The Foundation is supported by a dynamic board of Directors, who champion the aims of the Foundation and ensure it achieves its objectives.
Meet the Directors
Sammy Leslie – Guardian of Castle Leslie Estate
Castle Leslie Estate, Co. Monaghan, is one of only a small number of great Irish castle estates still in the hands of its founding family, first established in 1665. Sammy Leslie returned home to Ireland to run the estate with her siblings in 1991 at the age of 24. In 2001 she took over the castle's full ownership and established it as a Trust. In 2004 she bought back three gate lodges, farmland, the hunting lodge and the Equestrian Centre - 20 years after they were sold off.
The business has evolved into a multi-award winning country house estate hotel, complete with a world-class Equestrian Centre, a converted Lodge complete with accommodation, spa, bar and restaurant, and self-catering cottages available on the Estate.
Sammy first initiated the concept of the Leslie Foundation in 2012 as a vehicle to protect and share the natural and built heritage of Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough village and the surrounding region.
Kevin Baird – Chief Executive Officer, The Irish Heritage Trust
Kevin Baird has worked in heritage and tourism projects for 25 years. Kevin started as an architect in private practice in the late 1980s, and over the next decade his voluntary efforts in heritage and community activities developed into full time work. He set up the Heritage Lottery Fund operation in Northern Ireland in 1998 and enjoyed the role until 2006 when he established the Irish Heritage Trust operation in Dublin.
Kevin joined the Leslie Foundation as a Board Member in 2016.
Úna Curley – Artist, Observer and Emotionologist
Úna Curley, mixed media artist, grew up in Kerry but is now based in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. She studied at NCAD and graduated with a First Class (Hons) degree in Textile Art and Artefact. This was the culmination of a long journey of exploring art as a language of expression, having previously attained a BA (Hons) Mgt degree from the IMI and an MSc Communication from Queens University Belfast.
Úna was the Regional Director for Plato Ireland for over a decade. Her remit during that period was to establish cross board support networks through the counties of Monaghan, Armagh and Tyrone. She successfully launched multiple business ventures including launching Agree.ie, a civil and commercial mediation specialists and Business Matters offering business counseling and project management services.
Úna joined the Leslie Foundation as a Board Member in 2016.
Dr Louise Dawson – Executive Director, Dawson & Associates
Louise has worked and researched in the area of sociology of health, disability and rights for 20 years in the UK and Ireland. The majority of her work to date has centered around research and teaching in the social sciences. She has also worked on national and international research projects in Europe with experiences of qualitative and quantitative methods. She has specific expertise in life history and in-depth interviews.
Further, she has worked extensively in the area of disability and rights in research and practice. She has worked as a professional advocate for over 7 years in Ireland. She has completed vast work as an advocate and support person in child care cases.
She has a specific interest in women and health; medical sociology including specific knowledge about health (in history and presently); access to rights in society; and the experience of disability. With a keen interest in feminist research, she completed her own PhD empirical study about women’s personal and healthcare experiences in the UK (specifically with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis).
Louise joined the Leslie Foundation as a Board Member in 2016.
Jackie Gormley – Estate and Maintenance Manager, Castle Leslie Estate
Chairperson, Glaslough Development Association
Jackie Gormley has been with the Castle Leslie Estate for over 20 years. Jackie oversees and is responsible for the maintenance of the Estate and properties. Her responsibilities also cover the administration of agricultural activities and woodland management policies for the Estate. Jackie has a vast knowledge of Castle Leslie Estate and works closely with her team to ensure that it is preserved, protected and shared respectfully.
Since 2014, Jackie has been the Chairperson of Glaslough Development Association. Under her leadership, the GDA has secured over €60k of grants and fundraised raised over €30k for the community centre, playground and other village facilities. During her time she has brought together the community and community groups as well as gathering strong local business support and sponsorship. She has introduced and supported a Parent and Toddler Group, the Glaslough Snooker Club, Glaslough Community Allotments and a Community Library.
Jackie joined the Leslie Foundation as a Board Member in 2016.
Lady Alicia Clements (née Parsons) – Aeronautical Engineer
Project Manager, Birr Castle
Born in Iran, Alicia, the daughter of the Earl of Rosse, a descendant of Mary Rosse and the Third Earl of Rosse (three Greats), was educated in Algeria, UK and Ireland.
Alicia graduated with a BEng in Aeronautical Engineering, and studied Alternative Energy Engineering in UL (University of Limerick). Alicia designed and built a passive solar house in Limerick and worked for Saft Nife UK.
Alicia is now almost exclusively a project manager and in recent years has secured funding and completed the total revamp of the Science Centre at Birr and the Treehouse at Birr. She is now starting an environmental programme to preserve and promote the flora and fauna at Birr.
Alicia joined the Leslie Foundation as a Board Member in 2016.
Guy Mallabone, MA, CFRE – President & CEO at Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.
Guy Mallabone is recognized internationally as one of the non-profit sector’s most thoughtful and inspiring leaders.
He’s an expert in fund development and is engaged in every aspect of fundraising and integrated fund development practice. As a fund development practitioner, author, teacher, and presenter, Guy has worked with all types and sizes of non-profit organizations.
Guy has broad experience in donor prospecting and qualification techniques, cultivation & solicitation strategies, campaign management, and stewardship practices. Guy is widely recognized for his expertise in major gift fundraising, fundraising solicitation, and campaign management. He also provides professional mentoring and personal coaching.
Guy has 34 years’ experience as staff (Executive Director, senior Executive Management, and Chief Development Officer), consultant, and board member in the non-profit sector, including positions with SAIT Polytechnic, the University of Alberta, and the Canadian Red Cross Society. Guy has been recognized as the Outstanding Fundraising Executive by both AFP (Edmonton) and AFP (Calgary) chapters, and was recognized in 2009 as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential Citizens by Alberta Venture Magazine and one of Calgary’s 20 most Compelling Citizens by the Calgary Herald.
Guy serves as Professor for the Master of Fundraising program at the University of Bologna, Italy; serves as the Editor and contributing author of the Canadian best-seller ‘Excellence in Fundraising in Canada’; is Chair of ‘Canada Advancing Philanthropy’, a professional advocacy group in Canada; and a member of Carlton University’s Advisory Committee for Canada’s first master’s degree in Philanthropy.
Guy joined the Leslie Foundation as a Board Member in 2016.