David Owen David is the chair of HISEZ and our man in a crisis. When social enterprise businesses get into trouble we send in David to help boards navigate their way through the practical and legal implications of trading difficulties. As a former chartered engineer, he has extensive career experience in both the public and private sectors. From 2001 - 2011 he was chief executive of Highland Opportunity Ltd, a public sector enterprise agency owned by the Highland Council, delivering investment and business support to small and medium sized enterprises in the North of Scotland. In particular he introduced the Business Gateway advisory service to the Highlands and Moray in 2009. He retired from that post in 2011 to become a business development consultant and business adviser for HISEZ. David has particular expertise in business and financial planning, legal structures, governance and crisis management.
Jo Crawford Based in the remote community of Glenelg on the Highland's west coast, Jo has invaluable knowledge of social enterprises, particularly in rural communities. Jo is the Development Manager of the hugely successful Isle of Skye Ferry Community Interest Company and is a keen supporter of social enterprise as a business model.
Polly Chapman Having worked with rural Scottish communities over the last 20 years Polly is particularly interested in helping groups to problem solve in the remotest of areas. Polly's enthusiasm for social enterprise was strengthened during her 8 years with the Scottish Government when she was responsible for the delivery of a number of support programmes for the sector. During that time she was also involved in the establishment of HISEZ.
Nicholas Gubbins Nicholas is Chief Executive of Community Energy Scotland and works very closely with HISEZ as the CES team work out of the HISEZ office! As head of Community Energy Scotland Nicholas leads all aspects of the organisation's work in helping communities in achieving sustainable energy. A topic which affects many of the community groups HISEZ work with on a weekly basis. Previous roles have included Head of Community Regeneration at HIE and Head of Special Programmes at Scottish Natural Heritage so he has plenty of experience of working with community groups striving towards financial sustainability in the Highlands and Islands.
Karen Maclean-Yuille Karen has worked in the social enterprise sector in Scotland for the past 15 years. As a previous Chief Executive of Social Firms Scotland she was responsible for the strategic and organisational development of the company. Karen was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the then Scottish Government Agency, Communities Scotland, to develop Highlands and Islands Enterprise Zone. Since 2010 Karen has worked as an associate business advisor for HISEZ CIC and she is also on the board of several voluntary organisations a number of which are involved in social enterprise activity.
Denise Clark Denise is General Manager of Highland Blindcraft based in Inverness. In this capacity she has maintained a valuable source of employment for disadvantaged people, kept the business viable and produced a high quality product for consumers. Highland Blindcraft is both a charity and a social firm. Since 2010 Denise has also been Executive Director of Sight Action in Inverness which supports blind and partially sighted people in the Highlands and Islands. Karen Bruce Karen is the Board Secretary and as with her day job at HISEZ she makes sure that Board meetings are run appropriately and efficiently. Karen has worked with HISEZ for 8 years and has been on the Board for the majority of that time. Karen brings her financial management skills to the Board and her experience of dealing with social enterprises in this area for the last 8 years. Before joining HISEZ Karen worked in a senior management level in the banking sector where she gained significant experience in financial planning and management, human resources and customer care.
The latest HISEZ CIC Accounts are available here for your information.