Governance Ireland 2023

Governance Ireland 2023 - Building Resilience in Times of Change


Pippa Begg, Co-CEO, Board Intelligence

Pippa is co-CEO of Board Intelligence, a mission-led technology and advisory firm which specialises in services to plc and management boards to improve board effectiveness and the quality of decision making. Pippa begun her career in financial services, working for HM Treasury and Russell Investments. Pippa is a guest lecturer at Henley Business School and has been named EY Entrepreneur of the Year, London & South East.

Niamh Corbett, Head of Americas & Global FS Practice Lead, Board Intelligence

Niamh Corbett Head of Americas & Global FS Practice Lead, Board Intelligence

Niamh leads Board Intelligence’s Global Financial Services practice, including their relationships in America, and their senior board relationships. She joined Board Intelligence from Morgan Stanley, where she spent 10 years advising companies on their capital market transactions.

Dr Kirsten Fasey, Director of People, Governance & Integrity, British Triathlon

Dr Kirsten Fasey, Director of People, Governance & Integrity, British Triathlon

Dr Kirsten Fasey is Director of People, Governance & Integrity at British Triathlon. The team are responsible for a wide variety of central functions including recruitment, performance management, learning and development, compliance with the Code for Sports Governance, safeguarding, and clean sport.

Kirsten’s Ph.D. from Nottingham Trent University focused on organisational resilience in elite sport. As the first programme of research in this new and exciting area, Kirsten spent over three years exploring the characteristics and underlying processes of organisational resilience in various elite sports organisations, and has facilitated a number of small-scale interventions purposively designed to develop resilience at the organisational level.

Publications include:

  • Fasey, K.J., Sarkar, M., Wagstaff, C.R. and Johnston, J., 2021. Defining and characterizing organizational resilience in elite sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 52, p.101834.
  • Fasey, K.J., Sarkar, M., Wagstaff, C.R. and Johnston, J., 2022. Understanding organizational resilience in elite sport: An exploration of psychosocial processes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 62, p.102236.
  • Wagstaff, C.R., Fasey, K.J. and Sarkar, M., 2020. Resilience in teams and organizations. In The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology (pp. 550-564). Routledge.
  • Organisational resilience – sports bodies in times of change and uncertainty (Sports Governance Academy Digital essay):
  • Fasey, K. Adapt to survive. Governance & Compliance, December / January 2023, pp.28-31)

Previously, Kirsten was a commercial property lawyer for 20 years, and also a mediocre endurance runner/triathlete.

Ray Goggins, Director, Coreskill Training

Ray Goggins

Ray Goggins is a former Special Forces Operator and bestselling author – you may know him as the Chief Instructor on RTE’s hit show, Ultimate Hell Week. Over the past 30 years, Ray has been building and leading teams and acquired key skills to encourage people to change their mindset. His aim is to help push them to be the very best version of themselves.

Keristena Grewan, Global Sustainability Manager, Mainstream Renewable Power

Keristena Grewan

Keristena is an ambitious and strategic sustainability leader. Her expertise span over continents with successful sustainability projects and programmes in the EMEIA region.

She started her career in Unilever implementing their emerging markets sustainability profile thereafter moving into a regional role for Reckitt Benckiser and The Coca-Cola Company developing their sustainability strategies, respectively. She also served under the Bridgestone Tyres retail board for safety and sustainability through the implementation of their regional sustainability requirements. She then joined Mainstream Renewable Power in Cape Town, South Africa as their ESG manager and has recently moved to Dublin, Ireland as their Global Sustainability manager which leads the ESG and non-financial reporting for the entire group of Mainstream Renewable Power.

Her vision is based on the 3P’s which is, the planet, people and profitable. These three aspects need to be balanced and aligned for sustainable business and future.

Alan Holmes, Chair, Paysend EU

Alan Holmes

Alan is an independent non-executive director and business advisor, specialising in insurance and FinTech. He is Chair of Paysend EU, and on various insurance boards including Allianz Ireland and DeCare Dental. He is a chartered director (Institute of Directors), a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (qualifying while with KPMG) and a UCD business graduate. He has held varied roles in RSA/, AIB and Fyffes and is a co-founder of, working to build Ireland’s insurtech hub. He recently completed an Institute of Banking diploma in sustainable finance.

Yvonne Holmes, Sustainability Leader, Strategic Advisor on Sustainable Business

Yvonne Holmes

Yvonne was the Chief Sustainability Officer for AIB for the last 3 years, where she led the strategy development and transformation to embed ESG across the bank. This has resulted in the bank being recognised as a leader in Sustainability internationally.

Yvonne has held a number of Executive positions leading business functions across Sustainability, Strategy, Transformation, Analytics, Product Management & Operations and has a deep knowledge of the financial services business.

Yvonne is a previous Board member of AIB Insurance Services and Chair of Sustainable Finance Skillnet, Chambers Sustainable Business Council and EFMA Sustainability and Regulation Community.

Yvonne is an expert in Analytics and was awarded the first fellowship in Analytics by the National Analytics Institute in 2019 for outstanding contribution to the Analytics Industry.

