The future of our business community is bright as over 50 participants on the Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme graduated at a special event held in Faithlegg.

Having completed the nine month mentoring programme, the graduates will now join an exclusive alumni of over 400, a very powerful network who will lead the charge in the development of Waterford in years to come.

Hosting the event, Paul Nolan, Waterford Chamber President, thanked partners Bausch + Lomb and Waterford Chamber Skillnet for their guidance and support. “Programmes like this don’t just happen. They take time to evolve and the leadership shown by Bausch + Lomb and our own Waterford Chamber Skillnet has made the programme what it is today.”

He also thanked the 40+ mentors who work on the programme voluntarily to guide and support those looking to advance their careers. “As a mentor myself since the start of the programme, I know how valuable it is and as mentors we always say we get just as much out of meeting the participants as they do. We are learning every day and together we can all evolve and grow.”

Before a delicious lunch, Paul introduced guest speaker Josephine Feehily, an amazing woman who has excelled in her career in the public sector, a sector that has had many challenges and tremendous change and positive growth during her tenure.

During her career, she held a wide range of positions including leading the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, where she was Commissioner from 1998 and Executive Chairperson from 2008 to 2015 – the first woman to hold either position. She led significant change and innovation during a time of growth and challenge. Her words of wisdom to the audience, and for the female participants in particular, were inspirational, evident by the number of women who spoke to her afterwards.

During her Revenue career, Josephine was Chair of the World Customs Organisation and Chair of the OECD Forum for Tax Administration, while in recent years, as part of a suite of reform measures in the Justice sector, she established and chaired the first Policing Authority in Ireland, to oversee the performance by the Garda Síochána of its policing functions and to make senior Garda appointments independent of Government.

Most recently, she chaired the Pensions Commission established by the Government to review aspects of Ireland’s State pension system and the sustainability of the Social Insurance Fund. Josephine is currently the chair of the TUS Governing Body and has of late been appointed by the Tánaiste to the External Oversight Group for the Defence Forces.

Although a Limerick woman and a Munster rugby supporter, Josephine sits on the board of Connacht rugby.

Josephine spoke about accountability, showing up for your team and the importance of leaders recognizing the needs of their team and supporting them, particularly when things get tough.
Confident, brave and admirable, she encompasses all the values of a great leader and was the perfect inspirational speaker for the closing of the 2022/23 Regional Leaders Programme.

The new programme will commence in September and is now open for expressions of interest. For more information see