David C Watt, ChairDavid Watt is currently Executive Director of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Scotland. His IoD experience brings knowledge of business and commerce as well as governance, while his prior working life was in education.
Lifelong learning is a passion for David, a resident of Fife who also has extensive experience in both the public and voluntary sectors.
Bryan Poole, Depute Chair and Senior Independent Member
Bryan Poole was, until recently, an independent Councillor. He has extensive experience of working for Fife Council and CVS Fife and has contributed to strategic developments in Fife such as the Fife Community Plan, Fife Council’s Strategic Plan and the Single Outcome Agreement for Fife.
Jim Trail OBE
Jim Trail is an experienced Business Leader who retired as Managing Director of Raytheon Systems Ltd in Glenrothes in May 2013. He was awarded an OBE in June 2013 for his Services to the Defence Industry.
He began his career in Finance where he spent 20 years before moving into General Management. As well as having responsibility for the facility in Glenrothes he also had overall UK Board responsibility for Operations, Facilities and Health and Safety for Raytheon UK. He was one of the key leaders who implemented a new Graduate scheme for the company in 2008, which has continued to grow ever since and also for the Engineers of the Future scheme which the company participates in with Fife College and Heriot-Watt University.
Jim is currently a member of the Scottish Children’s Panel and also presents occasional training for the Prince’s Trust in Scotland.
In his spare time he likes to spend time with his Granddaughter and watching football.
Hugh Hall, Principal and Chief Executive
Hugh Hall was born and brought up in the east end of Glasgow and began his working life straight from school in the local Benefits Agency office in Easterhouse. Hugh is a chartered accountant, with expertise in transformational change, governance and major project development and delivery. His life has been devoted to public service. He has held a number of senior appointments in a wide range of organisations and was previously Chief Operating Officer at the University of Strathclyde. In 2009, he was awarded the Public Sector Finance Director of the Year award in recognition of his leadership role in the transformation of Scotland’s enterprise network.
His non-executive roles past and present include: eight years as a member of Court at Edinburgh Napier University, Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy in Scotland, Chair of Forth Valley College, Chair of Colleges Scotland and Chair of Scotland’s Children’s Lottery.
Jennifer Walls brings a varied private sector career background to the Board. As an Engineering and MBA graduate most of Jennifer’s career has been in technical roles within multinational organisations.
Jennifer spent her early academic years as a student of Fife College on a scholarship programme awarded by Exxon Chemicals. After Graduating Jennifer took on a role in a Japanese Semiconductor Company where she spent her early career. She then moved onto be more interested in Business, taking on a role as a technical Business Lead and then Portfolio Manager for an American Defence Company.
Using her Masters skills Jennifer has influenced Strategic direction and Business growth throughout her career. Now as a manager in the public sector Jennifer brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her Role on the Board. In her small amount of spare time Jennifer is a Mum to her three young children and a football coach!
Shona Cochrane is the founder and a director of Thinking to Success Ltd who support and develop thinking and learning skills in education and business. She has been working with skills based thinking, learning and enterprise programmes for many years.
Shona is an experienced educationalist and author. As a teacher, Shona has taught in London, Malaysia and Fife, most recently as an Acting Depute Rector and Guidance Teacher at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline. She has also been an Enterprise in Education Adviser and National Curriculum Adviser with Skills Development Scotland (formerly Careers Scotland).
After achieving an M.Ed Pupil Support in 2005, Shona went on to have her book on study skills, ‘Learn to Learn’, published in 2012 and she introduced the ‘Learn to Learn’ and ‘Reflective Thinking’ programmes at Queen Anne High School. Shona’s interests include skiing and classic cars.
Joseph Harney is a Lecturer at Fife College and the elected academic Board member. His teaching remit is equally split between Social Sciences and Supported Learning. He is an Irish national, resident in Scotland since 2013.
Joseph holds a BA Applied Psychology from University College Cork, Ireland, MA Music Technology from University of Limerick, Ireland, and Grad Cert in Counselling Skills from Abertay University. Before joining Fife College as a full-time Lecturer, he built up a wide and varied range of professional experiences. Among other pursuits he has worked as a sound designer and composer in theatre, a community youth worker on Council and arts organisation projects, and a music teacher with access initiatives for deprived areas.
Further, the experience of managing a betting office immediately upon finishing his studies has led to a keen interest in teaching practical, no-nonsense numeracy and financial management skills to young people. He’s keen to find and teach the little gaps the system forgets to teach.
