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Meet The Team

Marc CrothallMarc Crothall
CEO


Bio

Chief Executive – The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) – 53 yrs. young!

Appointed as the first CEO of the STA Marc has been at its helm since its inception in 2012. He is responsible for the day to day operations and leadership of the organisation which is acknowledged as being the overarching tourism industry trade body that is “the voice of Scotland’s tourism Industry”.

The STA has under its umbrella of membership circa 75% of the 27000 Tourism business that operate length and breadth of the country. The STA are also the lead strategic guardians and co-ordinators of Scotland’s national tourism Strategy Tourism Scotland 2020. The organisation delivers and variety of events across the country the largest being the annual Scottish Tourism week programme in March each year. In 2016 the programme engaged 4000 + into the tourism conversation.

Marc also chairs the STA Council, the National Marine Tourism Development Group, is acting Vice Chair of the Thistle Awards industry panel, a member of the VS Growth Fund panel and also represents Scotland’s interests on the UK Tourism Industry Council.

Prior to taking on what he describes as a very unique job and one of the best in Scotland he has had 35+ years working in the front line of the Hospitality, Event, Sport & Leisure industries across the globe for both large organisations and small rural business. He believes that has his being able to build strong relations with most operating in the sector is because he understands what is like to be at the sharp end having worked in both city and rural destinations!

A lover all things Scottish especially his Glaswegian wife, coupled with the fact all five of his children 25yrs to twins of 8 have been born in Scotland despite his accent he considers himself a well and truly adopted Scot!

Elaine TownsendElaine Townsend
Business Support Manager


Bio

What I do: My role is Business Support Manager

Date joined: June 2004

Likes: Seafood, musicals, wine, cruise holidays

Dislikes: Very hot and spicy food, over crowded trains

Hobbies: Tennis, gym classes, watching most sports, spending time with the family

Favourite Scottish holiday: Kenmore, 1995.  We stayed in a lodge overlooking Loch Tay – pure tranquillity, beautiful scenery, very relaxing.

TS2020 Team

Caroline WarburtonCaroline Warburton
National Strategy Delivery Coordinator


Bio

What I do:

I’m the Coordinator for the national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020 (TS2020). The STA are guardians of the strategy on behalf of the industry so I’m responsible for keeping everything on track and making sure that everyone is working towards the TS2020 targets.

Date joined:

January 2014

Likes:

People (generally!), the great outdoors, live music and theatre, travelling to new places, good conversation, good wine with a good film and a good pizza.

Dislikes:

Celery, midges, litter

Hobbies:

My guilty pleasure is music, singing and amateur dramatics – I’m usually rehearsing for something and it’s a great antidote to work. The great outdoors – walking, wildlife-watching, kayaking, canoeing or anything else.  Not sure I should admit it, but I have an allotment!

Favourite Scottish holiday:

Too many to choose from: sea-kayaking off the Argyll coast, amazing hill-walking at New Year in Sutherland, Belladrum Music Festival, the list goes on…

Denise ConnellyDenise Connelly
Sustainability Manager



Bio

What I do:

I’m the Sustainability Manager and it’s my job to support the Scottish tourism sector to achieve the aims of Tourism Scotland 2020 in a sustainable way

Date joined:

October 2015

Likes:

Getting to know people and decluttering – though not always at the same time

Dislikes:

When people don’t treat others as equals

Hobbies:

Singing, exercising and learning. If I’m not with my family, I’m either to be found at choir, in the gym or reading a psychology book of some sort.

Favourite Scottish holiday: 

I’ve great memories of childhood antics at Gullane beach with my sisters, brothers and cousins – we looked much like the Von Trapp’s!

 

Victoria HarveyVictoria Harvey
Heritage Tourism Coordinator


Bio

What I do:

I'm the Heritage Tourism Co-Ordinator and my role includes working with the Scottish Heritage sector as we get ready for 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Date joined:

June 2016

Likes:

Last minute road trips, Netflix binges, Scottish seafood and my wee puppy, Bear!

Dislikes:

Double denim and heights 

Hobbies:

Packing a picnic and exploring Scotland, cooking (badly!) and watching old boxsets

Favourite Scottish holiday

I was lucky to live in the Outer Hebrides for a bit and it truly is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The first time I visited was in a very windy October with the waves crashing off the cliffs and it was stunning! I also spent many a summer holiday as a child in the Cairngorms and it will always be one of my favourite parts of Scotland.

