Keynote Arena Speakers

Crawford Gillies

Chairman, Scottish Enterprise

Crawford was appointed Chairman of Scottish Enterprise in 2009. He is also Chairman of Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd and is a Non-Executive Director of Standard Life plc.

Crawford had a lengthy career with Bain & Company, the international management consultants. During that period he advised companies from a range of sectors on matters of corporate strategy, acquisitions, performance improvement and organisation. From 1996 to 2000 he was responsible for Bain’s business in the UK and assumed leadership of the firm’s European business from 2001 to 2005. He was also a member of the Management and Strategy Boards of the DTI from 2002 to 2007.

Prior to joining Bain, Crawford qualified as a chartered accountant. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School and of the University of Edinburgh where he studied law. He is a former Chairman of CBI London.


Monica Langa

Head of Member Services (Scotland), IoD Scotland

Originally from London, Monica studied business studies and finance at Kingston University and moved into Human Resources management initially in the NHS then Tesco and Boots in London, qualifying as a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Training in 1992. Monica moved to Scotland in 1995 and joined the Life office of Abbey Bank/Scottish Mutual in Glasgow. Re-training in fund management and investment analysis in 1997, Monica joined Singer & Friedlander in Edinburgh, gaining an MSc in investment analysis in 2000 and then becoming an Investment Director at Brewin Dolphin in 2002. Monica qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland in 2003 and has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments since 2001.

Leaving investment management in 2003 to start a business, Monica has also held three non-executive directorships. Monica has been a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) since 1998 and was a member of the IoD Edinburgh Branch Committee for nine years until 2011. After exiting her business in 2009, she began working for the Institute of Directors in Scotland in 2010.


Robert Macintosh

Professor of Strategy, University of Glasgow

Donald MacLean

Senior Research Fellow, Business School, University of Glasgow

Robert is Professor of Strategy at the University of Glasgow. He trained as an engineer and has researched strategy development and strategic change for 20 years in a range of public, private, large and small organisations. He has just published “Managing Change as Enquiry and Action” with Cambridge University Press.

Donald is a senior research fellow in the Business School at the University of Glasgow. His interests lie in the development of innovative approaches to strategy, leadership, and management within and between organisations. He is a member of the director development faculty of the Institute of Directors in Scotland and, in addition to his academic work, has extensive experience of industry and management through previous industrial posts, numerous action-research projects and ongoing strategic management coaching and consultancy.

Both Robert and Donald have published extensively in top international journals including The Strategic Management Journal, The British Journal of Management, Organization Studies, Human Relations and Journal of Management Studies.

Together, Professors MacIntosh and MacLean have delivered strategy-related courses at Glasgow, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Paris (Sciences Po) universities. They have also undertaken management consulting assignments with private sector organizations including BP, Scottish and Southern Energy, Babcock International Group, Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and public sector organisations including the NHS, HMRC and local government. Significantly, they have 20 years’ experience of working with firms in the SME sector to deliver strategic development and transformation programmes.


Bill McBride

Director of Westcrown

Bill is a Director of Westcrowns, a Scottish Insider 500 company, which has sales in excess of £30m per annum and employs some 400 people across two trading companies. He is also the Managing Director of the Construction Services Division which distributes, installs and maintains specialist architectural glass and flooring in the UK and Europe on such prestigious projects as the New Scottish Parliament and the pioneering New Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. Bill is also a Board member of Routes To Work South Lanarkshire, a registered charity and a not-for-profit intermediary organisation with a mission to help people into and returning to the labour market.

His business was voted Best Lanarkshire Business over 50 Employees in 2008 and one element of his product offering, the patented Lumaglass system, was voted Most Innovative Product in 2011.

The business achieved a National Training Award in 2008.

He is a Glasgow University Alumni with an Executive MBA. He is also a Fellow Of The Royal Institution Of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow Of The Institute Of Directors. 


Nick Price

Founder & CEO, Bright Purple

Nick started his career in sales recruitment with HMS in 1991 and moved to Elan Computing Ltd a year later where he worked in permanent IT recruitment. In 1995 he co-founded Edinburgh-based Careercare which evolved into Bright Purple Resourcing.

Nick leads from the front, inducing passion, innovation and good humour in the team around him. He has also led the diversification of Bright Purple from being solely an IT recruitment firm to one that now also specialises in high-end placements for the financial services industry. He is committed to setting the highest industry standards for Bright Purple, focused on nurturing great people and raising standards across the recruitment industry.

Along with his key role at Bright Purple, Nick is also on the board of ScotlandIS, the technology trade association for Scotland, and on the Scottish board of The Financial Services Club, a networking and educational club aimed specifically at professionals operating in the financial services sector.