ICBE Symposium 2015 – Speakers Bios

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 Frank Devine

Frank specialises in accelerating the engagement of employees, and in overcoming resistance to change.

After a career in Shell, Unilever, Alvis, BREL, Fiat and CarnaudMetalbox, he founded the company and started working with the Kaizen Institute in 1996. He trained their consultants in creating buy-in and facilitation skills and continues to work closely with most of its many offshoots. He has trained the internal change champions of many organisations including Johnson & Johnson, Rolls-Royce, Coca Cola, GKN, CarnaudMetalbox, GE (their “high potentials”), Allied Signal, Bacardi and Boston Scientific. He provides the “getting buy-in” aspects of Buckingham University’s MSc in Lean Enterprise and a number of programmes at the Warwick Manufacturing Group.

He provides executive coaching to a number of clients including Rolls-Royce, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Bechtel.

Typical engagement results are the “greatest transformation in employee engagement ever witnessed” (by Investors in People, 2004) and 5 successive top ten positions in the Sunday Times’ “Best Companies To Work For” engagement benchmark.


Mary Merit

Mary Collins – Senior Human Resources Director, Europe for Merit Medical, a US multinational medical device company with their European Operations headquarters based in Galway. She is a member of the company’s European Operations Leadership Team with responsibility for the provision of Human Resources / Environmental Health & Safety support and services to deliver on the strategic plan for the European Operations team. As an experienced HR professional and Business Leader, Mary has over 20 years experience across a range of sectors including medical devices, financial services and the start-up business sector. Mary is a qualified Business Coach with a passion for people development. She has experience in delivering to both individuals and teams on change management, restructures, coaching & development and performance management. Mary has a Bachelor of Business Studies, Post Graduate Diploma in Management, Professional Diploma in Coaching and is accredited to deliver MBTI and Belbin. She is currently training as a Systemic Team Coach. 



Lorna McDowell   MA FRSA

Lorna is an experienced international executive and team coach, learning facilitator and consultant in organisational learning and change, working with organisations internationally to develop and transform cultures to be fit for VUCA (Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity). Refreshing leaders’ ideas about learning and self development is at the heart of her approach in a world where trusted relationships are now the key to success.

Lorna has a background in international marketing and management consulting.  Her strength lies in creating a highly stimulating reflective environment for innovation and fresh thinking about how to deepen collaborative approaches to knowledge transfer and innovation, whilst helping executives to hone their leadership skills to inspire and develop tomorrow’s leaders, as well as themselves.

Lorna is the author of the Systemic Team Coaching approach, the world’s first advanced professional programme in this approach, accredited by the International Coach Federation and the Association for Coaching. Lorna has extensive experience as an international leadership coach, change manager, organisation analyst, and coach supervisor/mentor, who recognises that today’s environment requires leading edge solutions and client challenges are becoming more and more complex.

In pioneering Systemic Team Coaching, Lorna has a cross-sector track record with organisations which include AIB Corporate Banking, American Express, Cisco, Coca Cola, Euro Control, GE Capital Aviation, Generali, Health Services Executive Ireland, Irish Management Institute, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual, Merit Medical, Pioneer Investments, Shannon Engine Support, SAP, Telehouse Europe, Thyssenkrup and  University College Dublin, amongst many others.



 Fabio Grassi

Fabio is Managing Director and OD Architect at Coreideas Ltd. An organisation focused on developing organisational talent and leadership to build meaningful collaborations and deliver high performance.

Fabio has over 17,000 hours of designed and delivery of executive development, and over 1500 hours executive coaching, with a client satisfaction rating of 94%.

Fabio’s focus is to architect tailored organizational development interventions to transform talent into real business growth and return on investment.

Fabio’s passion is to help executives and managers to achieve specific business outcomes by developing their team’s performance, collaboration and motivation.

Fabio is an IMI associate faculty where he directs the IMI Diploma in Executive Coaching and delivers training in a variety of customised programmes for organizations.

