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SPEAKERS’ BIOGRAPHIES

SPEAKERS’ BIOGRAPHIES

Stewart Fulton, Director, Whiteness Property Company
Stewart Fulton has more than 40 years professional planning and development experience, having joined Glasgow Corporation Planning Department in 1966 after gaining the first of his two postgraduate degrees. In 1970 he moved to The Scottish Office, advising Ministers on Statutory Development Plan approvals, before working as a specialist on the onshore implications of North Sea Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical development; and the evolution of thinking on Environmental Impact Assessment, in advance of the European directive. In 1982 he was appointed as Assistant Chief Planner at The Scottish Office.

Invited by Ministers in 1995 to set up and be the Chief Executive of the Cairngorms Partnership, Stewart delivered an award winning sustainable management strategy for an area covering a tenth of mainland Scotland, which was approved by Ministers without reservation two years later.

Since 2004 Stewart has overseen the management of all Whiteness Property Company planning business and he is fully committed to ensuring that the resultant 800 acre residential, leisure, and recreational development is an exemplar of place-making of the highest order, and a lasting bench mark for development in the Scottish Highlands.

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Richard Hartland, Head of Planning & Building Standards, Highland Council
Richard has spent 27 of his 31 working years in West Lothian Council where he rose to be Development Control & Building Standards Manager. During that time he led both teams in their focus on service delivery and customer care. Both the Development Control and Building Standards Teams have been awarded Chartermark status by the Cabinet Office for excellence in the delivery of their public service.

Richard was elected Chair of the Scottish Society of Directors of Planning for 2005-2006 and was privileged to represent Scottish local authority planning as a witness to Parliamentary Committees in the development of the 2006 Planning Act.

He feels that this high profile and sheer hard work were factors in the privilege of being appointed Head of Planning & Building Standards in the Highland Council in June 2006. His commitment to the Council is his response to the challenge of modernising service delivery in respect of the new Planning Act and to the challenge of more meaningful community engagement in the planning system.

Richard is pro-development and keen to seek improvements to design in all aspects of development.

In the few hours away from planning and building standards Richard likes to spend his time hill walking, gardening, enjoying the Sunshine on Leith and spending time with his three dogs, two cats, two horses and wife (although not necessarily in that order).

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Calum MacDougall, Director, Varis Engineering
Calum served his apprenticeship as a welder/fabricator with Newmill Engineering from 1976-1980, supplying and installing plant for all the major distilling companies in Scotland. From 1980 - 1988 he worked both at McDermott's Oil Rig fabrication yard and offshore as a coded welder, before returning to onshore work and eventually becoming a Project Engineer with William Reids of Forres.

In 1998 Calum and Eddie Tomkinson (Managing Director of Varis) started Varis Engineering Ltd. in Forres, employing a few of William Reid employees after the demise of Reids and have since successfully developed the Marina works that they were involved in.

Calum has an interest in sailing and scuba diving and is a former director of Sail Scotland.

Fred Gordon, Head Ranger, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service
Born and educated in north-east Scotland, Fred lived for a short time at Garmouth as a child. As a biologist, he has always been drawn to the coast, especially the oak woods of the Ardnamurchan area.

Some years ago Fred ran a guided walking holiday company offering holidays in the north-east and the west coast of Scotland and was a member of Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team for 10 years. Currently he is Head Ranger for Aberdeenshire Council managing a team of Rangers throughout Aberdeenshire. This team runs series of events for the general public and has a Ranger dedicated to coastal matters. He is also a Trainer for Tourism Training and has run a course in Banff for people in the tourism industry along the north coast.

Fred lives in rural Aberdeenshire in Strathdon with his wife and two dogs.

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Professor Paul Thompson, Aberdeen University
Paul, who is Director of the Cromarty Lighthouse Field Station, is well known and respected for the research work he has carried out in the Moray Firth over the last 20 years, which aims to discover how changes in environmental conditions affect marine wildlife populations.

