Board Biographies

Elected by Contributors

 

Michael Craig (Chair)

Michael became Chair in December 2019 and is an experienced manager, trustee and actuary who is able to work collaboratively with others to communicate and implement change within an organisation. He played a key role in a number of Standard Life's major corporative initiatives, including the demutualisation of the company. Michael is results orientated with a passionate focus on service quality and proven strategic and interpersonal skills. He is a team player who seeks to nuture and encourage others in the achievement of a common goal.

Graeme Bold 

Graeme is currently Operations Strategy & Insight Director with M&G Prudential. He brings a wide range of experience with previous roles as Strategy Director, Proposition & Commercial Director, Operations Director as well as in Transformation and Finance during his 20 year career at Standard Life. Graeme also works with West College Scotland as a member of the Audit Committee and is a qualified Actuary. He lives in Edinburgh with his family and enjoys travelling, music, playing and watching sports.

 

Kate Cherry

Mrs Cherry’s teaching career included being Head Teacher in three separate primary schools over some 14 years. Appointed an HMI in 1996 and went on to hold the post of Assistant Chief Inspector having responsibility for overseeing the Independent School Sector and Early Education. Awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1999 and undertook research studies in Scandinavia and the USA.  She retired from HMIE (now Education Scotland) in 2012. Currently, a self-employed Education Consultant and working part-time as an Associate Inspector in the school inspection programme in the United Arab Emirates.

Jamie Cuthbertson

Jamie was brought up and educated in Glasgow and after school studied Mechanical Engineering at Glasgow University before joining the Army in 1982. In 1986 he was blinded in an explosives accident whilst serving as a Captain in the Royal Engineers. After rehabilitation at St Dunstan's (now Blind Veterans UK), he worked for a small Glasgow firm selling chimney products. In 1990 he returned to university and gained an MSc in Information Technology. He then worked for nearly 20 years in the charity sector for local and national charities for the blind before running his own computer consultancy for 4 years until December 2013. Jamie now works as the Regional Manager in Scotland for the Macular Society. He enjoys a wide range of leisure activities including running, cycling, DIY, cinema, theatre and music.

Elizabeth Porterfield 

 

Mike Donnelly BA MSc PHD HonFSMI(Australia)

 

Mike is retired academic and adviser to senior politicians in the UK.  He was Head of School and Dean of Faculty in UK and Australian University Business Schools over a 35 year academic career.  He served as chief of staff to the First Minister of Scotland and as adviser to the Secretary of State for Scotland and the UK Home Secretary.  Mike is Honorary Professor of Management at both Heriot-Watt University and the Victoria Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Mike's research and teaching has been in the area of Strategic and Operations Management. His expertise has been made available to public services both as consultancy and in academic publications. Mike was a volunteer Board member on Linthouse Housing Association, Quarriers, The Star Project in Paisley, Govan Law Centre and the Insitutite of Public Administration Australia. He volunteered as a 'foster-grandad' with Extended Families Australia and as a barista at Yorkhill Hospital's tea bar.

 

Mike Martin

Mike is a social worker to trade. Following a career in local authority criminal justice work he spent over 20 years with Capability Scotland, latterly as one of their directors. He has worked independently for the past 12 years as a consultant, researcher, trainer and practitioner, combining these activities with part-time work as a co-ordinator of out of hours social work, and a number of teaching engagements for the Open University. Mike's hobbies include natural history interests, he rings birds to study their movements, and until last year was the Secretary of the Scottish Ornithologists Club.

Aidan McCorry

Aidan has extensive knowledge of both the public and third sectors having worked at Scottish Enterprise as a Project Manager, at Apex Scotland in a number of senior roles and as Chief Executive of Deaf Action. His work has focused on supporting a wide range of communities and disadvantaged people to achieve equality of access to education, housing, training and employment opportunities and he has been a member of SCVO’s Policy Committee, an Investors in People Panel Member, a founder member of the Links Foundation, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Deafness and a Board member of social enterprise All Cleaned Up.

Ian McGregor

Ian McGregor has extensive experience in the public, private and charity sectors.  Graduating in Modern History from Oxford University in 1977, he initially worked as a trademark attorney in London and in marketing with BP Australia, before undertaking 16 years’ commissioned service in the RAF in the UK and overseas. In 1999 he became Bursar of Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, moving in 2001 to fill the same role at the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools in Edinburgh.  From 2009 to 2016 he was Chief Executive of Poppyscotland, leading the charity through a notably active period of fundraising achievement, innovation and expansion of its service provision. His interests include history, literature, gardening, rugby and Nordic skiing. 

Michelle McWilliams

Michelle is a senior CIM qualified manager with experience of leading high profile communications campaigns in large public sector organisations. Her Public sector experience includes a role as Deputy Director of Communications & Public Affairs at The University of Edinburgh, managing the full range of corporate communications spanning the Press Office, Public Affairs, the Web team, internal communications, publications, events, brand/corporate identity and the information centre/shop.  She joined the University after nearly ten years managing PR & communications campaigns for Whitehall Departments in London; latterly as Head of PR at COI, the executive agency that provided advertising and marketing services to government departments and public bodies. Michelle has spent the last four years in her current role as Account Director with a PR agency, creating and delivering campaigns for clients in the private sector.

Stephanie Phillips

Stephanie has spent most of her career working in the public sector, including the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration and Northern Constabulary, with a background in strategic planning, quality improvement and performance management. Having joined NHS Scotland in 2006, Steph worked for the Scottish Ambulance Service for 10 years. In 2017, Steph moved to NHS 24 where she is currently the Director of Service Delivery.

Elected by Public Bodies

Councillor Derek Howie - City of Edinburgh Council

Derek Howie is an elected Councillor in the City of Edinburgh Council, representing the Liberton/Gilmerton Ward in the South East of the city.  He is the Council’s Equalities Champion.  He is a former pupil of the Royal Blind School.  Previously, he was employed as a Social Worker with the City of Edinburgh Council for over 30 years.  He holds two Paralympic Gold medals in athletics.

Jimmy Milhench, NLBD

Educated at the Royal Blind School, Jimmy is proud to now serve as a Trustee of Royal Blind. Having spent most of his working life with Edinburgh based Blindcraft, Jimmy has a wealth of experience in working with visually impaired people. He represented British Blind Sport on the Executive Council of the RNIB and does all he can to promote outdoor pursuits for the benefit of visually impaired people. Chair of Lothian Blind Ramblers, he is an experienced skier and took part in an expedition to Everest base camp in 2011. 

Robert Mooney, STUC

Robert is an elected Councillor in Glasgow City Council. He worked for Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi) for 33 years as a development worker. He is a union branch secretary, National Executive Council member and member of the STUC General Council, representing STUC on the board of Glasgow Citizens Advice Bureau. He is the chairman of SITE, an organisation that supports visually impaired people with training with a view to helping them back into employment. Robert is married with five children and enjoys ten-pin bowling, running and amateur dramatics.