Board of Directors

Board of Directors

John McGowan, Chair — Enterprise North West

John is the Chief Executive of Enterprise North West who manage the Invest NI Regional Start Initiative, which is the Invest NI business start programme for the Derry City Council area. He is a Director on the Board of North West Business Complex Ltd who provide office accommodation and industrial units to 60 tenants in their 55,000 sq ft business park. As a successful entrepreneur in his own right, John started a British Council approved English Language School 15 years ago. The North West Academy of English Ltd welcomes over 1,000 students each year to Derry to learn English. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies followed by a Masters in Business Administration and is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. John has lectured extensively in marketing at regional institutions, and is a member of the Institute of Business Advisors previously a serving Committee member. In addition, he is a full member of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management. John is also SFEDI accredited for the delivery of business training and advice. He currently writes a business column for the local newspaper — The Derry NewsJohn has previously been Vice Chair of Enterprise Northern Ireland.

Dr Tess Maginess, Former Chair — Senior Lecturer, Queen's University Belfast

Dr Tess Maginess is a Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University with over 30 years experience in teaching and research in literature, adult education, inclusive research, arts based approaches and disability. Tess was recently awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, a prestigious award from the Higher Education Academy. She also won the BERA-Sage research practictioner of the year award in 2011. She is the co-ordinator of the Open Learning programme involving thousands of students each year and convenor of the Blackbird Book Club, which has merited Arts Council funding. Tess has published both academic and creative work. Her previous board memberships include: Arts Council of Northern Ireland (Chair, Strategic Development); Southern Education and Library Board; Arts and Disability Forum and Out and About (Chair and vice Chair). She is currently a member of a local School Board where issues of governance and training on governance are prioritised. She has attended a range of training courses on governance over many years. Most recently she attended Effective Corporate Governance with Leading Governance and attended training with Arts and Business as part of her role at Nerve Centre.

Ross Graham, Programme Director, Generator NI

Ross has over 35 years experience in the regional, national and international music industry in a broad range of creative and business roles. Ross is the former Chief Executive of the Music Industry Commission in Northern Ireland and also former programme director of FFWD NI. He is currently the Programme Director of the DCAL and Invest NI partnered music development programme Generator NI. These positions have given him 10 years’ experience in delivering focused creative industries development initiatives on behalf of the public and private sectors in Northern Ireland and beyond. Ross’s previous board memberships and governance training include:

  • Rhythm in the City – multi cultural music festival

  • Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission

  • DU Dance NI

Ross’s board and executive positions have given him a wide range of experience in Finance, HR, strategic planning and public sector funding responsibilities. Ross’s previous governance training includes Nerve Centre induction training and Arts and Business governance training as part of his role at Nerve Centre.

Andrew McAfee, Business Manager, Multimedia (Learning Resources) - CCEA

Andrew has spent 19 years working in the education technology and multimedia creative industry, after studying a BSc in Business Administration and Computer Science and MSc(Ed) in Computer Based Learning. His early career focused on CD-ROM Learning resources such as the Virtual Museum of Colm Cille, The Dumcliffe Visitor Centre, and the Northern Ireland Digital Film Archive at the Nerve Centre. He later moved to BBC Interactive and delivered the Bombardier Flight Experience resource for the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. In 2002 he joined CCEA to establish the Multimedia Learning Resources Team and continues to manage the development of numerous Curriculum and Qualifications support projects, including Moving Image Arts - the first online high-stakes qualification in the UK and more recently winning Gold at the E-learning Age Awards. See further resources at and part of the Senior Management team at CCEA, Andrew has received governance training in Policy Development, Financial Management, Procurement, Risk Management, Compliance Corporate rules and MSFM and Prince2. He is a member of the British Computer Society, the British Interactive Multimedia Association and sits on the E-Safety Forum of Safeguarding Board NI.

