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Board Members

  • Aidan Bennett
    Aidan Bennett
    Position: Chair Relate NI

    Aidan is a qualified Company Director, with an IOD Diploma in Company Direction and BSc Hons in Advanced Management Practice. A digital data and informatics consultant, he has a strong background in Governance, Compliance, Risk Management and Assurance, and is a qualified Management of Risk practitioner.

    Aidan brings a wealth of experience to the Boardroom stemming from 25 years of Director level engagements across both the Public and Private Sectors in Healthcare, Finance, HR, Payroll and Utilities, from start-ups right through to major corporate enterprises.

  • Jill Downing
    Jill Downing
    Position: Board Member Relate NI

    Jill is a solicitor who specialised in family law for over 20 years. This includes divorce, children order proceedings both private law and public law. Jill has experience in advising on Domestic Abuse and has undertaken training with Women’s Aid.  Jill has also trained as a Collaborative lawyer and has promoted mediation.

     Jill was a partner in Magennis & Creighton Solicitors, for 20 years. Jill graduated from the University of Ulster with an MBA in 2018. Jill currently works as a solicitor for Housing Rights NI. 

    Jill has been involved with Relate NI for approximately 20 years. She has supported the organisation in adapting to the changing needs of individuals. As a Trustee of Relate NI and former Chair Jill has participated on many interview panels and assisted with the transitioning of new senior management positions. Jill has promoted Relate NI publicly at launches and conferences attended by the Minister of Health and other Health service representatives.
     

    Jill is also on the Board of Homestart North Belfast which befriends families with children under 5 years of age.

    Jill was presented with an OBE in 2019 for her work with families and children.

  • Brian Barry
    Brian Barry
    Position: Board Member Relate NI

    Brian is a qualified social worker and has recently retired as Director of Specialist Hospitals & Women’s Health in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

    Brian has some 40 years experience in both the statutory and voluntary sector. He has also worked voluntarily within the sector and has held Board level positions with a number of charities and community organisations.

  • Aisling Gallagher
    Aisling Gallagher
    Position: Board Member Relate NI

    Aisling is a communications professional who has been working at leading Communications agency Morrow Communications for 12 years.  As Producer/ Director she has worked on many and varied projects, from social media videos to educational productions for BBC Learning and QUB. Before joining Morrow Communications, Aisling was a print and broadcast journalist working across local outlets from the Irish News to BBC NI.  

  • Alison Grundle
    Alison Grundle
    Position: Board Member Relate NI

    Alison is a problem solver by nature and a business improvement consultant by training and experience. She has spent over 20 years delivering large scale transformation programmes within multi-national corporations. She took this experience into the Department of Justice when she became non-political Special Advisor to Justice Minister -Claire Sugden in the last short lived Assembly mandate. Alison is passionate about the societal importance of building and maintaining healthy relationships.

  • Natalie Dowey
    Natalie Dowey
    Position: Treasurer Relate NI

    Natalie is an experienced economic policy professional, specialising in bettering consumer welfare through improving competition and preventing anti-competitive activities. She has a particular interest in the betterment of consumer welfare in digital markets.

    She currently works in Enforcement for the Competition and Markets Authority. Previously Natalie worked in the Utility Regulator covering monopoly and markets regulation, along with policy development in electricity.

    Natalie also brings key commercial experience to the Boardroom having spent her formative professional years working in structured finance; providing debt finance and advice to large corporates in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    Natalie completed a PG Dip in Economics for Competition law in 2018 at King’s College London, holds an LLB in Law with Economics and is a qualified project manager.

  • Maria Pimentel
    Maria Pimentel
    Position: Trustee

    Maria was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada at a young age. In 2015, she received an International Postgraduate Scholarship to attend the Juris Doctor Law programme at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2018, she graduated at the top of her class and was featured in an installation and a book by Susie Rea commissioned by the School of Law at Queen's, celebrating the achievements of women working in the law across Northern Ireland, for her work in founding the QUB Women In Law Lean In Circle. From September 2019, she was a Boardroom Apprentice with Relate NI and brings her experience from this training in key areas such as governance, communication, managing public money, cyber awareness, and social media. She currently works as a Contract Analyst with Factor (formerly Axiom Managed Solutions) and has over 7 years experience working in the legal services sector. Maria is very passionate and motivated to help underrepresented groups, (young people, women, ethnic minorities) become more visible in leadership roles and have a voice in the boardrooms of public and third sector organisations in Northern Ireland.

  • Dr. Felicity Lamrock
    Dr. Felicity Lamrock
    Position: Trustee

    Dr. Felicity Lamrock is a Lecturer in Data Analytics at Queen’s University Belfast. She completed her PhD in Medical Statistics from Queen's University Belfast in 2016. Felicity was previously a statistician at the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) working with a team of pharmacists and clinicians on Health Technology Assessments to advise the Health Service Executive on the recommendation of new drug therapies in Ireland. The Irish national authority, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) recently reviewed PrEP for populations at substantial risk of sexual acquisition of HIV, and Felicity represented the NCPE on the expert advisory group. Felicity is also an Adjunct Researcher at the Institute for Public Health, Medical Decision Making and HTA at the University for Health Sciences Informatics and Technology (UMIT), Austria. She still remains a statistical advisor for the NCPE and is exploring how Northern Ireland could benefit from more decision modelling/pharmacoecononomic assessment. 

  • Vernon Fox
    Vernon Fox
    Position: Trustee

    Vernon Fox joins the board of Relate NI, bringing over 20 years executive experience from organisations across EMEA and The Americas. Vernon is a Lurgan, Co Armagh native and currently Managing Director - Europe for Digital Asset Delivery, an Australian software firm. A specialist in Strategy, Risk Management, Innovation, Operations Leadership and Outsourcing, Vernon brings multisector experience in ICT, Renewables, FMCG, Utilities, Security & Aviation, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Software Development, having also worked at EU level as an active participant in the EU ICT4EE Energy Efficiency research initiative (REvistIE) in Brussels. Vernon is also the founder and owner of Lough Neagh Distillers - 1837 Ltd, one of Ireland’s newest micro distilleries.

    A Queens University Belfast Graduate in Information Management and Politics (1996), Vernon also holds his M.B.A from Trinity College Dublin (2018) and is multiple PMI certified Programme, Risk and Project Professional.

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