Farewell Message from Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive Officer

Posted 31.10.19

To all my colleagues, clients, friends and family; thank you for your support and friendship over the last 10 years. My role has never been just a job for me, but a large part of who I am and I am proud of what has been achieved since I first joined the organisation as Head of Operations in 2009 and was subsequently appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2011.

To the DCCoI team, Board and the clients and membership organisations we represent; thank you for your dedication, your passion and your creativity. Though I may be moving to another sector, I look forward to seeing design and craft continue to evolve and grow in the years to come. We have seen many changes in the design and craft sector and I am proud of what we have all achieved together, delivering highlights such as:

  • Year of Craft 2011, celebrating the craft sector with our membership organisations throughout Ireland
  • Amending our trading name to the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2014 to more accurately reflect our organisation’s remit
  • Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) which saw the roll out of a year-long programme with over 150 international events and 500 domestic events, for which our President, Michael D. Higgins, was patron
  • The many impacts of ID2015, including the publication of the first design policy framework which led to initiating the development of a national design strategy for Ireland and the establishment of a National Design Forum
  • The inclusion of the design and craft sector in the Future Jobs Programme at both a national and regional level, reflecting the Government’s appreciation of the opportunities this sector offers for sustainable employment across all regions of the country
  • The expansion of our partner network in Ireland and around the world, including my own role representing Irish designers and makers on the Board of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA)

I am exceedingly grateful for all of the dedication, professionalism, commitment and hard work of the DCCoI team in delivering an extensive range of programmes and events each year and for the impact we have achieved for the innovative sector we represent and champion.

I would like to express my gratitude for the leadership of chairs Breege O'Donoghue and Laura Magahy from whom I have learned so much. It has been my great privilege to work with the dedicated and skilled DCCoI Board and team and I treasure the friendships I have cultivated with each of you. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your CEO over these last 8 years.

I would like to thank our colleagues in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and in Enterprise Ireland for all their support.  Last but not least, a special thanks to the many strategic partners who have collaborated with us on the delivery of many programmes and initiatives.

As some of you know, one of my passions is the development and growth of organisations.  For this reason I look forward to moving into my new position as CEO of a new company with an ambitious aim of becoming a multi-national horticultural organisation bringing healthy and sustainable food to the Irish and UK Market.

It has been an honour and privilege to lead this organisation and to champion and represent Ireland’s designers and makers both nationally and internationally.  Ireland has such a wealth of talent and the design and craft sector makes an immense contribution, not only to Ireland’s economy, but to our culture and our society. I wish you all continued success in the future.

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