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About

 
 

Year

 
 

About The Business Excellence Institute

 

The Business Excellence Institute, informally known as “BEX”, is a membership body with members in 31 countries on 5 continents.

It is dedicated to helping people, and the organizations they work for, achieve outstanding results for all their stakeholders. It promotes business excellence as a multi-disciplinary profession, excellence in management, and the use of innovative approaches to personal and organizational development.

The Institute has individual members - with diverse backgrounds in the public and private sector – and organizational members and it supports organizations ranging from small family businesses to federal governments.

Link to BEX website for more information

About The Excellence Hall of Fame

 

The Excellence Hall of Fame was established in 2016 to recognise and celebrate people who have made significant contributions to the organizations in which they have worked, to the discipline of management, or to society at large.

Once a year, members of The Business Excellence Institute nominate candidates who meet eligibility criteria and the nominations are then voted on by the Institute’s Fellows. The Fellows are selective about who is honoured, they look for people of integrity with a sustained track record of excellence and the bar is set very high.

 
1. ELIGIBILITY ...
 

To be eligible for nomination, a person needs to have a track record demonstrating very significant contribution to the organizations in which they have worked, the discipline of management, or society at large.

They also cannot be nominated if they have been nominated in the last 3 years.

 
2. NOMINATIONS ...
 

Each member of the Institute can nominate somebody for inclusion in the Excellence Hall of Fame, if (i) they can get two other members to second the nomination and (ii) they have not nominated or seconded the nomination of somebody else in the year.

Nominations must be accompanied by a detailed bio containing independently verifiable information to be submitted including all the supporting information to be considered in determining whether the nominee should be voted into the Excellence Hall of Fame.

 
3. ELECTION ...
 

The Institute’s Nominations Committee reviews nominations to ensure they are complete and that all the people nominated are eligible. They produce a list of qualified nominees with a summary of their career (nature, length, depth and scope) and the influences the nominees have had on others which also highlight the nominee’s:

  • Ability to demonstrate (s)he has delivered excellent results in a consistent manner
  • Ability to demonstrate (s)he is a role model of the Institute’s values
  • Ability to demonstrate (s)he has learned from mistakes

Profile(s) are circulated to all of the Institute’s Fellows who are asked to evaluate them and then vote “Yes”, “No”, or “Abstain” for each candidate by secret ballot. If, ignoring abstentions, over 75% of the votes for a nominee are “Yes” then he or she is deemed to be elected if less than 5 nominees would be elected by this process. If over 4 candidates would be elected, then the number of “Yes” votes for each is counted and the four people with the highest tallies are deemed to be elected.

Jon Prusmack

A Jon Prusmack

“The story of how Jon founded, invented and pioneered Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelters is a tale of great vision and innovative thinking…Prusmack’s products save lives… (now) the US market for rugby continues to grow largely due to Jon Prusmack’s relentless pursuit of elevating this amateur sport to world competitive levels…he is Mr. Rugby in the USA, and for that accomplishment alone he deserves admission to the Excellence Hall of Fame.”
Don Haider Professor of Strategy, Kellogg School of Management

“Having spent 40 years with Ernst and Young I’ve met quite a few outstanding entrepreneurs. Jon would rank right up at the top of the group…he’s a globalist which has helped him in his creativity because in his worldwide travels he picked up many ideas which he used to make his products better.”
Mike Henning former Global CEO of EY

“Jon is first and foremost a man of integrity. A man who has studied both art and mathematics, an artist who has excelled at sports, and one who – with many patents to his name – has invented things. A businessman who has successfully built more than one multi-million dollar company from zero and a man who can just as easily sit and talk to and engage with a five year old girl as with a five star general.”
John Bourke President, The Business Excellence Institute

 

Nominated by: John Bourke
Seconded by: Neal Traynor and Richard Cross

Jon Prusmack HoF

Bio

Jon attended the University of Notre Dame on a football scholarship where he studied architecture. After two years, he transferred to the United States Naval Academy where, once he had completed Marine Corp basic training, he majored in math and mechanical engineering. He resigned from the Academy after three years to pursue studies in Art and Design at New York University and graduated in 1966 with a BA in Art and Mathematics.

Throughout his college years, Jon played football and was voted the NYU’s Most Valuable Player in 1965/66. While at NYU, he discovered rugby which he was to play for 15 years before becoming a coach and referee. As a player, he played internationally against clubs in England, Ireland, and France and was captain of the USA Owls for their inaugural tour of England in 1977. He wrote the first American coaching book on rugby – Rugby: A Guide for Players, Coaches and Spectators – which was published by Hawthorn Books in 1979. Jon was inducted into the USA Rugby Foundation Hall of Fame in 2013 and is also a member of the NYAC Rugby Hall of Fame and the US Naval Academy Rugby Hall of Fame.

He started his business career as a professional artist and designer after graduating from NYU. He worked as an artist full time for decades. In parallel he was a successful entrepreneur setting up a number of companies. In 1986, with his wife Patrice, he founded Deployable Hospital Systems, a company based on an idea for a Deployable Rapid Assembly Surgical Hospital (DRASH). They struggled for 10 years but persevered to build DHS Technologies from zero into a business with well over $150 million in annual sales, employing over 250 people in its manufacturing plants in New York and Alabama and with a subsidiary in the UK. Its equipment has been used around the world by military and civil defense forces, police and fire departments – it is now standard NATO, US Army and US Marine Corp equipment. Jon has 22 patents and was the 2003 EY Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year for the New York Tri-State area.

In 2012, the Prusmacks sold DHS Technologies and its two brands “Reeves” (which targets disaster relief) and “DRASH” (which targets military shelters) are now continuing without him. While at the helm of DHS, Jon earned an MS in Engineering from Polytechnic University in New York. He also holds an MBA from Bernard Baruch Graduate School of Business which he earned in the 1980s.

Since he discovered rugby, Jon has maintained his interest in it and has been the publisher of a rugby newsletter/magazine since 1968. Originally called Scrumdown, it is now an online publication called Rugby Today. His love of the sport led him to purchase the World Rugby USA 7s event (part of the World Rugby Sevens Series) from USA Rugby in 2005. He moved the event from California to Las Vegas and has since built it into a major sporting spectacle in partnership with NBC Sports.

