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2016 Facilitators & Staff



John W. Arthurs

Over a career lasting 48 years, John has travelled very widely as a geologist. He has often lived in remote places meeting people of many different cultures. This experience has given him an acute awareness of the importance of communication and interpersonal skills in bringing projects to a successful conclusion. Since 2009 he has combined coaching and training for professional development with his established geological consultancy practice.

At various stages in his career, John has worked in the mining industry, academic institutions and government scientific service. Until official retirement in 2002 he was the Northern Ireland Government’s chief advisor on earth science policy. Since then he has been consulting for mining companies and others in his twin roles as geologist and coach. John is a strong supporter of the ideal of continuous professional development. He has been awarded academic and professional qualifications from major British, Irish and European institutions (EurGeol, CGeol, PGeo, MSc, DIC, DMS, MIMMM) and is an accredited Executive Coach.

Nancy Brown

Nancy has been training, coaching, mentoring and delivering workshops for over 15 years and has first-hand experience in sales and marketing. Her experience within both the private and public sector as well as social enterprise spans the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and Russia. She has worked within a wide range of businesses reflective of diverse sectors inclusive of start-ups and well established Multinationals. She brings that international experience to local SMEs to support them to grow. Nancy believes that understanding how sales works and having confidence to close the sale are essential to increasing business. She has a passion for supporting businesses by developing sales that in turn supports the growth of local SMEs and ultimately creates jobs. Nancy has delivered workshops for Belfast City Council, Business in the Community, Gauge, Lisburn Council, Women in Business and Queens University and is a part time lecturer in the Business Institute at Ulster University. Nancy most recently managed the Business Institute’s Generate Pre- Enterprise programme at Ulster University.

Timothy Brundle

Timothy Brundle is Director of Research & Innovation at Ulster University. Timothy directs Ulster’s research strategy, governance and administration, and guides its commercial output through knowledge transfer and intellectual property commercialisation. He also holds the position of Executive Director of Innovation Ulster Ltd, Ulster’s venturing and investment company. Timothy has worked throughout his career in research-led organisations, with a focus on developing their customer-orientation, economic impact, business outcomes and shareholder value. He has led the establishment of more than 35 high tech start up companies, secured over £380m of Venture Capital, managed a profitable investment fund and ensured investor value from company acquisitions and a stock market floatation. He is an experienced and skilled member of the Board of both young companies and mature public Institutions, including serving as a Director of many of Ulster’s spin out companies, Invest NI and the UK Knowledge Transfer Network. Prior to his appointment with Ulster, on behalf of QinetiQ Group PLC, he held the positions of both Director of Marketing and Technology Transfer Director within the UK Ministry of Defence. Internationally, Timothy has provided advice to the US State Department on the development of economic ties between Northern Ireland and the United States, has provided consultancy for the European Union on university commercialisation within Accession States, advice to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills on research funding and is a committee member of the US Association of University Technology Managers. Timothy holds both a Master of Medical Science Degree and an MBA from Queen’s University of Belfast and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biotechnology from the University of South Wales. Outside of his role at Ulster, he is an active Angel Investor, a member of the Ulster University Jordanstown Ju Jitsu team, a member of Bangor Lawn Tennis Club and a keen guitarist. He lives in Bangor West with his wife Jo, their daughter Francesca, and a basset hound called Bono.

Nigel Glenny

Nigel Glenny is a Lecturer and Programme Director for the HECUA Democracy and Social Change Programme. A graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, Nigel began his career as a history teacher, then moved into local government where he designed and taught a wide range of experiential learning programmes for schools, colleges, youth and community groups. Nigel also worked for several years at a leading non- governmental organization engaged in peace and capacity-building initiatives training teachers and youth workers throughout Ireland and the United States. Prior to taking up post with INCORE, Nigel was a lecturer in International Education and Development based at the Ulster University’s UNESCO Centre, School of Education where is also directed the HECUA programme.

Brandon Hamber

Professor Brandon Hamber is the Director of the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) and the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University. He is also a member of the Transitional Justice Institute at the university, and is an associate of the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He has consulted to a range of community groups, policy initiatives and government bodies in Northern Ireland and South Africa. He has undertaken consulting and research work, and participated in various peace and reconciliation initiatives in Liberia, Mozambique, Bosnia, the Basque Country and Sierra Leone, among others. He has written extensively on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the psychological implications of political violence, and the process of transition and reconciliation in South Africa, Northern Ireland and abroad. He has published some 50 book chapters and scientific journal articles, and 4 books. He is Board member of the Belfast-based Healing Through Remembering, as well as Netherlands-based Impunity Watch. He is part of the International Advisory Group of Fambul Tok, Sierra Leone and also on the Advisory Group of the Education & Society stream of the British Council.