Paul has produced over 100 scientific papers on these studies, provided scientific support to a range of international and regional management bodies and regularly contributes to media discussion and popular articles on marine research & conservation.

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Peter O'Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, Caithness Petroleum
Peter O'Sullivan is Chief Operating Officer at Caithness Petroleum Limited. He joined Caithness in 2006 and has over 15 years experience in oil and gas ranging from engineering and operations to management and strategy.

Previously, he worked as a business consultant for the upstream petroleum industry at Booz Allen Hamilton and Andersen Consulting. Peter started his career as an oil and gas field engineer with Caterpillar. He holds a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from University College Dublin, a Masters in Cognitive Science from the University of Edinburgh, and an MBA from INSEAD.

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John Woods, Chief Developments Officer, Ithaca
John has 25 years of Petroleum Engineering and Operations Management experience in the North Sea. With a Bachelors degree from Leicester University, he joined Britoil for graduate training in 1981. After gaining operations and joint venture management experience, he moved to Amerada Hess in 1989 where over a period of 13 years, based in London and Aberdeen, he developed their UK Petroleum Engineering capability and moved into operations management with overall responsibility for some of the UK North Sea's largest and most complex developments. Within this role, he managed ongoing operations and tie back projects to subsea, floating production and fixed platform developments. John managed assets with over 270 offshore crew and budgets of $250 Million per year. His achievements whilst at Hess included a number of North Sea 'firsts' in production enhancement initiatives and the development of a several tie-back projects into existing infrastructure.

On leaving Hess, John moved into the service sector of the North Sea working with Helix RDS to support companies such as BP, Marathon, Paladin, CNR and Tuscan in developing new reserves and consolidating existing production in the North Sea and worldwide. John then joined Wood Group Engineering as a Director to develop a service capability with the new breed of smaller companies entering the North Sea. He joined Ithaca in February 2006.

Calum Davidson, Head of Key Sectors, Highlands & Islands Enterprise
Calum is Head of HIE's Key sectors team, tasked with delivering sustainable high growth in the Government's key sectors of Energy, Creative Industries, Financial and Business services, Tourism, Food and Drink and Life Sciences. A regional planner by profession, he has been with the HIDB and HIE for 23 years, in a wide variety of jobs which included innovation, research and development, environmental planning, tourism, industrial development, inward investment, IT and telecoms development, entrepreneurial stimulation, and University knowledge exchange.

Born in Caithness, and brought up in Shetland and Inverness, Calum was educated at the Glasgow School of Art and Stirling University, he has distinct memories of seeing the original Salter Duck being tested in Loch Ness on teenage visits to the Dores Inn. He lives in Cromarty on the Black Isle, with his wife Ruth and three university-aged sons.

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Anne Saunders, Marine Conservation Society
Anne is a conservation biologist and a graduate of the University of Aberdeen. She has worked on various species including large heath butterflies, kittiwakes, and common and Arctic terns. Anne began working for MCS in May 2007, mainly working on basking sharks, turtles and jellyfish, as well as plastics in the marine environment.

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Michael Boylan, Co-operative Food
Michael joined the Co-op as a trainee manager and became manager of his first store at the age of 18 on completion of the year long trainee program. He has worked in various stores from Shetland to Skye to Peterhead, and in various management roles. He has been in his current role as operations manager for 2.5 years. He covers an area from Caithness to Inverness, with two stores in Stornoway, and has responsibility for over 500 employees. He now lives in Nairn with wife Fiona.

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Plastics Panel
Lizbeth Collie, Project Officer, Ross-shire Waste Action Network
Lizbeth Collie has been working as a Project Officer for Ross-shire Waste Action Network for the last 9 months. RoWAN works to help households minimise their waste to landfill and has been focusing on Ullapool, Alness, Lochcarron, Maryburgh and Conon Bridge, carrying out a range of activities from junk art projects to schools activities to composting support to plastics collection. Lizbeth was involved in the “Ullapool's Cottoned On” initiative which has already seen the village reduce plastic bag use by tens of thousands.