Jon established United World Sports, which runs multiple events including the Collegiate Rugby 7s Championship and the Collegiate Varsity Cup Championship, which is the largest “15s” college rugby event in the USA. In 2014, he became the licensee for Rhino Rugby equipment and apparel for North and South America. Total revenues from the rugby event business and Rhino now exceed $30 million. Thanks in part to Jon’s significant and ongoing efforts, rugby is now the fastest growing sport in the USA.

To continue building rugby as a major sport in the US, Jon has created the “Super 7s” Rugby League – the first professional rugby league in the US. “Super 7s” is 60 minutes of 7s rugby in a unique patent pending format that allows for the creation of city based teams to play one another. Jon is finalizing discussions with investors for the Super 7s for which NBC Sports will most likely be the broadcast partner.

Until 2013, Jon was also the owner of APOGEE Wellness and the international chain Power Pilates, which according to Reuters in 2009 was the worldwide leader in “Pilates Education”.

Alongside his work, Jon has also kept up his love of art and is a member of New York’s Salmagundi Club where he most recently exhibited a collection of his work entitled “Istanbul to Venice” in 2014. He also entered a submission for the World Trade Center Memorial entitled “The Phoenix“ designed to symbolize the past, present and the future and to express “hope and respect for a better and brighter future”.

He serves as a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Small Business Council, the Rockland County Economic Development Corporation, and is on the Board of Trustees for Dominican College, New York, which named its new Health and Science Education Center the “Prusmack Center” in 2005 in honour of a significant donation made by Jon and Patrice to help build it.

In recognition of his achievement in multiple sectors of business and of his unflinching pursuit of excellence in his life, in his art, and in his work Jon was nominated for inclusion in the Institute’s Excellence Hall of Fame in December 2015. In January 2016, he was elected unopposed by its Fellows as the Hall of Fame’s inaugural member and he was inducted on February 19, 2016.

Don Haider

Don Haider, Photo courtesy of Northwestern University

“I have known and admired Don Haider for 40 years. Don has enthusiastically guided our Kellogg School of Management students in managing non-profit organizations and government agencies. At one time, he even ran for office to be Chicago’s mayor. I am delighted to hear that he has been elected by the Fellows of the Business Excellence Institute to be inducted in its Excellence Hall of Fame. He is most deserving of this distinction.”
Philip Kotler Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management

 

“Don is such an outstanding human being that it is tough to come up with some words without going into the superlative. I have known Don almost 50 years. During these years while he lived and built a family in Chicago and career at Northwestern University, we remained as close friends as we were in the 1960s and 70s as rugby players in New York. Don is talent, brilliance, humanity and humor in one special leadership package.”
Jon Prusmack Chief Executive, United World Sports & USA7s Rugby

 

Nominated by: Ronan Traynor
Seconded by: Shahriar Sharifi and Thomas Paulu

Don Haider

Bio

Don grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He earned his BA in Political Science from Stanford University in 1964 where he also played football and rugby. He went on to play rugby for another forty years with teams in New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago and was selected for several U.S. international sides along the way. He received his MA (1966) and PhD (1972) in Political Science from Columbia University before embarking on a career that would span the public, private and non-profit sectors. In 1968, he married Jean Wright of Winnetka, Illinois, and their moves would take them several times between Chicago and Washington.

While at Columbia, Don was named a Congressional Fellow (1967-68) and worked on Capitol Hill in the Office of Senator Edward Kennedy before later joining the prestigious Brookings Institution as a Guest Scholar. While with the Brookings Institution, Don completed his work, When Governments Comes To Washington, a book that has since won the Martha Derthick Best Book Award in political science on the topic of American Federalism. (The award is reserved for books that have made a lasting contribution and is only awarded to books that have proven this contribution for at least a decade.)

In 1973, Don stopped teaching at Columbia University to join the faculty at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where he went on to teach as Professor of Strategy for over forty years, interrupted periodically by public service. In 1976-77, he was selected as a White House Fellow, serving in the Executive Office of the President – under Presidents Ford and Carter – where he worked for three Directors of the Office of Management & Budget. He remains the only academic ever named as both a Congressional Fellow and a White House Fellow.

Two years later, he again returned to Washington as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, assigned to refinance New York City which then teetered on bankruptcy. In 1979, Don returned to Chicago where he served as Chicago’s Budget Director and Chief Financial Officer (1979-80). Six years later, because he believed the “people deserved better” (ref: Chicago Tribune), he ran for Mayor of Chicago but was unsuccessful in his bid. Looking back on the election, the 2009 publication “Chicago : A Biography”, describes him as “a decent man with sound ideas”.

Having lost a hard fought campaign, he returned to Northwestern University, and has taught there since. Since the 1980s, he has written extensively for academic journals and for the media and has co-authored four books with Philip Kotler, the internationally acclaimed marketing professor, on Marketing Places (USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America ).

Don was instrumental in establishing Kellogg School’s Center for Nonprofit Management, which he served as the Director of until 2016, and is acknowledged as being integral to championing social impact and nonprofit management education during his 43-year tenure at Kellogg.

Don serves on the boards of Chicago’s Midtown Education Foundation, Chicago Catholic Charities, and the U.S. Rugby Foundation. He has previously served on the board of the Metropolitan Planning Council as well as the corporate boards of Asset Acceptance Capital Corp, Continental Waste Industries, Covenant Mutual Insurance, Evanston National Bank, Fender Musical Instruments, InterAccess, LaSalle National Bank Corp, National Can, Talman Home Savings, and Westchester Insurance. He also served for 15 years as the Vice-Chair of the Chicago School Finance Authority, which refinanced the then bankrupt Chicago public schools.

In March 2016, Don was elected a Fellow of the Business Excellence Institute. Later that year, Don and his wife, Jean, received the Chicago Midtown Education Foundation’s Reach for Excellence Award in recognition of their outstanding service to Chicago’s at-risk youth. In presenting the award, Glenn Wilke, the Foundation’s CEO, stated that “Don represents what we teach at our centers: virtue and character.”

Don retired from full-time teaching in late 2016, and was reappointed by the University in 2017 as an Emeritus Professor.

