Local Business Visits

Business Visit + Summer Social – The R&A

Report by Sanaa Sachdev

Members and Guests enjoyed the Club’s 2019 Summer Social and Business Visit at the Forgan House base of The R&A.


The R&A group of companies was formed in 2004 to take on The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews’ responsibilities for governing the Rules of Golf, staging The Open, golf’s original championship, and developing the sport. The British Golf Museum in St Andrews is part of the R&A group.

Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions with a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 36 million golfers in 143 countries and with the consent of 156 organisations from amateur and professional golf.

The R&A merged with the Ladies’ Golf Union in 2017 and now has responsibility for running a series of world class amateur events and international matches in women’s and girls’ as well as men’s and boy’s golf. The R&A works with IMG to stage the Women’s British Open and with the European Tour to stage the Senior Open.

The R&A Executive Director – Governance & Chief of Staff, David Rickman, gave attendees an insight into the workings of one of the world’s leading sporting organisations

R&A Executive Director – Governance & Chief of Staff, David Rickman, gave attendees an insight into the workings of one of the world’s leading sporting organisations before explaining how it is aiming to invest £200 million in developing golf over the next decade and further support the growth of the sport internationally, including the development and management of sustainable golf facilities.

Members and their Guests then enjoyed networking over canapes and refreshments.

Thanks to the R&A for kindly hosting this event.

For more information about the R&A, go to its website.

For more photos, go to the Album on our Facebook page.

Pictures by ASM Media & PR

Members’ Success Stories

By Sanaa Sachdev

In our second annual Members’ Success Stories eventMembers shared their favourite business success story in a five-minute presentation.


Since the 10 x 30 Members’ Presentation Night last season turned out to be such a success, we decided to bring it back with a new element. Members talked about their experience, knowledge and their favourite business success story!

The event demonstrated energy in the form of passion, dedication and perseverance our members have devoted to reach the level of success they have achieved.

Those chosen at random were:

Thanks to them for sharing their experience. Thanks to Members, Guests & Visitors who attended. 

Jonathan Gibson of Wells Gibson Limited


Clark Boles of CBO Associates Limited


Reseda Muir of Muir Walker & Pride Architects and Interior Designers


Peter Menzies of Dundee Gin and Co.


Gareth Mailer of Indivigital


Pete Richardson of First Aid Perthshire

For more photos, go to the Album on our Facebook page. 

Business Visit – Eden Campus, Guardbridge

Geoff Morris, Director of Special Projects and Community Engagement, gave Members and their Guests a guided tour of the Eden Campus site, including inside the Energy Centre.

In the first event of the Club’s new Season, Geoff Morris, Director of Special Projects and Community Engagement at the University of St Andrews, gave Members and their Guests a guided tour of the Eden Campus site at Guardbridge.


The completely automated Energy Centre on the campus, which won the Sustainable Development Award at the 2016 Scottish Green Energy Awards, is central to the university’s strategic drive to become the UK’s first energy carbon neutral university and pumps hot water four miles to St Andrews to heat 41 University buildings including 2,600 student rooms.

The water is at 95 Celsius when it leaves and arrives at 94C. The university aims to have more of the heat used via improved heat exchangers as well as increase the number of buildings heated.

This facility alone has already reduced the university’s carbon footprint by 20%.

The Energy Centre is the first phase of a plan for the site which aims to create 500 new jobs as part of the Tay Cities Deal. The funding could unlock up to £75m of other inward investment within the first five years from a mixture of industry and private sector investors and would see the redevelopment of an extra 5,500 square metres of derelict buildings, allowing space for start-ups and other external companies to base themselves.

More than 400 University staff will relocate from St Andrews to Eden Campus this year.

For more and the latest information about this project, go to the University’s news page. 

NEXT EVENT: The Club’s next event is October 8: University of St Andrews Enterprise Week 2018 – Keynote Event

Business Breakfast – Uncovering Mindfulness

Paul Mudd, of The Mudd Partnership, uncovered how mindfulness can help in business and life in an energising and inspiring presentation.

