Board of Trustees

Chairman
Rear Admiral Neil Rankin CB CBE began his distinguished career in the Royal Navy as a pilot, working his way up to be the Commanding Officer of HMS Ark Royal before finishing his naval career as Flag Officer Portsmouth, having served in the Falkland Islands as a Rear Admiral. Neil is also a Trustee of Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust and former Chairman of the Scottish Seabird Centre.

Stuart Paterson the non-executive Chairman of the Macfarlane Group plc having previously Chaired the Audit Committee from 2013-2017. He is a Chartered Accountant and was formerly the Chief Financial Officer at Forth Ports Limited. Prior to that he was a Board Director at Johnston Press plc. He has also worked with Aggreko, Motorola and Hewlett Packard. In addition to these executive roles, Stuart was a non-executive Director for Devro PLC from 2006-2012 where he also chaired the Audit Committee.

Terry Smith trained as a Quantity Surveyor with Gilbert Ash Ltd, becoming the Property Development Director. After joining Forth Ports Authority in 1990, Terry was appointed Property Director when Forth Ports PLC was formed. Terry has played a key role in the regeneration of Leith and was instrumental in setting up The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Building and has also served as a Director of Leith Enterprise Trust, Leith Chamber of Commerce and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Shirley Spear OBE has spent the past 35 years of her career in the Scottish hospitality industry. Together with her husband Eddie, she moved to the Isle of Skye with her young family in 1984 and took over The Three Chimneys Restaurant, now an iconic, 5-Star restaurant with rooms with a worldwide reputation. Having won numerous awards and accolades for her cooking, Shirley also led the way in helping to regenerate interest in Scotland’s food culture and heritage, along with its superb place on the culinary map of the world. She was honoured to be awarded an OBE in 2016 for Services to Food and Drink in Scotland. Throughout her career, Shirley has written and commented extensively about Scottish ingredients and food culture, along with the importance of the Tourism industry to the nation’s economy and business life. Shirley and Eddie have recently sold The Three Chimneys, retiring to North Berwick, where she will continue to be active with her business interests.

Lesley Williams has been involved in international sales and marketing for over 25 years. Following many years in the hotel sector, Lesley headed up the sales team at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, before taking on the role of Head of Business Tourism for Marketing Edinburgh for seven years. Her key focus was sourcing and bidding for international and national conferences and events for the city. Now working for the BestCities Global Alliance, a consortium of 12 high profile international cities, Lesley remains active in the Scottish business tourism industry, sitting on a number of committees aimed at raising the profile of Scotland as a conference destination. 

Rufus Bird, Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art. Since joining the Royal Collection Trust in 2010, as Deputy Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art, Rufus has worked on a number of Queen’s Gallery exhibitions and has researched, written, lectured and appeared on BBC television programmes to explain works of art in the Royal Collection. After graduating in the History of Art from Peterhouse, Cambridge, Rufus started work at Christie’s in 1997 as a cataloguer in the Furniture Department and became a Director in 2008. His work for Royal Collection Trust encompasses curatorial and custodial responsibility for all decorative arts in the Royal Collection, housed across the official, private and historic Royal residences, as well as numerous objects on long-term loan. He sits on the Management Committee of Royal Collection Trust, the principal governing body of the charity responsible for the opening of the official Royal residences.