2021 AGM – Guest Speaker Jamie Andrew


Remaining online for the Club’s 2021 AGM, the conference celebrated this season’s committee and members for hosting a share of memorable virtual events throughout these exceptional times. 

Immediate Past President Marie Paterson acknowledged the resilience and dedication of the club’s members in continuing to focus on business development despite the difficult challenges posed the past year. Despite membership dropping from its all-time high of 130, approximately being cut in half as a result of the pandemic, the organisation’s bank balance is in good shape as the club looks to start the new season with face to face meetings. 

Marie praised the outgoing Committee for creating engaging and productive zoom sessions combining the likes of food, wine, networking and education. Events covered a range of pressing topics including ‘leading change; podcasting; embracing diversity; and the impact of Brexit.’ Similarly, the club’s first partnering with the Home Start St Andrews charity at Christmas proves a new annual means of support to the community. 


2021-2022 Committee

The 2021-2022 elected committee are:


Marie gave great acknowledgement to secretary Emma-Jane Kerr for her major role in improving the club’s operation. She also thanked Immediate Past President Caroline and past Treasurer Michael for their longtime service as they stood down from their respective positions. Similarly, Marie thanked her Vice President Reseda and the rest of the committee who are continuing their roles in the upcoming season. Last but not least she thanked Marketing-communications interns Sanaa and Stanley for all they have done in promoting the club the past two years. Stating, “I am especially delighted to be handing over to a really strong group of office bearers who I know will see us through the next year, whatever life throws at us.”

Lastly, Marie enthusiastically introduced the newly elected committee before ‘passing the medal’ on to Newly-elected President Christopher Trotter. Trotter, a longtime member and St Andrews native, thanked Marie for her unwavering service and saluted his Committee, marketing communications interns and members for a much-anticipated return in-person events.

Christopher’s first order as President was to encourage each member to invite a colleague to the club’s future events, a sure way to increase membership numbers for the coming season. 

Closing the AGM, Christopher introduced the long-awaited guest speaker for the evening’s inspiring presentation, which was given by Jamie Andrew, OBE. Jamie detailed his experience of losing all of his limbs after being trapped by a storm atop a mountain in the French Alps. Following this, Jamie’s inspiring story shows his recovery from his injuries and him going on to be the first quadruple amputee to climb the Matterhorn, as well as other mountains, alongside completing marathons and Iron Man triathlons. Jamie’s story, recounted with honesty and passion, is nothing short of incredible.  

Podcasts, Vlogs and Talking Media

At our recent event on Podcasts, Vlogs and talking media, Kerr Mathieson of Audio Outsource discussed the power of audio and how podcasts can be used to grow and promote businesses. 



Kerr runs a production company in Dundee and has 30 years of experience in music and audio production. He helps businesses to utilise podcasting and audio branding to expand their business.

Kerr explained many aspects of podcasts, for example distinguishing between business and leisure podcasts; the construction of branding through audio and the process of monetisation and promotion. He finished with a Q&A session to answer the guest’s questions on the topics covered.

NEXT EVENT: AGM + Jamie Andrew OBE

Diversity in Business

At our first Diversity in Business Event, Sumayya Usmani, Food Educator, Broadcaster and author of two award-winning cookbooks  discussed the need for a changing mindset to best represent a diversity-based inclusive policy and the experiences that led her to serving as the Diversity Coordinator for The Guild of Food Writers. 



Pakistani born Sumayya Usmani shared the hurdles a food writer faces when generalization and appropriation are present in everyday life and the consequent steps that any organization should consider when looking to make a more diversity-based inclusive policy. 

Attendees also enjoyed an active Q&A session with Sumayya, involving topics such as transgender recruitment and diversity and inclusion policies for small organisations.

NEXT EVENT: The Club’s next event is April 21 Podcast, vlogs and talking media. 

Women’s Enterprise Scotland CEO to speak at St Andrews Business Club AGM evening

Carolyn Currie​, Chief Executive of Women’s Enterprise Scotland

Women’s Enterprise Scotland Chief Executive Carolyn Currie is the speaker at St Andrews Business Club’s AGM Evening on Wednesday May 15, to which non-members are invited after the AGM formalities.


To be held at the Old Course Hotel from 6.15pm, Carolyn Currie will tell attendees about her extensive career at a senior level in financial services and her current work with Women’s Enterprise Scotland.



Ms Currie has guided the development of global-leading standards for gender equality in business advisor training and digital platform content. She has given evidence to Parliamentary Committees on economic matters, is a founding member of the UK Women’s Enterprise Policy Group, has contributed policy papers to the World Economic Forum in Davos and is a member of the T20, the think tank of the G20.

Anyone wanting to attend is asked to book via Eventbrite.

A full list of this season’s events can be found at


Award-winning businesswoman joins Inspiring Women event line-up

Inspiring women – (left) Nicola Dames and Professor Sally Mapstone.

A multiple award-winning businesswoman who created her company to help women like her affected by bowel disease has been announced as the second speaker for St Andrews Business Club’s Inspiring Women event on March 7.


Nicola Dames had her life change forever when she started to suffer with Ulcerative Colitis in her 20s. After surgery to remove her large colon, she found underwear available for women with stomas lacked femininity. So in 2008 she started Vanilla Blush to design, make and sell what women like her wanted.

Since then it’s grown to become a multiple award-winning brand specialising in selling swimwear and medical lingerie to people like her, directly and via the NHS, and has grown from online-only to opening a store in Glasgow and contracted to eight European countries.

In 2011, Vanilla Blush had its first range listed as a Class 1 Medical Device and in 2014 launched its pioneering innovation with Hernia Prevention and support available on NHS prescription. It continues to invest in leading-edge research to inform its product design.

