Our board

Our Board have a broad range of knowledge and experience and, alongside the Chair Professor Russel Griggs OBE, will drive forward the vision of SOSE to establish the South of Scotland as a centre of opportunity, innovation and growth.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair

Professor Russel Griggs OBE started his business life in marketing in the pharmaceutical industry and then moved to the consumer flooring industry before becoming CEO of an industrial textile company in England in the 1980s. In 1990 he joined Scottish Enterprise in a business development role and became an Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise where he ran the investment banking and business development arms, as well as spending some years in the USA looking at outward investment for Scottish companies.

Since then he has had a number of non-executive positions in the private, public and third sector, as well as undertaking a variety of strategic work for public bodies and private companies. He was Chair of the CBI’s UK SME Council during the financial crisis and of various other government committees. He was also a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of VisitScotland, a Board member of Scottish Enterprise, a Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Government, and a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.  In 2011 he was appointed jointly by the banks, industry, and UK Government as the Independent External Reviewer to the task force for clearing banks in the UK to create and ‘audit’ their new appeals process for businesses appealing against credit being declined. He has also done a number of other reviews for HMT and the financial sector in the uk.

He is currently Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise the newly created Economic Development Agency for the south of Scotland, and led the team that created it prior to that. He also chairs the Scottish Government’s independent Regulatory Review Group who advise and work on better regulation in Scotland, as well as being Chair of Scottish Mines Restoration Trust which is restoring derelict opencast sites in Scotland, and is a Board member of Lenlyn Holdings Ltd which is a large business in the financial sector.

He is honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow, and was an associate Professor at Boston University, and a member of the board of the Business School at Georgia Southern University. He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2008 for services to Scottish industry.

Photo de Russel Griggs

Jane Morrison-Ross, CEO

Jane Morrison-Ross, previously CEO of ScotlandIS, joined SOSE in February 2021. 

At ScotlandIS, the industry body and cluster management organisation for the digital and technology industries in Scotland, Jane has supported the technology industry in Scotland in all its specialisms from Space and Climate tech, AI, robotics, Agri-tech, healthtech and more. 

In 2020, Jane has been working on Connecting Scotland (the Scottish Government led digital inclusion programme) and the Digital Nation Challenge in partnership with the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate. 

Prior to this, Jane was CEO of Taigh Chearsabhagh in North Uist focusing on a five-year strategy for local economic regeneration, including jobs, housing and wellbeing in rural communities - creating collaborative partnerships, advising on the Island’s Bill and Island’s Deal and launching a capital build programme.

Alistair Cameron

Alistair has built his career in the Life and Chemical sciences sector, growing a 2 person, home based business to becoming a major local employer, exporting to 32 countries Worldwide. Alistair strongly believes that investment in innovation, advanced manufacturing technologies and people development can lead to sustainable economic growth in the region.

Alistair was previously the skills lead for Life & Chemical Sciences Scotland, helping to design new university and apprenticeship programs, and also served on the advisory board of Interface, helping to develop increased collaboration between Scottish Universities and SMEs.

Professor Sara Carter, OBE, FRSE

Professor Sara Carter, OBE, FRSE, is Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. A Professor of Entrepreneurship, Sara’s academic work examines the effects of business ownership on households and the consequences of structural inequalities in resource access, particularly finance, on the SME sector. Her research encompasses the agriculture, rural and food sectors; the experiences of women as business owners; and the economic well-being of entrepreneurial households.

Sara has served extensively on national and international boards. She is a member of the Council of Economic Advisers to the First Minister of Scotland; the Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board; the Women in Enterprise Action Group; and is Non-Executive Director of Women's Enterprise Scotland. In 2008 she was awarded an OBE for services to women entrepreneurs.

Formerly, she chaired the British Bankers’ Association Diversity and Inclusions Business Council, served on the Scottish Government Strategic Group on Women and Work, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Research Committee and the Chartered Association of Business Schools Delivering Value Taskforce. She holds international appointments on the Flemish Research Council (FWO) Social Sciences and Humanities Expert Panel, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, International Scientific Advisory Board.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Glasgow, Sara was Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Associate Principal at the University of Strathclyde. She served on the Leverhulme Trust Research Awards Advisory Committee, as Senior Editor of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and as a member of the UK Government's Women's Enterprise Taskforce.

Viv Cockburn

Viv is a qualified chartered accountant who is currently Vice-Chair of Berwickshire Housing Association

She is also Public Interest Director for High Wood Health (Project Co) Ltd, the company responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

Viv was formerly a Trustee of Museums Galleries Scotland and director with Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), who are responsible for infrastructure investment across Scotland.

Her roles at SFT included Director of Corporate Services and Low Carbon, and Director of Management and Investments.

She is currently self-employed undertaking a number of Board roles and advisory work.

