Bonnie Hacking


Bonnie Hacking leads the breakfast workshop on leadership.

Bonnie Hacking is Enterprise Adviser in the Careers Centre at the University of St Andrews and teaches in the School of Management. She was the speaker at the January 2017 breakfast meeting of the Club.

Bonnie is passionate about people and provides skills training, coaching and advice to entrepreneurs. She’s worked with entrepreneurs who’ve built children’s homes in India, sold bicycles online, provided temporary summer storage for students, manufactured food items and a whole variety of web-based ventures.

Bonnie is also a Director with Enterprise Educators UK and University Adviser with Enactus UK.

Prior to joining the university, Bonnie was Management Development Officer for Oxfordshire County Council and People Programmes Manager for the Unipart Group of Companies.

In an interactive workshop involving the audience, Bonnie led Club members and their guests through the importance of leadership, particularly in the uncertain times we face and for SMEs. You can download Bonnie’s Powerpoint presentation here.

First, Bonnie asked the participants to consider people they thought have demonstrated exceptional leadership and identify the behaviours, characteristics, skills and traits they have in common before going on to talk about why leadership matters.

Research findings

Bonnie explained that BIS Research Paper 211 “Leadership and Management Skills in SMEs: Measuring Associations with Management Practices and Performance” published in March 2015 looked at the performance effects of a set of leadership and management dimensions in 2,948 SMEs in England with between five and 250 employees.

The dimensions considered were:

The research found the associations between skill sets, management practices and performance effects were:

Which businesses can gain most benefit from improved leadership?

Bonnie then explained that the research found:

Bonnie went on to explain the fundamental bases of different leadership theories (Slide 9) and how vision, inspiration and momentum make up the essence of leadership (Slide 10) before discussing the aspects of leadership (Slide 11), how an effective leader uses their skills, qualities and behaviours in the context of the organisation and their staff (Slides 12 and 13) to get results.

Leader or Manager?

Next Bonnie handed out three cards to each attendee with leadership and managerial tasks on them and challenged them to see if they could swap them with others in order to end up with three describing effective leadership. She then revealed the ones which are required for leaders and those needed by managers (Slide 15). The difference between the two roles was summed up with a quote from James Colvard’s Managers vs. Leaders: “A manager takes care of you where you are; a leader takes you to a new place.”

Bonnie then challenged the participants to consider questions about their own leadership and management practice (Slides 17 to 19) before sharing recommended free online resources to further their learning and development (Slides 20 & 21).

Finally, in answering questions, Bonnie said research has shown personal leadership qualities aren’t fixed and can be developed. Also the leadership style used to manage each individual subordinate should vary based on their needs while keeping in mind the need to manage their performance.

For more information about University of St Andrews, go to


Chris Marr

Chris Marr is the founder of The Content Marketing Academy, the UK’s largest membership organisation of its type. He was the speaker at the February 2017 evening meeting of the Club.

Chris is the leading voice of the growing content marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing.

Like all educators, Chris is also a dedicated student. He’s interviewed and facilitated events with many of content marketing’s most notable thought leaders. The knowledge he’s learned from the likes of Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Marcus Sheridan and Mark Schaefer has been shared freely with the members of his growing community.

Chris told Club members and guests how to use content marketing to make their business stand out.

The key points Chris made were:

To replay the Facebook Live broadcast of Chris’s talk, click HERE. Members can request a copy of his slides by emailing the Club.

The Content Marketing Academy’s annual conference, TCMA, takes place June 8 and 9. For more information about it, content marketing and The Content Marketing Academy, go to


Professor Verity Brown


Professor Verity Brown, Vice-Principal (Enterprise & Engagement) at the University of St Andrews was the speaker at the November 2016 evening meeting of the Club.

Verity is a scientist, first gaining a BSc in Psychology before going on to earn a PhD in Neuroscience from Cambridge University. She added an MBA while on secondment to the pharmaceutical industry for four years.

Professor  Brown joined the University of St Andrews in 1993 as a junior lecturer and has risen through the ranks, holding prestigious international research fellowships and various management positions within the University. Two years ago she became one of the Vice-Principals, with responsibility for Enterprise and Engagement.

In her talk, “How does a Modern Ancient work?” she described how the University of St Andrews is organised, managed and run.