In recognition of his untiring pursuit of excellence in the management of non-profit and governmental organizations, his sincere commitment to public service and education, and of the work he has none helping a wide range or charities, foundations, and businesses, as well as to his contribution to the community in his native city, Don was nominated for inclusion in the Institute’s Excellence Hall of Fame and was elected unopposed by its Fellows in November 2016. He was inducted to the Excellence Hall of Fame on February 15, 2017, at a ceremony held in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.

While attending the ceremony in Ireland Don was interviewed by Newstalk Radio. You can listen to the Podcast of this interview here.

Eileen McDonnell

Eileen McDonnell, CEO Penn Mutual, Photo courtesy of Penn Mutual

“I want to congratulate Eileen on her induction into the Excellence Hall of Fame… I had the pleasure of interviewing Eileen for the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Penn Mutual in late 2007. During our time together it became clear to me that Eileen possessed not only the requisite experience to fill the role, but the vision and charisma to successfully execute a growth strategy. Eileen has surrounded herself with a talented team, expanded the vision for what is possible for the company, and has executed with precision despite challenging business conditions. As an entrepreneur myself who has owned and operated over 40 companies, I value the entrepreneurial spirit that Eileen brings to a 170 year old company. She has the right balance of identifying market opportunities, employing financial rigor, pragmatism and the courage to lead with her gut.”
Joan Carter President, UM Holdings

“What really makes Eileen unique is her ability to manage a diverse group of employees and independent contractors. She has the uncanny skill to take the fear away from those who work for and with her. Allowing them to perform beyond which they ever thought they were capable. Congratulations Eileen for helping blaze the trail for other women in business and on this well-deserved honor of being inducted into the Excellence Hall of Fame.”
Joe Jordan Author of “Living a Life of Significance”

 

Nominated by: Jon Prusmack
Seconded by: John Bourke and Patrícia Carvalho

Eileen McDonnell Induction

Bio

Eileen attended Molloy College (Rockville Centre, New York) on a scholarship to study nursing. While there, she developed an interest in computers and so relinquised her scholarship to switch majors and study mathematics and computer science – funding her studies by working in the public library and as a babysitter.

After graduation in 1984, Eileen was offered a job at IBM but opted to work with Wang Laboratories as she felt the smaller company offered more opportunity for growth. At Wang she developed an interest in finance and embarked on her MBA in Finance and Investment at Adelphi University (Garden City, New York). Subsequently, when Wang began experiencing difficulties, Eileen joined the finance department of Equitable Life Insurance (now AXA). There, she completed her MBA and was appointed as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Northeast region at the age of 27, the youngest person at Equitable to achieve the title of Vice President.

After nine years with Equitable, Eileen joined The Guardian Life Insurance Company as Vice President of Group Marketing. A few years later she was promoted, making her the first woman in the company’s 150-year history to become a Senior Vice President. In 2002, Crain’s New York Business named her as one of New York’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.

Eileen was with Guardian for eight years before joining MetLife in 2003 where, later that year, she was appointed President of its subsidiary, New England Financial, to lead the company through an SEC investigation into accounting irregularities.

In 2005, Eileen left the corporate world to adopt her daughter, Claire, from Russia. While Claire was very young, Eileen founded ExecMPower, a strategic planning and executive coaching consultancy, and used her wide business network to help build the company. Soon after, she fulfilled her dream of teaching college and joined the Master’s Degree faculty of The American College of Financial Services (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania), where she was appointed the first Chair of Women in Financial Services and authored a book, “Marketing Financial Services to Women.”

By her mid-40s, Eileen had achieved great success in the corporate world, as a small business owner, and in academia. She hadn’t planned to return to corporate life but, in late 2007, she was approached about an opportunity at Penn Mutual and liked what she discovered. She joined Penn Mutual in 2008 as Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, and Chairman of its broker-dealer subsidiary Hornor, Townsend & Kent. Within months of joining Penn Mutual, Eileen was presented with a daunting challenge when the global financial crisis hit. As Chief Marketing Officer she was determined that the company was “not going to participate in the recession” and set out to ensure it. By setting this tone and by giving associates something to rally around that was positive — Penn Mutual focused on what it could control rather than what it couldn’t — and the company was successful in delivering on Eileen’s vision.

In 2010, Eileen was appointed President of Penn Mutual, the first women ever appointed to this position, and the following year she became its CEO when her predecessor retired. She has also served as its Chairman of the Board since 2013 and is a member of the Board of Managers of Penn Mutual’s wholly owned subsidiary, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Under her leadership, Penn Mutual has experienced an exceptional period of growth and since 2010, during a flat period for the industry, “whole life sales” have nearly tripled. The company has increased or maintained its dividend for eight consecutive years, a feat none of its competitors can claim, and it has achieved record GAAP earnings for six straight years while paying out more than $700 million in benefits to policyholders and beneficiaries last year. This growth earned Penn Mutual its entry into the Fortune 1000.

Eileen was instrumental in the launching Penn Mutual’s sponsorship of college rugby in the United States through The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship and The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. This forward-thinking sponsorship is building significant brand awareness for Penn Mutual among the next generation of advisors and customers. Eileen was also the driving force behind the establishment of The Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs at The American College, making the field of financial services an option for veterans and their spouses.

In 2011, Molloy College presented Eileen with an honorary doctorate (LLD). Later that year she was named by Irish America magazine as one of its “Wall Street 50”. In 2014, she was honored by the magazine as one of its “Business 100.”

In 2015, the American College of Financial Services awarded Eileen its highest honor, the Huebner Gold Medal (named after the College’s founder), in recognition of her leadership and accomplishments within the financial services industry and her contribution to the College. In 2016, Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business named her its “2016 Business Leader of the Year”. Also in 2016, the Chinese American Insurance Association honored Eileen as its “Executive of the Year,” recognizing her career-long commitment to advancing diversity in the industry, and the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations presented her with its “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” in recognition of her accomplishments and her service to the nation.

Eileen has served as a non-executive director on the board of Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS, a Fortune 500 healthcare and hospital management company) and as a member of its audit committee since 2013. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Council of Life Insurers (2012 -2015), the Board of LL Global LLC, Inc. – formerly known as the LIMRA “Life Insurance Marketing and Research – (2009 – 2013), and on the Board of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (2003 – 2005) before it was superseded by the Compliance & Ethics Forum for Life Insurers.

She is also currently an advisor to Drexel University’s Corporate Governance Center and “Vision 2020” initiative which aims to see women achieve economic and social equality in the US by 2020.

