Extensions to Public Appointments

The Department for the Economy today announced extensions to the terms of office of a number of board members of public bodies sponsored by the Department.

Invest Northern Ireland

The tenures of Brian Baird, Padraig Canavan, Peter McNaney and Judith Totten have been extended by four months from 1 April 2017 to 31 July 2017.

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

The tenures of Christopher Corken, Siobhan Hassard, David Henry, Derek Martin and Jackie Pollock have been extended by four months from 1 April 2017 to 31 July 2017.

Stranmillis University College

The tenures of Ken Nelson and Robert Thompson have been extended by four months from 29 March 2017 to 31 July 2017.

South Eastern Regional College 

The tenure of Gareth Hetherington has been extended by four months from 1 May 2017 until 31 August 2017.

The extensions were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors:

  1. CITB NI is the only remaining statutory training board in Northern Ireland. Its purpose is to encourage the training of those employed or intending to be employed in the Northern Ireland construction industry. Members are remunerated at the rate of £144 per day for over four hours (£74 for less than 4 hours) attended.
  2. Invest Northern Ireland was established under the Industrial Development Act (Northern Ireland) 2002, and its role is to promote innovation, enterprise and competitiveness in Northern Ireland businesses, encourage new start-ups and market Northern Ireland as a location for inward investment. Board member remuneration is currently £12,115 per annum.
  3. Stranmillis University College was founded in 1922 by the then recently established Ministry of Education for Northern Ireland to provide state-funded teacher training alongside that already available at the existing St Mary’s College. Both institutions have become academically recognised as university colleges of Queen’s University Belfast. Stranmillis offers teacher training for the primary and secondary school sectors as well as professional development courses, a BA in Early Childhood Studies and a BSc in Health and Leisure. Governing Body posts attract no remuneration but members can receive reasonable travel and subsistence payments for attending meetings.
  4. The governing body of South Eastern Regional College is responsible for securing the efficient and effective management of the college, the provision of suitable further education to its students and determining the college’s strategic direction. In sustaining and developing its services, the governing body takes into account the educational needs of the business sector and the local community. The post of member of a college governing body is remunerated at £250 for a Governing Body meeting and £150 for a committee meeting or event sanctioned by the Chair. Travelling and subsistence allowances are also payable at Northern Ireland Civil Service rates.
  5. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. All extendees have declared no political activity.
  6. Pen Pictures

Invest Northern Ireland

Brian Baird

Brian is currently Chairman of a Northern Ireland based content product company and Chairman of a local network product company. This was after having an extensive career with ICL in a number of senior positions in Ireland. He has had experience of being a Board member for a number of local technology companies as well as having established his own successful content product company in 2001 which he subsequently sold.  He holds an honorary doctorate from the Ulster University. He does not hold any other public appointments.

Brian brings strategic thinking skills and experience dealing with large companies in overseas markets to the Board.

Padraig Canavan

Padraig is currently Chair of a local lobby group for the expansion of the Magee campus of the University of Ulster. He successfully established his own software business locally in 1994 with offices in London, New York, Singapore and India which he developed and later sold. He previously worked as an IT consultant in London and is a past president of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Board of the local Software Industry Federation. He currently sits on the board of governors of St Mary’s College (non-remunerated, travel & subsistence expenses only) and North West Regional College (remuneration £250 for a Governing Body meeting and £150 for a committee meeting or event sanctioned by the Chair).   

Padraig brings experience of starting and growing a SME, innovation knowledge and strategic thinking skills to the Board.

Peter McNaney

Peter is a solicitor by profession and is a previous Chief Executive of Belfast City Council. He currently chairs the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (Remuneration of £35,023 per annum) and was a previous Chair of Belfast Metropolitan College. He is also currently on the Board of NI Water (remuneration £18,000 pa).

Peter brings strategic thinking, corporate governance skills and an understanding of the local economy to the Board.

Judith Totten

Judith is currently Managing Director of Upstream Working Capital Ltd (formerly Keys Commercial Finance Ltd,) a company she established in 2011, as an independent provider of working capital funding, trade and supply chain funding and credit management support to businesses across Northern Ireland. She has had a lengthy career in banking, starting as Sales Manager within the Invoice Finance function of Northern Bank Ltd and then Bank of Ireland for a short period, before returning to the Northern Bank and progressing latterly to setting up a new bank business acquisition team for the Bank. Judith is involved in mentoring and advising small businesses locally. She is actively involved in the Angel investment network in Northern Ireland and currently chairs the Economic Affairs Committee for the CBI in NI. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Judith brings an understanding of business development for SMEs and experience in strategic thinking and finance to the Board.

