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Board Members' Biographies

 

 

Chair: Rory Mair

 

Rory was Chief Executive of COSLA from 2002 - 2015. Prior to this, Rory had spent five years as Director of Aviemore Projects for Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and before that he worked in a number of senior Local Government roles, including as Strategic Director for Social Strategy with Fife Council, and Chief Executive of Ross & Cromarty District Council.  Rory was awarded the CBE in 2012. 

 

Graeme Bissett

External Trustee (appointed Vice Chair 20 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graeme is a Chartered Accountant and has held senior management roles in professional services, automotive retail and telecomms, as well as non-executive positions in distribution & logistics, e-commerce, public infrastructure, charities and higher education. His commercial roles currently include smart meters, legal services, housebuilding and investment management. Graeme is a member of Court at Glasgow University and a non-executive Trustee of Entrepreneurial Scotland. Graeme was Chair of Children 1st from 2009-16.

 

 

David Dunn

External Trustee

 

David is currently the CEO of SSC, an organisation focused on supporting the adoption of technology across a broad range of sectors.  David is also Chair of the UK Tech Cluster Group which provides grass-roots level feedback about the digital sector to Her Majesty’s Government departments. Prior to working at SSC, David held a number of senior positions at the Regional Development Agency for the North East of England producing strategies on enterprise support, social enterprise and design-led problem solving.

Based on his doctorate, David has given talks on economic development through supporting tech sector growth in a number of countries including China, South Korea, the USA and in Europe.  David also holds an MBA from Durham University and BSc from Abertay University.

 

Nicholas Grier

Internal Trustee (Board Member of Penicuik CAB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas worked as a solicitor in Edinburgh before moving to teach law at Napier University, where he developed close links with the Penicuik CAB – of which he is currently Chair. He is also currently Professor of Commercial Law at Abertay University. He has written a number of books on Scots law, as well as having been legal adviser to the Scottish Parliament for two bills on the law relating to bankruptcy and diligence.  

 

Lindsay Hall

Internal Trustee (Board Member of Orkney CAB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay’s working life has included a period off-shore with North Sea Oil; several years as a Lighthouse Keeper; five years as a civilian employee of the British Army in Berlin; and a position as Custodian of a War Museum. He currently works part-time for the Criminal Justice Section in Orkney. He has also been a member of a number of voluntary sector Boards, including the SCVO, and has a long voluntary association with Orkney CAB, of which he is currently chair. 

Sandra Heidinger

External Trustee  

 

Sandra has thirty years’ experience in human resources and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  She has been Director of Human Resources at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow since 2009. In this role she leads the development of strategy and policy on all people issues and she is a member of the University’s Executive and Business Improvement Teams.  She has developed new career paths for staff which have won UK awards and has led on the delivery of Strathclyde’s People Strategy. The impact of Strathclyde’s People Strategy was recognised in 2017 when Strathclyde won the inaugural Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for ‘UK Higher Education’s Workplace of the Year’.

Sandra was Chair of Universities Human Resources UK (the professional body for all HR practitioners within the university sector) between 2016 and 2018. She is currently a Board Member and Vice Chair at Glasgow Clyde College and chairs their Staff Committee and Remuneration Committee and has previously served as a non-executive Trustee on the Scottish board of an international charity.  

 

Gil Long

Internal Trustee (Chair of Parkhead CAB) 

 

 Gil Long is Chair of Parkhead CAB. Her early career was in teaching and adult education and her commitment to bureaux began when she was employed by CAS as a training adviser. Gil has a keen interest in social policy. She has a masters degree in applied research and on leaving her post at CAS, established the Scottish Poverty Information Unit based in Glasgow Caledonian University.

In the last 25 years of her career, Gil worked in overseas development, focusing on human rights, access to justice and capacity building for civil society.

Gil has served on a number of CAS Committees: as vice chair of Development Committee; she is currently a member of Membership Standards Committee and is acting as interim chair of the Policy Forum.

 

Valerie Maehle

Internal Trustee (Chair of Aberdeen CAB) 

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Initially Valerie worked as a physiotherapist in a range of clinical and management roles then moved into higher education as a Lecturer progressing to become Head of School of Health Sciences, then Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

Valerie has served as a non executive director in both public and private sector Boards including national Boards such as the Scottish Funding Council and NHS Education for Scotland and local Boards such as NHS Grampian, Aberdeen Citizens Advice Bureau and “Tech Fest”, a charity promoting science.  In the private sector Valerie served on the Boards of Counterweight Ltd and Univation Ltd, university companies.  Further as Managing Director of RGU Wellness Ltd Valerie experienced being answerable to a Board. Through these roles she gained experience of a broad range of key skills including, strategic planning, governance – holding to account, cross sector collaboration and leadership in a range of contexts.  

Karen Nailen

Internal Trustee (Manager of CAB West Lothian)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen has 17 years experience working in the Scottish CAB service, first at Motherwell & Wishaw CAB and then as Manager of West Lothian CAB since 2010. She has been a member of the CAS board since 2015, and holds a degree in Business Management.

Simon Rennie 

External Trustee

Photo not yet available. 

Prior to retirement, Simon spent the last thirty years working in the charity sector in Scotland tackling social inclusion and environmental justice issues. In the 1990s he spent ten years with the Wise Group in Glasgow helping, through training and employment programmes, disadvantaged and excluded individuals improve their lives and life chances. Simon has worked closely with Local Authorities, the Scottish Government and some of its agencies and is steeped in charity governance.

Whilst Simon’s working life had an environmental focus he previously sat on the boards of Stepfamily Scotland and Children 1st.  

 

Steve Rowan 

Internal Trustee (Vice Chair of Inverness, Badenoch & Strathspey CAB)

Steve is Vice Chair of Inverness Badenoch & Strathspey CAB, currently serves on CAS Development Committee, PASS & Universal Support Sub-Groups, and on the CAS Policy Forum.  A Director of Highland IT Support Ltd for 20 years, Steve has also worked as a Business Advisor in IT & eCommerce for Highlands & Islands Enterprise and for Business Gateway.  Prior to starting his IT Consultancy Business, Steve worked for 20 years in Social Work (Mental Health Officer, Welfare Rights Officer, and Care Manager).  Steve is Vice Chair of a Community Council in Inverness, a Trustee of Aultnaskiach Dell SCIO (a community woodland), a member of Inverness Riverside Rotary Club, and is a member of Liberty.  Steve understands the pressures on Bureaux from funding constraints and increasing demands for advice.  He is keen to support use of technology to devolve Bureau operations and supply wider access to CAB services regardless of location.  

   

Callum Thomson

External Trustee



Callum is a senior manager at the Scottish Parliament, currently head of the research, communications and public engagement group. He is a member of the Association of Project Management and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He has previously been a Director for a housing association for people with learning difficulties, and a Member of the BBC Audience Council for Scotland.