Who's who on The Consumer Council Board.
The Council has a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and eight members appointed following ministerial approval. Their role is to oversee the strategic direction of the Consumer Council and for ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance, efficiency and propriety in the use of public funds.
Ms Sheila McClelland (Chairperson)
Sheila was, previous to this appointment, the Chief Executive of Carrickfergus Borough Council until the reform of local government and the amalgamation of the council area into Mid and East Antrim DC on 1 April 2015.
She holds appointments on the board of Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NICO), (DfE/Invest Northern Ireland), the board of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (Northern Ireland Committee) and the board of Cooperation Ireland.
Sheila has served five years as chair of the Consumer Council. She has recently finished an interim appointment working at a senior level within the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, and has taken up an interim position as chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.
Mick McAteer (Deputy Chairperson)
Mick McAteer hails from Northern Ireland. He has 25 years’ experience as a consumer advocate in the UK and EU and is best known for his work in financial services.
He is founder and co-director of the Financial Inclusion Centre, a UK based not-for-profit think tank.
He is chair of Registry Trust, and chair of anti-poverty charity Z2K (Zacchaeus 2000) Trust. He is a board member of CARITAS (Westminster Board), and a member of the European Commission's Financial Services User Group (FSUG), which he previously chaired for six years. Previously, he was on the board of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the FSA's successor, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for just over six years until January 2016.
He was principal policy adviser at Which? (the largest consumer group in Europe, formerly known as Consumers' Association) for 13 years until the end of 2006 and formulated the organisation’s policy on financial services.
Mr McAteer brings experience of consumer issues, strategic thinking, leadership and governance to the Board, as well as communication skills.
Ms June Butler
June served in various roles in the public and private sector in Northern Ireland for over 40 years. She was the Assistant Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland from 2001-2009 and in 2008 she also worked with the Greater London Authority for the Mayoral Elections, specialising in electronic counting of votes. In 2010 she was awarded an MBE for her work with electoral services.
From 2009 until early 2017 she was the diocesan secretary of the two Church of Ireland Dioceses of Connor and Down and Dromore and acted as their chief executive as well as secretary to both diocesan synods and councils.
From January 2019, June was elected as the all-Ireland president and as as worldwide trustee of the Anglican charity, Mothers’ Union. She is particularly engaged in matters of policy and attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2017 and 2019 as the Mothers’ Union member representative. Her other interests include historic buildings and she chairs the Northern Ireland Places of Worship Forum, bringing together construction professionals, churches of all denominations and various funding bodies, coordinated through the National Churches Trust. She is also an elected member of the Down and Dromore Diocesan Council and Synod, the Church of Ireland General Synod and Church and Society Commission, various diocesan committees and is a trustee of the Orphan and Children Society for the counties of Antrim and Down. In January 2019 she was appointed as a trustee of the RUC George Cross Foundation. None of these roles are remunerated, with travel and expenses only paid.
June holds a degree in English from the University of Ulster and various work- related qualifications in human resources, training, business and project management.
Ms Lynne Crowther
Lynne is an experienced communications consultant providing guidance, training and mentoring on social media strategy, content planning, development and activation. She has developed and implemented award winning local, national and international initiatives for a wide range of companies.
She has worked on campaigns for a number of organisations including Coca-Cola and ChildLine.
Dr Sinéad Furey
Sinéad is a lecturer in Consumer Management and Food Innovation at Ulster University, having previously been a senior executive officer in the Food Standards Agency in NI.
She is also an independent consumer representative on the NI Food Chain Certification Committee. Sinéad brings skills and experience of consumer issues and representation, communication, strategic thinking and working in partnership to the role.
Dr Joan Martin
Joan is a lay representative on the NI Medical and Dental Training Agency and a panel member of the NI Courts Service Appeals Tribunal Service. She is also a lay member on the General Osteopathic Council UK, a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Bar Tribunal Adjudication Service, London, and a member of the Tribunal Appointments Board of the Council of the Inns of Court, London.
Joan brings skills and experience in strategic thinking, communication, working in partnership and of consumer issues and representation to the role.
Mr Gerry McCurdy
Gerry McCurdy has over 40 years’ experience working in a regulatory environment dealing with consumer protection, food safety and public health. He qualified as an environmental health officer (EHO) at the University of Ulster in 1978 and went on to attain a Master of Science degree in 1991.
He has held a number of senior positions in local and central government. As NI Deputy Chief EHO he was asked by the Department of Health to take the lead in the setting up of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), a UK-wide non-Ministerial government department and central competent authority for food safety and the interests of consumers.
As NI Director of the FSA he developed close working relations with the Consumer Council, district councils, Trading Standards, industry bodies and consumers.
On his retirement in 2013, Gerry has worked as a food safety/ consumer protection consultant for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank on projects in Bosnia and Bangladesh. He currently holds Ministerial appointments on the Boards of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authorityand the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and is the Deputy Chief Commissioner for the NI Charity Commission.
As well as extensive experience in consumer safety Gerry has considerable board experience, particularly in the areas of strategic planning, governance, audit and risk management.
Mr Alan O'Neill
Alan has over 20 years’ experience in the public sector, including managerial roles with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Alan is an operational officer for NIFRS, currently instrumental in a transformation programme that will deliver a more effective and efficient service. Prior to this he was responsible for operational audit and assurance across the service.
He has a BA in business management and an MSc in fire and rescue service management.
He served as vice chairperson of a school board of governors, supporting a school merger, and is active within his local community being a keen sportsman and volunteering at local community events.