TJ Flanagan has been named as the new chief executive designate of ICOS, which represents more than 130 co-operatives and livestock marts in Ireland.
Currently the group’s national dairy policy executive, Mr Flanagan will take up his new role in July.
Current CEO Seamus O’Donohoe is due to retire, having directed ICOS with distinction over a long career as CEO and formerly as company secretary and director of member development.
ICOS president, Martin Keane, said: “TJ Flanagan brings immense knowledge, expertise and experience to this role where he will provide strong leadership and guidance to the co-op sector at one of the most crucial times in our history.
“He understands every aspect of co-operative enterprise and has an integral understanding of the issues and opportunities facing our industry in the years ahead.
“I also pay the warmest possible tribute to outgoing CEO Seamus O’Donohoe for his excellent contribution to ICOS and to the growth, development and direction of co-operatives throughout Ireland over three-and-a-half decades to date.”
ICOS’s associated businesses have a combined turnover of €14bn, with 150,000 members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.
Mr Flanagan said: “I’m honoured to be appointed CEO designate. I look forward to working with all stakeholders in the co-op sector at home and abroad to ensure the continuing strong progress of this essential and vibrant economic sector for Ireland.”
Mr Flanagan is a UCD agriculture graduate with over 15 years of experience working with ICOS and co-ops across a range of sectors. Since 2007 he has served as secretary of the ICOS dairy expert committee, and has been responsible for the development of dairy policy within ICOS.
Prior to that he spent five years as secretary of the ICOS national marts committee.
He is currently the secretary of the National Dairies Association, and a member of the National Milk Agency as well as being a member of the technical advisory committee of the Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme.
He also represents ICOS on the COPA General Confederation of Agricultural Co-operatives) Milk Working Group in Brussels, and the European Commission civil dialogue group on milk.
Mr Flanagan created the Plunkett Institute, an ICOS initiative to develop a corporate governance standard for co-op directors and is executive director of the institute.
The institute is delivering a number of director development programmes in co-ops across the country.
ICOS is also working closely with co-op boards to develop training initiatives to encourage members to become more engaged with their co-ops and to create a generation of future leaders.
Mr Flanagan is completing a professional diploma in Corporate Governance at the UCD Smurfit School, and is a member of the Corporate Governance Association of Ireland and the RDS. Prior to working for ICOS he worked as an agronomist and commercial manager for Ed Flahavan and Sons in Co Waterford.
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