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Speaker Profiles

Kevin Johnson


Kevin has a strong track record in achievement throughout his career in financial services experience. As CEO he is responsible for the overall delivery of the approved CUDA strategic plan, including advocating with Government, Regulators and Oireachtas Committees. He has a successful track record driving and achieving change, growing membership of CUDA, designing and implementation The Solution Centre for credit unions. Prioir to CUDA he has established and managed a Customer Contact Centre, Business Innovation Centre, Bancassurance Business that included both front and back office operations, as well as successfully leading core business functions when at EBS Building Society. He holds a Masters in Business Administration
Gerry McConville

Gerry McConville

Gerry McConville, CEO, Capital Credit Union and Chairperson, CUDA Management Committee

Gerry McConville is Chief Executive Officer of Capital Credit Union, one of the largest community credit unions in Ireland, with assets of almost €300 million and over 50,000 members.

He has successfully steered Capital Credit Union through a series of mergers with seven other credit unions over the last decade.

Gerry has over thirty years’ experience in the credit union movement and has been to the forefront of many collaborative developments within the sector, including the formation and development of the Solution Centre.

Gerry plays a leadership role in a number of credit union collaborative projects, including specialist lending, core IT system development, and insurance services. He is a director of two credit union service organisations, Flywheel IT Services and CUIS Marketing Programme CLG.

Gerry is Chair of the CUDA Management Committee. He is Vice President of the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Board of Management of Dundrum College of Further Education.

Seán Fleming TD

Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions, and Insurance

Seán Fleming is Minister of State at the Department of Finance. He was appointed to this role in July 2020. Seán was elected to represent the Laois-Offaly constituency at the 2020 General Election, having been first elected to the Dáil in 1997.

He was also elected as a member of Laois County Council in 1999 and served in the role for more than 4 years. An accountant educated at University College Dublin; Sean has served on the Dáil Public Accounts Committee. He was also a member of the Finance and Public Expenditure Committee and was Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform.

Patrick Casey

Patrick Casey

Registrar of Credit Unions, Central Bank of Ireland

Patrick was appointed Registrar of Credit Unions on 23 October 2017. As Registrar, he is responsible for the regulation and supervision of the credit union sector in Ireland. Patrick was previously Head of Resolution where he led the establishment of the national resolution authority within the Central Bank under the EU Bank Recovery & Resolution Directive. He has represented the Central Bank at the Single Resolution Board Plenary Session and the European Banking Authority's Resolution Committee since inception. He is also a member of a number of senior level Central Bank committees, including the Financial Stability Committee.

Prior to joining the Central Bank, Patrick held of number of roles in investment banking in London with Citibank and HSBC, and latterly as a Director in AIB Corporate Finance in Dublin. He trained as a solicitor with London firm Simmons & Simmons. Patrick holds a Master's degree in Accounting from University College Dublin and a LLB (Law & Accounting) Joint Honours degree from Queens University Belfast

Michael Killeen

Chairman, The CX Company

Michael has an extensive track record in marketing, growth and helping companies large and small to deliver Customer Experience Excellence.

He founded The CX Company in 2014, a leading CX consultancy business working with companies around the world to improve their CX delivery. CV created the world’s first accredited online CX Excellence courses setting global standards for CX qualifications. The CX Academy offers accredited Certificate and Diploma Programs that bring best practice to life through videos and face to face webinar training.

CX and Michael believe in getting the right balance right between tech and the human touch.

Jon Ihle

Jon Ihle

Deputy Business Editor, Irish Independent

Jon is deputy business editor of the Irish Independent, where he covers corporate Ireland and financial markets. He has written extensively on banking and financial services and spent six years as head of communications for Goodbody.

Gerry Ryan

Chairperson, Board of Directors, First Tech Credit Union

Gerry Ryan has been a Director of First Tech Credit Union since 2013 and Chairperson of the Board since August 2019. He is currently a member of the Board’s Strategy, Investment and Remuneration Committees and of CUDA’s National Council. Gerry served as an Executive Director and as Company Secretary of Bord na Móna plc from 2005 until his retirement in April 2017. During that time, he was a Director of many Bord na Móna’s subsidiary companies, a Trustee of the Company’s Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, and a Trustee of its Employee Share Ownership Plan. Prior to joining Bord na Móna, Gerry held many senior positions with eircom plc and its predecessor, Telecom Eireann, including as Company Secretary and Administrator of the eircom Superannuation Funds.

Gerry also served as Chairman of the Irish Association of Pension Funds and as a Director of the Pensions Board. He holds a B. Comm from UCD, an MsC in Management from Trinity College and a Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.

Mark Wynne

Chairperson, Board of Directors, DUBCO Ireland Credit Union

Mark was elected Chairperson following the AGM in 2020, prior to which he served as Vice Chairperson since 2018. He has also chaired both the Nomination Committee and Membership Committee. Mark became a volunteer with Dubco Ireland in 2012 and was first elected to the Board in 2014 having previously served on the Board Oversight Committee.

Mark have been employed with Dublin City Council since 1982 and is due to retire from the Council in July of this year.

His hobbies include bee keeping, gardening, walking and being in the presence of good company. In his spare time Mark is a volunteer with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre as a Crisis Counsellor.

Having left school at 15, Mark got the opportunity to return to third level education in 2001 and believes strongly in the concept of lifelong learning, nearing completion of a Master’s degree in psychotherapy. He is married with two daughters and has been blessed with three grandchildren.

