Prince's Trust Council – Scotland
The Scotland Council is established by The Prince's Trust Council. Its function is to provide high-level support to the Scotland Director, to enable them to develop and deliver the business plan. The Scotland Council has no executive responsibility for the management, operations or administration of The Trust.
Margaret McPherson – Council Chair
Margaret McPherson is founder and Director of Intelligent Office UK Ltd, the UK’s leading provider of outsourced administration services to the legal sector. After an MBO in May 2014 Margaret stepped down as Chair of Intelligent Office UK Ltd, but remains a minority shareholder and board member, principally focussed on the company's strategic direction and employee engagement. She also holds a number of non-executive director positions in entrepreneurial businesses.
Prior to establishing Intelligent Office in 2001, Margaret spent two years in New York as Vice President of Bowne Business Solutions, who specialised in document and information management outsourcing in the investment banking and legal sectors. Before being based in New York, Margaret worked for Williams Lea in London.
Margaret organised The Decadence Ball in aid of The Prince’s Trust in 2008 and 2012 and most recently joined the Clay Pigeon Shoot event committee in Scotland, helping to generate over £150,000 in 2015.
Alan Fergusson - Council Member
Alan Fergusson is Chief Executive Officer of Fergusson Group, a family owned business founded in Stirling in 1926. Alan joined the business at 15 years old carrying bags of coal. The company has grown to be one of the UK’s leading suppliers of coal to the domestic, industrial and generation markets.
Alan is a member of Young Presidents Organisation, a global peer network of business leaders with a mission to improve leadership through the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experience.
Alan is married to Yvonne and has 3 children Tom, Amy and Alan, and lives in Stirlingshire. In his spare time he enjoys sports and taking part in challenges.
Two recent achievements of note have been climbing Kilimanjaro, and taking part in a 24 hour outdoor challenge led by Sir Chris Bonington.
Mike Still – Council Member
Mike has over 30 years of experience in the insurance and risk management industry and his specific areas of expertise include transport, food and beverage, construction and providing insurance and risk advice.
Mike has been involved with many organisations, and has enabled many of the organisations he supports to flourish. Using his professional skills and personal commitment, he engages others and promotes and demonstrates collaborative working.
He is Chair of HRH The Prince of Wales’, Business Emergency Recovery Group (BERG) group and is leading BERG’s work in Scotland in collaboration with Scottish Business in the Community.He was appointed The Prince's Ambassador for Responsible Business in Scotland in June 2015.
During his time as Ambassador, SBC will work with Mike to link his work as Chair of BERG with this role. This will focus on engaging SMEs, in more resilient, responsible and sustainable business practices. Mike will link to the other ambassadors around the UK to support Berg as needed.
James Thomson OBE – Council Member
James is Proprietor of Prestonfield House, The Witchery by the Castle and Tower Restaurant in Edinburgh. He currently employs over 250 people within his company. An active ambassador for the Scottish Tourism Industry, James was awarded a Silver Thistle from the First Minister in 2004 and received an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List 2005 for services to Hospitality and the Scottish Tourism Industry.
James is a founder member and past Chair of Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association and currently sits on a number of committees/boards including the Scottish Executive Committee of The British Hospitality Association and the Board of the National Restaurant Association. He is a Governor of George Heriot’s Trust and a Trustee of Prostate Scotland.
James is a Patron of The Prince’s Trust.
Alex Linkston CBE – Council Member
Alex Linkston is Chair of NHS Forth Valley and Glasgow Clyde College. He is formerly the Chief Executive of West Lothian Council.
Having worked his way up from a trainee accountant, becoming the youngest student to qualify for membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting (CIPFA), Alex was appointed Chief Executive of West Lothian Council in 1995 and was instrumental in leading the council to UK Council of the Year in 2006.
A committed Prince’s Trust volunteer, Alex recently completed a sponsored cycle from West Lothian to the council's twin area in Meschede, Germany, raising over £13,000 for charity. Alex is Chair of Youth Link Scotland and brings a wealth of public sector experience to the council.
Prof. Gary McEwan – CEO Elevator
After leaving school at 16 Gary, with support from The Prince’s Trust, has gone on to start a number of businesses and is, by any definition, a serial entrepreneur.
Since 2008 Gary has been operating as CEO of Elevator, which has 19 offices with its HQ in Aberdeen.
Elevator delivers a wide range of support for start up and growing businesses, every year, assisting more than 2000 new business and existing businesses either start or grow.
Gary has invested in, operated and developed businesses in diverse fields such as transport training, financial services software, electronic manufacturing and business consultancy - in addition to managing an investment syndicate.
Gary is very clear about his passion for business. He is deeply involved in the promotion of entrepreneurship to young people as a credible career option. He regularly speaks to students of all ages, as well as young offenders and those with addiction problems. He believes in young people and supports their development as a key part of his professional life. Gary is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee, a regular contributor to the media and is an energising and motivational public speaker.
Fiona Donaldson – Council Member
Having done an Honours degree in History of Art at Edinburgh University, Fiona made the interesting, if unusual, move into tax after graduating, and started her career with the Inland Revenue. She qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 1989 and is now a specialist tax partner with Springfords Accountants, where she has led the firm's Private Client Tax team since 2005. She specialises in advising clients in relation to their income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax planning, with particular emphasis on advising families, new businesses, trusts, and the elderly.
Fiona has been a volunteer with The Prince’s Trust since 2011, as a member of the Lunch with an Old Bag Committee, and has chaired the event since 2013. LWOB raised almost £2 million for The Prince’s Trust over two years at the 2013 and 2014 lunches, and the Committee are committed to continuing this success.
As a member of the Council, Fiona looks forward to broadening her experience within The Prince’s Trust and to meeting more young people who have transformed their lives with the support of The Trust.
Garreth Wood – Council Member
Garreth is founder of The Speratus Group, which owns and operates restaurants and bars throughout Scotland. His personal commitment to philanthropy is echoed in his business: The Speratus Group sponsors The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Scotland in Edinburgh, a secondary school program that engages young people in social issues, local charities and grant making. In addition, 100% of profits made through his ‘The Boozy Cow’ burger chain are donated to local charities, in order to serve the communities in which they operate.
In 2007 Garreth became a Trustee for the Wood Foundation, a foundation started by his father, Sir Ian Wood. Garreth is also a Patron of The Archie Foundation.
Garreth is a passionate supporter of The Princes Trust’s Get Into programme. The Speratus Group has provided placements and support for young people, helping them to improve their long-term job prospects through training and work experience.
Garreth lives in Edinburgh with his wife Nicola and their two young daughters.