New and notable appointments at Barretstown, Bank of Ireland Business Banking, Boulder Media, An Rialálaí Agrabhia, Eversheds Sutherland, and Furthr VC 

By Business & Finance
25 May 2023
Pictured: Anne Heraty, Board Chair, Barretstown

This week sees new and notable appointments at Barretstown, Bank of Ireland Business Banking, Boulder Media, An Rialálaí Agrabhia, Eversheds Sutherland, and Furthr VC.

Anne Heraty, Board Chair,

Barretstown children’s charity has announced business leader and entrepreneur Anne Heraty as Chair of its Board.

Heraty first joined the board of Barretstown in 2019. A vastly experienced business person, Heraty will lead the board of Barretstown in delivering its mission to rebuild the lives of children affected by serious illness through Barretstown’s life changing Therapeutic Recreation programmes, at their campus in Co Kildare and through outreach programmes in hospitals and schools throughout Ireland.  

A native of Co. Longford, Heraty brings a wealth of experience from the world of business. The founder of CPL Resources in 1989, she became the first female chief executive of an Irish-listed company a decade later.  

Heraty is currently a board member of the Kingspan Group Plc, Ibec and Outsourcing Inc. She is chair of the judging panel of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year. She was the recipient of the Irish Times Business Person of the Year for 2021 and holds a BA Degree in Mathematics and Economics from UCD.  

Welcoming the appointment, Barretstown CEO, Dee Ahearn said: “As Barretstown continues to expand our services, the depth of experience and insights Anne will bring as chair of our Board, and to the wider organisation, will prove invaluable. Our voluntary board play a vital role in overseeing governance, which is at the heart of everything we do in Barretstown.

“We were delighted to recently win the Good Governance award at the Business & Finance ESG Awards. Having someone of Anne’s calibre become our Chair and lead our board is a testament to Barretstown and I look forward to continuing to work with Anne and all of our Board.” 

Commenting on her appointment, Anne Heraty said: “I am delighted to be appointed as Chairperson of Barretstown and to work with an incredible group of people from a diverse range of industries, with fantastic experience. Dee Ahearn, and her colleagues have been instrumental in developing Barretstown, a vital part of the treatment journey for children living with serious illness.

“This year alone Barretstown will serve over 17,000 campers through their residential programmes at their magnificent 500-acre campus in Co Kildare and through their hospital outreach programmes. Barretstown is the only organisation in Ireland who delivers these essential residential therapeutic programmes supported by their onsite medical team 24/7.

“I am both excited and honoured to be part of the next phase of growth for this wonderful organisation.” 

Susie Crawford, Head of Sustainability,
Bank of Ireland Business Banking

Pictured: Susie Crawford, Head of Sustainability, Bank of Ireland Business Banking

Bank of Ireland has appointed Susie Crawford into a newly created role as Head of Sustainability on its Business Banking Sectors team. Crawford will provide insights into customers’ ESG risk profiles, identify risks and opportunities within customers’ ESG transition plans and will develop ESG propositions for the SME business banking market.

She will also create an integrated sustainability strategy for Business Banking that aligns with Bank of Ireland’s strategic priorities, as the Bank builds on its position as first Irish bank to be a founding signatory of the UNPRB ‘Commitment to Financial Health and Inclusion’ – taking a leadership role in accelerating action for universal financial inclusion and financial health.

Crawford joins Bank of Ireland from Cairn Homes, where she worked as its ESG Manager – setting Cairn’s sustainability strategy and developing science-based targets for reducing carbon emissions as well as protecting and enhancing biodiversity. She holds an MSc in Environmental Economics, and previously worked as an economist focusing on housing, transport, and infrastructure.

Discussing Crawford’s appointment, Jilly Clarkin, Head of Customer Journeys & SME Markets at Bank of Ireland, said: “We are delighted to appoint Susie to this newly created role, where she will work closely with the Business Banking sectors team to align customer needs with product propositions that will underpin Bank of Ireland’s ESG/sustainability strategy. The appointment is the latest step on that journey, as we continue to review our impact on nature, including being the first Irish Bank to join the UNPRB Biodiversity Target Setting working group and the Taskforce for Nature Related Financial Disclosures Forum.”

“Susie’s appointment comes at a time when the Bank has published its latest Sustainability Report, which details the progress made across our environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities. We look forward to leveraging off Susie’s extensive ESG market knowledge as we aim to provide our customers with innovative propositions that will help finance a sustainable business transition.”

Colm Tyrell, Head of Studio Production,
Boulder Media 

Pictured: Colm Tyrell, Head of Studio Production, Boulder Media

Boulder Media has announced a significant appointment to its senior management team, with Colm Tyrrell set to join the animation studio as Head of Studio Production on 6th June. Established in 2000, Boulder Media is one of Ireland’s most prolific animation studios, producing animated favourites such as My Little PonyThe Amazing World of Gumball, and Danger Mouse, to name a few, and garnering numerous awards and nominations, both domestically and internationally, for its work.

