From left to right (standing): Laura Reid, Olly Headey, Polly Purvis (Chair), Sandy Pratt, Neville Prentice, Adam Bannon, Cat Leaver, (sitting) Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, Bill Douglas, Fiona Keady
Polly is Chair of CodeClan. She is Director at leading Scottish agritech business, Intelligent Growth Solutions, and has spent the last twenty years working with technology companies large and small, at ScotlandIS. She is also a member of the Converge Challenge Board, SICSA Advisory Board, and the Regional Enterprise Council for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, and is a director of Edinburgh Science and a Trustee of Digital Xtra Fund.
Melinda is a CEO with a passion for technology to drive economic growth in Scotland. As the leader of CodeClan, Melinda is championing the growing digital sector by supporting and encouraging individuals into the world of software development. Her experience as a Global VP of Software Sales and Marketing for ISVs and Alliances at IBM, has given her an insight on how the world embraces technology for commercial and social success. She is an experienced manager at leading diverse teams, at different stages of business maturity, with an emphasis of activating individuals to aspire to their dreams.
Olly is co-founder and CTO at FreeAgent. Since co-founding FreeAgent in 2007, Olly has helped grow the company to over 140 employees and scale the product to support over 70,000 happy customers. Prior to FreeAgent, Olly worked in software engineering roles for video game startups, national radio stations and incognito hedge funds before starting his own software consultancy in 2005. Olly is passionate about technology, startups and creating customer-delighting products.
Laura Reid has worked in the tech sector for more than 15 years. As CEO of SIMUL8 Corporation, Laura leads a dedicated team that have enabled over 70% of Fortune 500 companies to transform the way they make decisions using the power of simulation. As well as technology, Laura has a passion for health and well-being including acting as a trustee for Penumbra, one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities.
Neville has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dundee and started his career in manufacturing. Prior to joining SDS in October 2014, Neville worked in the business service sector delivering profit and quality services within highly regulated industries, in cooperation with state authorities and private sector clients. He has held a number of leadership positions including Operations Director, Managing Director, Business Development and Process Improvement at FTSE 100 and other major companies. Working closely with our Directors of Operations, Industry, National Training Programmes, Digital Services, Critical Skills and Occupations and Service Design and Innovation, Neville is responsible for overseeing customer-facing service delivery at SDS, as well as the design and implementation of new services. Heavily involved with a number of consultative groups, Neville works closely with national and local government, as well as key partners in skills, education and industry.
Fiona is passionate about helping people. Through her UK-wide work at Leidos, she creates and runs programmes that support young people to develop confidence, STEM skills and an interest in technology. Prior to Leidos, Fiona worked in recruitment for PwC and helped unemployed people back into work through learndirect. In her spare time, she is a keen volunteer and held roles in both the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships.
Sandy is a chartered accountant who has spent his professional life as an IT consultant specialising in strategy, risk, performance management and governance. Having worked with KPMG, he established his own IT consultancy practice over 20 years ago and he counts many of the UK’s largest companies as clients. He is a director of several Scottish businesses. Socially, he is a qualified sailing instructor, keen golfer and singer.
Kristen is an experienced business, product and service innovator. Her career has involved the development and delivery of new brands, value propositions and software always working at the intersection of strategy, design and technology. Kristen is Head of Open Experience at RBS. These are creative, collaborative spaces in London and Edinburgh dedicated to developing new innovative products, services and business models for growth. Kristen is passionate about creating teams that take ideas from inception to first market launch, then scaling. She also currently sits on the RBS Scotland Board and the Board of Fintech Scotland.
Bill Douglas is a highly experienced Operations and Managing Director with a breadth of technical, commercial and leadership experience. He has over 20 years’ knowledge of manufacturing and software companies and has previously held the position of Head of Professional Services with private equity-backed VeriSIM. In addition, he was Operations Director at Zonal Retail Data Systems encompassing manufacturing, R&D and
Customer Service. His most recent experience is in the Finance sector where he has led several significant programmes one of which was the launch of a bank’s mobile app. Bill has international experience gained in the USA, Europe, India and Dubai. His academic qualifications include a degree in Communications & Electronics Engineering from Napier University.
A marketing and strategy specialist, with a background in agency and running TEDxGlasgow, Cat is the director of Brand Scotland. A groundbreaking new initiative for Scotland, Cat works across Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland to coordinate international marketing activity and pool talent, resource and expertise, in order to raise Scotland’s profile and reputation on the world stage. This includes responsibility for managing brand image, digital infrastructure and talent development. Cat also sits on the Advisory Boards for Marketing Society Scotland and City Nation Place.