Date Article Written: Friday, November 13, 2020
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, T.D, today (13th November) announced the appointment of a new Board to the Western Development Commission.
Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys said: “The Western Development Commission has played an important role in promoting economic and social development in the Western region since it was established in 1998. Over the past three years in particular, the WDC has established itself as an important contributor to the development of the region, supporting the objectives of Project Ireland 2040 to make Ireland a better country for all.
“The WDC has also made important contributions to the development of policy at national level in areas such as remote working, climate change and rural development.
“I am delighted to appoint a new Board to guide and direct the work of the Commission for the next three years. There were many expressions of interest in appointment to the new Board and I want to thank everyone who took the time to apply through the State Boards process.
“The composition of the new Board reflects a mix of new members and previous Board members. They possess an excellent mix of experience and skills from the business sector, the public sector, the community sector and the education sector.
“I have asked Mr Gerry Finn, who has been a member of the WDC Board for the last three years, to take up the position of Chair of the Board, and I wish him well in that role.”
Incoming Chair of the Board, Mr Gerry Finn, said “I look forward to continuing the work of the WDC. The fresh strategic direction that emerged during the term of the outgoing Board has a clear emphasis on collaboration and alignment with national, regional and local stakeholders, and taking a clear leadership role in key areas such as raising the profile of the region, remote working and remote work hubs and investment and lending through the WDC Fund.”
CEO of the WDC, Tomás Ó Síocháin, welcomed the appointment of the new Board and said: “I look forward to working with Gerry and the members of the incoming Board. I want to thank the Minister and her department for their ongoing support for the work of the Commission. Key initiatives such as remote working, remote working hubs and raising the profile of the opportunities and majesty of our unique region will allow us to develop resilience in the face of the challenges thrown up by both Brexit and COVID-19 in the short term.”
The Minister added: “I want to thank the previous Board for their work in supporting the development of the Western region and their careful stewardship of the WDC over the last three years.
“The WDC’s five-year Strategy, ‘Work Smarter, Live Better’, which was published in 2019, will provide a strong framework for the incoming Board to continue the WDC’s work over the coming period.
“I have no doubt that the incoming Board will continue to make a significant contribution to economic and social development in the Western region, in collaboration with other key stakeholders.”
The new board consists of:
Mr. Gerry Finn (Chair), Former Director of the Border, Midlands and Western Regional Assembly.
Mr. Henry McGarvey, Vice-President of Finance and Corporate Services, Letterkenny IT; former MD, Pramerica Systems Ireland.
Ms. Mary Corcoran, Professor of Sociology, Maynooth University.
Mr. John Kelleher, Head of Marketing, Tourism & Sport, Sligo Institute of Technology.
Mr. Christy Loftus, Retired Communications Advisor and journalist.
Ms. Mary McKenna, Technology entrepreneur; Advisory Board member, Placecube.
Ms. Sandra Divilly Nolan, Entrepreneur and Programme Manager of EMPOWER at GMIT Innovation Hub, Mayo.
Ms. Mary Coyne, Former Director of Finance & Business and Company Secretary of TG4.
Ms. Aisling Meehan, Farmer; farm entrepreneur; Agricultural law and tax practitioner.
Ms. Audrey Crummy, Senior Executive, Regulation & EU Affairs, Financial Services Ireland.
Mr. Peter Hynes, Former Chief Executive, Mayo County Council.
Mr. Edmund Jennings, Managing Director, The Cregg Group.
Sandra says: “I welcome the opportunity to play a part in the future of the WDC as they deliver their ‘Work Smart, Live Better’ strategy for the period 2019 – 2024. The remit of the WDC is to foster and encourage economic and social development in the Western Region. Within the GMIT iHubs there is a wealth of knowledge to address the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs in the region.”