As we look forward, we want to help “Build the Future”. We asked Siobhán Finn, National Hub Network Manager at NACEC, to share with us some insights on her experiences and how she draws inspiration from the environment around her, role models she had during her career, and what is, in her opinion, the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge for building the future.
Voltedge: What is your current role and how long you have held this position?
Siobhán: I joined the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres in early January this year, right at the outset of the third lockdown! As National Hub Network Manager, I am responsible for building the organisation, delivering the organisation’s strategy and developing strong, productive and collaborative working relationships with multiple partners and stakeholders.
Voltedge: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Siobhán: The people I share my values with – trust, respect and integrity; the community of people I work with; my daughter whose belief in doing right for the world is unwavering; and the ‘knowing’ that self-belief has the power to change so much.
Voltedge: During the course of your career, was there a role model or mentor that stands out for you?
Siobhán: There were several over the course of my career, however Pat McGrath, the former CEO of the PM Group, is a standout for me. Pat is a highly experienced board chair and executive and I learnt so much from him during his tenure as Chairperson with the Cork Innovates Partnership.
Voltedge: What do you think the biggest opportunity is right now for building the future?
Siobhán: The post-Covid recovery offers us a real opportunity to ‘build back better’; this time in our lives is a real opportunity to reflect, re-evaluate, and reimagine the ways in which we want to create positive change in our world, our local communities and how we live our lives into the future – creating a better place for our families and our communities and leaving a legacy for our children that really counts!
Voltedge: What do you think the biggest challenge is right now for building the future?
Siobhán: To make change happen, we need to think differently, and build regionally. As we live the ‘new normal’ we must remember to hold onto what we have learnt about ourselves, the communities in which we live and put those learnings to good use for a better future. It can be easy to lose valuable learnings as the pace of life runs away with us all.
Voltedge: Can you share with us 2 or 3 positives in your personal life that you have discovered over the last 18 months?
Siobhán: I’ve had a really busy 10 years raising a young daughter (now a teenager) and changing my life direction in my 40s. I turned 50 right before Covid. This time, when sometimes it felt like the world stool still, has reminded me how much I love being in nature, in the outdoors and how much I enjoy walking for hours on end. I am an introvert by nature and this time showed me how much I value the company of people and what being in the presence of positive people can do for you. It taught me the importance of being in the presence of those I love and respect the most.
Voltedge: What is your favourite quote and why?
Siobhán: Be true to yourself!
The National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC) represents a network of 250+ Enterprise Ireland funded centres and hubs across the Republic of Ireland.
Formally established in 2008 and drawing together a number of pre-existing regional networks, NACEC’s primary role is to support and develop the interests of community enterprise on a national basis.