By working in partnership with experts from the fields of architectural design and restoration, and by bringing together both philanthropic individuals and public sector organisations, our team is equipped with the knowledge and ambition to handle the transformation of this treasured site with care, respect and diligence – ultimately creating a space that every visitor can take joy from.
You can find out more about a Team member by clicking their image and reading their bio.
Norman Springford has been the Chair of our board since 2016 and is the former Executive Chairman of Apex Hotels.
After a career in finance as a practicing accountant, Norman has been in charge of running a number of businesses, public houses, bingo halls, and the Edinburgh Playhouse. He opened his first hotel, the Apex International Hotel, in Edinburgh in 1996. Since then, Apex Hotels has grown into a family-owned collection of ten hotels across Edinburgh, Dundee, Bath, Glasgow and London.
Sir Sandy had a long career with Standard Life, from which he retired as Group Chief Executive in 2009.
Sir Sandy’s current roles include chairing the Edinburgh-based businesses, Amiqus, LendingCrowd and Cameron Hume, as well as serving on the board of the Edinburgh Business School.
Among his previous external roles, he was Chairman of Edinburgh World City of Literature Trust, Chairman of Creative Scotland and Vice Chairman of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Sir Sandy was knighted for services to the insurance industry. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Andy has extensive experience in marketing, starting his career with United Biscuits before moving into the drinks sector. He had eleven years with United Distillers (now Diageo) and seven years with Scottish and Newcastle (now Heineken) holding Marketing Director positions with both organisations in the UK and also internationally for S&N. He took two years out of his more corporate life to work as Head of Community fundraising for Macmillan Cancer support as it was an important cause for him and his family.
Andy also has significant experience as a General Manager and business leader having been Managing Director of Clear Channel (Scotland), best known for their adshel bus shelters, and Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, the successful business improvement district in the City Centre.
He is now building a portfolio of non-executive directorship with Edinburgh trams and on our board and as part of our executive team.
John Campbell graduated from Edinburgh University in 1972, and worked as a lawyer in Edinburgh and in Hong Kong.
In 1981 he returned to Scotland and was called as an advocate to the Scottish Bar. He was admitted to the Bar of England & Wales in 1990, and took Silk in 1998.
He has considerable experience in Business Law, Planning and Environmental Law, particularly in Energy issues, and in Construction and Arbitration, and Data Protection. He works all over the UK for developers, Councils, NGOs, Community Groups, and individuals. He is a Member of the Faculty of Advocates, and a Tenant at Trinity Chambers, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Outside his legal work, he is the Chairman of Scotland’s largest Building Preservation Trust, and of a University Research Advisory Board. By qualification, he is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. He has been a member of our Board of Trustees since 2017 and lives in the Borders.
Liz McAreavey enjoyed an entrepreneurial career spanning 16 years, the highlight of which was Le Bistro Hospitality, the business she founded, growing it to become Scotland’s largest independent catering and hospitality company, which she led to a successful exit through a trade sale in 2001. This was followed by a period of business consultancy joining the management team at Loch Lomond Shores as Commercial Director in 2002. Liz was Outstanding Scottish Businesswoman of the Year in 1999.
In 2005 Liz joined Deloitte to lead their Brand and Business Development for Scotland. In 2007 she became a Director at Ernst & Young, heading up their Market Leadership Strategy as Business Development Leader UK&I. In 2010 Liz joined Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce as Director of Development and project managed the ‘Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference’ in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Following a number of roles at the Chamber including Director of Operations Liz has now stepped up to Chief Executive.
Michael Moir is a Development Consultant with Tenman Project Management, supporting the diversification and expansion of its Asian business. He has extensive experience in international public and private sector infrastructure and property development. He started his career as a project engineer in the Edinburgh office of Arup before moving to Hong Kong where he held senior positions in Swire Properties, PCCW and The Hong Kong Jockey Club. He returned to Edinburgh in April 2019.
In his most recent role, he led Hong Kong’s largest heritage project, the conservation and revitalisation of the Central Police Station, now operating as Tai Kwun. The project is a partnership between the Hong Kong SAR Government and the not-for-profit Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
Michael is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an Honorary Fellow of the University College of Estate Management. He is a member of the Project Board for the transformation of the King’s Theatre.
Roddy Smith is the Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh having been appointed in February 2014. During the past four years he has led to organisation through a successful renewal ballot as well as delivering major events, projects and initiatives to support over 600 members in the city centre.
After an initial undergraduate degree in Physical Education, Roddy taught PE in Aberdeen for three years. Returning to his home city of Edinburgh to undertake his Master’s degree, Roddy started his career at sportscotland, latterly to become the Head of the Governing Body team.
He was appointed as the Chief Executive of Cricket Scotland in 2004 and under his leadership the business grew significantly in size and profile, winning major European and world events as well as global development awards.
David has worked closely with RDT Chair Norman Springford since the project’s inception, initially to deliver the international design competition in 2017 and to manage the restoration of the stunning and publicly acclaimed Ross Fountain in 2018. David now leads the charity in the development and completion of the winning design.
