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Board of Directors

View the profiles of the members of the ASVA Board of Directors below:
Laura CheyneLaura Cheyne
Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland
Laura Cheyne is Head of Marketing at the National Trust for Scotland. Leading a small team, her role encompasses developing the marketing strategy to promote all of the fantastic places the Trust has to offer across Scotland; from the brand new Battle of Bannockburn Experience and Culzean Castle to Inverewe Garden and Glencoe; as well as developing the membership base for the Trust.
Previously Laura spent 5 years as the Marketing Manager for Historic Scotland covering iconic places such as Edinburgh and Urquhart castles, with her final campaign being the successful launch of the new palace experience at Stirling Castle.
Laura also sits on the Lothian Area Board for Young Enterprise Scotland which delivers a Company Programme to secondary school pupils. The programme gives pupils the opportunity to set up and run their own business over the course of the school year. It currently has 400 achievers, more than 50 Link Teachers and 50 Business Advisers, from all across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
 Jane Ferguson
Organisation: V&A Dundee
Susan Morrison (ASVA Vice Chair)Susan Morrison (ASVA Vice Chair)
Organisation: The Scotch Whisky Experience
Susan Morrison has been General Manager of The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh for over 13 years and was made a Company Director 8 years ago. She has worked in many areas throughout her career from operations and retail to HR and marketing. Susan studied languages at Edinburgh, Strathclyde & Vienna Universities and found her way into tourism primarily down to her linguistic ability. Over the past 5 years more than £4 million has been reinvested in the business through a series of projects headed up by Susan. Her commitment to the Scotch Whisky industry was recognized in 2000 when she was made a Keeper of the Quaich, and again in 2010 when she was promoted to Master of the Quaich.
Paul NixonPaul Nixon
Organisation: The Real Mary King's Close
Paul graduated from Queen Margaret University in 2003 with a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts and has a passion for visitor attractions. Over the past 10 years he has worked at management level for some of Scotland’s most popular attractions including, Deep Sea World, National Museums of Scotland, Scottish Seabird Centre and CairnGorm Mountain. From 2005 – 2007 Paul sat on the HIT (Hospitality Industry Trust) working group, planning the inaugural and subsequent HIT conferences. Paul has also undergone training at the prestigious Disney Institute in Florida on Quality Service. In 2006 he was second runner up in the prestigious Olive Barnett Award, gaining a career development grant of £1,500. He is an associate of IlluminateUK, assisting with the planning and delivery of bespoke workshops specialising in customer interaction and customer service. In 2009 Paul set up his own company, Roam Edinburgh, specialising in digital walking tours.
Anne KinnesAnne Kinnes
Organisation: The Black Watch Castle and Museum
Anne started her career in Yorkshire in a variety of management roles including a Michelin Star restaurant and a luxury hotel. In 1992 she moved to Scotland where she fell in love not only with a Scottish chef, but also with the country and all it has to offer, especially food and drink. This provided a great platform for the next eight years. She was employed at Scotland’s Larder which at that time was the only Food and Drink based visitor attraction in Scotland. Anne then became Chairman of Fife Visitor Attractions, which lead to her working with Visit Scotland as Strategic Development Manager and latterly Business Product Manager. Her two consecutive roles involved managing national strategy in key areas of food and drink, rural access and transport.
In 2010, as part of their continued commitment and investment to Whisky Tourism in Scotland, Morrison Bowmore Distillers appointed Anne Kinnes to the role of Visitor Centre Operations and Development Manager. Since taking on this role visitor numbers and income generated across all three distilleries has increased by 32.6% and 42.6% consecutively. Leading a team of over 40 staff Anne is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction whilst ensuring the delivery of their world class service to each and every visitor at all times.
In January of this year Anne has taken up the post of The Black Watch Museum Trust based in Balhousie Castle, Perth. After successful grant application from Lottery Heritage Fund and many other fund raising activities the Museum was redeveloped to include brand new retail shop and coffee shop it reopened in Summer 2013.and then was delighted when in Summer of 2014 HRH Prince Charles conducted the official opening. A new challenge ahead for Anne to ensure the future journey of the museum.
Douglas Walker (ASVA Chair)Douglas Walker (ASVA Chair)
Organisation: Our Dynamic Earth
Douglas Walker worked for 10 years in tourist retailing with The Grampian Woollens Group, and latterly through mergers, within the Visitor Centre Division of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM). Douglas’ last role before moving on from EWM was General Manager of The Scottish Deer Centre, Cupar, Fife.
Douglas joined Our Dynamic Earth as Retail Manager until he took on the role of Operations Manager a few months after the centre opened in July 1999. Douglas is now Commercial Director with responsibility for Events, Food and Beverage, Retail, HR and Project Management for gallery developments such as the 4D experience, ‘4DVENTURE’ and the digital 360 degree fulldome theatre, The Showdome.
Katie WaughKatie Waugh
Organisation: Diageo
Katie has been immersed in the Tourism Industry from a young age, growing up on Orkney she spent her summer holidays as a tour guide at Skaill House. She worked as the Tourism Development Manager at Highlands and Island Enterprise, where she supported businesses across the Highlands and Islands with insights and practical hints and tips on how to use market intelligence to get ahead, stay competitive and prosper. She has always had an invested interest in Tourism and in her spare time provides support to her Father with the family business at Skaill House, Orkney.
Katie is currently the Visitor Centre Marketing Manager for Diageo’s 12 Distilleries. Leading a central team Katie is responsible for developing both Marketing and Global Travel Trade Strategies for the Distilleries. Since starting her role at Diageo three years ago Katie has supported the increase in visitors by 28% and sales by 55%. She is passionate about customer service and delivering world class visitor experiences.
Sally RaeSally Rae
Organisation: Eden Scott
Sally Rae has given a lifetime of service to the hospitality and tourism industry, supporting its growth in a range of roles covering the various facets of the sector. This invaluable level of experience has enabled Sally to develop an extensive network of decision makers and ensures she has the ear of the industry.

