Governing Body

North West Regional College Governing Body

The Governing Body is responsible for the strategic oversight of the College. It consists of members who are mostly drawn from the business and industrial community thus reflecting the primary role of the College to provide training and support for the economic base of the region. In addition the Governing Body has representatives elected by the College staff and students. All members have been appointed by the Minister of theDepartment for the Economy. The Governing Body is chaired by Mr Gerard Finnegan. The Governing Body has 4 standing committees reflecting its main areas of work – Audit & Risk, Education, Finance & General Purposes and Staffing.

A profile of current members is given below.

Governing Body Members

Gerard took up his position as Chair of the Governing Body in April 2014.

Gerard Finnegan is a Strategy Consultant who established his own business, Sea Change Consulting Ltd, in 2010. The business provides strategic business planning advice, advice on change management and coaching & mentoring to senior executives in public and private sector enterprises. 

Gerard is a qualified Chartered Accountant who works with a number of businesses in the food, hospitality, arts and service sectors. He was previously Head of Finance and Corporate Affairs at Ilex the Urban Regeneration Company for Derry, a Director of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and a regional manager of Invest NI. He also served as a member of the Governing Body of the North West Institute of Further and Higher Education.

Gerard lives in Derry with his wife Máire and their three children.

Gerard Finnegan

Leo is the Principal and Chief Executive of the North West Regional College having been appointed to the position in 2014.

He has over 25 years’ experience in the further education sector. He was Vice-Principal in Omagh College from 2000 and in 2008 he took over the role of Deputy Director at South West College based at the Fermanagh campus. He has served on a number of public bodies and forums relevant to education, enterprise and innovation.

He introduced a range of new portfolios in his previous College such as international work, entrepreneurship and supporting economic development.

Leo Murphy

Sarah is the Student Governor representative on the Governing Body. She was previously a sabbatical officer at Ulster University, serving as the Vice President of Campaigns and Communications.

Following her completion of a BA Hons in Journalism with English at the University of Ulster in 2014, Sarah continued her education journey with NWRC.  She is currently studying a Post – Graduate Diploma in Professional Journalism (NCTJ Accredited).

Sarah is a big advocate of Student Welfare and hopes that she can use her experiences as a union member to express this.

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Martin is a retired Chartered Accountant. He qualified in Belfast in 1972 and was made a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland in 1983.

Martin has worked both in practice, as an Auditor and as a Management Consultant and in a variety of financial posts in Industry. During that time he worked in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malawi, Kenya, Switzerland and London.  He has advised the Malawian Government on the restructuring of its Central Stores Organisation, the Kenyan Government on the allocation of the debt of the East African Community.  Then he worked with Du Pont de Nemours Switzerland, Conoco Limited and Tie Rack PLC in a number of financial roles before returning to Northern Ireland, in 1991, to work with Leckpatrick Holdings Limited as Finance Director, then H. G Porter & Company Limited as Operations & Finance Director and then Perfecseal Limited; as Finance Director.  In these posts he also had responsibility for Human Relations and Information Technology.  He retired on health grounds in 2007.

Martin is a Director of the Churches Trust Limited, a Governor of the Fountain Primary School and has been extensively involved in the restoration of First Derry Presbyterian Church.  He is Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee and a member of the Staffing Committee.

Martin lives in Londonderry and is married to Rosie and has one son, Connor.

Martin Agnew

Samuel worked in the Civil Service for over ten years and then moved into the community/voluntary sector, specialising in PEACE funding, he was latterly the Chief Executive of a regional charity based throughout Northern Ireland.

Samuel is also heavily involved in his local community and is a director and board member of 4 community organisations in the Strabane District. Samuel is the Vice Chair of Strabane Academy’s Board of Governors and a Governor of Ardstraw Jubilee Primary School and has also been involved with the adult training sector for the last number of years.

