Emerging Faces: The Fresh Wave of Professionals Joining the Irish Workforce

"Aspira Announces New Managing Director for Ireland Operations: Gillian Whelan Takes the Lead"

A number of companies in Ireland have announced new appointments to their leadership teams. Aspira has promoted Gillian Whelan to managing director, where she will oversee the delivery of technology solutions to clients in finance, insurance, utilities, pharma, and the public sector. Whelan joined Aspira in 2017 as a senior executive and has since worked her way up the ranks, most recently serving as chief commercial officer. She replaces Peter Ryan, who has moved to a professional services role as well as MD for emagine’s operations in the Netherlands and Portugal.

Meanwhile, Paradyn has appointed Fergal Meehan as chief commercial officer. Meehan brings over two decades of tech experience, with a focus on cybersecurity and customer experience. He will shape and evolve Paradyn’s suite of cybersecurity, backup, and networking solutions, as well as enhance the offering from Vault365, an all-in-one backup, anti-ransomware, and data protection solution leveraging on-premise and cloud for airgap and disaster recovery. Meehan was previously head of public sector relations with Paradyn and has also held roles with Cisco, Microsoft, Checkpoint, and Palo Alto.

IT recycling company Vyta has appointed Katie Fearon as its head of people, where she will transform the company’s HR department into a people department. Fearon brings nearly 10 years of HR experience with retail, hospitality, and manufacturing firms. She was previously a HR manager at Arthur Mallon Foods, helping manage teams across four sites on the island of Ireland. Prior to this, Fearon set up the HR function for fish-and-chips chain PG Chips, supporting its expansion to nine stores in Northern Ireland within a two-year period. Fearon is a CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) qualified HR professional and holds a BSc in HR Management.

Carbery Group, the international dairy, flavours, and nutritional ingredients company, has named Liam Hughes as its new group chief financial officer and executive director. Hughes replaces Colm Leen, who has retired after a 34-year career with Carbery. Hughes joins from Kerry Group where he has held senior finance and global senior leadership roles in Europe and the US. He is a chartered accountant as well as an experienced executive within the food industry, notably as president of Kerry’s North American Taste business and head of their Taste business in Europe. Hughes brings with him deep financial and extensive commercial experience and a successful track record for driving growth and delivering large transformation initiatives both nationally and internationally.

Bank of Ireland has appointed Colette Shirley as its director of sustainability for its corporate and markets division. Shirley will have a leading role in the bank’s drive to help its corporate and business customers make the transition to a low-carbon economy. Shirley is a highly experienced banker with over 21 years’ experience in the bank’s Irish and UK corporate banking operations. In the UK, she has worked with a range of sectors with a particular focus on telecoms, media, and technology (TMT) and Industrials. In early 2020, she relocated to Ireland as head of healthcare and financial services within Bank of Ireland’s corporate banking division.

Finally, FBD Holdings plc and FBD Insurance plc have named Kate Tobin as their new chief financial officer and executive director, effective January 2024. Tobin is currently chief underwriting officer and a member of the FBD executive management team. Before joining FBD in 2017, Tobin held a number of senior management roles with Zurich Insurance Group, both locally and at group level, including chief underwriting officer for Zurich’s general insurance business. Tobin is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. The announcement is made in accordance with Euronext Dublin’s and the London Stock Exchange’s listing rules.

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