Alan RankinAlan Rankin
Marine Tourism Project Manager


LinkedIn
Bio

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Membership Team

Graham MacLennanGraham MacLennan
Membership and Commercial Business Development


Bio
What I do:
For 4 days a week I’m responsible for Membership and Commercial Business development and working to increase the broad range of membership within the STA. My role also involves making sure that current members are “feeling the STA love” and that they are happy with the role that the STA is performing, for both their business and Scottish tourism in general.  Outwith the STA I run two self-catering properties, one in Glasgow and the other in the Isle of Harris, so understand full well small tourism business owner issues.
Date joined:
September 2015
Likes:
My little boy James ( and his mum of course ), Caramel logs, football in general, The Wire (TV programme), a cold beer and a warmish whisky, wedding ceilidhs and good war movies.
Dislikes:
Rudeness and ignorant manners, salad cream ( the work of the devil ) and getting to the empty bottom of a bag of crisps.
Hobbies:
Travel when I can, playing football if I can ( knees and lungs willing ) and DIY where I have finally turned into my father, finding bits of wood or other such materials which will “come in handy”, leading to a shed half full of tools and half full of bits destined to still be handy in 2025.
Favourite Scottish holiday
I’m biased, but I can’t see passed a holiday on the beautiful beaches of the west side of the Isle of Harris, where my own parents come from. The journey itself through Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Lochaber ( passing Ben Nevis ), passing Invergarry and on through Skye, is one of the most beautiful journeys  in Scotland before the short ferry hop to Harris.

Ellen IngramEllen Ingram
Membership Relations and Events Administrator


Bio

What I do: 

I am the Membership Relations and Events Administrator for the STA and I am also a final year French and Journalism student at the University of Stirling.

Date joined:

September 2016

Likes:

I love spending time with my friends and family, speaking French, chocolate and cakes.

Dislikes:

I don’t like tomatoes, rude people and rum.

Hobbies:

I love travelling, learning about other cultures, acting and walking my dog.

Favourite Scottish holiday

In 2014 I spent a fantastic weekend in Inverness with my best friend. We had a great time exploring the city, taking a boat ride along Loch Ness and discovering little towns in the surrounding area

Communications Team

Mhairi ClarkeMhairi Clarke
PR, Marketing and Communications Manager


Bio
What I do:
I’m Comms Strategy creator, PR doer, I make sure that the STA is connecting and engaging with its Members on a meaningful level and that we occupy a great place in the minds of all our stakeholder audiences via strategic, consistent communication across a variety of platforms. Translation: I create opportunities for people to think great things about the STA so that we, as the industry voice can grow tourism in Scotland with support across every area that tourism touches.
Date joined:
May 2015 (previously freelance for STA)
Likes:
Travelling adventures with my son, my Miniature Schnauzer, writing for all sorts of stuff, white t-shirts, Karl Pilkington, Curb Your Enthusiasm, trainers, music, lots and lots of films, good people, exciting people, hilarious people, sunshine every day.
Dislikes:
Snakes, heights, most things relating to numbers, bad people, being cold
Hobbies:
Running, writing, anything to do with interiors, doing great fun stuff with my 11-year old monkey
Favourite Scottish holiday
Every holiday I’ve had in Islay since I was a child (with the exception of the one where I was left standing on the pier while my entire family sailed off in a big Cal Mac ferry…) but most notably the Summer of 2009 because it was hot every day, I ran every day and had the best fun with my family (before the year they left me on the pier…)

Gillian BrymerGillian Brymer
PR, Marketing and Communications Executive


Bio

What I do: 

I’m responsible for making sure that the STA stay connected and engaged with our members and stakeholders. As I am interested in all things digital, I have started to focus more on the online elements of the STA comms strategy.

I work part-time for the STA. The rest of my working week is spent coordinating Wild Scotland, the association representing adventure and nature tourism operators in Scotland.

Date joined:

February 2014

Likes:

Summer, the Office US, Glaswegian comedians, a good night-in: good food, phone on silent, film and a bottle of Innis &Gunn ‘rum cask’ in hand.

Dislikes:

Heights, the fact that Caramel Freddos & Chomps are no longer 10p and over packaged products.

Hobbies:

Attempting to ‘up-cycle’ old furniture/ pallets (this often leaves my flat looking like a construction site), cycling, exploring the outdoors and attempting to grow all types of fruit and veg on my small balcony (that I think is an allotment).

Favourite Scottish holiday

Hard choice…

My spontaneous weekend away in Fort William was excellent – jam-packed & easy to organise!

We took the West Highland Line from Glasgow to Fort William – which in my opinion is most scenic train route in Britain! Three and a bit hours later we got to our hotel, dumped the bags and had an active day; cycling, hillwalking and a quick visit to Nevis Range . We finished off our weekend on the shore of Loch Linnhe at the seafood restaurant, Crannog – I recommend tucking into their local seafood platter.