Who We Are
Aldagh Mc Donogh – Chairman
Aldagh has a Consumer marketing background with 23 years experience in both large multinationals and in running her own marketing recruitment business over the past decade in Ireland. Aldagh was the Global Marketing Director for Baileys in Diageo and Head of Marketing for Coca-Cola Ireland. In 2000 she co-founded Alternatives, the specialist marketing recruitment, consulting and training business. Aldagh joined Morgan McKinley in October 2010 as Transformation Director to spearhead their innovation development. As Chairman of the Board, Aldagh is one of the core team members on our Brand Haiti & Abacou projects.
Michael is the Founder and Executive Chairman of ‘The Company of Food’ (a specialist food investment business), an investor and a non-executive director at Valeo Food Group and the current Chairman of Bord Bia. Michael is also Chairman of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and a member of the Advisory Board of the Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin. He also acts as a judge/mentor on the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Endeavour, Ashoka Social Entrepreneurs and the Irish Business Journalist of the Year Awards. He is Chairman of Traidlinks (the Uganda based private sector NGO), Chairman of the Soul of Haiti Foundation, and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He established the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group in 2002, which has recently been sold to and merged with Valeo Food Group, to establish a €300m ambient food company. Michael is primarily involved with our work in St Martin and in particular the establishment and development of small bakeries in the area.
Neil is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ion Equity, a leading corporate finance and provate equity firm. He is also the Chairman of Topaz Energy and a director of USIT and SouthWestern and many other businesses. Neil is a former investment banker and director of UBS Ltd, London, where he was responsible for executing many international transactions across a number of product lines and sectors. Neil worked as a senior executive of the London Stock Exchange with responsibility for listings and market intelligence and as a lawyer with McCann FitzGerald, Dublin. Neil is a member of Cork University Foundation. Neil focuses mainly on the farming project in the Christine Valley.
An entrepreneur his entire life, Michael has made an impact and left his entrepreneurial mark across a diverse range of career paths, including youth work, politics, lottery, to the business he heads up today – The Gift Voucher Shop. The Gift Voucher Shop (GVS) – best known for its One4all gift product range – offers a unique and unrivalled service that eliminates any hassles normally associated with gift giving by offering consumers and recipients ultimate choice and flexibility. Michael was one of 2007’s finalists in the Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme. Michael is a Director of the Fingal County Enterprise Board, Fingal Tourism, and represents the SFA on the European Union Policy Committee with I.B.E.C.. Michael has served on the national judging panel of both the Inter-trade Ireland All-island Seedcorn Competition and the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. Michael was most recently named Fingal Business Person of the Year. Michael is the main organiser of the Cycle4Haiti, Soul of Haiti’s main fundraising project. An annual cycle which has raised over €400k for the Soul of Haiti Foundation to date.
Stephen Grant, CEO of Grant Engineering, was winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur 2008. However probably more importantly to Stephen, he was named Offaly Person of the Year in 2007. Stephen developed his own back boiler system in 1975 and his own oil burners in the 1980s. From such small beginnings, he now has 120 separate products, with 50 patents, with the top 20 rated boilers in the UK all being Grant products. Austin Hanley, Head of School of Engineering, AIT, said that the midlands was “blessed to have so close to us someone who has changed so many lives and who is a true inventor and innovator. He is a role model for engineers, for entrepreneur, , for inventors, for businessmen, and for caring corporate responsibility.”
John R Bowen is a civil engineer by profession and is currently Principal and CEO of John Bowen Ltd whose two divisions trade as international construction contractors (BowenConstruct) and providers of business mentoring, mediation and advisory services (BowenConsult). He is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. He is also a CEDR Accredited Mediator. His working career has included consulting engineering and management consulting prior to joining in 1984 the Bowen Group, an organisation founded by his father in 1968. He assumed the role of CEO in 1998 and oversaw the growth of the business from annual sales of about €30M to a peak level of some €300M. This business became a casualty of recession in 2011. He was a finalist in 2004 in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme. He has served as a member of the National Executive of the Construction Industry Federation, a member of the board of Cork Chamber (of Commerce). He is the current Chairman of the board of the Crawford Gallery, Cork, Ireland’s newest National Cultural Institution. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Common Purpose in Ireland.