In 2009 Fabio facilitated one of the Economic Working Groups engaging the Irish Diaspora at the Global Irish Economic Forum.

Fabio is an IBM Global Sales School Graduate (with distinction) and the recipient of the 2001 IBM Winning Team Award. Fabio worked in IBM for 9 years in a variety of roles including Skill & Education Consultant for the ibm.com organisation, advising executive and management teams across Europe.

Before coming to Ireland, Fabio was a Lieutenant of the Italian Army commanding and training a Specialist Unit of Artillery.

Fabio’s major interests are in Behavioural Science, Emotional Intelligence, Talent Development and Motivation, Coaching and Facilitation.


Mary Collins

Dr. Mary Collins  

Mary has been working in the Organisation Development/Talent Management field for over 14 years.  Her current role as Senior Executive Development Specialist with RCSI Institute of Leadership involves working with senior leaders in the healthcare sector to develop their management and leadership capabilities through a range of executive development approaches e.g. executive coaching, 360 feedback, master classes etc.  Mary is also involved in academic work with the IOL including lecturing on a range of Masters programmes.  Prior to joining RCSI, Mary was Head of Talent and Learning for Deloitte Ireland for 7 years and held a range of different OD roles in the Telecoms sector.

She currently lectures part-time on a range of OD/HR topics on the MSc in Management in DCU, MSc. in Human Resource Development in NUI Maynooth.  Mary also supervises research at masters and doctoral levels.

Mary completed the Professional Doctorate Programme in Dublin City University in 2010.  Her research focus was looking at enhancing the psychological contract of ‘Generation Y’ in the professional service sector to enhance performance and engagement levels.  She is now a regular conference and key note speaker in this area.

Mary is an Accredited Professional Executive Coach with the Association of Coaching (AC) and is qualified in the use of a range of psychometric and personality assessment instruments.  She is also a Licensed Business NLP Practitioner and holds an Advanced Diploma in Hypno-Psychotherapy.   Mary is a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI).

Mary is one of the authors of a book published in April 2014 with the Institute of Chartered Accountants titled ‘Managing Smart People and Other Professionals.’

Insights into Leading and Managing Generation Y

One of the challenges today is how to engage Generation Y. Given their different drivers, engaging them will be quite different to previous generations. Gen Y are more optimistic, entrepreneurial and more technologically advanced and the most rewarded, recognised and praised generation in living memory.

As a result of feedback from over 500 respondents, Dr. Mary Collins developed the MOTIVATE Framework as an approach to enhance engagement and performance levels of this cohort in the workplace.  Dr. Collins will share her insights on leading and managing Gen Y (i.e. those born after 1980) based on her doctoral research involving an in-depth study of over 500 professionals.  She will provide an overview of the intergenerational challenges in the modern workplace and share practical strategies to enhance engagement and performance levels.

‘Generation Y are an ever-increasing part of our workforce and we need to look at how to ensure this generation is engaged and performing at a really high level.’



Modular Automation-23 (2)

Shane Quilligan, Owner & Operations Director, Modular Automation

Shane Quilligan is the Operations Director of Modular Automation which is based in Shannon.  This Irish SME specialises in solving complex automation problems for some of the world’s largest multi nationals.

Shane started his career as a hands on toolmaker and was the first employee of Modular Automation when it opened for business almost 30 years ago.

Shane held many roles during his time as an employee of Modular and in 2006, following the successful completion of a management buyout, he was appointed Operations Director of the company.

Since then Modular Automation has grown market share to become an award winning (Deloitte Best Managed Company) international industry leader in precision automation.  Under Shane’s leadership the business has experienced rapid growth over the past 3 years, in that time turnover has doubled and the team has grown by 70%.



