Our board

Our board oversees our performance and strategic direction.

The board represents the business community and education sectors, and is appointed by the Minister responsible for the Department for the Economy.

It is also responsible for ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance, efficiency and propriety in the use of public funds.

Invest Northern Ireland's board members are:

Rose Mary Stalker - Chair

Rose Mary was appointed Chair of Invest Northern Ireland on the first of August 2019. Rose Mary is an experienced business leader, who has successfully held senior global positions at Executive Team and Board level, in organisations including Ford, Boeing and Rolls-Royce. She has been responsible for the successful delivery of multiple transformational projects in a range of disciplines; product development, programme management, manufacturing, logistics, service delivery, staffing and quality, across numerous industry sectors; aerospace, automotive, construction and energy. Since returning home, Rose Mary has successfully applied this experience to help a number of local SMEs and micro-businesses.

A graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the recipient of numerous awards, including the European Woman of Achievement in Business and European Automotive Woman of the Year.

Rose Mary is founder of 4C UR Future, a Not for Profit Community Interest Company, leading a cross-sector collaborative career inspiration movement, dedicated to helping young people (13yr olds) recognise their capabilities and make more informed GCSE choices, in order to realise their potential.

Appointed to the Economic Advisory Group by the Economy Minister in June 2020, Rose Mary is also a co-founder of the NI Makers Productivity Panel, a forum of senior leaders from industry, academia and government agencies that is proactively engaged in building capability and championing digital transformation. Rose Mary has recently (August 2020) become a member of the Investment Trade Advisory Group, convened by the Department of International Trade (DIT) and sits on the Brunel Challenge core team, which aims to accelerate the transformation of UK engineering capability and provide a foundation on which to build resilient industrial growth in a post-Covid world.

Rose Mary has served as Chair of The Prince’s Trust in Northern Ireland, Chair of The Manufacturing Task Force for Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and previously chaired The Colin Neighbourhood Partnership in West Belfast, Metal Forming Innovation Limited, Catagen Limited and been a Non-Executive Director of Catalyst (previously NI Science Park).

Brian Baird

Brian is currently non-executive Chairman of two Northern Ireland based software product companies and is a non-executive Director in a third. This is after having an extensive career with ICL in a number of senior positions across Europe.

He has experience of being a Board member for a number of local technology companies as well as having led a successful content product company established in 2001, co-headquartered in Belfast and Boston. He holds an honorary doctorate from Ulster University.

Padraig Canavan OBE

Padraig is Chair of FlowForma (Dublin), LitheIT (Glasgow), Scattr, Hunter Apparel Solutions, U4D (all Derry) and the Learning City subcommittee of the Derry City and Strabane District Education and Skills Implementation Group.

An active angel investor and past president of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce he also sits on the boards of the North West Regional College, St. Mary’s College, and the Verbal Arts Centre and previously sat on the Software Industry Federation, Oakgrove Integrated Primary School and the Skills Education Cluster boards.

With a degree from Manchester University in Electronic & Electrical Engineering and 10 years’ experience in the London & New York FinTech industry, Padraig then founded and successfully ran Derry HQ’ed global independent software vendor Singularity until it is was acquired by Californian based Kofax in 2011.

A native of Derry Padraig is married to Jill and they have four children.

Colin Coffey

Colin lives in Bangor. He is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors with extensive experience in Corporate Governance.

Colin is currently non-Executive Chair of the AgriFood & BioSciences Institute, a non-Departmental Public Body (remunerated at £26,510 per annum), and Flint Studios, a Software Development Company.

Colin has held a number of senior management posts within the Northern Ireland Food Industry including Chief Executive of United Feeds and Manufacturing Director at Pritchitt Foods.

Colin acts as a Professional Assessor for the Institute of Directors for candidates applying for the Chartered Director Professional Qualification. He also is an Entrepreneur in Residence for Catalyst providing mentoring and support to high potential start-ups.

Kieran Kennedy

Kieran has over 40 years’ experience working in the textile manufacturing and social enterprise sectors. He is Managing Director of O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Limited since 1988. Kieran is also Chairman of Strabane Training Services and Chairman of Strabane BID, both voluntary positions. In 2019 Kieran was awarded the Global Ireland Award for service to Irish enterprise by the Consulate General in Boston.

He does not hold any other public appointments.

Kevin Kingston

Kevin has been Chief Executive of Danske Bank since 2015, having previously been Deputy Chief Executive and Managing Director of Corporate & Business Banking. Danske Bank is Northern Ireland’s biggest bank, serving personal, business and corporate customers. Kevin is a former President of the NI Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a former Chairman of the Chartered Accountants Ulster Society. He is currently a Board member of Business in the Community and the Titanic Foundation.

He does not hold any other public appointments.

