Our membership comprises of almost 900 community, voluntary and charitable organisations, as well a number of academic bodies and for-profit organisations that are associated with the sector.
The organisation is governed by a board of 15 volunteers, who represent a broad cross-section of the community and voluntary sector.
The Wheel currently employs ten permanent staff who are based in our offices at 48 Fleet Street, Dublin 2.
Deirdre Garvey - Chief Executive Officer
Deirdre Garvey is the founding Chief Executive Officer of The Wheel (in the role since October 2000) and has overseen The Wheel’s growth from a concept to a national network of several thousands, including almost 900 member organisations.
Deirdre has represented the sector’s shared interests since she has been with The Wheel: The Wheel was awarded the status of Social Partner in 2003 and Deirdre was a member of the Steering Group for the ‘Towards 2016’ national agreement from 2006 to 2010 and also a member of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) from 2003 to 2007, and an alternate member from 2007 - 2010. In 2001 Deirdre was one of 12 people selected to represent the Community and Voluntary Sector on the Implementation and Advisory Group of the Government's White Paper on Supporting Voluntary Activity which existed from 2001 though to April 2007. By Ministerial appointment, she was a member of The Electoral Area Boundary Committee which reviewed the local electoral area constituency divisions in 2008. Deirdre is currently a member of the Steering Group for the European Year of Volunteering 2011.
Prior to joining The Wheel, Deirdre was Director of Development (Fundraising) at The Barretstown Gang Camp in Kildare where she worked for five years. Before moving into full-time work in the Community and Voluntary Sector, Deirdre worked in the private sector, holding several managerial posts in the hi-tech field in Germany. Having studied science for her bachelors degree in 1986, she completed a Masters in Business Administration in 2003.
Elizabeth Bolger - Programmes & Training Manager
Elizabeth joined The Wheel as Training Funds Manager in 2004 and became the Services Manager in 2008 until 2012 when she assumed her current position. She began her professional career as a graduate valuation surveyor. This was followed by a year spent in Moscow setting up a telecommunications centre, returning home to work in conference centre management, whilst studying for her CIPD diploma in personnel management. She then spent a number of years on an agricultural project in south-western Uganda, and then became involved in the community and voluntary sector in Ireland with a management position in the Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre. Elizabeth completed her Masters degree in Strategic Management in 2003. Email Elizabeth
Eva de la Haza - Finance and Administration Officer
Eva de la Haza joined The Wheel as our Membership and Administration Officer in 2008. Eva is originally from Madrid; but has been living in Dublin for 6 years, and comes to The Wheel from Canada Life. However, she also has a breadth of experience in the community and voluntary sector from her work with the Festival of World Cultures and The Colombia Solidarity Network. Eva holds a BA(Hons) in Economics and an MA in Sustainable Development from la Universidad Complutense Madrid. Eva says, ‘My experience has been in the finance and taxation sector; however I am looking forward to working, building and sharing my skills in the community and voluntary sector.’ Le deseamos bien. Email Eva
Ivan Cooper - Director of Advocacy
Ivan Cooper has been Director of Advocacy with The Wheel since 2005. Ivan is charged with progressing The Wheel's policy positions on cross-cutting issues affecting the community and voluntary sector, e.g. charity regulation, strengthening the sector, active-citizenship, standards and supports amongst others. He oversees the research programme which The Wheel conducts about the profile and scope of the community and voluntary sector in Ireland and he represents The Wheel on a range of fora, national and international. He is a member of the Dialogue on Democracy and is a former member of the management committee of the National Economic and Social Forum (NESF).
Formerly Administration Manager with the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, Ivan has worked in a number of positions in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors in Ireland and Scotland, including a period as CEO of Wicklow Chamber of Commerce and Manager of a community group under the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme. Email Ivan
Gert Ackermann - Communications Officer
Gert joined The Wheel as Communications Officer in March 2008. Originally from South Africa, he studied Political Science and Journalism before cutting his teeth in the world of journalism, talk radio and book publishing.
