Our Trustees

Our Foundation is governed by a board of trustees, comprising leading figures in international business, industry and education.

Our trustees bring a wealth of experience to the foundation, and share a common belief in encouraging and inspiring new entrepreneurs to think and act globally for the enduring benefit of Scotland as a nation.

Brian Aitchison


Brian has a background of over 40 years experience in the financial services sector.

In 1983 Brian founded The Aitchison & Colegrave Group providing a "total asset management and financial planning service" to HNW individuals and the SME market, specialising in wealth management for entrepreneurs. Over the next 20 years Brian built the company into the largest privately owned independent financial advisor in Scotland and ranked in the top 25 in the UK. In 2003 the company was successfully sold to a FTSE 100 Company.

Colette Grant


Colette Grant has a strong background in growing businesses mainly in the Property and Sales sectors previously holding high level Management positions in Lloyds Black Horse Agencies and Powell Marketing Ltd.

Eilidh Dillon


Eilidh is an operations manager in GlaxoSmithKline’s flagship manufacturing site in Ware Hertfordshire.  She graduated from the University of Stirling having studied Languages and International Management.  She went on to complete a Masters in Management at the L’Ecole de Management, Strasbourg.

Ian C Ritchie


Ian Ritchie is the non-executive Chairman of Iomart plc, Scapa, Computer Applications Service, Caspian Learning and the Interactive Design Institute. He founded OWL in 1984 which pioneered hypertext application development (a forerunner to the world wide web) and sold the company to Panasonic in 1989. Since then he has been involved in over 25 start-up high-tech businesses, including Digital Bridges, Voxar, VIS Interactive, Sonaptic and Orbital.

Professor Dame Joan Stringer


Professor Dame Joan Stringer is the Principal & Vice Chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University.  Joan Stringer took up her post in January 2003 having previously served as Principal and Vice Patron of Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh.

She began her career in education in 1980 and was later appointed Head of the School of Public Administration and Law at Robert Gordon University where she was promoted to Assistant Principal (1991).

John Watson


John joined Edinburgh Airport in January 2013 as Chief Commercial Officer responsible for the all aspects of the commercial operation including projects and development. John trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Chartered Accountant specialising in Corporate Finance.

Mark Bamforth


Mark Bamforth is the President and CEO of Gallus Biopharmaceuticals. Mark founded Gallus in 2010 in order to establish the premier contract manufacturer (CMO) of clinical and commercial bulk biologics. In May 2011, he completed the purchase of an established USA facility from J&J, with a team of 160 that continues to deliver two commercial products for J&J's supply to over 75 countries. Mark grew this team to over 250 with the signing of new clients for process development and clinical supply. In Sept.

Mark Simmers


Mark Simmers is CEO of Celtic Renewables, a start-up business in the renewable energy sector. Celtic Renewables' innovative technology converts low value organic wastes and residues into high value chemicals and other products, providing industries with a complete residue disposal solution by producing high value commodities from sustainable and low value inputs. Celtic Renewables Ltd was established in 2011, as a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University.

Professor Pete Downes


Professor Pete Downes has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee since 2009.

Under his leadership the University has consistently been rated best in Scotland for student experience by Times Higher Education and has achieved record levels of research funding. He has led the development of the University's Transformation agenda, with the goal of becoming Scotland's leading University, helping transform lives locally, nationally and globally and delivering economic, social and cultural impact.

Vincent Connor


Vincent Connor is a Partner at Pinsent Masons. He is a legal adviser to the Infrastructure sector and specialises in construction and engineering law.

Vincent is a solicitor advocate, having been granted higher rights of audience in respect of civil proceedings in Hong Kong and is therefore able to appear in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Court of Final Appeal.  He is known and rated highly for his advocacy skills in arbitration, litigation, adjudication and ADR.