About Us

Board of Directors

Membership of Aware’s Board of Directors is entirely voluntary and no remuneration is paid to the directors. All directors are required to sign the Aware Volunteer Agreement; this means they are committing to the ethos and culture of Aware and committing to compliance with Aware’s policies and procedures.

Mr. Peter Cosgrove
Chair
Peter is the Managing Director of Futurewise, a future of work insights company which explores the latest trends that are shaping the future of work and our world. He has experience in the fields of banking, management consultancy and the staffing sectors. Peter is on the steering committee of the 30% club and is Chair of Brain Tumour Ireland. He is the former Chair of Junior Achievement Ireland, Blackrock Athletic club and the National Recruitment Federation. He has written two books Fun Unplugged and Family Fun Unplugged.
Mr. Simon Holmes
Vice-Chair
Simon is Executive Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Development at ICON plc, one of the world’s leading contract research organisations helping to bring new medical treatments to market. He is responsible for the company’s investor relations function and for the proactive identification and evaluation of potential acquisition candidates. Prior to this role, Simon was Group Director of Marketing, a position he assumed on joining ICON in July 2005. A graduate of the University of East Anglia and Cambridge University, Simon holds an MBA from the UCD Smurfit Business School and previously held senior positions with Microsoft, LogicaCMG and Cable and Wireless, Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute.
Mr. Stephen Crowley
Secretary
Stephen Crowley lives in Carrigaline, Co. Cork and has been involved with Aware as a Support Group Facilitator for five years. He also plays a key role in the Aware training team, delivering training to new volunteers. Stephen works as a Training and Development Specialist with Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited. He has worked with the company for 22 years across various departments including production and processing. Stephen is passionate about people and personal development, and in his free time he has completed a Diploma in Life & Executive Coaching and also studied Emotional Intelligence for two years in Carlow Institute of Technology. Stephen is married to Susan and has five children who he describes as ‘wonderful’.
Ms. Sinéad Brennan
Sinéad Brennan joined the NTMA in March 2014 as Head of Human Resources and was subsequently appointed Director, HR before becoming Chief People Officer. Prior to joining the NTMA, she was Head of Human Resources with KBC Bank Ireland and previously HR Director with BDO Ireland. Sinéad has also worked in HR roles in the software sector and in HR consultancy services. Sinéad is Chair of the Gender Matters initiative in the NTMA and is an advocate for Inclusion and Diversity across the Agency. Her professional passion is to create work cultures where people can thrive, develop and bring their authentic selves to work. She holds a PhD from Dublin City University (DCU) and her research topic was leadership development. She was announced as the 2019 Pearse Walsh Medal Award winner for her research. Sinéad also holds an Masters in Business Studies from DCU. Sinéad is the Mum of two very active boys and spends quite a bit of time on the side-lines of (often soggy) GAA and Rugby pitches.
Dr. Keith Gaynor
Keith is a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the St John of God Hospital, Stillorgan. He specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders and depression. He has previously worked for the NHS at the Warneford Hospital, Oxford. He completed his clinical training at the Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, London. He completed his PhD in University College Dublin. He has written widely in academic journals on the topic of CBT and is regular contributor to the Irish media on issues of mental health. He has written a book titled: “Protecting Mental Health”.
Ms. Sarah Watson
Sarah is a Commerce graduate from UCD and holds a post graduate diploma in professional accounting from the UCD Smurfit Business School. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Sarah commenced her career with PWC where she worked on various financial services clients, spending time both in Ireland and the US. She held various financial and risk management roles with UniCredit Group, BOI Group and Bank of New York. Sarah currently heads up the Finance function for Scotiabank in Ireland where she has responsibility for all financial and regulatory reporting.
Mr. Keith Kiernan
Keith is Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Bank of Ireland Group.  He has responsibility for Group IT strategy and deployment, systems management, and the adoption of technologies to support the delivery of strategic business change programmes. Keith was formally Chief Operations and Technology Officer with RSA in Ireland where he had full executive responsibility for all aspects of the Technology Strategy, Delivery & Operations in addition to shared services and general insurance business operations.  Prior to RSA, Keith held a number of roles with Telefonica O2 Ireland. Keith led O2’s transformation journey providing the leadership and direction necessary to effect the sale and integration process of O2 Ireland to Hutchinson Whampoa (“3”) in Ireland” . A graduate of Trinity college Dublin Keith holds an honours degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Mr. Piaras Power
Piaras is a Partner with global law firm Eversheds Sutherland in Ireland, heading up the Firm’s Banking & Financial Services practice group. Piaras has responsibility for advising both Irish and international clients on all aspects of banking law. In his role as practice group head, Piaras sits on the Firm’s Executive Management Committee in addition to various sub-committee’s covering key areas such as business strategy and diversity & inclusion. Piaras is a graduate of UCD and a member of the Law Society of Ireland. He is married to Niamh and has two sons and a daughter.
Ms. Bernadette Grant
Bernadette is an insight driven, result focused marketing strategist with broad geographic experience across local, European and Emerging markets. She has worked across a number of FMCG companies such as Lir Chocolates, Batchelors and Kellogg. Her career in Kellogg has spanned over 16 years where she worked as Marketing Director for various regions in Europe and in her most recent role led the innovation agenda for Europe where she demonstrated a strong track record for tranformational growth of existing brands and led the development of new brands. She is a passionate leader of teams and enjoys developing talent. Bernadette was also one of the founding members of the Kellogg Diversity and Inclusion forum and was appointed resilience trainer for the European Organisation. She holds a B.Sc. Food Business and a Graduate Diploma in Management from University College Cork and is a Member of the Institute of Marketing.
Dr. Patrick McKeon
Pat is a founding member of Aware and a Consultant Psychiatrist. He was Medical Director at St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and specialises in the management of depression and bipolar moods. He actively promotes the role of those with lived experience of mood problems as being ‘experts by experience’ who are uniquely placed to both raise public awareness and understanding of mood problems  and provide support and knowledge to peers and their families who are on a similar journey. He has a wealth of experience as a member of boards, particularly in the area of corporate governance, management of charities and fundraising. He has researched, written and broadcasted extensively on depression and bipolar and is currently researching the benefits of mood monitoring apps in the management of bipolar spectrum moods and difficult-to-treat depressions.