Among the enlightening facts she revealed were:

Professor Brown went to outline the many ways in which the business community can work with the University. These include:

Verity also described fun ways in which people in the town can interact with the university, including its annual festivals, many of which began as University initiatives, membership of its Sports Centre, and taking short courses through the Open Association.

While answering questions, Verity mentioned the vision for the Guardbridge Energy Centre site including the Sustainable Power and Research Campus – which will allow around 300 staff to be based outside the town centre alongside SMEs with whom they may work on projects.

For more information about University of St Andrews, go to

Allan Bowie



Allan Bowie, President of NFU Scotland, was the speaker at the Club’s October Breakfast meeting.

He farms in North-East Fife and Clackmannanshire with his wife Christine and son Callum, majoring on growing cereals. The area farmed extends to about 850 acres on contract farming agreements.

Allan spoke to Club members and guests on the impact of Brexit on the rural economy and other issues affecting local farmers.

The points he made included:

For more information about NFU Scotland, go to

The Rt Hon Frank Mulholland QC



Former Lord Advocate, The Rt Hon Frank Mulholland QC, spoke passionately and for the first time about his tenure as Scotland’s top law officer in a talk to St Andrews Business Club.


In the first evening talk of the Club’s new term, The Rt Hon Frank Mulholland QC, Temporary Judge and Privy Councillor, spoke to members, guests and local business people about his career.

After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with an LLB in 1981 and a Diploma in Legal Practice in 1982, Mr Mulholland completed his traineeship before being admitted as a solicitor in 1984 and joining the Procurator Fiscal Service.

He remained there until 1991, when he was transferred to the Crown Office, working as a solicitor in the High Court Unit. Mr Mulholland became a Notary Public in 1992 and joined the Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland in 1993.

In 1997 he became the first member of the Procurator Fiscal Service to be appointed an Advocate Depute. The same year Mr Mulholland graduated from the University of Edinburgh MBA programme.

In 2003 he returned to the ranks of Crown Counsel as the Senior Advocate Depute. In that role Mr Mulholland prosecuted the HM Advocate v Transco plc case – the first prosecution in Scotland of a public limited company for culpable homicide – and represented the Crown in the 2004 appeals by Thomas Campbell and Joe Steele, convicted over the so-called Glasgow Ice Cream Wars. He was appointed a Queens Counsel in 2005.

In January 2006, Mr Mulholland was appointed as Area Procurator Fiscal for Lothian and Borders and in 2007 became Solicitor General. In that post he formed the Serious and Organised Crime Division within the Crown Office and led the successful prosecution of Peter Tobin for the 1991 murder of Vicky Hamilton. He joined the Faculty of Advocates by invitation from the Dean in October 2008.

Mr Mulholland was appointed Lord Advocate following the 2011 Scottish elections and in July 2011 was appointed to the Privy Council.

He stood down as Lord Advocate on June 1 this year and was appointed a Temporary Judge in the High Court and Court of Session on August 28, pending his formal admission as a Senator of the College of Justice on the retirement of an existing senator at the end of October 2016.

His talk was listened to with great interest by a gripped and appreciative audience.





Mark Robinson



Mark Robinson, Director of Lean at the University of St Andrews and Managing Director of St Andrews Lean Consulting Ltd, was the first breakfast speaker of the Autumn/Winter 2016 term at its September 21 meeting.

Mark Robinson, Director of Lean at the University of St Andrews and Managing Director of St Andrews Lean Consulting Ltd, was the first breakfast speaker of the Autumn/Winter 2016 term at its September 21 meeting.

Mark has delivered Lean facilitator training, facilitated Lean Rapid Improvement Events and led the establishment of Lean Teams in institutions including The Scottish Parliament and in a number of universities in the UK, Ghana and Malaysia to Canada and Australia.

A New Zealander, he explained to members and guests how his career prior to arriving in Scotland in late 2003 – in a number of management roles in the New Zealand public sector – provided many examples of processes which were far from effective or Lean and drove his desire to fix them and others.

For example, while working in education he encountered a form in a filing cabinet which had been transported without question from the original building to the new one a number of years before. It was from the 1940s and detailed the correct procedure for fitting headlight shrouds to a car during wartime. Or the time delay from filing a trademark application to receiving acknowledgement of its receipt – two years.

So, when asked in 2007 to join the University of St Andrews Lean change initiative, he jumped at the chance.

