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Board of Directors

Brian Ambrose (Chairman)

Brian Ambrose OBE, whose career spans 39 years in the aviation industry, has held senior management positions within Bombardier in engineering and business development. In 1997, Mr Ambrose was appointed director of operations at Belfast City Airport, with responsibility for the day-to-day running of the airport. In January 2004, he was appointed chief executive of the airport and is responsible for a growing business with an annual passenger throughput in excess of 2.9 million and currently averaging 120 flights each day. With over 1,600 people currently working at the airport, Belfast City Airport has become a significant employer and contributor to the Northern Ireland economy. Mr Ambrose was chairman of CBI Northern Ireland 2008-2009. He is also chairman of Mencap Northern Ireland; a board member of Business in the Community; and a trustee of the Titanic Foundation and a Board Member of Phoenix Natural Gas. He was awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours in 2011.

Joan O’Shaughnessy (Vice Chair)

Joan O’Shaughnessy is the Special Advisor to Aramark and has been a leader and representative in the service industry for the past 38 years. She is Honorary President of the Hospitality Trust charitable foundation, a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors and Skål Ireland. Joan is also a Non-Executive Director of Bewley’s Tea & Coffee Ltd and the Irish Food Service Suppliers Alliance (IFSA). Until her retirement in June 2011, Joan was CEO of Aramark Ireland, a position she held for over 12 years. As CEO, Joan strengthened the organisation to become one of Ireland’s largest American multi-national companies, employing more than 4,000 staff across 400 locations nationwide.

Ciara Burke

Ciara Burke is employed within the health improvement field and works closely with community, statutory and industry to address health and well-being needs. Her professional background includes experience in business development, marketing and public relations within a range of sectors. Previous roles have incorporated development of community-based tourism initiatives, product development, delivery of the Welcome to Excellence suite of programmes to the sector, in addition to marketing and event management for a leading visitor attraction.    


Dr Howard Hastings OBE

Dr Howard Hastings OBE is the Managing Director of Hastings Hotels and Chairman of Visit Belfast. He has recently completed a six-year term as Chairman of Tourism NI. He is also a Director of the Merrion Hotel (which is 50% owned by Hastings Hotels) and a former Chairman of the Board of Governors at Rockport School Ltd. During the 1990s, he was Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland and founding Chairman of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation. Howard’s previous public appointments include an earlier stint at Tourism Ireland (2000-2007), the Training & Employment Agency and Investors in People (UK). Howard is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. He holds a law degree from the University of Nottingham and a master’s degree and honorary doctorate from Ulster University.


David Lyle OBE

David Lyle OBE is the Chief Executive of advertising agency LyleBailie International Limited and has over 20 years’ experience in destination marketing. His unique experience in North-South co-operation includes producing 20 cross-border TV campaigns on road safety and public service awareness. He is a principal author of 44 award-winning effectiveness case studies and recipient of 260 creative awards – including five Grand Prix. In 2009 he was presented with the David Ogilvy Gold Award by the Advertising Research Foundation in New York. He specialises in evaluating the economic paybacks arising from advertising and was awarded the OBE in 2011 for services to road safety.

David O’Brien

David O’Brien was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Ryanair in January 2014, having previously served as Director of Flight & Ground Operations from December 2002. A graduate of the Irish Military College, David followed a military career, with positions in the airport sector and agribusiness in the Middle East, Russia and Asia.

Shaun Quinn

Shaun Quinn is Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, the state agency responsible for guiding and supporting the sustainable development of tourism in Ireland. He was appointed to this position in 2003 and, under his stewardship, the agency has continually evolved in response to the needs of tourism development. More recently, he has successfully championed an ‘experience brand’ strategy to drive sustainable growth in inbound tourism. Over the period 2012-2013, he was Chairman of The Gathering, Ireland’s largest community-driven tourism initiative. Prior to joining Fáilte Ireland, he was Chief Executive of CERT, the state tourism training agency, from 1998 to 2002. He joined tourism from the food sector, where he had been Head of Marketing within Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, from 1994 to 1998. From 1986 to 1993, he worked with Coras Beostoic agus Feola (The Irish Meat and Livestock Board) as Economist and, latterly, as Director of Planning. He has served on several Government fora relating to tourism strategy and policy. He is a graduate of UCD and holds a master’s degree in business administration.   


Derek Reaney

Derek Reaney is from Plumbridge, Co Tyrone and is employed as a Development Officer with the Ulster-Scots Agency. He has previously worked as a Manager of a cross-border peace and reconciliation project, working with rural communities in the North West. He has worked for almost 20 years in the community sector and has been particularly involved in a development capacity for marginalised communities and in supporting cultural projects. He has previously been a member of the Strabane Local Strategy Partnership and has served on the board of the North West Investing for Health Partnership and ARC North West Local Action Group. He is a Director of the Mourne Valley Credit Union in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone.

Trevor White

Trevor White is the Director of the Little Museum of Dublin and City of a Thousand Welcomes. Born in 1972, he founded The Dubliner magazine and edited Ireland’s bestselling restaurant guide, The Dubliner 100 Best Restaurants, for many years. Trevor has written two books, Kitchen Con: Writing on the Restaurant Racket and The Dubliner Diaries.


Stephen Kavanagh

Stephen Kavanagh was appointed Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Aer Lingus Board on 1 March 2015. Mr Kavanagh is a graduate of University College Dublin and joined Aer Lingus in 1988. He undertook a variety of roles in operational and commercial departments, culminating in his appointment as an executive in 2006 and was part of the Initial Public Offering team that brought Aer Lingus to market in that year. He served as Chief Commercial Officer from 2009, where he led improvements in retail and revenue management, partner and network development. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, he held the role of Chief Strategy and Planning Officer.

Michael O’Sullivan

Michael O’Sullivan is an environmental consultant. He has worked as project director on major multidisciplinary conservation and infrastructural environmental management projects throughout Ireland over the past 25 years. Recent major projects include the Doonbeg Golf Course Masterplan and EIS/NIS for coastal protection, the Adare Manor Master Plan and EIS/NIS for development, the Broadmeadow Greenway EIS/NIS, Fingal and the Skellig Michael Environmental Assessment of Access. Michael has provided environmental and planning advice for industry and government alike. He edited the first Environmental Impact Assessment handbook in Ireland in 1990.

David Rodway

David Rodway is a retired marine consultant. During his career, mostly in sales and marketing (including eight years in Saudi Arabia), he was also Managing Director of an aquaculture company based in Carlingford Lough from 1990 until 1999 and following his retirement, he continued as a part-time technical consultant. From 2005 to 2011, David served on Belfast City Council and a number of public bodies, including the board of the Belfast Metropolitan College (four years), the board of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners (five years) and the Belfast Education and Library Board (five years). He has also served on the board of Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau and was, until recently, a member of the board of the Nomadic Trust (a body tasked with completely refurbishing a passenger ferry which served the Titanic off Cherbourg); this Trust has now been subsumed within Titanic Foundation Ltd.