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Minister White Announces Appointments to Ervia Board

Dublin, 20 January 2015

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White T.D., has today obtained Government approval for five appointments to the Ervia Board.

Following an open selection process, the following four appointments have been made to the Ervia Board for a period of five years:

  • Mr Sean Hogan
  • Mr James Martin
  • Ms Celine Fitzgerald
  • Mr Peter Cross

Mr Joe O’Flynn has been reappointed for a period of three years.

Today’s appointments mean that all nine Ervia Board positions are now filled. The other board members are Ms Rose Hynes (Chairperson), Mr Michael McNicholas (Chief Executive), Ms Mari Hurley and Mr Finbarr Kennelly.

Minister White said: “Today’s appointments, which have been made under the new guidelines for appointments to state boards, will strengthen the expertise and experience of the Ervia Board. I am confident that the Board is equipped with the right mix of skills to steer the company on a steady course in the years ahead.”

The selection process for these appointments was undertaken in accordance with the “Guidelines for appointments to State Boards” published by the Government in November 2014. It was managed by the Public Appointments Service, in conjunction with NewERA, and there was a significant level of interest in the posts advertised.
ENDS


Notes for Editor

Background on Selection Process

Four vacancies on the Ervia Board were advertised on stateboards.ie on 20th November 2014. Applications were sought from suitable candidates in the following competency areas:

  • Senior level in the water utility sector with an international focus, ideally with previous executive level operational experience in the water utility sector;
  • Senior level in the gas, electricity or telecoms utility sector with executive level experience of dealing with large scale customer facing systems (helpdesk, billing);
  • Senior level in an organisation(s) with more than a thousand employees with executive level experience of dealing with transformational change within that/those organisations; and
  • Senior level utility infrastructure (network) financing.

There was a significant level of interest in applying for these appointments.

Short biographies of new appointees

Sean Hogan
Sean Hogan was appointed chairman of Northern Ireland Water in March 2011. His term at Northern Ireland Water expires in March 2015.

James Martin
James Martin is co-founder and chief executive officer of AMCS Group, a supplier of enterprise resource planning software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and resource industry, which is located in Co. Limerick. Before that he held a number of technical and management positions at Analog Devices for 10 years.

Celine Fitzgerald
Celine Fitzgerald has over 30 years' experience in customer service spanning a variety of sectors. She has worked in the Telecommunications sector in Eircell and Vodafone, leading the delivery of customer relationship programmes. Between 2007 and 2012 she was CEO of Rigney Dolphin, a business process management company that worked with clients to manage, maintain and grow their customer relationships. She has operated her own management consultancy and also has experience in the NGO sector. She serves on the Board of the VHI.

Peter Cross
Peter Cross has his own strategic corporate finance advisory business in Dublin (Trasna Consulting) and has been the chair of the HSE’s Audit Committee since January 2014. He was previously Chief Financial Officer of Eircom (between July 2007 and December 2010). Before that he worked in the UK with BT Group (as Chief Financial Officer of BT Openreach, as Group Director of Corporate Finance and as Trustee of the BT Pension Scheme), and held corporate finance positions with Morgan Stanley and Barings. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in Dublin.

Joe O’Flynn
Joe O’Flynn is general secretary of SIPTU. He was appointed to the Ervia Board in November 2008 and subsequently reappointed in November 2013. He is a former Lord Mayor of Cork and former city councillor. He is a director of three SIPTU affiliated bodies – the Institute for the Development of Employment Advancement Services, the Irish Trade Union Trust and the Larcon Centre – the controlling body for the Liberty Hall Centre for Preforming Arts. He is also Treasurer of Irish Congress of Trade Unions and a member of its Executive Council.


Ervia Board Members at 20 January 2015
Ervia Board Members

(max nine)
Appt. DateExpiry date
Ms. Rose Hynes

(Chairperson)
28/07/2014*

27/07/2017
Mr Michael McNicholas

(Chief Executive)
07/05/2013



06/05/2018
Ms Mari Hurley11/06/201310/06/2018
Mr Finbarr Kennelly11/12/201210/12/2017
Joe O Flynn20/01/2015**19/01/2018
Sean Hogan20/01/201519/01/2020
James Martin20/01/201519/01/2020
Celine Fitzgerald20/01/201519/01/2020
Peter Cross20/01/201519/01/2020


* Ms Hynes was appointed to the board on 21/6/2006. She was appointed Chairperson on 28/07/2009, and was re-appointed Chairperson on 28/07/2014.

** Mr O’Flynn was first appointed to the board on 28/11/2008


Questions and Answers

What is Ervia?
Ervia is a multi-utility commercial semi-state company with responsibility for the delivery of strategic national infrastructure in the areas of gas and water.
Since 2012 Ervia, formerly Bord Gáis Éireann, has undergone a challenging change agenda, with the Board and management of Ervia delivering on the sale of Bord Gáis Energy and the incorporation and integration of Irish Water as a subsidiary within the Ervia Group.

Why was the name changed from Bord Gáis Éireann to Ervia?
Bord Gáis Energy was sold in 2014, and as part of the sale the Bord Gáis name transferred to the new owners.

Were the vacancies on the Ervia Board advertised?
Yes. On foot of the new Guidelines on Appointments to State Board (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, November 2014) and consultation between the relevant Departments, the Public Appointments Service (PAS), NewERA, and the Chairperson of Ervia, the four vacancies were advertised on stateboards.ie on 20th November 2014. The deadline for applications was 3rd December 2014).

Applications were sought from suitable candidates in the following competency areas:
  • Senior level in the water utility sector with an international focus, ideally with previous executive level operational experience in the water utility sector;
  • Senior level in the gas, electricity or telecoms utility sector with executive level experience of dealing with large scale customer facing systems (helpdesk, billing);
  • Senior level in an organisation(s) with more than a thousand employees with executive level experience of dealing with transformational change within that/those organisations; and
  • Senior level utility infrastructure (network) financing.


How many directors are on the Ervia Board?
The Board of Ervia was established under the Gas Act 1976 and provides for a total Board membership of nine, including the Chairman. Following the five appointments made today, there are currently no vacancies on the Ervia Board.

Will there be more appointments to the Ervia Board?
Yes. Section 40 of the Gas Regulation Act 2013 (Parts 4 and 5 not yet commenced), as amended by section 13 of the Water Services Act 2014 provides for the number of Board Members on the Ervia Board to be increased from nine to eleven. Consideration will be given in due course to the appointment of two further Board Members and a separate process will be undertaken to fill those vacancies in accordance with the Guidelines for appointments to State Boards.

What is the remuneration for being a member of the Ervia Board?
In accordance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Circular, the Chair is paid €31,500 and a Board Member is paid €15,750.

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