Geri began her career in education in Grammar schools gaining seven years experience as a teacher before undertaking a two year secondment as a subject advisor with the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB). During this time, Geri gained an insight into a wide range of approached to teaching and learning across the spectrum of educational provision.
Geri then undertook a Masters degree in educaitonal management and soon after started up the first pupil referall unit in Northern Ireland, focusing on special education at the emotional and behavioural end of the spectrum.
In 2000, Geri was appointed Principal of Loughshore Educational Resource Centre, a purpose built facility catering for 11 – 17 year olds experiencing extremes of social, emotional, mental and behavioural problems.
Geri has a keen interest in the areas of Attention Deficit Disorder and Austistic Spectrum Disorders and has presented globally on these areas, being invited to USA and New Zealand in her capacity to exchange good practise across continents.
Geri believes passionately in the concept of a “second chance” in life for young people who have experienced early adversity and learning disadvantage.
Trevor has over 25 years working as an Executive Resourcing consultant and has extensive experience Public, Private and Voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland. Following a long career at PwC as the Director of Executive Resourcing, Trevor now runs his own business, Trevor Hinds Consulting. His company specialises in providing practical support to job seekers and employers, career counselling and HR consultancy.
Trevor is Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a member of the Institute of Directors and a past President of the Rotary Club of Belfast. He holds various Non-Executive Directorships and is a member of several charitable organisations.
Kirsty McManus is Head of Business Development at NI Chamber where she is responsible for growing membership, account management, liaising with corporate members and overseeing NI Chamber’s ambitious growth agenda.
Kirsty is the former Director of the Centre for Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) Development at Ulster University Business School, which is aimed at helping SMEs achieve their business goals. Previous to this, Kirsty was Assistant Director at CBI (NI) responsible for a diverse portfolio of members and with lobbying responsibility for employment law, skills, education and energy policy in Northern Ireland.
She is an Information Management graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and holds an MBA from Ulster University Business School. Kirsty has over 12 years of industry experience and has worked in both the US and UK in IT Project Management.
Claire has extensive expertise of the NI public, private and Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector globally.
Claire is Director of Community Programmes in Business at the Community Northern Ireland, a membership organisation for companies committed to doing business responsibly and working together on societal issues where they can make a real difference. As Director of Community Programmes, Claire oversees programmes to engage businesses to support regeneration in NI communities as well as raising aspirations among children and young people in terms of preparation for entering the workplace. Claire has extensive experience building relationships and partnerships between disadvantaged groups and a host of corporate, voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.
Prior to joining Business in the community Claire worked for Voluntary Services Bureau (now Volunteer Now), managing volunteer-led projects to improve the quality of life of isolated older people in Belfast. Claire also worked for international project management company NI-CO for 5 years, managing a portfolio of good governance, NGO and civil society reform projects.
Mark is a Senior Economist with Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre (UUEPC), having joined in 2014. Prior to joining UUEPC Mark worked for Ipsos MORI, Oxford Economics and PricewaterhouseCoopers where he gained over 10 years’ experience delivering research across the public and private sectors in the UK, Ireland and overseas.
Mark has significant experience in undertaking research projects related to education and skills including a number of projects focusing on the development of skills forecasting models on behalf of the Department for Economy. Mark has worked on the recently published ’Northern Ireland Skills Barometer’ which was designed to highlight skills shortages in sectors that are forecast to drive economic growth over the coming decade, and highlight areas of an oversupply in certain occupations to enable an appropriate skills strategy to be developed. Mark’s other ongoing research projects include a study to examine trends in Northern Ireland’s economic inactivity and a research project to quantify the level of ‘upskilling’ in the Northern Ireland workforce.
A Chartered Accountant, Steven has over 15 years’ experience working for a number of leading firms.
Steven is currently Financial Controller with Beacon Security & Communications Limited. Until 2013, Steven was Company Accountant with the Harvey Group where his role as a key member of the Senior Executive team encompassed strategically leading on Finance, HR and IT functions. Steven has also worked at JP Corry, BT and PwC and has extensive experience improving financial processes, and with day-to-day financial management accountabilities. As an experienced manager, Stephen enjoys motivating and training a successful and productive team.
Steven is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors.
Before embarking on a career in the Northern Ireland civil service, Eileen worked in Hong Kong as Chief Inspector of the police and in the Foreign Office.
Eileen retired in 2012 after five years as Head of Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, where she was responsible for developing the first cross-departmental Childcare Strategy. Eileen held a number of positions in the civil service and key achievements include facilitating the first regional strategy for the education service and co-ordinating the first Assembly report on Student Finance.
Eileen’s first degree is in French and she obtained a Master’s in European Integration in 1996 at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2008 she completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Gender Equality at the University of Michigan and has been a Trustee of the British Fulbright Scholars Association (BFSA), part of the international alumni network supporting the Fulbright aim to foster cultural understanding through educational exchange. Other voluntary work has included Select Vestry, Parents Associations and PLACE Belfast.