Digicel (Trinidad & Tobago) Ltd. Board
Denis O'Brien is Chairman of the privately-owned Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing mobile operators in the world.
Denis founded Digicel in 2001 when the company launched a GSM cellular phone service in the Caribbean. Digicel has extended its operations to 32 markets with over 11 million subscribers in the Caribbean, Central America and Pacific regions.
He is one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors including international telecoms, radio, media, property, aircraft leasing, golf and other leisure interests. He also founded Communicorp Group which owns and manages a portfolio of media and broadcasting-related companies in Ireland and eight other European countries.
Denis founded the Esat Telecom Group plc and built it throughout the 1990’s until its sale to British Telecom plc for €2.4 billion.
Outside of his extensive business interests, he chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. It was the first time the Summer Games were staged outside the US with teams from 160 countries and over 30,000 volunteers. The 2003 Summer Games were the most successful in the history of the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Denis is Chairman of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Judging Panel, having previously been a recipient of the award. He serves as a Director on the US Board of Concern Worldwide.
In addition, he is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Frontline, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Based in Dublin, Frontline is working to ensure that the standards set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998, are known, respected and adhered to worldwide. Frontline’s work consists of research, advocacy, communications/technical assistance and emergency evacuation of human rights activists.
In 2000, Denis established The Iris O’Brien Foundation to identify and assist projects in Ireland and internationally which aim to alleviate disadvantaged communities.
In 2010, he was named Goodwill Ambassador for the city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti by the Mayor of Port-au-Prince in recognition of his efforts to rebuild Haiti and attract foreign direct investment in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake on January 12th. Digicel is the single largest private investor in Haiti.
He has also been appointed to the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
Denis holds a BA degree from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College.
Mr. Buckley, recently appointed Vice Chairman of the Digicel Board, is one of Ireland's most respected business consultants and "company doctors". He was involved in the start-up of Esat Telecom Group plc and Esat Digifone Limited and held the position of Chief Operations Officer of Esat Telecom during 1996 and 1997.
Mr. Buckley established his own consultancy business in 1990 and has since been retained on a number of key public and private sector appointments. These include the reconstruction of Waterford Crystal plc, the reconstruction and sale of Irish Steel plc, consulting work with Irish Rail and the restructuring of Aer Lingus (Ireland's national airline).
Mr. Buckley was appointed to the Commission for Nursing by the Irish Minister for Health in 1997. Mr. Buckley is currently a director/chairman and shareholder of a number of Irish companies, including Irishjobs.ie, Communicorp Group Limited, Radio 2000 Limited and Globetech Technical Services Limited.
Lucy Gaffney’s involvement with Esat Telecom spanned six years from her role as Managing Director of The Ideas Company, where she was an advisor to Esat Digifone in its successful bid and subsequent launch as Ireland's second GSM mobile phone operator to a number of senior positions within the company itself, including Chief Operations Officer, Director of Marketing, and Managing Director of Esat Clear, Esat's residential division.
In addition, Lucy joined the board of Ulster Bank Limited, whose parent company is the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, as a non-executive director in May 2004. She also currently serves as chairperson of Communicorp, which has radio operations in Ireland (Newstalk, Spin,98FM), Ukraine, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. In March 2009, she was appointed to the Board of Independent News & Media plc as a Non-Executive Director.
She is a member of the new National Sports Campus Development Authority set up by the Irish Government and is Chair of the Steering Group of the Governments National Action Plan Against Racism.
She is a Board Director of Digicel Ltd, the fastest growing telecommunications operator in the Caribbean with operations in 26 countries in the Caribbean and Central America.
She served on the Tesco Ireland Board from 2000 to 2005 and was a Director of the 2003 World Special Olympic Games held in Ireland.
Group Chief Executive Officer and Board Director
Colm joined Digicel in May 2004 in the role of Group Chief Financial Officer before taking up his current role as Group Chief Executive Officer in June 2005.
