Meet the Board

We are lucky to have an extraordinary group of highly experienced people behind us


Dick Milliken (Chair)

Mr. Milliken is a former CFO of the Almac Group and CEO Lamont plc. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Mr. Milliken serves as a director of Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, Ryanair Holdings Plc and a number of private companies. Mr. Milliken is a graduate of Queens University Belfast, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and a former Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Bank of Ireland.


Bonnie Dean OBE (Deputy Chair)

Non Executive Director

Clare Colhoun

Business Development Director Aveva

Jane Davies OBE

Director and Business Leader

Philip Gilliland

Managing Partner Caldwell & Robinson Solicitors

Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan  

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Ulster University

Bryan Keating

Entrepreneur & Non-Executive Director

Alec McRitchie 

Retired Director Bombardier

Professor Paddy Nixon

Vice-Chancellor Ulster University

James O’Kane 

Registrar and Chief Operating Officer Queen’s University Belfast

Des Speed 


Stephen Wray 

Director, Deloitte Digital 

Jeff Wylie

Experienced software CFO/COO

Senior Management Team

Steve Orr

Steve Orr

Chief Executive Officer

Steve Orr is Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Inc and serves on the Board of Directors. Before being named CEO in November 2018, Steve was Director and Co-founder of Connect, Catalyst Inc’s not-for-profit network of experienced entrepreneurs, business professionals and top research talent dedicated to the creation and scaling of innovation companies in Northern Ireland. Connect helps over 800 local entrepreneurs to aim higher and succeed faster each year. Prior to Connect, Steve co-founded Kineticom, Inc a San Diego, California based technical talent firm in 2000. In 2006 Kineticom was ranked #33 on the Inc 500, the list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US. Previous to Kineticom, Steve worked in Buckinghamshire, UK and San Diego and San Francisco, California for S.Com Ltd and S.Com Inc. Steve earned a BSc in Business Information Technology from University of Northumbria.

Philip Maguire

Philip Maguire

Director of Finance & Administration

Philip Maguire has been responsible for all of the finance, administration and company secretarial duties for Catalyst Inc’s portfolio of properties and entrepreneurial programmes since joining in 2007.

Philip has been a Finance Director at eircom, the telecoms incumbent in the Republic of Ireland, and the O’Kane Group of companies, the poultry processing and food distribution business. He has a degree from University College Dublin and is a chartered accountant.

Dr Joanne Stuart, OBE

Dr Joanne Stuart, OBE

Director of Development

Joanne is responsible for the development of strategic relationships to support the growth of the Knowledge Economy in Northern Ireland. Since returning to NI in 2005, she has been active in the area of economic development and championing STEAM subjects amongst the region’s younger generation. A former Chairman of IoD NI, Joanne has over 25 years’ experience working in the IT industry, including nine years with the Oracle Corporation.

Mervyn Watley

Mervyn Watley

Director of Corporate Real Estate & Facilities

Mervyn's role involves the management of the Catalyst Inc Real Estate’s 25-acre estate at Titanic Quarter Belfast, 3 acre site at Fort George in Londonderry and the recent Mid-East Antrim campus in Ballymena. Responsible for providing and managing the physical environment for around 150 companies including blue-chip ones like Citi,DOW, HP, IBM, Kana, Microsoft and SAP. Responsibilities also include capital development, lease management and facilities management.

Shauna Collins

Shauna Collins

Director of HR

Shauna is responsible for employee resourcing, relations, performance management and talent management for Catalyst Inc. She joined our team in 2009 as PA to the CEO and Executive team. Her role moved into HR & Office Manager before evolving again in 2018 to become Director of HR. She graduated with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in Advanced Human Resource Management.

Alan Watts

Alan Watts


Since graduating with a First as an engineer from Queen’s University Belfast, Alan has co-founded successful tech company Yelo Ltdand invested as a business angel. He was General Manager of Mindready NI before joining Catalyst Inc as Halo Director in 2009, in which time Halo has he grew this network to 200 angels and facilitated investment of over £12m in NI companies. Today he is Director of Capital Match.

Alan has twice been elected as Vice President and Trustee of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. In his spare time Alan is an experienced windsurfer who is systematically trying to break every bone in his body.