The People Behind Give and Buy
Aidan Corless is a Dublin businessman who having had some success as an entrepreneur decided to "give something back" and use his skills as a social entrepreneur. Aidan founded A C Tape and Packaging Ltd in 1985 and sold it after 20 years in business. For the last five years, he has been working with others in Friends of Kitui, to improve the lives of many in the Kitui area of north east Kenya.
Aidan is currently a director of The Liffey Trust and Careaid International, where he is Chairman. In 2009 Aidan opened the first Irish Hotel in Eastern Europe called Hotel Tilto, which is in Vilnius, Lithuania. Aidan, together with Mary Finlay and Diarmuid Murray devised the give and buy concept, with the help of software professionals, Cian Kinsella and Lance Ayerst.
Diarmuid Murray is a barrister and accountant and was for over 25 years a partner in the Irish firm of Deloitte and Touche and its predecessors. He retired in 2005 having led the department providing tax and wealth management services to individuals as well as advising a portfolio of corporate clients. Since retiring he has served on the board of a private property company and has worked for various charitable and not-for-profit bodies.
Mary Finlay has always been involved with young people - as a youth club leader, then a scout leader and more recently, as a university student adviser for many years. As a result, it is no surprise that she was attracted to Friends of Kitui, who sponsor the education of poor children in Kenya. She has been closely involved in the creation and development of the Give and Buy web site.
Cian Kinsella was a co-founder of Kindle Banking Systems in 1979 and later of CR2, both banking software companies. He is currently a director of IS Options (a banking sector consultancy) and of Digiprove (a web services company specialising in content identity). Over the years Cian has had many business contacts in Africa and other developing countries.
Lance has specialised in Financial Services ICT systems, from researching new technologies and systems, to managing multiple concurrent implementation of international software projects. Lance has managed projects for the following leading institutions: O2 Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Standard Chartered Bank and First National Bank of Southern Africa. He holds a BSc in physics and a MBA specialising in project management and is a certified PMP through the Project Management Institute. Lance is a director of IS Options and also PLC Partners
John Harney is a management consultant with a client base in Ireland, England and France. He started his own business www.businesscoaching.ie in 2001 having spent 20 years prior to that in various roles in different European countries; France, Belgium, England and Scandinavia. John’s forte is his broad international experience in many different businesses and his knowledge of how things are run and get done. He speaks fluent French and splits his time between his base in the centre of Dublin and his home outside Paris.
Over 14 years of experience inside both large blue chip companies and smaller SMEs, convinced Muriel Molloy to found Merrion BD, a PR and business development firm that optimises enterprise level strategies in resource conscious companies with aggressive growth plans.
Muriel got her start in marketing at AIB and added to that large enterprise experience at Microsoft where she promoted and built the country-wide Microsoft Partner Programme through PR, digital marketing, events, and through-partner campaigns. Later in her career, inside small, growing companies, she developed effective marketing departments, lead generation programs, sales processes, and branding strategies.
Since founding Merrion BD in 2006, Muriel's unique blend of enterprise to entrepreneurial level PR expertise has helped high tech, professional services, consumer goods, and non-profit organisations grow their businesses. Her commitment to customer service has enabled Merrion BD to build true business partnerships with clients.
Muriel's passion for developing businesses extends to involvement in organisations and projects outside of Merrion BD. She has recently taken part in Hothouse 17 which, in association with Enterprise Ireland, provides start-up support to individuals who are starting their own businesses. She founded the Leads Exchange Programme; a collaborative opportunity for businesses to network and share contacts. And she sits on the Advisory Board of The Computer Clubhouse, an innovative programme that promotes technology in education.
Susanne is a business and IT consultant, manager and thought-leader with more than 18 years experience in management, business set-up/development, and consulting across various cultural, economic, and corporate environments. Building on this experience as well as her extensive background in ICT (incl. information technology, artificial intelligence, data mining, web design, internet marketing) as well as language translation and localization, she is currently setting up her own business, e-Vorsprung Consulting, which helps Irish companies establish a convincing and competitive web presence in Germany.
We've had plenty of help from other volunteers, which we continue to receive and greatly appreciate.