New and notable appointments at Balance for Better Business (B4BB), VROMO, Metis Ireland, Springboard Communications, Emirates SkyCargo, and Xtremepush

By Business & Finance
24 June 2021
Pictured: Julie Sinnamon, co-chair, Balance for Better Business (B4BB)

This week sees new and notable appointments at Balance for Better Business (B4BB), VROMO, Metis Ireland, Springboard Communications, Emirates SkyCargo, and Xtremepush

Julie Sinnamon and Aongus Hegarty, co-chairs,
Balance for Better Business (B4BB)

Julie Sinnamon and Aongus Hegarty have been appointed the new co-chairs of Balance for Better Business (B4BB).

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, announced their appointment yesterday, 23rd June. Sinnamon and Hegarty will succeed Brid Horan and Gary Kennedy in leading the independent review group.

Balance for Better Business is tasked with improving gender balance in senior business leadership in Ireland. As co-chairs, Sinnamon and Hegarty are expected to engage with the Irish business community, advocating for greater gender balance on boards and in leadership roles.

Sinnamon is the former CEO of Enterprise Ireland and Hegarty is President of International Markets at Dell Technologies. Both have been among the key business leaders on the B4BB Review Group since 2018. In their new roles, they will continue the work of outgoing co-chairs Brid Horan and Gary Kennedy in engaging actively with the business community to advocate the business benefits of gender balance at board and senior leadership levels.

The Tánaiste thanked Brid and Gary for their work over the past three years: “By failing to include women in leadership teams, businesses ignore the talent of half the population. I launched Balance for Better Business in 2018 to correct this disparity and I really welcome the significant progress that Brid and Gary have made during their tenure.

“Brid and Gary are leaving Balance for Better Business in good hands. Both Julie and Aongus have been members of the Review Group since 2018 and have extensive knowledge and experience in driving gender balance and diversity in business. I look forward to working with them both over the coming months and wish both Brid and Gary the very best of luck in their future endeavours.”

Since its launch in 2018, Balance for Better Business has driven significant change by reviewing the situation of women in company governance and senior management, and identifying measures to increase their representation, including setting progressive targets. Its work covers companies listed on the Irish Stock Market (Euronext Dublin), private companies and multinational companies with significant operations in Ireland.

Bríd Horan, outgoing co-chair B4BB, said: “It’s been an honour to serve as Co-Chair of Balance for Better Business with Gary Kennedy since its launch in 2018 and to work with our Programme Director, Anne-Marie Taylor, and committed colleagues on the Review Group.   We’ve shone a light on the low percentage of women on company boards and in senior executive positions through structured analysis, engaged with decision makers on measures to increase this and have set progressive targets for change.

“In this time, the percentage of women on the boards of the top publicly listed companies in Ireland has increased from 18% in 2018 to 30%, and the gap between Ireland and the EU average has reduced from eight percentage points to one percentage point.

“Companies need to maintain and broaden this momentum to derive the real benefits of gender balanced leadership.  With sustained focus and effort, progress can also be made in smaller companies and at senior executive levels where there are still significant imbalances.”

Gary Kennedy, outgoing co-chair of B4BB, added: “It has been a privilege to co-lead this initiative and create momentum around an evolving targets based agenda. The individual contribution of Anne Marie Taylor and support to both myself and Brid was phenomenal.

“I am proud that Ireland has made so much progress and for that I am eternally grateful to business leaders who listened to the mood music and embraced the direction of travel. They, like I, know we are still on the baby slopes and I encourage them to be pioneering and brave in continuing that leadership. Julie and Aongus will guide them on that pathway. I continue to believe that meritocracy and diversity can both be achieved in equal components.”

Pádraig Howlin, Director of Engineering,

Pádraig Howlin, Director of Engineering, VROMO

VROMO, a dedicated software provider for restaurant food delivery, has appointed Pádraig Howlin to the key role of Director of Engineering to scale up the platform and increase the size of its development team as the company prepares for rapid growth – particularly in the US.

