Board of Directors
Will Whitehorn, Chairman
Will Whitehorn was born in Edinburgh and graduated with an Honours degree from the University in Aberdeen before spending his early career as a Helicopter search and rescue crewman in The North Sea.
Will joined the Virgin Group in 1987 and spent the next 20 years in key roles including Director of the Virgin Rail Group, Brand Development and Corporate Affairs Director, President of Virgin Galactic and latterly special advisor to Sir Richard Branson.
Will has held senior non-executive positions in Next Fifteen Communications Group, Purplebricks Group plc, GVC Holdings plc and various government science, technology and transport task forces and bodies.
He joined the Board of the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (now Scottish Event Campus Ltd) in 2010 and became Chairman in 2014.
In 2016 he became Chairman of Clyde Space Ltd, the UK’s leading independent space satellite manufacturer and now sits on the Board of the newly merged body AAC Clyde Space AB.
He was Chairman of Crowd Reactive, Loewy Group/Speed Communications and is currently Deputy Chairman, Stagecoach Group plc and Chairman at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh.
In 2018 Will joined the Board of Good Energy PLC as Deputy Chairman and the Board of the Royal Air Force as a non-executive Director with rank equivalent of Air Vice-Marshall.
In 2019 Will became President of UKspace, the trade association which represents the UK space industry.
In 2020 Will became Chairman of Craneware PLC, an Edinburgh based company, which is engaged in the development, licensing and ongoing support of computer software for the United States healthcare industry.
He is a Fellow of The Royal Aeronautical Society and The Marketing Society and serves as the Vice President of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
In 2010 he was awarded the Geoffrey Pardoe RAeS Space Award for services to the space industry.
John Watson, Non- Executive Director
John joined the SEC Board in March 2019 and is the Chair of the SEC Audit & Risk Committee.
John joined Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) as an Operating Principal in 2013 and Chief Commercial Officer of their investment, Edinburgh Airport Limited, leading the revenue and capital investment projects teams. John works with a number of GIP investments worldwide and is CEO of Crosswind Developments Ltd.
Prior to joining GIP, he was Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group’s $50bn SME Lending portfolio during the banking liquidity crisis. John was also a founding Board Director of the Business Growth Fund plc, After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PwC Corporate Finance, John joined 3i plc. He has subsequently held a number of executive and non-executive positions globally.
With over 20 years of experience, he has a BEng Mechanical Design Engineering and an MSc IT from University of Glasgow. John is Vice President of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee of Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation, Non-Executive Director of Institute of Directors and a member of the ICAS Governing Council.
Carole Forrest, Non-Executive Director
As the Director of Governance and Solicitor to the Council at Glasgow City Council, Carole is the head lawyer in Scotland’s largest local authority. She has a varied remit which includes being the Senior Responsible Officer for the Council’s £1.7b capital programme. Carole was also the Council’s lead officer for the Commonwealth Games and had an integral role in their successful delivery, including the delivery of the £1.2b capital programme on time and on budget.
She was also involved in a number of regeneration projects including the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum refurbishment project, Whitecart Flood Prevention Scheme and major ICT projects.
Carole was promoted to the Head of the Legal Team in 2005, where she managed a team of around 60 solicitors delivering legal advice and support to the Council and its Arm’s Length External Organisations on all corporate, property and litigation matters.
In 2008 she was promoted to the Head of the Council 2014 Team which was set up to ensure that the Council delivered its responsibilities in relation to the Commonwealth Games. This involved leading on three key areas – Infrastructure Programme Management, Legacy and City Operations. The role involved regular liaison with and support to the Games partners including the Scottish Government, Commonwealth Games Scotland and Glasgow 2014 Limited.
Carole has an LLB Honours degree and Diploma in Legal Practice from Glasgow University and is Prince2 qualified (Foundation).
Morag McNeill, Non-Executive Director
Morag McNeill is a qualified solicitor. She was a partner with McGrigors – now Pinsent Masons LLP – for 14 years specialising in corporate finance before becoming General Counsel at Forth Ports plc from 2005 to 2012. She holds several non-executive positions including Aberdeen Harbour Board, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. and Social Investment Scotland. She also sits on the board of several charities.
Pauline Lafferty, Non-Executive Director
Pauline is an advisor on team leadership development and is an executive coach. She is a Trustee of the charity Playlist for Life, which encourages the use of personally meaningful music in the care of people with dementia. Pauline is a Non-Executive Director of Bronzegate Executive Search, an advisor to Oil & Gas Services businesses and sits on the World-Changing Glasgow Transformation Board at Glasgow University.