Objectives

Membership of Aware’s Board of Directors is entirely voluntary and no remuneration is paid to the directors. All directors are required to sign the Aware Volunteer Agreement; this means they are committing to the ethos and culture of Aware and committing to compliance with Aware’s policies and procedures. 

Aware’s Board of Directors meets six times per year and minutes are recorded at every meeting. These minutes are circulated to the directors after each meeting.

Membership of the Board of Directors is based on:

Professional Competencies and required skill sets (e.g. finance, legal).

Many of the directors were sourced through Boardmatch Ireland, the national organisation working to match professionals with not-for-profit boards.

Voluntary Commitment to Aware.

Having volunteered with the organisation for a period of time and understanding Aware’s ethos and culture, or currently delivering Aware’s services. The board has a number of working committees, further details of the Board Committees.

Aware services are independently and regularly evaluated to ensure effectiveness and any recommendations are considered and implemented by the board and senior management.

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held each year to approve the company’s accounts. All directors (excepting office holders) retire from the board at the AGM and are eligible for reappointment at that meeting.

The Board of Directors report to the Members of Aware. The Members meet independently of the board a number of times per year. The board and Finance Committee have approved a range of financial policies and procedures which are subject to review and external independent audit each year.

Aware is independently audited (current auditors are PWC) and annual accounts are published each year in line with best practice. The accounts are posted online for members of the public to view.

The Aware accounts have been prepared in accordance with the new standard FRS102 (The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland). FRS102 is the applicable standard for Public Benefit entities whose financial statements are intended to give a true and fair view of the financial position and income and expenditure for a period.

The Board of Directors agrees a Strategic Plan for the organisation every three years.

Subscribe

Keep up to date with us by signing up to our newsletter