Julie SinnamonCEO, Entreprise Ireland
Julie Sinnamon is CEO of Enterprise Ireland, a position she has held since November 2013. Prior to her appointment as CEO, Julie held a number of senior public sector positions, spanning a 30-year career in Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. Julie has considerable experience in a variety of industry sectors, most notably the food sector, where she has worked directly with some of Ireland's best-known food brands, from their originating idea, right through to globally trading multi-national food businesses.
Julie has managed Enterprise Ireland's commercial evaluation division and Enterprise Ireland's equity portfolio, one of the largest equity portfolios in Europe, in terms of deal flow. Julie is a member of the Board and Investment Committee of Enterprise Ireland, a member of the National Competitiveness Council and a member of the Investment Committee of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, part of the National Treasury Management Agency. She is also a Board Member of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Limited and Balance 4 Better Business.
Julie's driving ambition is to help more Irish-owned businesses to achieve business-scale through international growth, so that the associated job creation drives increasing prosperity in towns and villages throughout Ireland.
A key immediate priority for Julie is to ensure Irish owned companies are sustained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. She is leading on key initiatives to support liquidity and enable clients to stabilise their businesses and navigate through the immediate, critical challenges that Covid-19 presents as well as responding to the longer-term risks and opportunities. This will enable them to continue to innovate, compete and win new business in a diversified export market portfolio.
Julie is a strong proponent of initiatives that drive diversity. She is a champion for women engaging at all levels within both the public and private sector, not as an end in itself, but because of the clear evidence of the positive impact of diversity on corporate performance.Julie is a business graduate of the University of Ulster, has a Masters in International Business (Fordham and IMI) and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Programme, USA. She is originally from Crossgar, Co. Down and is married with two adult children.
CEO, Irish Exporters Association
Simon McKeever’s career to date has encompassed senior executive roles in global financial markets, business consultancy in Ireland, and more recently an outstanding track record in development of trade and trade policy & strategy across Ireland and UK.
Harry HughesCEO, Portwest
Harry Hughes is the CEO of Portwest, an International safety products company that specialise in the design and manufacture of protective clothing, safety footwear, work gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Portwest was founded by Charles Hughes, Harry's grand uncle in 1904. Harry and his brothers have grown revenues at Portwest from €200,000 in 1979 to more than €230 million in 2019.
Harry was awarded the EY entrepreneur of the year in 2017 and represented Ireland in EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in Monaco. He is recognised as a visionary leader who has built a world class business alongside his brothers Cathal and Owen. Portwest trades in 130 countries, continues to grow at over 20% per annum and now employees over 4,650 people worldwide.
Markets & Strategy Partner PwC Ireland
David is the firm's Markets Strategy partner, a member of the firm's Leadership Team and an advisory consulting partner. David is a technology specialist with over 20 years of experience in the retail sector, both in industry roles and as a consultant.
David has extensive experience advising clients in the retail and consumer goods sectors on diverse projects including digital, technology, corporate strategy, operational effectiveness and supply chain. His clients include indigenous firms and Irish and foreign-owned multinationals in the sector.
Prior to joining PwC in 2008, David held a senior role in a major Irish retail and wholesale company. David leads the PwC Ireland team which is involved in the development of PwC’s TransformIT methodology, a structured approach to helping organisations drive change in their IT function. He sits on the leadership team of the firm in Ireland where he runs our Clients & Markets function.