Alison Cowzer is co-founder of East Coast Bakehouse, and Managing Director of The Company of Food.
As an investor and Dragon, on RTE’s Dragon’s Den series, she has made investments in a number of start-up enterprises.
Alison is also a director of Women for Election and The Ronald Mc Donald House Charity.
Alison joined GOAL in November 2015 with over seven years PQE. Before this, she acted as General Counsel with Calor Gas, Ireland. She has previous experience as a Corporate Associate, gaining in-depth experience in M&A, commercial contracts and corporate restructuring, equity fundraising, corporate governance, compliance and general legal advice with top tier law firms, Maples & Calder’s and Matheson's Corporate Finance Department. LLM in European Law, University College Dublin; Bachelor of Corporate Law, National University of Ireland, Galway; and Legal French Diploma. Qualified solicitor and member of the Law Society of Ireland. Also member (non-practising) of the Law Society of England and Wales.
Anne was appointed CEO of Vodafone Ireland in February 2013. Anne joined Vodafone from BT Ireland, where she was Managing Director for six years. She was previously Regional Director with Esat Telecom.
In November 2015, Anne became Chairperson of GOAL and she is currently President of Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
A Cork native, Anne is an also an active board member of the Vodafone Foundation, which was established in Ireland in 2003.
Since then, the Foundation has given in excess of €10m to the charitable sector in Ireland.
Christy is a former President of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). He is currently a board member of Irish health insurer, VHI and of Páirc An Chróchaigh Teoranta, the GAA subsidiary that runs the organisation’s national stadium, Croke Park. He is also a Director of Simplee Flavours Ltd., a Cork based artisan flavoured salt and pepper company. Mr Cooney holds a Masters in Education. He is a former Assistant Director General of Irish National Training and Employment Authority, FÁS. He has also served on the board of the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC). Mr Cooney was one of the most experienced administrators in the GAA, having served in a variety of positions both at county and provincial level, before assuming the position of President of the association in 2009. He held this position for three years until April, 2012. Mr Cooney is married with two children and lives in Youghal, Co. Cork.
Hugh is a practicing barrister and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Following his graduation from Trinity College in 1989, Hugh joined Ernst & Young and was employed there until 1994, during which time he qualified as a chartered accountant. He then moved to New York, where he was employed by Barclay's Bank for three years, and later started working for Buchannan Ingersoll in London, where he established a consultancy practice involved in the financing of healthcare. Hugh returned to Ireland in 2001 to work in corporate finance. He was called to the Bar in 2006, and has been practicing as a barrister ever since.
Jemma Houlihan is an experienced non-executive director and finance executive with over 20 years’ commercial experience in growing and managing businesses. She is non-executive director of Vilicom, a wireless consultancy business in Ireland and the UK and also sits on the Chartered Accountants Members in Business Committee. Jemma was previously Finance Director and founder of Shared Access, a developer of multi-operator telecoms infrastructure. Prior to that, she was Finance Director of Easycash, an ATM company which competed with the country’s main banks, operated mainly in convenience stores and subsequently became part of Ulster Bank Group. Jemma was a Senior Equity Analyst with ABN AMRO where she initiated coverage of the telecoms and technology sectors for the bank in Ireland and worked in Riada Corporate Finance investing in growth oriented businesses. Jemma is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, holds a B.A in Accounting and Finance from Dublin City University and is currently studying Chartered Director.
Jimmy Deenihan taught physical education, history and geography at Tarbert Comprehensive School from 1975-1983. He entered politics in 1983 and served in Seanad Eireann from 1983-1987 and Dail Eireann from 1987-2016. Over this period, he served as Minister for Arts, Heritage and The Gaeltacht; as Minister for Rural Development and Food; and as Minister for The Diaspora. He played Gaelic Football with his native Kerry at all levels from 1970-1983. He continues to coach underage football teams and serves on the Boards of a number of voluntary organisations.
Kieran is a Chartered Accountant and a former Partner in EY. During his career with EY, which spanned 37 years, he served on the Irish leadership team and was a member of the firm’s European Governance Board. He has significant experience in his EY roles in the areas of leadership, driving transformational change and managing complex projects. As a Partner, he had responsibility for clients across a wide range of sectors, including regulated institutions and charitable organisations. Kieran is currently serving as a council/board member to a number of educational institutions. Kieran has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin and a Masters in Investment and Treasury from Dublin City University.
Mary is an international consultant with 30 years experience at policy, practice and aid management level. Her work has consistently addressed poverty, rights, inclusion and equality issues; and has supported organisations in reappraising their roles and undertaking changes to increase their overall effectiveness in contributing to development outcomes. Mary’s areas of particular interest include institutional development, aid effectiveness, decentralization, civil society, gender equality and gender mainstreaming, sustainable livelihoods and food and nutrition security, addressing violence against women and girls, institutionalizing social development issues and approaches within policies and organisations, training, and research. She has experience of working with a range of multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, central government, national implementing institutions, local authorities, NGOs, international and local consultants. Mary held a senior lecturer post at the Development Studies Centre in Dublin and taught a Gender and Development course at University College Dublin. For the past 17 years she has been a full time consultant and has worked with numerous governments, international agencies and civil society organisations in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, South America, Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe in building capacity for and institutionalizing poverty and social analysis. She has extensive experience of social assessments, programme design, monitoring and evaluations, as well as policy level work.
Mary is a human resource consultant, with a career in Human Resource Management that spans 20 years. Following full-time HR Management roles with Dell Computers, J Walter Thompson (part of the WPP Group), and Marks and Spencer plc, Mary set up a Human Resources and Management consultancy in 2000. Since then, she has worked with a number of companies in the professional services sector in both the UK and Ireland. In 2009, Mary established Mint Consulting, a business specialising in career-change management. Her areas of particular expertise are human resources and management consulting; guiding organisations in the management and implementation of change; developing leadership capabilities; and coaching senior executives and their teams to attain improved performances.
Tim O’Connor is a former Senior Diplomat of the Irish Foreign Service and a former Secretary General to the President of Ireland. Most of his career in the Department of Foreign Affairs was spent working on the Northern Ireland Peace Process and he was a member of the Irish Government Talks Team for the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. He has served in a number of overseas postings, most recently as Consul General of Ireland in New York from 2005-2007. He also served in the Irish Embassies in Bonn and Washington DC. He was Africa Director from 1996-97 and during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU in 1996, he chaired the EU Africa Working Group in Brussels. He was Secretary General to the President (Mary McAleese) from 2007-2010. Since his retirement from the public service in 2010, he has combined running his own advisory business with several not-for-profit positions. He was Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Gathering Ireland 2013 and Vice Chairman of Limerick National City of Culture 2014. He is the Chairman of the Steering Group of the Shannon Consortium, which promotes collaboration between the three Higher Education Institutions in Limerick. He is also on the Board of the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, and Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s leading New Music ensemble. Tim holds honorary doctorates from NUI Maynooth (2005), Quinnipiac University (Connecticut, USA) (2007), the University of Ulster (2009) and UCD (2016).