Jillian van Turnhout awarded WAGGGS Medal of Service

At the 38th World Conference of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, it was announced that Jillian van Turnhout was awarded a WAGGGS Medal of Service. The WAGGGS Medal of Service is the highest form of recognition that WAGGGS can bestow and is awarded to individuals who have distinguished themselves in their outstanding service to Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting at national and global level.

In making the announcement, Jess Bond, World Board member and Chair, People Committee gave the following testimonial:

“2023 Volunteer Medal of Service is awarded to former Chief Commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides and a member of the WAGGGS Governance Committee, Jillian van Turnhout, from Ireland.

Jillian has tirelessly given her time, her knowledge, her energy and her talents to the Movement in so many varied ways, over many years of dedicated service.

Governance work is often done quietly in the background. It is because of dedicated volunteers like Jillian that WAGGGS has a strong governance backbone to support it to achieve its mission and objectives. Jillian has undertaken a variety of smaller and larger tasks as a member of the committee over the past six years, which all together add up to make an outstanding contribution to WAGGGS. Personally, as a World Board member, I know we have really benefitted from the tailored and interactive learning and development sessions she has run over the past few years.

She has also made an immeasurable contribution to the Irish Girl Guides in a wide range of roles – not only in leading the organisation as Chief Commissioner from 2004-2007 and in her current role as Company Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee, but also by leveraging her professional expertise for guiding’s benefit. For example, using her considerable expertise in safeguarding and ensuring the organisation meets the highest standards and putting girls and young women at the heart of everything by developing a relevant and engaging programme for young members.

Jillian can do a lot herself, but she tries to open doors and give space for others to give things a go. She will be there by your side quietly helping, supporting and championing you to give it a go and to learn in a safe environment. In this way she embodies and lives our Guiding values.”

Jess Bond
World Board member and Chair, People Committee
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

The Medal of Service expresses gratitude to members of the Association whose service is considered to be exceptional, noteworthy and/or extraordinary in nature.

On receiving the award, Jillian van Turnhout said:

“This recognition is the highest form of recognition that WAGGGS can bestow. I am being recognised for my contributions to the WAGGGS Governance Committee and as an active volunteer with the Irish Girl Guides. Thank you, Amanda O’ Sullivan, IGG Chief Commissioner, for accepting the award on my behalf.

I am involved in guiding because I believe to we need more women in leadership and I can play a role by planting the seeds and nurturing the leadership skills of the girls and young women in the Irish Girl Guides. By using my professional governance skills, I can support guiding globally and nationally. As a young guide, I wasn’t too good at gaining badges and so to all our young members, there are always avenues open to be a Trailblazer. To be recognised among 10 million members in 155 countries is truly an immense honour, I am humbled and extremely proud. Thank you.”

At the Irish Girl Guides AGM, on 3 September 2023, Jillian van Turnhout was presented her award consisting of a certificate, medal and special pin. The presentation was made by IGG Chief Commissioner, Amanda O’Sullivan along with guest online participation of Jess Bond, World Board and Chair, People Committee and Fiona Bradley, World Board and Chair, Governance Committee.


Jillian van Turnhout on RTE Saturday with Aine Kerr

I had the privilege of joining Aine Kerr on RTE Saturday with… to discuss my expertise in governance and offer insights on the recent RTE revelations. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my knowledge with such a wide audience. Below is a short video clip. A link to the RTE website with a full playback of the entire program is at the bottom.

You can listen back here.

Jillian van Turnhout in Carmichael’s Governance Panel Discussion

Carmichael is a leading training and support body for non-profit organisations in Ireland. Jillian van Turnhout is on their panel of trainers for governance.

On April 26, 2023, Carmichael held a Governance Dilemma webinar in which a panel of experts discussed a real-life governance issue that an Irish non-profit organisation had faced. Each of the panel members suggested actions that could be taken. The scenario was anonymised so that the organisation in question could not be identified. The challenge discussed by the panel was that of a board that did not take effective control and oversight of the organisation and a CEO who ignored the board.

