Yes Scotland unveils top team
The team of executive directors who will spearhead the campaign to deliver a Yes vote in the 2014 independence referendum has been unveiled.
Jacqueline Caldwell, one of Scotland's most accomplished business managers, joins Yes Scotland as Operations Director. She and two other women make up three of the five senior appointments announced by Chief Executive Blair Jenkins OBE. Susan Stewart, who was appointed the first diplomat in charge of Scottish Affairs at the British Embassy in Washington DC, joins Yes Scotland as Director of Communications, while former MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville becomes Director of Communities. Ian Dommett, a senior government, industry and charities adviser, is appointed Director of Marketing
In addition, Stan Blackley, former Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, is appointed Deputy Director of Communities.
Mr Jenkins said: "I said when I took on this role that I wanted a team of the highest calibre to match such an important and historic event in Scotland's future direction. I can say with certainty that with these appointments this goal has been achieved. I am thrilled and delighted to welcome aboard Jacqui, Susan, Shirley-Anne, Ian and Stan, marking another major step in building the country's largest ever community-based campaign.
"Each one of them has a proven track record in his or her field of expertise and I am confident that with their input and commitment we can deliver a Yes vote in 2014."
Jacqueline Caldwell, who was latterly a Senior Business Manager in communications at RBS Group, said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to this historic campaign and to play my part in helping to shape the future of Scotland."
Susan Stewart, currently Director of Corporate Communications at Glasgow University, said: "Yes Scotland is an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am thrilled to play a part in running a positive campaign to secure a Yes vote in 2014."
Shirley-Anne Somerville, SNP MSP for Lothians from 2007 until 2011, said: "This is the people's referendum and the people's campaign and the vote in 2014 will determine the shape of Scotland for generations to come. That is why we are building the biggest community-based campaign Scotland has ever known and I am excited and thrilled to play a part in that."
Ian Dommett, owner and director of Cor Agency, said: "The launch of the Yes campaign is what I have been working towards for the past seven years. But this is only the beginning and I am determined to help make it the most successful campaign ever in Scotland."
Stan Blackley said: "I am delighted to be joining such a talented and diverse Yes Scotland team. The next two years are set to be the most exciting and important in my career so far and I am looking forward immensely to helping deliver a Yes vote in 2014."
Jacqueline Caldwell, Director of Operations
Jacqueline, who hails from Cupar, Fife, is recognised as one of Scotland’s most accomplished commercially-focused business managers with a background in operations, governance, business planning, HR policy and practice, financial analysis and managements and operational risk. She was until earlier this year Business Manager, Group Communications, for RBS Group. She joined the bank as an economics researcher in 2000 and progressed to Business Manager, Group Communications, for RBS. Before joining RBS, Jacqueline worked as a business adviser for Fife Council. She graduated with BA (Hons) in Commerce from Abertay University, Dundee. In her free time, she is actively involved in her local community in leading children and youth programmes.
Susan Stewart, Director of Communications
Susan joins Yes Scotland from Glasgow University where she has been Director of Corporate Communications for seven years. Before taking up that post in 2005, she was First Secretary, Scottish Affairs, at the British Embassy in Washington DC – the Scottish Government’s first dedicated diplomat in the US. During this four-year posting, she liaised with the Scottish diaspora to promote greater understanding of modern Scotland, and advised Ministers and the Scottish Parliament on US opportunities. Other positions held by Susan include Depute Head of Media at the Scottish Executive, Chief Media and Public Information Officer, Glasgow City Council; and Press and Parliamentary Officer, Strathclyde Regional Council. She began her career as a political journalist with Scottish Television. Susan lives in Glasgow, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Scottish Parliament All Party Group on Further and Higher Education. She is a graduate of St Andrews University and Smith College, Massachusetts, where gained an MA in political philosophy. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
Ian Dommett, Director of Marketing
Ian, who has been described as a "marketing guru" by political author and journalist David Torrance, is a vastly experienced brand and social marketing adviser and practitioner. After a 25-year career in advertising, marketing and public relations, Ian established his own marketing communications consultancy in 2010 and was instrumental in devising and delivering the marketing strategy that helped return the SNP Government to Holyrood with an overall majority. Ian, who is married with three children, has also created and delivered strategies for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, T&R Theakston, Edinburgh Community Food and many other companies, social enterprises and charities. Ian, who lives in Edinburgh, is a board member of FirstPort, a trustee of the Postcode Lottery Green Trust and a member of the Lowland Reserve Forces’ Employer Advocacy Committee. He graduated from Warwick University with an Honours degree in English and European Literature.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, Director of Communities
Shirley-Anne was the Scottish National Party MSP for Lothians for four years from the 2007 election until May last year. A mother-of-two who lives with her family in North Queensferry, she has wide experience in public life. Between 1992 and 2006, she graduated from three Scottish universities – first in politics and economics from Strathclyde; in housing studies from Stirling; and, more recently, in public relations from Queen Margaret University College. Shirley-Anne has joined Yes Scotland from her position as Campaign Strategist at the SNP where she has held a number of other senior posts over the years. She has been a trustee of Shelter UK and its Scotland committee for the last year. Prior to her election to the Scottish Parliament in 2007, she was media and campaigns officer at the Royal College of Nursing, and, before that, was policy and public affairs officer for the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Stan Blackley, Deputy Director of Communities
Stan, who lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their four-year-old son, joins the campaign as Shirley Anne’s number two. He was formerly Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland. He has been a member of the Scottish Green Party for 13 years and was a member of its ruling council for ten of those, and held a number of posts with environmental campaign organisations such as Greenpeace UK, Advocates for Animals, the Environment Investigation Agency, Compassion in World Farming and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Stan has played a leading role in a large number of successful campaigns, such as the ground-breaking community buy-out Island of Eigg, the pioneering establishment of Scotland’s first community-led, no-take zone for fisheries and the landmark election of the UK's first Green parliamentarian.