Ann Walsh

Secretary, Board of Directors, Capital Credit Union

As Associate Director of Marketing in Trinity Development & Alumni Anne has witnessed extraordinary research and progress in many areas of education. She brings creativity and new initiatives to her role, working for Ireland’s largest university across a diverse range of projects on a daily basis. As well as communications, PR, marketing and events, Anne’s role now encompasses the Alumni Relations team, adding to the excitement of what can be achieved.

Anne joined the Board of Directors in Capital Credit Union in 2017 and is delighted to have been appointed Vice-Chair this year. She is also Secretary of the National Council for CUDA - a position that has allowed her to witness and develop new initiatives with Credit Unions across Ireland.

Grainne Brennan

Dr. Gráinne Brennan

Chairperson, Board of Directors, Member First Credit Union

Along with her role as a Chief Medical Scientist in St. James’s Hospital, Gráinne is the Chairperson of Member First Credit Union. She has been involved as a volunteer in the Credit Union movement for over 18 years and has completed the Advanced Certificate in Credit Union Practice with the University of Ulster and Credit Union Governance with the LIA.

In her previous role as Chairperson of Donnycarney, Beaumont and District Credit Union, she played a key role on the Merger Steering Committee during the transfer of engagements into Member First Credit Union. Since joining the Board of Member First, she has been involved in various committees, has held the role of Secretary and currently sits on the Remuneration, Nominations and Governance Committees while also actively participating in CPD.

Gráinne holds a PhD in Molecular Microbiology and a Master of Science in Molecular Pathology from Trinity College. She also has a Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership with the RCSI. Much of the experience she has gained through working in an ISO15189 environment, she has been able to utilise in her role in the Credit Union.

Frankie Watters BA [Mod] LLB, LLM

Secretary, Board of Directors, Dundalk Credit Union

Frankie has served as a Director of Dundalk Credit Union since 2015 and as Chair of the Strategy Committee since 2016. Frankie additionally serves as a Director of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and Director and Vice-Chair of Creative Spark, Franke CLG. A qualified lawyer by profession, Frankie was a Senior Lecturer in Law at Dundalk Institute of Technology from 1979 to 2015. Frankie has a particular interest in employment law and Board succession planning and diversity in the voluntary sector.

Peter Mitchell

Principal at Business Talk PR

Peter has worked in the financial service sector for over 30 years, initially in general and life insurance, and established Business Talk in 2003, a public relations agency which specialises in offering brand and media relations advice to a range of corporate and SME clients in the banking, insurance, tax and related business sectors.

Lynsey Trainor

Partner Development Systems, Microsoft

Lynsey is Partner Development Manager at Microsoft, the world’s leading technology provider. Her role includes helping enterprises drive digital transformation and their journey towards the cloud. Prior to Microsoft, Lynsey was a senior commercial executive at Paddy Power Betfair. Lynsey holds a Bachelor of Commerce International with French and Marketing from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Cathal Tyther

Manager, The Solution Centre

Cathal heads up The Solution Centre, joining the organisation from ReBo (The Credit Union Restructuring Board). Prior to this Cathal served as chairperson of Tralee Credit Union giving him a unique insight into the needs of individual Credit Unions and the movement as a whole.
Paul J Walsh

Paul J Walsh

Chief Executive Officer, Peopl Insurance

Paul is Chief Executive at Peopl Insurance, the new personal lines insurance business established with Credit Unions and Cuna Mutual. Paul previously served as CEO of CUNA Mutual’s European businesses since 2007 and remains a Director. He also serves as Chairman of its UK operations. Paul has been heavily engaged in development and support of Credit Union research, and actively supporting many Credit Union boards with strategic developments, mergers, member engagement and growth.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Science, is a Chartered Director with the IOD, is Vice Chairman of a major Charity and has held a range senior management positions for over 35 years.

Michael Cox

Head of Business Solutions, Intuity Technologies

Michael Cox is a Business Focused Technologist and Solution Lead at Intuity Technologies. As part of the Intuity team, he leads the consultancy function, specialising in customer engagement and the transformation of relationship management using Microsoft Business Applications. He has over 25 years of management experience across a range of industries - Sales, Manufacturing, Education and Solutions Consulting.

Michael led the technical development of Hive, working closely with Credit Union leaders in defining the functionality and features of the platform.

Shelley McDade

CEO, Sunshine Coast Credit Union, and Vice Chair, Central 1 (Canada)

Shelley’s financial services career spans 35 years in the BC credit union system. She is currently Chief Executive Officer of Sunshine Coast Credit Union, a 75-year-old cooperative with $580 million in assets and more than 16,000 members.

Shelley is best known for her commitment and passion for leveraging collaboration to create value for members locally and across the system as a whole. A well-respected leader and advisor to a variety of community and industry groups, she also dedicates her time to championing collaborative opportunities across the credit union system including the Solutions Centre, Risk Management Alliance and most recently, the Back Office Collaborative.

An accredited director through ICSA Canada, she obtained her MBA from Aspen University in 2009.

Donal McKillop

Donal McKillop

Author, and Professor of Financial Services, Queens University

Donal McKillop is Professor of Financial Services at Queen’s University Belfast. His research focuses on the ownership structure of financial institutions; governance of not-for-profit financial institutions; regulatory change and capital adjustment in credit unions; merger and acquisition behaviour in financial institutions; and risk management in not-for-profit financial institutions. Donal is Chair of Credit Union CEO Forum which seeks to help progress and develop the business models of Irish credit unions through the identification of change enablers.