The founding board also included Roger Acton of ACCA, Mary Davis, Director of Special Olympics Ireland, Mary Redmond of Arthur Cox, Siobhan Toale, Corporate HR, Bank of Ireland and John Babb, Hays Group.
Mike McDonagh: Chair
Mike McDonagh is a Senior Business Director with Hays, the specialist recruitment firm. He joined Hays in 2002 in London after he completed his degree in History at the University of Sheffield. Mike is responsible for the Executive, Accountancy & Finance, Construction & Property, Human Resources, Procurement, Multi-lingual and Office Support specialisms within Hays’ business in Dublin. He is a long-suffering supporter of his beloved Preston North End, a keen cyclist and 5-a-side footballer, occasional golfer and father of 2 children and husband to Aifric. Currently learning to speak Irish through osmosis!
Karl Aherne is a Director in Deloitte Ireland and founder & CEO of Red Planet (www.ourRedPlanet.com), a consultancy bringing startup-driven innovation to corporate clients to drive new value creation and revenue growth. Karl sold Red Planet to Deloitte in February 2017 and is now scaling through the support and expertise of the Deloitte local and international network.
Prior to Red Planet, Karl founded Wayra Ireland, a startup accelerator investing 6m into the Irish startup ecosystem through 31 investments and the development of Ireland’s leading collaborative workspace. Karl also lead Telefonica Ireland’s innovation unity managing the creation of several multi-million euro financial services and application businesses and continues to be a board advisor to several startups.
Mary Cunningham is the CEO of the National Youth Council of Ireland, which is the representative body for national voluntary youth work organisations in Ireland. It represents and supports the interests of around 50 voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.
Brendan is a Senior Manager at the Central Bank of Ireland. A Chartered Accountant, Brendan has worked in the financial services industry as an internal auditor, external auditor and financial services regulator. Brendan holds a Diploma in IFRS and a Masters Degree in Strategic Management from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. Brendan is a member of the Boardmatch Ireland Finance Committee.
David Owens is the CEO of An Óige, the Irish Youth Hostel Association, since 2000. He is an accountant (F.C.C.A.) and also has degrees in Law and Economics and a Masters in International Relations. He has recently completed a Certificate in Charity Governance in the Law Society.
His past directorships include, Gaisce and the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI). He is a member of the Boardmatch Ireland Finance Committee.
Anne is a strategy and organisational development specialist, with twenty years experience implementing strategic and operational change programmes for international corporate and not-for-profit organisations – including IBM, PA Consulting and a number of Irish and international charities. Anne currently supports an International NGO, Solidarity Projects, as Development Director. Solidarity delivers teacher training, health service training, and infrastructure development in East Africa. Anne brings twenty plus years experience managing new teams and new processes working from Europe, US, Asia, and East Africa.
Appointed: 02/02/2012 Sarah O’Connor is Head of Sport at Wilson Hartnell. Previously she was the Executive Director of the Federation of Irish Sport, the National Umbrella Federation for sporting associations in Ireland. Prior to her involvement in the sports sector, Sarah enjoyed a successful legal career and was a Solicitor in Arthur Cox for a number of years where she specialised in the commercial property/financial services sector. She is also the Registrar at Just Sport Ireland and serves on the boards of Dublin City Sports Network and South Dublin County Local Sports Partnership.
Having graduated from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown with a Hons degree in Business Studies, Denise worked with the Bank of Ireland Group in a variety of different roles. In 2005, Denise moved into a completely new direction – the not-for-profit sector where she took up the role as Chief Executive of the Temple Street Foundation (Temple Street Children’s University Hospital). In addition to being Chief Executive, Denise also lectures part-time in All Hallows College Dublin in the Masters in Community and Voluntary Services.
A sports enthusiast, having represented county and university in camogie, she is a keen supporter of Gaelic football, hurling, rugby and occasionally soccer.
Martina Maher is a financial services professional with over 20 years experience in banking and finance. She is currently the Head of Internal Audit in the NTMA. Prior to the NTMA she worked in the Bank of Ireland Group in a number of different roles in risk, strategy, audit and lending. She also previously worked in KPMG and Deloitte (London). She is a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers and a Law graduate from University College Dublin.