twitter LinkedIn youtube

The Executive Board

The STA Executive Board

The Board is Responsible for the governance of STA Ltd, setting the strategic direction of the organisation and representing the industry on key strategic issues. 

Stephen Leckie, Chief Executive, Crieff Hydro and Chairman of STA

Stephen Leckie, Chief Executive, Crieff Hydro and Chairman of STAStephen Leckie

Chief Executive, Crieff Hydro and Chairman of STA

 

Stephen Leckie (49) is Chief Executive of Crieff Hydro and the fifth generation of his family to run this hotel and estate since the doors opened on Scotland’s maiden hydropathic establishment in 1868: the company is now the oldest trading registered company in Scotland. Since taking the helm in 1994, Stephen has marshalled more than £40M of investment to transform the property into a true leisure resort which competes on the international stage.

Crieff Hydro is Scotland’s leading leisure resort, with over 200 4* hotel bedrooms, 56 self- catering units (of which a majority are 5*) and extensive conference and meeting facilities – all   set on a stunning 900 acre Perthshire estate. There are 5 food outlets and over 60 indoor and outdoor activities on site from high-ropes to horses; quads, segways, golf; as well as spa and beauty treatments.

Crieff Hydro also runs the Murraypark Hotel (Crieff). Last year we also welcomed Peebles Hydro to our family along with The Park (Peebles), The Yorkshire (Harrogate), The Ballachulish, The Isles of Glencoe and The Oban Caledonian putting a further 400 bedrooms under our family umbrella. Whilst the “new” hotels will take time and investment to redevelop, our team of nearly 1,000 are already bringing the renowned warmth and personality of Crieff Hydro hospitality to these locations.

Stephen is in his 3rd year as Chairman of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), the acknowledged Tourism Industry Leadership Group, which leads on industry matters and acts as the ear and the representative the voice of the industry to all.  He also chairs the Tourism Scotland 2020 (TS2020) strategy group that sits under the umbrella of the STA. The strategy group is comprised of business leaders from across the tourism industry both in the private and public sector. The core purpose is to determine, recommend, monitor and review specific actions that will both ensure sustainability of the sector and deliver the strategic growth ambition aspired to.  Added to this Stephen is an active member of the British Hospitality Association Scotland Committee and former Chairman.  Passionate about and committed to tourism in Scotland, in November 2013 he was presented with the VisitScotland Scottish Thistle Award for his outstanding contribution to this industry and during 2014 was presented with The Herald Scottish Family Business Award – Outstanding Contribution and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce / Scottish Business Honours – Entrepreneur of the Year.

A past President and Director of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the other offices he holds are Chairman of Crieff Community Council, Chairman of the Crieff Business Improvement District (BID) Steering Group, a Project Board member of the Perth & Kinross Digital Connectivity Board and the Rural Broadband Delivery Board and he is a Deputy Lieutenant for Perth and Kinross.

In addition Stephen is a Director and joint owner of Strathearn Engineering Ltd – Land Rover specialists based in Auchterarder.

Wife, Fiona, is a Director of Crieff Hydro and Head of Projects and Interiors, who, with the family of four, share Stephen’s varied interests.  Amongst these he numbers classic cars and Land Rovers, piping, skiing, trials biking and sailing.

Calum Ross, Proprietor, Loch Melfort Hotel & Chairman of BHA Scotland

Calum Ross

Proprietor, Loch Melfort Hotel & Chairman of BHA Scotland

 

Calum has been involved in the Hospitality industry for nearly 28 years and for the majority of that time he has been employed in food & beverage Calum Rosssupply. Starting as a salesman in Scotland, he went on to gain considerable international experience of the foodservice/hospitality industry, the last decade of which was at board level spanning roles from Divisional Director, Managing Director UK ( with European Customer Development and Marketing responsibilities) to Chief Operating Officer, Unilever Foodsolutions, Latin America. During this time Calum sat on the boards of Unilever UK, Foodsolutions Europe and latterly Foodsolutions Global.

In September 2008, with his wife Rachel, he fulfilled a long held ambition in returning to Scotland and to become an ‘owner operator’, purchasing the 25 Bedroom Loch Melfort Hotel and 2 AA Rosette Asknish Bay Restaurant, near Oban.

In April 2012 Calum was elected Chairman of Argyll and The Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership but subsequently resigned to become a director of Argyll & the Isles Tourism Co-operative Ltd, the delivery vehicle of the partnership. Calum is also Chairman, British Hospitality Association Scotland, a Director of BHA UK, a director of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Chairman of the Arduaine Garden Support Group and Vice-Chair of the Oban and Lorn Tourism Association. Within the STA Calum is currently helping to lead the development of the Destinations Action plan within the National Tourism Strategy, TS2020. Calum was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality in 2008.

