Meet the Judges

Claire Reid,
Head of Delivery at 4c Executive

Claire oversees the delivery of all executive level assignments from inception through to completion by leading and supporting the team in the execution of their duties. She plays a pivotal role in developing and managing the business strategy, whilst also acting as a figurehead for the company.

With 16 years’ experience within the Recruitment Industry, Claire is a strong leader and manager, with skills also spanning both HR and project management. Claire holds a Masters degree in HR, has a Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management, a Diploma in Management of Training and Development, and is CIPD qualified.
Conaill McGrady, FCA
Director of M.B. McGrady & Co Chartered Accountants

With over 20 years’ accountancy experience, Conaill is Director of M.B. McGrady & Company Chartered Accountants. Spanning three offices in Belfast, Downpatrick and Ards, and with a team of almost 30 employees, M.B. McGradys is one of Northern Ireland’s longest running accounting practices, offering an expansive portfolio of services that support all the requirements of the modern growing business.

Director, Conaill McGrady, has a broad range of practice, specialising in accounting and taxation advice for owner-managed businesses and has extensive knowledge assisting charities regarding audit and compliance issues. His expertise includes business plans, financial planning, banking reviews and feasibility studies. A Chartered Accountant, he is a Trustee for a large UK Charity, acts as a School Governor and was previously a Commissioner for Income Tax.

Michael McQuillan, director of the Business Institute at Ulster University Business School

Michael is Director of the Business Institute and Centre for SME Development at Ulster University Business School. Prior to joining Ulster in 2014, he established and managed several businesses. Most notably, as co-founder of the streat, he developed the award winning cafe business to a network of more than 90 outlets before acquisition in 2010.

Through McQuillan Associates he consulted and mentored more than 250 SMEs across Northern Ireland from 2010 to 2014. He is a Non-Executive Director on several Northern Irish businesses. He has had a long involvement with the NI skills development agenda, and was appointed to Visiting Professor (UUBS) in 2010. Michael is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr Elaine O'Neill
Programme Director, Institute of Directors Northern Ireland.

As Programme Director for IoD NI, Elaine is responsible for leading the professional development provision through the IoD NI Academy. Elaine has more than 12 years’ experience in senior roles across the public, private and third sector, and most recently as Head of Programmes at Stormont-based body Politics Plus. She has led programmes to support democracy, economic development, tourism, and a signature capital build project. Elaine has a PhD in Management and a BSc in Business Information Technology.
Gavin Walker
Business First

Gavin is the Managing Editor of Business First Magazine and Business First Online. He will act as Chair of the Judging Panel.
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