Our board is made up of 12 volunteer directors from the South West Mull and Iona area.
Colin MacDonald (Chair)
Colin was a senior civil servant in the Scottish Office with an illustrious career that has encompassed various leadership roles, including Head of Management and Organisation and Head of Housing. Colin retired in 2000 and re-located to Iona. He is involved in many local organisations and is Chair of the Iona Liaison group which meets twice a year and includes representatives from all the agencies, government and local organisations who are stakeholders on Iona. Colin has children and grandchildren living on Iona and a vision for developing the sustainability of the area for future generations.
Colin’s extensive experience of leadership and his knowledge of political processes have made him an invaluable Chair.
Brik Halcrow (Company Secretary)
Brik has a background in accounts and finance and worked for the Iona Community for many years as admin team leader; including the management of staffing, staff care and finance and overall responsibility for the work of the shop, bookings office, maintenance and general administration team. She has a strong commitment to the local community and, as well as her involvement with SWMID, is a very active volunteer and treasurer for the MESS charity shop in Bunessan. Brik has previously been a director on the board of Mull and Iona Community Trust.
Brik’s commitment and financial experience have been of enormous value to SWMID. Previously she was heavily involved in the day to day management of SWMID’s finances, a role that is now in the remit of a paid employee.
John is a farmer who has lived all of his life on Iona and has children and grandchildren here. He has extensive knowledge of the area and is particularly interested in agriculture, land management and issues affecting farmers. John is Vice-Chair of the Sound of Iona Harbours Committee.
John’s quiet authority, his knowledge of farming and his strong commitment to local development make him a great asset to the Board.
Having grown up, worked and attended university in Edinburgh, Cameron moved to the Isle of Mull in 2010 to take up employment in the tourism and hospitality industry where he gained good knowledge of this sector. He has also worked in fishing before taking on his current role as a steward for Historic Environment Scotland at Iona Abbey.
Cameron was also employed for a year as an Adult Learning Tutor for Argyll and Bute Council, teaching evening classes for beginner level computing skills. He is an active and sociable member of the Mull and Iona Pipe Band and is Vice Chair of the Mull Community Council. Cameron is also a Community First Responder – part of a network of people who are trained to use locally sited defibrillators and administer oxygen in a cardiac emergency.
Cameron is an engaged and active Board member who has knowledge across a wide range of areas from tourism and fishing to training to the processes of local government. He is our youngest Board member who we hope will remain involved and able to drive through projects that are still in their inception.
David has lived on the Isle of Mull since 1973 and acquired a deep knowledge of the island and its people, as well as that of the wildlife native to the island. Since moving to Mull he has worked in fishing, mussel farming, timber extraction and bus-driving. He runs a wildlife viewing business and taxi service and together with his wife, produces the “Round and About”, the local paper for Mull and Iona. David has been Chair of the Ross of Mull and Iona Transport Scheme and was for many years Chair of the Ross of Mull Historical Centre. David is also a member of the local volunteer Coastguard.
His vast knowledge of the local area and history and his commitment to the local community make him a highly valued Board member.
Jack is a recently retired head teacher with over 25 years’ experience; including several years as head teacher in Bunessan Primary School on the Ross of Mull. Jack is actively involved in a number of community organisations including Bunessan Show, Bunessan Easter Run and the Ross of Mull and Iona Gala. Jack is a long-standing member of the local volunteer fire service. He is still involved with the local primary school and runs a weekly children’s Chess club. He is also an active member of Heart-Start, training local people – adults and children – in resuscitation techniques.
Jack is much appreciated on the Board for his humour and his vision and commitment to organising social and community events that help foster community spirit and identity.
Stewart was brought up on Mull and has extensive family connections here. He is a mechanic and has worked in the family garage business for 32 years. The garage is a MOT test centre, a breakdown recovery service, fuel distributor to the marine sector in South West Mull and Iona, and is a commercial transport operator and schools transport provider to Argyll and Bute Council. He is also a crofter and has a herd of Highland Cattle. He has been involved with the local volunteer fire service for 16 years and is now the head of the local fire station. Stewart has been involved in various community groups, including village hall committees, the refurbishment of Mull Slaughter House, the Mull Rally and Mull Community Council.
Stewart’s local knowledge, his commitment to the area and its people, and his willingness to help out whatever the task make him a highly respected Board member.
Tony is an IT professional with many years of experience in software development, IT and management consultancy. Since 1984 he has been deeply involved in the work of IEEE 802, the standards body that defines the industry standards for WiFi and Ethernet. In July 2013 he was the recipient of the IEEE’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in recognition of this work. He is a member of the Mull and Iona Community Trust steering group that is developing the “GigaPlus Argyll” project to bring next generation broadband services to Mull and surrounding areas, and runs a development of holiday letting cottages in partnership with his wife Jenny.
Tony’s extensive business and leadership experience have been invaluable in his role as Chair of the Forest Directors subcommittee. He is also able to offer excellent technical advice to staff.
Originally trained in science and conservation, Julie taught science and mathematics in secondary schools before working in museums and heritage for fifteen years. She spent six years as Yorkshire Regional Education Officer for English Heritage and headed the National Education Team for a short period. This role involved managing a variety of projects, including family learning resources and working as a member of teams developing new visitor centres at properties with a particular focus on learning and interpretation.
Julie now lives in Fionnphort and works as an artist potter.
Having been a frequent visitor for several years, Martin moved permanently to Mull in 2016 and is based in Fionnphort. Before taking early retirement , Martin worked for over 30 years as a chartered town planner in the public sector, specialising in the preparation of local development plans, He is keen to learn about the history, culture and environment of the Ross and to that end is a regular volunteer for the National Trust for Scotland.
Martin is keen to use his knowledge and experience to promote the sustainable development of the Ross and Iona.
Alison was born and brought up on the Ross of Mull. After a quick stint in Glasgow for 3 years, where she gained a degree in business information management and marketing, Alison returned home to study childcare in Oban. Upon completion of her course Alison is now based in Iona Primary school where she works as an early education and childcare worker.
Alison has a young family and lives with her husband in Fionnphort. Alison is also a member of the Creich hall committee and joined SWMID to get involved with future projects and give back to the area she has always called home.
Neil’s background is in outdoor education and change management. Originally from Scotland, Neil spent many years away having adventures. He instructed for Outward Bound in both Canada and New Zealand before taking on the role of Quality Risk Manager for Outward Bound Australia. He holds a Mountain Leader Award from the Mountain Training Association.
Neil has also lived and worked on Iona and Mull at various times. He previously ran the Columba Hotel on Iona, worked with Ardalanish Weavers and is involved in an ongoing way with Camas Adventure Camp. He now lives in Ardtun from where he runs Wild Journeys and Wild Campers. On returning to Mull in 2016 Neil was excited to see all that is going on with SWMID and is keen to get involved!