Meet our staff:

1. Interim CEO, Tony Ward                                                                     
2. People & Programmes team 
3. Business Development team
4. Finance & Operations team
5. Public Policy team

Note: teams are presented below with the Director first, followed by an A-Z of team members.

You can also follow the links below to meet our current Board; our founder, the late Dr. Mary Redmond; as well as the history of The Wheel.

Our Board    Our Founder    The Wheel's History


Tony Ward - CEO of The Wheel (interim)

Tony Ward - Interim CEO of The Wheel 

I’m from Monaghan, married to Eleanor with two children, Ronan and Rachel. I was delighted to commence as Interim CEO of The Wheel in January 2023, having formerly been Director of Finance from June 2016 to April 2022 , when I became an independent consultant.

I’m a Chartered Accountant and hold a number of non-executive positions in the charity and nonprofit sector including as a member of the board of the Charities Regulator, independent chair of Iarnród Éireann Disability User Group, chair of Chartered Accountants Ireland charity and nonprofit group and I’m on the boards of Sightsavers Ireland and the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities.

Contact Tony:  
(01) 454 8727

People and Programmes Team

Elizabeth Bolger - Director of Programmes

Elizabeth Bolger - Director of People & Programmes

I have worked with The Wheel since 2005.  Our recent organisation restructure  has enabled the development of  my role to focus on the supporting our staff, and programmes team to drive the organisation’s membership, programmes and supports.  This includes ensuring the organisation's HR & relevant policies are in line with regulation & best practice and supporting our members in this space.  You see more detail on these across our website.

I began my professional career as a Valuation Surveyor, followed by a career change to HR and Project Management.  I hold a BSc [Surv], a CIPD Diploma in Personnel Management and a MSc in Strategic Management.

I am active on my children’s Parents Association, residents association and on the school Board of Management.  Please feel free to contact me on or (01) 454 8727.


Lauren Carroll, Projects Officer

Lauren Carroll  - Programme Manager

I am a part of the skills development team at The Wheel. A large part of my work focuses on supporting members of The Wheel, as well as the wider nonprofit sector, to build capacity within their organization. The Wheel’s capacity building initiatives include funding opportunities through the Training Links programme, collaborative training and development programmes with both national and European partners, an extensive calendar of training events and multiple networks of interest that foster exchange of best practice and innovation.

My previous work experience in the community, voluntary and charity sector includes voluntary positions with Sankalpa Addiction Service, The Aisling Project and Suas Educational Development.

For further information on programmes run by The Wheel you can reach me on

Perrine Cesbron

Perrine Cesbron - Programme Officer

I joined The Wheel as Programme Support Officer in November 2022 to work with the Skills Development team and the Events & Programmes team. Passionate about languages and interculturality, I have a BA in English and Spanish Languages and a MA in International Cultural Strategies. After living in several countries, I have settled in Dublin where I worked for an event company for two and a half years. Following these experiences, I wanted to refocus my career on the social and nonprofit sectors, that is why I’ve taken on the opportunity to work with The Wheel. 

In my spare time, I love going to the cinema, hiking and travelling. 

You can contact me on

Mairead O'Connor, Skills Development Senior Manager

Mairead O'Connor - Skills Development Senior Manager

I manage the skills development team at The Wheel, overseeing The Wheel's varied capacity-building activities. These include an extensive training and events calendar, various skills-building projects & initiatives and The Wheel's engagement with the national skills agenda and stakeholders. 
I also work with various stakeholders across the sector, national policy-makers and the education and training sector to ensure that nonprofit organisations of all types, and those that work for them, are well served by the state's skills development infrastructure.  
If you have feedback on our skills development work, please feel free to get in touch with me here:


CathyAnne Fox

CathyAnne Fox - Programme Officer

I joined The Wheel in December 2021 as Programme Support Officer, working with the Skills Development team and the Access Europe team. I studied Civil Law in NUIG and then obtained a Masters in International Human Rights Law from UCD in 2019. After volunteering in Kenya, South Africa and Cambodia, I decided to pursue a career in the charity sector. Having worked in the international development and humanitarian sector with Plan International for the last 2 years, I wanted to branch into the domestic nonprofit sector which led me to The Wheel.

When not working, I enjoy travelling and supporting Westmeath GAA!

Contact me on

Sharon Hughes

Sharon Hughes  - Leadership Academy Manager

I am delighted to join The Wheel in the role of Leadership Academy Manager. The Leadership Academy is a space where leaders from Irish Charities, community organisations and social enterprises come together to learn from and inspire each other.

