Delivering for your Business
Our team consists of Skills and Innovation Specialists who bring the latest research to commerce. We provide support to assist with new product design and testing, product or process improvement, lean implementation, and understanding and implementing new technologies. We will help you develop your workforce through delivery of skills development or talent acquisition.
Our team are here to help, and funding may be available to assist in solution delivery. We also run specialised bespoke courses to suit your needs. Our team have specialist knowledge and skills in a range of fields including digital skills, creative industries, engineering, food innovation and technology, life and chemical sciences, mobile computing & ICT and tourism innovation.
Meet the team
Our team of Innovation and Technology Specialists and Business Development Executives have strong industry backgrounds, bringing a wide range of skills and expertise to your business. The team are flexible and responsive and can deliver support at times and locations to suit your business needs.
Tracy has worked in economic development for 20 years and has headed up the Business Support team at SRC since 2014. Tracy holds a BA (Hons) in English from Queens University, Belfast as well as a Post Graduate Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership.
Tracy has managed a range of skills development and innovation programmes and has significant experience in project management and development of strong external engagement with both employers and other economic development stakeholders. Tracy sits on many steering groups and committees which drive the skills agenda in the southern region and is both responsible for, and committed to, ensuring that SRC plays its part in supporting local economic development and growth.
Brenda leads the Innovation and Knowledge Transfer pillar of the Business Support Centre. She has 9 years experience at SRC as an Innovation & Technology Specialist in Food. Brenda has mentored hundreds of food and drink companies in all areas of research and development and new product development (NPD) through funded programmes. Brenda has over 18 years industry experience working as an NPD Manager in food manufacturing and has launched hundreds of new and improved products in both retail and food service within the chilled and frozen categories.
Brenda holds a BA (Hons) in Consumer Studies/Food Innovation with a Diploma in Industrial Studies from Ulster University and has recently completed a Master’s in Business for Agri-Food & Innovation Management awarded by Queens University Belfast in conjunction with CAFRE.
Sylvia leads the Upskilling and Workforce Development; Apprenticeship and Higher Level Apprenticeship Development; and Employer Support pillars of the Business Support Centre.
Sylvia has over 17 years experience working in training at the College in a variety of support and management roles. This experience spans several programmes including, Jobskills, Training for Success, Skill Up - Flexible Skills Programme and Apprenticeships & Higher Level Apprenticeships.
Sylvia has a wealth of employer engagement experience, and understands the needs of micro businesses, SMEs and large companies. Sylvia is very passionate about engaging with employers to develop bespoke training solutions and to provide upskilling and workforce development opportunities which meet the needs of industry.
Sylvia has extensive experience in working with individuals as part of their learning journey, always supporting, signposting, and ensuring they are achieving the most from their training experience.
Margaret has over 14 years experience at SRC across multiple departments and has an excellent understanding of the logistics of training. Margaret graduated from Napier University, Edinburgh with a BA (Hons) in Tourism Management, from Queen’s University, Belfast with a Diploma in Delivering Essential Skills and from Ulster University with a Post Graduate Diploma in Further and Higher Education.
Prior to joining SRC, Margaret worked in the hospitality and tourism industry in Northern Ireland and in various European countries including Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
Margaret has lectured in hospitality & tourism, communication, and modern languages. She has excellent communication skills and can competently deal with companies various requirements. Margaret can quickly ascertain training needs and design bespoke training programmes to meet them. Margaret’s clients range from sole traders to multi-nationals.
Rachel graduated from Ulster University in 2022 with a first class honours degree in Marketing and was awarded the Marketing Institute of Ireland Highest Achieving Final Year Student prize.
Rachel joined SRC in January 2023 and has worked in two different roles in this time; firstly as part of the Skills Training team where she regularly engaged with apprentice employers; before moving to the Business Support team where she supports employers and apprentices as part of the Higher Level Apprenticeship team.
Rachel works with other colleagues in the team to drive employer recruitment to the Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes and supports the team in developing marketing and promotional campaigns.
Kieran is an experienced trainer and business mentor with over 25 years’ experience in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Kieran’s experience includes working in a range of operational and management roles, delivering training and mentoring to SMEs, workshop facilitation, project evaluation, business plan development, tour guiding, travel and tourism lectures, operating and selling educational and sports tours, corporate hospitality promotion and management of a family public house.
Kieran is a conference and event facilitator and has worked across a wide range of digital and tourism projects including podcasting, 360 tours, interactive maps and AR and VR. He has also helped businesses to create online training solutions.
Emma has over 15 years of experience within the food industry working as a New Product Development Manager, Technical Manager and Food Innovation Consultant. She has developed products for global brands, retailers’ private labels and own labels.
Emma is currently working towards a MSc in Business for Agri-Food and holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition. Emma’s industry experience includes working for a family run orchard in Armagh and Nestle, as a Sensory Scientist. She has also worked as a New Product Development Manager in sectors such as food to go, bakery, healthy ready meals and added value meat and poultry.
Since joining SRC in 2016, Emma has been able to use her vast knowledge and experience to help companies launch commercially viable, consumer lead products that will keep their business ahead of the competition. Emma has mentored over 100 SME's since joining the team.
Rachel has over 12 years’ experience within food manufacturing covering areas such as new product development, new process development and operations.
