Combining board and digital strategy roles

I’m a Chartered Director and Digital Strategist, who acts as a trusted adviser to CEOs and senior management teams on developing and executing strategies through digital technologies.

As a Non-Executive Director, I focus on creating value for companies and organisations through customer-centricity, excellent communications, building strong brand equity and leveraging technology to achieve competitive advantage.

I’m a founder and an Executive Director of two businesses, one of which established The Sunday Business Post newspaper.

Media career

My career comes in two distinct parts. The first was focused on media and specifically a series of senior editorial roles. By my late 20s I had become the first woman in Ireland to edit a business publication in Ireland and had picked up a couple of national media awards.

In 1989, I became a founding shareholder, Director and Company Secretary of the company which published The Sunday Business Post. I combined board responsibilities with an executive role in producing a national newspaper. The team effort by executive shareholders, management and staff produced a leading Irish media brand and ultimately led to its sale to a PLC.

The learnings were far better than any MBA could offer and covered:

  • Raising equity and managing shareholder expectations
  • Launching a national brand against strong competition from established market players
  • Overcoming setbacks and ultimately devising a business model that was commercially sustainable.

Digital strategy experience

The second stage of my career has involved a portfolio of board roles, digital strategy assignments and pro bono work. I became a Digital Strategist in 2001 and have led a series of digital assignments for corporate, public sector and high potential clients in sectors such as technology, biosciences and services.

The assignments today involve a mix of:

  • Digital strategy planning and execution
  • Conceiving new digital propositions
  • Social media and content strategies
  • Business case development
  • Evaluating the performance of digital assets
  • Devising programmes to enhance digital leadership and other skills

Non-executive experience

Currently, I am a Non-Executive Director of The Road Safety Authority, the State body whose mission is to save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. I am also a member of the board’s Audit and Risk Committee.

In 2003 I took my first non-executive role when I joined the board of ASH Ireland which successfully championed the introduction of the workplace smoking ban. I was also a former Non-Executive Director of Ireland’s largest business network Chambers Ireland and of Business in the Community, which helps businesses to develop and implement their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies.

In 2016, I was awarded Chartered Director status by the Institute of Directors.  This is the globally-recognised professional qualification for company directors.  In 2015, I was awarded both the Diploma and Certificate in Company Direction under the Institute of Directors’ Chartered Director Programme.

Other roles

I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Irish chapter of the International Women’s Forum, one of 70 globally for this networking organisation of “pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement.”

I have also sat on industry or advisory groups including the Consumer Strategy Group, the Procurement Innovation Group and the steering group which established IAB Ireland the industry body for digital publishers.

I have also held a number of pro bono roles, including co-founding a female leadership initiative which published #WomanUp, an action plan on female leadership, in 2017.