Acquired by Princess Pictures last year, Tyrell’s appointment to the newly created role is part of Boulder Media’s growth strategy which will see the company scaling and seeking talented artists to work on its exciting new slate of prime-time, family and kids’ animated productions, including the forthcoming Grimsburg, an animated sitcom, voiced by Jon Hamm, produced for the Fox Broadcasting Company.

Commenting on his new role, Tyrrell, says: “Having admired the work of Boulder Media for many years, I am delighted to join the team at such an exciting juncture as it adds a new specialty of prime-time adult comedy, including high end projects such as Grimsburg and Krapopolis for Fox. Together with my new Boulder Media colleagues, I look forward to many exciting meetings at Annecy International Animation Film Festival next month, where the wider industry gathers each year for an inspiring week celebrating all things animation.”

With over 20 years’ experience in the TV and production industries, Tyrrell has established himself as a leading expert in producing animated series. He was Series Producer of highly acclaimed shows such as Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, and Henry Hugglemonster for Disney, and in his most recent role as Director of Production at Brown Bag Films, Colm played a crucial role in overseeing the success of numerous hit shows, including Angela’s Christmas (Netflix), Karma’s World (Netflix), Otis the Tractor and Eva the Owlet (Apple TV+), and Lu & The Ballybunch (Warner). 

Tyrell has earned nominations from the most prestigious award organisations in the industry, including multiple Emmy nods, a BAFTA nomination, and recognition from both the Producers Guild of America and the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) as well as an Irish Animation Award win.

Jenni MacNeaney, General Manager of Boulder Media, comments: “We’re delighted to welcome Colm to the Boulder crew, and we look forward to further expanding our brand in the market, building on our impressive catalogue of shows with his support, guidance, and expertise. The future is exciting with some impressive shows already planned into our slate enabling Boulder to offer world-class opportunities to the Irish and European talent pool, adding to our already stellar team.”

Emma Fitzsimons, Managing Director of Princess Pictures, adds: “This is a significant hire for Boulder Media and I’m excited to see what Colm brings to the team as the company positions itself for further growth opportunities internationally in the thriving animation industry. In Boulder, we have a studio that boasts not only first-class artists but also kindred spirits that share our sense of humour and passion for great stories. Along with Jenni, Colm and the team, we intend to introduce more Irish talent to the US and global buyers, with a renewed focus on kids’ animation, as well as prime-time adult comedy production.”

Niamh Lenehan, CEO-designate,
An Rialálaí Agrabhia

The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has announced the selection of the CEO-designate for An Rialálaí Agraibhia (The Agri-Food Regulator), a new independent statutory Office which will soon be established.

Niamh Lenehan has come through a competitive recruitment process and will commence her position on an interim basis as head of the Unfair Trading Practices Enforcement Authority based in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Lenehan will formally become CEO-designate of An Rialálaí Agraibhia on the enactment of the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain Bill and will become CEO on its establishment day.

The Minister said: “I am delighted to announce that Niamh Lenehan will be the CEO-designate of An Rialálaí Agraibhia. In Niamh, I believe we have found a tremendous professional who brings all the skills and experience to be a success as first CEO of the soon-to-be established Agri Food Regulator office. This is a really important role and it will be a very influential part of our entire agri-food sector in the coming years. Niamh has strong agriculture and farming links as well as being a success in regulatory and policy roles in her career.

“Niamh’s appointment will enable her to begin the preparatory process of setting up the Office of An Rialálaí Agraibhia ahead of the enactment of the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain Bill, which is currently progressing through the legislative process of the Houses of the Oireachtas. I wish her well in the new post.”

This appointment follows a competitive Public Appointments Service (PAS) recruitment process. Lenehan has extensive experience of working in the public sector, where her roles have encompassed quality assurance and regulation in both the education and the personal insolvency sectors.

Aisling O’Hare, Of Counsel, Commercial, and Nuala Maguire, Of Counsel, Construction and Projects,
Eversheds Sutherland 

Leading global law firm Eversheds Sutherland has appointed two new senior consultants in its Belfast office.

Aisling O’Hare and Nuala Maguire have joined the firm’s commercial and construction and projects teams respectively and bolster an already strong team of legal experts based at Montgomery House in Belfast city centre. The global law firm also recently welcomed Ian McFarland as its new Employment Partner in its Belfast office and the two new hires come during a period of strong and sustained growth.

O’Hare brings over 10 years’ experience advising public and private sector clients on commercial contracts, intellectual property and data protection matters. She also has significant experience advising on technology and innovation related contracts, including software development, licensing and support agreements, reseller agreements and SaaS agreements. O’Hare was previously a Senior Associate in a large local firm and prior to that worked as in-house lawyer for a global software company. O’Hare is dual qualified to advise in Northern Ireland, and England and Wales.

Maguire joins the firm as Of Counsel in the Construction and Projects Team from a large public sector organisation, having previously worked in private practice specialising in construction and procurement issues. Maguire focuses on all aspects of construction projects from procurement to drafting and negotiating construction and related contracts, managing completion deliverables and dispute avoidance. Maguire graduated with a first class honours LLB from the Open University in 2009 and qualified as a solicitor in 2011.

Speaking upon the two new appointments, Alan Connell, Managing Partner, Eversheds Sutherland Ireland said: “I am very pleased to welcome both Aisling and Nuala to Eversheds Sutherland. These are the latest senior hires for our Belfast office and they significantly complement our existing team of experienced lawyers. Both Aisling and Nuala are skilled and talented legal professionals and bring significant experience to our clients and partners in Northern Ireland. As the largest and most established global law firm on the island of Ireland, Eversheds Sutherland are supremely placed to advise businesses on a whole range of issues and these latest senior hires demonstrate our own growth in the Belfast market.”

Aisling O’Hare, Of Counsel, Commercial, Eversheds Sutherland Belfast

Aisling O’Hare, Of Counsel, Commercial, Eversheds Sutherland Belfast said: “I’m thrilled to have joined Eversheds Sutherland and the Commercial Law team in Belfast. As a leading all-island, global law firm, I am excited at the prospect of working with clients, businesses, and organisations as they seek to grow and expand in new markets. As we continue to deal with an uncertain jobs market, record high inflation, and an unprecedented cost of living crisis, businesses need confident support and guidance they can count on. I’m looking forward to using my experience in commercial law and areas like software in supporting some of Northern Ireland’s biggest and most well-known organisations.”

Nuala Maguire, Of Counsel, Construction and Projects, Eversheds Sutherland Belfast

Nuala Maguire, Of Counsel, Construction and Projects, Eversheds Sutherland Belfast added: “I’m delighted to have joined the Construction and Projects team in Eversheds Sutherland’s Belfast office and to be working with the largest and most established global law firm on the island of Ireland. 2023 is likely to be another turbulent year for the construction industry with labour, costs, and materials challenges to navigate for many businesses. Strong and reliable legal advice has never been as important and I am looking forward to tapping into Eversheds Sutherland’s national and global network to best support our clients in Northern Ireland.”

Niamh Sterling, Partner,
Furthr VC 

Furthr VC has announced the appointment of Niamh Sterling as Partner. Niamh brings extensive experience as an entrepreneur and investment consultant to the Furthr VC team. In her new role, Sterling will be actively involved in identifying and investing in Ireland’s most promising early stage SaaS and MedTech companies, while supporting investee companies on their scaling journeys.

As a partner in Furthr VC, Sterling’s responsibilities will include deal origination; investment appraisal; portfolio management, including board representation with investee companies; and fund promotion. Furthr VC’s latest fund has invested in 18 high-growth SaaS and Medtech companies to date, with an additional 7+ new companies to be added to the portfolio in the next 15 to 18 months.

With more than two decades’ experience as a Co-Founder and Board member, Sterling has a passion and aptitude for market-led innovation, developing and delivering on international growth strategies, and driving operational efficiencies to increase bottom-line margins. She has a clear understanding of risk management and has excelled at developing and executing on business strategies that foster trusted relationships with CEOs and key decision-makers in leading global businesses.

Sterling’s entrepreneurial background includes being Co-Founder and Board member of leading Irish-owned companies Interact and H2O Solutions, both of which were acquired by Bidvest Noonan in 2021. She also served on the board of Leo Lynch Engineering Contractors, which was acquired by US-based Private Equity firm Cathexis Holdings in 2022.

Prior to joining Furthr VC, Sterling was an Investment Consultant for the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) for over 5 years, where she was responsible for deal origination, curation and management through to deal closing for companies such Klearcom and CropBiome.  She also managed and grew HBAN’s overseas investor syndicates in London, New York, Singapore and Dubai.

Commenting on her appointment, Niamh Sterling, Partner, Furthr VC, said:“Furthr VC comprises a highly experienced, pragmatic and hands-on team. They are focused on delivering the best outcomes for their investors and investee companies by identifying and investing in Ireland’s most promising early-stage technology companies, as well as partnering with investee management teams to actively support them with accelerating growth and value creation. I am delighted to bring my extensive experience of identifying and developing high-growth tech companies to the Furthr VC team, to strengthen their capabilities in delivering great outcomes for investors and investee companies alike.”

Sterling was previously a mentor for the European Commission’s ‘Women in Leadership’ Programme, supporting female CEOs scaling companies in deep tech sectors. Additionally, she was Barclaycard UK Retail Woman of the year on 2018 and is founder and Chairperson of RecipeGuru, a company which provides digital content solutions to the grocery retailers and FMCG sectors in Australia and the US.


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