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August 2002

ORKNEY ENTERPRISE Appoints Youngest Ever Director Amongst New Appointments
Three new directors with a wealth of business, tourism and service sector experience have been appointed to sit on the board of Orkney Enterprise.  The youngest ever director of the company Craig Spence at age 25 is a director in a family hotel business.

Ian Johnstone, Thelma Shearer and Craig Spence will help steer the work of the development agency. The trio all bring with them a personal commitment to maintaining the area as a prosperous and vibrant community.

Orkney Enterprise chairman Brian Kynoch said he was delighted that the board had been able to secure the services of three people with successful but diverse business backgrounds.  "We are pleased to welcome three new faces to the board," he said. "They bring a great deal of experience gained in Orkney's tourism and service industries and will add strength to an already strong board of directors."

Mr Johnstone was the manager of Orkney Machinery Ring for seven years and owns and runs Stromness-based coal merchants Wm. Sutherland. He also serves as chairman of Stromness Community Council. He said: "I have long been interested in the work of Orkney Enterprise and in the valuable help it offers to businesses and other sections of the local community.

"It will be interesting to be part of the organisation and I hope my experience as the manager of a co-operative, in running my own business and in politics will be of use to the board. I am also pleased that I am strengthening the Stromness representation among the directors."

Ms Shearer has run a hairdressing business for more than 22 years and currently owns the Victoria Salon in Kirkwall. She is keen to support initiatives that boost training opportunities and staff development - work which Orkney Enterprise is closely involved with.

"In my own business, it has always given me a lot of satisfaction when young trainees with aptitude but little self confidence are encouraged to develop their personalities as well as their hairdressing skills," she said. "It is important that all businesses make the most of their staff."  As a director, she is looking forward to playing a role in maintaining Orkney as a progressive, go-ahead community: "The tourism industry is one area where I am keen to support the pursuit of excellence in the service provided to our visitors," she added.

At the age of 25, Mr Spence is one of the youngest ever directors to serve on the board. Commenting on his appointment he said: "Although I am very young, I have already gained quite a lot of experience in the tourism industry," said Mr Spence, a partner in the family-run Orkney Hotel, Kirkwall.  "I feel there is still work to be done to build the quality side of Orkney's tourism and service sectors so they gain a reputation in the global market place, like that of our jewellery and food and drink industries "I am keen to see that happen because it is vital if we are to attract more visitors to Orkney. I am pleased to be one of the new directors and I hope that I will bring skills of use to the board."

The new appointments mean there are now 12 directors on the Orkney Enterprise board.