Image of Berni Power

Berni Power’s Retirement from CMETB: A Celebration of over 40 Years of Dedicated Service

Berni Power, Director of Organisation Support and Development (OSD) has retired from Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) following a 44-year career.

Hailing from Kilnagarbet, Tullyco, Co Cavan, Ms. Power embarked on her career journey with Cavan Vocational Education Committee (VEC) in April 1978, immediately after completing her schooling.

Commencing at the junior grade of Clerk Typist, Berni demonstrated exceptional dedication and competence throughout the roles she held and worked her way up the administrative ranks as her career progressed. Remarkably, she pursued and achieved her third level qualifications while actively contributing to the VEC’s operations.

Ms. Power’s commitment and work ethic was particularly evident during the pivotal amalgamation of Cavan VEC and Monaghan VEC in 2013, a transformative initiative that unified the two vocational educational committees into Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB). Berni’s achievements ultimately led to her appointment to the senior management team within CMETB.

In the role of Director of Organisation Support and Development (OSD), Berni Power held a multifaceted portfolio encompassing Finance, Procurement, HR, Compliance, Corporate Services, ICT and Land and Buildings within the organisation.

Berni was the driving force behind school and centre building projects within CMETB over the years and lobbied hard for the development of education facilities and the provision of capital funding within the Cavan and Monaghan region.

Berni Power’s legacy is one of unwavering commitment, leadership, and advocacy for educational development. Her retirement marks the end of an era, leaving behind a transformed and strengthened educational landscape in Cavan and Monaghan.

Tributes from CMETB Board members

Image of the CMETB Board Members

Image of the CMETB Board Members

Pictured – CMETB Board Members. Back row L-R: Cllr. Colm Carthy, Ms Michelle Flynn, Amanda Taylor (Head of Finance, CMETB), Cllr Carmel Brady, Stephanie McGarry (Staff Officer, CMETB), Cllr Madeleine Argue, Cllr David Maxwell, Mr Joe McGrath, Mr Martin McBreen, Paddy Flood (Director of Schools, CMETB), Cllr Sean Conlon. Front Row L-R: Cllr Sarah O’Reilly, Cllr Brendan Fay, Dr Fiona McGrath (Chief Executive, CMETB), Cllr P.J O’Hanlon (Chairperson, CMETB), Berni Power (Director of OSD, CMETB), Cllr Clifford Kelly, Dr Linda Pinkster (Director of FET, CMETB), Cllr Áine Smith, Cllr Patricia Walsh, Mr Micheál Martin.

A recent luncheon was held at Cavan Institute to honour Berni Power, Director of Organisation Support and Development (OSD) upon her retirement from CMETB.  Notably, the luncheon at Cavan Institute was a special touch, where the meal was expertly cooked and served by the Commi Chef apprentices and hospitality students as part of their end-of-year assessment.

Members of the ETB board paid heartfelt tributes to Berni, recognising her remarkable career with CMETB.

Cllr. PJ O’Hanlon, Chairperson, CMETB Board, initiated the tributes to Berni. Having witnessed Berni’s calibre since the amalgamation of Cavan VEC and Monaghan VEC, Cllr. O’Hanlon acknowledged her immediate impact, emphasising that the invaluable experience Berni possesses is irreplaceable. He expressed gratitude for her unwavering commitment, describing her as an extremely fair person deserving of public recognition for her first-class contribution to public service.

Cllr O’Hanlon stated that Berni Power is one of the finest public officials he had ever worked with, highlighting her immense contribution to education in Cavan and Monaghan. He concluded his tribute by expressing that it was a privilege to have worked with her.

Cllr. Clifford Kelly, Deputy Chairperson of CMETB, shared his experience of working with Berni since 1979. He commended her for always being courteous and professional, noting that her support for seven chief executives throughout her tenure made her a significant asset. Cllr Kelly expressed appreciation for Berni’s remarkable knowledge of the education sector, recognising her major commitment and extending sincere thanks to her for her contribution.

