Staff

Meet our staff:

1. CEO, Deirdre Garvey                                                                     
2. Programmes team 
3. Business Development team
4. Finance team
5. Public Policy team

You can also follow the links below to meet our Board, Local Reps, as well as our founder, Dr Mary Redmond.

Our Board       Local REPS        Our Founder

 

Deirdre Garvey - Chief Executive Officer

Deirdre Garvey - CEO of The Wheel

I have been Chief Executive Officer of The Wheel since 2000. As the organisation was founded in 1999, I was the organisation’s first full-time employee (thanks to funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies at the time).

As Chief Executive Officer, I am responsible for the overall strategic and operational management of the organisation, including full responsibility for staff and budgetary management, implementation of strategy and supporting the board. I am also the official spokesperson for The Wheel, responsible for external relations and corporate affairs – with regular media interaction.

I am regularly asked by various government departments or agencies to represent the sector on advisory or consultative fora and/or at conferences, both national and international, and in these spaces I advance the policy positions that our members have shaped and agreed upon (see link to POLICY & ADVOCACY). I host some of our targeted CEO-oriented events, training and webinars and find them an excellent way to personally engage with our members.

My primary degree was a Bachelor of Science (in physics) and consequently the first eight years of my career were spent in the high-tech field. I moved into the voluntary sector in 1995 when I started work with Barrestown in its start-up phase. After five years there as Director of Development I got involved in the founding of The Wheel and became its first CEO.

Feel free to follow me on my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. You can email me at deirdre@wheel.ie or call the office to talk directly: (01) 454 8727.

Download additional biographical information about Deirdre here.


Programmes Team
 

Elizabeth Bolger - Director of Programmes

Elizabeth Bolger - Director of Programmes

I have worked with The Wheel since 2005.  My main role is to drive the organisation’s membership, programmes and supports.  This involves working with The Wheel Programmes Team in the implementation of these.  You see more detail on these across our website, such as on our Projects section here.

I also support our members in delivering training and in answering member queries.

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 and on the school Board of Management.  Please feel free to contact me on elizabeth@wheel.ie or (01) 454 8727.
 

Mairead O'Connor, Training & Advice Coordinator

Mairead O'Connor - Training & Advice Coordinator

I’m the Training & Advice Coordinator at The Wheel. I develop the schedule of training events that we put on throughout the year. I also support our members by delivering governance training around the country, in-person and via webinar.

I’m always keen to hear what training needs our members have – so please drop me a line anytime at mairead@wheel.ie if you want to suggest a training event or topic.

The other side of my role sees me answering member queries on a range of topics. I also write and prepare blogs, factsheets and videos that give our members guidance on the pressing issues that are affecting organisations today. Take a look at our extensive Advice & Guidance section to see what resources might be helpful to you.

If we can’t help with your query directly, we can often signpost you to the people that can – so do get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to help.

My background is in education, community radio and documentary making – with a strong interest in community-led arts, education and integration projects. I love a good story and our members have exceptional stories to tell – so never hesitate to reach out and tell me yours - you can get in touch anytime by emailing me here: mairead@wheel.ie or by calling (01) 454 8727.
 

Paul Meade - Information Coordinator

Paul Meade - Information Coordinator

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. Feel free to email me on paul@wheel.ie to learn more about that.

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

One of my favourite tasks at The Wheel is editing and producing our regular updates, including 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 paul@wheel.ie.
 

Deirdre Finlay - European Programmes Coordinator

Deirdre Finlay - European Programmes Coordinator

 

I joined The Wheel in August 2015 as our dedicated European Programmes Coordinator. One of my key duties is in providing advice, support and training to members on EU funding, with a particular focus on the Europe for Citizens Programme for which The Wheel is the National Contact Point in Ireland. I also contribute to the business development objectives at The Wheel, supporting EU funding applications.

My background includes more than 12 years' international work experience spanning the public, private and voluntary sectors. One of my specialist areas is in institutional funding and public engagement. Before working at The Wheel I was Head of Programmes at VSO Ireland, an international development NGO, while earlier in my career I held strategic marketing roles at Bord Bia and Dell.

With an MA in International Relations and a BA in Political Science, I must confess to being a bit of a nerd, always upskilling and doing diplomas! I'm also a Director of the Irish-Ugandan charity, Nurture Africa. 
 

Johnny Sheehan - Membership and Regional Coordinator

Johnny Sheehan - Membership and Regional Coordinator

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: johnny@wheel.ie.
 

