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Staff & Board

Martin Avila, Group CEO

Martin Avila standing outside on warm, sunny day wearing sunglasses

Martin is a champion of social enterprise and passionate about their ability to help strengthen our communities and help tackle inequality. An inspiring and motivational leader, Martin enjoys developing people, projects and new ideas.

He was previously the Director at the Kinning Park Complex (KPC), a multi-use community venue in Glasgow with a track of innovative partnership working and for supporting others to develop new programmes of activity. Under his leadership the KPC conducted a flagship buyout of their centre, delivered a multi-million-pound renovation project and launched one of Scotland’s first Local Place Plans.

Martin won a scholarship to Strathclyde Business School’s MBA programme through their Visionary Leadership Scholarship and has previously been part of leadership cohorts through the British Council and the Social Enterprise Academy. He is a Board Member of Community Land Scotland and SURF and was previously Treasurer of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations.

Fiona McClune, PA to CEO; Company Secretary

Fiona McCluneFiona trained at Glasgow College of Technology as a PA and has 29 years’ PA experience, having worked across a range of industries. She has been Company Secretary of the CEIS group since 2015 and is responsible for ensuring compliance with Companies House and OSCR returns, as well as assisting the group’s Boards with governance best practice. Fiona has worked for the CEIS group since 2012.

Board members

Maureen Porch, Chair

Head shot of person wearing a red jacket and white top smiling directly at the cameraMaureen has been Chair of CEIS since May 2014, having joined the Board in August 2012.

She left the post of Head of Regeneration at North Lanarkshire Council in June 2011 after almost 20 years in Lanarkshire in a variety of roles. Her responsibilities at NLC included town centre regeneration, property development, European and Lottery funding, business support development and community planning. She also led a number of high-profile initiatives addressing social and economic exclusion in the area.

In the late nineties she led the design and implementation of policy and development structures to support the growth of the social economy in Lanarkshire. She has also represented Local Authorities on national fora developing employability initiatives in Scotland. Prior to joining local government, she worked in publishing in both the private and third sectors.

Maureen was heavily involved in developing social enterprises and delivering effective employability services early in her career. As areas that most interested her it seemed a really good fit when she joined the Board of CEIS.

She knew CEIS and some of its staff, had worked with them and was very impressed with what they had achieved over the years. She subsequently accepted the role of Chair as she was looking for something challenging in a voluntary capacity and has been well challenged in this role to date. Maureen is pleased with how CEIS has developed and the distance travelled and is excited about how it will continue to play a leading role in developing the sector in the future.

Lynn McCulloch, Vice-chair

Head shot of person wearing glasses and black and white top looking directly into the cameraLynn is a social housing professional working as an independent consultant. She was Head of Inspection for council housing and housing association services in Scotland and a Director in the Wheatley Group. More recently Lynn has provided Interim Chief Executive services to recovering housing associations in Scotland including their social enterprise subsidiaries.

Lynn joined the CEIS Board after attending a Social Enterprise World Forum event and wanting to help CEIS in its work to support social enterprises at home and abroad.

Lynn likes how CEIS partnerships with others committed to social enterprise enable us all to increase our impact Scotland-wide.

What she has gained most from her experience on the Board is knowledge of social enterprises beyond her own sector (housing associations) a wider network and friendships!

Iain McCall, Treasurer

An inspirational, charismatic and highly motivated Network Director within the financial services industry.

Attributes include: strong leadership and motivational ability; high level commercial awareness; strategic development skills; commitment to delivery of results through strong business development and planning skills; ability to manage through change; exceptional analytical ability; persuasive influencing skills; a powerful achievement drive and; constantly seeking new challenges.

Maintains drive, enthusiasm and high energy level.

Experiences have come from working within Lloyds TSB Group and the voluntary sector, holding public and private directorships and, through extensive external networking.

Specialties: Directorships:

• Community Enterprise In Scotland; Treasurer and Board Director
• Caledonian University, Centre for Ethics in Public Policy & Corporate Governance; Advisory Board Director

Linda Andrews, Director

Linda is Group Finance Director for BiP Solutions.

