Noel Hennessey

Continuous Improvement Director Lake Region Medical 

Having spent a number of years working in the electronics industry, joined Lake Region Medical in 2001 as Production Manager. Two years later when the company first embarked on its lean manufacturing journey Noel displayed a natural flair for managing change and played an influential role in the subsequent deployment of lean throughout the Irish plant. This success led to his appointment as Continuous Improvement Director in 2005. He received his MSc in Lean Operations from Cardiff University in 2007. As part of Lake Region Medical’s on-going quest for excellence, he has participated in benchmarking visits across Europe, United States & Japan.  Noel continues to successfully lead Lake Region Medical’s continuous improvement journey, with highlights including the company being awarded the Shingo Bronze Medallion and being crowned Irish Medical Technology Company of the Year in 2012.  In 2016 Noel’s responsibilities were expanded to include Lake Region’s plants in France, Germany and Malaysia. Noel is a passionate advocate of the transformational power of Lean Manufacturing and the Shingo Prize Model in particular. He has served a number of years in a voluntary capacity as Chairman of the South East Lean Forum and as a board member of the Irish Centre for Business Excellence. He is a regular contributor to Waterford Institute of Technology MSc in Lean Business Program and is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Business Administration which is based on the relationship between Continuous Improvement and Employee Engagement.


Catherine Neilson

Director of Strategy, Kerry Foods

Catherine is Director of Strategy at Kerry Foods and has over 20 years’ experience working in the Food industry in Ireland and the UK. She has responsibility for Kerry Foods Corporate Strategy which is focussed on driving the Growth Agenda.  She is passionate about driving growth and working collaboratively with colleagues to unlock the full potential of the organisation.


Paul Aherne

Paul Aherne

Paul is a Performance Coach who is passionate about supporting business leaders to reach their highest potential performance.

Paul has over 25 years’ global experience working with companies and individuals in Global organisations, enabling them to understand and perform at their full potential.

Having held a variety of Human Resources Leadership roles, he has extensive experience partnering with business leaders and organisations using insights, approaches, toolkits and practical solutions to enable them to understand and achieve their full capability.

He leverages a pragmatic and engaging coaching approach grounded in strong business acumen. He enables people to recognise and attain their potential.

His approach is grounded in proven Occupational & Sports Psychology techniques and seeks to deliver tangible impactful solutions and outcomes.

Paul’s business experiences in Human Resource Leadership roles in wide variety of global companies such as eBay, PayPal, Wyeth & Heineken has given him excellent experience and insight on what it takes to succeed in business.

Allied to his robust academic background in Sports Psychology, Business and Occupational Psychology he can leverage cutting edge, well-founded techniques and approaches to deliver significant individual and business results.


Patrick Jordan

Phtograph by Eamon Ward

Owner of Atlantic Aviation Group

Mayo man Patrick Jordan is the owner of Shannon based aviation services company Atlantic Aviation Group. He acquired the company from examinership in April 2015 following the collapse of previous owners, Russian company Transaero. The business employed 220 people and had been in existence since 1962. In the 2 years since his acquisition, Mr Jordan has reinvigorated the company, bringing in a new senior management team and introduced a number of new business concepts and values. He will talk about how the development of core values has helped improve the moral and crucially the performance of the company in the short time since his take over.


Louise Shannon

Senior Manager – People & Organisation

Louise specialises in reward advisory and has worked with clients on a range of projects including performance management, total reward strategy, job grading, running bespoke remuneration surveys and designing pay and benefit structures including annual bonus and long term incentive plans. She also leads the annual PwC Healthcare Personnel Group Compensation & HR Practices Survey.  Louise is a member of World at Work, the global total rewards association. She is also a practitioner of PwC’s Saratoga Human Capital Metrics tool.

Sean Gayer

Sean (3)

Vice President, Operations of Boston Scientific, Cork.

Boston Scientific Corporation transforms lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. As a global medical technology leader for more than 35 years, the company advances science for life by providing a broad range of high performance solutions that address unmet patient needs and reduce the cost of healthcare.

Boston Scientific Cork were awarded The Shingo Prize in 2016. The facility employs 800 people and produces a broad range of products positively impacting millions of patients every year.

Sean has over 25 years’ experience working in  financial and operational roles, primarily in the Healthcare and ICT Sectors. He  joined Boston Scientific in August 2013 as Finance Director and he was appointed Vice President, Operations in May 2015. Sean’s strong financial background together with his team philosophy of full engagement has generated successful business results from both a financial and cultural perspective.

His previous work experience includes Millipore, GN ReSound and Option Wireless.

Sean holds a Bachelor Of Commerce Degree from University College Cork and he qualified as a Chartered Accountant while working with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He has served on a number of representative Industry Boards locally.


Owen Fitzpatrick

Owen is an International best selling author, globetrotting psychologist, trainer and speaker who is regarded as a leading expert on Influence. Having shared the stage with such figures as Sir Richard Branson, marketing genius Seth Godin, Dr Richard Bandler and Jean Claude Van Damme, Owen has trained people in more than 28 countries across the globe. He has written six books and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.


Gina London

Gina is an Emmy winning former CNN correspondent and anchor and international campaign strategist who has recently permanently relocated to Ireland.

She has trained tens of thousands of business professionals and election officials including the first female candidates for Iraq’s Parliament, women social-liberties activitists in the Persian Gulf and opposition parties in Egypt. In Egypt, she had her life threatened by the Mubarak government through the front-pages of the national newspapers!

During her CNN network television tenure, she covered politics from the White House and breaking news from all over the US including the US President Bill Clinton scandal, Election 2000 with the “hanging chads” in Florida and the 9/11 terrorist bombings.

Gina is a high-energy speaker!  In the past year alone, she has emceed or moderated dozens of events in the UK, US and Ireland including, Ibec’s CEO Summit; US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley’s Creative Minds Innovative Disruptors Conference; The European Tech Summit; Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards; Startup Nations Summit; Network Ireland Conference; Comptia’s ChannelCon; eir Fast Company Awards; and the PRII Conference.

Gina has expertise in nearly every facet of communications from social media, branding and crisis communications to working with the media and presentation skills. In 2000, she emceed the first “Day of Peace” at the Disney Institute in Florida which featured Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Oscar Arias and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Her largely Fortune 500 client list includes, SAP, McKesson, Heineken Ireland, Wells Fargo, Deloitte, Daimler and the US Department of State.

Gina has lived and/or worked in dozens of countries including France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Macedonia and Romania and now, of course, Ireland!