In addition to her many industry and civic duties, Eileen is deeply committed to education and to the advancement of women’s education and health. To that end, she personally endowed a scholarship in her late father’s name and an annual conference in early childhood education in her mother’s name at Molloy College. She also endowed a scholarship at the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business at Adelphi University for a woman seeking a Master’s degree while working full time, as Eileen did. In addition, Eileen has funded community education at Abington Hospital for women and their risks for cardiovascular disease. She is a member of the Red Circle of The American Heart Association and actively speaks to women’s groups about the link between heart disease and financial stress.

Eileen calls home a three-generational household, with her mother and her daughter, Claire. Her interests include traveling and spending time with her friends and family.

In recognition of her pursuit of excellence, her many achievements, and her contribution not only to the organizations in which she has worked but also to society at large by demonstrating women can succeed even in traditionally male dominated industries, Eileen was nominated for inclusion in the Institute’s Excellence Hall of Fame by its Inaugural Member, Jon Prusmack, and was elected unopposed by its Fellows in November 2016. She was inducted to the Excellence Hall of Fame on February 15, 2017, at a ceremony held in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.

Martin Naughton

Martin Naughton Photo Courtesy of the Glen Dimplex Group

“Martin… my heartiest congratulations on this very special occasion. Tonight you are being honoured by your peers, a recognition of your contribution not just to business but to the very many wonderful initiatives you have supported throughout your life… You set standards for excellence, for vision, for innovation, and for ethics. You set the pace for what all good companies should be striving for. Most of all, you have dealt with your success with dignity, modesty and an innate sense of what you can give back to society…I’m delighted to have this opportunity to congratulate you on your induction.”

Enda Kenny Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Ireland

 

Nominated by: Ronan Traynor
Seconded by: Shahriar Sharifi and Thomas Paulu

Martin Naughton Induction

Bio

Martin firmly believes that “your handshake or your word is a contract” and that integrity in business really is the only way. This more than anything else is what qualifies him for the Excellence Hall of Fame. His key rules for business are “play fair” and “focus on the bottom line”. This last one he sometimes paraphrases as “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity”.

Born in Dublin in 1939, Martin went to school in De La Salle College Dundalk. After school he went on to train in aeronautical followed by mechanical engineering with a focus on industrial engineering at Southampton College of Technology (UK).

In 1961, he returned to Ireland to work for Shannon Pressed Steel, an American company, prior to joining G.E.C. Dunleer 6 months later, which marked the start of his exposure to the electrical appliance industry. Aged 21, he was their Industrial Engineering Manager running a department of 14 people, before going on to become Production Manager and later Works Manager.

In 1973, Martin became an entrepreneur when he established a small electrical appliance manufacturer, Glen Electric. While he nurtured the business – which had less than 10 employees at the time – he quickly learned the importance of brand and saw that organic growth needed to be supplemented with acquisition. Four years after Glen Electric was founded, it acquired the much larger company Dimplex (the leading electrical heating brand in the UK) to form the Glen Dimplex Group.

Martin continued to grow the company by acquisition, adding Morphy Richards (the UK Leader in small domestic appliances) to its ranks as well as Blanella and Burco Dean Appliances in the 1980s. In 1990, the company started to expand across Europe when it purchased Siemens’ electrical heating business, KKW. It continued its international expansion the following year, acquiring another subsidiary of Siemens and the Canadian firm Chromalox. Since then, it has acquired at least one company a year, with its most recent acquisitions this year being in Australia and the UK.

Martin was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame in 1991, and today serves as one of its Trustees Emeriti.

In 1994, Martin and his wife, Carmel, established The Naughton Foundation to support arts and educational causes. Since 2008, the foundation has offered scholarships to encourage students pursue studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects.

In 1995, Martin received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Trinity College, Dublin. He has also received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, University College Dublin, Queen University Belfast, the Ulster University of Coleraine, and Griffith College Dublin.

Martin was the inaugural Chairman of InterTrade Ireland, one of six all-island Irish bodies set up in 1999 by the British and Irish governments following the Belfast Agreement. He also served on Ireland’s Council of State for Mary McAleese during her first term (1997-2004) as President of Ireland.

In 2001, Martin founded the Naughton Art Gallery & Museum at Queen’s University, Belfast, as well as the Martin Naughton Chair in Business Strategy. He has donated significantly to the University’s Riddel Hall Business School. In 2006, in recognition of his long standing support of the University of Notre Dame, they renamed their Keough Institute for Irish Studies the Keough-Naughton Institute.

Martin and Carmel are the main benefactors to the Lyric Theatre in Belfast and, in 2008, they received the Prince of Wales Gold Medal for Arts Philanthropy from Prince Charles in recognition of their support of the theatre in Belfast. Subsequently, in Scotland, they funded the Prince‘s Drawing School – “Dimplex Studio” – as part of the Prince of Wales’ Dumfries House initiative.

Today, Glen Dimplex holds a portfolio of approximately 40 appliance manufacturers in countries stretching from the US to New Zealand. It is the world leader in domestic heating appliances as well as holding significant global market positions in domestic appliances, cooling and ventilation. It employs over 10,000 people working on 4 continents and has annual revenues in excess of 2 billion euro. It is now focusing on low-energy technologies to enable its customers to reduce costs and CO2 emissions and currently produces both solar water heaters and what it believes to be the most energy efficient Air Source Heat Pumps made in the British Isles.

Martin was knighted by HRH the Prince of Wales in 2015. On the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office nomination form for his knighthood, it states that the Naughton contribution to the island of Ireland and the United Kingdom has been both inspirational and immense – all achieved with marked reticence and a moral dislike of undue publicity or acclaim.

In 2016, Martin took a step back from Glen Dimplex, giving control of it to his three children, and is taking more time to travel. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, awarded the Whitaker Award of the Irish Academy of Management, and both he and Carmel were named “Philanthropists of the Year” by the Community Foundation for Ireland. On November 11, Martin was awarded France’s highest national honour when he was made an Officier de la Legion d’Honneur.

In addition to travel and the arts, he enjoys watching rugby and the Irish sports of hurling and Gaelic football.