Calum, Rachel, 6 year old Hugh and 17 month old Alex, live in the hotel and enjoy looking after their highland cows, lambs, ducks and hens who now occupy the hotel grounds. He also plays fiddle in the Chartroom Ceilidh Band a couple of times a month. In the summer, paddling in the sea with the boys, catching crabs at the beach and seafood BBQs take up any spare time!

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport

Gordon Dewar

Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport

 

Gordon Dewar took up the post of Chief Executive in July 2012. Under his stewardship, Edinburgh Airport has consolidated itself as one of Europe’s leading airports with being named third Best European Airport of its size by the ACI for an unprecedented third time. Rebranding the airport as the place where ‘Scotland meets the world’, Gordon has overseen airlines including Delta, Qatar, Etihad, Air Canada and Turkish Airlines commence services at Edinburgh, driving passenger numbers over 11m for 2015 bringing ever larger numbers of International visitors to Scotland.

Gordon spent 4 years with BAA running Glasgow and Edinburgh airports through periods of extensive investments in terminal capacity and passenger growth from 2007 to 2010.  He then spent 2 years as Chief Executive at Bahrain International Airport overhauling the facilities and operations there

He has held a number of senior positions with leading transport operators, including commercial, general management and business development roles.  Prior to this he spent 10 years in Transport Consultancy.


James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink

James Withers

Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink

LinkedIn

 

Prior to joining the organisation, James was Chief Executive of the National Farmers Union Scotland and spent 12 years there working for the

His career at NFUS began as parliamentary adviser in 1999, after completing a degree at Aberdeen University. After heading up NFUS’snation’s farming industry, and representing the view of the agricultural industry and wider rural Scotland to Government and other key decision-makers.

James is a member of the Scotland 2020 Climate Group, advising Government on the achievement of its emission reduction targets. He also sits on the Homecoming Strategic Steering Group and working groups for the Ryder Cup & Commonwealth Games. He was a member of the Scottish Government Leadership Forum from 2008-2011, developing the National Food & Drink Policy, and James currently chairing a review of the Scottish dairy sector on behalf of Ministers, which is due to report in Spring 2013. strategy and communications function for five years, he became Deputy Chief Executive in 2005 and then Chief Executive in 2008. After three years at the helm of NFUS, he moved to Scotland Food & Drink in September 2011, after three years on the organisation’s Executive Group.

 

Marina Huggett, Director of Tourism Excellence Consultancy

Marina Huggett

Director of Tourism Excellence Consultancy

 

Marina has successfully run her own tourism development business since 1996. As a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality she is an experienced

Hospitality Assured business coach and a passionate champion of this International Service and Business Excellence standard. She has a track record of developing innovative learning and people development programs and learning journey’s over the past 10 years. She is an accomplished trainer and facilitator and is passionate about leadership development, customer service and enabling people to grow and develop their potential.

Current Positions:

  • Director of Tourism Excellence Consultancy set up to promote service and business continuous improvement processes within the Scottish tourism sector
  • Director of Feedback Scotland Ltd. – an industry led visitor feedback initiative designed to enable businesses/DMO’s/areas to develop visitor experience improvement ideas and enable sector and area comparative analysis
  • Director of Inverness Chamber of Commerce
  • Director and Vice-Chair of Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards

Marina is also founding Director of the tourism industry led group ‘Right Direction’ whose vision is ‘For Scotland to be Renowned for Delivering an Outstanding Visitor Experience.’

During her early career in Hospitality Management she held senior management positions at Aberdeen University and London University. She was also Senior Hospitality Operations Manager at National Westminster Bank Tower London for four years when it first opened. This combined experience enables and provides her with a versatile array of skills and expertise.

 

Martin Bennett, Senior Associate, Clyde & Co (Scotland) LLP

Martin Bennett,

Senior Associate, Clyde & Co (Scotland) LLP

 

Martin is a Senior Associate in the Scottish Real Estate team at Clyde & Co.  He specialises in the retail and the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors, giving advice to national and local clients on both commercial property and licensing matters. He is the appointed Scottish solicitor for the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, and is also actively involved with the industry charity, HIT Scotland, currently sitting as a member of their Committee tasked with organizing their flagship Emerging Talent Conference each year.

When not hard at work, Martin enjoys spending time with his family and coaches Minis rugby at Linlithgow Rugby Club.

