Appointments to the Board of Ulster Supported Employment Ltd

Date published: 13 May 2019

The Department for Communities has made the following appointments to the Board of Ulster Supported Employment Ltd (USEL).

  • Mr William Leathem has been appointed as Chair from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2023.
  • Mr Raymond Donnelly and Mr Dermot O’Hara have been appointed as Members from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2023.
  • Mrs Joan Cowan and Mr Raymond Havlin have been appointed as Members from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2023.

Notes to editors: 

1. USEL is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Department for Communities. It was established in 1962 to provide supported paid employment for disabled people. Approximately 70% of employees at its manufacturing facility in Belfast have a disability or heath-related condition. Today, USEL is the largest supporter of people with disabilities within Northern Ireland with offices in Belfast, Londonderry, Portadown and Omagh. Each year the company supports over 1,500 people with disabilities in more than 750 companies to enter and sustain economic employment through its various employment programmes.

2. The Chair receives remuneration of £270 for each board meeting attended and Board Members receive remuneration of £135 for each board meeting attended. Travel and subsistence allowances for official business will be payable. Any extra work undertaken will be paid at an hourly rate.

3. The appointments have been made in accordance with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Public Appointments issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI.

4. All appointments and extension to appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published.

5. Biographical details:

Mr William Leathem

Mr Leathem is a former elected member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, where he served as Chair of the Development Committee. He was a former member of the District Policing Partnership and a former Board Member of the Ulster Scots Agency. Mr Leathem has varied audit and governance experience, project management experience and financial management skills, which he will bring to this role. Mr Leathem does not hold any other public appointments. He has had political activity for the DUP within the last 5 years.

Mr Raymond Donnelly

Mr Donnelly’s background is within Human Resource Management and Business improvement. He has been a member of the Corporate Management Team in a number of organisations including Newry & Mourne Health and Social Care Trust and Craigavon Borough Council. He has experience of identifying the key strategic issues to progress change management and of implementing corporate communication and training programmes. He does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

Mr Dermot O’Hara

Mr O’Hara is a former Director - People Strategies with the Local Government Staff Commission for NI, where he facilitated the negotiations at regional level between employers and trade unions on the policies and procedures to enable transfer of staff to the new councils. He is a former Non-Executive Director of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust Board, where he chaired its Finance Committee, and brings strategic planning skills to the Board. He does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

Mrs Joan Cowan

Mrs Cowan is a member of the Senior Management Team of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, working closely with Directors and other Heads of Service. She has experience in delivering a programme of restructuring within the Council and developing its Corporate Strategy. She is a former Director of the Home-Start Charity where she was responsible for governance and managing financial resources. She does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

Mr Raymond Havlin

Mr Havlin runs a family owned business, successfully working with a wide range of suppliers, customers and strategic partner organisations, whilst overseeing the business’ activities. He is on the Board of Governors of a local primary school and is a Group Scout Leader. Mr Havlin has experience of strategy development, financial planning and risk management, skills which he will bring to the USEL Board. He does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

6. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on 028 9082 3505 or email the Communities Press Office.  Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

7. Follow the Department on Twitter @CommunitiesNI

Share this page

Back to top