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Directors

Caroline Ronald

A livestock farmer for the past thirty years, Caroline opened a farm shop and butchers in 1995 and ran a successful outside catering business alongside. Caroline returned to her hospitality roots when she bought The Royal Oak Hotel in Cullen three years ago.

Caroline has a BSC in Rural Development Studies and will work to ensure that Visit Moray Speyside’s link to the rural economy and Moray’s many rural businesses is actively developed.

Laurie Piper

Chief Executive

As Operations Manager at Moray Speyside Tourism Laurie was responsible for developing and delivering the Tourism BID project to its successful ballot. Laurie’s career in tourism, the arts and culture has spanned 20+ years and includes time in charge of marketing for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, overseeing Arts, Museums, Culture & Libraries in Fife and Highland Councils. In 2018 Laurie received the Spirit of Speyside Ambassador Award for his work helping to boost tourism in Moray.
Laurie was born in Edinburgh but has lived in Forres for more than ten years. When not working, Laurie enjoys running, listening to opera, cycling and messing with old SAABs.

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Michael McAllan

Michael is the Head Golf Professional at Elgin Golf Club, where he has worked since 2013, and has been a PGA Professional since 2003 having worked at a mixture of proprietary owned and members clubs in the North of Scotland, the Central Belt and the Scottish Borders.

Originally from Linlithgow in West Lothian, Michael now lives in Elgin along with his wife and 2 young children.

Michael belongs to a retail services group called TGI Golf Partnership and was nominated from 480 PGA pros within the group at their annual awards ceremony as Partner of the Year for 2014 and Most Improved Business of the Year for 2019.

He currently sits on the Elgin Golf Club council meetings and holds roles on the Greens, Junior Section and Match and Handicap sub-committees as well as chairing the clubs Marketing Sub Committee which he finds hugely rewarding. The Pro Shop is the first point of contact for all visiting golfers and members alike, and Michael deals with all member and visitor bookings at the club.

Having held customer facing roles throughout his working life, Michael prides himself on the relationships he forms with customers, colleagues and working partners/suppliers.

In his spare time, he enjoys keeping fit, running and live music.

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Paul Johnson

Paul owns and operates Carden Holiday Cottages in Alves. Although not originally from Moray, he and his wife now consider it home. An active vlogger/blogger, Paul visits many of our local attractions and participates in lots of events, promoting these across the globe via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. He also advises a number of web-based businesses on social media marketing and web design.

Paul has been involved in providing visitor accommodation in one shape or another for over 20 years now. Prior to that he worked as a Tourism Officer for North Tyneside Council for six years, responsible for the production of the Visitor Guide, marketing the area at trade shows and conferences as well as conceiving and developing the accommodation sector web site. Following that he was a business development manager supporting the development of many fledgling businesses.

He has been an advocate for the development of initially Moray Speyside and latterly Visit Moray Speyside since day one, working alongside on a number of Tourism Initiatives, events and trade shows. Paul also currently sits on the Forres Area Tourism Network sharing ideas and planning joint initiatives.

Paul firmly believes that we have an outstanding product here and that with Visit Moray Speyside, along with its support groups, we will be able to show significant inroads to developing visitor numbers across the region.

Ed Tennant

Vice-Chair

Ed is owner of Innes House and estate where his family have lived since 1910. Ed, along with his wife and two children, took over the reins of the house and estate in 2018 from his parents who had created a thriving wedding and corporate entertaining venue, along with a farming and sporting enterprise.

Educated locally at Gordonstoun school, Ed went on to complete at BSC (hons) degree in Agricultural Land Management from the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. He then went on to spend 15 years in the financial services industry in London. His early days were spent in operations roles before spending the remainder in the fund management industry in sales. Ed’s career saw him working for Swiss, American, and British companies with responsibilities covering the globe.

Outside of work, Ed has always been heavily involved in the equestrian world in all disciplines and takes huge pleasure in seeing his children fall in love with horses and it is now a huge part of their lives. He is passionate about Moray Speyside and the future for his family here and firmly believes that the region is a huge untapped resource for the tourism industry in Scotland due to its diverse range of countryside and attractions.