She joined the business in 2011 as Finance Director, bringing with her a proven track record of managing finance functions in the UK and overseas, including with NCR Corporation and the AIM -listed Maxima. She moved to the role of Chief Financial Officer in May 2012 and in May 2016 was appointed to the position of Group Finance Director, with responsibility for the Group Portfolio.

Linda’s remit includes developing strategies for future growth, including acquisitions.

Paul Bott, Director

Paul has been the Chief Executive of  St John of God Hospitaller Services (SJOG) since 2018. He started his career as a support worker, going on to hold senior roles in local and national charities, including Scope, Seeability, Vista and Catch22, where he led on delivering evidence-based programmes across the four nations of the UK.

Paul was the recipient of the Markel 3rd Sector Leadership Award for 2020.

Apart from a brief period working for a Plc Paul’s spent his working life in charities and social businesses.

In each he’s worked to target a real need and created services with the people they are there to serve.

SJOG in the UK is compact with 600 staff, but are part of a worldwide organisation with 60,000 colleagues working in 53 countries and reaching 1 million people a week.

Paul has spent 25 years working for charities but initially trained as a primary school teacher and still believes in the importance of learning, both for colleagues and for the people that they are here to support.

Lisa Branter, Director

Person wearing green jumper with dark shulder length hair, smiling directly at camera.Lisa is a finance professional with over 30 years’ experience of leading change and developing teams to achieve growth ambitions and attain sustainable improvements across Private, Public and Third Sectors.

One of her key strengths is adaptability. She relishes the challenge of being drafted into any operational/finance environment in any industry/sector; and providing a fresh perspective on the challenges being faced. This enables her to develop tailored solutions that achieve business objectives such as optimising performance and driving improvements/efficiencies.

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa likes to get outdoors as much as she can. Spending time with family and friends is important to her. Lisa also appreciates being able to spend time on activities such as yoga, hill walking, running and travelling.

 

Many philosophies believe that the science of giving back is good for the mind. Lisa wanted to do voluntary work for some time and being a Board Member for CEIS enables her to put her skills, life lessons and career experiences to good use. She finds it rewarding to be able to support CEIS and to be able to make a contribution.

Lisa started her career in the public sector as it fulfilled her desire to give back to society, which is why she is also a Finance Director for a conservation charity.

Lisa enjoys being a member of the CEIS Board, as there is a great team of people working for CEIS, both in terms of staff and operating as part of the Board. She’s also a supporter of the vision and objectives of CEIS, which is especially important to be aligned to, when giving up your time to volunteer. Being on the CEIS Board has enabled her to widen her support network, which has been of benefit to her in her own career.

Rose Cawood-Campbell, Director

Side shot of person wearing a white jacket and black top talking into a microphoneRose is Social Innovation Manager in the Research and Innovation Office at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

She is responsible for promoting Social Innovation throughout GCU. She does this by engaging with and showcasing internal Social Innovation activities, projects and research; showcasing the work of social enterprises; and brokering relationships with local & international stakeholders within GCU.

Rose regularly runs training workshops on social innovation, design thinking, enterprise, and entrepreneurship. She is involved in the management of a portfolio of international social innovation projects; as well as building a social innovation knowledge exchange strategy and ecosystem within and extending beyond the University. She is coordinating the development of Social Innovation Connect, an EU endorsed centre to support the growth of Social Innovation in Scotland and across the UK.

Rose joined the Board as she thought it would be interesting to bring her university/research perspective, as well as her focus on social innovation. Universities often sit removed from industry, and definitely can be removed from their communities, joining CEIS Board is another way that universities can add value to their communities and bridge the gap between theory and research, and real-world activities.

One of the things Rose likes most about CEIS Group is the vast array of support and expertise it offers. Many organisations support enterprise in a directed way, but CEIS having multiple strands offers a comprehensive array of support to help make Scotland a fairer place to work and where enterprise can thrive.

Marian Gardiner, Director

Marian has over 20 years senior experience in business and enterprise development, as well as a highly developed knowledge of economic development.

Responsible for establishing one of the first business incubators in Scotland, taking it forward to the current model supporting the Innovation and Incubation services currently delivered under Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL) and ICS.