Caroline Keeling CEO, Keelings

Caroline Keeling CEO, Keelings

CEO and shareholder of family-owned agri-food business Keelings, Caroline has a BSc (Chem) & MSc in Food Science which she obtained from University College Dublin (UCD). Caroline started her career with Green Isle Foods in 1992, before joining Keelings as Technical Manager in 1994 and then Technical Director in 1998. In 2002, she became the Managing Director of Keelings Multiples and in 2006 took over as Group Managing Director. She became Keelings CEO in 2012.

Caroline is a Board member of IBEC and a member of their National Council. Caroline is a Board Member of the following charities, The Ifrah Foundation, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, and Valid Nutrition.

David McFadden, Legal Advisor, Companies Registration Office

David McFadden, Legal Advisor, Companies Registration Office

David is a solicitor with 25 years of professional practice. He trained and worked in private practice before joining the Chief State Solicitor’s Office in 1997, working in the Criminal Division of that office. A short stint in the Revenue Solicitor’s Office specialising in prosecutorial work was followed by over 14 years as the solicitor and legal advisor to the Competition Authority. Whilst working at the Competition Authority, David personally lead the investigation into the Heating Oil Cartel.

As lead investigator, David was responsible for planning the investigation, conducting searches of business premises, interviewing witnesses and suspects and gave evidence before two jury trials. This case resulted in the conviction on indictment of 18 companies and individuals for their part in a price fixing conspiracy. These were the first such convictions by jury trial in either Ireland or Europe.

David has a Ph.D. in law from Trinity College and has published widely on legal subjects, including two books on Competition Law. David joined the Companies Registration Office in early 2015 in the run up to the commencement of the Companies Act 2014.

David McKechnie, High Performance, Leadership & Executive Coach and Trainer, PushMe

David McKechnie, High Performance, Leadership & Executive Coach and Trainer, PushMe

David McKechnie is a former Senior Solicitor turned High Performance, Leadership & Executive Coach and Trainer.

For over 17 years, David worked as a Senior Lawyer in leading Irish law firms. During that time, he led teams acting in some of Ireland’s highest profile legal matters, lectured in University College Dublin and Tutored in the Law Society of Ireland before moving full-time into his own Coaching company, Write Your Story NLP, built initially whilst he was still practising law.

David specialises in High Performance, Leadership & Executive Coaching and Training, and also certifies new Coaches as a registered International Trainer of the International Trainers and Coaching Academy of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).

David joined PushMe’s Coaching panel when PushMe opened its doors in 2021 with a mission to change the way companies develop and retain its employees. Aligned with this mission, David helps companies and their employees optimize their performance, fulfilment, culture and potential.

Pat Moran, Partner, Cyber Leader for Ireland, PwC Ireland

Pat Moran

Pat is a Partner and leads our Cyber Security, Data Privacy, and Incident Response team in PwC Ireland. He is a technology graduate with an extensive experience of cyber, privacy, and IT governance in public and private sectors, having worked in Ireland, UK, and Australia.

He has led a number of large cyber incident response engagements in Ireland where he has supported clients who have become a victim of a targeted cyber attack. His most notable project recently was to provide the HSE with a post implementation review report after their ransomware incident.

He frequently presents to Government, Boards and Senior Executives on Cyber and IT Governance.

Elaine Nolan, Assistant Registrar, Companies Registration Office

Elaine Nolan, Assistant Registrar, Companies Registration Office

Elaine Nolan has an extensive career in the civil service including Revenue and OPW. She joined the RBO in 2018 and was involved from the start of the RBO register. She was recently appointed to Assistant Registrar of the RBO in October 2022.

William O’Brien, Director, Cyber Security, Privacy & Forensics, PwC

William O’Brien

William is an extremely dedicated, conscientious and motivated individual, operating at Director level within PwC Cyber Security, Privacy & Forensics.

William’s industry skills include GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE) and Analyst (GCFA), along with an honours degree in Computer Science from University College Cork.

William recently developed a Certificate in Technology Risk and Data Incident Management on behalf of Chartered Accountants Ireland and he is a regular speaker and guest lecturer on the topic of Cyber Security and Forensic Technology at the Institute of Bankers Certificate and Diploma in Compliance.

Aedin O’Leary, Non-Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Green Team Network

Aedin O’Leary, Non-Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Green Team Network

Aedín O’Leary is an Independent Non-Executive Director, Investment & ESG Consultant. She currently serves on the board of TG4, Haven Green Investment Management, Charities Institute Ireland and Irish Youth Foundation.

Aedín has over 25 years’ experience in the Asset Management & Financial Services industry, with a particular involvement in the area of responsible investment. She consults on Manager Selection, formulation and application of Ethical Investment Policies and on Strategies in relation to Launch and Distribution of Funds.

Aedín is Chair of the ESG Working Group at the Irish Fund Directors Association, and in that capacity participates in the Climate Risk & Sustainability Forum established by the Central Bank of Ireland. She is Co-Founder of the Green Team Network, an initiative which devises collaborative solutions for the Irish Funds industry to play its part in tackling Climate Change. She advises, speaks and trains on a range of ESG and sustainability topics across different forums and industry sectors.