Mark explained the basic principles of the Lean approach to continuously improving organisational processes set out from Slide 14 in his presentation, which you can view here –

In summary, Lean is about having “the right people continuously searching for the simplest and smoothest process in order to meet customer needs perfectly”. In order to achieve this, he and his colleagues have frontline staff map their existing processes in a blame-free environment of mutual trust and then generate ideas for how to move to a perfect set of processes which add value, are necessary and are free of the 8 Wastes (Slide 20) – Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-production, Over-processing, Defects and Skills.

The 2 Fundamentals (Slide 18) – Continuous Improvement and Respect for People – and the Five Principles (Slide 19) underpin the approach and are used alongside a variety of tools and techniques, some of which are shown in Mark’s presentation. The Lean Project Process Overview is shown at Slide 29, with an example of a finished Lean process flowchart at Slide 31.

Potential obstacles include The Wall of Excuses (Slide 34). They are overcome through structured questioning from the Kipling Checklist (Slide 22).

For more information about Lean, continuous improvement and St Andrews Lean Consulting Ltd, go to its new website at

Rhonda McCrimmon


Rhonda McCrimmon, BID Manager, BID St Andrews was the speaker at the November 2016 breakfast meeting of the Club

Rhonda has a strong background in financial and event management – having worked as an accountant with Fife companies Carters Accountants, Craig & Rose and SRUC Elmwood before spending four years as a financial accountant at the University of St Andrews, including work on capital projects.

Rhonda told Club members and their guests about the many things BID St Andrews has accomplished since the Board was elected by levy-payers in November 2015.

She first explained that the aim of BID St Andrews is to harness the power of the global brand of St Andrews for the benefit of local businesses and the community. Through the BID a series of projects and services are creating a more vibrant business environment focused on delivering an enhanced customer experience and reputation for the town.

The BID is managed by a dedicated Board of 10 volunteer representatives from levy-paying businesses and two local councillors plus the BID Manager, Rhonda.

The compulsory business rate levy is paid by qualifying businesses whose premises are inside the BID area and is collected on BID’s behalf by Fife Council. By the end of October 2016 £129,000 of levy income had been collected – 87.6% of the amount due. The balance is mainly accounted for by businesses paying it via payment plans.

BID’s grant income of £35,000 to date is on-track with the business plan target. It’s also received ‘in kind’ support from several businesses including Thorntons Solicitors and The Old Course Hotel (£1,930 of free meeting space) and University of St Andrews (£20,000 of staff time, accommodation, office, meeting and function space).

Photography Festival

Reviewing the highlights of what BID St Andrews has done with those resources, Rhonda first went over the key facts of BID’s first major event – the 1st St Andrews Photography Festival, which was held from August 1 to September 11:

The next photography festival will take place over four weeks in September 2017.

Land Train

During July 2016 BID also for the Land Train to return for a trial summer week after a well-received run during the 2015 Open weekend. The route linked the sights of St Andrews and showcased the town.

The train proved popular with both tourists and locals. As a result it will return at Christmas and BID is in talks about an extended run in Summer 2017.

Clean and Green

One of the main themes of the BID Business Plan, as a result of feedback from levy-payers about their priorities, are the Clean and Green projects. Rhonda summarised progress on each of these:

Festive Celebrations

Rhonda went on to explain the various initiatives BID has lined up to help the town maximise the economic benefit from the Festive Period this year by raising the profile of St Andrews as a Christmas destination:

BID has agreed in principle to take over the organisation of the Christmas Lights event from 2017 and will explore possible options with a stewardship team from The Old Course Hotel in early 2017.

Early 2017

Rhonda next outlined two of the events planned for early 2017:

Online Marketing and Promotion

Finally, Rhonda’s presentation explained that BID is exploring options for its online presence and is developing a strategy for marketing and promotion including:

Answering questions from attendees, Rhonda said which events would become annual fixtures would depend on the KPI performance of each,

Rhonda also confirmed that BID is keen to engage with all groups in the community and would welcome more involvement from levy-payers.

For more information about BID St Andrews and for contact details, go to

This meeting is open to Club members and their guests only.

Click here to find out how to join the Club. Annual membership is just £30. Small additional charges are made for certain meetings, usually to cover catering costs.

Kingsbarns Distillery Visit

I am pleased to announce that the Club’s season of events is up and running. I will circulate the full programme from September to December 2016 to you in the next week or so.