In recognition of his outstanding business success, his never-ending pursuit of excellence, and the significant contributions he has made both to education and the arts and local economies in a number of countries, Martin was nominated for inclusion in the Institute’s Excellence Hall of Fame by Professor Patrick Frain (UCD) and was elected unopposed by its Fellows in November 2016. He was inducted to the Excellence Hall of Fame on February 15, 2017, at a ceremony held in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.

Julia Chang Bloch

Julia Chang Bloch

“Julia has excelled in everything she has set out to achieve. She has demonstrated her leadership and business savvy in all sectors. Public, private and non-profit. Her impressive life story and journey to global success has led to many accolades as a businesswoman and humanitarian. Her accomplishments are nothing short of inspirational. Her impact has being far reaching, including her tenure as ambassador od the United States to Nepal and her continued work with the United States-China Education Fund, where she works to promote U.S. China relations with education and exchange.“

Eileen McDonnell
 Chairman & Chief Executive Office, Penn Mutual

 

“Always with the highest professional standards, Julia Chang Bloch served first in the Peace Corps, then in high-level positions at A.I.D., U.S.I.A., and the U.S. State Department, and in high-level staff positions with the United States Senate. Her U.S. Government service culminated in her appointment as U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Nepal. Ambassador Bloch later rendered extraordinary service in the private sector (…) and with important philanthropic and educational organizations in the U.S. and China (…) My sincere congratulations to Julia on her induction to the Excellence Hall of Fame.”

Rev. Dr. Wesley S. Williams President and Co-Chairman Lockhart Companies

 

Nominated by: Eileen McDonnell
Seconded by: John Bourke and Heidi Fuerst

Julia Chang Bloch Induction

Bio

At a young age Julia learnt from her father that one can always be better. Her career has reflected this belief as she has continually challenged herself, pushing boundaries, creating new possibilities and leading the way for others. Born in Shandong province – a part of China which lies between Beijing and Shanghai – Julia moved to the United States with her family when she was nine and spent the rest of her childhood living in San Francisco.

Just over a year after arriving in California, Julia was elected president of her sixth-grade class which was quite an accomplishment given that it was rare for any girl to get elected at the time, let alone an ethnic Chinese girl – not to mention one who couldn’t speak English when she first arrived and had to start schooling in a class for children with intellectual disabilities.

Julia did well academically and, in 1964 she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkley, and then joined the Peace Corps going to work teaching English as a volunteer in Sabah, Malaysia.

Being both Chinese and American and having spent much of her childhood in China, as a young adult Julia had to contend with questions of self-identity. Her time in Malaysia helped her reconcile her struggle and realize that instead of needing to think of herself as being Chinese or American, she was a unique combination of the two and could draw on the best of what both had to offer.

In 1966, Julia returned to the U.S. and went to study at Harvard on a Ford scholarship. The following year she was awarded a Master’s Degree in Government and East Asian Studies. On graduation, she had to contend with gender discrimination when, unlike her Chinese-speaking male classmates, she wasn’t flown to Washington D.C. for job interviews and most job offers were for clerical work. She went to work for the Peace Corps as a Training and, then, Evaluation Officer.

While attending Harvard University Graduate School she met her husband, Stuart Marshall Bloch, who was a student at the law school. They will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018.

In 1971, her hunt for a more meaningful job, going office to office on Capitol Hill, paid off and, aged 29, she was made a professional Staff Member on the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. In this role, she handled both domestic and international issues. She represented the U.S. at the UN World Conference on Women, which was held in Mexico in 1975. In 1976, she became the Committee’s Chief Minority Counsel.

Julia was appointed Deputy Director of the Office of African Affairs of the U.S. Information Agency in 1977 where she worked until 1980. During her time there she was awarded the Hubert Humphrey Award for International Service by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and the Peace Corps.

In 1980, Julia was invited to take a Fellowship by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, an honor usually reserved for prominent politicians. She spent a semester there running a Study Group on American Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics before joining the U.S. Agency for International Development as a Special Assistant and then, a number of months later, being appointed Assistant Administrator of its Food for Peace and Voluntary Assistance Bureau by the President of the United States. In that role, Julia administered the world’s largest food aid program serving 80 countries with a budget in excess of 2 billion dollars.

In 1986, Julia was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts). The following year, the Organization of Chinese American Women named her “Woman of the Year” and she also received the “Leader for Peace” Award from the Peace Corps as well as the Agency for International Development’s “Humanitarian Service Award”.

In 1987, Julia was made Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Asia and Near East Bureau, managing a budget of $3.8 billion. Then, in 1988, she returned to Harvard University to work on research in its Centre for International Affairs’ US-Japan Relations Program. In the same year, Julia and her husband Stuart established the F.Y. Chang Foundation – named after Harvard’s first Chinese graduate, Julia’s father Chang Fu Yun – to help Chinese students attend Harvard Law School.

In 1989, Julia became the first Asian American in history to serve as a U.S. Ambassador when she was appointed to be the Ambassador of the United States to Nepal. Shortly after taking up her post in Kathmandu, there was a revolution in Nepal as the people wanted to end the monarchy. Julia worked hard to facilitate as smooth a transition as possible – promoting dialogue between both sides and working the system in Washington to get the attention needed to provide aid to establish a new constitution and legal system – and she played an important role in the creation of a democratic Nepal without humiliating the king.

After serving her four-year term, she retired from public service in 1993 and entered the private sector, joining Bank of America as Group Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations. In 1994 Julia was appointed to the board of America West Airlines after it filed for Chapter 11 and helped oversee its return to health (in 2005 American West took over US Airways and in 2015 it merged with American Airlines).

In 1995, she founded the Women’s Foreign Policy Group with Patricia Ellis who still serves as its President. The following year the U.S. National Conference for Community and Justice awarded Julia its Brotherhood and Sisterhood Award and Julia also left Bank of America to move into philanthropy, taking on the role of President and CEO of the United States-Japan Foundation where she served for two years.

In 1998, Julia resigned from the board of America West Airlines. In the same year, Peking University – China’s oldest modern university, consistently ranked in the top 50 universities worldwide – asked her to rebuild its American Studies Center. She became Executive Vice Chairman of its American Studies Center and a Visiting Professor at the Institute for International Relations. In 2001, she also joined Fudan University in Shanghai as a Visiting Professor and Distinguished Adviser of International Relations and Public Affairs.