I have been involved in membership organisations for over 20 years. Most recently, I served as the C.E.O. of TU Dublin SU CLG, overseeing the merger of the three original Students Unions of D.I.T., I.T. Tallaght and I.T. Blanchardstown, as well as the physical move to the beautiful new campus at Grangegorman. My background is in running member Events and overseeing member Communications.

I am an avid volunteer and I have worked with a number of fantastic nonprofit organisations in my own time, delivering training in the areas of leadership and professional development.

I hold an M.A. in Political Communication; a Post-Graduate Diploma in Event Management and I am currently completing my B.A. in Psychology.

If you are interested in learning more about the Leadership Academy or you have a great idea you would like to share, please email me at or feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Harry Kearns

Harry Kearns - Outreach & Communications Officer

I joined as The Wheel as Outreach and Communications Officer in August 2021. My role is to assist with the communications strategy and to support the skills team with programme promotion and delivery.

I studied English & Philosophy at UCD and then Psychology at Trinity College. After university, I worked for a number of years in operations and coordination roles. At the start of 2019 I began working for Foróige – The National Youth Development Organisation. I realised I liked working in the nonprofit sector. I found it to be really meaningful and I have been learning a lot. So, I’ve continued along this path.

In my spare time you might find me playing guitar, getting outdoors with friends, or reading.

You can reach me at

Emma Murtagh

Emma Murtagh - Senior EU Programmes Manager

I joined The Wheel initially in 2017 as European Programmes Officer and returned in 2020 after a year away to eventually take on the role of Senior EU Programmes Manager.

A key part of my role is overseeing the delivery of Access Europe, a support and capacity building programme for the sector around accessing and managing EU funding. I also work with our policy team on European policy that affects our sector and create opportunities for our members to engage with EU decision makers. Finally, I am in charge of driving The Wheel’s own European development and designing projects that further our strategic goals and support the sector. This means overseeing a whole host of projects in a wide variety of areas that have been made possible through EU funding.

I am a qualified trainer and English language teacher with a BA in English and Psychological Studies and an MA in Literature and Publishing, both from NUI Galway.  I also have a Diploma in Leadership & Management from the UCD Professional Academy and a Certificate in Charity law, Trusteeship and Governance from the Law Society of Ireland. 

Feel free to contact me at with any questions about EU programmes and policy. You can also follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up to date on my escapades at The Wheel.

Emily Nelson

Emily Nelson - EU Programmes Officer

I joined The Wheel as EU Programmes Officer in January 2021. My role involves supporting civil society sector organisations to build their capacity to secure EU funding through our Access Europe programme, researching EU funding opportunities that are relevant to the sector and The Wheel’s members, coordinating and delivering training and events related to EU funding, and assisting organisations in building relationships with potential EU project partners.

Prior to joining The Wheel, I worked in career guidance at the Ballymun Job Centre and Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership where I was involved in various Erasmus+ funded EU projects. I also have a strong background in workforce development and training/facilitation in soft skills and job readiness. In my free time, you can find me rambling in the Dublin/Wicklow mountains or experimenting in the kitchen.

Please feel free to contact me with any queries at

Christina Nuhr

Christina Nuhr - EU Programmes Officer

I joined the European Programmes Team at The Wheel in January 2021. A key part of my role is implementing Access Europe, a support and capacity building programme around accessing and managing EU funding. Here, I consult on funding opportunities, provide tailor-made advice and resources as well as training and events connected to EU Funding. Central to my work is to cultivate and facilitate partnership networks at EU level and connect the Irish non-profit sector with European civil society.

In my work, I am aiming for a Europe defined by possibilities not by limits. Previously I was working for an international NGO based in Berlin, a buzzing city where I also studied Literature and Scandinavian Studies. For the past six years, I have worked in the European public sphere fostering European cohesion by strengthening civil society organisations across Europe, building trust-based communities and equipping active citizens with the practical tools they need to create sustainable and socially just societies.

I love travelling, hiking and speaking multiple languages. Reach out to me if you are interested in EU partnerships or searching for contacts in any European country:


Sinead Vaughan - Training Manager

I have worked for The Wheel since 2019, and am a member of the Skills Team here. I oversee The Wheel’s training calendar and am involved in the coordination of The Wheel’s special events, such as our Annual Summit.  

I have studied in University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology. My background includes six years of running a small business, and I have worked and volunteered with a variety of Irish charities including Parents Plus, Barnardos and Laura Lynn. I am a trained yoga teacher, and proud custodian to Lulu the rescue dog.     