Lauren Carroll, Projects Officer

Lauren Carroll  - Programmes Officer

I joined The Wheel in August 2016 as the Office Administrator and was recently appointed to the role of Programmes Officer.

My role is quite varied. It involves me working alongside the team in The Wheel to support the growth and delivery of projects such as Spark Change, Meet & Code, European Parliament Ambassador Schools Programme (EPAS) and training events. I also provide secretariat support to The Governance Code working group. I have a keen interest in health and wellbeing and have recently become involved in The Wheel’s Wellbeing Committee.

Having returned to full time study as a mature student, I graduated with a degree in Social and Community Development from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. 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 or to chat about well-being initiatives you can reach me on lauren@wheel.ie.
 

Lara Madden

Lara Madden - Office Administrator

My role is within the Programmes team as Office Administrator. I am is involved in planning training events, meetings and conferences. I also offers administrative support throughout the organization. I am always happy to assist with support queries from members, and anything I don’t know I am equally interested to find out so do contact us if you need to.

I have a long standing interest in the community and voluntary sector and have previously been involved with Foroige, Aspire and St. Vincent de Paul in a volunteer capacity. I’m constantly learning new information about the sector, our member organizations and the work being carried out, and I hope to continue building on my interest.

My background is in Psychology, meaning there is a nice connection and sense of overlap between my interests in that and the work done by The Wheel and other organizations within the sector.

For information about training, admin support or any general queries you can reach me at lara@wheel.ie.
 

Jayne Tennyson - Events & Marketing Officer

Jayne Tennyson - Events & Marketing Officer

I joined the Wheel in June 2015 as the Better Together Marketing Intern. Since December 2016 I have been working as part of the admin support team. My current role as Events and Marketing Officer in June 2016.

Primarily, I am responsible for coordinating the Wheel’s specialist training workshops, events and conferences. I also provides communication and marketing support for the Wheel events.

I have a BA hons in Media Production from the University of Glamorgan. I also previously worked as a video editor and production assistant with a community radio station and local news website. 

Anything I can help you with? Don't hesitate to get in touch: jayne@wheel.ie.
 

Emma Murtagh, European Programmes Officer

Emma Murtagh - European Programmes Officer

I joined The Wheel in February 2017 as European Programmes Officer and work with the European Programmes Coordinator to deliver advice and training to members about acquiring and managing EU funded projects. I also develop and manage The Wheel’s European projects, which mainly focus on education and training for our members and engaging communities with European policy, and I drive The Wheel’s European policy work, which aims to ensure that the sector’s interests are represented at a European level.

I learned all about European project work through previous roles managing several international community development projects and am passionate about getting the sector more active in European programmes and policy. In addition to project management, I have a background in training and facilitation, editing, and communications. I have a BA in English and psychological studies and an MA in Literature and Publishing, both from NUI Galway, and am a qualified trainer. 

You can follow me on Linkedin for more information on my professional background and Twitter for regular updates on European funding and my work with The Wheel. You can also give me a call on (01) 454 8727 or email me at emma@wheel.ie with any questions relating to European funding and programmes.
 

Vincent Carragher

Dr Vincent Carragher - Research Fellow

 

I recently secured EPA funding to investigate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the community scale. This led me, as part of the TCD Sustainable Communities Research Group, to partner with The Wheel in an identification of SDG action in communities across Ireland. The primary output for this body of research will be through the Spark Change initiative. Another useful website developed by the team, to foster sustainable change in communities, is the Sustainable Communities Toolkit.

My previous research has been funded by a number of organisations including the Irish Research Council, Interreg, Intelligent Energy Europe, the EPA and SEAI. The IRC funded the development of a novel Ecological Footprint for Irish communities and currently, 95 Ecological Footprints (EF) have been carried out. My research has also critically reviewed community interventions which foster sustainable-behaviour change identifying 109 drivers enhanced by those interventions. 

If you want to raise any issues or ask questions about any of the above, I welcome your input at vincent@wheel.ie


Business Development Team
 

Hugh O'Reilly - Director of Business Development

Hugh O'Reilly - Director of Business Development

I have been Director of Development with The Wheel since June 2016 having worked here previously from June 2010 – June 2015. My main role in The Wheel is to drive and implement the organisations strategic funding plan. This means I spend most of my time assessing new opportunities for the organisation and developing proposals for projects that we hope will help deliver greater supports to the sector. You can check out some of the projects we currently work on here.

I also support our members delivering training, webinars, blogs and answering general member queries on issues relating to funding, fundraising, income diversification and so on. Feel free to give me a shout if I can help you in this area on hugh@wheel.ie.