The panel members were:

Andrew Madden
Head of Training, Consultancy & Communications at Carmichael.
Andrew enjoys working in the non-profit sector where he sees people motivated by a desire to make a real and positive difference. He is particularly passionate about governance in non-profit organisations as he believes that well-governed organisations are best placed to achieve and realise their own objectives to the fullest.

Gerry Egan
Chartered Director, Company Secretary, consultant, and trainer.
Gerry works with a variety of commercial and non-profit clients specialising in corporate governance, data protection, and strategy and change.

Jillian van Turnhout
Consultant, Chartered Director, and certified by INSEAD in corporate governance.
Jillian has been a CEO, Chair and is an experienced Non-Executive Director (State, Charity, and Commercial boards).

The panel was chaired by Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, CEO of Carmichael Diarmaid has extensive experience as a board chair and a board member in a number of charities and with working with boards and providing governance support and advice. He is actively involved in the Good Governance Awards, Mentoring, and the Board Chairs Network initiatives led by Carmichael.

Each of the panel members gave a number of possible responses and actions that could be taken by the board in the scenario outlined.

After the panel discussion, Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, the Chair of the Panel, made the following remarks:

“It can be extremely stressful for people who have stepped onto boards in a voluntary capacity and are trying to do their best but are coming up against difficulties like this. That can be really challenging for a person’s mental health so that’s important to bear in mind and again to make sure there is a team of allies behind you.

The Charities Governance Code can be a great tool to help review your governance structures and compliance. You can use it as a conversation starter since all charities are required to comply with it so it can be a way to encourage the Board to consider a Board evaluation, address trustee recruitment, or review its strategy as these are all specific standards in the Code.”

If you would like to join the Carmichael Governance Dilemma mailing list, sign up here.

Jillian van Turnhout speaking at Dublin South’s Local Enterprise Week

The title of the event is ‘The Business of Social Enterprise, a challenging and provocative examination of social enterprise as a business model.’

It takes place in the Apex Theatre, Tallaght on Thursday March 9th 2023, 10.00 to 12.00

“There is a growing awareness of Social Enterprise among the public and businesses alike. However, while it is becoming understood in terms of social impact, it is less understood in terms of being an actual business model capable of profitability, scaling and international expansion. This conference examines Social Enterprise as a business model. The seminar is co-hosted by Partas, SERI and South Dublin LEO. The venue is the new theatre called The Apex, in the Tallaght Enterprise Centre which is currently undergoing a multi-million euro redevelopment by Partas as a major Food Hub for Tallaght.”


Welcome by Tom Rooney, CEO, South Dublin Local Enterprise Office


John Kearns – CEO, Partas

Lorraine Corcoran – Director, SERI
Snapshot of Social Enterprise as a business sector.

Carol Gibbons – Divisional Manager Regions & Local Enterprise, Enterprise Ireland
Relating to Social Enterprises as businesses

To be advised – Social Entrepreneurs Ireland
The vital role of the entrepreneur in social enterprise

Angela Ruttledge – Public Affairs and Stakeholder Management, FoodCloud
The business model as part of the DNA of a Social Enterprise

Gavin Callan – Procurement Director CBRE The gaps and opportunities for Social Enterprises to play with the big guys

Jillian van Turnhout – Governance Consulting
Social Enterprises need enterprising boards

Participation is by prior booking only at:

Register here

Jillian van Turnhout appointed Independent Chair of Nursing Homes Ireland

The Board of Directors of Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) has appointed Jillian van Turnhout CDir IDP-C as Independent Chairperson. Jillian succeeds Maurice Pratt, who stepped down from the role of Chair at the end of 2022, having served the maximum six-year term.

Tadhg Daly, CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland, wrote:

“We thank Maurice for his excellent service to NHI and are excited to work with Jillian. Thanks also to Thora Mackey CDir Institute of Directors in Ireland

Jillian has wide ranging strategic, public affairs and corporate governance experience that she will bring to NHI to support us in addressing the myriad of challenges in respect of the care requirements of our ageing population.

Welcome Jillian and I very much looking forward to working with you in the interests of our members and those in the care of our members.”

I am delighted to share that I am starting a new position as Independent Chair of the Board of Nursing Homes Ireland.

