Michael Kelly is a writer, founder of GIY and hacker grower. He has written three books on food and self-sufficiency - his latest book GROW COOK EAT (2014) was a winner in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Michael is an Ashoka Fellow, a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee and a recipient of the inaugural 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund. He is a member of the TASTE Council of Ireland. He has written columns on food and health for The Irish Times, The Irish Independent and Food & Wine Magazine. Michael is a passionate speaker on food issues, self-sufficiency, sustainability and growing your own food. He worked for ten years in the IT industry in Dublin but now lives the good life in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford with his wife and two little GIYers.
Shona Dubois comes from a festival management and retail management background and has worked for large Irish retailers and Waterford festivals including Harvest Festival & Winterval. A graduate from WIT, Shona has a BBS degree, specialising in economics and finance. A self-confessed foodie and (very) novice grower (3 herb plants on the kitchen windowsill)- she loves learning to GIY and spreading the message far and wide. With a keen eye for detail and a rogue creative streak- Shona is busy coordinating GIY campaigns such as the big grow; GROW2CEO; Energia Get Ireland Growing; organising GIY events such as Food Matters at Bloom & GROW HQ. Also contributes to online retail, new product development and education at GROW HQ and just generally keeping the office on the organisational straight and narrow. Shona lives in Waterford with her husband (who is also our Head Chef at GROW HQ) and two children.
Karen O’Donohoe join us with an academic background in health promotion and vast experience in developing and delivering a wide range of healthy lifestyle and community development activities. During her time at the University of Bristol Karen raised over half a million pounds for community sport development initiatives and set up the John Rutley Sport Fund which supports sport and activity initiatives for young people in Bristol. She also worked closely with the Campaigns Department to engage corporate sponsors and private donors for the long term strategic development of health and sport for the University’s staff and students. She played an integral role in the development of the University’s award winning Positive Working Environment programme and represented the University of Bristol on the UK National Healthy Universities Network. Since her move home to Ladysbridge in East Cork in 2012 Karen has started a GIY Group to great success in the village and is a two times successful awardee of the Get Ireland Growing Fund. Karen’s style of work is high energy, pro- active and solution orientated so she’ll fit right in to Team GIY! She firmly believes in everyone’s potential to bring about positive change and is keen to engage the entire GIY Family that is our outstanding network of groups, schools, workplaces, corporate partners, founding friends, media partners and sponsors in to the concept, delivery and legacy of GROW HQ. Together with her children Dylan and Saoirse and their dog Sam, Karen can usually be found in the polytunnel learning how to grow it herself or playing on the beach at Garryvoe.
Rosy graduated from Dun Laoghaire IADT in 2008 with a first class honours degree in Business and Arts Management. After working as Box Office Manager in the Dublin Theatre Festival for a year she moved back to Waterford to take up a role at the newly renovated Theatre Royal as Box Office Manager. She has worked with Spraoi as Programme Manager and on various other festivals and events in Waterford having set up an event management company with two friends in 2014. Rosy originally joined GIY to help with campaigns and events and is now the Head of our Operations team.
With over 8 years experience in digital marketing, Laura has acquired skills in content development, website design, SEO, Platform management, and result-oriented online marketing strategy and implementation. ‘I love the work we are doing here in GIY and especially the role I have to play in brand awareness and ensuring our content is seen and used in the best way possible. My job focusses on planning our digital strategy when it comes to campaigns with partners, our retail offering, & GROW HQ. We have so much to say here at GIY and we want our message to be heard loud and clear!’ Laura lives in Waterford with her husband, Ben, and three cuties Harry and Poppy & James.
A native of Cornwall (clearly Cornish, not English!), Tor moved to Ireland with her partner in 2018. She joined the GIY team in 2019 as Operations Coordinator where she works on the Get Ireland Growing campaign and the Community Classrooms initiative. A graduate of Falmouth University, Tor received a first-class honours degree in Journalism. Her career started in the publishing industry where she held editorial positions at Wanderlust, BBC Countryfile and Boat International magazines before turning freelance as a writer, photographer and content creator. For over a decade she worked with various publications, organisations and not-for-profits, including The Simple Things, Guardian, Immediate Media, WWF, National Trust and the Natural History Museum, and spent six years as a part-time journalism lecturer at Exeter College. Her first book, Slow Adventures: Unhurriedly Exploring Britain’s Wild Places, will be published by Pavilion Books in 2021. Passionate about the natural world, Tor loves spending time outdoors exploring new routes on her bike, swimming in the sea along the Copper Coast or simply pottering in the garden.
Since joining us in 2017, Alex has taken on several roles in the GIY team. From retail assistant to design, and operations assistance to children’s coordinator; we have yet to find something she can’t manage (but we’re working on it). A graduate of UL, with an MSc in Organisational Psychology, Alex is one of GIY’s operations coordinator working in retail, leading GROW at School, bringing a NeighbourFood market to GROW HQ, and assisting with our campaigns. Happiest when she is working on something creative, Alex has created many of GIY’s original designs and illustrations such as the GROW HQ map, postcards and just about every blackboard we have. You can also blame Alex for all of those terrible vegetable puns.