I am available on email on I love to hear from our members; get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions for what we can do for your organisation’s upskilling needs.

Business Development Team

Maria O'Connell - Grants Development Officer

Maria O'Connell - Grants Development Officer

I joined The Wheel as Grants Development Officer in 2021, working with the Business Development Team. In my role, I support the objectives of the organisation's strategic plan by identifying, researching and accessing funding opportunities which enables The Wheel to deliver supports relevant to the sector.  

I arrived in the nonprofit sector indirectly, qualifying as a Quantity Surveyor in 2004, followed by a Masters Degree in Regional and Urban Planning from University College Dublin. My professional background is in community development, having previously worked as a development officer with the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme, delivering financial supports to community groups and business starts-ups.  

If I can offer any advice or support, please feel free to contact me at 

Johnny Sheehan - Membership and Regional Coordinator

Johnny Sheehan - Membership and Regional Manager

I’m The Wheel’s Membership and Regional Coordinator since April 2016, working with a team of four local representatives. The main focus of my work is to drive the development, presence and participation in The Wheel’s programmes locally around Ireland and support members to engage effectively with The Wheel. Another key aspect of the role is to support rural communities through the National Rural Network.

A key part of this role is to facilitate networking among community groups, ensuring that issues affecting local communities are reflected in The Wheel’s work nationally. I represent our members’, and the wider sector’s, shared interests in the Community and Voluntary Pillar and in Coalition 2030, a network of civil society organisations working to influence the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at local and national level.

I have more than 20 years’ experience working in the development, youth work and environmental sectors. Previously I worked with Dóchas as Project Coordinator for the European Year for Development 2015 and with the National Youth Council of Ireland as Development Education Programme Coordinator from 2004 to 2012.

I am currently a trustee of the Irish Development Education Association and served as chairperson of Comhlámh from 2013-2016. I hold a Law Society certificate in Charity Law, Trusteeship and Governance. I have a background in Botany and Environmental Science and worked as a volunteer in Central America for two years during the 1990s.

You can contact me on 086 1061313 or by email:

Finance & Operations Team

Fergal Moran

Fergal Moran - Director of Finance

I joined The Wheel in the summer of 2022 and am a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland. I completed my accountancy training with KPMG after studying Business & Economics. I worked in the non-profit sector for 7 years before joining The Wheel having previously spent a number of years in the multinational and hospitality industries. My other roles in the sector were as Finance Manager for an addiction support clinic in Dublin, and as Finance Director of an all-Ireland youth charity for 5 years. My main role with The Wheel involves leading the Finance & Operations team. I have a certificate in culinary arts so appreciate being in a kitchen or a restaurant. I also enjoy running, travelling and the cinema in my spare time.  You can get in touch with me at

Gert Ackermann - Communications Coordinator

Gert Ackermann - Communications Manager

I joined The Wheel as  Communications Officer in May 2009. In my current role as Communications Manager, I'm responsible for the organisation's communications strategy, media relations and brand positioning. I am also involved in developing communications strategies for a range of programmes and services, and I deliver specialised training in Communications & Marketing.

I studied Political Science and Journalism before cutting my teeth in the worlds of journalism, book publishing, publicity and digital marketing, both in Ireland and South Africa. My areas of expertise include media relations, social media, publishing and strategic communications.

In my spare time, you'll find me with my nose buried in a book, in the cinema, playing my guitar or rambling through the countryside.

You are very welcome to get in touch:

Femi Atoyebi

Femi Atoyebi - Information Systems Manager

I am a self-proclaimed social media buff, a technology freak and a digital nomad. I am a member of the Association of Data Protection Officers. I have a Master’s degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Marketing from the Dublin City University. My working experience includes public broadcasting and marketing communications.

My first major involvement with our sector was in 2010 as a volunteer who coordinated the stakeholder engagement and public consultation process leading to the development of the voluntary Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland in 2012.

Join me on Twitter where I regularly share my musings on football, data protection, the science of where and photography.

Do you have a question regarding data management, email marketing, cyber security or general IT, please email me at

Ellen O'Brien

Ellen O'Brien - Administrative Office

I joined The Wheel as Administrative Officer in September 2022 after graduating with an Undergraduate degree in History and English from UCD. Studying these subjects fostered my pre-existing interest in people and society and how the two relate to one another, and I look forward to not only continuing to develop this interest, but also applying it through my work here at The Wheel.

As Administrative Officer, I provide admin support and assistance to multiple teams, ensuring that internal operations remain efficient. I am additionally involved with supporting external community and voluntary organisations.

