Global CEO and Local Leaders to Speak at Council's Talent Summit

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne


Saturday 19 March 2022 1:00

ONE of the world’s most successful business leaders is to headline a hybrid summit on the topic of Empowering Talent on Wednesday 23 March.

The event, which has been created by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and the Management and Leadership Network, will explore how individuals and businesses can identify, amplify and realise their own talent and that of their teams.

The keynote address will be given by Ronan Dunne who, as Executive VP of Verizon (the world’s largest telecommunications company), is helping to usher in a 5G revolution in the same way as he did with mobile networks when he was CEO of O2 in the UK in the early 2000s.

Dunne’s impact goes beyond telecoms as he plays a prominent role in the global ‘One Young World’ organisation which empowers young people to lead and make lasting connections. He has also recently been appointed as Executive Chairman of Six Nations Rugby and he will draw on this breadth of experience to share how individuals, businesses and regions can make ‘talent’ their differentiator.

Delegates will also hear from local business leaders including George Lowden who, self-taught, began making guitars 45 years ago and is now one of the highest-regarded guitar makers on the planet. Notable owners/players of a Lowden Guitar include Eric Clapton, Damien Rice and Ed Sheeran with whom George is now collaborating on the multi-award-winning ‘Sheeran by Lowden’ brand.

Attendees will also hear from Jago Pearson who is Chief Strategy Officer of Finnebrogue Artisan and Chair of the international non-profit organisation, Foundation Earth. Gemma Murphy, Partner and Manager at the award-winning Jack Murphy Jewellers, will also share how a focus on ‘talent’ has been at the heart of the company’s recent growth.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said, “We are exceptionally proud that businesses from our regions are quite rightly being showcased as exemplars when it comes to empowering talent. We are delighted to be partnering with MLN on this event and would encourage business leaders from Newry, Mourne and Down and beyond to register to attend what promises to be a world-class virtual event.”

The event will be chaired by Feargal McCormack who is Managing Director of PKF-FPM and a Champion of the Management and Leadership Network. Speaking at the launch he explained, “At PKF-FPM our people are our greatest strength. Talent is at the heart of our business, and this is the message that I, and the other speakers, will be sharing on 23 March”.

The event, which will be streamed live from Killeavy Castle, is being supported by Danske Bank. Danske’s Oonagh Murtagh, Head of South Business Centre, explained, “Talent is one of the most challenging issues currently facing our customers and we are delighted to be working with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and The Management and Leadership Network on what promises to be an informative, insightful and inspirational event”.

Managers and leaders from all sectors are being encouraged to register at to secure their free virtual pass for this event, which will run from 11.30am-1.15pm on Wednesday 23 March. For more information contact the Management and Leadership Network by telephone on 028 9076 1030 or by email at

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