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Chief Executive Officer
Thomas joined InterTradeIreland in 2012 as Chief Executive Officer and is based at the InterTradeIreland offices in Newry. Prior to this appointment he worked for a short period with Kildare County Council and the Local Government Efficiency Group but is best known for successfully running Swansea Cork Ferries Ltd as Managing Director for eighteen years where he was also the majority shareholder. He was a board member of the Cork Chamber of Commerce and served for two terms on the board of Chambers Ireland. He was also a board member on a number of other companies and bodies.
Thomas holds a Bachelor of Commerce from University College Dublin and a Master of Commerce from University College Cork. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
Director of Programmes & Business Services
Margaret is responsible for leading the development and delivery of InterTradeIrelands suite of programmes and business services. InterTradeIreland provides financial assistance and support to businesses across the island. InterTradeIreland’s support is centred around Trade and Innovation including helping companies to access new markets, develop new products and processes and raising early stage finance. Margaret is a business and marketing graduate. She completed an MBA in 2004. Margaret’s career to date has focused on supporting the development of SME’s and early stage companies. She lead the development of InterTradeIreland’s Equity Network Programme. She was appointed to her current position in December 2009.
Corporate Services Director
Laurence joined InterTradeIreland in 2001 and leads the Corporate Services Directorate in supporting and promoting the Body’s activities.
He spent twelve years working in Australia and several countries in Southern Africa in senior roles in the financial services, dairy and security sectors. He also spent two years with a humanitarian organisation focussing on refugee resettlement in Zambia. Laurence also worked for several years in financial management and professional development roles in Ireland where he was the course director of a professional accounting programme.
A Chartered Management Accountant and graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Laurence took his MBA at Henley Management College and a Graduate Certificate in Information Technology from Dublin City University.
Strategy and Policy Director
Aidan Gough in his role as Strategy and Policy Director, advises on collaborative strategy, policy and initiatives to help InterTradeIreland in boosting North/South economic co-operation to the mutual benefit of both economies on the island. Aidan leads InterTradeIreland’s policy and research team to identify areas where joint Government intervention can help to create an environment where it is easier to do business and increase the competitiveness of individual businesses and the island in the global economy. Aidan is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast with an MBA and MSc in Economics. Prior to joining InterTradeIreland in 2000, Aidan was Director of the Northern Ireland Economic Council.
During 2016 InterTradeIreland had an Executive Board consisting of 12 members appointed by the North South Ministerial Council.
Four board members' terms expired on 12th December 2016 - Martin Cronin, Jack Gallagher, Timothy Mayes and Kevin Norton.
Four new board members were appointed on 13th December 2016 - Ken Nelson (Chairperson), Micheál Briody, Anne Rudden and Timothy Cairns.
Ken Nelson has extensive involvement in economic development, business start up and growth as chief executive of Local Economic Development Company (LEDCOM) Ltd. Ken has over 25 years’ experience working as a business advisor, mentor and trainer with entrepreneurs, start-up companies, small businesses and social enterprises. He has wide ranging experience in designing and delivering support initiatives for economic development, business incubation, managed workspace development, social entrepreneurship and small business growth.
Ken was one of the founding directors and former Chairman of Enterprise Northern Ireland, the association of NI’s local enterprise centres. In 2010 he was the sole Northern Ireland recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.
Brought up on a farm and married with six children, Ken began his career in the textile industry working in production management and product management.
Ken is a voluntary member of the board of directors of three social enterprises. He has a BA in Business Studies, MBA and MSc in Human Resource Management as well as being a Chartered Manager (CMgr) and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI). He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Northern Regional College and Stranmillis University College.
Ken is a regular speaker at economic development and entrepreneurship conferences locally, nationally and internationally, as well as writing an occasional column on business issues for a local newspaper.
In April 2012, he was appointed to the Board of Invest Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment. He was re-appointed to the Board of Invest NI in April 2015.
In December 2016, he was appointed as Chairman of InterTradeIreland by the North South Ministerial Council.
Paul O’Sullivan is a former Director and Dean of the College of Business in the Dublin Institute of Technology. He has served as a member of the Higher Education Authority of Ireland and is currently a member of the Board of Solas. the government body for policy, strategy, financing and direction of all Further Education, Apprenticeship and Industrial Training in the Republic of Ireland. Paul has been a Director of the Bolton Trust (1992-2012), a registered charity devoted to fostering high tech graduate entrepreneurs and he was the first Chairman of the Small Enterprise Seed Fund. He has published in the areas of Marketing Communication and Sponsorship and Business Planning for SMEs. He has acted as Marketing Advisor to a number of public bodies and chaired a major Marketing Review for the GAA. He has served on the Board of a number of media companies and software startups. In December 2016, he was appointed as Vice Chair of InterTradeIreland by the North South Ministerial Council.
For over two decades, Rosemary has worked in the media industry rising to Managing Director level.
In 2006, she launched her own multi-media business – WMB Publishing and the business website: Womenmeanbusiness.com, a platform for female entrepreneurs and businesswomen. A year later, she launched the very successful annual WMB Conference & Awards. Rosemary has been a past Chairman and Director of Magazines Ireland. She sat on the Steering Committee to establish a Press Council and subsequently sat on the first Press Council of Ireland.
