royal Hospital Donnybrook and Director and Chair of Teac Da?sa, an international award-winning contemporary dance theatre company. She previously served on the boards of APSO and the ICC bank.
She started her working life as the first female Vice President of Trinity Students’ Union and then went on to found and lead the Well Woman Centre for its first seven years. Career highlights after that include being MD of Magill Magazine, founder and CEO of Leargas, Strategy Planner for Kingspan plc, Newman Fellow UCD and consultant with McIver Consulting.
Anne holds an MBA from UCD. Following that, she ran her own private consultancy specializing in strategy, business excellence and facilitation and her clients included senior management teams in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Tom spent 14 years with The Atlantic Philanthropies, leaving the foundation in December 2014 as part of its planned wind-down. He holds a B.Ed primary degree, and a Masters in Management (Organisation Behaviour) from Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to joining Atlantic, Tom held a variety of leadership positions in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors; as an Officer and President of USI (1978-80), in programme and project management, assessment of social investment opportunities and contributing to policy and practice development in a variety of fields, including labour market programmes, children’s and older people’s services, education and community development.
From 1997 to 2000 Tom was a member of the faculty of the Irish Management Institute where he led programmes and consultancies on organisation development and change management. He is a member of the Government Advisory Council on Children and Young People and for 4 years served as Chair of the Children’s Rights Alliance.
Gemma serves on the Board of TU Dublin SU CLG, and is Chair of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee. Having worked for most of her career as an Executive Director with EY, Gemma is currently applying her skills at the boardroom table as a non-executive director and serves on a number of boards.
Gemma has extensive financial accounting and auditing experience through working with a variety of Irish and European public and multinational companies. She specialises in external audit services, risk management and governance advice and has extensive technical accounting expertise across a number of financial reporting frameworks. Gemma also has significant experience of working in a number of regulatory environments, including non-profit organisations, board and audit committee reporting and internal control matters. Gemma spent two years working with EY in their Philadelphia, USA office.
Gemma holds a BA in Accounting & Finance (Hons) and Graduate Certificate in Corporate Treasury from DCU and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland. She is also a former committee member of the Chartered Accountants Ireland, Leinster Society which provides educational, professional and social opportunities to Chartered Accountants.