Des Ryan – District Governor
Des was born and reared in Dublin but moved to Westport, Co. Mayo at a young age. Westport was always ahead of its time and growing up in such a cosmopolitan and diverse town gave him an early understanding of the wider global community. The beauty and serenity of the Clew Bay area was integrated into his character and he continues to live in the house his grandparents bought in the 1960’s.
He met his wife Sara in 1992, married in 2000 and together they have four beautiful children, Catherine 24, Jessica 20, Emma 11 and Ben 9. They were also blessed with their first grandchild Elisagh two years ago. All of whom still live at home, so never a dull moment at HQ. Des studied Construction Studies in Galway RTC in the early 90’s and then got into the construction industry thereafter.
A keen ability for technical drawing saw him become a ‘Steel Detailer’, originally using pen and paper but by 96, using the latest computerised software. 22 years later Des is the M.D. of Ryan Structural Steel Services Ltd and he still uses the same software. He set up his company in 2004 with just one employee. Now they directly employ 25 people and many more indirectly.
Check out their web site at www.ryansteel.eu to see some of the amazing things he has built. Des has a great passion for sport. He played both soccer and GAA football all his life until the knees gave up a few years back. His big love was his local, Islandeady GAA Club. Des served as Chairman twice. The first time as a very raw 32 year old who shook the establishment of the club to awaken it from it slumber. The second time was as a much more considered 40 year old, where he helped the club get promoted from Junior to Intermediate level.
Over the past 23 years he has coached every team from U8’s up to Senior Level at different times, winning titles at 21’s, 18’s, 16’s and 14’s.
Des was the founding president of the Westport Leo Club in 1993, a position he held for a few years. It was a great time and he has many fond memories of trips and joint projects with other Leo Clubs from all over the country. He was chairman of the organising committee for the Leo Convention in Westport and went on to be Leo Zone Chairman for the western area.
As a past Leo President he was automatically brought into the Westport Lions Club as their youngest ever member. Back then it was a time of blue jackets and grey hair. It was an education in a lot of things, some of them even Lions related. Family life and a work career took Des out of the Lions for some years but in 2011 he returned to the Westport Lions Club and took up the post of President.
His main objectives were to re-energise both the club and its membership, along with trying to inject some new ideas and younger members into the Club. Following on from this he moved into the position of Club secretary for 4 years. In 2016 he was Convention Chairman for what would become the inaugural District 133 Convention of 2018. Considered by many to have been a fantastic weekend with a ground breaking Convention that will serve us well going forward. In 2017-18 he was D133 Zone D Chairman and put himself forward for the position of 2 Vice District Governor. A position he was duly elected to, at Convention, in his beautiful home town of Westport.
To be continued………….
Ann Ellis – 1st Vice District Governor
Ann Ellis, from Carrick on Suir and District Lions Club, was elected to serve as Lions Club District 133 Ireland Vice District Governor 2020/2021 in March 2020.Ann believes that as Lions we have the ability to positively impact our local communities by giving our time, energy and skills to serve with kindness and empathy. Never has this need been greater than during these challenging, uncertain times. A Lions Club member since 2005, Ann previously served as club PRO, secretary and president, and acted as Zone I South East Chairperson for two years.
She has dedicated her service to youth development, membership growth and leadership, local environmental projects, and was instrumental in initiating the establishment of the Carrick-on-Suir Men’s Shed in 2017.
As second vice-district governor and zone chairperson, Ann focused on engaging with and supporting clubs in the South-East, whilst also gaining an insight into District 133 and Lions Club International. Ann currently chairs the Diabetes Awareness – A New Direction project for District 133 and continues to support the district governor team. In addition, Ann remains dedicated to her club’s activities, particularly in respect of its environmental project, one which Ann hopes to promote and support within other clubs in the future.
Throughout her career in the Health Service spanning over 38 years, Ann demonstrated her leadership ability by empowering others, managing change and leading by example. Her professional roles included health promotion, midwifery education and development, and acting as assistant director of nursing services in a large acute hospital.
In addition to her Lions activities, Ann is active in numerous professional and community organisations. In October 2017, Ann was appointed by the Minister for Health to the Psychologists Registration Board working under CORU, Ireland’s multi-profession health regulator. Ann also currently acts as independent Chairperson for HSE recruitment campaigns in Ireland. Ann also previously served as a director and Chairperson of Waterford Healing Arts Trust.
In her spare time, Ann is an active golfer with Carrick on Suir Golf Club and is also a member of Rathgormack Ramblers Hill Walking Club. Ann and her husband, Martin, have three children, who are living and working in London, Brussels and Ireland.
Gerald Cashman – 2nd Vice District Governor
Gerald Cashman of Wexford Lions Club was elected 2nd Vice District Governor at the 2020 District Convention in Ballina. Gerald has been a Lion for more than 30 years, having joined his local club in 1987.
He has held the Club presidency on three occasions 1992, 2004 and 2017, and was Zone and Region Chair between 2011-2015. He has been a member of the District committee since 2018 when he was elected District Treasurer, a position he held until July 2020. A native of Ardmore, Co Waterford, Gerald enjoyed a long career in the financial services sector, most of which was spent working in Wexford, his adopted county.
Volunteering in the community has always been important for Gerald, having seen his father being involved in many local projects that benefited the community in his native Ardmore. He has played a prominent role with Clonard GAA club, initially as a founding member and later serving as club chairman for many years. He is also a keen golfer and served as Captain (1984) and President (2015 – 2016) of Wexford Golf Club.
Gerald is a seasoned fundraiser and has coordinated several campaigns across his community involvement over the years. In the summer of 2020, he walked the length of St Declan’s Way, from Cashel to Ardmore, raising funds for Lions Clubs projects including the Holy Family School for the Deaf and Blood Bikes South East.
Involvement in sports clubs has taught Gerald that membership growth is essential for the health of the organisation. He plans to encourage and support clubs to recruit young members, emphasising the positive role new Lions can play within their own community. He believes that by demonstrating the camaraderie, lasting connections, and personal sense of accomplishment achieved through serving, Lions Clubs can attract a new generation of energised members in this difficult and uncertain time.