Dublin-based VROMO – a fast-growing company that has developed a ground-breaking software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for restaurant delivery management – has welcomed Pádraig Howlin as its new Director of Engineering. The appointment is part of ambitious plans to rapidly increase the company’s footprint across the globe and particularly in the US, where it is already taking huge strides forward after securing significant partnership agreements. 

Padraig, based in Waterford, Ireland brings a very impressive track record in front-end systems and is looking forward to bringing his extensive engineering background in the online marketplace and property sectors to the food delivery space.

He joins at an exciting time for the fast-growing business – which has its global head office in Dublin and already operates in the US, the UK and Australia in partnership with brands including Burger King, Olo, Toast and Square.

Speaking about joining the VROMO team, Pádraig said that he sees huge potential to significantly leverage the increase in the adoption of VROMO as the delivery sector continues to grow with new figures from Paytronix’s Order and Delivery Report 2021, including the finding that 25% of online food orders placed in 2020 were for delivery. Even more significantly for VROMO, the report also found that restaurants that used their own couriers reported that about 44% of orders were for delivery 

“Food delivery is an exciting and dynamic space right now, and VROMO is at the heart of that with a fantastic platform that is the world’s only dedicated software for restaurant food delivery,” said Pádraig.

“I have two clear objectives in my new role with VROMO. The first is to increase the scale, functionality and features of the platform because this constant cycle of innovation is critical in underpinning why VROMO is becoming the go-to platform for restaurant delivery. 

The second is to manage the growing team of front-end and back-end developers –even within my first week of joining VROMO, we identified a requirement for two new roles in the team.”

Pádraig added that he had a number of offers on the table but joined VROMO because: “I really like the team – I like their energy, passion and drive. I’m also full of awe at how quickly they have developed a SaaS platform that already includes the likes of Burger King, Olo, Toast as users. VROMO is on the fast track to huge growth, and I’m looking forward to not only being part of that journey but playing a key role in it.”

VROMO CEO Alan Hickey said that the platform was conceived as a way to enable restaurants to meet consumers’ high expectations when it comes to food delivery, efficiently controlling the whole delivery experience. He added that the addition of Pádraig will enable the business to enter the next phase of growth as they look into curbside pick-up and payment opportunities through VROMO.

“We’ve already started to gain significant traction for VROMO, and everyone who has used it is hugely impressed with its functionality and management capabilities – and Pádraig’s role will be to accelerate that momentum through the constant development of the platform and managing the growing team who are already making this happen,” said Alan.

“We liked Pádraig straight away, as he gets what we’re all about at VROMO and where we want to go – in terms of both the direction of travel for the development of the platform and how we support our delivery service partners.”

Susan Walsh, Eoin O’Brien and Kasia Preising, Private Client Manager, Client Services Associate and Client Services Executive, respectively,
Metis Ireland

New hires at Metis Ireland

Financial planning firm Metis Ireland has further expanded its team with three new hires, including a new Private Client Manager, a Client Services Associate, and a Client Services Executive.

The latest round of appointments comes in response to growing demand from both new and existing clients, and follows an impressive period of growth for the business which now has more than €240 million in assets under management.

Bolstering the firm’s existing customer service-led offering and working alongside Metis Ireland’s national network of top-quality financial advisors, Susan Walsh, Eoin O’Brien and Kasia Preising join as Private Client Manager, Client Services Associate and Client Services Executive, respectively.

With offices in Dublin and Limerick, the latest expansion announcement follows a string of new hires for the business this year, including Dublin footballer Dean Rock who joined as a Client Services Associate, and Financial Planning Executive Kate Walley.

It also follows news that the firm has tripled the size of its Dublin office to accommodate their high aspirations for growth in the Capital.