To start off the new season, a visit has been arranged to Kingsbarns Distillery. This is a new and successful business which has been operating for the last two years or so. It has been attracting visitors and widespread publicity over that period.

There will be a charge of £20.00 for the visit which includes a guided tour of the distillery followed by a tasting of two drams. This visit has been arranged for Wednesday 7 September 2016 and as it would be unwise to drive away from this event, a bus will be laid on from Argyle Street car park (Doubledykes Road end) at 6:15pm. The return journey will be at 8:30pm.

As spaces for this visit are restricted to 20, please confirm if you will be attending and let me have payment of the £20.00 by Monday 22 August 2016.

Mr R A Murphy
Secretary & Treasurer

Kallum “with a K” Russell

SABC breakfast Apr 2016 Kallum Russell_sm


Kallum’s Story – Accelerating Acorns into Oaks

Award-winning Fife entrepreneur Kallum “with a K” Russell was the final business person in the 2015/16 season to share ‘My Story’ with members of St Andrews Business Club at its April breakfast meeting.

His LinkedIn profile says: “I am passionate about marketing, entrepreneurship and all things local. I connect people, places and things. I enjoy challenging the norm, the mundane and the accepted. Put simply, I make things happen and enjoy doing it.” His CV backs that up in spades.

Since graduating with a First Class MA in Management with Marketing from Heriot-Watt University in 2011, Kallum has:
• Worked with two start-ups in Edinburgh
• Launched a networking group for Dunfermline
• Created a marketing consultancy aimed at helping small businesses
• Been a local radio presenter
• Founded a local events website
• Started a 3D printing business
• Become a member of the Fife Area Board for Young Enterprise Scotland
• Co-founded Fife business accelerator Acorn Enterprise with Liberty Business Centres owner Jerry Alexander – who thought his ‘business accelerator on the High St’ idea was so good he decided to back it and give it premises
• Been listed in this year’s Sunday Times Maserati 100 Index – for Britain’s most successful philanthropists, investors, mentors, advisors and ascending entrepreneurs supporting the next generation of business talent
• Learned many lessons from the failures he’s had
• Never given up

Acorn Enterprise is dedicated to growing Scotland’s startup business culture. It’s already worked with 75 “Acorns” (participants) and of those who’ve completed the programme 75% are still trading and growing. And expanded into Acorn Business Bootcamps – teaching graduates how to start their own businesses, rather than become employees.

The last theme is key to his personal mission – to grow Scotland’s entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem as the existing education system – based on the industrial model designed to produce employees for ‘jobs for life’ careers in large organisations – is broken. And get people past the fear of failure that holds them back as well as promote the idea that not every business has to be globally scaleable.

Kallum shared with members two key messages:
1. You can achieve ANYTHING you want to!
2. Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone

His Top 5 lessons:
1. Go Networking
2. Get A Mentor
3. Understand and Develop Yourself
4. Start with the End in Mind
5. Enjoy What You Do!

His favourite quote is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” If you don’t, he and his Acorns will!

Acorn Enterprise can be found at

Thorntons Investment Management

St Andrews Business Club seminar hears experts on Post-Budget opportunities for local businesses

St Andrews Business Club President Alistair Lang (second left) studies the post-Budget opportunities identified by seminar speakers (from left) Barry Davidson, Stewart Taylor and Matt Strachan from Thorntons Investments.

St Andrews Business Club President Alistair Lang (second left) studies the post-Budget opportunities identified by seminar speakers (from left) Barry Davidson, Stewart Taylor and Matt Strachan from Thorntons Investments.

Date: 24 March 2016
Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm start
Venue: The New Club, St Andrews


Local business people received expert insight into the post-Budget opportunities for businesses and advice on the latest developments in personal and business financial planning in the penultimate St Andrews Business Club free seminar.

The event, titled ‘Post Budget Outcomes: New Rules & Opportunities’, was held at the New St Andrews Golf Club and heard from three speakers from Thorntons Investments.

Barry Davidson, Head of Wealth Planning, gave an introduction to Thorntons Investments and its approach to managing clients’ investments before handing over to financial planner Stewart Taylor. He reflected on the outcomes of the Budget and the planning opportunities this and the new pension freedom legislation have created.

Finally Chief Investment Officer, Matt Strachan, provided an overview of the current state of the economy and investment markets.

The seminar series is supported by Business Gateway Fife and is part of the new drive by the club to increase its membership. The final seminar will take place in April.

St Andrews Business Club