With an early career that included leading sales teams within hotels, conference venues and for industry suppliers, Sally has spent the last 11 years, eight of which has been with Eden Scott, finding the very best talent for Scotland’s world-renowned visitor attractions. Her unrivalled industry knowledge has helped key venues such as the V&A Dundee and National Museums Scotland, amongst many others, to grow their business and support the Scottish economy.

A significant proportion of Sally’s work nowadays focuses on helping these large visitor attractions find the senior level talent they need while developing the hospitality and visitor attraction recruitment business at Eden Scott.

Her understanding of the sector and its needs in terms of its most important resource, people, will add valuable insight to the board and help to make Scotland’s visitor attractions the envy of the world.
Susan LochSusan Loch
Organisation: Historic Environment Scotland
Susan is Head of Visitor Operations and Community Engagement at Historic Environment Scotland. She joined the Non-Departmental Public Body in 1988, having previously worked in the Scottish Executive (now Scottish Government). She has worked in Visitor Operations for over 21 years, and in her current role has responsibility for the effective day to day operational management at Stirling Castle and North/South/Central Regions, in total 77 staffed sites located the length and breadth of Scotland. Typically these sites include Castles, Palaces, Abbeys, working Cathedrals and Mills. She also looks after the visitor experience at a range of unstaffed sites such as Cairns, Brochs and Standing Stones. She is responsible for delivery of a ‘World Class’ service via a highly motivated skilled team of around 420 staff. Much of her work is related to customer service and management, and income generation. Her team strive to ensure that our visitors have the best possible experience at Historic Environment Scotland’s properties. In terms of Community Engagement, she acts as an ambassador for the organisation with a range of external stakeholders, ensuring in particular that key community relationships and partnerships are maintained and developed. Examples include working with Friends Groups at Dundonald Castle, Biggar Museum Trust and Torphichen Preceptory.
Susan lives in Edinburgh and enjoys spending time with her horses in the countryside.
Laura AdamsonLaura Adamson
Organisation: Live Borders
Laura has 17 years’ experience within the marketing and communications sector having worked in-house at National Museums Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, and in consultancy with clients including VisitScotland, the Wickerman Festival, Museums Galleries Scotland, John Lewis and Edinburgh Rugby.

