Damien English T.D.
Aged 38, Damien English T.D. He is currently Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal.
He works closely with his Fine Gael colleague Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney T.D. in providing political leadership on improving the supply of quality affordable homes for families, ending the homelessness crisis and regenerating communities.
He was previously Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation from 2014 to 2016, working across the key Government Departments of Education and Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation.
John Cunningham is Managing Director of Epicom Food Limited based in the Enterprise Centre in Navan.
John is a qualified Industrial Engineer and has worked in the electronics, packaging and industrial services sectors before setting up Epicom in 1999 with Tom McDonnell.
Epicom is a specialist food manufacturing company. It manufactures private label dairy based foods and breakfast cereals for local and international markets. Epicom has grown substantially over the last four years and now boasts its own in-house R&D facility where it is focused on developing products specifically for international markets.
Keith is an experienced programme manager and team leader, used to managing and delivering scopes around strategy, routine objectives and crisis situations – or what one client called ‘living in the middle of gory messes’. He helps teams do projects better, either by improving their solution definition via Design Thinking or their delivery execution through good project management skills, processes and behaviours.
After working in Europe, U.S.A., South America, Middle and Far East for G.E. (U.S.A.), Guinness U.K. and, finally, Intel Ireland, Keith set up Innovation Delivery in 2007 with his business partner, Christine Kurjan, a Stanford Graduate and veteran of IDEO. They now help companies and organisations develop their innovation management capabilities.
A co-author of an Intel paper on innovation in software development, Keith has a strong interest in education. Innovation programmes started by IDL in Ireland have seen over 2,000 participants complete their courses over the last 7 years at postgraduate and undergraduate level in fields such as Financial Services, ICT, Food, Biopharma, Medical Technologies and Social Innovation.
Orlaith Carmody is the author of Perform As A Leader and the Managing Director of Mediatraining.ie, which specialises in communications training and leadership development. In demand as a keynote speaker, conference chair and seminar leader, she has addressed Ireland’s most influential business people, networks and political groups. She has also presented at conferences in the USA, UAE, Canada and all over Europe.
An active media commentator, she contributes regularly to a variety of programmes and publications on subjects such as doing business today, women’s participation at board level and in public life, entrepreneurship, education and parenting.
Following a career as a broadcast journalist with RTÉ, Orlaith became a serial entrepreneur, and is a director of a number of SMEs in media, recruitment, production and education. She served on the board of RTÉ from 2010 to 2015.
She is a founder member of the Irish Chapter of EO, the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, and was President 2014/15.
She lives in Bellewstown Co Meath with her husband and business partner, Gavin Duffy, and their four children, now young adults.
Cllr. Maria Murphy
Cllr. Maria Murphy was first elected to Meath County Council in 2009. Maria currently works fulltime in her role as a Councillor. Originally from Dublin, she has lived with her family in Dunboyne since 1998. Her involvement in many local organisations gives her a powerful insight into the needs of the Dunboyne community and the surrounding area. She is a strong advocate of policies which promote people to support business in Meath. Maria was elected as Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council in June 2016.
Dr Michael Brougham is the Regional Director for Enterprise Ireland in the Eastern and Midlands Region, the largest region in Ireland in population terms.
Having worked in many roles in Enterprise Ireland, Michael has particularly been involved since 2001 in designing entrepreneurial development programmes. This includes the current New Frontiers programme which helps 140 entrepreneurs annually with the development of their investible business plan. Dr Brougham has also worked in Industry both in an MNC and a start up.
A graduate of NUI Galway with a PhD in Biotech and 4 years postdoctoral experience in the University Of Florida.
Sarah Martin, MamaBud
CEO and founder of MamaBud, an ecommerce start up that connects Irish food directly to China’s family homes.
Sarah grew up on a farm in Co. Meath, Ireland, which is where she developed her passion for Irish food and part of what drives her in her venture. She has a background in International marketing and worked for 10 years with Unilever in their global Ice Cream category mostly at their HQ in Rome, Italy. She also spent 3 years in the Caribbean working for the telecommunications provider Digicel, where she held a number of roles, including Commercial Director for the Eastern Caribbean and Fibre M&A. She returned to Ireland after almost 10 years abroad to complete an MBA at Smurfit School of Business. On a course planned trip to China she discovered the problems with toxins in the food chain there and made it her life’s mission to build a solution to China’s food safety problems.
MamaBud is the only end to end encrypted logistics and ecommerce platform linking Irish food to the Chinese family home. They guarantee safe Irish sourced infant formula and other products, direct to the homes of the world’s largest and growing upper middle class.
Paul Murtagh is a Business Mentor and Consultant providing support to start-up and expanding businesses.