Samuel is a CIPFA Qualified Internal Auditor and is Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management, as well as managing his own businesses and family farm in the Strabane area he is also a Consultant providing advice in Management, Audit and Funding issues. Samuel is Chair of our Audit & Risk Committee and a member of the Staffing Committee.

Samuel is married to Wendy and has four daughters and two sons, all under nine years old.

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Padraig is currently Chair of Hunter Apparel Solutions, CultureTECH and U4D (a local lobby group for the expansion of the Magee campus of the Ulster University). Padraig also serves on the boards of InvestNI, St Mary’s College and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.

Establishing enterprise software house Singularity in Derry in 1994, he opened offices in London, New York, Singapore and India; Kofax Incorporated successfully acquiring the company in 2011. Previously an electronics engineer and software professional in London and New York, Padraig is a past president of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, served on the boards of Momentum (the NI Software Industry Federation), School Employer Connections and Oakgrove Integrated Primary School.

He is a past British Computer Society Northern Irish IT Person of the Year and received an OBE in 2009 for services to business. A past pupil of Derry’s Pennyburn Primary School and St Columb’s College, Padraig holds a 1st Class BSc in Electronic & Electrical Engineering from Manchester University and is an exec. ed. alumni of Stanford University. He is a founding member of the Derry Halo Acorn Angels and mentors innovative local companies like Quibizm.

Padraig is married to Jill he lives with his 4 children in his native Derry.

PadraigCanavan

Michael Cooper is the proprietor of derrybluebadgeguide.com, one of Ireland’s largest tour guiding companies. A native of the Creggan and triple graduate of the Ulster University, Michael is also a Sinn Fein councillor on Derry City Council with briefs including further and higher education, the digital economy, tourism and economic development.

He is also Heritage and Tourism Officer at the Gasyard Trust in the Bogside where he has delivered a number of exhibitions and publications focussed on the story of Derry’s political prisoners, the social and economic history of the Bogside, the loyalist and republican chronology of the peace process and a current project focused on developing joint heritage and business projects between residents of the Fountain and Lower Bishop Street.

Michael is also a governor of Gaelscoil na Daroige, ERNACT and was a private director on the City of Culture Board during 2013.

M.Cooper

Roslyn Dougherty is a social worker by profession, with almost 38 years’ experience prior to her recent retirement. As a practitioner, she has worked across Adults and Children’s services specialising in Sensory support and Disability Services. She was employed as Assistant Director of Social Work in South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust with responsibility for providing operational and professional leadership on Social Services learning, development and research. In this role, Mrs Dougherty led the co-ordination, delivery and management of the learning and development of the Social Work and Social Care workforce within the Trust.

She also represented the Trust on a range of regional bodies and task groups, working in partnership with Social Work Education providers and other organisations, and has contributed to the development and implementation of strategies at a Northern Ireland level.

Mrs Roslyn Dougherty has been a member of the Governing Body of the North West Regional College since March 2016

Roslyn Dougherty

Stephen Gillespie is the Director of Business and Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council. The Business and Culture directorate encompasses a range of services the local Council provides such as economic development and job creation, business support and engagement, ICT, tourism, arts and culture, visitor services, heritage and museums and marketing and communications.

Although originally from Belfast, Stephen has spent all of his working life in Derry, initially qualifying as an accountant with Desmond and Sons before becoming the Financial Controller of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners.

Married with two children, when not working or with his family, Stephen would devote a lot of his spare time to playing and coaching both football and badminton. On a personal level the development of youth through sport has always been very important.

Stephen Gillespie

Gavin was educated at Foyle and Londonderry College, Derry and then studied Business Studies at the Ulster University, Jordanstown, graduating in 1989 and returning to study for a part-time MSc in Business Improvement at the Ulster Business School in 2001.

