Board Members

AIPCO Chair 2022

Colette Duggan

Managing Director - Conference Connections

Colette Duggan established Conference Connections 21 years ago.

Steered by Colette’s vibrancy Conference Connections takes pride in embracing ingenuity and adopting new and forward thinking; resulting in cutting edge creations and importantly embedding a culture within its fabric of being ahead of what’s imaginable.

Colette’s leadership style within CCL is heavily focused on a commitment to clients’ needs and expectations. Colette undertakes to meet with clients personally throughout the various phases of any given event.
Colette has a unique and exemplary background within the Hospitality Industry spanning more than 3 decades. The knowledge and in depth understanding of the intricacies and running of establishments within the Hotel Industry, positions Conference Connections manifestly at the leading edge in terms of unmatched leadership skills within its DNA.

Diversity is at the heart of Conference Connections

AIPCO Co-Chairs 2021

Nicola McGrane

CEO - Conference Partners International

Nicola McGrane established Conference Partners International in 1998.  Driven by passion and enthusiasm, the values which drive her actions are quality, trust and integrity.

Nicola takes a “hands on” approach to her business and is regarded as a leading lateral thinker with an innovative approach to problem solving and delivery.

Renowned for her ability to identify opportunities, her creative thinking and strategic advice has been sought at the highest level by numerous associations, corporations and industry bodies.

Marina Finn

CEO - Abbey Group

Marina is CEO of the Abbey Group and first joined the company in 1989 having completed a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in University College Dublin. Marina’s subsequent career has been dedicated to travel and tourism. Over the past 30 years she has held a number of key senior positions in Abbey and now holds the position of CEO of the Abbey Group.

Marina is also a highly experienced travel professional in the area of Conference Planning & Management, currently serving as Co-Chair of the AIPCO. She has a life-long passion for the travel and tourism industry and as Marina says herself, “once it gets into your system it’s there for forever”.


Patricia McColgan

Director - Abbey Conference & Events

Patricia is Business Development Director of Abbey Conference & Events and co-owner of the Abbey Group. For the past 30 years, Patricia has provided the strategic leadership and business development direction for our conference and events business and her speciality is the Association Conferences sector. She is also very active within the wider industry and is a past Chairperson of AIPCO.

In a personal capacity, she is Chairperson of CanCare4Living – an organisation promoting multi-disciplinary long term follow up for survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer.


Therese Dolan

Director Association Management and Consulting Services – MCI

Therese has almost 20 years’ experience in international association management, business events and hospitality. During this time she has held roles in high profile organisations on both the supply and demand sides of the association conference and event industry. With a thorough understanding of the sector, she helps associations around the world to improve performance through the development of long term strategic goals, supported by community management, engagement, growth and education across wide ranging platforms. Her approach and success with associations ranging in size from a few hundred to several thousands is evident across the strong and lasting personal relationships she develops with clients, partners and community members.

Ronan Flood

Managing Director - Advantage Group

Ronan has 20 years experience managing events from Medical Congress to highly complex and involved incentive travel programmes to awards ceremonies for 700 Guests.

He appreciates that events reflect on their hosts and works tirelessly to ensure that clients get value for their investment and more importantly kudos from their guests for staging the event in the first place!!

John F. Burke

Co- Founder and Director -

John F. is a Co- Founder and director at™ and Octa it’s virtual service and platform offering. Established in 2008 and based in Dublin positions, manages and delivers Corporate meetings, Incentive and Association conferences across North America, EMEA and ASIA.

It’s network of local offices across 33 destinations delivers local knowledge, local expertise and a tried and tested supplier structure delivering a premium world class service to its global clients.

Philip Byers

Business Development Director - Conference Organisers

Philip Byers is the Business Development Director with Conference Organisers and has also been a senior strategic and business manager who has worked with clients across many business categories including IT, Life Sciences, Distribution, Tourism, Waste management, Legal, Financial, charity. He has worked with many multi-national companies and his management experience covers a number of product and industry types, in several business disciplines. He has considerable experience across strategy, sales and marketing, business development, communications and general management.

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