Steering Group Biographies
Jack is the Convenor of the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce, and currently Chairman of the Scottish Borders Business Forum steering group. Until recently, he was Managing Director of John Swan Limited, Auctioneers and Livestock Agents operating at St. Boswells Livestock Market servicing livestock producers in the Borders region and also Wooler Market in Northumberland, servicing buying and selling customers from Shetland to Kent and Cornwall. The company also has two divisions, John Swan properties and Swan and Turner, based in Jedburgh providing an auction house for antiques, fine art and collectibles.
Tom has many years’ experience in international trade, starting life with well-known multinational companies before setting out on his own in the Borders thirty years ago. During this latter period he was seconded to UK Trade & Investment first as UK Export Promoter to the Nordic countries and then to UKTI in Northumbria where he pioneered assistance to small businesses in inbound tourism. Currently he helps SMEs to achieve their ambitions as exporters; and has a number of tourism-based clients in rural Iceland. He is Chairman of the Scottish Borders Visitor Network, and on the Business Forum represents the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership. Tom represents tourism on the steering group.
Kerry is from a strong farming background and was brought up on the family farm outside Edinburgh. She worked for a local farmer doing paperwork and helping in the shop and butchery before a brief spell working in Edinburgh City Centre. She went into insurance with NFU Mutual in 2010 but moved across to the Union and started working with NFU Scotland as Regional Manager for the Lothians and Borders in October 2013. Kerry's main roles are to help members with any issues they may encounter and to organise Regional activity in the area and she represents farming members on the steering group.
Michael represents the housing and construction industries on the steering group. He is currently a Director of J.S. Crawford Contracts Borders Ltd, J.S. Crawford 3rd Generation Limited, a design and construction management company, and Rural Renaissance Limited, a house builder. Michael is also currently Area Chairman, Homes for Scotland, a position he has held since 1991. Previously, Michael has been Vice Chairman of Scottish Enterprise Borders, a member of the Board of Borders College, and Deacon of the Scottish Borders Manufacturing Corporation. Michael lives in Melrose where he is a playing member of Melrose Rugby Club.
Heather began her career in manufacturing as a computer aided design operator and pattern cutter for a Scottish company. Her role in the university sector, firstly as a lecturer at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and then as a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, encompassed business consultancy, research and teaching. Heather has been involved in initiatives with national and international brands, Defra, the British Council, the EU and she has acted as an academic advisor to the WTO/UN through the International Trade Centre, Geneva. Currently based at the University of Edinburgh, Heather represents education, skills and training initiatives on the steering group.
Giles is the owner of Brand Satellite, a branding consultancy and integrated design, advertising and marketing agency, based in Melrose. Giles has over twenty five years’ experience working in advertising and design agencies, from the largest agency network in the world to his own one-man business. He has worked in London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Jersey and Edinburgh. Giles moved to the Scottish Borders in 2006 and has run businesses here ever since. Giles is also a Chairman of Borders Creative and B2B Creative Services Advocate for CABN (Creative Arts Business Network). Giles represents the creative sector on the steering group.
Mike is Captain and Executive Co-ordinator of the Scottish Borders Exporters Association. He has been involved with manufacturing all of his working life, starting out as an apprentice in Edinburgh with marine engineers Brown Brothers then Uni-Royal as a planning and industrial engineer. Mike moved to the Scottish Borders in 1969 when he joined Ballantyne Sportswear, Innerleithen, where he became Chief Industrial Engineer. He worked in Brazil for Dawson International in 1974-75 then returned to Ballantyne until 1978. A two year spell with Kinloch Anderson followed. In 1980 he moved into sales and marketing with electronics firm Bram International, Galashiels. Mike has been an active exporter for the last 30 years and currently has his own business, Eildon Systems. He also organises the Institute of Export’s Young International Trader programme for Scottish High Schools. Mike lives in Innerleithen and is a very keen golfer. Mike represents the manufacturing sector on the steering group.