Hit enter to search or ESC to close

Irish Foodservice Seminar, December 2021

Speaker bios

Kingsley Aikins, Founder and CEO, The Networking Institute 

Kingsley Aikins is the founder and CEO of The Networking Institute based in Dublin which focuses on online/offline training in Networking, Diaspora Engagement, Speaking/Presenting and Philanthropy/Fundraising. Prior to that he was Worldwide CEO of The Ireland Funds for 17 years and raised 250 million dollars for projects in Ireland. Before that he was, for 8 years, the Sydney, Australia based representative of The Irish Export Board and IDA Ireland. He is an Economics and Politics graduate of Trinity College Dublin.

Kingsley Atkins.png

Richard Curran.png

Richard Curran, Journalist, Broadcaster & Author

Richard Curran is a journalist, broadcaster and author. He is the presenter of The Business radio show on RTE Radio One and also Dragons Den on RTE Television. He is a columnist with the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent. Richard has been a business journalist for 25 years and is a former deputy editor of The Sunday Business Post and former business editor of the Irish Independent. He has co-written two books, one on Irish entrepreneurs and the other on the collapse of the Irish Nationwide Building Society. He has also made several television documentaries for RTE including, Future Shock: Property Crash in 2007 and The Battle For Rural Ireland in 2015.

Lucy Dee, Head of Marketing, Taco Bell UK 

Lucy Dee is the Head of Marketing for Taco Bell. She has worked with the brand since 2017, and is responsible for growing brand awareness and brand love with consumers in the UK. During her time with the brand, she has launched Taco Bell in her native home land of Scotland, as well as launching the brand in Wales too. Lucy is familiar to the QSR market, and prior to joining Taco Bell, she was part of the marketing team at Subway UK & Ireland. Lucy has a BA in Marketing and Culture from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Lucy Dee min.jpg

edwards.png

Glenn Edwards Managing Director of LEON Restaurants.

Glenn Edwards took the reins as Managing Director of LEON Restaurants in August 2021 and is on course to take the business to the next level and drive forward its growth strategy. Glenn has been within LEON for over ten insightful years. During Glenn’s decade of tenure, he has held previous leadership positions as LEON’s Operations Director up to late 2017 and led the launch of LEON USA as President until March 2021.

Declan Foley, Country Manager, Krispy Kreme

Declan Foley joined Krispy Kreme as Country Manager, Ireland in July 2020. Prior to this, Declan spent over 11 years working with HMSHost International (a leading global restaurateur creating and operating hospitality outlets for travel venues). In total, Declan has over 20 years’ experience in management positions with F&B and hospitality, with a particular expertise on locations where people are ‘on the move’.  Prior to joining Krispy Kreme he set up and operated HMSHost’s business in Qatar.  

Declan foley.png

Maureen Gahan1.PNG

Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist, Bord Bia

Maureen Gahan joined Bord Bia in January 2001 as a Trade Marketing Specialist. She has held responsibility for managing Bord Bia's foodservice programme on the Ireland market since 2009. Her role includes developing relationships with Trade Buyers and identifying potential opportunities for Irish food and drink manufacturers. Prior to joining Bord Bia, Maureen worked with the Trade Development Institute in Dublin, a seafood importer in Paris and with Enterprise Ireland in their Stockholm office. Maureen holds a BSc in
Management and is a graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Dave Henkes, Senior Principal, Technomic, Inc

Dave Henkes is a Senior Principal at Technomic, Inc. and is responsible for directing strategic consulting and research assignments for clients active in the food and beverage industries. Since joining the firm in 1996, Dave has managed a wide variety of multiclient engagements, and has conducted studies in markets around the world including the UK, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada. Prior to joining Technomic, Dave gained international food experience working with Nestle in Frankfurt, Germany. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from The American University in Washington, DC and a Masters of Business Administration degree in Marketing and International Business from the University of Illinois.

Dave Henkes.jpg

Sandra Kirwan.png

Sandra Kirwan, Head of Foodservice, Glanbia

Sandra Kirwan joined Glanbia Ireland in August 2006 as a Commercial Lead for the Growth Function. She has held responsibility for leading GIanbia’s Foodservice Channel since June 2014. In addition to her primary work functions, Sandra has been recognised by the IMI for her commitment to Change Management Programmes. A highly driven and energetic leader of people with a successful track record in Print, Publishing, Advertising and FMCG sectors, Sandra previously held the position of General Manager with Auto Trader Magazine and worked at senior level with the Smurfit Group in Ireland.  Sandra holds a BSC in Management, BA in History and English and is a graduate of UCD.

Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia

Tara McCarthy is the Chief Executive of Bord Bia and brings with her over 20 years’ experience in the wider food industry. She was previously Chief Executive for Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency and has operated in overseas markets for 10 years including Germany, France and Belgium. Tara holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UCG with an MBS in Marketing from Smurfit Business School and is an affiliate of IMD Business School, Switzerland. Tara was awarded Fellowship of the Marketing Institute of Ireland in September 2018. In April 2019 Tara was awarded UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business’ Outstanding Alumnus Award.

tara resized.png

Jeananne O’Brien.jpg

Jeananne O’Brien, Founder and Director, Artizan Food Co and Eatto

Jeananne O’Brien is founder and director of Artizan Food Co and Eatto and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UCD and MSc in Marketing from Smurfit Business School. She founded Artizan Food Co in 2005, a leading boutique corporate catering company in Dublin. Artizan has led the way in ‘Cloud Kitchen’ solutions having established their first cloud kitchen in 2008 and currently operate from their state of the art 26,000 square foot kitchen offering innovative digitally driven in-house and flexible workplace catering solutions. Jeananne also founded Eatto.ie, a sustainable frozen food ready meal brand, launched in April 2020. A direct-to-consumer e-commerce model, Eatto.ie delivers handmade meals nationwide, using locally sourced Irish produce, with no additives or preservatives. Jeananne is hugely passionate about sustainability and holds it at the core of both Artizan and Eatto who are proud members of Bord Bia’s Origin Green.

Deirdre O’Neill, Managing Director, Compass Group Ireland

Appointed Managing Director of Compass Group Ireland in 2021, Deirdre O’Neill heads one of the largest foodservice businesses in the country. O’Neill joined Compass Group in 2016 as Marketing Director and subsequently took on the role of Future Food Offer Director, developing the company’s “cloud kitchen” food preparation facility, the Copper Pan Kitchen. She has been instrumental in the delivery of key business innovation, including launching the Feedr app in the Dublin market, digitising companies’ in-house food experience and delivering freshly-made meals into workplaces or direct to employees’ homes.  With 15 years’ experience in Irish food and retail, Deirdre O’Neill previously held marketing roles in leading FMCG companies, including Kildare-based O'Brien’s Fine Foods and Carroll's of Tullamore, as well as with HMV Ireland Xtravision. She is a business studies graduate from GMIT and has a Masters in marketing from NUI Galway.

Deirdre O’Neill.jpg

John O Toole.jpg

John O’ Toole, Director of Operations and Sustainability, Airfield Estate

John O’ Toole is the Director of Operations and Sustainability at Airfield Estate since 2006. John led the project team from design to delivery of the evolution of Airfield as an urban visitor experience and working agricultural site with a mission to ‘inspire and enable people to make better food choices’. His current focus is the financial and environmental sustainability of the 38 acre farm, gardens, food & beverage, education and heritage operations of the social enterprise. John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants, having trained with BDO. He also spent a number of years in the retail industry.