For six years Pauline was the Chief People Officer of The Weir Group PLC, a global engineering company.
Previously she was an executive search consultant with Miles Partnership and Russell Reynolds Associates in the UK and Australia and held business planning and operational roles with Motorola and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in Scotland, Australia and Hong Kong.
She is a graduate in mathematics and has a post graduate qualification in marketing.
Pauline is Remuneration Committee Chair at Scottish Event Campus Limited
Peter Duthie, Chief Executive
Appointed as Chief Executive of Scottish Event Campus Limited (Formerly Scottish Exhibition Centre Ltd) in April 2014, assuming full responsibility for the entire business operation of the SEC.
Peter maintains relationships with the all key shareholders and stakeholders of the business. Having been with the Company since its inception in 1984, Peter played an integral part in all aspects of its evolution with extensive experience gained across all sectors of the business. From a sports management background, he was initially responsible for sporting events and concerts at the Centre. He has been a member of the senior management team since 1991 rising to the position of Commercial Director in 2008 with responsibility for all commercial activity on the campus including sponsorship, hospitality, strategic partnerships and joint ventures.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Non-Executive Director
Susan Aitken became Leader of Glasgow City Council when the SNP became the largest party on the Council and formed a minority administration in May 2017. She was elected as a councillor for the Langside ward, where she lives, in 2012 and has been leader of the SNP group since 2014, having previously served as the group spokesperson on health and social care. She is the SNP’s national Local Government Convener.
Before being elected, Susan worked in a variety of policy and research roles in the Scottish Parliament and the third sector, and as a freelance writer and editor specialising in health and social care policy. She grew up in Biggar in South Lanarkshire, moved to Glasgow aged 17 and is a graduate of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.
Billy McFadyen, Director of Finance & Development
Billy’s career began when he left school for a trainee accountant role. On completing his accountancy qualifications, and having fulfilled various roles in public practice, he pursued a career in industry in 1990.
Billy joined the SEC in 2008. He has responsibility for Finance, Development, Commercial Partners and Hospitality. He is also our Company Secretary and maintains relationships with our legal advisors, banking partner and insurers. As well as being an SEC Board member, he sits on the QD Events Board.
Having joined SEC with extensive construction experience, Billy was an integral part of the SSE Hydro delivery team. He completed the relocation of the heliport, helped deliver the multi storey car park and recently secured a developer for the hotel sites adjacent to the car park.
Billy has previously overseen People and Technology, Live Entertainment and Ticketing within the SEC.
Prior to joining SEC, Billy was the Regional Managing Director for Robertson Homes and grew the business from £7m to £40m turnover. He joined Robertson Homes as the Finance Director in 2002 and was responsible for the major development of the management information systems as well as overseeing all financial functions.
Previous roles include Finance Director, George Wimpey West Scotland and Financial Accountant with Keyline Builders Merchants Ltd.
In his spare time Billy can still be seen chasing a ball around a football pitch with varying degrees of success. He is married to Linda and has 2 children.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Non-Executive Director
Councillor McAveety was born and raised in Glasgow and has served as an elected representative of the city since 1988.
First elected as a member of Glasgow District Council, he served as Convenor of the Arts and Culture Committee, which led on the development of the Gallery of Modern Art and initiated plans for the large-scale development of the Kelvingrove Gallery, solidifying its position as one the UK’s top tourist attractions.
Councillor McAveety served as Leader of Glasgow City Council from 1997 to 1999, establishing the first ever Local Authority Standards Committee.
He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, serving in the Scottish Executive in a number of Ministerial positions, including Deputy Minister for Local Government (1999-2000), Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (2002-2003) and as Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (2003-2004). During his tenure as Minister he established the National Theatre of Scotland.
In 2012, he was elected to Glasgow City Council for the Shettleston ward, convening the Sustainability and Environment Policy Committee and taking on special responsibility for cycling.
Councillor McAveety was again elected as Leader of Glasgow City Council in September 2015 and Leader of the Labour Group in May 2017.
George Gillespie, Non-Executive Director
George Gillespie is Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Sustainability for Glasgow City Council with responsibility for roads, lighting, cleansing, parks, waste management, environmental health, scientific services, trading standards and community safety.
He is a Chartered Civil Engineer with extensive experience within roads and transportation together with the delivery of wide-ranging frontline services and the successful management of major projects. He has held a number of senior positions within the former Strathclyde Regional Council, and with Glasgow City Council as Head of Roads, Head of Service Delivery and Assistant Director prior to his most recent, current appointment in March 2018.