Skip to navigation Skip to content

Meet the Team

 

OUR STAFF

Vikki Brennan, Director. Vikki comes from an ethical buying and human rights background. Prior to her role at Proudly Made in Africa, Vikki was Head of Brand Outreach at the Bangladesh Accord Foundation in Amsterdam. She has previously held roles at high street retailer Primark, moving through the ranks from fashion buying to Senior Ethical Trading Executive. Vikki also holds an Mphil (Hons) in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin and is a certified SA8000 lead auditor. 

 

 

 

 

Claire Lynch, Programme and Sourcing Manager. Claire specialises in marketing, business development and international development. She led the marketing and brand development of Fuschia beauty products from its start-up phase and grew its market footprint. Claire also ran a successful independent events management business before moving to the development sector where she was communications manager for AidLink. She has worked in a series of events management roles for Dóchas. Claire's background is in international relations and she has a Masters in Human Rights Law from NUIG. 

 

 

 

 

Conall O’Caoimh, Founder. Conall has 25 years experience working in development charities in Brazil and Ireland and has completed many NGO assignments in Africa. He has also worked for a number of Irish NGOs both as a staff and as a freelance consultant. His involvement in trade spans 15 years for much of which he was involved in advocacy at WTO and EU levels in shaping the policies which affect African trade. Since 2007, Conall has been directly involved in trade facilitation.  Email: conall@valueaddedinafrica.org.

 

 

Penelope Muzanenhamo (PhD), Proudly Made in Africa Fellow in Business and Development at UCD School of Business. Penelope was appointed Proudly Made in Africa Fellow in Business and Development in August 2015. This role is a joint initiative of Value Added in Africa and University College Dublin School of Business and is funded by Irish Aid / Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Concern and Trócaire. She works with business schools across Ireland to better inform student perceptions of Africa as a place to business in, and with. Penelope holds a PhD from Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick. Her doctoral thesis investigated the contribution of Brand Africa to Sustainable Development from a diasporan perspective. She is also a holder of two Masters degrees (in Strategic Management and in Business Administration) from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. During her doctoral studies, Penelope taught a number of undergraduate and postgraduate subjects at WBS in the areas of Marketing, Organisational Behaviour/Analysis, Strategic Brand Management, Global Project Management and Global Environment of Business. Currently, she is a faculty member of the Prague Summer Schools where she co-teaches a module on New Forms of Development Cooperation and Poverty Alleviation since 2013. Prior to her PhD studies, she worked in Germany as a Market Research Analyst for a boutique brand strategy consultant firm, and in Austria as a Marketing Strategy Consultant for Small & Medium Enterprises. She also worked on Austrian funded projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa before and during her University studies in Austria.  Penelope has published academic work and opinion pieces, and has also presented at global conferences including the Academy of Marketing, where she won the Best Track Paper Award in 2011.  For more information about Penelope and her role, click here. Email: penelope.muzanenhamo@ucd.ie. 

If you have any queries for our team, please contact us now.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Proudly Made in Africa’s joint Irish/UK Board of Directors brings together expertise in both development and business.

Prof. Matt Murphy, Acting U.K Chair. Matt is a co-founder of Value Added in Africa. He has over ten years’ experience in international business/finance and the management of strategic alliances. Matt holds a PhD in Management Science from ESADE Business School in Barcelona; his research focused on cross-sector alliances in emerging economies. Matt currently works as Professor of Sustainability and Corporate Social Entrepreneurship at UVIC, Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret Carr is the Research Engagement Manager/Public Affairs Officer for Cancer Research UK in Northern Ireland. She has over 30 years’ experience in retail in the USA and Ireland. For 12 years, Margaret served as the Fair Trade Manager for Oxfam Ireland where she coordinated Oxfam’s work on Fairtrade and had direct responsibility for sourcing food and craft products from over 30 developing countries. In the course of her work, Margaret has spent considerable time working with small craft producers in Tanzania, as well government and business officials in order to increase awareness of and commitment to Fairtrade.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon Johnson has extensive experience in business development and marketing strategy. She is the Founder/Owner of Liberty Marketing & Innovation and Founder of Nextivalorg. Sharon's focus is on creating connected communities to drive sustainable business projects and to help non-profit organisations to reach their potential. Her previous experience in strategic leadership includes developing the brand strategy articulation for The Elders and working as the Programme Director for The Elders’ ‘Every Human Has Rights’ campaign.

 

 

Justin Kilcullen is Co-Chair to the Global Council of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, and chair of its Finance Committee. He served for twenty years as CEO of Trócaire (Caritas Ireland). He worked in Tanzania, designing low cost housing, in Belfast working on inner city housing, and for the UNHCR constructing refugee camps for Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. Subsequently he worked for four years in Laos as country director before being appointed CEO in 1993. Justin also played a prominent role in the Development Effectiveness process.

 

 

 

 

 

Albert Tucker is a leading figure in the fair-trade movement and overseas development. The former Managing Director of Twin Trading, Albert advocates for small-scale producers and citizens in global trade and policy. For 20 years, Albert was a Trustee of Comic Relief. He currently serves as the Director of Social Business Network and non-executive Director of the Big Lottery funds. Albert also sits on a number of UK boards including Common Purpose and the Lorna Young Foundation.

 

 

 

Ria Kearney, Sustainability Manager, Primark. Ria previously held the position of Sustainability Manager for Tata Global Beverages, where she was responsible for the company’s ethical sourcing agenda and oversaw Tetley’s move to Rainforest Alliance sourcing. Prior to joining Tata, Ria built experience of alternative models of business and trade within a diverse range of organisations in the UK and abroad including The Ethical Tea Partnership, BT and The Township Trust. She is a graduate of Common Purpose and holds an MA (Hons) degree in International  Business and Languages from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

 

 

 

 

Stuart Parkinson has extensive experience in senior operations and management positions including purchasing, manufacturing, call centre set-up and driving operational improvements.  He has worked, over the past 25 years, in both the Software and Chemical sectors for Microsoft, ICI, Unilever and Astra Zeneca. Over the past two years Stuart has also been a Parent Company facilitator for the Plato organisation (A non-profit organisation which works with SMBs to help SMBs Owner Managers to build successful businesses for the future). Stuart is passionate about studying and applying the knowledge in practice! He holds a BSC Hons in Industrial Management, is a qualified Business Coach and also holds various Diplomas from Applied Project Management, Emotional Intelligence to Organisational Behaviour (UCC).