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Christopher Corken

Christopher has been working for Belfast Metropolitan College since 2003 and is currently Curriculum Area Manager for Engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from The Open University, is Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and registered with the Engineering Council UK as Incorporated Engineer. Prior to his role at Belfast Met, he has 12 years’ experience in the Electrical Building Services sector on commercial and industrial projects across the UK and Ireland ranging from retail outlets to power stations. Christopher develops and implements strategies to develop an economically relevant and innovative curriculum in engineering, renewable energy and building services, providing technical support and guidance to local SMEs through the Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland programmes such as Assured Skills, Academies and Collaborative Networks.  Chris was also part of a Curriculum Development Strategy Team working with the Department of Employment and Learning to develop and implement the new Youth Training and Apprenticeship strategies for Northern Ireland

Christopher brings strong communication, interpersonal, influencing and networking skills to the Board

Siobhan Hassard

Siobhan has over 30 years’ experience in staff training and development. She started her career in retail management focusing specifically on staff training and for the past 12 years Siobhan has been employed by McCormack Demolition as Administration Manager. Siobhan’s current role involves office management, recruitment and staff training and development. Siobhan also undertakes PA duties to Company Directors and has responsibility for payroll and office administration. Siobhan’s current role allowed her to become involved in the NI Demolition Association (NIDA) and she co-ordinated a series of demolition specific training events on behalf of eight member companies. Siobhan does not hold any other public appointments.

Siobhan brings strong communication skills to the Board.

David Henry

David has been Managing Director of Henry Brothers Ltd. since 2000 having previously held the post of Contracts Director. Henry Brothers Ltd forms part of the Henry Group of Companies based in Magherafelt. David has overall responsibility for strategy, growth and profitability together with review of capital expenditure and budgets. The company generally operates in the commercial construction market for a variety of government and private clients.

He has achieved Fellowship status of the Chartered Institute of Building and has gained the Institute of Directors Certificate in Company Direction. He is the current President of the Northern Ireland Construction Employers Federation, and a member of the CBI Council.

David has served as a co-opted member on the Rainey Endowed School Board of Governors since January 2014 and is the current chairman of the Property and Development sub Committee.

David brings a range of skills to the board including communication and networking skills.

Derek Martin

Derek has recently retired, having previously been Joint Managing Director and an Director of H&J Martin Ltd since 1988. He is a graduate in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast, a Chartered Member of the Institution of Structural Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Building and a member of the Institute of Directors. Mr Martin was a member of the Construction Employers Federation Council for many years and is a Past President.

Appointed to the Board of CITB in 2012, he holds two other public appointments, Chair of HSENI, (remuneration £19,245 per annum) and is currently chair of the CITB Board’s Audit and Risk Committee and he has recently being appointed as one of two Independent Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission Secretariat Audit and Risk Committee (remuneration £337 per day).

Derek brings a range of skills and knowledge to his role including experience in training staff.

Jackie Pollock

Jackie has taken up the role of Deputy Regional Secretary of Unite for the Ireland region and has been in this role since early 2015. Prior to that Jackie was a senior official for the union for over a decade and has worked as a full time workers representative since 1996. Jackie’s background is in construction and shipbuilding, a time served plumber he started his working life on construction sites and later joined Harland and Wolff as a plumber/welder for over 16 years.

Jackie, as a leading figure in the Irish trade union movement, has served as chair of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions since 2013. Jackie has been a CITB NI Board Member since 2014. Throughout his time as a workers representative Jackie has continuously pushed to improve the conditions of all workers but young workers and apprentices in particular, Jackie sits on the board of the Engineering Training Council and the Joint Industry Board and has played an integral role in pioneering new approaches for preserving the construction trades such as ‘SparkSafe’ and other initiatives.

Jackie is also a Director in the Greater Shankill Partnership through his intensive community and voluntary involvement.

Jackie brings good communication and influencing skills to the Board.

Stranmillis University College

Ken Nelson

Ken has extensive involvement in economic development and entrepreneurship 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. In 2010 he was the sole Northern Ireland recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.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).

Ken is a member of the board of Governors of the Northern Regional College (remuneration £250 for a Governing Body meeting and £150 for a committee meeting or event sanctioned by the Chair), and Stranmillis University College (non-remunerated, travel & subsistence expenses only). He has been a member of the Board of Invest Northern Ireland since 2012 (remuneration currently £12,115 per annum) and in December 2016, he was appointed as Chairman of InterTradeIreland by the North South Ministerial Council.

He brings a full understanding of strategy development and monitoring and understands the crucial roles played by risk management and strong corporate governance. 

Robert Thompson

Robert, a former student of Stranmillis, served the last 32 years of his professional career as Principal of Doagh Primary School. He is Chair of a local primary school and Governor of two large post-primary schools, in one of which, he is Chair of the Finance Committee. He has been a member of the North Eastern Education & Library Board. Mr Thompson has been a member of the Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) for four years (non-remunerated, travel & subsistence expenses only) and has recently been reappointed. He is also an External Adviser for Headteachers' PRSD (Performance Review and Staff Development).

Robert brings an understanding of strategic planning to the Governing Body.

South Eastern Regional College

Gareth Hetherington

Gareth is a qualified accountant and member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. He worked in economics and public policy for over 20 years and is an Associate Director in the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre.  

He brings to the Governing Body particular strengths in public accountability, analytical thinking and a detailed understanding of the role of further education in meeting the future skills needs of the economy.

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