ARMAGH woman Margaret Hearty has been appointed chief executive of cross-border trade body InterTradeIreland (ITI), where she has held various senior roles since its inception in 1999.
And her immediate pledge in her new role is to “provide fresh strategic direction as I work closely with staff, board, sponsor departments and partners to drive economic growth.”
Latterly its director of business services, Margaret has carried out a number of other key roles within the organisation, and will now be responsible for leading its strategy and services.
“It's a great honour to be appointed CEO of InterTradeIreland, a unique organisation with a strong track record that delivers for business,” she said.
“SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, and InterTradeIreland has a key role to play in helping businesses as they navigate these uncertain times.
“We have a wide remit - from helping SMEs to identify and source new business opportunities in the cross-border market and guiding them through the new trading requirements, to assisting firms to collaborate with cross-border partners to innovate and become more competitive and increase their chance of investment.”
ITI chairman Ken Nelson said Ms Hearty has “unrivalled knowledge of the sector and a proven track record of working successfully with businesses”.
He added: “These qualities, coupled with her strategic expertise, innovative vision for the body and first-class leadership skills, saw her clinch what is a demanding and exciting role.”
Over the last two-plus decades more than 48,000 small businesses have been supported by ITI to identify and develop trade and innovation opportunities.
The organisation (www.intertradeireland.com) has created more than 18,000 new jobs and generated some £1.2 billion in business development value, with cross-border trade currently sitting at £7.4 billion, its highest level in 20 years.
It also creates and supports cross-border strategic partnerships to boost economic growth and co-operation, including projects like the Belfast/Dublin fintech corridor.