In 2004, Julia established the United States-China Education Trust, a non-profit organization working to promote US-China relations through education and exchange. She has served as its President since. In 2011, NAFSA, the Association of International Educators awarded her the prestigious Cassandra Pyle Award for Leadership and Collaboration in International Education and Exchange.

Julia is a Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration, an advisor to the Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Journalism’s Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop, and Senior Advisor to the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing think tank. She serves on a number of non-profit boards including as a Lifetime Director of the Atlantic Council, the Washington DC World Affairs Council Global Advisory Council, the board of Regents of the Fund for American Studies, the Boards of the Council of American Ambassadors and the Foreign Policy Association. She is also an Emeritus Director of the American Himalayan Foundation (which works to improve healthcare, education and prevent human trafficking), a retired trustee of the Penn Mutual Board, on which she served from 1997 until 2013, and has served on the boards of the International Center for Research on Women and the Global Heritage Fund.

Julia and her husband, Stuart, are sponsors of the Zenith Community Arts Foundation and significant contributors to the University of Miami. They have also established a “FY Chang Scholars Program at Harvard Law School” in honor of her father.

Julia is listed in World’s Who’s Who and in Donna Langston’s A to Z of American Women Leaders and Activists – she is one of only 147 women from U.S. history to make the list – and she was selected in 2011 by the American magazine Women of Wealth as “one of the nation’s top women mentoring leaders”.

Marie Lindsay

Marie Lindsay

“Dear Marie, it was with great pleasure that I learnt you will be inducted to join the Excellence Hall of Fame. It has for me been very inspiring to work together with you in the board of EFQM. You always showed great commitment to excellence and fairness. I am very pleased that you now receive this honour…. you really deserve it! Congratulations!”

Lars Aagaard Board Member, Grundfos A/S

 

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to express my sincere congratulations to Marie on her achievements. Her leadership has had a powerful and dramatic effect on fundamentally improving college performance with tangible outcomes for students, parents and the educational establishment. Marie's leadership in achieving breakthrough performance improvement through Excellence has been recognized across Europe and her induction to the Excellence Hall of Fame is a fitting endorsement of her success.”

Bob Barbour CEO of Centre for Competitiveness

 

Nominated by: Matt Fisher
Seconded by: SciFest (Shelia & George Porter) and Patrícia Carvalho

Marie Lindsay Induction

Bio

Marie is a leader whose actions speak for her louder than words can. Originally from Muff, Donegal, which is to the north of Derry / Londonderry in Northern Ireland, she has dedicated her working life to education. She studied science, graduating from the University of Ulster in Coleraine BSc in Biochemistry before doing an MSc in Education Management. In 1985, she went to Belfast to study for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at St Mary’s College in Belfast and in 1995 she was awarded a Professional Qualification for Headship (PQH).

In 1985, Marie started her career teaching science at St. Mary’s College in Derry. St Mary’s College was founded in September 1959 by the Sisters of Mercy and was Derry’s first all-girls secondary school in Creggan, a large working class housing estate with high levels of social deprivation and unemployment. The school catered for almost 900 girls aged 11 to 15 who were deemed unsuitable for a grammar school – in other words “academic” – education.

Although there have been many changes over the years, and the school relocated to a brand new premises in 2010, St Mary’s still largely serves children from disadvantaged areas and around 60% of the pupils are entitled to free school meals, an indicator that their families are living below the poverty line. (According to a 2017 British government report, the Foyle region – named after the river that flows through the city – has the third highest school lunch claimant rate in the UK.) In addition, almost 30% of pupils at St Mary’s College are on the Special Education Needs register and are identified as requiring additional educational support.

Many pupils’ families face incredibly complex barriers to learning due to the poor economic conditions and, in part, the challenges of rebuilding a society after 30 years of conflict. In 2015, Derry and Strabane District Council had the highest rate of unemployment (claimant count) in Northern Ireland at 8%. Seven of the wards in the school’s catchment area have rates of unemployment in excess of 14%. In some cases, parents and grandparents never had employment. So, while many families value education as a path to a brighter future for others, education is not a priority and large efforts are required to persuading pupils to attend class regularly and to complete GCSEs and A level exams.

Marie was appointed Staff Development Co-ordinator in 1994. In that role, she led the school to numerous Staff Development accolades obtaining the Investors in People (IIP) standard in 1995 – making St. Mary’s the first organisation in Northern Ireland and the first public sector organisation in the UK to achieve it – and UK Millennium Excellence Award for Excellence in Professional Development (2000). It has since won the Irish News ‘Workplace Excellence’ Award which on 3 occasions (2013, 2014 and 2017) and has has retained its IIP status for 22 years – in 2016 it was re-accredited Investors in People “Gold status” for a record 8th time.

Marie joined the Senior Management Team at St Mary’s in 1998 with responsibility for Quality Assurance. The Principal at the time, Dame Geraldine Keegan, knew Marie was sceptical about the implementation of “industrial practices” within education but knew that, if she could convince a sceptic of the benefits, the other staff would also embrace the change.

When Dame Keegan retired as Principal in 2006, Marie was appointed her successor. To say Marie was successful in the role would be something of an understatement. Despite the high levels of deprivation, drastic budget cuts and the ever increasing social pressures young people face, St Mary’s has enjoyed year on year improvement in examination performance over a 25 year period. Since Marie’s appointment in 2006, the examination performance at 5+GCSEs Grades A*-C has increased from 56% (in 2007) to 95% (in 2017) and the percentage achieving 5+ Grades A*-C in 5 subjects including English and Maths has increased from 25% (in 2007) to 60% (in 2016-17). The improvement at 3 + grades A*-C at A’ level is equally impressive increasing from 21% (in 2007) to 72% (in 2017).

Under Maire’s guidance, St Mary’s has also gone on to be one of the most highly recognised entities within the European business excellence community, winning the Northern Ireland Quality Award 4 times (1998, 2001, 2006 and 2012), the inaugural Ireland Excellence Award in 2013, the British Quality Award in 2000, and the EFQM Excellence Award (European Quality Award) in 2001 and 2006.

Business excellence awards recognise the achievement of sustained, outstanding results. In order to achieve such results – and as a by-product to have any chance of winning an excellence award – you must first achieve excellence in every aspect of how you manage your organisation. Since she was appointed Principal, Marie has ensured that St Mary’s indisputable track record of success in both turning strategy into action and bringing about continuous improvement has been sustained.