Report & Pictures by ASM Media & PR

Over the last few years you’ve probably heard of mindfulness and that you should be doing it. But why? What is it? What are the benefits? And how can you do it?


‘Leadership Provocateur’, thinker and disrupter, bestselling mindfulness author, Paul Mudd answered all those questions and more by looking at the universal and the particular, the personal and the professional, the theory and the practice. And inspired several attendees to start their own Mindful Journey.

For more information about mindfulness and the other consulting services The Mudd Partnership offers, you can visit their website.

You can buy his book here.

For more photos, go to the Album on our Facebook page.

NEXT EVENT: The Club’s next event is June 6: when Gerry Grant, Chief Ethical Hacking Consultant, at Curious Frank, the cyber section of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, will explain how to maximise your cyber resilience.

New business learning events at St Andrews Business Club

By Alistair Morris, President

Since the start of the Club’s 2017-18 Season last September, we’ve been delighted with the feedback we’ve received on our events programme from the growing number of business people attending them.


So far at least 80% of attendees taking our post-event survey have typically rated their event Excellent or Very Good overall. And many have gone on to join the Club as a result.

Today we’re announcing the details of our business learning events for the rest of the season.

Business learning

The event topics, some of which were suggested by members, have been chosen to provide you with essential information on today’s key business issues you can use straight away. They will be:

VIP tour

As a result of the positive feedback we’ve had about the Members & Guests-only Business Visits held so far, we’ve taken the opportunity to arrange an extra business visit to a site which will play some role in the business lives of many of us in the next few years – the University of St Andrews’ Eden Campus at Guardbridge. Members and their Guests will enjoy a VIP guided tour on June 27.


Opening most of our events to non-members – so they can get a taste of the business learning and networking we offer – has proven to be popular too. And the minimum 45 minutes networking time built in to our events is being well used!

We’re expecting plenty of that at our St Andrews 10 x 30 event on May 9, where Members will be drawn at random to present 10 slides for a maximum of 30 seconds each on a topic of interest to all. It promises to be a fun night!

Whether you’re already a member, a past one or someone new to the Club, we’d be delighted to see you at our events this year. And hear what you think of them – so we can keep making the Club better.

Details of the full season’s topics, dates, speakers are here

Details of membership benefits and how to join the Club are here

For latest news from the Club, its members and the North-East Fife business community, follow the Club on:
Facebook page

The Old Course Hotel

Club Members and their guests enjoyed a tour of the upgraded facilities at the five-star The Old Course Hotel as well as a festive social event on December 6. Martin McAvoy takes one tour group into a room.

Club Members and their guests enjoyed a tour of the upgraded facilities at the five-star Old Course Hotel as well as a festive social event on December 6.

Bordering the renowned 17th ‘Road’ Hole of the Old Course, the Old Course Hotel overlooks the famous links courses, the West Sands Beach and the beautiful Scottish coastline. This prestigious AA Five Star-awarded hotel has 144 rooms including 35 suites and is recognised as one of Europe’s leading resorts.

Members were welcomed with glasses of prosecco and festive canapes by the hotel before President, Alistair Morris, added his welcome and introduced the Club’s newly-appointed Marketing Communications Intern, Comora Love-Mitchell, a 3rd Year student at the University of St Andrews.


The Old Course Hotel’s Resident Manager, Helen McBride, then talked about the major refurbishment work done last winter (including replacing the roof tiles with a rubber alternative made from recycled car tyres – to better resist errant golf balls!) before joining colleagues Phyllis Wilkie and Martin McAvoy in conducting tours in groups. The rooms, business and dining facilities were not short of ‘Wow! factor’.

Everyone then enjoyed further networking, seasonal food and drink before departing very happy into the early gusts of Storm Caroline.

For information about The Old Course Hotel, go to http://www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk

NEXT EVENT: The Club’s next event is January 10: Preparing for Making Tax Digital + Networking

BOOK NOW: Please book your place on Eventbrite by 12:00 Monday January 8 2018.

For more photos, go to the Album on our Facebook page.

Surviving Brexit

It’s not yet clear what form Brexit will take, so the Club’s November 8 event was designed to help company owners and managers develop a Brexit survival strategy for whatever happens.