‘The best part about my job is that this is such a wonderful, exciting project, that has the potential to benefit so many people. It’s an opportunity to make vast improvements to the public facilities and infrastructure to elevate this space to be recognised as a world leader in free to access, public, green spaces.’
Jules has worked in senior external affairs roles for over 20 years in private and public sectors and she is currently also Chair of the Articulate Cultural Trust. She started in her current role with RDT in August 2018, launching The Quaich Project international campaign in March 2019.
'My family is from Edinburgh, and I feel privileged to be able to support this hugely significant improvement of public space in this wonderful city. The best part of my job is meeting fantastic people – from my fab Development team, to the partners we work with and the individuals and organisations who are keen to support the project.’
Shona is a senior creative marketing professional with over 15 years’ experience in both the private and public sector. Shona’s strength is in brand development, working with online and offline strategies to engage with different audiences. She started in her current role with RDT in January 2019.
‘We have a huge responsibility to the people of Edinburgh to make this project a success and the favourite part of my job is developing interesting ways to communicate our message.’
Fauve has completed a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism and a master’s in international political communication. She is an alumnus at the Salzburg Global Academy on Media and Global Change and worked previously on several research projects and documentaries, including a BBC One West Documentary. She brings the same enthusiasm to the project at RDT.
‘My favourite part of my job is working on such a positive project that will hopefully bring so much joy to Edinburgh and the people that live and visit here.’
Gregg started his career in the oil and gas industry as a Drilling Fluids Engineer, later returning to university to undertake a Master’s in Business & Management. Since then, Gregg has accumulated over 15 years’ experience working as a fundraising manager for an environmental charity before taking on the same role for The Quaich Project in June 2019.
‘There will be challenges, but the outcome will be a much-improved space for everyone to enjoy, and it will be particularly gratifying to know that I played a part in turning this vision into reality.’
Minsu has over fifteen years of extensive management experience in the hospitality, event and music industry. He has worked for leading UK & Internarial brands, now bringing his expertise to RDT, leading The Quaich Project in events management.
‘My goal is to use this space to capture the imagination of the community and realise their needs within this space.’
Nikki is an experienced fundraising professional with a specific interest in corporate philanthropy. She has worked for in the charitable, arts and public sectors, working closely with a number of national and international businesses. She provides innovative partnership solutions for The Quaich Project’s corporate members and sponsors.
‘My favourite thing about my job is being part of a team that is so committed to this project – it is a hugely motivating and supporting feeling.’
Rebecca has nine years of experience within the arts and charity sector with a primary focus on supporter care and fundraising. Prior to working within the charity sector, she worked in a range of marketing roles and legal firms.
‘I joined this project because I’ve always loved West Princes Street Gardens and to be part of a project that will leave a legacy for future generations is very inspiring!’
Ruby has earned bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Film Studies and gone on to complete a master’s degree in Film Studies at The University of Edinburgh. She has worked in the fields of marketing, PR, academic research, and administration. She is excited to bring these skills to RDT as the Marketing Assistant.
‘The best part of my job, to me, is the opportunity to engage with the wider-Edinburgh community about what is important to them and what they would like to see happen in this space.’
Vicky has had a varied career working in a number of different industries. Her first job was for an international trade show organiser, then an advertising agency dealing with luxury goods, then recruitment and latterly worked as an Executive PA at RDT before moving into her role as Development Officer.
‘The best part of my job is ensuring our generous donors feel as enthused about the project as we at the Ross Development Trust are.’
Sir Andrew Cubie was a solicitor in private practice, specialising in Corporate Law and was for many years the Senior Partner or Chairman at one of Scotland’s established law firms. He is now largely retired, although is the Chair of the Joint Negotiating Committee of USS the largest private pension scheme in the UK and remains very active in the charitable sector. In earlier years he held a significant number of non-executive Directorships in public and private companies ranging from investment trusts to manufacturing.
Engaged in education issues throughout his career, Andrew has been Chair of Governors for George Watson’s College, Chair of the Court of Napier University and the Chair of the Committee of University Chairs, representing all chairs of UK university governing bodies. Previously, he was Convenor of the Independent Committee of Inquiry into Student Finance in Scotland which brought about the abolition of tuition fees in Scotland 20 years ago.
Bill is an experienced entrepreneur and director specialising in internet, telecoms and technology businesses. Bill has been a director of Demon Internet, Prestel, Teledata, Scottish Telecom (Thus), AboveNet Inc. and several other companies. Bill has been the co-founder of two public companies Iomart (LSE:IOM) and IDE Group Holdings plc (LSE: IDE), as well as a founder of several successful private companies including the SAAS businesses Maxymiser and Hitdynamics.These days Bill is an active investor and has built a whisky distillery on the Isle of Raasay, where they are soon to launch the islands first legal single malt whisky.
Dr Lang is a Scottish social anthropologist. Having previously served as Deputy Chairman of the British Library and Principal of the University of St. Andrews. Educated in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh, Lang studied anthropology around the globe, returning to the UK to join the scientific staff of the Social Science Research Council as Principal Scientific Officer.