In 2006, St Mary’s became one of only two schools in Northern Ireland to be named by the British Department of Education as a Specialist School for Science along with top ranking grammar school, Lumen Christi College. In the years that followed, the number of girls following STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) pathways increased dramatically and, for the first time, St Mary’s girls were going off to study Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computing, Architecture and a range of courses allied to the medical profession.

In 2007, St Mary’s pupil earned a place in the UK’s top five students in Applied Science in A Level exams (the UK’s advanced school leaving exams) and another pupil was ranked in the top 5 students for GCSE Mathematics (the equivalent to the former O levels, the UK’s school leaving exam). In 2008, a pupil earned the top result in Northern Ireland for Applied Business Studies in her GCSE and another pupil ranked in the top three in Northern Ireland in GCSE Engineering. The following year, two pupils shared joint top marks in the UK’s Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment’s CCEA Applied Double Art Award, the UK’s school leaving exam.

In 2013, St Mary’s won an EFQM Excellence award for Sustaining Excellent Results. The results of its pupils have also been sustained and 2013 also saw the first pupil from the school to earn a place to study pharmacy in university (at Queen’s University College, Belfast) while another pupil became first to secure a place at Oxford University, where she studied English Literature.

The success of St Mary’s students has continued to the present day with a pupil achieving 2nd highest in Northern Ireland in A-level Applied Business Studies and a Year 12 pupil achieving 4th in GCSE Applied Business Studies in 2017, while two pupils achieved full marks in their GCSE English Literature exams and two pupils also achieved full marks in their GCSE Art. Another A level pupil had her exam pieces selected for the True Colours Art exhibition in the Ulster Museum, a showcase of ‘the best of the best’ exam pieces. (2017 was the 5th year in a row that pupils’ work was selected). While it is not possible for every pupil to win accolades, the number and consistency with which St Mary’s pupils achieve these is testament to the calibre of their cohorts.

St Marys was the top performing “all ability” urban school in Northern Ireland based on GCSE exam results, and in 2015 and 2016, was the top performing “all ability” all-girls School Northern Ireland.

The school has been the focus of numerous best practice studies by the UK Department of Education and also by a cross-border “all island” studies including one in 2015 which looked at St. Mary’s approach to improving Literacy. It has also welcomed educationalists and businesses from all over Ireland, the UK, Europe, North America, and beyond to look at their approach to raising standards and improving outcomes for young people.

Apart from academic success for its students in examinations. St Mary’s has a formidable record in terms of Music and Art. Marie introduced a ”Music Promise” in 2006 a program under which every pupil that shows any flair or talent for music is provided with an instrument and tuition or voice coaching free of charge. As a result, St Mary’s now has a full orchestra, a popular traditional music group, and a choir that has enjoyed success at local, regional and national level. In 2014, the choir was invited to support English jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum when he headlined the Jazz Festival in Derry that year. The school’s most recent innovation, that has attracted interest at regional and national level, was the introduction in 2015 of a Tri-Swim Academy, the first school on the island of Ireland to do this.

A key principle of business excellence is building win-win partnerships. As far back as 1993, St Mary’s College worked in partnership with another local secondary school, Lisneal College, through extra-curricular activities including Saturday School and Summer school. Marie’s appointment as Principal in 2006 coincided with the first formal Shared Education Programme (SEP1) where the St Mary’s – Lisneal partnership developed to include shared timetabled classes for Junior classes. The partnership with Lisneal continues to the present day and has been extended to include a third school, St Cecilia’s College.

2006 also saw the introduction of the Foyle Learning Communities – a partnership with 10 post-primary schools the North West Regional College and the Verba Arts Centre – designed to give pupils access to a greater range of course options and share expertise between institutions. It enables pupils in St Mary’s to take one their courses in a nearby school and pupils from other schools can to take a course in St Mary’s. The Shared Education partnership, supported by Queens University, now includes partnerships with schools in Los Angeles and Jerusalem.

Since 2014, St Mary’s has been a Microsoft Showcase School – one of a global community of schools engaged in digital transformation to improve teaching and learning – having become a Pathfinder School in 2010, and Mentor School in 201. It is one of only 3 Showcase Schools on the island of Ireland.

The success of St Mary’s has obviously not gone unnoticed within the education sector and Marie has been actively involved in a number of groups working to further improve standards and share the insights and knowledge she has gained. She represented the Post Primary Principals on the local Higher Education working group in Northern Ireland and was a member of the Sir Graeme Davies Steering Committee for the review of the Higher Education Strategy for Northern Ireland (2010-2012), contributing to the new strategy “Graduating to Success”.

Marie was a board member of EFQM (in Brussels) and participated in the development of the EFQM 2010 and 2013 Excellence Models, representing the public sector. She is currently Chair of the Foyle Learning Community and a board member of the Northern Ireland’s Shared Education Learning Forum (SELF), of School Employer Connections (SEC), and a Trustee of the Walled City Music Trust. Marie is also a member of Derry and Strabane District Council’s Education and Skills Group.

In 2016, Marie was named as Principal of the Year at the Foyle Blackboard Awards Ceremony. Over the years she has gained the trust and respect of her colleagues, peers, pupils and their parents. But, more importantly, she has made an outstanding contribution to her community, unlocking the potential in thousands of young people and giving them a chance to make a real difference themselves.

Marie married Collie Lindsay in 1991 and they have five children who are now fully grown.

Raomal Perera

Raomal Perera

“Raomal has been a pillar of entrepreneurship at INSEAD since 2001. Initially as the protagonist of a case, then as our first entrepreneur in residence, then as a professor and as the lead for our bootcamp for the MBA’s in Asia, Raomal has educated hundreds of students and built a large, vocal fan base at INSEAD. He is best known for giving unstintingly of his time in counselling entrepreneurs and teams. Raomal is one of those vitals individuals who connects our European and Asian campuses and he is truly an ambassador of goodwill for Ireland just by being a wonderful role model for those who aspire to build ventures. Raomal’s induction into the Excellence Hall of Fame by the Fellows of the Business Excellence Institute is a tribute to a wonderful man and dear friend who exemplifies what is means to say that business should be a force for good, INSEAD’s guiding principle.”

