The Wheel's Board

Last updated in June 2018 

Inez Bailey – Elected in June 2017 

Inez has been the Chief Executive Officer of NALA, the National Adult Literacy Agency, for the past 20 years. She is also Chair of the Southside Partnership, Chair of the Mounttown Neighbourhood Youth and Family Project, Chair of the Rockford Manor Secondary School and Member of the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Local Community Development Committee. Previous board memberships include: CORU, the Health and Social Care Professionals Regulator; the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs; Dublin & Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board; the Education Finance Board; the National Consumer Agency; the Citizens Information Board; the Information Society Commission; and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland.

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.    

Pat Carey – appointed in May 2017 

Pat is Chair of the Red Cross and a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician in the Dublin North-West constituency from 1997 to 2011. In 2007 he was appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Community Affairs & for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy. serving as the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs from 2010 to 2011. He is Cathaoirleach of Coiste Stiurtha Glor na nGael the all island Irish Language organisation. He is a Board Member of Quality Matters; independent chair of the Dublin North East Local Drugs & Alcohol Task Force & Chair of the Finance and Governance sub-committee of the North East Regional Drugs & Alcohol Task Force. He is a Board Member of the Ballymun Youth Action Project; chair of the Finglas Centre & a Board member of the Tolka Valley Training Centre.

John Evoy – Elected May 2014 and again in June 2017

John is founder and Chief Executive Officer with Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA). 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. He has also served on a number of interagency steering groups and sub-committees throughout his career, most of which pertained to adult and community education and Community development projects. 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; becoming an Arthur Guinness Fund Awardee in 2011.

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.

Sheena Horgan – Co-opted in July 2013 

Sheena is a media & PR consultant specialising in youth/family & social marketing issues.  As an established and experienced marketer, she has advised many global and local organisations - RTE, Failte Ireland, Aldi, Bord Bia, Coke, O2, Ulster Bank – regarding their marketing and CSR strategies and implementation.  Sheena is also widely published in UK & Irish trade magazines and newspapers, as well as speaking at various conferences on related topics.  In addition to co-producing two child-related documentaries, Sheena is the author of the e-book “Candy Coated Marketing”.  She writes a monthly ethical and social marketing column in Irish Marketing Journal, and is a regular broadcast contributor on programmes such as – Ireland AM, Newstalk Lunchtime, Global Village, The Right Hook and Tubridy - on ethical and youth/family issues.  

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.

Peter McBride – elected in June 2017 

Peter is the Chief Executive of Inspire which is one of the largest social enterprises on the island of Ireland, providing a range of community-based and workplace-based mental health, intellectual/learning disability services and addiction services North and South, as well as in Great Britain. He is a Trustee of the National Charity, BBC Children in Need, in which he chairs the Nomination Committee and the Grants Committee; and a Trustee of NICVA where he serves as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Resources and Audit Committee. Peter has also been involved for over 20 years in the Victims and Survivors Sector in Northern Ireland and has played a leading role in the development of leadership within civil society and its response to political and social progress in Northern Ireland. Peter is Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster Bamford Centre for Mental Health and wellbeing.

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 Smyth – 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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