 

Rebecca Brooks, Managing Director, Abbey Tours Scotland

Rebecca Brooks

Managing Director, Abbey Tours Scotland

 

Rebecca Brooks is a Modern History graduate of St Andrews University and has worked in the tourism sector for 16 years.

Formerly a Director of JAC Travel and now Managing Director of Abbey Tours Scotland, Rebecca has worked in inbound tourism to Scotland since 1997 and joined Abbey Tours in 2010. Abbey Tours Scotland has an anticipated turnover of £8 million in 2013 and employs 16 permanent multilingual staff. The company was set up in late 2008 and offers the full range of services in Scotland for leisure groups, FIT/online and corporate travel. The Company works exclusively with the Travel Trade. Abbey Tours Scotland is owned and managed by the same group of people who originally set up Abbey Tours Limited; the largest privately owned incoming Tour Operator in Ireland which was founded in 1978. Marketing Scotland abroad, on a business to business basis and providing a full range of holiday services in Scotland for visiting tourists.

As well as being a Director of Abbey Tours Scotland, Rebecca is also actively involved in the industry in Scotland and is a member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance Board and was also Chair of the SDMA – Scottish Destination management Association from 2009-2013.

Alison McRae, Senior Director, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Alison McRae

Senior Director, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

 

Alison joined the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce in August 2012 as Projects Director where she is responsible for strategic partnerships and overseeing projects activity which have a direct influence on the future prosperity of Glasgow. Areas of responsibility include employability & Developing Young Workforce Glasgow, circle economy, city centre and digital

Prior to returning to Glasgow, she had been Director of Destination Liverpool  since 2009; responsible for positioning Liverpool as a great place to visit, study, live, work and invest. She worked at the highest level with Liverpool’s key organisations and businesses and her directorate included the city’s tourism development, tourist information centre network and cruise terminal teams.

Previously, Alison had widespread experience working on projects such as GlobalScot network, International Destination Management, Austrian Tourism Investment Bank and Scottish Art Exhibition and Harris Tweed Fashion Shows in Brussels whilst running her own project management consultancy Blue Toucan.  She was also Project Director for Homecoming Scotland 2009 under the Chairmanship of Allan Burns (formerly Diageo Scotland) where she designed the vision and strategy and led the development phase of this national project.

Alison has broadcast experience with BBC Radio Scotland, having researched and presented a series on ‘Wealth Creators’ as well being co-host of MacAulay and Co with Fred MacAulay for a time. She was the first woman to read Architecture at Trinity College, Cambridge University and has undertaken numerous personal development programmes including at Harvard Business School and the Disney Institute.

Alison has a passion for art and design, travelled widely and a wide range of personal interests including yoga and music.

David Lonsdale , Director, Scottish Retail Consortium

David Lonsdale

Director, Scottish Retail Consortium

 

David Lonsdale is the Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, and Head of Devolved Government Affairs for the British Retail Consortium (covering Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales). He joined the organisation in January 2014. Prior to this he was Assistant Director at CBI Scotland for 8 years, and previously worked at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, rising from Policy Officer to become Head of Policy & Public Affairs. He previously worked in Aberdeen for a leading firm of commercial insurance brokers.

David’s responsibilities at the SRC involve representing and promoting the interests of the retail industry and member companies to government, policy makers and opinion formers on a wide range of public policy issues.

He is a board trustee of Workplace Chaplaincy Scotland, and served as a member of the Church of Scotland’s 2011/12 Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity and as Chair of the Homes for Scotland 2011 Quality Awards.

 

Henk Berits, Business Development Director at Triage

Henk Berits

Business Development Director at Triage

Henk Berits  

His early career began after graduation from the Free University of Amsterdam and post-graduate studies in Business Management and Marketing. Following consultancy in the European packaging industry, Henk worked at a senior level in sales, marketing and business development in a number of blue chip companies, including DHL, Worldwide Express and Hewden Stewart PLC. The past 9.5 years Henk was the Marketing and Commercial Director for the National Trust for Scotland, under his leadership he strengthened the Brand and its membership substantially. Henk was also involved in a number of start-up ventures and is well-known in the Scottish business community for his experience in developing commercial teams and taking forward change management. Henk is also a member of the Board/Director of Destination Stirling and District Stirling Tourism (The Wallace Monument) Ltd. Henk lives in Gargunnock with his wife a 2 children. 

Comments are closed.

 

Click below to view the latest minutes from the STA Board meetings:

21st September 2016

2nd June 2016

24th February 2016

20 January 2016

03 December 2015 – (discussion of TS2020 Mid-Term Review – No Minute taken)

15 September 2015 

15 June 2015 (Dinner format – no Minute taken)