I’m also published writer and am passionate about music and theatre!

I can be reached at

Maria Casey

Maria Casey - Membership & Accounts Officer

I am the Membership and Accounts Officer, having joined The Wheel in August 2021. I’m here to help you with your application to join our membership community from start to finish, so that you can access the great benefits that The Wheel has to offer without delay. I help with the accounts and assist all members of The Wheel on their membership administration, queries and needs.

My previous experience involved working in the charity and voluntary sector in arts and culture, working on festivals and events. My qualifications include an MA in Arts Policy, BA in Human Resource Management and BA in Fine Art. 

If I can assist you in anyway, reach out by emailing

Ciara Lowe

Ciara Lowe - Projects Administrative Officer

I joined The Wheel in December 2021. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science I gained a strong passion for creating sustainable communities and tackling societal issues, so I combined my passion and my work experience and joined The Wheel. I provide support to The Wheel’s projects and events and support to community and voluntary organisations.

I have a strong interest in gender related challenges and I am an advocate for mental and emotional wellbeing.

I love hiking and growing my own fruit and veg.

You can reach me at

Sarah MacArtain

Sarah MacArtain - Senior Operations Manager

I joined The Wheel in January 2022.  The Operations Team covers Administration, ICT, Communications/Promotions and provides overall logistical support for the entire organization.

My background is all about foreign languages but I found my way via IT and EFL teaching to the School Completion Program and then into the community sector with Greystones Family Resource Centre.

I love a good book, a brisk walk and being by the sea. Please feel free to contact me at

Jon McBride, Membership Officer

Jon McBride - Compliance & Metrics Officer

I’ve been with The Wheel since September 2017, originally joining as Membership Officer before more recently moving into the realm of compliance. My role is to guide The Wheel on our compliance journey, for state agencies and authorities, for funders and for our members. I’m also part of the team responsible for gathering and maintaining our metrics, ensuring that we are always working towards demonstrating the impact we have for our members, the nonprofit sector, and for society.

My background is in administration management and HR support with over 20 years' global experience. I spent the most recent five years, prior to beginning in The Wheel, working with large fundraising service providers to the community and voluntary sector, collaborating with many different charitable organisations in Ireland and the UK.

Drop me a line at if you have any questions about your own compliance and reporting journeys.

Alex McMahon - Finance and Renewals Officer

Alex McMahon - Finance Officer

I joined The Wheel as our Finance Officer in February 2008. I previously worked as Finance & Administrations Officer for The European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland for over 11 years.

Prior to EAPN Ireland, I worked as Community Development Officer with The Community Action Programme and Ballymun Women's Centre. 

My main focus here at The Wheel is on processing payments and generally helping to keep the financial side of our operations working smoothly. 

If you have any payment-related queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me on

Paul Meade - Information Coordinator

Paul Meade - Information Manager

I've been with The Wheel since 2008 and throughout that time my role has been all about shaping and packaging the information we provide to our members and the wider sector. 

Central to that role is managing our Fundingpoint online database of funding opportunities. Part of this responsibility is in assisting nonprofits with finding new sources of funding, as well as conducting more in-depth funding research projects upon request. 

I am also responsible for driving and delivering The Wheel's growing family of websites, including along with,, etc. 

One of my favourite tasks at The Wheel is writing, editing and producing our regular member and sector updates, including most of our marketing and promotional emails, as well as the Fundingpoint Newsletter and NewsWheel, our flagship sector-wide monthly newsletter. Learn more about our various newsletter options here

In my spare time I am a qualified therapy dog handler and I try to get out into the community on a regular basis with my trusty Labrador, Oscar. You can email me (or Oscar) on

Public Policy Team

Ivan Cooper - Director of Public Policy

Ivan Cooper - Director of Public Policy

I work as Director of Public Policy of The Wheel and have responsibility for progressing The Wheel's policy positions on cross-cutting issues affecting the community and voluntary sector, such as charity regulation, funding the sector, encouraging active-citizenship, quality standards and raising awareness of the role and significance of the sector.

I spend a lot of time engaging with members to identify the issues they face and to work with them to agree the changes needed with funding authorities and regulators. There is a lot of media interest in the work of charities and I work with the media when required to put forward The Wheel’s perspective on issues in the news when required.

I represent The Wheel on a range of fora, national and international, and also act as one of The Wheel’s lead trainers in the areas of governance, strategic leadership and demonstrating impact. I work regularly with boards of community and voluntary groups about their governance and trustee responsibilities. I am a big believer in lifelong learning and have an MBA from Smurfit Business School, a Diploma in Development Studies, and a primary degree in psychology and philosophy from UCD. 