Commenting on the latest recruits Metis Ireland founder and Managing Director, Carl Widger, said the expansion of the team reflected the firm’s ‘ongoing commitment’ to providing an unrivalled service, centred around its core values of ‘acting with integrity and in the very best interests of clients’.

He added that the move would bolster the team’s national reach and allow the business to accommodate growing demand from individuals and business owners looking for wealth management and financial planning advice both in the immediate and longer-term future.

An experienced Financial Advisor with more than 15 years’ experience, Susan Walsh joins the company’s Limerick office in the role of Private Client Manager, bringing with her a myriad of qualifications and a wealth of knowledge as a Specialist Investment Advisor.

Her role will see her guide clients through their financial journeys, helping them to achieve their financial goals no matter how big or small.

Also based in Limerick and providing support to clients across the country, Eoin O’Brien – a University of Limerick graduate and a keen sports player – joins the team as a Client Services Associate, while Kasia Preising – a qualified financial advisor who specialises in data analysis in finance – joins as a Client Services Executive.

Carl Widger said: “We are delighted to have three incredibly talented and knowledgeable individuals joining our team, with each of them bringing a wealth of demonstrated experience to the table.

“It has been a particularly busy year for the Metis Ireland team, with recent events prompting many of our clients to review their financial status and their plans for the future.

“The arrival of Susan, Eoin and Kasia is indicative of our commitment to supporting those new and existing clients, and of our focus on building a national network of dedicated, innovative and ambitious team members who act with the upmost integrity in all that they do.”

After a year of lockdowns and financial uncertainties, Carl added that many clients are particularly engaged with the firm’s Metis LifePlan.

“Business owners in particular are really seeing the benefits of engaging with the Metis LifePlan, which gives them and their families a roadmap for financial independence, whilst allowing them to focus on running their business,” he added.

“In many cases, the difficulties caused as a result of the pandemic have encouraged people to take a step back and to assess what really matters most to them. We’re pleased to be in a position to help them put in place strong foundations to ensure they’re well equipped for whatever the future might hold.”

Established in 2014 Metis Ireland has a world-class reputation for its inspirational and innovative approach to providing financial planning advice to its clients.

David Linnane, Senior Client Executive,
Springboard Communications

David Linnane, Senior Client Executive, Springboard Communications

Springboard Communications, the award-winning Irish integrated communications agency, has announced the appointment of David Linnane as its new Senior Client Executive. Having worked in business and political journalism for seven years, David brings a wealth of experience to the Springboard Communications team. His focus will be on the execution of strategic campaigns, including planning, media training, content creation and media relations.

Speaking on his new role at Springboard Communications, David said: “This is a company where strategic thinking is at the heart of everything we do, and I am delighted to be part of Springboard Communications’ future-focused approach. I look forward to making a real and positive impact, bringing my extensive knowledge of the media to this new position, and joining the existing agile team of strategists, digital natives, creatives and writers.”

Also joining Springboard Communications team are Aoiffe Llewellyn as Client Executive and Laura Quinn as Junior Client Executive. Aoiffe is currently working on integrated communications campaigns for clients, across a range of sectors. Laura is focused on content creation and social media management.

Welcoming the new team members, Managing Director Susie Horgan said: “We are excited to have David join us as our new Senior Client Executive. His depth of experience with Irish media, and his extensive relationships developed over a seven-year career will be an invaluable asset to our client services like The Newsroom, The Content Studio and The Leadership Centre.

“Last year was a step change for our agency, as we rebranded and announced new services. We grew our team by 25% that same year and have further expanded in 2021 with three additional new appointments.  As we continue our upward trajectory, the skillsets that David, Aoiffe and Laura bring to our multi-disciplined team will further enhance our already highly regarded reputation for excellence in communications within the sectors of technology, healthcare, energy, life sciences, and tourism.”