Philip Anderson Professor and Academic Director of the INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship

 

“On behalf of the Irish technology sector, I would like to warmly congratulate Raomal on his induction to the Hall of Fame. Raomal is a true patriarch of the Irish software sector and in many ways can be credited with the great successes we see in the sector today. Raomal has given selflessly of his time in supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs, helping others learn from his trailblazing achievements.”

Paul Sweetman Director of Technology Ireland at IBEC, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation

 

Nominated by: Gavin Denn
Seconded by: Pat Frain and Neal Traynor

Raomal Perera Induction

Bio

Raomal grew up in Sri Lanka. Although his father was a Paediatrician and two of his brothers went into the medical world. Raomal’s love of mathematics led him to study engineering after school. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from the University of Wales in Swansea (UK) in 1979 having also learnt how to carve his own way in a country where his family name didn’t open doors.

After graduation, Raomal joined auto maker British Leyland (of Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mini fame) in 1980. While there, he taught himself Computer programming, enabling his to take a job that made use of his computing skills.

In 1980, he met Pat from Blessington (County Wicklow, Ireland) who he later married. Around the same time, he was headhunted by the US word processer manufacture CPT Corporation to work for them in their Irish factory in Cork. Within a year of joining CPT, the dedicated word processor market collapsed and the Irish plant was closed. Raomal was offered a job with a different division in the U.S. but as he and Pat had just become parents, the timing wasn’t right so having travelled to the States out of courtesy, he decided to stay in Ireland and was out of a job.

He took a contract role with a company in the Netherlands and moved there where he got on well with the Dutch and worked for 18 months before taking an R&D job with Retix (a technology communications company) where he helped to establish an Irish office in Dun Laogharie, Co. Dublin. He was soon promoted to Associate Vice President of Engineering and offered a job in Los Angles which he accepted. However, within a year he returned to Ireland as Pat didn’t settle in LA. On his return, Raomal joined Artist Graphics to head up the engineering group in Dublin. In parallel, he also started to study for an MBA in University College Dublin’s Smurfit Graduate School of Business.

Shortly after starting his studies Raomal was asked by Andy De Mari (Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of Retix) to setup an internet software company with him. Consequently, after three months of study in the Smurfit School, Raomal stopped studying and left Artist Graphics to establish ISOCOR with De Mari. The company, founded by De Mari and Raomal, was headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and its Irish operation were led by Raomal. They grew it to size of 250 staff before taking it public in 1996, when it listed on the NASDAQ, and later negotiated the sale of the company to Critical Path – one of the global leaders in messaging software at the time – for a final price of approximately $450 million.

In 1999, Raomal established his second venture Network365, a developer of software for mobile commerce that enabled payments to be made from mobile/cell phones. He built a high performance team of professionals – many of whom had enjoyed working with him in his previous ventures. It is a measure of his calibre, integrity and of the esteem in which he is held by his colleagues and peers that not only was he repeatedly asked to lead organisations by business partners with whom he had achieved success but that he was also a talisman for a generation of Irish engineers who were keen to take the opportunity to work with him in different organisations developing different technologies. Under his leadership, the company won a number of awards including awards including the Wall Street Journal Innovation Gold Award for business and it was listed by Time Magazine as one of Europe’s 50 Hottest Tech Firms in both 2001 and 2002.

Over the years, Raomal maintained close ties with the business and technical communities in Sri Lanka initially partnering with Sri Lankan developers and, ultimately, establishing a major R&D facility for Newtowk365 in Colombo and providing support and guidance to Sri Lankan entrepreneurs expanding their operations into Europe.

In 2003, Raomal was invited to serve as one of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers. In the same year, after having success in a number of markets including Japan and Hong Kong, Network 365 acquired a U.S. competitor iPin and, after the merger, was renamed Valista.

In 2003, Raomal was the first ever recipient of the Irish Software Association’s Outstanding Software Achievement Award and was also a finalist in the Ernst & Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ awards. In 2007, he was appointed an Adjunct Professor at INSEAD and stepped down as Chief Executive of Valista a few months later. In 2009, Valista was sold to the Belfast based AePONA, a subsidiary of the telecoms software company Aldiscon that was subsequently acquired by Intel.

In 2008, Raomal was appointed an Advisory Board member on University College Dublin’s Innovation Academy and became an Adjunct Professor of the Academy, he is now its Chairperson. In 2014, his ties to UCD strengthened when he was appointed an Adjunct Professor of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. At INSEAD and UCD, Raomal teaches and studies a range of disciplines including entrepreneurship, innovation and the management of rapidly growing companies.

In 2015, he started his third venture, Lean Disruptor.

Roamal has served on the Advisory Board of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies since 2009 and has also served as the Chairman of the Irish Software CEO Forum (2006-2008), and – since 2016 – as a jury member of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. He is passionate about education and has been on the board of management at Loreto Foxrock (a girl’s in Dublin) for the past 15 years. He first joined the board as a parent nominee and is now a Loreto Trust nominee as he continues to sit on the board long after his daughters graduated from the school. Raomal is a very committed Christian and has been involved in the Family Mass group at Kilmacud for over 25 years and is now with the same group that is working at St. Matthews’s church in Ballyfermot.

In 2010, Raomal faced the biggest challenge of his life when he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). He had to undergo a bone marrow transplant that year. His brother Mahesh was the donor. He was able to fight the disease and recover in time to take his daughter Lesley-Ann down the aisle in 2012. His positive attitude to fighting the disease as well as his great faith in prayer helped him overcome this significant challenge. His journey is documented in a series of blog posts in Raomal.com which was a source of inspiration to other leukaemia sufferers. While the initial battle with cancer was won, the cells mutated and returned in 2013 and once again Raomal was faced with having to deal with cancer. Thanks to an amazing dedicated Haematologist (Dr. Conneally), Raomal managed to fight the cancer once again. Today he is free of cancer and very grateful to the doctors and nurses who have given him the opportunity to enjoy his young grandson who lives next door.

Despite his unquestionable business success, his proudest moments have been witnessing his two sons and two daughters achieving their own success in their chosen fields of law, teaching, business, and – less predictably, music. Ever the committed family man, Raomal lives in Foxrock, Dublin, with his extended family including his grandson.