Aedín is a B.Comm graduate, former Tax Consultant and Qualified Financial Advisor.

Brian Pennie, CEO and Founder, Change is Possible Limited

Brian Pennie, Owner, Change is Possible Limited

Brian Pennie is a former heroin addict turned doctor who's on a mission to show people that change is possible. Since embracing his second chance at life in 2013, he has become a doctor of neuroscience and psychology, a lecturer at the top two universities in Ireland, an executive coach to some of Ireland's most influential leaders, and a consultant to some of the world's largest organisations.

He is also a keynote speaker, best-selling author, founder and CEO of Change is Possible, and has reached millions of people with his online content at

Melissa Scully, Director, Governance & Sustainability, Deloitte Ireland LLP

Melissa Scully, Director, Governance & Sustainability, Deloitte Ireland LLP

Melissa is a Director in our Risk Advisory practice and leads our Deloitte Ireland Centre for Corporate Governance. Melissa specialises in Board effectiveness and corporate governance across all industries, and brings insight into the challenges facing Boards and Directors. Her clients range from public sector organisations and financial services institutions to FTSE 100 companies. She has extensive experience delivering governance engagements across Ireland and the EMEA/MENA regions to include: conducting independent Board effectiveness reviews, providing advisory support for companies going through IPO, developing governance policy frameworks and designing governance structures and processes.

Melissa has considerable experience designing and reviewing subsidiary governance arrangements. She also undertakes benchmarking exercises for many companies keen to meet current standards for best practice and bespoke training for Boards and committees.

Ann Shiels, Sustainability & Regulatory Consultant, FinLexSus

Ann Shiels, Sustainability & Regulatory Consultant, FinLexSus

Ann Shiels established FinLexSus in January 2022, a sustainable finance regulatory business, working with regulated fund management companies and asset managers to upskill on, understand and implement EU sustainable finance regulatory requirements. Ann worked in the Irish funds and regulated financial services industry for over 20 years, mainly as a qualified solicitor in a large Irish corporate practice.

Ann holds a certificate in Sustainable Finance from the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability leadership, is a Green Team Network executive member and lectures in sustainable finance at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Institute of Bankers in Ireland. She contributed the Ireland jurisdiction section in the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative and Climate Governance Initiative’s Primer on Climate Change: Directors' Duties and Disclosure Obligations and has co-designed the content of and delivered a professional diploma in sustainable finance for compliance professionals, the first of its kind globally.

Tony Ward, Interim CEO, The Wheel

Tony Ward

Tony from Monaghan, married to Eleanor with two children, Ronan and Rachel. He was delighted to commence as Interim CEO of The Wheel in January 2023, having formerly been Director of Finance from June 2016 to April 2022 , when he became an independent consultant.

He is a Chartered Accountant and holds a number of non-executive positions in the charity and nonprofit sector including as a member of the board of the Charities Regulator, independent chair of Iarnród Éireann Disability User Group, chair of Chartered Accountants Ireland charity and nonprofit group and is on the boards of Sightsavers Ireland and the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities.

Ronan Shanahan Partner, William Fry Law Firm

Ronan Shanahan, Partner, William Fry Law Firm

Ronan is a Partner in the Corporate / M&A Department at William Fry and co-head of the Firm's Technology, Data and Communications Sector Group. He advises on a broad range of transactional work including acquisitions and disposals, private equity transactions, investments, limited partnerships, IPOs and capital raises, corporate reorganisations and restructurings for both Irish and international clients. 

Amanda Ward, Financial Services Advisory Partner, Grant Thornton

Amanda Ward, Financial Services Advisory Partner, Grant Thornton

Amanda holds a Masters in Leadership and Management and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Amanda has a successful track record of delivering real results in large scale business transformation programmes through people in extremely challenging times, having led the transformation of an International Retail Bank.

Fundamental strategic redesign and reorganisation of a full-service 'live' Retail Bank incorporating over 450 staff and 220,000 customers, into a business unit responsible for the controlled deleveraging of a €10bn balance sheet and wind-down of operations over a 7-year period;

Authentic client-side experience, through her track record of success in the design, operational execution and delivery of complex, high profile, multi-disciplinary Financial Services programmes including €3bn Major Outsourcing programmes and €2.5bn Loan portfolio transactions;

Responsibility as COO for proactively identifying and resolving technical, regulatory and operational risk issues and ensuring the business had a robust compliance and control framework; and

Ability to ensure all aspects of her business are compliant and that the appropriate governance structures are in place and an excellent stakeholder manager, with the ability to influence and achieve buy-in at all levels, both internally and externally.

Amanda has over 16 years industry and professional services experience, leading multidiscipline teams and large scale business transformation programmes in Financial Services. Prior to joining Grant Thornton Amanda spent 8 years with an International Bank as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this she spent 8 years with PwC providing advisory and audit services with a particular focus on finance transformation and effectiveness programmes.


Tuesday 30 May 2023


Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin


6 hours

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