Thank you to the Institute of Directors in Ireland Board Centre (and in particular Thora Mackey CDir) for putting me forward for consideration. This is a commercial Board role to add to my State Board (Arts Council), Charity (One in Four) and not-for-profit experience. I am relishing the opportunity to lead the Board and bring my governance, strategy, public health, and public affairs experience to this role.

I have already met with some of the members of NHI to learn more about the day-to-day challenges they are facing. Over the coming months, I plan to meet with stakeholders whom I hope to work with to address the current issues facing the sector and to map out the future of nursing home care in Ireland. In my role as Chair I am fortunate to be supported by Tadgh Daly, CEO who heads up the outstanding staff team – I met our small but impressive team last week.

I plan along with the Board of Nursing Homes Ireland to make a difference and demonstrate how an effective Board can further the goals of an organisation.

Jillian van Turnhout in Canada

Jillian van Turnhout is in Canada this week, with a very busy itinerary.

  • She was one of the first guests of the brand new Irish Consulate General in Toronto where she recorded a live YouTube broadcast with the Irish ambassador to Canada McKee.
  • Jillian also learned about the plans for the arts, culture, and heritage building “The Corleck Building” which is due to open in 2023.
  • She was a guest speaker in the “Celtic Studies Speakers Series” at St. Michael’s College (part of the University of Toronto).
  • And she visited the Canadian parliament in Ottawa to discuss shared areas of interest and work with a number of MPs and Senators.
  • Finally, Jillian was a guest of honour at the launch event of “The Photo Album of the Irish: Canada Edition






Jillian van Turnhout speaker at The Wheel’s Summit 2022

The Wheel are Ireland’s national association of community and voluntary organisations, charities, and social enterprises. Its National Summit takes place on Wednesday, 1 June (9:30 am to 7:30 pm) at Croke Park.

Summit 2022 will bring together top experts and inspiring leaders from the non-profit sector and beyond to explore the key challenges facing these organisations and enterprises.

Jillian van Turnhout is one of the speakers.

If you attend, you can look forward to:

  • A special address by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
  • An opening address by Joe ‘O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities.
  • Panel discussions and debates, featuring 17+ top speakers.
  • Practical training sessions on new funding sources, the board & CEO relationship, HR (hybrid & remote working), and European partnerships.
  • The launch of the Leadership Academy, a new model for leadership development in the community and voluntary sector.
  • EXPO: over 30 specialist service providers.
  • A special celebration of our sector’s positive impact, and the announcement of the winners of the Mary Redmond Award, a national honour, bestowed by The Wheel’s board of directors on a person (or persons) who has made an extraordinary contribution to civil society in Ireland.
  • Networking opportunities galore to help you reconnect.

Summit 2022 will have something for everyone, whether you are a CEO, manager, trustee, or volunteer, and both members and non-members of The Wheel are welcome to attend. The cost is €125.00 for members and €250.00 for non-members. Click on the picture below if you want to book.

Jillian van Turnhout appointed to the Private Security Authority Board

Jillian is honoured to be appointed to the Board of The Private Security Authority by Minister Helen McEntee. The Private Security Authority (PSA) is the statutory body with responsibility for licensing and regulating the private security industry in Ireland. The PSA is an independent body under the aegis of the Department of Justice.

You can read the full announcement by clicking on the PSA logo below:

St. Patrick’s Day 2022

The Irish Government put out the below video for St. Patrick’s Day 2022, with this message:

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”
“We live in each other’s shelter”

On this #StPatricksDay #Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of #Ukraine.

We are thinking of you today

Jillian in EMI Spotlight

Jillian recently stepped down as Member and Vice-Chair of the Board of the European Movement Ireland, a position she held since 2008. In the November-December Issue of the EMI Members’ Newsletter, Jillian was put in the spotlight.

Jillian talks about the highlights in her role, the success of the European Youth Forum (she was one of the co-founders), her time as a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (1998-2011), her recent meeting with the Vice-President of the EU (Maroš Šefčovič)and leadership and empowerment of young women and girls, and the future of female leadership across Europe.