LESL delivers business support services on behalf of public and private partners including Scottish Enterprise, Local Authorities, Just Enterprise, Technology Strategy Board and MEPC. These include Business Gateway Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, ALBA Innovation Centre and Incubation Service, Hillington Park Innovation Centre, dallas (Delivering Assisted Living At Scale), Framework Contracts include ICT Expert, CDS Specialist advice, Innovation Expert and Offshore Wind Expert.

Marian has an excellent record on contract and project delivery across a range of sectors, stakeholders and regions throughout Scotland and the UK.

Leadership and management experience with skills in leading an organisation with over 50 staff to deliver key contracts and services throughout the UK for a range of organisations and groups.

She is a driven, motivated high achiever who is committed to delivering the best service for both clients and staff.

She is passionate about economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation. She delivers high quality work at all levels of business and always look to set excellent standards of business practice in all that she does.

Oonagh Gill, Director

No additional information available.


Darah Zahran, Director

Darah is Social Economy Manager at Scottish Enterprise. She is a strategy and policy professional with extensive senior experience across the public, third and private sectors. Expertise in strategy and policy development, creative partnerships, social and economic development, employability and stakeholder management .

Experience of delivering change management in a complex environment. Expert networker. Passionate ambassador of mission-led business models.

Specialties: Strategy and policy development, stakeholder engagement, partnership and relationship management, change management, public and third sector, skills and education, programme design and development.

Corporate Services

Fiona Sharkey, interim Finance and Corporate Services Manager

No additional information available.


Terri Colman, Financial Administrator

Terri joined CEIS Corporate Service department in April 2006.  She has many years’ experience in finance and accountancy both within the third sector and also the private sector.  Terri provides financial and administrative services to the entire CEIS group of companies ensuring accurate, efficient and effective financial operations.  Her responsibilities include dealing with VAT, HMRC and direct communication with bankers.  She adheres to the guidelines, timescales and deadlines required by these organisations.

Outside of work Terri likes to visit family and socialise with friends.  She also enjoys travelling, visiting new places and reading.

Patricia Sweeney, Bookkeeper

Pat joined CEIS in May 2011 as a Bookkeeper/Payroll Administrator and brings over 35 years’ experience working in both the private & public sector processing payroll and maintaining accurate reporting & accounts.

Pat’s main responsibilities are the processing of the monthly/weekly payrolls for all 5 companies and maintaining accurate records and accounts for HMRC as well as liaising with other external bodies.

Pat’s secondary bookkeeper role covers a wide variety of duties including Bank reconciliation, purchase ledger, sales ledger, credit control and many other ad hoc duties, as well as assisting the Finance Manager with timeously prepared reports and working as part of a team to ensure the smooth running of CEIS and the other associated companies.

Pat’s main hobbies and ways of relaxing are to walk, take part in keep fit classes and socialising with friends and family.

Keith Melvin, IT Manager

IT Manager

Events & Marketing

Joanne Seagrave, Events & Marketing Manager

Joanne has over ten years event management experience in small and large scale events delivered locally, nationally and internationally for 10 – 1,200 delegates including study visits, workshops, executive dinners, gala dinners, conferences, trade shows and online events. She also has an extensive portfolio of inward visit programme management to the UK, including delegations from America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Joanne has been involved in end-to-end event management, locally and remotely, including venue management, speaker management, sponsor and exhibitor management, delegate registration and management, task scheduling and supply chain management including caterers, AV and instalment.

In 2018, Joanne delivered her largest project to date, managing the Social Enterprise World Forum 2018, a 10 day extravaganza welcoming 1,200+ delegates from 47 Countries. This  involved complete end-to-end event management of the two-and-a half-days main conference, fringe events including 3 2-day symposiums, a policy forum, a week-long youth stream, 7 UK-wide social enterprise study tours, 2 evening receptions, a Grand Ceilidh and a civic reception.

Joanne has a BA (hons) in European Business Management with Spanish and French.

In her spare time, she likes to read, go to the theatre, socialise with friends and family and keep fit, this has included running, going to the gym, swimming, outdoor bootcamp classes and ice-skating lessons up to silver award.