Dr Shona Dobbie of Angus Economics provided a politics-free understanding of the economic consequences of Brexit so far.

Former Alliance Trust economist Dr Shona Dobbie gives independent economic, political and demographic advice to businesses.

She provided a politics-free understanding of the economic consequences of Brexit, including the effect on Sterling exchange rates, the UK equity markets and the impact of Sterling depreciation.

Highly experienced international businessman and entrepreneur Stephen Westwood gave an appreciation of the actual and perceived impacts of Brexit on business and suggested some solutions.

Stephen Westwood is a highly experienced businessman and entrepreneur who’s fulfilled roles as Chief Executive, Finance Director and interim executive across multiple business sectors for corporations in the UK and the US. He’s now engaged as Chairman and shareholder in developing three emerging businesses in digital technology and energy efficiency.

Stephen gave an appreciation of the actual and perceived impacts of Brexit on business, including currency volatility, the rights of EU nationals to remain and work, trading terms and access to capital. He also challenged attendees to consider what they can do about each and offered some ideas.

Dr Billy Grierson of Perth Innovation challenged attendees to start the process of thinking about what opportunities and challenges their businesses will face and what they can do about them.

Innovation and business consultant Dr Billy Grierson spent more than 30 years working for Ciba and BASF developing an understanding of how companies fail to solve problems and what tools and techniques can be used to improve their success rate.

He explained the Confrontation Matrix framework to start the process of thinking about what opportunities and challenges your business will face and what you can do about them and had attendees start using it to consider the strategies their businesses should be using.

The event was very much enjoyed by all who attended, who said they found it very useful.

NEXT EVENT: The Club’s next event is Learning Lunch: GDPR on November 22. It will help you ensure your organisation doesn’t incur fines of up to €20 million or more when the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force next May.

For more photos, go to the Album on our Facebook page.

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

Eden Mansion

SABC Eden Mansion visit Dec 2015-1_Web

Chris Wood (centre) told members of St Andrews Business Club the story of how he and his wife Elaine (second left) came to own Eden Mansion as well as giving them a guided tour.

Owners tell club story behind St Andrews’ newest five-star hotel

Members of St Andrews Business Club got a privileged insight into the story behind St Andrews’ newest five-star hotel when its owners hosted a champagne reception recently.

Chris and Elaine Wood gave members a guided tour of Eden Mansion, which was once the principal family home of the Haig whisky dynasty, after entertaining them with drinks and canapes and telling them the story of how the couple, who also own serviced apartments in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, came to acquire it a few years ago.

After initially running it as an exclusive-use venue, they’ve recently switched its status to being a hotel and gained a prestigious and rare five-star rating from VisitScotland. During this year’s Open the top management of Rolex used it as their base for the tournament.

Some of the profits from the hotel will go towards funding humanitarian work the Woods do with orphans in Burundi. The hotel website can be found at https://edenmansion.com

Owen Hazel

Owen Hazel scoops freshly-made ice cream out of the traditional vertical drum for members of St Andrews Business Club to try. Pic: ASM Media & PR

Owen Hazel, Director of B Jannettas Gelateria  

It’s not often a business club talk can be described as tasty as well as terrific, but the latest one heard by St Andrews Business Club members at B Jannettas Gelateria on South Street was both!

The reason was the speaker, Owen Hazel, who with his wife Nicola has been running the business for the last 20 years. As well as explaining the history of the business — which was started in 1908 by Nicola’s great-grandfather, Bennett Jannetta, as a soda parlour and tobacconist — Owen demonstrated how they make top-quality traditional gelato using a recipe and vertical drum, before giving samples to his eager audience. Earlier they also sampled a fruit sorbet.

Owen went on to explain how the fourth generation running the family firm, which won two prestigious awards this year, plan to transform the South Street premises next year into a single open-space ‘gelatorium’, allowing customers to see their ice cream being made. Other plans for the future development of the brand were also outlined, before Owen answered questions.

Club President Kenneth Russell, gave a vote of thanks.

St Andrews Business Club