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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.
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: Winton House
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.
Douglas is currently also Chair of Unique Venues of Edinburgh
Richard GourlayRichard Gourlay
Organisation: Dundee Science Centre
Communications Manager, Dundee Science Centre
Richard joined the management team at Dundee Science Centre early in 2011.
With over 30 years of experience in the marketing communications industry - business assessment, media relations and brand development have all been part of a major focus of his remit over the years, with responsibility for handling many high-profile marketing accounts and brand initiatives for key players within the Scottish business forum – in particular within the tourism sector.
Richard’s responsibilities at Dundee Science Centre include managing and directing all marketing and communications requirements, and press and public relations for Dundee Science Centre, the Science Learning Institute and in support of the regional contract for STEMNet (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network). The role includes strategic guidance and direction for varying disciplines within the organisation, as well as business development crossing over a number of market sectors - tourism, education, exhibitions and events, corporate collaboration and sponsorship.
Richard is actively involved in a number of local business forums and joint initiatives including City Logo (the development and communication of Dundee as a brand, in conjunction with Dundee City Council), DD1 (Dundee City Centre business group) and City Wide Tourism development group.
Susan LochSusan Loch
Organisation: Historic 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.
Glen BennettGlen Bennett
Organisation: EAE
Following University studies and a short spell as a chef, Glen set up EAE in 1987 for a consortia of nine culture and tourism organisations to develop leaflet marketing services in Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland. Glen conducted a management buy-out in 2000 and purchased EAE’s main competitor in 2005.
In September 2016, Glen sold his company, developed over 30 years, to Menzies Distribution and Take One Media.
The opportunity to move the business and all staff into Take One Media, under Menzies ownership, was too good to be true. Investment and being part of something much, much bigger has been extraordinary.
Glen continues to lead, manage and develop EAE on a day to day basis for over 800 clients who wish to reach the home and visitor markets by bringing new display solutions to market. All while aiming for the elusive target of being a carbon neutral company by 2018.
Glen has also negotiated leaflet display concessions with Tesco, Dobbies Garden Centres, Morrisons, BAA Edinburgh, Glasgow & Aberdeen Airports, Inverness and Prestwick Airports, National Galleries of Scotland, Moto Services, Network Rail Glasgow & Edinburgh Waverley.
In May 2014 EAE launched the first ever Airside leaflet displays at both Edinburgh & Glasgow Airports. Glen negotiated the contracts with the new owners of Edinburgh Airport and Heathrow Airport Holdings for this unique new display concession.
Glen was the first to introduce Electric Vehicles to the EAE Distribution Fleet. EAE collects waste cardboard and plastic from client sites when vehicles are making return journeys to base. Waste is now separated, baled and sold on.
In April 2014 EAE won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise; Sustainable Development. Their highest achievement and recognition of the fact they have removed over 80% of their carbon emissions since 2005.
Laura AdamsonLaura Adamson
Organisation: Scottish Seabird Centre
Laura has 15 years’ experience within the marketing and communications sector having worked in-house at National Museums Scotland and Historic Scotland, and in consultancy with clients including VisitScotland, the Wickerman Festival, Museums Galleries Scotland, John Lewis and Edinburgh Rugby.
Her current role is with the five star, multi-award winning Scottish Seabird Centre. A key member of the Senior Management Team, Laura has been the Marketing Manager since June 2011 and her post involves planning, implementing and evaluating an integrated strategy for media relations, marketing activity, online and social media. She writes, edits and takes photographs for the members’ magazine.
Laura sits on the committees for North Berwick Business Association, East Lothian Tourism Attraction Group and The Lothians travel trade group.
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.
Gordon MorrisonGordon Morrison
Organisation: Museums and Galleries Edinburgh
Gordon Morrison recently joined Museums & Galleries Edinburgh as Commercial & Visitor Services Manager, where he is responsible for shaping the visitor experience at nine of the City of Edinburgh Council’s leading attractions across Scotland’s capital.
Prior to this Gordon spent eleven years at VisitScotland, working primarily in Quality Assurance. At VisitScotland, he managed the Quality Assurance Grading Scheme for Visitor Attractions and also developed a number of products and services that will be familiar to many ASVA Members, including the very popular ‘Become a QA for a Day’ Workshops. Most recently, he was heavily involved in the redesign of the Grading Scheme, seeing it through to implementation in early 2017, before leaving to take up his new role in the museums sector.
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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