Cllr. David Maxwell, applauded Berni for consistently being on top of her brief, with a profound grasp of facts and figures. He admired her leadership qualities and extended best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement, acknowledging her substantial contribution to CMETB.

Cllr. Colm Carthy emphasised that Berni’s work has been second to none. He highlighted her accessibility and guidance, acknowledging her as a massive loss to the ETB and the Executive team. Cllr. Carthy praised Berni’s commitment and wished her well in her retirement.

Cllr. Sean Conlon, in the relatively short period of time of knowing Berni, was impressed by Berni’s level of knowledge and detail.  He emphasised her unwavering loyalty, immeasurable experience, and corporate knowledge. Cllr. Conlon expressed admiration for her leadership role, congratulating her on a significant contribution to education and wishing her a fulfilling retirement.

Cllr. Patricia Walsh extended best wishes to Berni, expressing gratitude for her guidance and acknowledging the massive legacy she leaves behind. Cllr. Walsh praised Berni’s admirable work ethic and wished her all the best in her retirement years.

Cllr. Madeleine Argue, having known Berni well from her camogie days, recognised her as an amazing person and a reassuring presence in the ETB. Cllr Argue expressed confidence in Berni’s capable hands in her executive role and conveyed her best wishes for a well-deserved retirement.

Cllr. Sarah O’Reilly congratulated Berni on her retirement, highlighting her efficiency, diligence, and professionalism. As a Cavan native, and a Cavan woman, she expressed pride in working alongside Berni, acknowledging her dedication as a public servant.

Cllr. Brandan Fay, though having known Berni for relatively a short period, praised her wealth of knowledge. He acknowledged her as a significant loss to the ETB and expressed gratitude for her contributions.

Cllr. Carmel Brady commended Berni’s immeasurable work ethic and knowledge, describing her as a good neighbour and friend. Cllr. Brady wished Berni enjoyment in retirement. Joe McGrath acknowledged Berni’s pivotal role in the ETB, particularly in HR, Finance, and her passion for building projects. He praised her legacy, expressing the sentiment that she leaves a massive void in the organisation.

Cllr. Aine Smith, as a newer Board member, recognised Berni’s surname – ‘Power’ in name and ‘Power’ in nature, praising her for her wisdom and highlighted the kindness she received from Berni on her first day on the Board. Cllr. Smith expressed gratitude and best wishes for Berni’s well-deserved retirement.

ETB Board member, Micheál Martin expressed that it was a privilege working with Berni, acknowledging her knowledge and dedication, and wishing her well in retirement.

Berni was notably acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to land and building work, particularly in spearheading campaigns for school building projects within CMETB.

Dr. Fiona McGrath, Chief Executive, CMETB expressed her gratitude to Berni for her support and guidance since taking up the role as Chief Executive.

Berni Power thanked everyone for their kind words and said that she has really enjoyed her career stating that it has been a privilege to be part of CMETB, a large successful, dynamic organisation with an operating budget €110M (2023) and employing 1400 staff across the Cavan/Monaghan region.

“CMETB is a very progressive organisation, and I am very proud of the many national projects and initiatives that the CMETB team have led out on and delivered successfully over the years.”

“CMETB’s dedicated administration team have always had a great can-do attitude and have achieved so much during my time with the organisation. I have been so lucky to work with them and with the Senior Management Team, in a role that I am so passionate about.”

“I have been fortunate to have worked closely with the many Board members of CMETB over my career and I would like to acknowledge their wonderful support to me and their commitment to the efficient and effective running of CMETB over that time. To members of past Boards and to the current Board, it has been great working with you, thank you so much.  I have found my job rewarding and I am very proud of everything that has been achieved by CMETB.  It has been a pleasure! Thank-you all, I will miss you greatly.”

CMETB have appointed Ms Karen McBride, former Head of Corporate Services, CMETB to the role of Director of OSD.