Business movers: People starting new jobs in Ireland

New roles: (top row) Gillian Whelan, Fergal Meehan, Katie Fearon; (bottom row) Liam Hughes, Colette Shirley, Kate Tobin.

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Here is a selection of people starting new roles with Aspira, Paradyn, Vyta, Carbery Group, Bank of Ireland and FBD.

Gillian Whelan has been promoted to managing director of Aspira, part of emagine Consulting, and will lead group operations in Ireland. She joined Aspira in 2017 as a senior executive, then headed up its project management training practice before being promoted to chief commercial officer in 2021. She takes over from Peter Ryan, who has moved to a professional services role as well as MD for emagine’s operations in the Netherlands and Portugal. Gillian will oversee delivery of technology solutions to clients in finance, insurance, utilities, pharma and the public sector. She will unify Aspira and emagine as they continue to merge operations since joining forces in August 2022.

Fergal Meehan has been appointed as chief commercial officer (CCO) with cybersecurity service provider Paradyn. He brings over two decades of tech experience, focused on cybersecurity and customer experience. He was previously head of public sector relations with Paradyn. He has also held roles with Cisco, Microsoft, Checkpoint and Palo Alto, with a focus on cybersecurity, also working across security and network consultancy roles. He will shape and evolve Paradyn’s suite of cybersecurity, backup, and networking solutions. He will also 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.

Katie Fearon has been appointed as head of people with IT recycling company Vyta, and will transform the company’s HR department into a people department. She 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, Katie 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. Katie is a CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) qualified HR professional and holds a BSc in HR Management.

Liam Hughes has been appointed as group chief financial officer and executive director with Carbery Group, the international dairy, flavours and nutritional ingredients company. He replaces Colm Leen, who has retired after a 34-year career with Carbery. Liam 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. Liam 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.

Colette Shirley has been appointed as director of sustainability for Bank of Ireland’s corporate and markets division. She 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. Colette 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 & financial services within Bank of Ireland’s corporate banking division.

Kate Tobin has been named as chief financial officer and executive director of FBD Holdings plc and FBD Insurance plc, with effect from January 2024 when John O’Grady has retired from the role. Kate is currently chief underwriting officer and a member of the FBD executive management team. Before joining FBD in 2017, Kate 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. Kate 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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