ICBE Symposium 2016 – Speakers Bios

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Ciaran Corcoran – Site Director, ADD Operations Longford

Ciaran Corcoran

Previous Experience: 

•4 years Site Director, Abbott Biologics, UK
•2 years Operations Abbott Diagnostics, Longford
•8 years Start up, Tech and Operations, Abbott (now Abbvie), Sligo
•3 years Process Chemist, Mallinckrodt Dublin

Education:  PhD Organic Chemistry, NUI Maynooth & BSc(hons) Chemistry and Biology,  NUI Maynooth

He has over 16 years of experience in various companies including Mallinckrodt, Abbvie Pharma, Abbott Diagnostics and Abbott Biologics in the areas of Start-Up, Research & Development and Operations.

Ciaran moved from Abbott Pharma to Abbott Diagnostics Longford in 2009 and was Operations manager there for 2 years, in this time the Operational Excellence Journey kicked off……….After a 4 year assignment as Site Director in Abbott Diagnostics Biologics facility in the UK, Ciaran returned in March 2015 to Longford as Site Director.  He strongly supported the sites journey and lead into Shingo Assessment with a successful outcome in receiving the Shingo Prize.


Research Professor, Leadership the Business School  Edinburgh Napier University


Thomas Garavan is Research Professor, Leadership, specialising in leadership development, HRD and leadership, CSR and leadership and cross-cultural leadership. Thomas graduated from the University of Limerick, Ireland with a Bachelor of Business Studies and completed a Doctorate of Education at the University of Bristol. He is Editor of the  European Journal of Training and Development and Associate Editor of Personnel Review.  He is a member of the Editorial Board of Human Resource Management Journal, Human Resource Development Quarterly, Human Resource Development Review, Advances in Developing Human Resources and Human Resource Development International. He is the recipient of the Academy of Human Resource Development, Outstanding HRD Scholar Award 2013.

His research interests include: CSR and transformational leadership, cross-cultural dimensions of diversity training, tacit knowledge in manufacturing, International Human resource management standards and Human resource management in MNCs.

He is currently involved in two major research projects on tacit knowledge in manufacturing firms in the Pharmaceutical and Health Care industries and the role of CSR in the tourism sectors.


Louise Shannon is a Manager in PwC’s People & Organisation team.

Louise Shannon

She 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.


Antoinette is a Chartered Tax Advisor with the Irish Tax Institute.


Antoinette Ryan

Antoinette is a tax director in our Foreign Direct Investment practice in Dublin. She has over 20 years of experience of working with clients from both the multinational and indigenous sectors.  Her experience incorporates a wide variety of international tax issues.  Antoinette has extensive experience of dealing with Irish Revenue and specialises in International Tax planning for Pharmaceutical and Life Science companies.


She has lectured on many occasions for both the Irish Tax Institute. Antoinette leads PwCs Life Science R&D tax credit practice.


Gary Keegan – Director, Irish Institute of Sport (High Performance Expert)

Gary Keegan

Gary Keegan is Director of the Irish Institute of Sport. The Institute of Sport is a government agency set up in 2006 to manage and coordinate high performance sport in Ireland. Its mission is to create an environment of support which ensures that talented Irish athletes achieve sustained levels of excellence in elite sport. This involves a variety of supports including enhanced delivery and development support to high performance athletes in;

  • Management, Coaching and High Performance Systems
  • Performance Science; Psychology, Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning, Physiology
  • Performance Analysis, Biomechanics
  • Performance Medicine; Medicine, Physiotherapy and Specialist referral
  • Athlete Services Scholarships, Career Development and Performance Mentoring

Previous to Gary’s current role, he was the Performance Director for the Irish Amateur Boxing Association IABA (2003 – 2008) Gary was responsible for Ireland’s High Performance Boxing Programme where he and his team devised a world class high performance management programme that was underpinned by a process driven business model.  This high performance system produced a talent pipeline from youth through to senior levels that delivered 29 World level Medals between 2003 and 2008, including Athens Olympian and European Medallist Andy Lee, the 3 Olympic Medallists in Beijing, Kenneth Egan, Darren Sutherland and Paddy Barnes and the world’s pound for pound best female amateur boxer, Multiple World and European Champion, Katie Taylor. The system continues to deliver with a total of 56 world level medals achieved up to 2015.

