Minister makes appointments to the Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced the appointment of nine Non-Executive Members to the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC).

The appointments will take effect from 1 February 2016 for four years and will run to 31 January 2020.

The Minister has reappointed Rotha Johnston, Christine Hayes, Dr Gerard O’Hare and Dr Ed Vernon to the Board to serve second terms. They have been Non Executive Members of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 1 February 2012. Richard Everitt, Diana Fitzsimons, Deborah Lange, Jane Chambers and Kyle Alexander have each been appointed for a first term.  
Minister McIlveen said: “I am very pleased to announce these appointments today. I am confident that the members that I have reappointed will continue to make a valuable contribution to the work of the Board. The new members will bring fresh perspectives and ideas.

“Belfast Harbour is Northern Ireland’s principal maritime gateway and logistics hub. I am confident that their combined experience and skills will contribute to the Harbours vision to be a world-class Port, offering leading-edge marine and estate facilities to enable the economic development of Northern Ireland.”

The Minister also paid tribute to the outgoing Board Members Noel Brady, Trefor Campbell, Peter Dixon and Stephen Kingon saying: “I would also like to thank the outgoing Non-Executive Members for the valuable contribution they have made to Belfast Harbour Commissioners during their tenure.”

The appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.

Notes to editors:

1. The Board of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners was first constituted by the Belfast Harbour Act 1847 as a corporate body with the underlying purpose of operating, maintaining and improving the Port of Belfast. The powers and duties of the Board are limited to those conferred by the various Belfast Harbour Acts and Orders 1847-2002, and any relevant public general Acts such as the Harbours Act (NI) 1970. In common with other Northern Ireland and Great Britain ports similarly constituted, the Port of Belfast is generally referred to as a ‘Trust Port’. The Constitution of the Commissioners is set out in Schedule 1 of the Belfast Harbour Order (Northern Ireland) 2002.

2. The Commissioners currently have a membership of a Chair, an Executive Member and thirteen Members, including four councillors from Belfast City Council. The Non-Executive Members of Belfast Harbour commissioners will receive remuneration of £12,000 per annum based on anticipated attendance of one to two business days per month. An additional £3,600 (Chair) or £1,600 (member) can be paid for participation in a sub-committee.

3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. All appointees have declared that they are not involved in any political activities.

4. Dr Ed Vernon has served on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 2012. He receives remuneration of £12,000 per annum for anticipated attendance of one to two business days per month. He has a background in the IT sector. He was the Chief Executive of BIC Systems and also Head of Corporate Strategy at BT Ireland. He is a former Board Member of Invest NI and is currently a Trustee of Queens University Foundation Board.

5. Ms Rotha Johnston has served on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 2012. She receives remuneration of £12,000 per annum for anticipated attendance of one to two business days per month. She has a background in both private and public sectors. She is a Director of Wildflower Property and a former Business Development Director for LEDU and co owner of Variety Foods. She is currently Chair of NI Screen (2013 to date), for which she receives remuneration of £10,000 per annum based on attendance of two days per month. She is also an Independent Board Member for the Board of the Department of Justice (2012-2016) for which she receives remuneration of £15,000 per annum based on attendance of 3-4 days per month

6. Mr Kyle Alexander OBE has a background in the Public Sector. He is the former Chief Executive of Laganside Corporation and is currently the Chief Executive of the Maze/Long Kesh Development Corporation. Mr Alexander is also a Strategic Advisor to the Strategic Investment Board, Chair of the Connswater Community Greenway Trust and a Board Member of the International Urban Development Association (INTA).

7. Mrs Diana Fitzsimons has a background in Planning, Surveying, Property Law and Economics and is a former Principal Planning Officer. As Planning Director of Turley Associates she was involved in planning projects at Belfast Harbour Lands including City Quays and the Stena Ferry Terminal. She is a planning consultant with the English Planning Inspectorate; Chair of Fold Housing; Deputy Chair of the RICS charity Lionheart; Deputy President of the International Federation for Housing and Planning and a visiting professor at the University of Ulster.

8. Dr Gerard O’Hare has served on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 2012. He receives remuneration of £12,000 per annum for anticipated attendance of one to two business days per month. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He is the founder of Parker Green International, a private international investment and development company. He is a former President of Newry Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the CBI. He is also a Board Member of Invest NI (2012 to date) for which he receives £11,995 per annum based on attendance of one to two days per month.

9. Ms Deborah Lange is a Certified Public Accountant and has held a number of senior executive positions within the accounting and high-tech sectors. She was the Senior Vice President of Tax at Oracle Corporation and also chaired the Silicon Valley Tax Directors Group. She is currently a Board Member of Invest NI (2014 to 2019), for which she receives remuneration of £11,995 based on attendance of two days per month. Ms Lange is also Chair of the Women’s Inspiration Network (WINET) and is a Governor for Holywood Primary School.

10. Mrs Jane Chambers is a Chartered Engineer. She has had a wide career specialising in major infrastructure and property development. She is a Director in J Chambers Consulting Ltd. During her career she has worked on major projects including the Integrated Wastewater framework for NI Water, the Kilkeel Harbour Sea Defence, Springvale Campus, Belfast and Bangor Olympic Swimming Pool and Leisure Complex.

11. Mr Richard Everitt has a background in both public and private sectors. He is a former Chief Executive of the Port of London Authority and of National Air Traffic Services Limited. He was also a Director of BAA plc. He is currently Chair of Air Partner plc.

12. Ms Christine Hayes has served on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 2012. She receives remuneration of £12,000 per annum for anticipated attendance of one to two business days per month. She is also a member of the Belfast Harbour Pension Fund. Her background is in Finance and the Banking Sector. She is a former Director of Credit Management within the TSB Group and also the Risk Director at Egg plc. Additionally, she has worked as a business consultant and coach and currently volunteers as a business mentor with the Prince’s Trust.