Board of Directors of GOMA

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Stephanie Taheny, Chairperson

Stephanie is a town planner by profession and worked in local authorities in her early career including a period as planning officer in Waterford city in the 1980s. She entered the private sector as a planning consultant in the 1990s and together with her husband built up a very successful property development and construction company, still operating in the city. She represented the CIF on the board of Waterford Institute of Technology for 10 years, was a board member of Waterford Theatre Royal, now Viking Arts Ltd. for 14 years and is currently a board member of Waterford Hospice Movement Ltd.

With a passion for art, she completed a diploma in the history of European painting in TCD in 2015 and has attended several courses in classical drawing and painting in Italy in The Florence Academy of Art.

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Nigel Rolfe

Professor Nigel Rolfe of the Royal College of Art London was born in the Isle of Wight in 1950, and now lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. He works with many forms of media—video, photography and sound—and for the past thirty years he has performed throughout Europe, the former Eastern Bloc, North and South America, and Japan. Retrospectives of his work have been held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He has exhibited in São Paulo, Busan, Gwangju Biennale and shown work in many art fairs. His work is represented by galleries in Dublin, Paris and New York. In 2008, he made numerous one person and group exhibitions. There are many articles and publications of his work.

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Conor Nolan

Conor has been the arts officer for Waterford city since the year 2000 and was a founding director of SOMA Gallery. He is responsible for all arts venues in the city, as well as arts grants, festivals and strategic planning. He holds a BA in drama and theatre studies from TCD and an MA in film screenwriting from NUI Galway, John Huston School of Film and Digital Media. He also has qualifications in arts administration, public administration and advertising.

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Hillary Doyle - Secretary

Hilary Doyle F.C.A holds a Bachelor of Commerce from NUI Galway and has over 25 years’ experience in both general practice and the funding industry. Hilary trained with BDO Simpson Xavier in Dublin and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1994. She later spent 10 years working in audit and assurance in PwC Waterford as a senior manager and subsequently 8 years with State Street Fund Services (Ireland) Ltd. in Kilkenny as an assistant vice president in the financial reporting department. She currently works with David M. Breen & Co., a firm of chartered accountants located in Waterford city.  

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Eamon Quinlan

Eamon was elected to Waterford Council in 2014 and participated in local elections at the age of 27. He was elected Mayor of Waterford in 2015. He holds a degree from UL in business, majoring in accounting and finance with a minor in law. Prior to entering politics his previous career centred on anti money laundering and financial transfers for companies such as BNP Paribas and BNY Mellon. He is a former governor of University College Cork and a director for Waterford Youth Arts. Currently, he is serving on the local authorities audit committee and economic strategic planning committee.

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Dr Richard Hayes

A dedicated and driven professional with 17 years’ experience in higher education management (8 at senior executive level) and over 25 years’ experience in teaching and research. An exceptional track record of demonstrably high performance. Superior analytical and communication skills and a principled, independent-minded leader, a strong team participant and motivator. Exceptional record of engagement with agencies beyond education and has built and sustained a wide range of valuable and impactful national and international academic and other partnerships.

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Jenna Whelan

Jenna Whelan has an MA by research in fine art through Crawford College of Art and Design with recommendation, a BA in visual art with first class honours from WIT, and a BA in visual art with distinction from Limerick School of Art and Design, Limerick Institute of Technology and most recently a Diploma in Change Management and Leadership through UCD funded by the Arts Council with an award of a Distinction. Jenna has further training in providing education in the arts with VAI workshops, art and business workshops,  documenting your work workshop, a stone carving in Lismore Castle workshop, bronze casting three- day workshop, FÁS certificate in TIG welding, Photoshop CS4, FETAC level 6 in Art and Design, and a First Aid Responder course 2019. Jenna externally curates and has curated the Imagine Arts Festival in 2017 under visual arts, education and special events. The Source Thurless and more. 

Further experience includes assistant education facilitator/workshop facilitator in Lismore Castle, arts administrator, facilitator and artist studio in Cork Film Centre, Civic House Trust, scenic artist and set design and construction including solo construction for Lovers Dust for Red Kettle theatre productions. She has also been invited to be on the judging panel for the BA visual arts degree show in WIT. Awards include an ArtsLink bursary; Siamsa Tíre Emerging Arts Award and Cork Film Centre best installation/performance video award, The National Sculpture Factory (NSF)/WIT student of the year and shortlisted for the Bank of Ireland millennium scholarship. Since completing her MA Jenna has had numerous exhibitions at home and abroad.

Since its incorporation, Jenna is responsible for the day-to-day running of GOMA, management of five part-time staff under a Tús scheme, volunteers, studio workspaces, curation of exhibitions and events, marketing and publicity, facilitation of educational and art workshops and successful grant applications, including secured funding with the Arts Council for 2019, 2020  & 2021. Jenna also curated the Imagine Arts Festival 2017 and from time to time takes on contract work in the arts to further her experience. Such contracted work included working with Dr Éimear O’Connor.