Meet the Team

Back Row L-R
Ronan Pepper, Mary O’Higgins, Paul Hession, Bernie Turley, Ronan Walsh, Jacqueline O’Dowd, Luke Anthony
Front Row L-R
Lesley Murray, Jo Mullins, Liam Higgins, Liz Cassidy, Mary Rodgers, Faith Fahy

Liz Cassidy founded Galway Executive Skillnet (GES) in 2002 in response to an identified need for professional development among owner managers in Galway’s micro enterprise and SME sectors. Enlisting a group of likeminded business owners and a development grant from the newly established national funding agency Skillnets, they founded Galway Business Skills Development Ltd., which trades as Galway Executive Skillnet. Since its establishment, Liz has been actively involved in the management and strategic development of GES as Network Promoter 2002 – 2012 and chairperson up to January 2016, most recently putting in place a corporate governance framework for the organisation.

As managing director of her own company, Irish Time Design, Liz knows the benefits that accrue from a return on investment in training and developing employees at every level from shop floor to senior management. Liz developed a keen interest in learning and development through the capacity to enable and empower people to optimise their performance through upskilling and continuous professional development. Liz is keenly aware of the benefits of upskilling and learning and development for Jobseekers and those which to re-enter the work place and she currently serves on the Board of SOLAS, the national training authority with responsibility for the Further Education & Training sector.

Liz was Regional Network Manager for the West and North West region with ManagementWorks, 2012-2013, during the roll out phase of the Skillnets initiative to develop management capacity in the SME sector.

Liz holds a BA Sociology from NUI Galway; Higher Diploma in Marketing Practice, NUI Galway; Higher Certificate in Strategy & Innovation, UCC and Higher Certificate in Leadership, UCC. Liz was appointed as an EU Ambassador for Female Entrepreneurship in 2009 and appointed to the Irish Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs, part of the wider European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs established by the European Commission in 2011.

As network manager of Galway Executive Skillnet Liz welcomes the opportunity to engage with member companies and the wider business community to develop enterprise led courses and programmes to meet their needs and the needs of their employees and management.

Jo has a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree, and over 15 years’ experience in the field of Marketing, Sales, Customer Service and administrative support.

Jo came on board as Network Administrator in May 2015 and has been involved in organising training courses, marketing, web design, and administration duties since.

“I have attended a number of training courses over the last few years’ which has given me a clear understanding of what participants are looking for”. It is important that trainees’ get what they need from our courses and that we are providing the courses that are required by our member companies and will assist jobseekers to gain employment.”

Paul is a Snr HR Professional with a Masters in HR Leadership with over 25 years’ experience working within the Medical Device and the Automobile industries. He moved into the public sector in the last 2 months with the Brothers of Charity Services Limerick.

Paul has been involved with Galway Executive Skillnet for the last 2 years. In his previous positions within both a large Multinational Medical Device company and a Recruitment agency he is able to utilise as well as promote the services which Galway Executive Skillnet has to offer.

Paul makes a valuable contribution to the Steering Group through his extensive knowledge of the training needs of people within the medical device industry; he also has extensive knowledge in management development which helps the committee when discussing certain target sectors or levels within the industry.

Paul actively promotes Galway Executive Skillnet courses through my extensive network of professional contacts within both the Medical Device industry and within the Recruitment industry and he intends to look at benefits for my Brothers of Charity colleagues based in Galway.

Faith Fahy, QFA, APA, Diploma in Wealth Management and Diploma in Family Law.
Faith Fahy Financial Consultant & Insurance Broker was established in 1995 and has over 25 years’ experience in the financial industry.

As an Independent Financial Broker, we strive to obtain the best financial solutions for our clients in both their business and personal lives. We take the time to evaluate their financial position today, help them identify their financial objectives and take into consideration their attitude to Investments returns. We plan and make recommendations and research and negotiate with product providers. We implement the solutions and set up scheduled reviews.
Faith has been involved with Galway Executive Skillnet since the outset when a group of members from Network Galway looked for funding for training and development in 2003. GES has expanded to encompass over 166 companies and the Financial Network merged with Galway Executive Skillnet in 200???