Helen Forsyth

Helen Forsyth has been the Chief Executive of Berwickshire Housing Association for over 12 years during which time Helen has inspired staff to become number 9 in the Sunday Times Best Companies not for profit section and provided the innovation in order to solve the problem of how to keep building new homes, at a time when funding was in decline with the ground breaking “Fisherman Three” Community Windfarm, near Cockburnspath.

Helen joined Berwickshire Housing Association from Places for People in 2007 in which her role was Regeneration Director and previously to this role Helen was the Chief Executive at Edinvar Housing Association.

Helen’s background has involved working in the public sector, health and social care and not for profit organisations. Helen is the Chair of Resilient Scotland and was appointed to represent the third sector for the new South of Scotland Economic Partnership which will devised a fresh approach to the economic development of Scotland.

Emma Guy

A former international mountain bike athlete, Emma set up The Hub in the Forest, based at Glentress near Peebles.

The Hub engaged the local community in cycling through kids classes, women’s skills training, and social events to break down barriers to the activity.

Emma was then appointed Project Coordinator for the Tweed Valley Tourism Improvement District, creating a five year plan for adventure tourism in the area.

She is currently Destination and Legacy Manager for the Enduro Sports Organisation based at Innerleithen, as well as working with Scotland’s Community Tourism Network.

Kirsten Hannay

Kirsten is the Managing Partner of Kirkdale Estate on the Solway Firth.

Her varied role includes responsibilities for farming, forestry, rural diversification, native woodland creation and long-term property management.

In addition, she set up and runs a holiday let business and has created a holiday lodge park on the Estate.

Previously, Kirsten established and ran a property management firm in Edinburgh

She has over ten years’ experience in global publishing firms in London where she ran the global print marketing arm for The Economist Intelligence Unit, a division of The Economist Group.

Kirsten has a BA Hons degree in French with Accounting from Newcastle University.

Duncan McConchie

Duncan McConchie, from Laggan, near Gatehouse of Fleet worked in the television and media industry in Yorkshire & London for 10 years, before moving back to his family farm in 2007 where he started Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre.

Duncan & his wife Vicki have transformed the business over the last 5 years with the creation of on-site accommodation, GG’s Yard wedding & conference venue and soon to launch, Gather, their hillside kitchen/bistro. Their aim is to create new opportunities and grow the business to sustain future generations on the land.

Duncan is passionate about creating a thriving rural economy and getting the South of Scotland the representation and share of the pie that it deserves.

Lindsay McDowall

Lindsay McDowall has worked across the private and public sectors both in the UK and overseas before moving into the third sector where she has been a senior manager for the past seven years. Currently Lindsay is Head of Services for Visibility Scotland, a charity, where she manages projects and services across Dumfries and Galloway, Borders, and throughout the West of Scotland. Locally, Lindsay has led and developed an award-winning community project in Dumfries and Galloway for Visibility Scotland and has a strong interest in building community resilience as well as improving opportunities for young people across the South of Scotland. Lindsay has spent time overseas working and living across South East Asia and on her return has called Dumfries and Galloway home and has brought her family up in the area.

Jeremy Sainsbury OBE, FRICS

Jeremy has over 30 years’ experience in the renewable energy sector.  He has been instrumental in the growth of international renewable energy consultancy Natural Power - the company employed just seven people when he joined as a Director, and now has 420 staff across 14 offices in 4 countries; and is still growing at 10% per annum. He is responsible for policy and regulation issues.  Natural Power work in wind, PV, hydro, biomass and renewable heat.

They permit sites, carry out SI works, design sites, manage construction, carry out asset management and operations. Their Galloway based control center is the largest in the UK with the exception of National Grid. Jeremy is based at the international headquarters of Natural Power, Forrest Estate in the heart of rural Dumfries and Galloway.

A serving Director of Energy UK, chairing their Renewable Energy Committee and a member of the Generation Committee; he works closely with The Scottish Government on policy for the renewable sector. He regularly works with Scottish Ministers on industry working groups. Jeremy was a founder member of Scottish Renewables, serving as chairman, vice chairman and chair of the grid group. He served on the SR board from 2000-2019. In 2013 he was awarded an OBE for services to renewable energy and to the community of Dumfries and Galloway. Board member of SOSE specialising in Energy.

Paul Winstanley

Currently, Paul is the CEO of CENSIS, one of Scotland’s innovation centres focussed on sensing, imaging and the Internet of Things (IoT).

In this role, Paul has been pivotal in the development and implementation of digital solutions across the public and private sectors in Scotland.

Paul’s early career was with UK Government, then with QinetiQ where he held a number of leadership roles including CEO of QinetiQ Inc.

Subsequently, he has founded and ran a small technology business.

Paul’s passions are the development and delivery of innovative game-changing solutions and supporting the development of high performing teams.

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