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Gill Reid

A Dufftown local, Gill has been the Visitor Centre Manager at Speyside Cooperage for seven years. Although she has been working with casks for over 20 years now; prior to this she was a partner in a family business that specialised in exporting cask products worldwide and supplying the larger DIY chains in the home market such as B & Q and Homebase.

The Cooperage Visitor Centre now welcomes around 28000 visitors annually from all over the world.  One of their Coopers holds the Guinness World Record for “Fastest time to build a 190 litre barrel”, an event that Gill herself organised to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the cooperage and the 25th anniversary of the visitor centre.

A founding director of Visit Moray Speyside, Gill is also on the board of directors for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, and a member partner of The Malt Whisky Trail.

Gill has a passion for travel and has been fortunate enough to previously live in Italy and Norway.  A PADI qualified scuba diver she also loves to study.  As well as a BA in Business Management she also has some rather random qualifications from studying Volcanoes, Earthquakes & Tsunamis and Forensic Science & Profiling

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Jim Davis

Chair

Originally from Australia, Jim is the founder of Ace Adventures and Hideaways, which was first opened 14 years ago in Aviemore before moving two years later to its current location at Logie. Ace Adventures & Hideaways offers a wide variety of water sports as well as glamping and camping. Jim also runs multi day remote wilderness expeditions in Tasmania from November through to February every year.

Jim has a vast amount of experience in tourism at both a local and international level as well as 10 years’ experience in sales and marketing. Having owned and managed tourism business in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Zambia & Morocco, Jim is no stranger to the needs of both visitors and the wider tourism industry. He sits on the committee of the International Rafting Federation guide training & education as well as the Scottish Rafting Association and provides rafting health and safety consultancy internationally. Jim is also a qualified First Aid Trainer, expedition medic & white-water rescue and raft guide trainer & assessor.

Having lived in Moray for 12 years, Jim has a deep love for the region and Scotland and feels fortunate to call it his home. When not busy working, Jim loves to go kayaking & surfing and has a great interest in health and well-being.

Ian Chapman

A Moray Local, Ian is the Marketing Director for Gordon & MacPhail. He is responsible for developing and implementing the long-term brand marketing strategy for Benromach Single Malt, Red Door Gin and Gordon & MacPhail Single Malt Whiskies. Ian oversees media relations, internal communications, government affairs, community relations and developing and managing coherent communications and PR strategies across all platforms and audiences.

Before joining Gordon & MacPhail he held various marketing and PR roles including a 4 year stint with VisitScotland.

Ian has served as a director of the Malt Whisky Trail for 4 years and has also been a director of the Speyside Golf Experience for 6 years. During this time he took a lead role in the appointing of Chairpersons for these organisations, developing the governance structures, implementing financial metrics, business planning and directing the marketing strategies. As well as this, he was also part of the team that developed the business plan and bid document that secured the rights to host the European Pipe Band Championships in Forres.

Outside of work, Ian’s interests include spending time with his wife and two kids, walking their dog, keeping fit and reading. A keen sportsman, Ian has played basketball to a high level, been captain of his school, university, and club sides. Over the years he has coached basketball (and other sports) to children and adults from beginner to international both in Scotland and overseas.

Ian is motivated to be part of a team to inspire visitors, both from the UK and internationally, to experience this wonderful part of the world; and in doing so contribute to the economic and social prosperity of the region.

Stewart Marshall

Stewart is the Visitor Centre Manager at Johnstons of Elgin. At Johnstons of Elgin, a major priority has been to increase footfall from both domestic and international visitors. He has worked to promote the site as being part of the local community, an accessible attraction to the rest of Scotland and focusing on attracting visitors from emerging markets such as South America and China, has been pivotal in driving footfall and revenue on site. Stewart believes that the lessons and successes taken from their activities, will benefit the region, and being able to share these learnings will help others embrace the changing demands from the tourism market.

In his career, Stewart has gained experience in project management, marketing, public relations, and the development of people and human resources, which he feels would be invaluable to Visit Moray Speyside, especially in its formative years.

He has also developed a good network of connections in the tourism and business communities. Stewart believes that Moray Speyside is an incredible place to visit, and he looks forward to helping promote the region.

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