Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council

Councillor Joe Cullinane was elected as a Labour representative for Kilwinning at the May 2012 and May 2017 local government elections. He was appointed Leader of North Ayrshire Council on 30 August 2016 and on 17 May 2017 following a change in Administration.   In September 2019, it was announced that Councillor Cullinane would join the Scottish Labour Party Shadow Cabinet, leading on Campaigns and Party Engagement.

Following a Cabinet reshuffle in June 2020, it was agreed that Councillor Cullinane’s portfolio would be for matters relating to Community Wealth Building, as well as areas such as the budget and the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

Since becoming Leader, he has been appointed Chair of the North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership, Staffing & Recruitment Committee, Ayrshire Regional Economic Partnership Board and the Ayrshire Shared Services Committee.  As Council Leader he attends COSLA Leaders and COSLA Convention. He is a member of the Ayrshire Regional Economic Joint Committee and a non-Executive Board Member of NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Born and raised in North Ayrshire, he studied politics and history at University, and graduated with a 2:1 degree in 2008.

Married with two daughters, Councillor Cullinane’s interests include sports, mainly football and music.

Josiah Lockhart, CEO, Firstport

As the Chief Executive of Firstport for Social Entrepreneurs Group, Josiah works with a team to support 1100+ enterprise ideas each year through a pair of business development agencies for early stage purpose led companies and social enterprises and a start-up investment fund along with a portfolio of incubators and accelerators for both community based and growth oriented companies. The group’s goal is to help companies of all sizes, across the third, private, and public sectors, understand the balance between managing positive social and environmental impact and maintaining profitability and appropriate growth. Most recently, the group has been co-delivering the Scottish Government’s Third Sector Resilience Fund; an emergency fund to help third sector organisations most at risk of closing due to Coronavirus.

Dr. Katherine Trebeck, Advocacy and Influencing Lead, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

Dr. Katherine Trebeck is Advocacy and Influencing Lead at the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and co-founder of WEAll Scotland. She is a political economist with over eight years’ experience with Oxfam GB (including developing the Humankind Index). She sits on a range of advisory boards, holds several academic affiliations and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute. Katherine is a member of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Renewal Advisory Group and Zero Waste Scotland’s Demystifying Decoupling Advisory Group. Katherine instigated the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership and her book The Economics of Arrival (with Jeremy Williams: Policy Press) was published in 2019.

Dr. Martin Valenti, Head of Climate Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise

Dr. Martin Valenti is an award-winning climate change and sustainability practitioner. He has extensive experience in strategic transformation and business innovation with over 30 years working in a variety of senior leadership roles in the public and private sector. He has identified and delivered sustainability focused transformations and directed significant collaborative projects. He has a track record of bringing together “Team Scotland” type groups to help solve some of Scotland’s most challenging issues. He is presently on secondment to Scottish Enterprise from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to help turn the climate emergency into our climate opportunity for solutions.