You can get in touch with me anytime to discuss any of the policy issues facing your organisation or the wider section on


Emily Bourke - Communications & Advocacy Officer

I have been working with The Wheel since 2020, and as Campaigns and Advocacy Officer since July 2022. My role is to help drive the planning, management, and implementation of The Wheel’s campaigning and advocacy work. 

My professional background is a varied one, but centres around a love of storytelling and communication; alongside previous work in communications and marketing, I have managed a national children's literacy programme, tutored in English at Trinity College, edited journals, and mentored academic writing students.

Alongside this, my volunteering experience includes time with Aware, Bodywhys, Suas Educational Development, and the Dublin Ghost Story Festival.

I completed my PhD in English Literature in 2019. In my spare time I'm a horror buff, weightlifting and yoga enthusiast, and painter.

You can reach me at

Suzie Cahn

Suzie Cahn - Shared Island Project Director

I joined The Wheel as the Shared Island Project Director in December 2021.  My role is to manage this joint initiative of The Wheel and NICVA. Working collaboratively, the project seeks to bring communities together to address challenges, highlight solutions and capitalise on opportunities on a shared island basis. If you are interested in this work please get in touch:

I have more than 20 years of experience in community development, education, and project management across a wide range of sectors. I previously worked with TASC's Climate Justice Centre managing the People's Transition pilot and An Cosán as their Social Enterprise Officer and Higher Education Tutor where I still contribute occasionally on their programmes with non-traditional marginalized adult learners.

I co-founded Carraig Dúlra Social Enterprise in 2007, a regenerative community education and nature connection and permaculture hub in Co Wicklow in 2008. A co-creator of TINI (Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland),  Community Gardens Ireland and the all Island Permaculture Network, I also contribute in the Global networks for these movements.

I am the national contact point with ECOLISE (the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability) and serve as a member of the Climate Justice working group with CWI (Community Workers Ireland) and as a founding director of WWOOF Ireland.

My original degree was in fine art, and I worked for many years in arts therapy. I was one of Ireland’s first creative art therapist and hold an MSc in art therapy from the College New Rochelle, N.Y.

I am passionate about nature connection and spend as much time outdoors as possible. I'm often in soil and mud gardening or working on our cottage restoration using natural building techniques.

Madeline Campbell

Madeline Campbell - Campaigns Officer 

I am the Campaigns Officer for The Wheel and I'm working on the We Act campaign; an exciting campaign to improve public awareness of the value and impact of the charity and community sector in Ireland.

My background is in marketing and communications and my experience in the non-profit sector comes from work in development and climate education and youth work. My interest in campaigns was sparked by my involvement 10000 Students, a movement partnered with the Union of Students Ireland to mobilise university students to take action for global issues like consumption, gender inequality, and mental health.

If you'd like to chat about the campaign, feel free to contact me at

Claire McGowran

Claire McGowran - Campaigns Officer

I am Campaigns Officer with The Wheel. I’m working closely with a pan-sectoral steering group on an exciting new campaign to improve public awareness of the value and impact of the charity and community sector in Ireland. 

My background is in communications, I have a degree in Journalism from DCU, I’ve written for various newspapers and magazines, and I was a digital editor for eight years. My interest in campaigns was sparked by my involvement in the campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment in 2018. Living in London at the time, I volunteered with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign as an organiser for Home To Vote. I’ve also worked with UNICEF on a campaign to end child marriage and contributed to the Emigrant Papers as part of the campaign to expand voting rights for Irish emigrants. 

Outside of work, I love baking, crafting, food and travel - I’ve also got a side venture where I interview people about their lives, and package it up as a personalised audio memoir. 

If you'd like to chat about the campaign, drop me a line at


Lily Power

Lily Power - Policy Officer

I joined The Wheel in April 2019 as Policy Officer, working with the Director of Public Policy and the Campaigns Manager. My role is to engage with The Wheel's members around on our public policy work, with the goal of improving the legal, operational and legislative environment for community and voluntary activity in Ireland.

I have a broad range of experience in the charity and voluntary sector, primarily in the area of arts and culture, having worked as Production Editor with Visual Artists Ireland for a number of years, and as a researcher on a range of projects for nonprofits and public bodies. I also have experience running a small independent business.

I hold a Master’s in Public Policy from University College Dublin and a BA in History from Trinity College Dublin.

Please feel free to contact me with any policy queries at