The Wheel's Board

Posted on 18 Jul 2018

Last updated in April 2020

Inez Bailey – Elected in June 2017 

Inez is Chief Executive of the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), a role she has held for more than 20 years. NALA is an independent charity committed to making sure people with literacy and numeracy difficulties can fully take part in society and have access to learning opportunities that meet their needs. Inez served on the inaugural Healthy Ireland Council and is a former member of the Government’s Expert Group on Future Skills Needs which advises the Government on skills needs and labour market issues that impact enterprise and employment growth. She has served as Chair and Board member of a range of charity and statutory bodies. Inez is a graduate of the University of Sheffield (EdD) and Maynooth University (BA, MA, Dip).

Áine Brady – Elected May 2018

Áine currently serves as CEO of Third Age, having previously served as a Government TD, and Minister of State for Health Promotion and Older People, as well as an assistant primary school principal. Consistently active in the community and with a particular interest in promoting the interests of vulnerable older people, Áine’s current memberships of boards/committees include: Council of Patrons; Special Olympics Ireland; Meals On Wheels Clane CLG; Soroptimists International North Kildare Branch. 

John Buttner – Appointed in November 2017

Jonathan is a senior business executive with extensive commercial knowledge and experience gained over 25 years in Ireland and the UK.  As a former member of the leadership team in Ulster Bank (part of the global UK bank RBS), he led specialist Corporate, SME and Commercial Real Estate business divisions with responsibility for both ROI and NI markets.   Senior member of Ulster Bank governance committees including Risk Appetite, Credit Risk Policy, Assets & Liabilities and Corporate Banking Division Management committee.   Jonathan provides strategic business advice to companies in Ireland and the UK helping with commercial growth strategies, organisational change, finance, risk management and governance.  Jonathan also co-founded a start-up venture in the alternative lending space seeking to address the SME funding gap in Ireland by providing affordable flexible funding solutions.    

Mary Doyle – Co-opted in November 2018

Mary was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education and Skills from 2012 until her retirement in April 2018.  As Deputy Secretary she led the Higher Education and Quality Division in the Department. Previously, she worked as Director General in the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Prior to that she was the Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Taoiseach. She served as a member of the National Economic and Social Council and of the National Statistics Board, and a Forum Member of the Economic and Social Research Institute. She holds a degree in European Studies from the University of Limerick and a Master’s in Public Service Management from Trinity/Irish Management Institute.

John Evoy – Elected May 2014 and again in June 2017

John is the Social Enterprise Development Manager with the Social Innovation Fund Ireland. Prior to that he was the founder and Chief Executive Officer with Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA) and he also served as a director of the International Men’s Sheds organisation. Prior to setting up the IMSA in 2011, John served as the manager of the Gorey Adult Learning Centre and a Project Co-ordinator for several adult and community education initiatives. Recognition of John’s leadership and achievements include: receiving a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Award in 2013; becoming an AONTAS Star Awards winner in both 2009 and 2011, and; an Irish People of the Year award in 2015. He holds a B.Sc. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and an M.Sc. in Equality Studies.

Maria Heneghan – Elected May 2018

Maria is a retired public servant who previously served with Teagasc as Rural Development Specialist (1989 – 2012) and Agriculture Development Officer (1973-1989). Highly active in local issues, Maria currently serves as Voluntary Secretary to Green Sod Ireland Board as well as Voluntary Secretary & Director to Ballyglunin Station Restoration Company, both of which are local environmental / community development initiatives. Additionally, Maria was previously a board member of GMIT (representing Teagasc) from 2005 – 2012 and Chairperson of the Project Evaluation Committee - LEADER Clare (2005 – 2012). She also served on the Member Advisory Committee on Rural Development for five years and spent three years as a sub-committee member of Western Development Commission.

Vincent Keenan – Elected May 2014

Vincent is Chief Executive of North and East Housing Association since 2014. North & East was incorporated in 1993 having been established by a small number of volunteers. Having been run as a small-scale, mainly voluntary organisation it is now a well-established housing provider with a proven track record in the delivery of high-quality homes, comprehensive housing management services and tenant supports. Vincent worked previously for Co-operative Housing Ireland (formally NABCO) for 12 years as Executive Director with responsibility for housing and community services. Vincent has 25 years’ experience in housing, homelessness, housing development, management and social and community service development. He has participated in negotiation of social partnership agreements and was appointed by the Minister of Housing to the National Homeless Consultative Committee on which he served 7 years. Vincent has also served as non-executive director on a number of not for profit organisations.

Brendan O’Brien – Co-opted December 2016 

Brendan is CEO with ThinkSmarter Analytics. With over 20 years’ experience in international sales and marketing, he has previously been EMEA MD with US digital marketing company Search Optics,  Global Software Sales Director with Cisco based in California, CEO of ThinkSmart (acquired by Cisco) and held senior roles in Accenture and IBM.  He has been a guest lecturer in UCD and International Universities and hold a BSc, an MSc, a PhD in Business and Adv Dip in International sales. Brendan is also a very active participant in outdoor sports and has served on various boards, both commercial and voluntary, including Chairperson of a National Sporting Governing body and founding board member of a US based Alzheimer’s charity.

Paul O’Sullivan (CHAIR) – Co-opted in June 09, elected in July 12 & May 15 

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.

Karen Horgan – Elected May 2018

Karen is the current CEO of Age & Opportunity, and also serves as a member of the Charity Appeals Tribunal. Previous positions include: Director of Drogheda Homeless Aid (2000-2014); Course Co-ordinator for MA in Criminal Justice at the Institute of Public Administration; and Lecturer for MA in Criminal Justice at the Institute of Public Administration. Past memberships of boards include: Don Bosco Services, 2013-2014; Tuath Housing Association 2012-2014; Irish Council for Social Housing, 2003-2014; Drogheda Rotary Club Council, 2002-2014; Drogheda Job Initiative Company, 2004-2013; Drogheda Community Training Centre, 2008-2010; Calipo Theatre and Multi-media Company, 1999-2000. Karen's experience of serving in committees include: the Irish Council for Social Housing Governance Working Group;  Special Needs Housing and Services Sub-committee & Administration Committee; North East Regional Consultative Homeless Forum; North East Youth Homeless Forum; Drogheda Rotary Meals on Wheels Committee; Memorial Tree Committee & Community and Vocational Committee (Chair); and, Don Bosco Services Fundraising Committee.


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