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is a civic innovator, democratic strategist and philanthropic advisor. He works with campaigns, governments, and non-profits to build strong coalitions to solve complex problems. He was the first Director of Social Innovation Programming at Impact Hub D.C. where his work focused on creating programs for citizen entrepreneurs to solve civic problems and build a more inclusive democracy. A leading voice on inclusive democracy and civic engagement, he served as the Executive Director of Future Civic Leaders—a national, non-partisan, non-profit that works to bridge the civic engagement gap by empowering low-income students to actively participate in Government. John is also on the Advisory Board of The Clinton International Summer School in Northern Ireland.

Michael Mc Quillan

Michael was appointed to the role of Director of The Business Institute at Ulster University in July 2014. Michael is well known in Business and Academia. Over 25 years he has created and built several businesses. Most notably, as co-founder and Managing Director of the streat, he developed the award winning cafe business from concept creation to a network of more than 90 company operated and franchised outlets throughout Ireland and Scotland. The business was acquired by the Henderson Group in 2010. He has had a career long involvement with academia and the skills development agenda. He has advised government on skills development and the development of an entrepreneurial society.

He was appointed in 2010 as a Visiting Professor to the Ulster Business School (Ulster University). He is the Chairman of People1st Employers Forum in Northern Ireland. In May 2013 Michael was appointed, by Minister Foster, as a member to the board of Tourism and sits as non-executive director on several Northern Irish businesses. Through McQuillan Associates, a business growth consultancy he established in 2012, he has provided a range of consultancy, advice and mentoring – helping businesses to identify and pursue opportunities for growth. He regularly delivers keynote presentations at business events throughout UK and Ireland.

Nikki McQuillan

Nikki is co-founder of the streat cafe business which grew from one cafe, to a large franchise business across Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland. She was involved in company strategy, directed human resource and training strategy, and project managed the set-up, fit-out and people plans of all new cafe openings until the business was acquired in January 2010 by the Henderson Group.

Nikki’s human resource strategy has been recognised by Investors in People and the streat was the first cafe and the first franchised business ever to win a UK National Training Award as well as winning IFA’s Franchise of the Year in 2010.

Utilising her professional business experience, she returned to higher education in 2011 as a Lecturer in Event Management.

Nikki is now Course Director of the BSc International Hospitality Management, a mentor for business start-ups and supervises undergraduate business plans at level 6. Her research interests are in enhancing student engagement in HE and business performance modelling. Nikki is also a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Fellow of the CIPD.

Steve Pollard

Steve is a Lecturer in Management Development with the Business Institute Ulster University Business School. He has a particular interest in entrepreneurship and SME development.

Steve is an experienced Business Adviser and Non-Executive Director with considerable experience in the management and delivery of entrepreneurship programmes gained through his work with Ulster University, his own business, his time in Further & Higher Education and running a Local Enterprise Agency.

Steve was a Founding Director of Enterprise Northern Ireland whilst Chief Executive of East Belfast’s Local Enterprise Agency. An experienced Business Adviser and Non- Executive Director Steve has provided Consultancy support to SMEs in his own right and through a range of programmes funded by the likes of Invest NI and Local Government. Steve has experience of managing private sector led enterprise support, experience operating within both further and higher education and of delivery of enterprise support in the context of regional development.

Janet Farren 

Janet has worked in various departments in the University of Ulster’s Magee campus for 15 years. She took up her current position as secretary in INCORE in February 2007. Amongst other duties, she provides support for the Journeys Out project and for the Tip O’Neill Chair. Janet holds a joint honours degree in Spanish and French from QUB and a post-graduate diploma as a bilingual secretary

Cristal Palacios Yumar

Cristal holds a BA in clinical psychology and has worked providing art based psychosocial support to communities affected by urban and political violence in her native Venezuela. She has also worked in HIV/AIDS and cancer psychosocial support programs both in Venezuela and the United States. She is currently completing a MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies at Ulster University and is an intern at INCORE.