The Honourable Madam Justice Denise McBride, Dame Denise Anne McBride, DBE, QC
Ms McBride Q.C. is a former pupil of Clough Primary School and Down High School, Downpatrick. She graduated from Queen's University, Belfast with an LLB Honours degree in June 1988 and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland the following year. She was appointed a Queen's Counsel in September 2011. Mrs Madam McBride was appointed a High Court judge in Northern Ireland on 23 October 2015.
Ms McBride Q.C. has appeared as an advocate at all court levels including the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. As a Queen's Counsel she had a wide ranging practice specialising in chancery, family, civil and international law.
Ms McBride Q.C. was appointed an Honorary Lecturer at Queen's University Belfast in 2006 in recognition of her long service as a tutor and guest lecturer. She was elected Vice Chair of the Bar Council and served from 2012-2014.
She has made a significant contribution to legal education, by writing articles for leading legal journals and giving lectures at various local, UK and international legal conferences.
Dame Rotha Johnston, Chair Northern Ireland Screen, DBE
Rotha Johnston took up her post as Chairwoman of Northern Ireland Screen in June 2013. A Queen’s University graduate and post-graduate, Ms Johnston has had a career in the textile, the economic development and the food sectors. She currently has various investment interests primarily in the property sector.
In addition, Rotha holds a number of non-executive positions including Director of Northern Ireland Electricity, Member of KPMG NI Advisory Board, QUBIS and a Belfast Harbour Commissioner.
Previously she was a shareholder and director of Variety Foods Ltd, a food service company supplying the Irish market; Head of Marketing in Moygashel Textiles, part of Lamont Holdings and Business Development Director, LEDU.
Ms Johnston was also a BBC Trustee, Pro Channcellor at Queen’s University Belfast and Deputy Chair of Invest Northern Ireland. In 2006 she was awarded the CBE in recognition of her contribution to industry in Northern Ireland and in 2016 was made a Dame.
Judith Totten, Invest NI Board and Managing Director of Upstream Positive Working Capital
Judith Totten is the majority shareholder and Managing Director of Upstream Working Capital Ltd, a company she originally established 2011 as an independent provider of working capital funding for Northern Ireland SME’s.
Upstream currently supports funding in excess of £100M to indigenous NI businesses and Judith is driven to see the alternative finance market growing exponentially in the years ahead. Most recent expansion has seen the genesis of Upstream Trade Finance Ltd – a company set up to fund the supply chain and trade purchase needs of local SMEs. This is a unique offering in NI and completes the working capital cycle for many businesses whereby Upstream are now providing 'end to end' finance from 'supplier to buyer'.
Prior to establishing Upstream, Judith had a successful career in banking, principally with Danske Bank.
Judith is also a board member of Invest NI and sits on the Council of The Princes Trust in NI as well as being involved as a mentor / advisor to several small business owners. Judith is a respected and recognisable face throughout the province both as a provider of finance solutions for business and as a commentator on the finance market generally. She is also an active member of the NI Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors and the CBI in Northern Ireland and is a passionate advocate for local business.
In her personal life Judith is a busy wife, mother and doting ‘nanny’ to Emily.
Judith Owens, Chief Executive of Titanic Belfast
Judith is Chief Executive at TBL International Ltd (TBL), the parent company to the award-winning Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic and the Titanic Exhibition Centre. With experience spanning nearly three decades, unrivalled knowledge of the tourism and events industry and an exceptional track record, she is one of UK’s the most experienced and established management professionals.
Initially serving as Director of Operations of Titanic Belfast, where she was fundamental to its launch, establishment and success, Judith spearheaded the creation of TBL. Under her leadership, it has gone from strength to strength, growing from the operation of Titanic Belfast (2012) to include the management of SS Nomadic (April 2015) and the Titanic Exhibition Centre (September 2015).
Prior to her role as Chief Executive at TBL, Judith as Operations Director oversaw the daily operations and strategic planning for all three of TBL’s venues ensuring a consistent and seamless five-star service. Under her directive, Titanic Belfast has welcomed close to 5 million visitors from over 145 countries and was awarded the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2016, as well as a host of industry awards. Judith also managed the Waterfront & Ulster Hall for 14 years and UTV, as one of Northern Ireland’s largest broadcasting houses.
Judith sits on the board of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), Visit Belfast and is a member of the Institute of Directors. She is passionate about inclusive tourism and previously chaired Adapt NI, a local charity that promotes equality for people with disabilities through accessibility to arts venues.
Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman MBE BA (Hons), Police Service of Northern Ireland
In December 2017 Paula joined the PSNI’s Crime Operations Department to take on the role as Head of Public Protection Branch. This branch has responsibility for investigations and policies in a number of different fields including but not limited to: Child Abuse; Domestic Abuse; Rape Crime; Adult Safeguarding and Child Internet Protection.
Paula is also a Public Order Commander and Strategic Firearms Commander.
Paula’s services to policing and the community were recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in 2013 when she was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
In December 2016 Paula was promoted to Chief Superintendent and appointed as North Area Coordinator based in Ballymoney. North Area within PSNI is comprised of the four Districts of Derry City & Strabane, Causeway Coast & Glens, Antrim & Newtownabbey and Mid & East Antrim.
In 2014 Paula transferred to District Policing Command to become a part of the Senior Command Team in Belfast.
In 2011 Paula transferred to Criminal Justice Branch, where she became Head of Branch on promotion to Superintendent in 2013. She was responsible for working with Criminal Justice partners to reduce delay and improve efficiency in criminal justice processes. This also included working together to improve the quality of service to victims and witnesses of crime. In partnership with the Public Prosecution Service, Paula led on the creation of Northern Ireland’s first Victim and Witness Care Unit.
In 2006 Paula was promoted to Chief Inspector and appointed Area Commander for Lisburn and then Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus. As Area Commander Paula ensured that policing with the community was at the centre of decision making and service delivery.
Paula has over 30 years’ service with the Royal Ulster Constabulary George Cross and the Police Service of Northern Ireland and has served across a number of District and Departments as a Sergeant and Inspector.
Stephen McCully, Managing Director of Power NI
Stephen has been Managing Director of Power NI for the past 15 years. Power NI is Northern Ireland’s largest electricity supplier serving 475,000 homes and 35,000 businesses.
He is a Past President and Board Member of the NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Stephen has worked within the energy industry since 1986, and joined initially as a chartered engineer and then transitioned into a variety of senior management roles prior to taking up his current role.
He holds an engineering degree, a masters in corporate leadership and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.