Paul has a background in technology and financial services and was previously Managing Director of Fidelity Investments who are a large US multi-national with an operation in Ireland employing almost 1,000 people. Prior to that, Paul set up and managed a software business with 100+ clients – including a significant number in the U.K. and the U.S.
He works with a number of Local Enterprise Offices and evaluates projects for the Enterprise Ireland R&D program. Paul has also been involved in a number of community and social enterprise projects and has sat on the boards of a number of not-for-profit organisations.
Paul holds and MBA from the Open University and is completing a Post Graduate Diploma from UCD in Financial Advice.
Gerard is currently Head of AIB for Meath, Westmeath & Longford leading an experience team across AIB’s branches and business centres and is responsible for transforming customers experience of AIB in this market.
His role is to drive business performance and lead a team of 150 staff across AIB branches and business centres who constantly put their customers first, while delivering the best banking experience for both business and personal customers.
As part of the overall AIB family of just over 200 locations, AIB are active in their communities, backing brave customers and striving to provide each customer with the financial solutions they need to realise their dreams and goals. They do this through a service that supports customers and allows them put their decisions into action.
An experienced customer focused financial and banking services executive, with over 18years’ experience, Gerard has held a number of senior positions across personal and business banking; private banking; investment management and wealth advisory services. He holds a Bachelor of Financial Services from UCD, an Executive MBA from NUIG and is a Chartered Banker.
Noel’s background has always been in financial services and payments. He previously worked for AIB and PTSB in Ireland before moving to the UK to join MBNA/Bank of America, where he was implementation manager for their commercial cards. Noel subsequently spent time with most of the large banks in Britain before moving away from debit and credit cards and into prepaid cards. His first venture in prepaid was as business and IT operations director for Altair Financial Services, a company he helped set up from scratch.
Noel founded Prepaid Financial Services in 2008. It has become the third largest MasterCard issuer in Europe and also one of the leading e-money payment companies. The company provides alternative banking solutions to partners and clients in 26 different EU countries. Following on from PFS was born eCOMM Merchant Solution, located out of Navan. A provider of payment solutions to on-line merchants. eCOMM facilitates the movement of money from customers bank accounts to merchant bank account. We work directly with Visa and MasterCard and the company now employs 60+ employees from its Navan office.
Dara is Director, People & Talent at I.T. Alliance Group. Dara has overall responsibility for Group People Strategy. As part of the Senior Management Team and Board of Directors, Dara drives the Groups overall People strategy across the business. Her key focus areas are on attracting and retaining the best talent in the market to work and develop their careers with I.T. Alliance Group. She is also Executive Sponsor for a number of our flagship outsourcing partners. Prior to her People & Talent role, Dara was Delivery Director at I.T. Alliance with overall responsibility for delivering quality solutions to the customers of our alliance partners, ensuring customer satisfaction at all times.
Dara joined I.T. Alliance in 2005 from Critical Path (previously ISOCOR), a provider of Messaging Solutions for Mobile Operators and Broadband Service Providers. Dara worked there for 14 years and held the position of Vice President, Global Customer and Technical Support in addition to previous roles across Operations, Marketing and Distribution. Prior to Critical Path, Dara worked with AME in various roles including Operations, Service, Sales and Marketing. Dara has over 25 years’ experience across the technology services sector, is a graduate from UCD and London Business School, she holds a B.Ag.SC from UCD.
Alvan Hunt is the CEO of Hexafly a Biotech startup, Hexafly offer a new raw material source to the Animal Feed, Chitin and Plant Nutrition Industries, their products come from sustainable insect resource extraction.
Alvan graduated from the National University of Ireland Galway in 2011. In 2014 he completed an MSc in Business and Management at University College Dublin. A published author he has since worked in Teaching and Investment Regulation. In 2015 he Co-founded Hexafly.
TouchHits design, develop and manufacture a range of automated audio/video playback products and software apps such as digital jukeboxes, automated background music clients, digital advertising systems and content delivery services.
Pat Gallagher (BA, MRUP, MA) is the Senior Planner in Meath County Council since 2008. Prior to that he held the Senior Planner position in Westmeath and Kildare County Councils. Pat Gallagher is one of the most experienced professional planners currently practicing, with 35 years of practical planning experience in the Irish Public Sector.
Pat has a particular interest in Economic Development and the fostering of same with positivity through the Planning and Development Process. Pat was centrally involved in the formation of the Meath Economic Forum and the Economic Development Strategy for County Meath. The amalgamation of economic and planning methodologies and principles forms the foundation stone of his recent work.
Pat is dual qualified as a professional Town Planner and licensed Mediator. Pat is a member of the Irish Planning Institute and the Mediators Institute of Ireland.