Liam obtained a Law Degree (LLB) from the University of London. He went on to receive an MSc in Social Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Ulster. Having joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service in 1973, he established NI-CO (the public sector marketing company) in 1990. In 1997 he joined the Industrial Development Board as Executive Director, responsible for attracting foreign direct investment to Northern Ireland. After a brief period on secondment to set up the body, Liam was appointed CEO of InterTradeIreland in 2000. When he retired from InterTradeIreland in 2012 he was appointed Chair of the Ernst & Young EOY Alumni Board, which represents over 300 entrepreneurs from across the island of Ireland. Liam is on the Council of the University of Ulster and was an Advisor to the National Competitiveness Council in Dublin. He is a Trustee of the Grand Opera House in Belfast and several other charitable trusts including Caring Breaks, the Soul of Haiti Foundation and the Ashton Community Trust (Belfast). He has recently been appointed Chair of the MIT sponsored Innovation FabLab in Belfast and Derry and is also on the Board of several companies.
Sharon Dagg – Chief Operations Officer
Sharon Dagg was appointed COO of Soul of Haiti in January 2014. Sharon’s background is in Business Development in the Irish & French commercial sectors. In 2008, Sharon decided to use her skills within the not for profit sector. Before joining Soul of Haiti she headed up an Irish International Adoption Organisation and Progressio Ireland.
Damien Meaney – Country Director
Damien Meaney is a graduate from University College Dublin where he completed a degree in Health & Safety as well completing health service management and procurement management specialist supervisor courses. Before joining Soul of Haiti Damien worked in Beaumont Hospital for 7 years and the Beacon Hospital in Sandyford. Over the years Damien has been involved with many not for profit organisation on a voluntary basis and has coordinated convoys, building trips, medical trips, emergency relief and large scale events and fundraisers. Damien has been honored by many awards for the work he has done both at local and national level including Dell Person of the Year and Vodafone Person of the Year. Most recently Damien was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Chernobyl Children’s project. Damien is actively involved with the Bray Summer festival, the Executive of Chamber of Commerce Bray and St Patrick’s day committee in Bray.
Ailish O’Reilly – Programme Manager
Galway native Ailish O’Reilly joined Soul of Haiti as Country Program Manager in April 2014. A graduate of University of Limerick, Ailish completed an MA in Development to compliment her project management; engineering studies; and 15 years experience in the Medical Device industry. Having worked for a time in Youth Work Development in Ireland, Ailish has continued to be involved in youth work and not for profit organisations in a voluntary capacity. Her first visit to Haiti in 2009 led her into international development. Ailish has previously worked in the education sector in Haiti with Irish organisation Camara, delivering ICT programs throughout the country.
Reginald who is from Port-au-Prince has been working with the Soul of Haiti since February 2012. Before joining us he worked for an Intercountry Adoption Agency and a Christion Mission. Reginald is a Graduate of Law and speaks fluent English, French & Kreyol.
Michael is CEO of Beacon Hospital, Sandyford and Chief Executive and partner in Beacon Medical Group (BMG), which was founded in 2002. BMG developed Beacon Medical Campus in Sandyford, Dublin, which includes Beacon Hospital as well as Beacon Consultants Clinic, Beacon Hall, Beacon Renal, Beacon Face & Dermatology, The IMFF, Weight Motivation Clinics, The Wellington Eye Clinic, Beacon Consultants Concourse, DHI Global and Beacon Care Fertility, among many other clinical and medical facilities. Michael is a commerce graduate of University College, Dublin. He was a finalist in the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was one of the founder members of the Soul of Haiti.