Mark Fraser, Digital Communications and Engagement Officer

Black and white photo of Mark FraserMark began his marketing career at Kibble in 2015 by spearheading their social enterprise podcast Social Enterprise Conversations. Since then, he has worked in the private sector on both B2C and B2B marketing campaigns in grocery and tech, before returning to the social enterprise sector with CEIS in January 2022.

Mark brings a wealth of internal and external communications knowledge to the business. He has extensive experience working on organic and paid social media campaigns across a range of platforms, as well as demonstrating skill across Google AdWords, SEO, copywriting, photography, videography, and digital design.

During his time in the private sector, he undertook various marketing roles, including helping a multinational technology brand to increase sales via a combination of live in-store events and social media marketing; project managing corporate rebrand projects; crafting thought leadership pieces; running internal communications platforms; devising marketing strategies and creating content of all kinds for every platform.

In his spare time Mark is a keen podcaster, writer, and musician. He is currently hard at work on his debut novel, and splits most of his remaining free time between writing music and running a weekly music podcast.

Enterprise & Communities

Roddy Stewart, Business Delivery - Interim Team Leader

Roddy joined CEIS in 2009 as a Business Adviser within the Enterprise & Communities Team. A qualified accountant, Roddy currently specialises in providing business planning and finance support to social enterprises in the recycling, regeneration and community transport sectors. In addition Roddy advises clients on how access public sector procurement opportunities and how to write effective tenders. He also supports public sector procurement agencies with the development of community benefit clauses.

Qualifications:

  • FCCA (Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants)
  • B.Acc. Glasgow University

James Finnie, New Business Development - Interim Team Leader

James joined CEIS in May 2005 and works as a Business Adviser. With over 22 years experience in business management and consultancy, James is a very experienced adviser capable of offering advice and support across the range of business competencies, including business and strategic planning; new product development; marketing; and finance. He specialises in delivering intervention work on behalf of some of Scotland’s main public sector agencies including the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council.

Prior to working with CEIS, James worked for Motorola Semiconductors for 12 years, holding seven different positions increasing in responsibility up to European Management level.

Qualifications:

  • BA (Dist) Business Economics with Marketing

Emma Stratton, Administrator

Emma joined CEIS in 2008 as the Administrator for the Enterprise & Communities Team. She is responsible for providing general administrative and programme management support for the team and assisting the Operations Manager in ensuring the smooth day to day running of the department. Previously employed within the private sector, Emma has several years experience working in a variety of administrative and project management roles.

Alison MacLeod, Market Research Officer

Alison Macleod joined CEIS in October 2016 and works as a Market Research Officer within the Enterprise & Communities Team.

Her role at CEIS involves undertaking market research for a range of different clients to gain an understanding of different market sectors to inform market assessments, feasibility studies and business planning/strategy documents. She has also supported the design of, and conducted feedback surveys, to measure programme outcomes.

Previous to working at CEIS, Alison undertook an internship as a research analyst at a social housing association during her penultimate year at university.

Qualifications/Memberships:

  • BA (Hons) Economics & Psychology (First Class Honours) from The University of Strathclyde

Skills:

  • Primary research
  • Secondary research
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative methods

Professional Experience:

  • Designed and produced a comprehensive tenant satisfaction survey to establish the satisfaction level of tenants
  • Engaged with the public to gather primary research through one to one interviews and telephone interviews
  • Carried out extensive secondary research for clients to inform decision making

Enterprise & Communities Business Advisers

Hannah Dent

Hannah joined CEIS in February 2021 as a Business Advisor, providing support and advice for social enterprises to achieve sustainable growth and be more able to deliver on their social impact.  This includes work on business planning, marketing and communication strategy and income growth.

She has specific expertise in digital and ecommerce, having had several leadership positions in the private sector in these areas and also recently completed a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing.  In addition, she has had experience in working with boards to develop commercial strategies which includes product launch and development, revenue growth, pricing strategy and margin management.

Nina Graham

Nina joined CEIS in July 2018 and works as a Business Adviser in the Enterprise & Communities Team. She advises and supports a wide range of new and established social enterprises and third sector organisations throughout Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway.

