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The Judging Panel

The CO3 Leadership Awards 2018 will be judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts. The judging is a rigorous process including a half-day meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

Meet our Judging Panel:

Paul Braithwaite, Building Change Trust
Nigel Crawford, Quilter Cheviot
Anne Donaghy, Mid and East Antrim Council
Margaret Haddock, Orchardville Society
David Lane, Ecclesiastical Insurance
Donal Laverty, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore
Gordon McDade, Gordon McDade Consulting
Neil McLeese, Personnel & Training Services Ltd
Sharon Polson, Department for Communities


Paul Braithwaite

Paul Braithwaite is Programme Leader with the Building Change Trust in Northern Ireland, leading their work on Social and Democratic Innovation. Since joining the Trust in 2013 Paul has developed and delivered a number of new initiatives for the Trust using research, grant-making, facilitated dialogue and international learning exchanges to stimulate new collaborations and initiatives around the themes of deliberative democracy and social innovation. These have included a Civic Activism Programme, the NI Open Government Network, Social Innovation NI and the Techies in Residence Programme, as well as emerging new initiatives on Participatory Budgeting and Citizens’ Assemblies.

Prior to joining Building Change Trust, Paul’s background was in international development, a subject in which he holds a Masters degree, and he worked for international NGOs for around 10 years including periods based in Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo where he developed and managed programmes with local civil society on themes including civic engagement, participatory governance, gender equality, bonded labour, human rights and disaster preparedness and response.



Nigel Crawford, Quilter Cheviot

Nigel is an Executive Director at Quilter Cheviot and Head Of Belfast Office.  Whilst managing portfolios on a daily basis, he also has responsibility for a highly skilled team of Investment Managers and administrators.

The team is committed to providing clients with a very professional service, fine attention to detail and is focused on delivering portfolios which are tailored to individual client requirements.  Nigel is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

Nigel has over 37 years’ experience in the financial services industry, 20 years of which has been specialising in private client investment management. In 2008, Nigel was instrumental in the establishment of the Belfast office. He has a long track record of managing portfolios for Private Individuals, Charities, Pensions and Corporate clients. He has built an excellent team of very professional colleagues who have a proven long term track record of managing portfolios to achieve client desired outcomes. Nigel previously worked at Northern Bank Limited, where he was Senior Investment Manager.



Anne Donaghy, Mid and East Antrim Council

Anne was Chief Executive of Ballymena Borough Council since January 2009, until taking up the position of Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in February 2014.

She has a rich background of experience across Local Government, and for many years has successfully fulfilled a range of posts from front line service delivery, to strategic planning.

Anne is also the SOLACE Rep for the PCSP and has a keen interest in reducing crime and improving the quality of life.  Anne has been a key champion and advocate of community planning and has delivered Putting People First, the first community plan for the Mid and East Antrim area.  Community safety and cohesion is one of the plan's key priorities.  Anne sees the Support Hub model as an excellent vehicle to help some of the most vulnerable citizens in her area.

Anne is a member of SOLACE, the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and a member of the Institute of Public Health.



Margaret Haddock, Orchardville Society

Margaret has been employed by Orchardville for over 20 years and has been employed in several positions within the organisation.   She was Deputy Chief Executive for over 14 years and is now the Chief Executive.  She was awarded an MBE for her work with disability in 2014. 

Her vision of preparing young people and adults with learning disability for employment and greater independence is firmly embedded in Orchardville through the Social Enterprise and  Supported Employment models. Margaret has spearheaded Supported Employment not only in Orchardville, but throughout NI and Europe. Margaret is Chair of the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE) and President of the European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) and uses her role to promote the vision of assisting people with significant disabilities and disadvantage access real employment opportunities, of their own choice, in an integrated setting with appropriate ongoing support to become economically and socially active in their own communities.

Margaret continues to grow Orchardville’s range of service offer in line with service user demands and has grown the organisation geographically over the past years.

When she is not working to promote Orchardville, supported employment and the rights of people with learning disability, Margaret enjoys spending time with her family, travelling and is known to play a mean hand of Bridge!



David Lane, Ecclesiastical Insurance

David Lane was appointed Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Insurance, Ireland in January 2012. 

David leads a team of 35 people based in Ireland. He is a member of the Ireland Management Oversight Committee and several of the Ecclesiastical Group Management Boards

A graduate of University College Dublin and a Certified Insurance Director, he has 30 years’ experience in the insurance/financial services area.

