Who we are, and what we believe as a team, is the foundation of our success




Shay is Managing Director and Founder of Ascend. He specialises in enhancing organisational effectiveness, of companies, driving transformational programs to optimise performance, improve leadership capacity and organisational 'health' outcomes. He achieves this by serving as an advisor to companies, strategizing and designing the right approach for their organisation and the implementation to ensure the objectives and goals are achieved. Shay is a high energy, creative thinker and believes in an authentic leadership approach which ensures the alignment of people and business optimisation. He is deeply passionate about helping people achieve their true potential and is totally committed to his clients achieving the results they desire. His unique energy and creativity has been described by many clients as "invigorating". He serves as a Master Coach & Lead Faculty on Global Leadership Development Programmes operating in US, Europe and Asia.



Paul is a Human Resources & Performance Consultant who is passionate about supporting organisations & business leaders to reach their highest potential performance. His experience working with companies and individuals in Global organisations, enables them to understand and perform at their full potential, with a specific focus on HR Strategy, Organisation Development & Design, Performance Management, Employee Engagement, Leadership Development, Talent Management & Development. Allied to his robust academic background in Sports Psychology, Business and Occupational Psychology he can leverage cutting edge, well-founded techniques and approaches to deliver significant individual and business results.



As a Principal of Ascend, Felicity’s focus is best described as “Ground Control”! She is at the core of all operations including client project management, communications and administration. She is the key point of contact for the distribution of our psychometrics and certifications including the full suite of EQ-i 2.0(Emotional Intelligence) assessments, the Leadership Circle Profile (LCP), the Leadership Culture Survey (LCS) and Pearman Integrator (Personality). Having spent a number of years overseas working in the US and the UK in Director of Marketing & Communications roles within the tech sector she is adept at dealing with the complexities and challenges of interfacing with global clients and partners. Felicity also works closely with Ascend's global affiliate base ensuring the smooth roll out of client/program support, business development and communication requirements.



As the Head of Finance in Ascend. Lydia Phelan deals with all the financial aspects related to clients, affiliates and service providers. She is also the key financial liaison that works closely with Ascend Principals and supports the management of clients and affiliates involved with core programmes and specific usage of psychometric products. She works closely to effectively manage Ascend’s distributor relationship with MHS. With a background in financial and account management and her extensive experience with a range of clients based in Ireland and the UK, Lydia's contribution is invaluable to many time-sensitive deliverables required in support of the Ascend core team.


SENIOR Affiliate

As a workplace change consultant Eimear drives the delivery of cultural and workplace change strategy and associated employee engagement. As a qualified executive and leadership coach, her expertise lies in business and executive performance coaching (team and individual); business mentoring (supporting, improving and developing business executives to realise full potential); building executive confidence (to unleash maximum potential) and supporting individuals through career navigation/ life changing points. She also facilitates workshop sessions on business performance and team or personal development.  Eimear uses her experience to understand the organisational context of her clients, applying her capacity to remain grounded and objective to supporting clients to achieve their specific goals and realise their potential.


SENIOR Affiliate

As a leadership and executive coach Connor works with clients to allow them to show up fully and to develop their ability as a leader to create meaningful connection and direction in their organisation. He has worked at all organisational levels across the civil service, broader public and semi-state sectors, third level institutions, financial services, the energy, entrepreneurial and tourism sectors. His style is highly engaging, working with clients to explore and clarify what is most important to them and more importantly, why it is so important. Having created this focus, he collaborates with clients to discover the perspectives they hold on these goals and supports them in achieving them.


SENIOR Affiliate

Mary has worked over the last 21 years as a strategic business consultant, facilitator, and business & executive coach. Mary’s depth of business experience comes from many years as a senior executive and CEO of her own technology company and a public company. This coupled with her extensive consulting and coaching experience has given her in-depth understanding of the breadth of business challenges that face CEO's and executives in all aspects of their business, and brings a unique set of skills to this arena. As an experienced CEO herself, Mary is passionate about helping other CEO’s and senior executives develop their leadership and management skills and maximise their personal and business potential. Mary specialises in Strategy development and Innovation, Leadership effectiveness, Emotional Intelligence, Management development and High performing teams, Alignment of Culture and Organisation, People Development, Performance Management, Managing and Building relationships, Communication, Influencing skills, Problem-solving, and Self-Leadership.


Brenda Dooley 
SENIOR Affiliate

Brenda is an experienced executive coach and HR consultant. She has strong expertise in strategic human resource management drawing on decades of business experience in a major Irish financial services organisation, having held a variety of roles from operational positions up to the C-suite role of HR director. Brenda has clear insights into complex multi-faceted organisations undergoing significant change and the importance of having effective leaders in place to bring their teams through the change process. With her acknowledged expertise in HRM, Brenda can also assist senior executives as they resolve strategic organisational people issues. Brenda has worked successfully with senior leaders in the private and public sectors, on a range of individual and team coaching issues including; Strategic Direction, Leadership, Talent Management, Performance Management, Employee Engagement, Stakeholder Management, Communications , Conflict Management, Executive Presence for C-suite leaders, Senior executives, Senior women executives and Executives in transition.


SENIOR Affiliate

Gay is a Learning & Development and HR professional with over thirty years' experience in designing, developing and delivering results focused Learning programmes and solutions at all levels, in both private and public sectors in Ireland and the U.K. Gay is a solution orientated L&D consultant ensuring that learning solutions are aligned to organisational business goals. She has a proven track record on Transformation and Change projects using project management methodologies, combined with learning and development interventions, performance management and coaching to bring about major organisational change working primarily at the leadership/management level. She is a trained trainer (TTT) & accredited instructor and administrator for the EQ-i 2.0 (Emotional Intelligence) suite of assessments.