Board Members

Paul Smith – Chair

I worked for The Royal Bank of Scotland for 35 years, initially in the Branch Network, before moving to Internal Audit where I worked for 6 years. I was then in Retail Marketing for 3 years. Following this, I moved to the Project Team, latterly delivering Regulatory projects where I was a Project Manager which included budget responsibility. I graduated from Napier University with a BA in Business Economics in 1996 and I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (MCIBS).

Tricia Illsley – Vice-Chair

I am passionate about enabling the full potential of people experiencing barriers to learning, training and employment. I have experience of governance with a number of charities and am presently Chair of Perth based Mindspace Counselling and Recovery College reflecting my commitment to improving the lives of people experiencing mental health issues.  I led the Community Learning & Development Service at Perth & Kinross Council prior to retiring. Other senior responsibilities included: Community Capacity Building; Adult & Family Learning; Youth Work; Parenting Strategy and Gypsy Traveller Strategy.  I also led a successful Community Schools’ initiative working with families. Prior to my career in communities management, I was Principal Teacher (Guidance) at Crieff High School. I  worked with HMIe and Education Scotland as an Associate Assessor.

Colin Anderson – Company Secretary

Headshot of Colin

I am a retired solicitor. I worked with Shepherd & Wedderburn WS, before joining Standard Life where I worked for 26 years in various senior legal management roles until I retired in 2012. I was the company secretary of Standard Life Healthcare Limited. I was elected to the Council of The Law Society of Scotland to represent the Edinburgh Constituency in May 2014 and re-elected for a further 3 year term in May 2017. I am a member of the Society’s Management Board and also an employer nominated Trustee to The Law Society of Scotland Final Salary Pension Scheme. I am an elected Member of Fairmilehead Community Council and responsible for Planning matters. I am a supporter of the children’s mental health charity, The Place2Be. I have knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework affecting charities, extensive Board/Committee experience, and experience of organising seminars and other events, including obtaining sponsorship.

Andy McMahon

Head shot of Andy smiling

I have a personal interest and passion around disability, inclusion and equality and continue to be an active member in assistive technology and disability fields in my spare time. I am currently employed in a 3rd Sector disability organisation as Technology Manager. With previous employment in HE as infrastructure and technology manager. I was previously Chair of ATANET (Assistive Technologist Advisors in Higher Education). Previously I was an active management board member of the IT Can Help (ITCH) charity and regional support coordinator as an authoritative expert on assistive technology and led the volunteer training and development program.

Sandra Wilson

I am the Chair of the RNIB Scotland Committee.  I am retired after a career with Fife Council in a range of employment related roles.  I am a director of Citizens Advice and Rights Fife and a member of several disability/equality organisations.  I hold a joint honours and a masters degrees from Edinburgh University and am a qualified careers adviser and a chartered member of the Institute of Library and Information Professionals.  Blind from birth, I have a keen interest in technology and am an experienced assistive technology trainer.

Senga Armstrong

My career to date has mostly been in the education field and one of these posts was with Lead Scotland as Regional Manager East. In addition, I have been self-employed carrying out research and evaluation across private, public and third sector organisations across Scotland. At present I work at Newbattle Abbey College as the Adult Achievement Awards Co-ordinator and promote the Awards across different sectors. My experience includes building partnerships, managing projects and teaching SQA qualifications.

Kirsty Gemmell

Head shot of Kirsty

I’ve spent my professional career as a Community Learning & Development (CLD) practitioner, primarily working in Adult Learning, Adult Literacies and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).  I have a  BA in Community Education, M.Sc in Adult & Continuing Education and a PG Certificate in Adult Guidance.  I have recently completed a HE Certificate in digital learning design.  I currently work for the CLD Standards Council Scotland, the professional body for people who work or volunteer in CLD, of which I am also a Registered Member (M.CLDSC).  I focus on supporting CLD professional learning and ensuring quality through our registration and approvals processes.  I am a keen advocate of learning as a means to promoting empowerment, enhancing inclusion and achieving social justice.

As a volunteer, I run a support group for people with a rare degenerative brain disease through the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association and sit on the committee of my local community development organisation.  I try to bring empathy, pragmatism, positivity and a smile to both my work and volunteering!

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, theatre, dog-sitting for friends (next best thing to having one of my own!) and exploring our lovely country with family and friends.

Gillian Brown

I have a background in strategic marketing with global brands such as The Royal Bank of Scotland, De La Rue and NCR. I was Director of Commercialisation at ITI Techmedia before becoming an independent commercialisation adviser working with technology startups to help them turn their ideas into commercial reality. For 5 years, I was CEO of a therapeutics startup. I am currently a Director of Entrepreneur Business School Ltd which allows me to indulge my passion for learning and knowledge exchange. I have mentored and coached over 40 spinouts, startups and early stage companies.

Carolyne Smith

I have worked in the Assistive Technology (AT) sector for the over 15 years, supporting end users with a variety of requirements. I currently work as Head of Education for Sight and Sound Technology, a pan-disability AT supplier and I am the Executive Director of the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA), a representative body for the AT sector across the UK. I have a passion for furthering engagement with AT, providing excellent service delivery to those with disabilities, educational strategy and policy.

Daniel Baigrie

My background is in Community Education, having worked and volunteered across the statutory and third sector in the themes of youth work, community development and adult learning. In 2016 I completed my degree at the University of Edinburgh. I am currently a Senior Communities and Lifelong in Midlothian working with adult learners and community groups. I am passionate about working with people to help them grow, learn and support them with their future ambitions. I am excited to join the board at LEAD Scotland and look forward to helping the organisation develop. In my spare time I enjoy walking with my cocker spaniel, gardening and cycling.

Rebecca Pierce

I have spent most of my career working within the educational and third sectors, predominantly within museums and heritage spaces. Most recently, I have held posts at Keele University, the National Trust, and the National Galleries Scotland. Currently, I am employed at Girlguiding Scotland working to increase diversity and widen participation. I have particular specialisms in volunteer coordination, youth engagement, and equality, diversity and inclusion.

I hold both a first-class BA in History and an MRes in Humanities (History) with distinction from Keele University. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship to complete my post-graduate degree. My studies specialised in the histories of marginalised groups and I have published several papers on the subject.


We don’t currently have any board member vacancies.