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Publication - Factsheet

Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board: members' biographies

Published: 27 Nov 2017

Biographies for the members of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board.

27 Nov 2017
Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board: members' biographies

Nora Senior CBE – Chair

Chair, UK Regions and Ireland, Weber Shandwick
A specialist in corporate communications, Nora Senior has more than 25 years' experience working with clients across a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, transport, energy, property, finance, healthcare, technology and FMCG.

Her professional skills include strategic counsel, reputation management, high level media relations, integrated marketing and crisis management.

In May she stepped down as Chair of Scottish Chambers of Commerce after serving a four-year term and is a former President of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Wendy Alexander

Vice-Principal (International), University of Dundee
Wendy Alexander is Vice Principal at the University of Dundee and was previously with London Business School. Wendy spent over a decade in government, public policy and elected office initially working in the European Parliament, then as a UK Government adviser to Rt Hon Donald Dewar and as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (1999 to 2011).

She served in the first three Scottish Cabinets, where her portfolio responsibilities included: enterprise; transport; tourism; energy; trade; higher and further education; local government and housing. From 2007-08 she served as Labour Leader in Holyrood. Prior to this she worked with Booz & Co. in US, Europe and Asia.

She has published widely on devolution and spent a decade as a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde where she led the Allander Series bringing Nobel Laureates to Scotland and co-editing New Wealth for Old Nations: Scotland's Economic Prospects (Princeton Uni Press, 2005). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Karen Betts

Chief Executive, Scotch Whisky Association
Karen Betts has joined the SWA after a 16-year career in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), most recently as British Ambassador to Morocco.

She held a variety of posts in London and overseas with the FCO. These included Counsellor to the British Embassy in Washington, and roles at the UK's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and the British Embassy in Baghdad. She has also served in the Cabinet Office and the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Prior to joining the FCO, she worked as a lawyer for Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong. She studied law at the College of Law in Guildford and history at St. Andrews University.

Liz Cameron

Chief Executive and Director, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Liz Cameron has been chief executive of SCC since 2004, having previously been chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

Her experience is reflected through a number of non-executive Directorships in Scotland and the USA. She currently serves as Director for WEVOLUTION, a Scottish charity promoting entrepreneurship as a route to better life chances. Liz has previously served as the Vice Chair of the Scottish National Lottery Fund.

Liz is recognised in the Scottish Business Insider's Top 10 Women of Influence in Scotland, shortlisted as Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2013 Scottish Business Awards and recently awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List 2014 for services to business and commerce.

Dr Mike Cantlay OBE

Chair, Scottish Funding Council
Having recently been appointed Chair of the SFC, Mike Cantlay is also Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage and of Chair of Highlands and Islands Airport Limited. He has more than 20 years' experience of public sector governance.

Mike is Chairman and Managing Director of William Glen Limited. He has held several public appointments including Chair of VisitScotland; Convener of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority; Chair of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley; Chair of the Board of Management at Forth Valley College; Advisory Member of the Board of Scottish Enterprise and Board Member of VisitBritain.

Dr Cantlay was awarded Public Sector Leader of the Year at the Scottish Leadership Awards 2012 and was made an OBE in 2014 for services to tourism.

Professor Sara Carter OBE

Council of Economic Advisors
Professor Sara Carter OBE is Associate Principal (Learning and Teaching), Professor of Entrepreneurship, and formerly Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, at the University of Strathclyde.

Sara Carter is a member of the Council of Economic Advisers for the First Minister of Scotland, co-Chair of the British Bankers' Association Diversity & Inclusion Business Council, and a Non-Executive Director of Women's Enterprise Scotland.

She served on the UK Government's Women's Enterprise Task Force and received an OBE for her services to women entrepreneurs.

Professor Lorne Crerar

Chair, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Lorne Crerar joined the Board of HIE in April 2008 and was appointed as Chair in March 2012. He is a founding partner and Chairman of leading Scottish commercial law firm Harper Macleod LLP, which has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Lerwick and Thurso.

He held the Chair of Banking Law at Glasgow University from 1997 until his retirement in August 2015. He is now Emeritus Professor of Banking Law.

Lorne has broad experience of public sector operations. He was formerly Deputy Chairman of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and one of three Chairmen of the Housing Improvement Task Force with his group completing their work in 2002.

Audrey Cumberford

Principal and Chief Executive – West College Scotland
Audrey Cumberford began her career with a Graduate Assistant Lecture post at Bristol University, undertaking research within the field of sports psychology, and spent time in the private sector before up her first college management role at Edinburgh's Telford College.

In 1999, Audrey moved to a senior management position in Reid Kerr College in Paisley, before being appointed as Principal and Chief Executive in 2011. The next year, Audrey was appointed Principal Designate, leading the merger of the three West Region Colleges before taking on the role of Principal and Chief Executive of West College Scotland in 2013. West College Scotland is Scotland's Largest Regional College.

Audrey undertakes a leadership role in the wider sector as a member of the Colleges Scotland Board and Vice Chair of Scotland's Colleges Principals Group. She is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Education Committee and a non- executive director of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

Jeanette Forbes

Chief Executive, PCL Group
Jeanette Forbes was one of the first women to work offshore and is a qualified systems engineer who established PCL Group in March 2000 after she was made redundant during a downturn in the oil and gas industry.

