Visit Belfast AGM 011A
Visit Belfast AGM 011A

Marie-Therese McGivern (Chair)

Marie-Therese McGivern was born and educated in Belfast and began her career as a lecturer in further education working in the areas of youth unemployment and enterprise development. In 1994 she moved to Making Belfast Work becoming Head of Policy, Planning and Research for the urban regeneration initiative.

In 1999 she joined Belfast City Council as the first Director of Development with responsibility for economic development, tourism, culture and urban regeneration.  In 2007 her responsibilities were enlarged to include the Waterfront and Ulster Halls and neighbourhood work.

In 2009 she became Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College were she led a successful transformation programme creating an award winning college which became the designated lead college for ICT and Tourism development.

She sits as a non-executive director on the Strategic Investment Board for Northern Ireland, Invest NI and Northern Ireland Water.  She is the Chair of Maritime Belfast and of the Employment and Skills Sub-Committee of the Belfast Region City Deal. She also co-chairs the Belfast Film Festival.

She has received a number of awards including the IOD UK Public Sector Director of the Year and has been made a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and  the City and Guilds of London Institute. In 2021 she received a Doctorate in Social Science from Queens University Belfast.

Julia Corkey
Julia Corkey

Julia Corkey

Chief Executive of ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall

In 2020 Julia took up her role as Chief Executive of BWUH Ltd, the private limited company established in 2016 to operate ICC Belfast, Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall. The Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall represent the live entertainment brands of two of Belfast’s most iconic venues. ICC Belfast is the conferencing brand representing Northern Ireland’s only purpose-built International Convention Centre. The overarching goal of all three is to win and deliver world class conferences and events so that Belfast becomes a business event and live entertainment hotspot. Over 300,000 patrons are welcomed each year to performances spanning the genres of music, sport, family and comedy.

The vision for the company is to create a world-class stage where people make great things happen, benefitting Belfast and Northern Ireland socially, culturally and economically, today, tomorrow and beyond.

David Cowan
David Cowan

David Cowan

Director of Commercial Operations, Translink

David Cowan is Director of Commercial Operations with Translink. He has more than 25 years experience in Public Transport and prior to that worked in Customer Service and Logistics in the Drinks trade.

Kevin Gamble

Director and Chief Executive Officer, Féile an Phobail

Peter Harbinson

Executive Director, Communications & Marketing, Invest NI

Uel Hoey
Uel Hoey

Uel Hoey

Business Development Director, Belfast International Airport

Uel Hoey has worked at Belfast International Airport (BFS) since 1988 and has held a Senior Management/Director role for 30 years, serving on the Company Board for 18 years and playing a pivotal role in reinforcing BFS’s position as one of the Top 10 Airports in the UK.

He has responsibility for Aeronautical Services Development, Public Relations and Marketing, and has had direct responsibility during his tenure for introducing easyJet (25 years in 2023), Jet2 (20 years in 2023), Ryanair, TUI, Continental Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Aer Lingus, UPS, Fed Ex and Amazon to the local market, witnessing these customers develop and expand service to the broad benefit of Northern Ireland business, tourism and society.

He has also played a key role in facilitating Presidential and Royal visits over the years and in accommodating the G8 Conference through the Airport in June 2013.

In recent years he has been centrally involved with Government at all levels in the ultimately successful lobby to deliver a critical UK Government reduction in Domestic Air Passenger Duty (April 2023), and earned a Northern Ireland Special Achievement Award for attracting the successful Routes Europe conference to Belfast in April 2017.

He is a Belfast Ambassador, now representing the Air Access Sector on the Visit Belfast Board for a second term, having previously represented the industry on the Board between 2002-2008.

Judith Owens
Judith Owens

Judith Owens

Chief Executive, TBL International

Judith is Chief Executive at TBL International Ltd (TBL), the parent company to the award-winning Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic and the TEC. With experience spanning over three decades, unrivalled knowledge of the tourism and events industry and an exceptional track record, she is one of UK’s the most experienced and established management professionals. Currently serving on the board of Visit Belfast, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) and as chair of the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance (NITA), as well as being a co-founder of Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS), a collaborative network set up to attract and retain talent in the sector, Judith is passionate about her ambassadorial role in driving the tourism sector and its valuable contribution to the NI economy.

Judith’s leadership, commitment and expertise has seen Titanic Belfast go from strength to strength, welcoming over 7 million visitors from 145 countries, winning ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the World Travel Awards and seeing the attraction contribute £430m in additional spend back into the NI economy in its first 10 years. Having recently spearheaded an ambitious £4.7m transformation of the Titanic Experience, Judith has led the team in creating a rich and immersive visitor experience cementing Titanic Belfast’s place as a world-class, ‘must-see’ global visitor attraction for years to come.

Prior to her role as Chief Executive at TBL, Judith as Operations Director oversaw the daily operations and strategic planning for all three of TBL’s venues ensuring a consistent and seamless five-star service. Judith also managed the Waterfront & Ulster Hall for 14 years and worked in UTV, one of Northern Ireland’s largest broadcasting houses.