Eimear McDonald, Cargo Manager,
Emirates SkyCargo 

Emirates has appointed an experienced air cargo professional to the role of cargo manager for Ireland. Eimear McDonald will head up the Emirates SkyCargo division in the Irish market at a time when cargo is playing an increasingly important role in the airline’s business.  Emirates SkyCargo is the freight division of the world’s largest international airline and over the past 15 months has helped to maintain crucial supply chains between Ireland and the rest of the world.

A Dublin native, Eimear was appointed Vice President of the Irish Air Cargo Institute in 2020 and joins Emirates from leading logistics provider Rhenus Air & Ocean where she managed the fast-moving export pharma department.

Eimear was instrumental in the establishment of cargo offices at Dublin Airport for both Singapore Airlines and Airbridge International Agencies and has held senior roles in cargo operations with companies including Aer Lingus Cargo Operations, Lufthansa Cargo and UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

Jeffrey Van Haeften, VP Cargo Commercial Europe & Global Sales of Emirates SkyCargo said; “As markets open up and our schedules build back to pre-COVID-19 levels, our Irish cargo division will continue to play a vital role in our business, which is good news for our customers, shippers and the Irish economy as a whole.

“The appointment of Eimear McDonald is a move that strengthens our highly experienced team on the ground in Ireland, which is led by country manager, Enda Corneille. She has exceptional expertise in the air cargo sector and will be a fantastic asset to our business, and our customers.”

Emirates SkyCargo’s operations have played a significant role in supporting Ireland’s export market.  Currently operating four weekly flights, each Boeing 777 on the Dublin route can carry 25 tonnes of cargo including critical pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, computer servers, seafood, dairy and other produce.  Emirates SkyCargo Ireland connects Irish exporters with customers in Dubai, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and many other destinations in the Middle East, Asia, India, New Zealand and across the globe.

Paul H Severini, VP of Sales for North America,

Paul H Severini, VP of Sales for North America, Xtremepush

Paul H Severini has been appointed to the new role of Vice President of Sales for North America at Xtremepush, the Irish-owned multi-channel customer engagement platform.

The appointment was announced by Rob Pryce, Chief Revenue Officer at the award-winning global SaaS firm, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

Severini will lead the sales, account management and customer engagement team at the company’s new US headquarters, which opened in New Jersey in December.

The multi-channel marketing specialist is investing in talent and customer service resourcing, to aggressively expand the business offering in the North American market.

Previously, Paul H Severini was Chief Sales Officer for AdTheorent and was part of the founding team at the New York tech firm, providing machine learning solutions and data analysis for advertising and marketing strategists.

Responsible for sales strategy and direction across the US, Severini helped lead the high-performing AdTheorent business to a private equity exit in 2016.

At Xtremepush, Severini will direct sales strategy and new business acquisition for North America, where the Irish company’s clients include Groupe Dynamite, Piping Rock, Oregon State Lottery and Penn International Gaming.

PlayUp and OwnersBox are other recent US client wins for the multichannel engagement provider, which specialises in the sports betting and gaming vertical as well as e-commerce, media and financial services.

A graduate of EW Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Severini has extensive national sales experience with leading US media businesses and brands. He has held senior positions with titles including Sports Illustrated, the DAZN Group-owned Sporting News, and with Travel+Leisure.

Xtremepush was named a ‘Challenger’ at the global 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Marketing Platforms, reflecting its dynamic business growth and expansive product innovation.  The company has embarked on a global acquisition and growth strategy, targeting complementary technology vendors, backed by capital investment partners.

Xtremepush is in a rapid expansion phase globally and currently employs 70-plus people across multiple geographies, including offices in Poland, Turkey, Romania, Russia and the Czech Republic, in addition to two bases in the UK, the US office and its Irish headquarters in Dublin.

Established in 2014 by Tommy Kearns (CEO) and Dr Kevin Collins (CTO), Xtremepush claimed the Customer Experience category at the 2020 Deloitte Financial Services Innovation Awards, as well as Marketing Services Provider of Year at the SBC Awards (Sports Betting Community). The company was also a winner in the 2019 and 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards.