Meet Our Board
The first Ludgate Board Of Directors (11 Founding Members) was set up in November 2015. Since then the Board has seen the additional of new members while others have transferred off but will always remain a valued Ludgate ambassador.
It operates on a pro-bono basis, with the board meeting on a regular basis and attending quarterly meetings. We are indebted to them for their past and ongoing support and passion for what we are trying to do.
All board members are determined to achieve their ambitious goals, ultimately resulting in a return of the diaspora, creating an ecosystem of creativity and innovation, and progressing the facilitation of job growth via digital technology. The long term vision is to make Skibbereen a hotspot for technology start-ups and multinationals to locate and prosper at a global level.
Managing Director of JJ Field & Co
Managing Director of JJ Field & Co in Skibbereen employing over 200 staff between its supermarket and independent bakery. John is well known for his support of local and indigenous food producers throughout West Cork and beyond. He developed and chairs the Belling awards celebrating quality and innovation in food production. John is also a director of West Cork Distillers based in Skibbereen, who now employ over 70 people in Skibbereen.
Fields of Skibbereen has received numerous awards over the years such as Best Fresh Large Supermarket in Ireland (2012), Most Creative Fresh Food Retailer In Ireland (2013), Best Deli In Ireland (2014), SuperValu Ireland Fish Counter of the Year 2018 and SuperValu Ireland Cheese Counter of the Year 2018
VP, Global Business Group of Meta
Accomplished International business leader with a proven track record of driving revenue growth and success in complex EMEA environments. Expertise in B2B and B2C business technology. Skilled in leading diverse teams through transformation and change, resulting in profitable growth. Strong communicator adept at managing stakeholders and building relationships. Experienced in business development, delivering complex projects within timeframes, budget, and quality. Thrives in fast-paced, innovative industries. WeQual winner 2022 EMEA.
Anne has just finished a 12month term as President of Dublin Chamber and is currently the Chairperson of the Irish-based international aid charity, GOAL, a humanitarian aid agency dedicated to alleviating the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
A Cork native, Anne champions well-being and diversity in the workplace and has spearheaded Vodafone securing a position as one of Ireland’s top ten Great Places to Work and achieving the Business Working Responsibly mark.
Professor John O'Halloran
President and Registrar at University College Cork.
Professor John O’Halloran is the Interim President and Registrar at University College Cork. Since taking up the role, John has led the development of the university’s first academic strategy, which sets out an ambitious plan for reimagining the curriculum, connecting diverse learning experiences and developing graduate attributes to position UCC students and graduates for their future work. Having previously served as Vice-President for Teaching & Learning, and as Vice-Head of the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science, John is an academic leader with an ambitious vision for the future of Higher Education.
In his leadership roles, John has led the transformation of Higher Education provision at University College Cork including the modernisation and enhancement of teaching and learning; the development of online learning; curriculum enhancement; the growth of adult and continuing education; staff development; engagement; and globalisation. John is the founding Director of UCC’s Quercus Talented Students’ Programme. He is the Chair of the Green Campus Forum at UCC which has received many awards in recognition of its efforts to promote the Green Agenda, including the first green flag ever awarded to a university.
John is a zoologist, and was awarded a PhD for his research in 1987, and a DSc for his published works in 2009 by the National University of Ireland. He has published over 200 research papers and a number of books in the areas of ecology, ornithology, ecotoxicology and biodiversity. He was previously Head of School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC, where he holds the Chair in Zoology. He is Vice-President of the British Trust for Ornithology, Chair of Ireland’s Countryside Bird Survey Steering Committee and an advisor to the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen.
Head of AIB Cork
Noreen Walsh is Head of AIB Cork, Cork’s largest bank. She is responsible for leading a team of over
250 staff across 26 branches throughout Cork City and County.
A graduate of University of Limerick, Noreen is a customer focused senior Financial and Banking
services expert, with over 24 years experience gained from working in a variety of roles within AIB.
These included positions in AIB’s Wealth Division, Regional Roles in AIB’s Retail and Business Banking
areas and Branch Manager position’s in Mallow and South Mall branches.
Noreen is responsible for driving the performance of her team by consistently putting the customer
first and delivering the best banking experience.
General Manager at JJ Field & Co
General Manager at JJ Field & Co in Skibbereen. Building on its traditional strengths, Adam has overseen the introduction of new technology which has helped Field’s advance its business offering with online shopping, increased omni channel promotions, customer loyalty programmes and the implementation of new mobile solutions for stock management & delivery for Field’s bakery. He previously worked with Microsoft’s European Product Development Centre in Dublin for 7 years as a Localisation Test Manager.
Rosaleen Blair, CBE
Founder and Chair at AMS
Rosaleen Blair CBE, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alexander Mann Solutions. Rosaleen created the business in 1996 with an ambition to revolutionise and professionalise the way that blue-chip multinationals attract, engage and retain top talent, and to help the best people in the industry to reach their fullest potential. Rosaleen founded Alexander Mann Solutions with a clear vision, and continues to be a pioneer in the global workforce solutions industry. She has led Alexander Mann Solutions through huge geographic and revenue growth, a management buyout, four private equity relationships and a global economic crisis to deliver on that vision. Rosaleen is recognised as an industry leader and entrepreneur, winning numerous awards including Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year and E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year. Rosaleen is passionate about creating opportunities and helping people to make the most of them through mentor-ship, support and investment with a focus on female entrepreneurs. She is committed to doing this both within Alexander Mann Solutions and externally through supporting various organisations including Everywoman, the Prince’s Trust, UNICEF, the Irish International Business Network, and Modern Muse.
Senior Vice President of CYARA & Co-Founder of Spearline
Kevin Buckley is the CEO and Co-Founder of Spearline, an award-winning technology company located in Skibbereen that provides software services to measure the quality of telecommunications audio for large enterprises, conferencing providers, and telecom carriers.
As the CEO, Kevin is responsible for the strategic leadership and development of Spearline, as well as the day-to-day operations of the business.
A strategic thinker with the vision to see the bigger picture, Kevin has led Spearline to significant growth since it was founded in 2003. Through Kevin’s leadership, Spearline has grown over 600% in the past four years.
The company achieved this remarkable growth by expanding their global infrastructure, introducing new product innovations and increasing their international customer base.
Spearline’s dedication and investment in customer experience excellence has set them up as industry leaders. In 2018, Spearline was awarded 9th in Ireland by Deloitte in the Fastest 50 Technology companies, the 5th consecutive year the company has ranked on this prestigious list, and their 3rd occasion to rank in the top ten. In the past two years, Spearline has won an Irish Technology Software Award and ranked in the EMEA Fast 500 list.
Kevin holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Commercial Software Development from W.I.T.
In 2016, Kevin became a founding Board Member of The Ludgate Hub, Europe’s first rural digital hub located in Skibbereen, Ireland’s first Gigabit town.
Manager of O'Donnell Design Ltd
Executive Chairman at FEXCO
Brian McCarthy founded FEXCO in 1981 and is based in Killorglin, Co Kerry. FEXCO is Ireland’s most successful multinational financial and business solutions provider, with operations in 29 countries worldwide. It currently employs over 2,500 people globally. Brian has been instrumental in the development and growth of the company over the last 37 years.
Brian worked with Allied Irish Banks from 1963 to 1981.
He was honoured in 2002 with receiving the Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year award. He also received the Sean F. Lemass award for Excellence in Marketing in 1987.
Married with 5 children, Brian is involved in a number of charitable organisations including the Irish Pilgrimage Trust.
He has a keen interest in a wide range of sports and other hobbies include music, reading and fishing.
Head of SME Retail & Lead Gen, Google Customer Solutions UKI
A business leader with over 16 years experience in Digital Marketing and Sales, Marie Davis is Head of Retail and Lead Generation for SMEs across the UK and Ireland with Google. Leading a team of 75 digital specialists, she is passionate about supporting businesses of all sizes to succeed and grow online. Marie joined Google in 2006. In a prior role as Head of Google Ireland SME Sales, Marie was responsible for bringing digital education to businesses across Ireland via a series of ‘Grow with Google’ roadshows. She sits on the boards of Ludgate Digital Hub and Skibbereen Arts Festival. She is passionate about helping and enabling Irish businesses to go global with Google. Marie is an advocate for flexible work and focused on creating a culture where everyone is included. In her spare time she enjoys sea swimming, all water sports, yoga, music and spending time at home in Lisheen just outside of Skibbereen.