Meet the team that make up Impact Hub Inverness - Brian, Polly, Karen B, Kate, Mary, Karen M, Lucy and Catriona.
It's primarily thanks to Brian's leadership that HISEZ grew from a small grant dependent 2 person team to an enterprising 7 person social enterprise that joined the Impact Hub network. Brian's main role is engagement and communication with various stakeholders working in the sector, and the delivery of business advice and business skills workshops. He has significant skills in crisis management, particularly for groups encountering trading difficulties, and helping boards develop and strengthen. He previously worked with HIE as its business starts manager and, before that, worked in the private sector where he successfully set up and ran a business. Brian works full time and provides a part time input to the office as a host at present, a role which he will continue to deliver for the Hub going forward. He is one of the makers and Co-Founder of the Hub here in Inverness.
Karen Bruce keeps the rest of us organised and ensures that Impact Hub Inverness HQ runs like a smoothly oiled machine. She could make money from almost nothing and with a background in financial services, that's not surprising. Her main role is handling all contract management responsibilities for the Scottish Government's Just Enterprise business support programme, which we deliver across the Highlands and Islands. She also advises some of the many clients we work with, specifically in the area of developing and managing accounting systems. Before joining our enterprise 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. She is currently a Board member of Social Enterprise Scotland. Co-Founder Karen works a 3-day week and when she’s in the office she will be a volunteer host.
Mary Riddoch is the one who makes our social media presence sparkle and maintains the website. And she will soon be developing a blog and newsletter for Impact Hub Inverness. A native Gaelic speaker from South Uist in the Western Isles, Mary worked in the Scottish Government's Housing and Community Regeneration Department assessing grant applications from community groups before joining HISEZ. She has also worked for Communities Scotland as a Press Officer and as a Community Regeneration Co-ordinator dealing with various funding streams available to social enterprises. She began her career in the Public Sector working for Scottish Natural Heritage as a Press Officer covering the Highlands and Islands and Grampian and as their Gaelic spokesperson. She is also known to make a mean cocktail. She works half time, and she acts as a volunteer host in the office. She will lead on the promotion of the Impact Hub with Polly and Lucy.
Impact Hub Host Lucy joined the team in April this year and works part time. She is looking forward to growing the members team and contributing to the ongoing future success of our Impact Hub! Lucy previously worked for HISEZ back in 2005 and since then she has worked in the third sector. One of her jobs included soap making! She enjoys (and is very good at) promoting, selling, meeting and connecting people – all of which are suited to the role of host.
Polly Chapman, also Co-Founder of Impact Hub Inverness, joined its predecessor, HISEZ, from the Scottish Government where she successfully managed a number of grant programmes, including setting up and running the Third Sector Resilience Fund. Polly has a number of years' experience of research in rural Scotland. She has some great insights into what makes rural communities tick, and what doesn't, and how to support change in these places. She's also built up an impressive network of contacts with local and national agencies, community groups and third sector organisations. She has led on developing the relationship with Japan and developing the Impact Hub. Within the team Polly also works as a business adviser on the Just Enterprise programme, and with BIG Lottery applicant referrals from Scottish Investment Business. Polly is on a 3.5 day/week contract and acts as a volunteer host.
Kate McKinley is a business adviser on the Scottish Government Just Enterprise programme and helps enterprising third sector groups with business and financial planning, marketing, board and governance training and strategic planning. She's also part of the team working on other projects including feasibility studies, options appraisals and development plans. Kate previously worked for 15 years in the private and public sectors in marketing what's grandly known as 'business to business communications', but which really means helping organisations use words more effectively. A big fan of finding ways for rural communities to thrive and not just to survive (she lives in one), Kate was, until recently, chair of a voluntary board of a charitable company and oversaw the redevelopment and expansion of her local village hall. Kate works four days a week from home. While she will not be an active host of the Hub on a regular basis, she will be a Hub champion, promoting the concept of the Hub through her contract work. She will also deliver some of the outreach Hub activity.
Karen Maclean-Yuille is our legal structures and governance guru. Karen has worked in the enterprising third sector for 12 years and is a former Chief Executive of Social Firms Scotland. Here she assesses applications for business support for the Just Enterprise programme and takes them to the fortnightly case conferences with our consortium partners and is one of our business advisers. Karen is also vice chair of a social enterprise providing support and training to young people in Highland who experience difficulties in the transition to independent living and/or work. Karen works half time from home. Like Kate, while she will not be an active host of the Hub, she will be a Hub champion, promoting the concept of the Hub through her contract work.
Catriona is our new recruit! After graduating from the University of Edinburgh last year, she has returned home to the Highlands. She works 4 days a week at the Hub, welcoming old and new members, organising events and spreading the word. She also does contact work as part of the Just Enterprise programme, advising social enterprises and community groups to help them further develop and become more sustainable. She was previously a Social Enterprise Development Graduate for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and is a board trustee of the 2050 Climate Group, Scotland's youth climate group.