Leaders in Scotland and Women Leaders in Scotland.   Promoting and inspiring leadership development among successful leaders and aspiring leaders

Leaders in Scotland

Leaders in Scotland Thought Leadership Lunches
Speaker Details 2014


The basics of inspirational leadership Wed 12th Feb. Andrea Quinn
Transitions in Leadership Thur 13th March Samantha Berber
Leading from behind Tues 8th April Linda Urquhart, OBE
Vulnerability and leadership Thurs 12th June Bonnie Clarke
Mindfulness and Leadership Thurs 10th July Angela McCusker
Women entrepreneurs as leaders:
the psychology of growth
Wed 10th Sept Jackie Waring
Honesty and Leadership Thur 9th Oct Mel Harris


Andrea Quinn - Managing Director of Geelox Limited

Andrea Quinn Over the past 20 years, Andrea has led the transformation of large organisations across the public and the private sector.  Her experience spans engineering services, regulated utilities, policing, Information Technology, new business development, forensics, local and central government, training, and environmental services.

Throughout her career Andrea has been sought out to improve organisations.  She has a proven track record of turning around teams by first understanding how to assess the current culture and spot the bureaucratic and dysfunctional behaviours.  She knows how to engage and coach leadership teams and boards and how to then work collaboratively with those leaders to create the strategy for change.

Andrea has led teams ranging in size from 25 to 1750 and budgets that ranged from £85m to £1.1bn and delivered significant efficiency programmes throughout her career.  She spearheaded the training of more than 300 staff in behavioural management techniques to enable three large organisations to fix problems that were stifling efficiency and productivity, from within.

During her career, Andrea has held a number of senior leadership positions, including the CEO of the Scottish Police Services Authority, the Head of Environment at the City of Edinburgh Council and a member of the Wastewater Board at United Utilities.


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Samantha Barber - Portfolio NED incl. 2020 Climate Change Group and Iberdrola SA

Samantha Barber Samantha has worked at CEO and Board Level in both domestic and international companies and has extensive strategic business experience. With particular focus on multi-stakeholder, complex organisations she has worked across sectors for 20 years, delivering tangible growth & results to effect change.

Samantha qualified with a BAHons in Applied Foreign Languages & European Politics. She also spent three years studying at three French Universities and amongst other qualifications gained a Post Graduate degree in EC Law from the University of Nancy.

Samantha started her career as a Policy Advisor in the European Parliament where she worked for four years, focusing on the Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee. She then became the Director of Business for Scotland, followed by nine years as CEO of Scottish Business in the Community led by HRH the Prince of Wales as President.

She was appointed to the Advisory Board of Scottish Power in 2007, post acquisition by Iberdrola, and was subsequently appointed to the Board of Iberdrola in July 2008. Samantha was re-elected for a second term at the AGM in June 2012 and was also appointed Chairman of the Board CSR Committee in April last year. Iberdrola is a global energy company & one of the top companies in the Ibex with a market cap of £28bn employing over 30 000 people.

Samantha spent nine years on the Board of a Scottish Youth Employability Charity (Right Track), is currently a Vice-Chairman of the 2020 Group on Climate Change, an Advisory Board member for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and a Board member of the Scottish Ensemble. She is also a member of Faculty at the ‘School for CEOs’ and undertakes consultancy & business coaching. Samantha is a French and Spanish speaker.

Samantha was a finalist and runner-up in the IoD Scotland NED of the Year Awards in 2012, was listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Women to Watch’ in the FTSE list compiled with Cranfield University in 2013 and is also a member of the prestigious ‘Global Scot Network’ and the ‘Global Board Ready Women’ network.


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Linda Urquhart, OBE - Chairman, Morton Fraser Solicitors

Linda Urquhart, OBE Before taking up the Chair at Morton Fraser in 2011, Linda Urquhart OBE, led the firm as Chief Executive for more than 10 years. She is also a former chairman of CBI Scotland, and currently Chairman of Investors in People Scotland, a board member of Scottish Enterprise and the CBI and a non executive Director of the Scottish private bank, Adam & Co, and Edinburgh Airport Limited. She is also a member of the Edinburgh Business Leadership Forum, a member of the Development Board of the Prince’s Trust Scotland and an Ambassador for Girl Guiding UK and is also a successful businesswoman in her own right.

Educated at Edinburgh University she spent her traineeship with an Edinburgh law firm and moved to Morton Fraser when she completed that traineeship.

Linda received an OBE for services to business in Scotland in the New Year Honours List 2012. Linda won the Readers Award in the Insider Corporate Elite 2003 and The Association of Scottish Businesswomen Outstanding Contribution to Business Award 2009. Married with two daughters, her leisure interests include singing, sailing, golfing and skiing.


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Jackie Waring - CEO & Founder Investing Women

Jackie Waring Jackie is one of the UK’s leading specialists in women's enterprise. An entrepreneur herself, she has 26 years experience of working with the private sector, government and directly with women to help boost levels of female entrepreneurship and growth oriented businesses. ‘Unlocking potential’ is a key theme in this work.

Jackie is one of the few people in the UK to hold an MSc in Corporate Leadership, and has practiced and proven her own leadership ability. She was 10 years CEO of one of Scotland’s leading Enterprise Trusts and 3 years MD of a subsidiary company, leading its turnaround from loss to profit in two years.  She was awarded the title Scottish Young Career Woman of the Year and was also a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards during that time.