In 2011, her first book aptly named: Women Mean Business – One Woman's Journey into Entrepreneurship was released. In 2014 she joined the Board of InterTradeIreland.
A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Joanne Spain worked in the field of politics and economics for over thirteen years. As economic advisor to the Sinn Fein Oireachtas team, she was responsible for producing the party’s finance policies and budgetary responses, while working out of Leinster House in Dublin. Joanne's specialist concentrations were in tax and job creation and her work involved engagement with the Department of Finance and relevant Dáil committees. Joanne has been the vice-chair of InterTradeIreland for the past five years (until December 2016) and is Chair of its Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
She is now a full-time author, with her best-selling crime fiction books published by Quercus, London.
James Spratt has worked all his life in the public sector and has extensive knowledge of local and central government. He served on Castlereagh Council from 2005 to 2013 serving on many committees and bodies. He was Chairman of the Northern Ireland Joint Council representing the 26 councils and also served on the National Joint Council.
James also was a member of the NI Assembly from 2007 to 2015. He was Chairman of the Standard and Privileges Committee 2014 – 2015, Chairman of the Regional Development Committee 2011 to 2014 and Chairman of the Assembly Executive Review Committee 2008 -2011. He also served on the Committee of First & Deputy First Minister from 2007 - 2015.
James was a Member of the NI Policing Board 2008 - 2011 as well as serving as Chairman of the Human Resources Committee during that period. James Spratt is a married man with 4 grown up sons and 7 grandchildren.
Patrick Joy is the founder of Suretank Group and was the 2013 Irish EY Entrepreneur of the Year. He is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer (University College Dublin, 1974) and also has an MBA (Trinity College Dublin, 1988). Married to Mary, they have 5 children and two grandchildren and live in Baltray, Co. Louth.
Patrick recently hired a new CEO for Suretank and has stepped back from his previous full time role of managing his business. He devotes his time to mentoring and investing in new start-up businesses and he is a director of a number of companies including Suretank Group where he retains a significant shareholding.
Outside of his business interests, Patrick is a member of Engineers Ireland, EO – The Entrepreneurs Organisation, Boyne RFC, Royal Dublin Society and Co. Louth golf club. He is also a council member of the Irish Exporters Association.
Paul Greenfield was elected to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Borough Council in May 2014. He is currently Deputy Lord Mayor of the ABC Council and serves on the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee and also the Leisure Services Committee. Paul has 20 years experience working in the retail motor industry in some of Northern Ireland’s leading dealerships. He currently manages three new car franchises and a used car department. Paul has enjoyed numerous successes throughout his career including a Customer Quality award, ranking top in the UK.
He is Board member of East Border Region, Vice Chairman of his local DUP branch and Co-Chair of the Peace IV Partnership Board. Paul is married, with three young children and lives in Waringstown.
Terry Crossan worked for many years in the Licensed Trade industry with the Garvan O'Doherty Group. Now semi-retired, he works part-time as a Security Advisor for music events and festivals
He served on the Board of Foyle Carlingford and Irish Lights for 10 years including 3 years as Chair of the Board. He was also on the Board of Bogside Brandiwell Initiative for several years as well as serving on the Board of Cooperation Ireland for four years.
Micheál Briody, FCMA is the CEO of Silver Hill Farm which is the Irish owned leading producer of premium duck worldwide. The company has operations north and south of the border and exports to 24 countries and employs over 200 people. Micheál is also Chairman of the GAA’s Club Player Association which acts as the voice for all GAA club players in 32 counties.
Tim Cairns is Wales and Northern Ireland Director for the Community Transport Association UK. Having served as a Special Adviser in the office of the First Minister and at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Tim’s background is in policy and public affairs.
Tim also served as Director of Policy for the Democratic Unionist Party and has worked in the voluntary sector, both in Northern Ireland and Canada, for over 15 years. A non-practising barrister, Tim has been engaged widely in development, implementation and advocacy, across a range of diverse policy areas.
Ann Rudden runs one of Ireland’s leading artisan chocolate companies, Áine Hand Made Chocolate. Ann completed a course in bakery and management in the Dublin Institute of Technology in Kevin Street which led to landing her first full-time job with the Irish Chocolate Company, now known as Butlers Chocolates and then Lily O’Brien’s.
In 1999 Ann started developing her own range of chocolate products. Based in the village of Stradone, her business grew from strength to strength and won numerous awards including 25 Great Taste Awards, two IQ awards and recommendations from leading food critics such as John and Sally McKenna and food guru Rick Stein.
The Company now produce a range of bars and gift boxes and has markets in Ireland, UK, Malaysia, France and Dubai a host of independent retailers such as Avoca, Kilkenny Shop, Morton’s and Fallon and Byrne. In addition, she also ships to a number of finefood retail outlets in the UK, Dubai, Russia and Malaysia.
Ann Rudden is a member of the Cavan Economic advisory forum at Cavan council.