Deborah Lange

Deborah has had a lengthy career in international business and tax, working with Arthur Andersen in London, Hong Kong and the United States. She also worked for almost 20 years with Oracle Corporation in California as their Senior Vice President of Tax where she was responsible for site selection, corporate governance and risk assessment in addition to the company’s global taxes. She has also had experience as a board member with two small software companies, and as Chair of the Silicon Valley Tax Directors Group and member of the Executive Committee of the Tax Executive Institute.

Deborah is also a member of the board of the Belfast Harbour Commission.

Marie-Therese McGivern

Marie-Thérèse McGivern began her career as a teacher in further education. In the 90s, she moved to develop policy for the youth service in Northern Ireland and in 1995 joined the Civil Service as a secondee to the Urban Regeneration Initiative, Making Belfast Work. In 1999 she joined the Belfast City Council as Director of Development.

In November 2009 Marie-Thérèse returned to further education and became Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College, the biggest further education college in Northern Ireland. The College has a staff of 1,000 with 16,000 students. There she led a complete transformation of the College and has led a significant programme of improvement. She retired from the College at the end of March 2020.

Marie-Thérèse has recently been appointed the Chair of Titanic Foundation Ltd and is the Chair for the Employability and Skills Advisory Board for the £10b Belfast Region City Deal. She is also a Non-Executive Director of the Strategic Investment Board for Northern Ireland (remunerated £11,110 per annum) and Northern Ireland Water (remuneration £18,000 per annum), she is also a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute. She has a passion for transformation especially in the power of education and skills development to change lives and communities.

Mark Nodder

Mark most recently held the combined role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wrights Group, the Ballymena based manufacturers of public transport vehicles, retiring in March 2019 after 21 years with the company.

A trained lawyer, Mark began his career with the National Audit Office in England and subsequently moved to Riyadh, working as Contracts Manager for the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defence and Aviation. Relocating to Northern Ireland in 1986. Mark worked for Shorts/Bombardier as Sales and Marketing Director of the Defence Systems Division and went on to hold a similar position with Survitec.

Mark is a past President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and is also a member of the Economic Advisory Group, an independent group of senior industrial figures providing advice to the Minister for the Economy. He was awarded an OBE for services to the Northern Ireland economy in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Michael McQuillan

Michael McQuillan is Chief Executive at Enterprise NI. Previously he was Director of the Business Institute and the Centre for SME Development at Ulster University and was appointed as a Visiting Professor to the Ulster University Business School in 2010. Prior to that, he was Managing Director of McQuillan Associates - a business growth consultancy supporting the SME sector in Northern Ireland and has been involved in several businesses, throughout his career, notably, as co-founder and Managing Director of The Streat Café Chain and The Streat Franchising Ltd. He has been engaged as a Non-Executive Director with several SME’s. He was a Member of the Tourism Northern Ireland Board from 1 July 2013 to 31 March 2020.

He does not hold any other public appointments.

Dr Mark Sweeney OBE

Mark has a background in the industrial, commercial and manufacturing sectors within Northern Ireland and globally. He is a former Vice President of Caterpillar from 2012 to 2015 and prior to that Global Operations Director for Caterpillar's Electric Power Division and Managing Director of FG Wilson Eng. Ltd. Prior to joining Caterpillar, Mark worked for eight years in the US for a marine engine company, Mercury Marine. He graduated from Queens University, Belfast with a 1st class honours degree and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He was President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce from 2006-2008. In 2007 he was awarded an OBE for services to business and in 2011, an Honorary D.Sc. Degree from Queen's University. He is currently a Non Executive Director of NITHC.

Judith Totten MBE

Judith Totten MBE is the founder/owner of Upstream Working Capital, a company she originally established 2011 as an independent provider of working capital funding for Northern Ireland SME’s. Prior to establishing Upstream, Judith had a successful career in banking, principally with Danske Bank.

Upstream currently supports a wide variety of indigenous NI businesses and Judith is driven to see the alternative finance market growing exponentially in the years ahead. The most recent expansion has seen the genesis of Upstream Trade Finance – a company set up to fund the supply chain and trade purchase needs of local SMEs. This is a unique offering in NI and completes the working capital cycle for many businesses whereby Upstream are now providing 'end to end' finance from 'supplier to buyer'.

As well as being a non-exec Board Member of Invest NI, Judith sits on the Council of The Princes Trust in NI and has most recently been appointed Non-Executive Chairperson of Serious PR. Judith is a respected and recognisable face throughout the province both as a provider of finance solutions for business and as a commentator on the finance market generally. Judith was awarded an MBE in 2018 for Services to Economic Development in NI.

In her personal life Judith is a busy wife, mother and doting ‘nanny’ to Emily.

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