Since then she has seen the company grow year on year to provide total technology provision and support including project management and cabling services to five main industry sectors - offshore, marine, commercial, industrial and renewables. PCL Group is globally recognised for delivering support services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Jeanette has won a number of national awards and industry accolades, particularly for her role in promoting career opportunities for women in the energy sector. In 2015 she won Business Women Scotland's Inspirational Woman of the Year Award and Best UK Mentor Award, British Chamber of Commerce "Excellence in Women's Enterprise and Mentoring" and more recently became CEO of the Year Scotland's Women in Technology 2017.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE

Chair, South of Scotland Economic Partnership
Professor Griggs started his business life in marketing in the pharmaceutical industry before moving to the consumer flooring industry. He was the CEO of an industrial textile company in England in the 1980s. In 1990 he joined Scottish Enterprise in a business development role and became an Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise where he ran the investment banking and business development arms, as well as spending some years in the USA looking at outward investment for Scottish companies.

Awarded an OBE in 2008, he has held a number of non-executive positions in the private, public and third sectors. He chairs the Scottish Government's independent Regulatory Review Group, is Chair of the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust and Board member of Audit Scotland. In November 2017, he was appointed Chair of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership to help prepare the ground for the new enterprise agency for the region.

Poonam Gupta OBE

Chief Executive, PG Paper
Having gained an MBA in International Business in her native India, Poonam Gupta moved to Scotland in 2002 and launched PG Paper from her bedroom in Greenock.

The commodity trading business exports 1300 different paper products from office stationery to magazines, newspapers, toilet tissues and packaging, using warehouses at major ports around Europe and the US. The Greenock-based firm has a turnover of more than £35million and sells to 55 countries around the world, with Turkey, India and China amongst its biggest markets.

Cllr Steven Heddle

Environment and Economy spokesperson, CoSLA
Steven Heddle is from Kirkwall, Orkney, and studied at Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities, gaining a BSc and PhD in Physics. After working for both the public and private sector in R&D, he returned to Orkney in 1999 where he ran a business and technical consultancy and worked for HIE.

First elected in 2007, he led the Orkney Islands Council from 2012 to 2017, during which time he shared the 2013 Herald Local Politician of the Year Award and 2014 Scottish Public Service Award for Leadership. He served as President of the CPMR Islands Commission from 2014 to 2016, as a board member of NHS Orkney from 2015 to 2017 and as a member of the CoSLA Commission for Strengthening Local Democracy. He was appointed CoSLA Spokesperson for the Environment and Economy in May 2017.

Bob Keiller CBE

Chair, Scottish Enterprise
Bob Keiller was appointed Chairman of Scottish Enterprise in January 2016, having worked in the oil and gas industry since 1986.

In November 2012 he became CEO of Wood Group, the international energy services company with more than 40,000 employees, and operations in more than 50 countries.

He was previously Chairman of the Offshore Contracting Association and co-chair of the cross-industry trade body Oil and Gas UK. Bob is former Chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange. Awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and 2008, he was also named Scottish Businessman of the Year in 2007 and Grampian Industrialist of the Year in 2008.

John McClelland CBE

Chair, Skills Development Scotland
John McClelland has extensive experience across the private and public sector. He was President of 3Com's Business Networks Company and prior to that Global Chief Industrial Officer and Board Member of Philips Consumer Electronics.

Earlier in his career he was Vice President of Worldwide Operations for IBM's personal computer company before joining Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Vice President.

He is former Chair of the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council and the Renfrewshire Enterprise Company. In 2006, John completed a review of public sector procurement in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Executive. He is former Vice President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was awarded a CBE for his services to industry and education.

Gerry McCusker

Chief Executive, Dog Digital
As Chief Executive of digital marketing firm Dog Digital since 2001, Gerry McCusker has driven the agency's expansion from 10 to 75 staff across offices in Glasgow, London and South East Asia, working with global brands including Heineken UK, L'Oréal, Aberdeen Asset Management, Scottish Enterprise, Bibby Financial Services, UEFA and Infront Sports & Marketing.

Gerry regularly guest lectures at the University of Glasgow and Strathclyde University, while addressing fast growth Scottish businesses as part of government-funded events and mentoring workshops. He is also Chair of BIMA Scotland, the Scottish arm of industry body the British Interactive Media Association.

Scott McLarty

Vice President – UK and Malaysia Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Limited
Scott McLarty joined Spirit AeroSystems in April 2006 as part of the acquisition of BAE Systems' Aerostructures business unit in the UK which created Spirit Aerosystems (Europe) Limited.

After originally joining BAE Systems in 1990, Scott held a number of roles including Director positions in Operations, Project Management, Business Improvement, Supply Chain and HR.

In 2013, Scott was appointed Vice President for the UK and Malaysia business units, which provide aviation manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus with major airframe structures.

Scott has a Fellowship in Aerospace Manufacturing Management from Cranfield University. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Grahame Smith

General Secretary, STUC
Grahame was appointed General Secretary of the Scottish TUC in November 2006.

He serves on a number of boards including Skills Development Scotland and the IIP Community Interest Company. He is Chair of Scotland Europa, a member of the UK Government's MER Oil and Gas Forum and the Scottish Oil and Gas Industry Leadership Group, and a member of the Glasgow Colleges Regional Board. He is a former non-executive director of Scottish Enterprise.

He serves on the Fair Work Convention. He also served as a member of the Wood Commission on Developing Scotland's Young Workforce and is actively involved in the implementation of the Commission's recommendations through his membership of the DYW National Group. He is a member of the First Minister's Standing Council on Europe.



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