Ross Taylor has been a solicitor in Scotland, specialising in Dispute Resolution and Avoidance, since 2000. He is the owner of Taylor Law Limited, which is a firm of solicitors based in Fife. He has experience in a variety of mechanisms for dispute resolution including Mediation, Expert Determination, Adjudication, Arbitration and Litigation. Ross is an accredited mediator. He has worked across a spectrum of disciplines, from family law to commercial and construction law, now specialising in the latter. Ross also undertakes dispute avoidance work, including contract drafting and risk analysis.
As an employer and resident in Fife, Ross wants to see Fife continue to grow as a centre of excellence in the provision of practical, skills focused education and development. He believes that this is the route to a strong society, which is economically vibrant.
In his spare time, Ross enjoys fitness and outdoor pursuits, including Running, Mountain Biking and Golf. He also enjoys the arts, regularly visiting galleries and going to the theatre. He lives in Dalgety Bay with his wife of ten years and his two year old cocker spaniel, Dudley.
Bob Black recently retired from the international oil and gas industry, where in the past ten years he managed the development planning for two of the world's largest oil and gas fields found in the last 30 years.
Bob was with Shell International for 28 years in UK North Sea, Brunei, Oman, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands; and latterly with BG Group in the North Sea (UK and Norway) and Brasil.
A geologist by profession, Bob has previous experience in the African mining industry, with Anglo-American Corporation in Zambia; and in UK engineering as Technical Marketing Manager with Unicorn Industries, working with eg. Rolls-Royce aero, Ford and Leyland vehicles, and several UK machine tool manufacturers, in diamond and bonded precision abrasives technologies.
At retirement Bob joined the Scottish Children's Panel as a volunteer panel member, where he has fulfilled a lifelong ambition to take a more active role in helping young people to build constructive lives as valued and valuable citizens.
Antony Martin has been a Local Councillor in Fife since 1992 representing a Dunfermline ward. He has a particular interest in further education particularly its role in economic development. He is Chair of Opportunities Fife Partnership which promotes skills and training in Fife
Antony served on the Forth Estuary Transport Authority and its predecessor The Forth Road Bridge Joint Board for 20 years. Serving as Convener for 4 years.
He owned and managed a very successful fashion agency for 30 years representing many premium brands and giving him an inset to the pressure and difficulties working in the private sector.
Heather Wray started work as a Civil Servant at Rosyth Naval Base. After having her family she became self-employed, and then worked from the family home. Later on retraining and undertaking her NVQ3 in Administration, Heather was then employed by Randall Consultancy as their Office Administrator and SQA Coordinator.
In 2000 while studying for her HNC in Management at Lauder College, she became a member of staff wtihin the Customer Services team. For the last fourteen years she has been employed within the Quality Section of the new Fife College.
Violeta llendo has extensive experience at senior strategic management level with over 29 years of working in the local governments in London and Scotland, private and voluntary sectors with a proven track record of delivery in a wide range of areas from economic development, employability, vocational training and skills to physical and economic regeneration, town centres and specialist planning advice. Violeta currently chairs the Fife Polish Education Trust and is a Board Member on the Fife Migrants Forum.
Zoe Thomson is a Depute Head Teacher at Woodmill High School in Dunfermline. She has been teaching in Scotland for 16 years.
Zoe studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, followed by a PGCE in Mathematics from Moray House.
Zoe began teaching Mathematics in Edinburgh before moving to Fife. She has been a Depute Head teacher here for 4 years.
Tina Vandermotten is an experienced, strategic HR practitioner with an extensive background in private, public and the charities sectors. Tina is currently Director of HR and Organisational Development at the animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA, where she leads on all people, learning and organisational development related activities. She comes to Fife College having served for 3 years on the Board of Fife Voluntary Action and with previous knowledge of working within the academic sector.
Carol Hunter is the Care Experienced Officer on the Fife College Students’ Association and has been elected as a student member on the Fife College Board of Governors.
Having originally trained as a teacher, Susan Mitchell has a background in both private industry and the public sector. Following a career in retail management (Marks & Spencer, then Boots UK), Susan joined her local police force and was a Director there (and latterly in Police Scotland) for a number of years. Much of Susan's experience has been focused on delivering transformational change and leading in a financially challenging context. With an MSc in Public Leadership from Warwick Business School, Susan is also a Chartered Public Finance Accountant and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Julia Sherriffs is the Lead Equalities Officer and Women's Officer for the Fife College Students’ Association and has been elected as a student member on the Fife College Board of Governors.