Laura joined the Board during her time at the five-star, multi-award winning Scottish Seabird Centre. A key member of the Senior Management Team, she planned, implemented and evaluated an integrated marketing and communications strategy. A guest speaker at the 2014 ASVA Conference, Laura gained peer recognition for her #PuffinFest campaign by winning the ASVA Marketing Award in the same year.

Her current role is with Live Borders, a charitable trust in the Scottish Borders, which has the aim of improving lives through physical activity, sport and cultural experiences. Laura manages the marketing team, which focuses on promoting the diverse attractions, museums and sports centres, as well as active, collaborative and creative initiatives.
Jane YoungJane Young
Organisation: Inveraray Castle
Jane is currently Castle Manager at Inveraray Castle where she has been for the past eleven years. Her role has been primarily to develop events and visitor business and take responsibility for the recruitment of seasonal guides and management and recruitment of all other Castle Staff. She was involved with the filming of the 2012 Downton Abbey Special which was instrumental in raising the profile of the Castle worldwide as well as visitor numbers at the Castle. The Castle & Gardens are currently open from 1st April through to 31st October and she has seen visitor numbers grow over the past 11 years from around 70,000 to approximately 116,000 in 2018.

She also sits on the HHAS Tourism and Marketing Group as well as the Historic Properties Group which has responsibility for developing the strategy for the TS2020 action plan. The Historic Property Group consists of representation from Historic Scotland, National Trust for Scotland and Historic Houses Association and is currently chaired and administered by Historic Scotland and supported by both Scottish Enterprise and Visit Scotland.

Jane was previously Industry Liaison Executive at Scottish Golf Southwest which saw her travelling the world promoting Scotland as the Home of Golf and a great destination to visit. This was an ERDF funded initiative supported by VisitScotland which promoted and marketed all the golf clubs in the West of Scotland in particular around the Open Golf Championship when it was held at Royal Troon GC and Turnberry GC.

She is very passionate about promoting Scotland as a “Must See Must Visit” holiday destination!
Kathleen BroganKathleen Brogan
Organisation: Mercat Tours
Kathleen Brogan graduated with a BA Honours degree in History from Glasgow University in 2003.
Continuing with her studies, she successfully completed the CELTA qualification from the University of Cambridge. Pursuing a career teaching adults English as a foreign language, she worked in a
variety of key institutions in Edinburgh namely Basil Paterson, Regent Language School and Edinburgh School of English from 2003-2007.
Having trained and graduated as a Mercat Tour guide in 1998, Kathleen has enjoyed a long career providing history walking tours of Edinburgh. From 2002, her accomplishments as a guide led her to become involved in guide training and, later, product development in 2005. Progressing her guiding career and building on her history qualifications then offered the opportunity to lead tours to WWI sites for Mercat Tours International (2005-ongoing). Her extensive knowledge and experience of the business let her progress further to full-time Head of Events in 2007 then Head of Development in 2010. Responsible for quality assurance, product development, marketing strategy, collaborative
enterprises, partnerships, policy and PR, Kathleen has been a member of Mercat Tours management team since 2007.
In January 2015, on the retirement of Des Brogan, her father, Kathleen assumed the position of Managing Director of both Mercat Tours and Mercat Tours International leading the company into its record-breaking 30th anniversary year.
Kathleen is involved in a variety of city and national tourism organisations, and her various roles include Chair of ETAG’s Quality of Experience Working Group, Head of Membership for the Edinburgh Capital Group, Member of VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Committee and Member of Scotland’s Heritage Management Committee.
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