Gavin is Managing Director of Nuprint Technologies Ltd, a packaging, print and design company. He has responsibility for all aspects of the business, including business strategy, product development, operations and finance. He has led the company through a period of significant change which has resulted in improvements in business efficiency and profitability. At the 2006 NI Quality Awards Nuprint, measured against the European Model of Excellence EFQM, was awarded a Mark of Excellence. It is one of only nine Northern Ireland based private sector companies in the past six years to have been awarded the Mark of Excellence and this demonstrates its commitment to a systematic approach to driving improvement across all aspects of the business.

He is currently chair of the Skills Directorate within Ilex, a board member of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Governors of Foyle and Londonderry College, President 2012-13 of the Rotary Club of Londonderry and Mini Rugby Coach for the Under 9s with City of Derry Rugby Football Club.

Gavin lives in Londonderry, is married to Nichola and has two boys, Jamie and Adam. Gavin is a member of the Education Committee.

Gavin Killeen

Mr Paul Laughlin is Deputy Director of the Department for Social Development’s North West Development Office. In his role he has worked with community representatives, the business sector and elected representatives to develop and implement projects to deliver health, education, employment and community services across the North West.

He currently leads the Quality, Places, Spaces and Neighbourhoods Catalyst Programme within the One Plan for Derry (One City One Plan One Voice) which has prioritised and delivered capital projects throughout the city.

He is a member of the board of the CCA Derry -Londonderry and is also a member of the Fair Employment Tribunal Employees’ Panel and of the Industrial Tribunals (NI) Employees’ Panel.

Paul is a member of the Audit & Risk and Staffing Committee.

Paul Laughlin

David is one of two staff members on the Governing Body. He was elected by the staff in 2007. David is also the Branch chairman of the Universities and College Union at the College.

He is a member of the Finance & General Purposes Committee.

David Limb

Sam is a former director of Development Services, Leisure and Tourism at Limavady Borough Council. In this role he had responsibility for policy formation and corporate planning.

He is a current member of the Policing & Community Safety Partnership in Limavady, the governing body of St Finlaughs Primary School in Ballykelly, Limavady/Vigneux-sur-Seine Twinning Committee. Sam is a member of the Education Committee and the Finance & General Purposes Committee.

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Catherine has been Director of Corporate and Regulatory Services (Deputy Chief Executive) at Antrim Borough Council for the last 7 years. The services for which she has responsibility include Human Resources, Finance, Audit, Public Relations, ICT, Health and Well-being, Property Services, Building Control and Environmental Health. She seeks to ensure that the organisation operates within a robust corporate governance framework, is people focused where customer service excellence is the norm and where staff are properly equipped to perform to the highest standards.

Catherine’s experience spans 28 years in Local Government and Education sectors, she is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant with an MA in Law and Public Administration, an MSc in Innovation in Public Service and is a visiting lecturer to Ulster University.

Catherine is Chair of the Staffing Committee.

Catherine McFarland

Martin has worked for 10 years as a manager with Royal National Institute of Blind People. During that time he has designed and developed a range of programmes aimed at improving the skills and abilities of people who are blind or partially sighted.

Martin comments:

“I have a particular interest in getting blind or partially sighted people into employment and helping them to achieve successful and fulfilling careers. Having a close link with further education provision is an important element in making this happen.”

Prior to this, Martin was a secondary school teacher and taught French and Business Studies in a range of schools throughout Northern Ireland.

Martin is Chair of the Education Committee.

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Mr Brian Quinn is a chartered architect with 25 years’ experience in the construction industry.

Since August 2014 he has been senior architect in the Property Services Division of the Education Authority – North Eastern Region. He was previously director of his own architectural practice for three years and a partner in a private architectural practice for 20 years. He is chairman of the Advisory Committee on Art and Architecture to the Irish Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth. Mr Quinn does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Brian is a member of the Education and Finance & General Purposes Committee.

Below are documents and Committee Meeting Minutes and Agendas. We are in the process of transferring older Committee Meeting Minutes and Agendas from our previous website. Thank you for your patience while we complete this task.

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