He went on to become Director of Public Affairs for the National Trust, before his appointment as Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of the British Library. Lang is a trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, a member of the Cultural Commission and was appointed in 2008 as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Judy Wagner began her career as a Chartered Accountant and worked in commerce before moving into the recruitment industry and becoming a director of a large UK-wide recruitment business, participating in an MBO backed by 3i plc. She then went on to co-found FWB (now FWB Park Brown) in 1993.
Judy is a former Non-Executive Director of an Aberdeen based energy company, where she set up and chaired the Remuneration Committee, and was Chair of Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools in Edinburgh. She is an Associate of The University of Edinburgh Business School and Joint Programme Director for the Executive Women’s Leadership Programme and The Non-Executive Director Programme. She is a Trustee of Scotland’s Garden Trust and a member of the Advisory Board of a private equity business based in Glasgow. Judy also oversees our quality management approach.
While at the Royal Liberty School Tim wrote a computer program that learnt to find its way though mazes. He gained a BSc in Mathematics and Experimental Psychology from Sussex and a PhD on Machine Learning at Leeds. He then carried out research work at the University of Texas at Austin, Edinburgh Bionics Research Laboratory and Xerox PARC.
From 1979 Tim served 19 years at the Open University, starting as a lecturer and founder of the Computers and Learning Research Group, gaining a personal chair in 1986 and later being appointed pro-vice-chancellor. Next he had 5 very busy years in London serving concurrently as master of Birkbeck, pro-vice-chancellor of the University of London and provost of Gresham College. His last major management role was 2002 - 2018 serving as principal & vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh.
As a researcher Tim continues to innovate on ways of getting computers to support learners. He produced 10 books, more then 100 articles and 23 TV programmes mostly related to this topic. For his sins, he chairs the Board of the largest arts festival on the planet, the Edinburgh Fringe.
Alan Cumming OBE is a Scottish-American actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director, and activist. His London stage appearances include Hamlet, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Bent, and the National Theatre of Scotland’s The Bacchae. He is the author of Tommy’s Tale, the autobiography Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir, and has contributed to numerous cabaret shows such as I Bought a Blue Car Today and Alan Cumming Sings Snappy Songs.
Cumming has received the Vito Russo Award at the 16th Annual GLADD Media Awards for outstanding contributions towards eliminating homophobia. He has also been presented with the HRC’s Humanitarian Award in San Francisco, going on to receive a Doctor of Arts honorary degree from the University of Abertay Dundee. He is the patron of the Scottish Youth Theatre and was appointed OBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for service to film, theatre, arts, and activism for LGBT right.
Alannah Moar is the Young Persons Ambassador for The Quaich Project. Having won the our Scottish Emerging Artist Competition in September 2019, Alannah has performed in NYC alongside artists Alan Cumming and KT Tunstall and subsequently released her first single Lovesick. She has gone on to perform at the Ross Bandstand alongside artists Amanda Palmer and Ada Grace Francis.
Alannah is inspired by an eclectic mix of folk, rock, pop, and blues styles. Coming to Edinburgh to study music at Napier University in 2016, her music aims to engage every type of listener with Celtic and folk inspired melodies.
Palmer is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author, and performance artist who was the lead vocalist, pianist, and lyricist of the duo The Dresden Dolls. Currently performing as a solo artist, Palmer has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and performed on BBC Two’s The Edinburgh Show – as well as at venues worldwide.
Palmer established her solo career with two performances with the Boston Pops, and released her fist solo studio album Who Killed Amanda Palmer in 2008. In 2014, Palmer released her memoir The Art of Asking, which expands on a Ted Talk she gave in 2013 about relationships in donation, quickly making its way onto the NY Times bestsellers list.
Andy is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and works internationally from his studio workshop in Philadelphia, PA. He creates prominent public artworks for private, corporate, and civic clients – having completed over eighty projects around the globe. He works in steel and bronze, combining figurative and equine themes with contemporary techniques to create stunning landmark artworks.
Most well-known for his creation of the Kelpies in Falkirk, now the best-known public artworks in Scotland with more than a million visitors since their erection. Scott has gone on to create the Forget Me Not Elephant in West Princes Street Gardens and continues his work in the global arts community.
Born in Fife, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, going on to do a PhD in Scottish Literature. Ian’s first novel Summer Rites remains unpublished, his second novel The Flood was published in 1986, with his first Rebus, Novel Knots & Crosses published the following year. The Rebus series now translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents.
Ranking has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, is a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award, the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards – including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. Ian has won America’s Edgar Award for Resurrection Men, gone on to be shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards, and won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz price, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Germany’s Duetscher Krimipreis. Ian received an OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh.
KT is a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician from St. Andrews. Having started playing piano at age four, she went on to play other instruments and eventually earn her BA in Drama & Music from the Royal Holloway, University of London. Her music career launched in 2004 with her debut album Eye to the Telescope, earning her a nomination for the Mercury Prince in the 2005, BRIT Award for Best British Live Act and BRIT Award for Best Breakthrough Act in 2006, and Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2007.
Tunstall has released six albums internationally, has written soundtracks for numerous films, and appeared on Sky Atlantic.
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