David started his career with the insurance broker Coyle Hamilton (now Willis Ireland) before moving into a more general financial services role with Irish Life Finance Group (now KBC Bank).

David set up and developed the Transamerica Insurance Finance Company (TIFCO) business in Ireland and moved to the insurance division of General Electric as the General Manager of their Irish business in 2000.

He spent 12 years with GE (later to become Genworth Financial) in several senior roles across Ireland, UK and Europe, the last of which was Managing Director – Western Europe.




Donal Laverty, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore

Donal Laverty is the Consulting Partner in Baker Tilly Mooney Moore and leads the Organisational Transformation Consulting service. Donal has just over twenty years’ experience of working in consulting and industry in senior positions. He specialises in organisation review, organisation design and restructuring – including options appraisal, operational and systems modelling, design assessment, evaluation and implementation planning, managing, transition and benefits realisation.

In his career, Donal has been a HR Director of a major logistics company as well as operating as head of consulting on a global scale. He has acted as a trusted strategic advisor to many well-known organisations as they have designed and implemented major change programmes. His work revolves around creating more effective and higher performance organisations with tangible results at the bottom line.

For nine years Donal was based in London where he led a range of major change consulting assignments on behalf of a range of private and public organisations including central government (Education and Health); local government and the NHS. He has worked extensively with the Third sector in supporting organisations transform their service delivery and operating models to achieve financial sustainability. Donal has also worked extensively in the corporate sector with a particular focus in financial services, banks and professional services sectors.

Donal is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD, a Fellow of the Institute of Consulting; recent past-Chair of the NI CIPD region and is an Associate Lecturer at two universities.


Gordon McDade, Gordon McDade Consulting

Gordon is an experienced Executive Coach, mentor, mediator and consultant, with particular experience in the third, community and voluntary and faith sectors. He spent twenty five years as a church pastor in a variety of contexts from inner city to suburban and rural, leading large staff teams and driven by a passion to see faith communities engage meaningfully with their local contexts through creative community projects. He trained in coaching at Queen’s University, Belfast and has worked with senior leaders in the third sector through CO3, in personal and leadership development. He is also an experienced Mediator and works as an Associate of Mediation Northern Ireland and more recently with Tides Training.  He has experience of consultancy projects especially in the faith sector, currently working in the lower Shankill helping churches to engage with their communities and more widely in the Diocese of Connor in a parish development role within a fresh expression of faith community called Space within St Patrick’s Parish, Jordanstown.  Gordon is convinced that the faith sector has real potential for community transformation.  He also graduated in social enterprise from the University of Ulster Business School and works with Social Enterprise NI in helping to develop entrepreneurs and new businesses.  He works for Urban Expression, an organisation which seeks to plant faith communities in impoverished parts of cities.  He is a member of the Corrymeela Community and a trustee of Family Mediation Northern Ireland.



Neil McLeese, Personnel & Training Services Ltd

Neil is a Director of Personnel & Training Services Ltd which is a locally based consulting firm that supplies outsourced HR support, recruitment services, training and development programmes and workplace mediation services to a wide range of clients across Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Neil has worked within HR since 2003 and prior to joining Personnel & Training Services Ltd was HR Manager for the Builders Merchant, JP Corry (part of the Saint Gobain plc group). In this role, he was responsible for the organisation’s HR function across its all-Ireland branch network.

In addition, Neil was also a Director of a Belfast based charitable organization and was a committee member for the NI Branch of the CIPD.

Neil’s experience is supported by a BA Degree in HRM, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management, NEBOSH General Certificate and membership of the CIPD.


Sharon Polson, Department for Communities

Sharon is Head of Policy and Innovation in the Department for Communities Voluntary and Community Directorate. The Voluntary and Community Directorate supports a vibrant, effective and more sustainable Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) which contributes across a range of policy areas enabling the VCS to deliver positive outcomes for citizens in Northern Ireland.

On secondment from Invest NI since December 2014, she heads up a team responsible for investing in support for enterprise and innovation in the Voluntary and Community Sector. Specific initiatives include future RISP support; Community Asset Transfer (CAT); social innovation with DfC leading a Social Innovation Working Group; investments in Inspiring Impact - a UK wide programme to imbed impact practice in the Voluntary and Community Sector and; Social Enterprise Hubs supporting new social enterprise ideas, bringing about more economic and social benefits to communities across Northern Ireland.

Sharon is also leading on the Food Poverty element within the Welfare Mitigations Report.