Jackie established Blue Horizons (Scotland) Ltd in 2003 to concentrate on two key areas of business – leadership and a wide range of enterprise activity. She has delivered many enterprise / economic development projects and leadership mentoring to senior men and women. Jackie was also a policy advisor to the UK government, leading the Access to Finance for Women Entrepreneurs agenda. She was also the first UK Advisory Board Member to the Global Banking Alliance for Women. Jackie was also Chair and Co-Founder of Women's Enterprise Scotland, a Community Interest Company promoting the growth of Scotland's economy through increasing women's enterprise.

Jackie launched Investing Women in 2013, creating a growing community of women angel investors in Scotland, women entrepreneurs seeking growth and those who want to help both. It’s more than a syndicate and it’s about more than the money.

Jackie and her husband came 2nd in this year's Tay Descent (A great photo of them whitewater kayaking in her tweet on 28th Oct). She lives in Fife in Scotland with her husband David and son Callum.


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Bonnie Clarke - Director for Scotland, Badenoch & Clark

Bonnie Clarke Badenoch & Clark is an internationally recognised, award winning leader in professional services recruitment which has appeared in the Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list for four consecutive years. As the Director for Scotland, Bonnie has responsibility for the strategic direction and tactical implementation of the Scottish business plan.

Bonnie created her own business in England, which grew quickly and thrived for 5 years with clients across Europe.  She then set up the HR division for Hays in Edinburgh, building the business from scratch. She has been working within in a corporate Plc environment as a director for over 10 years.

Bonnie has been managing, supporting and directing teams throughout her career and is dedicated about helping people reach their potential.  Bonnie is one of the founding directors of Women's Enterprise Scotland. She is a member of the Women’s Enterprise Policy Group, a national body which aims to raise awareness within central government of the economic benefits of supporting women entrepreneurs. She is a Director of the Charity Women onto Work (WOW) supporting disadvantaged women into meaningful work and she is also a panel member for Fair Comment a business advice and guidance panel for women wanting to grow or start a business. Bonnie regularly volunteers as a business mentor for Women in Business start ups in association with a range of charities and social enterprises.


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Angela McCusker - Director at Sekha

Angela McCusker Having successfully completed her Masters in Mindfulness, Angela is now working with senior executives and senior teams teaching mindfulness and mindfulness for leaders, with exceptional results.

Angela has over 20 years experience at Board level operating in international and multi cultural environments. She has worked in many sectors and now brings that wealth of experience and knowledge to her NXD roles and working with senior teams and individuals. Angela is a dynamic mentor and coach who works with senior executives and individuals to support their development in achieving their vision, for their businesses and themselves. A qualified chartered accountant, she worked in the sports industry for 15 years, initially as Financial Controller for Reebok UK Limited and latterly as International Finance Director for Ellesse International Limited, part of The Pentland Group plc. As part of her portfolio, she is a Non Executive Director of a number of companies. She also served on the Board of The Student Loans Company for six years.

She is been described as challenging, inspirational, and focused: her passion is enabling clients to take personal responsibility for their lives and themselves which is incredibly empowering for the individual.

Angela set up Pilotlight in Scotland - a social enterprise that brokers mentoring between the private and third sectors. She has mentored young people living in state care; been on the Visiting Committee for Saughton prison; and is on the Board of Firstport.


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Mel Harris - Director at Honestysnax, Managing Director of The Performance Tree

Mel Harris Mel Harris is Managing Director of The Performance Tree (Learning & development) and Honestysnax (honesty vending), Founding Partner of My Best Year Ever, Trustee of Challenges Worldwide.

After gaining a Degree in Biological Sciences including 2 years Psychology, Mel entered the business world and gained 20 years sales, international marketing and business development experience across a wide range of industry sectors (food & beverage, Snacks, IT, Construction, Manufacturing, chambers of commerce, recruitment and re-employment, third sector, charities and Government pilot projects).

With a passion for learning and development, love of international travel and different cultures , Mel joined JCI (Junior Chamber International - global citizen and leadership development organisation) where she became local president of JCI Edinburgh and national president of JCI Scotland, developing a strong awareness of being a global citizen including working on projects with United Nations. Mel became a JCI international trainer travelling around the world running leadership academies in Japan, Russia, Syria and across Europe.

In 2006 Mel set up The Performance Tree specialising in leadership, team development, collaboration and co-production, developing resilience and high performance, managing conflict, sales, marketing, networking, creating trust and flow cultures in organisations. Mel is an associate of People in Flow, a channel partner for Franklin Covey and The Management Advisory Service

Clients include Scottish Government, Visit Scotland, Edinburgh and West Lothian Chambers of Commerce, Edinburgh University, Scottish Business in the Community, Bield and Trust Housing Associations, Cyernians, Rock Trust, RBS, Technip, HBOS, Cambridge Marketing College (Delivering The Professional Certificate in Marketing for the Chartered Institute of Marketing), Roche Pharmaceuticals, Vine Resourcing, ISPOT, First Port. The Performance Tree delivers programmes in various countries across the globe.

In 2010 Mel set up Honestysnax to create a community building concept of selling snacks on an honesty basis with donations to local charities. In 2014 Mel became a founding partner in Best Year Ever, a coaching and personal effectiveness software tool.





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