Our Board — Introduction
We at Soar regard ourselves to be incredibly fortunate to have attracted such a talented and beautiful bunch of people to our board. They have emerged as real leaders in their chosen fields, and have a track record of success in the business and community sectors. While the board comprises of many different personalities and perspectives, they all share the same passion for the young people of our country. The board governs all aspects of the organisation from advocacy, fundraising, welfare and strategic direction with the primary focus on what will benefit the young people we are trying to reach.
What we are trying to achieve with Soar has resonated with this group of exceptional people, and we thank them for listening to their hearts and being a part of where we are today. Soar will always strive to work with independently minded, conscientious and talented people when governing and shaping the organisation.
Our board consists of Pat Cusack, Susan McGovern, Liam Laffey, Pat Moran, Clíona Diggins and Darren Ryan. Check out some of their bios on the right.
Our Board — Pat Cusack / Chairperson
Patrick Cusack is another man from County Clare (from Kilrush), who has worked in the IT industry in the Dublin area since 1990.
Pat is married with two kids and is passionate about the youth of this country and the potential they have if they can be raised and listened to as confident young people, trusted to drive real change.
Having communicated with Tony during his cross Canada cycle (Pat also had lost a parent in 2002), he met Tony again in 2012 and gradually got to hear about what Soar was committed to delivering. Before he knew it, he found himself on the Board!
Pat’s role within the Board is to offer some grey haired grey matter (since Karl has none) and also use his industry network to facilitate the growth of Soar. Additionally his IT experience comes in useful.
In Pat’s words “Soar represents a 21st century approach to our youth who have not been well served by our institutions. They need to have confidence in themselves and feel empowered to drive real change. They can create a powerful and passionate revival of this great little island called Ireland!”
Our Board — Susan McGovern / Secretary
Susan McGovern is a working mom of two energetic girls. She is a passionate talker and communicator, a lover of facilitating and understanding people interactions in both business and life in general.
Susan’s background is Business and Psychology and she has vast human resources experience in leading financial services organisations in Ireland, UK and Australia with a particular interest in driving cultural and behavioural change. She is also a qualified Coach and currently heads up the Organisational Development team at Certus. Her expertise and energy comes from creating and encouraging environments to drive high performance, with a focus on talent management, leadership development and coaching.
Soar’s goals align beautifully with both Susan’s professional work and personal & family passions. Susan is passionate about Soar’s proactive, early intervention and empathetic approach to the well-being of our youth, facilitating an environment ripe for all to thrive in. Soar’s essence is about helping young people to believe in themselves, tap into their inner-wisdom and be their best, to maximise the opportunity of life while staying true to oneself - something that she thinks all of us need guidance with.
Susan was instantly attracted to Soar, became involved early in its foundation, and is so delighted to be a part of the team. At present she is Secretary on Soar’s Advisory Board. She also supports the team on organisational design and development, and building, integrating and maintaining a positively authentic culture.
In Susan’s own words, “Soar is building an amazing future for the youth of Ireland, making this country a phenomenally better place for my daughters to grow up and thrive in!”
Our Board — Clíona Diggins
Clíona Diggins is a business psychologist working with organisations internationally in the areas of Leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team development. Clíona set up Psyched in 2009 to specialise in this and is passionate about helping people to excel and achieve their potential. This interest in people, performance and psychology stems from years spent representing Ireland at swimming and seeing the power of setting our own inspiring goals.
Clíona became involved with Soar very early in the journey and is excited to be part of the team and the opportunity to help young people in Ireland to thrive and reach their true potential. As part of the Advisory Board she is particularly interested in supporting Soar to be the best organisation, team, and facilitator group it can be.
When she is not with Soar or Psyched Clíona can usually be found in Dublin playgrounds with her two young daughters in search of the next best slide.
Our Board — Darren Ryan
Darren is the Chief Executive at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. He has worked there for the past five years and his passion is using entrepreneurship to address some of Ireland’s biggest social challenges.
Darren first met Tony and Karl from Soar when they became Impact Award Winners with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland in 2012. In Darren’s words “Soar was very early in its development at that point, but we could see the huge potential that it had and were delighted to be able to support them. It was the right idea at the right time, and it was being driven by two exceptional individuals.”
Darren joined the board in 2014 and hopes that his experience in the social enterprise space will help the team in Soar to develop a sustainable organisation that will continue to have an impact for many years to come.