Elaine Donohuue, who most recently led the Galway, West of Ireland, European Region of Gastronomy Designation project, has been appointed as the General Manager at the new BIA Innovator Campus in Athenry, Co. Galway.
Elaine holds a First Class Honours in International Marketing Practice, Prince II Project Management and a Diploma in Strategic Growth for the Food Industry from Smurfit Business School in Dublin. Initially she gained knowledge of the retail industry and its workings following her years with Lidl Ireland, and then gained an international perspective from working for Bord Bia in their London office. Returning to Ireland, she worked commercially as a National Account Manager for Greene Farm Foods and Brady Family Ham.
Prior to her appointment, Elaine led the Galway, West of Ireland, European Region of Gastronomy Designation over a two year period. The designation was awarded Best Economic Development Project in Ireland at the Chambers Ireland, Excellence in Local Government Awards 2018, and was nominated as one of the Top Five Large Projects along the Wild Atlantic Way at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2019.
It is expected that over 360 jobs will be created in over 40 businesses across the West of Ireland thanks to the BIA Innovator Campus. The campus provides facilities to help the food industry in the west through support, learning and collaboration.
The BIA Innovator Campus represents a vision for developing the food entrepreneurship in the West of Ireland. Galway County Council and Teagasc have been the driving forces and lead authorities in bringing this project to fruition, working with the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), Athenry Community Council, SCCUL plus Western Development Commission. Construction contracts were agreed and signed with Glenman Construction Corporation Ltd. in December of 2019 with the project due to be completed in 2021.
Supported by an accomplished Board of Directors, Elaine will oversee and manage two key phases of the BIA Innovator Campus – firstly the initial development of the not for profit company and the delivery of its €5.6m capital project, and secondly the company’s operation once opened in 2021.
Elaine said: “We have a unique, talented range of producers and food culture in the West of Ireland that need best in class supports to grow and sustain their farms, skillset, ideas, product range and future sustainability. When realised, the BIA Innovator Campus will be a national centre of excellence for the food sector with a focus on business support and development for all stages of the food chain from the primary producer, to the entrepreneur starting off, to the company that wants to grow and export, to the chef and service sector that engage with the end consumer.”