Hospitality entrepreneur Michael McQuillan set for Enterprise NI top role
HOSPITALITY entrepreneur Michael McQuillan is set to become the new chief executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland, The Irish News can reveal.
It is understood the current director of Ulster University Business Institute will succeed Gordon Gough, who is retiring from the position after a decade at the helm. It is believed a statement confirming the appointment will be made in due course.
Established in 2000, Enterprise NI represents the 28 local enterprise agencies (LEAs) in the north. Since its inception the umbrella body has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs, helping them set up their business in Northern Ireland, and enabling them to grow and develop.
Back in February it was announced that Enterprise NI was seeking a new chief executive following news of the impending retirement of Mr Gough. Executive search firm 4c Executive was tasked with finding Mr Gough's replacement, with chair of Enterprise NI, Nicholas O'Sheil stating at the time the organisation was looking for an "outstanding person" to manage and lead the organisation in the future.
"This is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated individual with strong leadership qualities to promote entrepreneurship and represent members in Northern Ireland," he said.
Michael McQuillan set up the Streat Café chain in 1999 with his wife Nikki and the success of this business and his advocacy of skills training made him a major name in Northern Ireland's hospitality sector. He also developed Manor House Catering Service’s during the late 80’s and early 90’s with his brother John and had a spell launching and running the contract catering division of the Campbell Bewley Group in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Throughout his business career Mr McQuillan lectured part-time at Ulster University and has been ever-present in the development of tourism in Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland skills agenda. Since August 2014 he has been the director of the Business Institute at Ulster University Business School.