Adrienne Brown

Adrianne is a retired senior civil servant (Assistant Secretary) who headed up Divisions in DFP and DETI and has experience in the fields of equality and industrial relations. She holds a BA degree in Public Sector Studies from the University of Ulster. Adrianne’s retirement in 2004 was followed by voluntary service to The Alzheimer’s Society, the University of the Third Age (U3A ) (as convenor of the History Group in North Down & Ards U3A ) and Treasurer / Committee member of Bangor Historical Society. Adrianne took part in governance training in respect of her liaison roles with Ulster Supported Employment Ltd, the Health & Safety Executive of NI, the former Equal Opportunities Commission and the former Fair Employment Agency.

Edward Friel, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Ulster University

Eddie Friel is Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Ulster University. He previously held positions promoting economic development at both the Ulster University and Invest NI. He has also worked at Queen’s University, Belfast and in a small IT company.  He has served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Foyle Heath and Social Services Trust, and was a member of the Western Health and Social Services Council. He has also served as a Governor of the Omagh College of Further Education, and as a Non-Executive Director of Greenshoots Newry Ltd, which was the first Business Incubation Centre in the Further Education sector in Northern Ireland. He has attended a number of governance specific training courses in support of the above roles. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC), based at Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry.

Shaun Hannigan, Director - Regional Cultural Centre

Shaun has worked with Donegal County Council for the past 15 years, first as Manager of Letterkenny Arts Centre and then as Director of the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny since it opened in 2007. The RCC and LAC have worked in close partnership with the Nerve Centre to date. Shaun is also a board member of the Earagail Arts Festival and the Donegal Community and Cultural Development Company Limited and has previously worked as Public Art Manager with Southampton City Council and City Arts Officer in Limerick. Shaun’s previous board memberships and governance training include Board Member of the Doorway Community Project Letterkenny and Boardmatch Ireland Training for Earagail Arts Festival Board Members.

Michael Hamlyn, Producer & Trustee, Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Michael is a Trustee of The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and a Chair of the Social Justice Committee. Michael has worked in the film industry for longer than he cares to remember, producing feature films, TV drama and music videos for the likes of U2, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and INXS. Film and stage credits include:

  • The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball – directed by Roger Graef, Julien Temple 

  • “Party Party” - directed by Terry Windsor

  • “White City” - directed by Richard Lowenstein

  • U2 – Rattle and Hum - directed by Phil Joanou

  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – directed by Stephan Elliott

  • Mr Reliable – directed by Nadia Tass

  • Produced “Paws” - directed by Karl Zwicky

  • “Last Seduction II” - directed by Terry Marcel

  • The Proposition – directed by John Hilcoat

  • Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical – directed by Simon Phillips

Along the way the productions have picked up an Oscar, a Grammy, various BAFTAs, Tonys, Oliviers and a large sackful of MTV Awards. Michael has had regular governance training at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. 

Michael’s previous board memberships include:

  • 1996 – 1999 On the Board of “Cinemagic” – Belfast Children’s Film Festival

  • 2003 – 2010 Governor and Board Member of the Southbank Centre

  • 2007 – to date on the Board of Nullarbor Production Ltd.

Michael is a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation from 1987.

  • 1999 – 2004 Trustee of the National Film School

  • 2009 – 2014 Governor of the National Film and Television School

Michael set up Specific  Films Ltd. in 1991 and he is a director of Bibendum Restaurant Ltd. from 2002.

Shauna Kelpie, Development and Support Officer, Acorn Fund

Shauna Kelpie lives in Derry and works as the Development and Support Officer with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Acorn Fund. She also works as a part–time lecturer with the North West Regional College teaching drama in the local community to a range of individuals and groups and is an associate Director with Sole Purpose Productions – a local professional theatre company which creates theatre focused on public and social issues. Previous roles include: working as a freelance producer with the Culture Company during 2013; interim cultural programmer with Derry City Council; Director and Programmer with Foyle Film Festival 1999 – 2007; Education Officer with The Playhouse; Assistant Director with The O’Casey Theater Company based in Northern Ireland and New York. She has an MA in Theatre from Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence RI USA.
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