Dealing with corporate and personal clients for many years, Faith has an understanding of the financial and training resources which they required in these sectors. She was a member of the LEO (Local Enterprise Office) valuation committee for several years which gave her further insight into the resources required for companies and individuals which she was able to bring to the Galway Executive Skillnet steering committee. Faith is a member of Network Galway, the Galway Business Club, LIA (Life Insurance association), PIBA (Professional Insurance Brokers Association) and a Director of Galway Business Skills Development Ltd. Through these organisations she has been able to promote Galway Executive Skillnet.

As HR Manager, Mary is responsible for the human resources function of the company since 1984. The company employs 45 / 50 full and part-time staff. Mary joined the GES steering committee in 2005.

Mary became involved with Galway Executive Skillnet because of the government funding that is available to SMEs. Galway Executive Skillnet provides cost efficient, high quality trainers at a time and location that suits the individual company. The hospitality industry is one of the many SMEs that are faced with the challenges of competitiveness. She believes that offering quality training and up skilling programmes is vital for staff morale. The benefits will create a knowledgeable workforce and will in still pride in the product and service being offered as well as well as driving the business forward.

Lesley has a BA in Human Resource Management and an MSc in Human Resource Leadership as well as being a Certified Trainer. From 2001 until 2014 Lesley held the position of HR Manager for Nelipak Healthcare Packaging and in 2014 was promoted to HR Leader Europe.

Lesley is a Member of global Executive leadership team, European HR lead and Global Cultural Engagement Leader. Work operationally and strategically to enable organisational success through people. Lesley is a champion of global Cultural Change as key influencer at executive level and facilitator of leadership programs and coaching culture implementation throughout the Organisation. Lesley is also co-facilitator of Global Talent Management.

“I joined Galway Executive Skillnet Steering group in 2011, attracted to the broad-scope training offerings together with its flexibility, customer focus and reputation”.

Lesley’s role as a Senior HR generalist working within the Medical Device arena is a good match for my work with Galway Executive Skillnet as it enables me to contribute latest thinking in terms of identified training and development needs for the industry and to liaise with front-line management, executives and the broader HR community on same.

Lesley promotes Galway Executive Skillnet through her involvement in other HR communities and via presentations at open events.

Mary is the new Innovation Community Manager of the PorterShed the first building in the Galway City Innovation District based in the heart of Galway city. Mary also is the Founder of Stateside Solutions a US consultancy firm that prepares Irish companies for US market entry and sales.

Mary is a new member to Galway Executive Skillnet Steering Group, her belief is that Galway Executive Skillnet is a vital part of the Galway economic growth, access to training for all is key and Skillsnet is invaluable at providing training for corporates and individuals alike.

Mary can identify gaps in the training needs of companies in the start-up area of Galway and direct them to Skillnet for upskilling.

Mary promotes GES through the start-up scene in Galway, Galway City Innovation district and of course the PorterShed.

Bernie is CIPD (Chartered Institute Personal Development) Qualified with a Diploma in Employment Law and Business Studies, with over 14 years’ experience working as a Senior Human Resource Manager with Goodman Medical Ireland Ltd.

Over the years Bernie has been involved in numerous networks, held various roles on the CIPD Western Region and I am currently a member of the BPW (Business Professional Women) Association.

“I joined Galway Executive Skillnet in 2010 as a steering group member and later took over the role of Promoter in 2012 until January 2016. In 2015 I became a Director on the Galway Business Skillnet Ltd”.

Goodman Medical Ireland Ltd has been an active member since 2006. We have sent a number of staff on a range of Skillnet courses and they have supported us by identifying processional trainers to deliver specific training for the medical device sector. GES enables us to invest in training that is cost efficient and relevant to what our staff require.

I have worked with the network manager and steering group on a number of events both locally and nationally including foot in the door, career fairs and have continued to promote GES at network events, social media and sales master minders.

Liam has 22 years’ experience in frontline corporate health and safety experience. Currently tutor part-time with the Galway Roscommon Education Training Board and The Western Management Centre.

Liam has been involved with Galway Executive Skillet for approximately 12 years now. He currently holds the position of Network Promoter. Liam came on board following an invitation from the then Network Manager, Maureen Grealish.

“Skillnet aims, amongst other targets, to assist the SME market. As a self employed person, I am typical of the market that Galway Executive Skillnet is looking to assist with training. My own business experience can assist and guide the training direction of Galway Executive Skillnet”.

“As an avid networker and member of the international networking group BNI, I always use these opportunities to promote Galway Executive Skillnet”.