Rachel graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Food Technology from the College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). Before joining the Business Support Team, Rachel worked in Moy Park, having gained experience in the primary and convenience factories. Rachel has 4 years’ experience as an Operations Manager, managing 8 busy retail packing lines, meeting orders and manging depot times within a busy environment. She also has 6 years experience as a New Product Development Manager with Moy Park Ltd and 2 years experience as a Process Development Manager, responsible for factory processes and understanding how to improve factory processes via method reductions, improving efficiencies and understanding new equipment.
Since joining Southern Regional College, Rachel has mentored food and drink businesses in all areas of lean manufacture, new product development and nutritional shelf life.
Lydia graduated with BSc (Hons) in Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition with Professional Studies from Queen’s University Belfast and is currently working towards an MSc in Business for Agrifood and Rural Enterprise with Innovation Management in conjunction with Queens University and CAFRE.
Lydia has four years’ experience in the food industry, working in both new product development and quality/technical roles. Before joining Southern Regional College, Lydia spent 3 years working as a New Product Development Technologist in mBio, a research and development business of Monaghan Mushrooms and led the development of mushroom based, vegan meat-free products from concept to commercial scale launch. She has also worked on a variety of innovation projects including the development of a pipeline of mushroom based meat alternative concepts, for retail own label and private label including Marks & Spencer and business to business bulk and wholesale products, including development of hybrid, reduced meat products.
Since joining SRC, Lydia has used her knowledge and experience to help businesses in all aspects of the new product development process, including recipe formulation, product stability, nutritional profiling, shelf-life, process flow and HACCP development. She also specialises in factory process development, new equipment commissioning and process method development to improve efficiencies and understand new equipment capabilities to ensure repeatable scaled production.
James has considerable experience of all aspects of engineering from design through to manufacture. James graduated from Ulster University with a MEng Honours Degree in Manufacturing Systems Management with a Diploma in Industrial studies. He has worked in various industries from sheet metal forming, concrete (design) to quarry and recycling.
James is a confident user of both AutoCad and Solidworks software and has significant experience of project management, product design, design development and prototypes within the commercial sector. He has worked on various design projects over the years ranging from bespoke one-off design solutions to standard products for manufacture.
Ryan is a Design Engineer with a broad range of experience across may sectors including the food, pharmaceutical and material handling industries. Ryan graduated with a MEng Hons in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University Belfast. He is a confident SolidWorks and AutoCAD user and has experience in project management, taking initial concept ideas through design development, design for manufacture and assembly, prototyping and production.
Ryan has experience in bespoke tooling and jig design for one off manufacturing as well as new product introduction in large scale production. Ryan also has extensive experience and expertise within the manufacture and design of musical instruments and related products.
Mark comes from a computing background and has extensive experience in IT, from hardware and software management to networking and mobile computing. Mark holds a BSc (Hons) in Computing Science and a Diploma in Professional Practice from Ulster University.
He has completed IT Infrastructure Library v3 focussing on quality-driven service management and is JISC Cyber Essentials trained. Mark has worked across numerous sectors including education, hospitality and agriculture and his skills have benefitted a range of businesses by streamlining processes and maximising effort through the use of technology.
Sara has 16 years experience working in the hospitality industry, including running her own business. Since joining SRC, Sara has gained experience in various support roles at the College.
Sara has been with the Business Support team for two years and her responsibilities include managing the financial and administrative aspects of project delivery.
Andrea has 16 years experience working in the College in various support and management roles. This spans various departments and Andrea has worked with students, employers, community groups and businesses, advising and guiding each to ensure they are receiving the maximum support available to reach their goals.
Andrea has been with the Business Support team as a Business Development Executive since 2019, working with businesses to identify their training needs, to upskill and retain their workforce and to source the best solution to meet their requirements.
Gayle has 16 years experience working at the College in a role within the Marketing, Communications and Student Recruitment team. Prior to this Gayle worked for Coca-Cola in London and Ernst & Young in Bermuda, Australia and London. She has proven interpersonal and managerial skills on both a local and international level. Gayle has extensive experience in managing high profile events, global marketing initiatives and large-scale budgets.
Gayle joined the Business Support team to manage the Skill Up programme. This suite of free accredited courses, funded by the Department for the Economy, aims to upskill and reskill individuals in economic priority areas to boost the economy.
Aislin graduated from Ulster University with a degree in Business and Marketing. She has worked in the Business Support Team for 7 years across two different roles.
Aislin works with a wide range of businesses across the Southern Region to identify their training needs, to upskill and retain their workforce and to source the best training solution to meet their requirements.
Carolanne has a background in management, marketing and finance and worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for 10 years before joining the College 12 years ago.
She spent 5 years working in SRC’s finance department as part of a project team where she helped collate and verify claims to draw down European funding. In 2015, Carolanne joined the Business Support team as a Client Relationship Executive and is responsible for lead generation though the organisation of events and social media campaigns. She also collates statistics on client engagement to enhance the service offered by the wider team to local businesses.
Jane started her administration career with the Northern Ireland Civil Service in departments including Private Housing, Roads Service, Planning Service and Water Service. Following a career break Jane has been with the SRC Business Support Team for the past 16 years, undertaking all aspects of training administration for students and companies.
Jane has a wealth of experience in advising business clients on the training solutions available to them from BSI and always ensures customer service is a key priority.
Jenny graduated from Ulster University with a degree in Environmental Health.
Before joining BSI, Jenny worked for a leading local charity for 13 years. Starting as a finance administrator and working her way up the hierarchy to become a finance officer in later years.
Jenny has acquired a wide and varied skill set throughout her years of employment.