When he joined the company, Digicel was active in eight markets in the Caribbean having launched its first operation in Jamaica in 2001. Since then, Colm has overseen a fourfold increase in the number of markets Digicel serves and has been instrumental in taking the Digicel brand of best value, best service and best network mobile communications across the Caribbean and Central America. With the addition of six markets in the Pacific to the portfolio, Digicel Group now spans 32 markets worldwide and is proud to serve 11 million customers worldwide.Prior to his role in Digicel, Colm provided consultancy services to a number of companies, including O’Brien Cellular Ltd., owned by Denis O’Brien. From September 1993 to October 2003, Colm held the position of Chief Financial Officer of Hibernia Foods plc, a Nasdaq-quoted company in the food manufacturing industry.
Colm qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG Dublin and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Dublin City University and is based with his family in Kingston, Jamaica.
Sandra Welch-Farrell is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SWF & Co a Trinidad & Tobago based Public Relations Company with affiliates throughout the Caribbean. She has overseen the company’s rapid growth and expansion to become one of the most highly regarded and best known Public Relations firms in the region.
Ms. Welch-Farrell has provided counsel to several global brands including members of the Fortune 500. Her work spans global interests, high profile individuals, international businesses, government agencies, embassies and academic institutions, both on extremely sensitive issues and crisis situations.
Sandra Welch-Farrell’s clients include work for Digicel, British Airways, General Electric, Motorola, AstraZeneca, Chevron, 3M, British Gas, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and others. Referred to by General Electric as a “Crisis Management Guru” and by Chevron as a “Trail blazing, high powered Public Relations expert”, Sandra Welch-Farrell is regularly featured in and quoted by the media across the Caribbean. A Trinidad Guardian feature story on Ms. Welch-Farrell described her as “the consummate hard-driving Public Relations expert” who has pioneered many Public Relations initiatives for Corporate and Public Sector organizations. Her work has influenced the elevation of the Public Relations function in the hemisphere and the direction in which the profession is moving.
Sandra Welch-Farrell is a graduate of Queen’s University in Canada (B.A.) Psychology & Biology and the University of Toronto (M.A.) Applied Psychology. She has had Post Graduate Training in Marketing and Communications Strategy at Cornell University and Public Relations and Human Resources Management training at the University of Michigan. She is well known for her philanthropic work with several charities. Above all, Ms. Welch-Farrell is a devoted wife and mother of twins. Her husband is himself a leading professional.
John joined Digicel in January 2008 as General Manager for Digicel Vanuatu which successfully launched June 26th 2008. John went on to become CEO for the Digicel Fiji operation from October 2008 to December 2009. John then moved from the Pacific to the Caribbean and became General Manager for Digicel North Eastern Caribbean in January 2010. John drove the Digicel OECS North region to deliver on the key factors which make Digicel a world class organisation: namely best value, best service and best network coverage for our customers. Throughout his tenure at Digicel, John has been responsible for propelling outstanding growth in terms of customers and driving revenues.
Prior to joining Digicel John had over ten years senior management experience in one of the UK and Ireland’s largest FMCG companies Greencore, and The Kerry Group. He holds a 1st class honours degree in Business Studies from the University of Ulster and is based with his family in Port-of-Spain.
|Michael A. Fifi
Mr. Michael A. Fifi, a graduate of Cambridge and Edinburg Universities is an urban planner by profession and recently retired as one of Trinidad’s leading developers, with over thirty-five (35) years of experience in the industry and numerous major projects.
He was responsible for introducing the enclosed shopping malls to Trinidad as well as ‘new urbanism’ projects.
Recently retired as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the HCL Group, Mr. Fifi is now the Chairman of the Regency Group, a small family development group and is also the Chairman of the East Port of Spain Development Company, a state owned enterprise.
Geoffrey Leid is an Attorney by profession and has specialized in real estate, corporate mergers and acquistions.
Mr. Leid also sits on various Boards in the real estate, telecommunication and energy sectors in the Caribbean.
Mr. Leid holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and Administrative Studies from York University, Canada and obtained his LL.B in the United Kingdon where he was called to the Bar as a Barrister-at-Law at Grey's Inn London.