In 2014, Vanilla Blush was named Post-Surgery Brand of the Year and in June 2016 secured £50,000 in Scottish EDGE funding. Nicola rejected a £2.7m offer for the business in June last year because her brand’s mission and financial projections meant too much to simply “grab the cash and run”. In December last year, Nicola was included in Lingerie Insight’s Power List 2018.


Nicola joins Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal of the University of St Andrews, who will give the keynote at the event, open to all, to be held at the Old Course Hotel from 5.30pm.

Professor Mapstone has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews since September 2016. Before taking up the role, her academic career was spent at the University of Oxford, where she read English Language and Literature, gained her doctorate in Older Scots literature and became Professor of Older Scots Literature in the Faculty of English Language and Literature.

Earlier in her career she worked as an editor in the book publishing industry. Prof Mapstone is an Emeritus Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and St Cross College, Oxford, as well as a member of the board of Universities UK, a member of the Higher Education Policy Institute advisory board, and a member of the National Centre for Universities and Business Growing Value Scotland Legacy Project Advisory Group.

Attendees will gain inspiration as well as the speakers’ career lessons and the chance to question them.

Club President, Alistair Morris, said: “We’re delighted to have two truly inspiring women speaking at this event on the eve of International Women’s Day to recognise the immense contribution women make to the world and how stories like theirs can inspire anyone to make positive changes in the world.”

Anyone wanting to attend can book their place on Eventbrite.

Learn to use marketing messages to make customers love your business

Award-winning journalist and PR consultant Lynda Hamilton Parker will teach attendees about how to communicate their business messages.

People doing business in North-East Fife can make a date with St Andrews Business Club on Valentine’s Day to learn how best to make customers love their business by communicating their business messages effectively.


In the latest event of the club’s season, to be held at the Old Course Hotel from 5.30pm, award-winning journalist and PR consultant Lynda Hamilton Parker will teach attendees about how to communicate their business messages by using the media and other marketing channels to raise the profile of their business.


Lynda will also describe how the media work as well as debunking some of the myths and mysteries around PR.

Anyone wishing to learn about this important business topic, as well as network, is asked to book via Eventbrite.

A full list of this season’s events can be found at

North-East Fife 2018 – what to expect for businesses

People doing business in North-East Fife are being invited to St Andrews Business Club’s event on January 24 to hear what to expect in the economy of North-East Fife in 2018.


In the event, to be held at the Old Course Hotel from 5.30pm, Keith Winter, Executive Director of Enterprise & Environment at Fife Council and Professor Brad MacKay, Vice-Principal, International Strategy and External Relations at University of St Andrews, will talk about what they believe 2018 will and may hold for St Andrews and North-East Fife which will affect businesses and for which they need to have a plan.

Anyone wishing to learn about this important business topic, as well as network, is asked to book via Eventbrite. A full list of this season’s events can be found at

The Club’s first event of the New Year, and at its new venue, is on preparing your business for HMRC’s Making Tax Digital programme and takes place on January 10.

Event to teach NE Fife firms how to avoid risk of €20m GDPR fines

Loretta Maxfield of Thorntons LLP will talk about The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at St Andrews Business Club’s first learning lunch on November 22.

People doing business in North-East Fife are being invited to a November 22 event where they can learn how to ensure they don’t incur fines of up to €20 million or more when the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force next May.


In the first learning lunch of St Andrews Business Club’s new season, the joint event with Fife Women in Business will hear information law expert Loretta Maxfield of Thorntons LLP explain what GDPR is, how it will affect businesses, what they need to do to ensure compliance and the penalties if they don’t.

The lunch will be held at the New Golf Club from 12.30pm till 2pm and will also include time for networking at the start.

Anyone wishing to learn about this important business topic, as well as network, is asked to book via Eventbrite.

Full details of all the club’s events, most of which are now open to non-members, are available here.

‘How to survive Brexit’ event for NE Fife firms

Dr Billy Grierson (left), Stephen Westwood and Dr Shona Dobbie will describe how companies can develop a Brexit survival strategy.

It’s not yet clear what form Brexit will take, but St Andrews Business Club’s November 8 event will help company owners and managers develop a Brexit survival strategy for whatever happens.


Three highly-qualified experts will speak at the event, to be held at the New Golf Club from 5.30pm.

Former Alliance Trust economist Dr Shona Dobbie gives independent economic, political and demographic advice to businesses. She will provide a politics-free understanding of the economic consequences of Brexit.

International businessman and entrepreneur Stephen Westwood has fulfilled roles as Chief Executive, Finance Director and interim executive across multiple business sectors for corporations in the UK and the US. He will deliver an appreciation of the actual and perceived impacts of Brexit on business.

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 will outline the framework to start the process of thinking about what opportunities and challenges your business will face and what you can do about them.

Anyone wishing to learn about this vital business topic, as well as network, is asked to book via Eventbrite.

Noele McClelland

Noele McClelland, employment law Partner at Thorntons, explains the issues to Club members and guests.

Noele McClelland is a highly-experienced employment lawyer who advises public and private sector clients on all aspects of employment law and HR practice, in which she specialised in 2001.

Noele has been involved in a number of high-profile executive disputes and also acts for a number of SMEs – working closely with their directors as a trusted advisor to support them with their employment law needs.

She is listed in Chambers’ Guide to the Legal Profession as one of Scotland’s leading employment solicitors.

Noele ran Club members and guests through the key organisational processes which are regulated by employment law, including:

Noele also answered questions on the crucial issues in Zero Hours Contracts, differences in how HRMC sees employment status versus employment law and record-keeping to ensure successful defence of hiring decisions.

For information on Thorntons’ employment law services, go to

St Andrews Business Club