Gary is a strong exponent in facilitating people to realize their own potential through the creation of supportive environments that are conducive to the delivery of high performance in people and processes. He has worked across a broad spectrum of indigenous businesses, SME’s and MNC’s lecturing in the areas of High Performance, Systems, Vision and Strategy. Gary also guest lectures at the London Business School (Strategy Execution) and at the Irish Management Institute (Management and Leadership)


Paul Healy, CEO Skillnets

Paul Healy


Skillnets was established in 1999 and is funded from the National Training Fund (NTF) through the Department of Education & Skills. Skillnets actively supports businesses to address both their current and future skills needs. Companies in the same sector (or region) with similar training needs, come together in training networks that deliver subsidised training to their employees. Through the focused development of skills in this way, Skillnets helps enterprise to maintain its competiveness and to instil the new skills required to drive future job growth.

Paul has operated at a senior level in commercial environments for over 20 years, including 10 years executive management experience in Human Resources. His roles have spanned sales management, change management, consulting and human resource development. Prior to his appointment as CEO of Skillnets, Paul had responsibility for Learning & Development, OD, Talent Management and Management Development for a large multinational organisation. Paul holds a Degree in Business Studies and a MBA from Dublin City University. He is Adjunct Lecturer in Human Resource Development at the National College of Ireland Post-Graduate Business School.


 Ailbhe Harrington – Executive Coach and Leadership Facilitator

Ailbhe Harrington's


Ailbhe Harrington’s experience spans organisational development, transformational coaching, third level education and enterprise development within the private, public and not for profit sectors within Ireland, the UK, Europe and USA. She is a skilled trainer, facilitator, coach and coach supervisor and has achieved the Professional Certified Coach credential (PCC) from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a Masters in Professional Coaching from Middlesex University.

She is director of her own business providing leadership development, transformational coaching, team coaching, coach supervision and resilience programmes to clients such as GSK, Promed, TrendMicro, Siteserv, ICON, Environmental Protection Agency, HSE, Sage, Teleflex, Amazon, UCC, UL, Ernst & Young, Certus, Open Society Foundations etc.

As an associate trainer with Coaching Development she leads and delivers an ICF Professional Coaching Skills Certificate programme. She also delivers sessions on the complexity of the coaching contract and internal coaching in organisations as part of UCC’s MSc in Personal and Management Coaching.

The foundation of her philosophy holds that each of us has within us the resources for self-understanding and change and with the right conditions we can tap into these resources and release our full potential. Her style is to both encourage and challenge leaders and organisations to embrace the “being” and “doing” necessary to become effective.


Julie Dickerson – Managing Director at Shannon Engine Support

Julie Dickerson








Julie joined GECAS in Shannon Ireland in 1997 as a Six Sigma Black Belt. She was promoted to General Manager GECAS Engine Leasing in 2007.

In January 2013 Julie moved to Managing Director SES.

SES currently manages a portfolio of 225 CFM56 engines (mixture of owned, serviced and managed assets) with a team of 30 people located in Shannon, Beijing, Budapest and Singapore.


John Barron – Managing Director and Chariman, Reagecon Diagnostics Limited

Heas Shots of John Barron of Reagecon

John Barron is Managing Director founding member and Chairman of Reagecon Diagnostics Limited, the largest producers of Physical and Chemical Standards and Reagentsin the world.  John’s education includes a primary degree in clinical bacteriology, a Masters in Executive Leadership and a Doctorate in Chemical Metrology. John has also completed the Stanford Leadership for Growth Programme and is currently participating in the Innovation for Growth Programme through Enterprise Ireland.  John began his career in the Mater Hospital and has held a senior R&D role in Olympus Diagnostica before setting up his first company Novapath and then Reagecon.  John’s achievements include

  • winning the Sunday Tribune Glen Dimplex Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Designed, developed and presented over 30 training programmes in areas such as Good Laboratory Practice, Innovation, Corporate Leadership, and Business Excellence Techniques
  • Published several papers on Good Laboratory Practice, Turbidity, and Electrochemical Measurement.
  • Developed hundreds of new scientific products in career to date (some totally innovative)
  • Lectured extensively in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the United States on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Trade and Industry in the UK on Innovation, Business Strategy, Strategic Alignment, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Management and Research and Development
  • Won several other business excellence awards and accreditations
  • Founded, acquired and disposed of several companies
  • 2014 Winner of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award in the Established SME category


Breda O’Toole – IDA Ireland



A native of Connemara, Breda joined IDA Ireland 12 years ago after spending much of her career in the UK.  She has worked as IDA’s Head of HR, Regional Business Development and most recently Heads up a team supporting 250 small to medium sized multinational companies in the IDA portfolio.  Breda was educated in Kylemore Abbey, Co Galway and Shannon College of Hotel Management, undertaking a master’s degree in Human Resource Management with Manchester Metropolitan University.  Breda is passionate about the growth and development of companies in Ireland and developing the competence that Ireland has, to maintain its competitive edge as the location for foreign direct investment.