Board of Directors

Mr. Dick Spring
Patron

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Mr. Dick Spring is an Honorary Patron of the Farmleigh Fellowship. The former Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) of Ireland, Minister for Foreign Affairs and leader of the Labour Party, currently serves as the Chairman of Altobridge Ltd, Director of Repak Ltd. and the Realta Global Aids Foundation Ltd. He is also an Executive Director of Fexco, Ireland’s most successful privately owned financial services company.

Mr. George Yeo
Patron

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Mr George Yong-Boon Yeo is an Honorary Patron of the Farmleigh Fellowship and is former Member of Parliament and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore. He currently serves as Vice-Chairman of Kerry Group and is a Visiting Scholar at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore.

Mr. Yeo studied Engineering at Cambridge University from 1973-76 on a President’s Scholarship and served in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as a Signals Officer. After graduating from the Singapore Command and Staff College in 1979, Mr. Yeo was posted to the Republic of Singapore Air Force. He attended Harvard Business School in 1983 and graduated as a Baker Scholar. Upon his return to Singapore in 1985, he went on to appointments as Chief- of-Staff of the Air Force (1985-1986) and Director of Joint Operations and planning in the Ministry of Defence (1986-1988), attaining the rank of Brigadier-General. He resigned from the SAF in August 1988 to enter politics.

From 1988 to 2011, Mr. Yeo was one of the elected Members of Parliament (MPs) for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC). He held the positions of: Minister of State for Finance and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (1988-1991); Acting Minister for Information and the Arts and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (1990-1991); Minister for Information and the Arts (1991-1999); Second Minister for Foreign Affairs (1991-1994); Minister for Health (1994-1997); Second Minister for Trade and Industry (1997-1999); Minister for Trade and Industry (1999-2004); and Minister for Foreign Affairs (2004-2011). After losing his seat in the General Elections of May 2011, he spent a few months in Peking University as a Visiting Scholar before joining the private sector on Jan 1, 2012.

Mr. Yeo served as Chairman of the Young PAP (People’s Action Party) from 1991 to 2000. From 1992 to 2011, he also represented the Eurasian community in the Cabinet. In addition, Mr. Yeo was a member of the Harvard Business School’s Visiting Committee from 1998 to 2004 and has been the Advisor to the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall in Singapore since its establishment in November 2001. He is a member of the Governing Board of Nalanda University in India and chairs its International Advisory Panel. He has been a Patron of LASALLE College of the Arts since 1988. In 2012, he was presented with the Order of Sikatuna by the Philippines Government and the Padma Bhushan by the Indian Government.

Fred Combe
Chairperson

Entrepreneur and Business Consultant

fred-combe-bioFred has extensive knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, having worked and lived in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Singapore for the last 22 years. Fred is an active investor in start-up companies across Asia and Australasia

He is a director of China International Duty Free Ltd, the No 1 distributor and marketer of Chinese consumer brands to Global Retail Duty Free and a board adviser to Wildfire Asia Ltd, a pioneer influencer online marketing agency based in Shanghai, China.

Fred is also the founder and Managing Director of NATUS Pte Ltd, a corporate management consultancy based in Singapore since 2005. NATUS helps western clients in their business development expansion plans in Asia.

Prior to 2005, Fred worked for 18 years for British American Tobacco in Africa, Latin America and Asia. His last role was Regional Director for ASEAN, where he was responsible for a US$ 410 million turnover business with 2100 employees.

Fred is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Singapore and also co-wrote the 2009 bestseller, “Business Journey to the East” (McGraw-Hill)

Fred is the Chairman of the Farmleigh Fellowship Pte Ltd

Paraic McGrath

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Paraic McGrath has been doing business in Asia since 1990 and previously worked in Australia and Japan before settling in Singapore in 2003. In his current role as Asian Director of Business for ESB International, he is helping to expand this global leading energy and engineering consultancies business in the region. ESBI build, own, operate and maintain power stations and in Asia currently operate in Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Pakistan & the Philippines. He also worked as an International school teacher and was an FX Swaps trader for 15 years.

Paraic is the co-founder of the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum (APIBF), a unique construction focused on building connections between GAA clubs and business groups based in the Asia-Pacific Region. As Vice – Chairman of the Asian GAA Board of the GAA, McGrath has a foot in both camps and is a vital player in the networking of Irish business people across Asia.

The focus of the APIBF is to link Irish business groups in Asia-Pacific in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and, where possible, resources to enable our members to leverage the reputation and connections each group has built.

Originally from Claremorris in Co. Mayo and a graduate of St. Patrick’s College of Education, he is the Chairperson of the Gaelic Lions in Singapore and as chairman of the Asian GAA board achieved his goal in seeing our national games now played in every corner of the region. He enjoys Gaelic games, triathlons & travelling.

Gerry Creaner

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Gerry Creaner has over 30-years of experience in the Life Sciences Manufacturing industry across a range of technical, managerial and business roles. He established a very successful engineering consultancy prior to founding GetReskilled, an online education and learning business, with offices in Singapore, Ireland and Boston (USA), focussed on the manufacture of safe and effective medicines for the public .

He is also a founding Director of two Singapore based philantropic organisations, the Farmleigh Fellowship and the Singapore-Ireland Fund ,both of which deepen the well established and historical Singapore – Ireland relationship and deliver long-term benefits to both countries.

Gerry has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering (UCD, 1980) and an MSc (Management) from Trinity College Dublin (2003) and is currently doing research for his PhD.

Laura O’Connell

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One of the first graduates of the Farmleigh Fellowship, Laura is based in Singapore working with Symrise Asia Pacific, Flavor & Nutrition division as Regional Marketing Executive for the Sweet & Consumer Health Business Units.

Laura moved to Singapore with the Farmleigh Fellowship in 2011 to study and work with her sponsor company, Ocuco. Through the Farmleigh Fellowship and Ocucu, Laura gained first-hand experience of the Asian business environment. Bitten by the bug, she remains living and working in Singapore today. Laura is also the newest member of the Events & Marketing Committee at the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

Laura holds a BA in Economics and German, an MSc in Financial Economics from University College Cork and an MSc in International Management from Trinity College Dublin.

Joe Marten

joe-martenJoe Marten is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and majority shareholder of Aluminaid. Joe is an experienced Investor and Entrepreneur across a range of sectors . He was previously a principle of Solidus Capital Partners LLP and a partner of stockbroking firm Henry Cooke Lumsden which he subsequently sold to European Investment Bank, KBL (Kredit Bank Luxembourg). Following the sale, he remained on as Investment with Director of Brown Shipley (UK Investment Bank). Joe has been involved in Pre IPO investing since 1987. Joe is also a member of the Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Catherine Toolan
Managing Director, Special Projects
ARAMARK