FS Sector Lead Invest NI
Karen is responsible for the development of the multinational Financial Services and Professional Services Sector, including FinTech, in Northern Ireland. She also manages a portfolio if major existing in the FS Sector.
A graduate in Chemical Engineering from Queens University, Karen worked as a production manager for Coats Viyella and as a consultant for Reuters Healthcare and Parity, before joining Northern Ireland’s economic development agency, in 1999. She initially worked with a number of start-up companies in the ICT and Life Sciences sectors and with spin-out companies from the two local universities. She moved to the Financial Services sector in June 2005.
Breanndán Casey is the Innovation & Enterprise Manager at The Mill Enterprise Hub, Drogheda. He works with startps, scaling companies, and emergent FDI companies at The Mill to support their growth, and to develop a collaborative and progressive enterprise ecosystem in the wider region.. He has worked with a range of economic development agencies across the island of Ireland over the past twenty years, and has a particular interest in small enterprise support.
Simon is a highly experienced and innovative company executive with a passion for innovation, technology and leadership. He has almost 20 years of professional experience across multiple industries and organisational environments including sales leadership, organizational development and commercial leadership roles. Over the past 4 years, Simon has been leading Digital DNA, the company behind the biggest tech and business community events in Northern Ireland.
An accomplished networker and communicator, Simon maintains a strong network throughout the public and private sector, including media outlets, policy makers, the investment community and business leaders from many high growth tech companies and scaling startups in the Northern Ireland tech ecosystem.
EMEA Outsource (OS) leader for Partner billing, invoice and strategy at PayPal. Having commenced my career previously with Vodafone Ireland as a customer care agent, I joined PayPal in 2013 as an analyst member of the Workforce Management (WFM) team. My current role sees me responsible for managing PayPal’s EMEA customer contact strategy and billing with all of PayPal’s EMEA OS partners providing service to our customers in all EMEA markets. I’m a member of the site leadership board for the operation of PayPal’s Dundalk site in Ireland. I’m also a huge music fan – keep your eyes peeled for me outside the office.
Jack Gogarty, Finance Director with over thirty years of diverse experience in senior field operation and corporate headquarter roles with the Coca-Cola Company. Worked in Manufacturing Operations, Corporate Headquarters in Atlanta Georgia (thirteen years), global business system implementations and in Global Business Service operations. Recognized and respected leader for driving Organisational change.
Now providing business advisory, coaching and mentoring services to clients in the IT, Food-Tourism, Soft drinks and aircraft leasing sectors.
Jack is currently Chairperson of the Drogheda Enterprise board, Capital Development manager Bellewstown Racecourse and Chairman of Aerlinks Aircraft leasing Corporation.
Jack’s areas of Expertise include:
Collaborative hands on leader with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of :
- Financial and management reporting,
- Financial and strategic planning,
- Operating and working capital optimization
- Audit compliance and regulatory reporting
- Accounting systems development, implementation and exploitation
- People management and development, coaching and mentoring.
- Developing High Performing Organizations
- Providing Coaching and mentoring services to enable organizational change and transformation.
Peter Rowan is responsible for leading YapStone’s International Operations and Global Customer Support, based in the company’s Drogheda, Ireland office. With a 35-year career that has spanned roles with UK Law Enforcement as well as global leaders in the payments industry, including PayPal and Visa, Peter is focused on scaling international operations and expanding global customer support to 24/7/365 to support YapStone partners. Previous to YapStone, Peter was Global Director of Trust & Safety at Twitter where he was led global teams across 3 offices, Dublin, San Francisco and Singapore. Peter received an MBA degree from The Henley Business School in the UK.
Gráinne Lennon works a collaborations broker with InterTradeIreland. Her responsibilities include running the Horizon 2020 north/south support programme, secretariat for the US-Ireland R&D partnership and exploring new opportunities for all island collaboration/clusters that will result in mutual economic benefit for Ireland and Northern Ireland. Prior to this, she managed InterTradeIreland’s Funding for Growth programme, which aims to assist companies become investor and funding ready. Gráinne has a wide range of experience gained from working in an executive capacity with a number of SME’s across the island. Her skills stretch from business planning to raising finance and financial control. She has worked with early stage/start up businesses and more established ventures. Gráinne is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.
Mr Aidan Browne, Head of Innovation & Business Development, Dundalk Institute of Technology
With significant experience both in the private sector and Higher Education Sector Aidan Browne is currently Head of the Innovation and Business Development function with responsibility for enterprise development, industry engagement, Technology Transfer and commercial output at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Aidan is heavily involved in the economic development landscape in the North East region. Aidan also holds a number of directorship roles in not-for-profits in the enterprise support and financing domain specialising in working with high tech, knowledge intensive companies during their start-up and early growth phases
Alan is a Venture Leader with NDRC, where he supports the development of early stage tech startups. He has spent 15 years helping Founders to develop their product-market fit, business and investment strategies. Alan has been a founder and investor in several Angel/VC funded startups already.
He also has a keen interest in social entrepreneurship and regional economic development, supporting social enterprise such as Mill Enterprise Centre, MyStreetsTours and Irish Forum for Natural Capital
Alison is a payments policy expert with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the payments and regulatory landscape in Europe, particularly Ireland and the UK. As Director in fscom, a boutique compliance consultancy that acquired Compliance Ireland last year, Alison helps payments businesses understand their regulatory obligations and develop commercially-sound systems and controls that protects consumers and adds value to the business.
She has recently been appointed the EWPN’s ambassador for Ireland to champion diversity in the payments sector having already taken up the baton to foster diversity in her own business as well as through her role as a director of the Association of Professional Compliance Consultants (APCC) and with the Emerging Payment Association’s (EPA’s) Women in Paytech project.
In addition to these roles, Alison chairs the APCC’s Supervision Working Group and leads the EPA’s Project Regulator.