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Personal profile

Research interests

Currently am undertaking a PhD at Strathclyde Business School, a visiting scholar at the Communications University of China and lecture on the Rural Business Management programme at the SRUC campus in Ayr on marketing, strategy, economics and law. My research interests centre on what makes food & drink brands successful in the global marketplace and I am developing theory regarding Jungian archetypes as as source of their underpinning appeal. I sit within the Consumer Culture Theory research stream of marketing, looking at identity, symbolic narrative and its links to the spirit of place. Research is ongoing on place brand archetypes in China to balance a Western view. This links to rural locations and their generation of food & drink and how this is authentically communicated. Scottish locations are an exemplar of that. A number of wider theoretical papers are also under development plus a sideline interest in enviornmental economics.


October 2019 - Appointed as International Visiting Specialist, Place Communication Research Centre, Communiction University of China

July 2018 to current: Visiting Scholar – Communications University of China  Asia Media Lab, Beijing

Conducting research on archetype foundations of city brands in China in collaboration with Beijing Communications University. Initial Chinese work presented at the first ever Place Brand Conference in China July 2018. The original research methodology blends a Western paradigm into an Eastern application.

Nov 17 to current:   Lecturer in Rural Business at SRUC Ayr campus

Voted Most Valued Staff Member on Campus by SRUCSA (students) (May 2019

Chair of the SRUC Social Sciences Ethics Committee

Teaching 3rd/ 4th years undergraduate Marketing courses (International marketing, NPD, Brading plus Law of Delict/ Contract) all broadly relating to food & drink. Second marker for economics courses. Supervision of 4th year dissertations, Advisor of Studies (Year 3), Member Student Liaison Group 

Module leader: Market Strategies, Module contribution to Topical issues: Is Social media Undermining Scientific. Assisted on new module: Applying Precision Farming Data to Rural Business Decision Making

April 2019 on going - Economics charity www.ecnmy.org – volunteer as facilitating lecturer for a charity focusing on inner city disadvantaged teaching the principle of economics at a level that makes sense to their day to day reality.


Previous employer

As independent entrepreneur

Blackwood Distillers: Founded international drinks company 2002, sold brands to competitor 2008, exports to 20+ countries.  Multiple awards. Initiator of the craft gin renaissance in Scotland.

Pitman Highlands  - Bought, turned around, franchise, sold to centre manager.

As Interim Manager

Scottish Development Intl - Responsible for Highlands, Grampian 2012-14 F&D

Greenall’s 2010- 2012 - Intl Commercial director, Marketing Director 

University Highland & Islands - Crafted USP & organisational design for Management School

As retained Executive

 Aviva 1999 - 2000 Director of Strategy & Innovation, CGU Insurance.  

Hasbro International early 1997 – 1999  European Business Head 

Unilever PLC Jan 1992- end 1996 (5-year contract) - Launched Marine Stewardship Council in conjunction with WWF which is now acknowledged as a lead global organisation providing a consumer / economic incentive for sustainability.  Won numerous international awards. Birds Eye Walls (BEW) General Marketing Manager (Marketing Controller). Business Unit head for Frozen Fish, International Category Manager, Fish Innovation Centre at BEW, Unilever de Venezuela Caracas  - also Colombia, Ecuador;  Van Den Bergh & Jurgens Rotterdam - 1st direct hire MBA by Unilever in Europe.

Coopers & Lybrand   1988- 1990 Consultant - FMCG

Braxton Associates Strategy Consultants 1986- 1988 Research Associate - FMCG / services sector

Other work

HM Government: Judge of the Queen’s Award for Innovation 2002-07

Fusion Network: Social enterprise director, merged Impact Hub Inverness 2016

Mey Selections: HRH Duke of Rothesay company, director 2009-12 

Innovation Board DTi 2002-06 One of 3 independent appointees to assess and guide national innovation initiatives. Later appointed to DTi investment Committee to advise on £2 Bln budget. Appointed to UK Innovation Review 2006

Princess of Wales’s Memorial Fund: £40m fund, Trustee 5 years, director of trading subsidiary, Complex stakeholder management. 2001-5

Personal profile

Scottish Exporter of Year, New Exporter of Year, Drinks Woman of Year,

19 overall awards design & innovation. Included as subject in 2 academic papers, one regarding creation of the Marine Stewardship Council; (Univ. St. Gallen Switz.) and one a longitudinal study of entrepreneurial behavior (INSEAD) 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Strathclyde

1 Oct 20181 Jun 2021

Award Date: 1 Jun 2021

Stanford University

30 Sep 201921 Dec 2021

Award Date: 31 Dec 2019

Master, Strathclyde Business School

1 Sep 20181 Jun 2019

Award Date: 19 Sep 2019

Master, INSEAD

1 Jan 199115 Dec 1991

Award Date: 5 Dec 1991

Bachelor, University of Oxford

1 Oct 198315 Jun 1986

Award Date: 17 Jun 1986

External positions

Communication University of China

1 Jul 2018 → …


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • marketing
  • brand
  • food
  • drink
  • international
  • jung
  • archetypes
  • place
  • symbolic narrative
  • rural
  • Scotland
  • neuroscience
  • strategy
  • theory


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