My primary degree was a BA in Furniture Design, believe it or not, and I also hold a Certificate in Fundraising and an MA in Public & Political Communication yet I have spent most of my working career in business development roles; the majority of that time being spent in development roles in nonprofits.

I do have LinkedIn and twitter profiles and you are welcome to follow me although, fair warning, I am not as active on there as many of my colleagues. You can always email me on hugh@wheel.ie or call the office on (01) 454 8727 to talk directly. 
 

Femi Atoyebi

Femi Atoyebi - Information Systems/ Direct Marketing Officer

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, CRM or IT, please email me at femi@wheel.ie.
 

Brian Walsh, Business Development Officer

Brian Walsh - Business Development Officer

 

I joined The Wheel in October 2016 and have over ten years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. In that time I have worked with a large service provider and built up experience in management and fundraising. At The Wheel I manage our member offers and connect suppliers, corporates and service providers with our members.

I also look after sponsorship and partnerships with corporates and businesses at events like our annual summit, or the Charity Impact Awards.  If you have any queries about fundraising,  I can help too.

I hold a B.A. from NUI Maynooth, and a Higher Diploma in Organisational Behaviour from the Irish Management Institute.

If there’s anything I can help you with, or you are a business who would like increase their engagement with the sector, contact me at brian@wheel.ie or connect on LinkedIn.


Finance Team
 

Tony Ward, Director of Finance

Tony Ward - Director of Finance

I’m Tony Ward and am Director of Finance at The Wheel, a role I took up in June 2016. Prior to that I was Head of Fundraising at Fighting Blindness from 2012 and have been involved in a number of charities or nonprofit organisations in executive and non-executive roles over a number of years.

My main responsibilities involve the strategic financial planning and management of the organisation’s finances, including the day-to-day financial management.

The role also involves the oversight and interaction of Wheel membership through membership administration and associated training income as well as aspects of HR, governance and compliance. In all of these, and as part of our general training and advice I interact frequently with members in terms of their own financial governance through advice and training.

I’m a Chartered Accountant and am co-chair of Chartered Accountants Ireland charity and not-for-profit committee, a role that allows me to interact with the sector in an integrated way.

If you have any queries relating to finance, governance or compliance within The Wheel or within your own organisation please feel free to email me on tony@wheel.ie or call on (01) 4548727.
 

Alex McMahon - Finance and Renewals Officer

Alex McMahon - Finance and Renewals 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 alex@wheel.ie
 

Levina Dixon - Finance Support Administrator

Levina Dixon - Finance Support Administrator 

I joined The Wheel in March 2015 initially as the Office Administrator.  My role changed approximately 18 months ago and I am now the Finance Support Administrator.

This role is quite varied, it involves working closely with the Director of Finance, the Membership Administrator and the Finance Officer.  The majority of my work is dealing with finance queries, invoicing and processing training bookings from members of The Wheel, EU grant applications along with general administration duties. I am also involved in The Wheel’s Well-being Committee.

I have a BA in addiction studies having graduation from NUI Maynooth.  My previous work experience in the community and voluntary sector including working with young people in addiction in Dublin’s North Inner City.  I have previously worked in D.R.O.P in Dún Laoghaire, Addiction Support Crumlin and Crinan Youth Project.  I also volunteer on a weekly basis with a local community based addiction and rehabilitation support service.

Please feel free to contact me for further information on training courses provided by The Wheel or any finance queries you can reach me on levina@wheel.ie.

Jon McBride, Membership Administrator

Jon McBride - Membership Administrator

I’ve been Membership Administrator with The Wheel since September 2017. My main role is to assist new members with joining the organisation and to coordinate the renewal of our existing membership base. I’m also active with engagement with our members, often acting as first point of contact for their support needs, and meeting with them at events around the country.

My background is in administration management and HR support with over 15 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 jon@wheel.ie if you have any questions about the benefits of joining The Wheel, your existing membership, or any support needs.


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 ivan@wheel.ie

Gert Ackermann - Communications Coordinator

Gert Ackermann - Communications Coordinator

I joined The Wheel in 2008 and now serve as The Wheel's Communications Coordinator. I studied Political Science and Journalism before cutting my teeth in the worlds of journalism, book publishing, publicity and digital marketing.

I am responsible for developing and implementing The Wheel's communications strategy, media relations and brand positioning. As a member of The Wheel's Public Policy Team, I am also involved in designing communications and advocacy campaigns aimed a variety of stakeholders. I also am one of The Wheel's training facilitators, with my particular focus being on Communications & Marketing.

Please feel free to get in touch with me on gert@wheel.ie.