Disney’s Irish e-commerce chief among alumni honoured by UCC
Pictured: Una Fox

Disney’s Irish e-commerce chief among alumni honoured by UCC

30 Nov 2013

Entertainment giant Walt Disney Company’s vice president of retail and e-commerce technology and an ardent CoderDojo supporter Una Fox was among alumni honoured by UCC. Recipients of the UCC Alumni Achievement award also included business leader Leslie Buckley, Oxfam’s Jim Clarken, NYC surgeon Dr Patrick O’Leary and pioneering dental researcher Prof Denis O’Mullane.

Fox is one of the most influential women in technology today. Una graduated with a BA in English and French from UCC in 1989.

With over 15 years senior leadership experience at some of the world’s leading brands, including Yahoo!, Dow Jones, Thompson (Financial), Cisco and KPMG, her stellar reputation proceeds her.

Originally from Dundalk, Co. Louth and now based in California, she is a member of the advisory board of the influential non-profit US-Ireland Alliance and also a co-founder of CoderDojo LA, part of a free worldwide movement that teaches children aged 8-16 years to code. She is also a member of the Irish Technology Leaders Group (ITLG).

Jim Clarken

The second recipient will be familiar to many in the aid sector at home and abroad – Jim Clarken. The Limerick (Askeaton) native is CEO of Oxfam Ireland, the respected international development organisation, and is an executive director of Oxfam International. Having left UCC with an MBA in 2002, he jettisoned a considerable business career in 2006 to answer a lifelong calling to work with development agencies.

He is also Chair of Dochas, the umbrella organisation for all NGOs in Ireland, and prior to his current role was general manager at Chernobyl Children’s Project International, as well as working with GOAL in Southern Sudan. He is a frequent contributor to political debate and media discussions around development issues.

Leslie Buckley

The third recipient shares the same entrepreneurial streak and drive to give something back. Leslie Buckley is one of Ireland’s most successful business people and is chairman of Independent News & Media. He left UCC with a BSc (Chemistry) in 1967 and an MSC in 1969.

Originally from Cork City, he helped manage the start-up of Esat Telecom Group plc and Esat Digifone Limited, and he held the position of Chief Operations Officer of Esat Telecom in 1996 and 1997. He established a consultancy business in 1990 and has since been retained on key public and private sector projects.
He is also currently the Executive Chairman of Saon Group and Vice Chairman of Digicel.

In a departure from the business world, Leslie Buckley and his wife Carmel set up the Haven Partnership in 2009, which has had a defining role in responding to the immense crisis that engulfed Haiti in the wake of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010. Leslie Buckley will also be honoured at the Cork Chamber of Commerce Dublin Dinner 2013 on Tuesday 19 November in the Burlington Hotel, where he will be named Cork Business Person of the Year for his outstanding contribution to business.

Dr Patrick O’Leary

Dr Patrick O’ Leary, the fourth recipient, is one of the most sought after spinal surgeons in the world. Those seeking him out vary from professional athletes to laypersons, travelling from all over the globe.

A graduate of medicine from UCC (1968) and originally from Baltimore, West Cork, he has been consistently named one of the best doctors in New York  (‘Best Doctors in New York’, New York Magazine, 2009, 2010, 2011), and is also cited in the Castle Connolly Medical Guide, ‘How To Find The Best Doctors in New York’.

He is also included in a select group of physicians named as one of ‘America’s Top Doctors’ (also published by Castle Connolly). A former chief of the Spine Service at the cutting-edge Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in Manhattan, New York, Dr. O’Leary currently serves as an associate attending spine surgeon at HSS. He also received a lifetime achievement award in 2012 from HSS.

Denis O’Mullane

Synonmous with dental research in Ireland, Denis O’Mullane, Emeritus Professor and Consultant, Oral Health Services Research Centre, Cork University Dental School & Hospital, is to receive the Alumnus Award for Voluntary Service to UCC.

The Cork native, who received a BDS in 1960 and a PhD in 1971 from UCC, is a pioneer in his area, having established the Oral Health Services Research Centre in 1983 – still the only one of its kind in Ireland. His contribution to the debate around the use of fluroide in drinking water in Ireland is unparalled, with Prof O’Mullane authoring most of the significant studies examining its impact on dental and public health.

Mentor to generations of dentists and researchers, he will also launch a book on the history of the Dental Hospital to mark its Centenary Year on Monday 25 November in UCC. He has been recognised internationally several times, including the Distinguished Service Award from the International Association for Dental Research, the largest dental research organisation in the world. His love of music and singing is well known locally and he recorded two CDs (at his own expense) to raise funds for Marymount Hospice in Cork.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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