JJ O Riordan worked for Analog Devices for twenty four years and for twelve of those years he was a member of the Senior Management Team. In December 2008, he left the organization to establish his own Leadership Development business and todate he has delivered Senior Leadership Programs in organizations such as Abbott, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Nelipak, Engine Lease Finance Corporation, Lufthansa Technic as well as in Analog Devices. As well as in Europe, JJ has also delivered Leadership Development programs in the US, China and in India and for the past four years he has focused exclusively on developing and delivering a unique Leadership Development program focused on developing High Performance Leaders through increased self-awareness. This new and novel approach to Leadership Development has received significant interest and he is currently in discussion with other global organizations who are interested in rolling out this program globally in 2016.

Personal Self Awareness: The Key to Sustainable High Performance Leadership

In diverse organizations such as Analog Devices, Abbott, Nelipak, Lufthansa Airlines and Engine Lease Finance Corporation, senior leadership team development is going beyond the traditional approach of upskilling leaders in areas such as Leadership Vision, Strategy and Execution. The next evolution of Leadership Development is into the area of Leadership Self Awareness. The science behind this new wave of leadership development is based on the principle that High Performance Leaders have high Self Awareness. With leading organizations such as Google, publishing books such as “Search Inside Yourself” it is becoming clear that future high performance leaders will require high levels of self-awareness. Over the past four years, business coach and facilitator, JJ O Riordan, has been delivering Leadership Self Awareness programs in organizations such as those mentioned above. This presentation details the structure of his “Personal Self Awareness: The Key to Sustainable Performance Leadership” program and he will also share the success stories that leaders have experienced to date from participating on this program.


Gerry Duffy

Gerry Duffy is an extreme sports enthusiast and is the author of  two best-selling books: ‘Who Dares Runs’ which outlines his incredible vision and fearless feat of running 32 marathons in 32 consecutive days and ‘Tick Tock Ten’  the story of his winning the UK “DECA” Enduroman Iron distance triathlon which was short listed for “Sports Book of the Year”.

Companies with highly ambitious goals for senior management and employees are his forte –  Gerry delivers invaluable content in a captivating manner, resulting in an inspired and motivated audience.  In short Gerry Duffy is a game changer.

Initially people are drawn to his incredible sporting accolades but as Gerry merges his empowering and insightful business wisdom together with his unique “Life Philosophies’ it is only then that you see the incredible impact he has on his audiences.



James Lyons

James Lyons has over 25 years’ experience in electronics assembly and medical device manufacturing. Through his career he has successfully held a range of senior engineering, operations and commercial roles. He is currently the Director of Operations for Boston Scientific Galway. James holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Production from the University of Limerick and is an advocate of continuous professional development in Strategy, Leadership & Operational Excellence.

Abstract: J Lyons presentation

 Engagement; the cornerstone of operational excellence!

At Boston Scientific Galway operational excellence is central to our current and future competitiveness. Over the last ten years the development of our tools, systems and competencies has enabled us to make significant progress… but the more we learned about operational excellence the more we came to realise that a high engagement culture is critical to our success.

This presentation will outline some of the key engagement learning’s on our operational excellence journey.



 Kay Joyce 

Kay is a successful Organisational Development Consultant and Executive Coach with 25 years industry experience.   Commencing her career in CERT/Failte Ireland and developing an interest in the area of L&D, she moved to the IT industry working in Dell and Oracle in the area of HR, L&D and Organisational Development (OD) supporting sales and technical organisation in EMEA.  Keen to expand her knowledge and career in another industry, in 1999 she moved to the Pharmaceutical industry where she worked in HR and as HR evolved progressed to European director level to create a global Learning and Development organisation within and connected to Human Resources.


In 2012 Kay set up her own business to work with varying industries and companies with a focus on  Executive Coaching,  Developing a Coaching Culture,  Leadership Development, Facilitation, Engagement, Talent Development, Performance management, Change Management and much more to enhance and improve performance and success at Organisation, Team and Individual level.  This work supports the changing world of HR and organisation’s and the impact on business leaders during and beyond that change.