Nina’s role naturally progressed from her experience as a development manager and independent consultant in urban and rural communities, from Glasgow to the Highlands & Islands.  She has first-hand knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges encountered by voluntary, charitable and social enterprises, in different communities and geographical settings.

Before this, Nina was a manager for an architectural practice that specialised in the design of social housing and community buildings and worked closely with RSLs and construction industry professionals.  She retains an active interest in the built environment and how design can enhance lifestyles, future proof buildings and contribute positively to the economy and wellbeing of communities.

Nina enjoys using her skills and experience to support CEIS clients in the following areas:

  • Business planning
  • Community and stakeholder engagement and consultation
  • Board development
  • Market research, review and analysis
  • Community asset transfers
  • Developing and repurposing heritage and listed buildings
  • Writing bids/tenders
  • Facilitating business planning workshops

Specialisms

  • Support to a large and established, Glasgow-based health organisation, with writing and submitting tender bids for new service development
  • Market research, analysis and reporting on behalf of national charitable organisations who are reviewing their service provision and delivery
  • Conducting community engagement and participation, and reporting, for large registered social landlords (RSLs) throughout Scotland.

Gary McNairn

Gary joined CEIS in January 2021 and works as a Business Adviser with our Enterprise & Communities Team. With over 12 years’ experience in business development and consultancy, Gary is a very experienced adviser capable of offering advice and support across the range of business competencies, including strategic planning, operational processes, new product / service development, branding, social media marketing, web development and digital automation.

Prior to working with CEIS, Gary worked with several exciting start up organisations supporting them with product development, marketing strategies & business planning to achieve national and international expansion.

Qualifications:

  • Advanced Diploma Visual Communications

Jennifer Murray

Jennifer joined CEIS in February 2020 as a Business Advisor, working with clients to support their specific business needs including business planning, marketing and communication strategies and income generation strategies. She is also heavily involved in our workshop series facilitating workshops on ‘Understanding your Customer’, ‘E-commerce’, and ‘Introduction to Social Enterprise’ and plays an active role in supporting marketing activities within CEIS.

Prior to joining CEIS, Jennifer held a full time PhD research position at Glasgow Caledonian University where she was working on research into digital marketing strategies, specifically how social media can be integrated more effectively within IMC strategies. Her research interests span digital marketing strategies, social media marketing, consumer behaviour and customer decision making. While at GCU she lectured on topics such as digital marketing, digital business strategies, international marketing strategy and fashion branding while also acting as an undergraduate dissertation supervisor. She has presented at a number of global academic conferences and has been published in proceedings.

Jennifer likes to bring her enthusiasm for these topics to her work at CEIS and uses her knowledge to help clients to get the best out of their individual businesses. Before entering academia, Jennifer gained practical management experience in the private sector holding multiple management roles with high street fashion retail brands.

Qualifications

PhD candidate – Digital marketing strategies
MSc. Business Management (Distinction)

Alex Rooney

Alex is one of our Business Advisers within the Enterprise & Communities Team and joined CEIS in 2000.  He currently specialises in providing support to clients within the childcare and credit union sectors. Alex is also involved in providing clients with support in all aspects of financial reporting. This includes book-keeping, financial projections and budget assistance as well as support in installing computerised accounting systems.

Previously, he worked in the electricity supply industry for 19 years with Scottish Power.  Most of this time was spent working within the Management Accounting Division, where he was involved in most aspects of financial reporting, producing both historical and forecast information.

Kevin Smith

Kevin joined CEIS in January 2005 and works as a Business Adviser. His specialisms include business planning, marketing, and learning and development for private, public and third sector organisations. Areas of interest within the social economy sector include health and social care, social firms and models of business replication. Previous to working with CEIS, Kevin had six years sales experience with NCR; 3 years as a business consultant with CCA; 3 years managing Glasgow Opportunities’ Management Development Programme; 2 years as Marketing and Production Manager with Design Corporation.

Qualifications:

  • BA (Hons) Marketing from University of Strathclyde
  • Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • Member of Chartered Institute of Marketing

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