Rajesh Rana
Rajesh Rana

Rajesh Rana

Director, Andras House Ltd

Rajesh Rana is a director of Andras Hotels, which is Northern Ireland’s largest hotel group, with properties in Belfast, Coleraine and Portrush and a number of new projects in the pipeline. The company owns and operates hotels under franchise from international brands including Hilton, Accor and IHG, as well as boutique serviced apartment sites. Rajesh was President of Belfast Chamber during the difficult periods of Brexit, the first Covid lockdown and the Primark fire, all of which presented challenges to the Belfast business community which Rajesh helped to articulate in his role and lobby for support. Rajesh was a Trustee of the Grand Opera House and helped to plan the £9million refurbishment of this listed theatre. Rajesh trained as architect and urban designer, and is married to Olivia with two children.

Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

Port Director, Belfast Harbour

Michael joined Belfast Harbour in 2003, holding a number of roles in the organisation before being appointed Port Director in 2018.  Previously, Michael held positions with both Baltimore Technologies and Informix Software Inc. and started his career in logistics with Diageo.  Michael holds a Certificate in Company Direction through the Institute of Directors and is a Board Member of Visit Belfast. 

Raymond Robinson

Head of Conferencing & Operations,Presbyterian Church in Ireland

Caroline Wilson

Director, Taste & Tour NI

Petra Wolsey
Petra Wolsey

Petra Wolsey

Group Marketing Director, The Beannchor Group

Petra Wolsey is the Marketing Director of The Beannchor Group, one of the largest hospitality groups in the North of Ireland. Their portfolio includes bars, pubs, a chain of pizzerias, clubs, restaurants, and hotels – including Belfast’s prestigious five star Merchant Hotel. The group is now expanding into the South of Ireland with a number of exciting new projects underway in Dublin.

For more than twenty years Petra has been responsible for creating, implementing and accelerating and the company’s marketing strategy. She is a highly motivated and experienced marketing professional. She manages a team of eight exceptional individuals and together they craft and deliver innovative and creative marketing solutions for The Beannchor Group’s extraordinarily diverse range of hospitality outlets.

Petra is an Alumna of UUB and is a frequent guest lecturer in the business hospitality school. She sits on the board of Visit Belfast and is the Patron of Crossroads Care NI.

When she finds the time, Petra is a passionate motorcyclist, a moderately enthusiastic road cyclist and an improbably good skier.

Caroline Young
Caroline Young

Caroline Young

Director of Student Plus, Queen’s University Belfast

Caroline is Vice-President of Students and Corporate Services at Queen’s University Belfast and is responsible for all aspects of the student experience delivered through the Directorates of Global Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions, Education and Student Services and Student and Campus Life.

Her role involves the leadership of various University services which deliver the marketing recruitment and admissions of students from home and international markets, overseeing the enrolment and registration of students and many of the educational support services available to them during their time at Queen’s, as well as campus life and the overall student experience including their final graduation day.

During her 18 years at Queen’s, Caroline has held the positions of Director of Accommodation and Hospitality, Director of Student Plus and has been responsible for the University’s Student Accommodation portfolio, including its growth from 1,600 – 3,500 rooms and investment of over £100m.  Caroline is a passionate advocate for students, working closely with the Students’ Union to ensure that the University provides a positive and holistic student experience.  Parallel to this, Caroline is an advocate for Queen’s as a great place to work and has been committed to creating a positive, creative and supportive workplace.

Prior to Queen’s Caroline worked in Sales, Marketing and Business Development with a variety of hotel companies and golf resorts throughout the UK, Ireland and in Europe.  She has extensive senior management experience in the hospitality, service and leisure industry within both commercial and higher education sectors.

Caroline is passionate about volunteering and is a Non-Executive Board member of Choice Housing, Visit Belfast and a Governor of Victoria College Belfast.

Michele Bryans
Michele Bryans

Michele Bryans

Chief Executive, Eastside Partnership

Michele Bryans is Chief Executive of EastSide Partnership, a charitable regeneration organisation which delivers a wide variety of social, economic, environmental and cultural projects with a clear mission to ‘make east Belfast a better place’. Michele has overall responsibility for the management and strategic development of the organisation and its subsidiary companies committed to regeneration in east Belfast with flagship projects including Connswater Community Greenway, C.S. Lewis Square and EastSide Visitor Centre.

Clare Guinness
Clare Guinness

Clare Guinness

Chief Executive, Belfast Chamber of Commerce

A finance graduate and Chartered Director, Clare has 25 years commercial experience across banking, infrastructure, agri-food and real estate. In addition to being CEO of Belfast Chamber, Clare is a non-executive director of Progressive Building Society and is also on the board of Peace Players, a cross community sports charity.

Belfast City Council

  • Councillor Clíodhna Nic Bhranair
  • Councillor Séanna Walsh
  • Councillor Eric Hanvey
  • Councillor Sammy Douglas

Observers

  • John Greer, Belfast City Council
  • Kerry McMullan, Belfast City Council
  • John McGrillen, Tourism Northern Ireland
  • Lesley-Ann O’Donnell, Belfast City Council

Operational Sub Committee

Chair: Judith Owens

Membership:

  • Chris Armstrong
  • Kevin Gamble
  • Peter Harbinson
  • Raymond Robinson
  • Caroline Young

Audit, Finance and HR Sub Committee

Chair: Michael Robinson

Membership:

  • Julia Corkey
  • David Cowan
  • Uel Hoey
  • Marie-Therese McGivern
  • Caroline Wilson
  • Cllr Eric Hanvey
  • Cllr Séanna Walsh

Remuneration Sub Committee 

Chair: Michael Robinson

Membership:

  • Marie-Therese McGivern
  • Kathryn Thomson