Gert is responsible for The Wheel's communications strategy and publications, and is editor of the sector magazine, Be The Change
. He is passionate about digital communications and the transformative power of the web. Gert played a key role in the development of Better Together, a national campaign that helps charities to connect with the public through social media. Email Gert
Paul Meade - Information and Training Officer
Paul joined The Wheel as Information Officer in February 2008. Prior to that he had worked primarily in editorial fields, including stints spent as a creative copywriter, proof-reader and editor.
Paul serves as the primary researcher and content manager for Fundingpoint, The Wheel's online database of funding grants. He also is responsible for producing the monthly Fundingpoint Newsletter, as well as the new Employer Resources Newsletter. In addition to writing most of The Wheel's promotional emails, Paul is also responsible for much of the content to be found on Wheel.ie, including the Fundraising Guidance Library and the Learningpoint database of training opportunities. He also dabbles regularly in social media, video production and big ideas. Email Paul
Alex McMahon - Membership Officer
Alex McMahon joined The Wheel as our Finance Officer in February 2008. Alex previously worked as Finance & Administrations Officer for The European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland for over 11 years.
Prior to EAPN Ireland, Alex worked in her local community Ballymun, as Community Development Officer with The Community Action Programme and Ballymun Women's Centre.
Hugh O'Reilly - Business Development Executive
Hugh came on board as Business Development Executive with The Wheel in June, 2010. After qualifying as a furniture designer from DIT Hugh spent two years working in the Students Union there which gave him a wonderful grounding and lasting interest in representative and voluntary organisations.
After spells as a Campaigns coordinator for a national student body and as a manager in the arts sector Hugh spent a few years overseas in Australia as a Business Development Manager for an Irish architectural firm. Since returning to Ireland Hugh enjoyed a spell in the financial sector before coming on board with The Wheel. Hugh is responsible for developing and diversifying the funding and income revenue streams of The Wheel. Email Hugh
Femi Atoyebi - Information Systems Officer
Femi Atoyebi, originally from Nigeria, is The Wheel's Information Systems Officer. He holds a Masters degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Certificate in Digital Marketing from the Dublin City University. Femi has worked for many years in public broadcasting and in corporate / marketing communications in a FMCG.
He coordinated a series of webinars and roadshows including providing communications and marketing support for the stakeholder engagement and public consultation process on the Governance Code for Ireland’s Community and Voluntary sector (May – July 2011). Femi is also responsible for content on the information website: www.governancecode.ie Email Femi.
Niamh Gavin - Business Services Manager
Niamh joined The Wheel in October 2012 as Business Services Manager. Niamh is responsible for leading our newly established Business Services Unit, giving her responsibility for the business, finance, administrative, IT and communication units.
Niamh comes to The Wheel with a background in management and marketing, and holds a MMII (Grad) in Marketing from the College of Marketing & Design. Email Niamh.
Carol is a Freelance Catalyst – working to help individuals and organisations achieve more of their potential. Current contracts include: Co-ordinator of Young Community Leaders – in initiative of the Northside Partnership to engage young people in leadership training and community leadership roles; Associate Programme Director for Common Purpose Ireland – a non-profit leadership development organisation; Associate for the Pacific Institute in Ireland – delivering courses in personal and professional effectiveness (including Investment in Excellence and STEPS); Programme Director for the Tangible Ireland Leadership series. Formerly she was CEO, Common Purpose Ireland (2000 – 2005), Project Co-ordinator, Doras Bui and Project Worker, Merchants Quay Ireland. Current board memberships include AIESEC in Ireland (2005 – present).
