Sep 172015

Irish charity Vita has appointed former Eirgrid CEO and Chartered Director Dermot Byrne as its chairman.

Dermot ByrneVita works with local communities in the Horn of Africa to end hunger and climate change.

Byrne replaces Seamus Crosse whose term of office has ended.

He retired as chief executive of EirGrid in September 2012, having developed the company into a group structure with responsibilities in Northern Ireland and Ireland. During his tenure the €600m East West Connector was completed and the Grid25 strategy was developed and implemented.

Dermot is a graduate of University College Dublin, he holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Business Administration, and more recently he qualified as a Chartered Director from the Institute of Directors

Byrne is currently also chair of the Government’s Energy Research Strategy Group and was appointed non-executive director of Element Power Ireland in October 2013.

He has just returned from Eritrea where he learnt more about Vita’s climate smart programme which is supported by the Irish Government and the EU.

“Combating climate change in countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia is a massive challenge, and in Vita we recognise that knowledge–led programmes can make a difference and help redress the balance,” said Vita CEO, John Weakliam. “Having someone the calibre of Dermot Byrne, with his knowledge and expertise, will stand well to Vita as we get ready to launch the Vita Green Impact Fund as a next generation model of development.”

The charity is also expecting to announce new members of its board of directors within a few months in order to broaden the organisation’s skill set and expertise.

Sep 052015


More business men and women in the Isle of Man could benefit from courses on management that can ultimately lead to them becoming chartered directors.

This is according to the Isle of Man branch of the Institute of Directors which regularly organises courses as part of its company director programme.

Sally Bolton, director of Douglas-based law firm Corlett Bolton & Co and former chairman of the branch, speaks from experience having enlisted for a series of courses over a period of 18 months and in 2006 was awarded the IoD’s Diploma in Company Direction.

She said: ‘Law firms are now as competitive as other business sectors, no longer can they just bumble along.

‘It’s important to have business plans, even if they are not written down.’

She particularly believes more lawyers, particularly those in small practices, could benefit from the IoD courses.

A course on The Director’s Role in Strategy and Marketing’, which is part of the IoD Certificate in its company director programme, is being held in Douglas from September 30 to October 2.

The course leader for the IoD will be Murray Eldridge, a chartered director who has been a member of the IoD for over 12 years. His involvement with companies encompasses start-ups through to blue chip, global market leaders.

‘The programme is delivered by people who have real life, relevant and senior levels of experience of the subjects they are responsible for,” said Mr Eldridge. “Consequently, any academic theory addressed by the programme is tempered by and set in the context of real life examples by experienced practitioners."

‘While continuous personal and professional development is a benefit in its own right, the completion of a formally recognised programme like the IoD Certificate or Diploma and even that of Chartered Director, can open up wider opportunities and deliver unforeseen benefits.”

IoD programme director Alison Kennedy said: ‘The course on The Director’s Role in Strategy and Marketing is ideal for anyone looking to rise above the operational and then give strategic direction to their business or organisation. As with all IoD modules it works well as a ‘‘stand alone’’ but if anyone has or is considering the full IoD programme but been reluctant to commit then they are very welcome to come along to this course as a taster.’

She added: ‘The IoD Company Direction Programme is designed for directors who are busy people and this programme offers huge flexibility in study dates and timing.

‘Doing the courses and passing the Certificate and Diploma exams prove that a director knows the theory, the chartered director process validates a director’s actual experience and capability at a practical level.’

The Director’s Role in Strategy and Marketing course embraces:

  • Strategy and the board
  • Strategic analysis
  • Formulating strategy
  • Enable strategy implementation.

Further information can be obtained from Alison Kennedy, IoD programme director on 0161 295 5655/07748 147864 or by emailing

Sep 032015

IoD members, Padraic White and Dr Patricia Smith, have both recently obtained designation as Chartered Directors, having successfully completed the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) Chartered Director Programme.

Over 550 participants have undertaken the Chartered Director Programme to date, which is now in its seventh year in Ireland. Having obtained a Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction, both  candidates went on to become  fully accredited Chartered Directors.



Padraic White Chartered DirectorPadraic White

Padraic White is Chairman of a number of SMEs including Certification Europe Ltd, Arigna Fuels, Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Ltd and is a Director of corporates such as Willis Risk Services (Ireland) Ltd and UTV Ireland Ltd. He has a special interest in encouraging indigenous start-ups which is manifested in his role as Chairman of the Kernel Capital - Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Investment Fund. His public interest roles include Chairman of the Louth Economic Forum and of the Leitrim Tourism Amenity Development Forum and Director of the Waterford Viking Triangle Board.

Padraic is a former Managing Director of the Industrial Development Authority of Ireland (IDA –Ireland) and was the inaugural Chairman of the Railway Procurement Agency [2002-2007] which was responsible for the construction, launch and operation of the LUAS light rail services in Dublin.



Dr Patricia Smith Chartered DirectorDr Patricia Smith 

Dr Patricia Smith has been Group CEO of Bio-Medical Research Limited (BMR), an international medical and consumer electronics device company, for the past 12 years. During this time she led an extensive turnaround of the Slendertone consumer division through restructuring, raising finance, opening new international markets in Europe, Asia and the US, establishing distributor contracts, M&A activity and new technology development. She returned the Neurotech prescription medical device business to profitability in Europe, established a growing Neurotech division in the USA, and opened a new division, BMR Health, to commercialise new prescription and consumer medical incontinence devices. She also led the disposal of the Neurotech orthopaedic and pain business unit.

Patricia graduated from Nottingham University Medical School in 1981 pursuing a career in hospital cardiology before entering the pharmaceutical industry where she held a variety of international and local senior management positions. She then established a UK consultancy undertaking due diligence projects for venture capital and private equity healthcare investments. Patricia has held non-executive director positions for early stage pharmaceutical development companies XTL Bio and Paratek and is a member of the board of the Irish Medical Devices Association.

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