Sean Coughlan (CHAIR)
Sean is Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, an Irish not-for-profit organisation established to encourage and support the development of social entrepreneurship. Seán previous experience includes that of product manager, entrepreneur, teacher and researcher having spent time working in Ireland, Portugal and Turkey. Seán is involved with a number of not-for-profit organisations and sits of the boards of the European Venture Philanthropy Association and the Glasnevin Educate Together National School. He is also a member of the Leonardo Group of the Science Gallery, a Trinity College Dublin initiative where art and science collide, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Mary is Director and Company Secretary of the National Youth Council of Ireland, the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland. She is a member of the Steering Group on Active Citizenship, the National Youth Work Advisory Committee, the National Assessment Committee for the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund and on the board of Pobal. Previously the Director of Children in Northern Ireland and Regional Manager with Oxfam Ireland. Also former Chairperson of the Northern Ireland NGO Forum, Joint Chairperson of the All Party Group on Children and Young People in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Company Secretary of Children in Northern Ireland.
Etain Doyle (VICE CHAIR)
Etain is a business and regulatory consultant, a Vistage Ireland Group Chair and is on the Board of the NI Utility Regulator, and the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust. She was the first Regulator for the Irish communications sector (1997-04), set up the agency and oversaw the opening of the market to competition. Previously she worked for ESBI on international energy consultancy 1995-7, and in Moscow in 1993-5 she set up and led the EU aid monitoring and evaluation agency. Her earlier career (1973-92) was mainly in the Irish civil service, in the Departments of Finance and Foreign Affairs where, inter alia, she managed the Bilateral Aid Programme (1986-92). Etain has a BA from UCD and is qualified as an accountant (FCCA).
Catherine Hickey is the Director of Funding and Development at FLAC (Free legal Advice Centres) where she has worked since 2000. Prior to that she was Director of Muscular Dystrophy Ireland from 1990 to 2000 and was a former Chairperson of Disability Federation of Ireland and of the Carmichael Centre. Catherine is a graduate of UCD and the King’s Inns. Catherine has been a Director of The Wheel since 2005 and she is also a Director of Ballymun Community Law Centre.
Sharon is the Manager with South West Wexford Community Development Project since 2003. Previously she has been a freelance Community Education Tutor and Facilitator and a 3rd level tutor at Waterford Institute of Technology and UL. She is currently the South East Regional representative on the National Community Development Forum, represents Wexford CDPs on the Social Inclusion Measure of County Wexford County Development Board and is a Director of Irish Rural Link. She has previously been a Director of County Wexford Partnership, Waterford Womens Centre and was a member of the National Policy Committee of the Rural Transport programme.
Joyce is Chief Executive Officer of Focus Ireland. Prior to this she worked for over 25 years in the Information Technology sector, mostly for Financial Services organisations, in Australia, England, USA and South Africa. In 1995 she returned to Ireland to work for Fujitsu as Programme Director, managing large-scale organisation change projects enabled by IT. She sits on the board of Boardmatch Ireland, Dublin Chamber Council and Caretakers Project (a joint initiative between Focus Ireland and the Society of St Vincent de Paul).
Austin is Director of Resources with Walk – an organisation which supports people who have intellectual disabilities to live self-determined lives within socially inclusive communities. Previously he was an Executive Officer in the Department of Finance and was Delivery Manager with EDS Technologies. He is Treasurer of Kingswood Football Club. Previously he was Treasurer of the Irish Charities Tax Reform Group and a Board member with the Irish National Intellectual Database Committee.
Paul is the Chief Executive Officer of Clann Credo, the social investment fund. He is also Chair of the Irish Charities Tax Research Group (ICTR). He previously worked as a public relations and industrial relations consultant with Gallagher & Kelly PR, heading up their Employee Relations Division. Before that he was an industrial relations negotiator and union organiser with SIPTU where he represented workers in all sectors of the economy, health services, local government, marine transport and civil aviation. He was the Chief Negotiator in the Civil Aviation sector from 1993 to 1998. He managed two EU trade union initiatives on training and financial participation. Paul has lectured regularly on employee relations at Trinity College.
The Wheel's membership comprises of over 880 community, voluntary and charitable organisations, as well a number of academic bodies and for-profit organisations that are associated with the sector.
Download a list of our current members - 28 March 2013 (PDF | 496kB )
Visit the membership section for more information on our membership options.