Speakers – Saturday

Gus Noble, OBE – PresidentChicago Scots

Gus Noble, OBE was born in 1969 in Dundee, Scotland. He grew up in the Duns, in the Scottish Borders. In 1992, after graduating from the University of Stirling, Gus moved to Chicago, where he worked for the British Consulate General for seven years. 

During this time he  concentrated on developing UK-US trade and investment. In 1999, Gus completed a Business to Business Marketing Strategy course at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Following 1999’s devolution of Government authorities in the United Kingdom, Gus established and operated the first overseas office of the Welsh Assembly Government in Chicago. Gus took up his current appointment in August 2004. 

Gus serves on the Board of the Admiral at the Lake and the Rosehill Cemetery Reserve Fund. Gus supports Newcastle United Football Club and plays electric bass guitar in a Scottish-American honky-tonk band. Gus is married to Aisha. They have two sons, Bobby and Langston.

Charles Edward Bruce, Lord Bruce DL MA MSc FSA Scot

Charles Bruce (Lord Bruce) is married to Dr Alice Enders and has five children. He was educated at Eton College; University of St Andrews (MA Hons); University of Dundee (MSc).

He is eldest son and heir to Andrew Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin & 15th Earl of Kincardine KT, 37th Chief of the Name of Bruce. 

Charles Bruce studied economic history at the University of St Andrews. He is involved in the conservation of Scottish heritage both at home and overseas. He chairs a charitable trust restoring a Scottish cemetery in India. Charles is a council member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, representing his father, Andrew Bruce, Earl of Elgin, 37th Chief of the Name of Bruce. He is a patron of CASSOC.

Camilla G. Hellman, MBE – President, American Scottish Foundation

Camilla Hellman’s career has been transatlantic relations, undertaking projects both in Britain and the United States to further  collaboration between the two countries.

Camilla joined the American-Scottish Foundation in 2009 as Development Director, becoming  Executive Director in 2012 and was elected President in 2017. In addition to increasing the ASF’s  charitable work, Camilla has developed diverse event programs, often involving exhibits and performances, with a strong multimedia platform.

Camilla represents the ASF on the National Tartan Day New York Committee.

Camilla serves on the Board of The Foreign Press Association and Make Music New York.

In 2007, Camilla was honored by HM Queen Elizabeth II and awarded the MBE for services to British-American relations.

Kirstin Bridier – Executive Director, The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA

Kirstin is responsible for implementing all aspects of NTSUSA’s mission, from strategic partnerships and fundraising to Board development and grants management. Kirstin, who previously worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Nantucket Historical Association, is a graduate of Smith College and holds an M.Sc. in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

Duncan Dornan – Head of Museums and Collections, Glasgow Life

Duncan Dornan was appointed Head of Museums and Collections for Glasgow Life in 2015, having joined the company in 2013 as Senior Museums Manager. Prior to this he had worked with the National Museums of Scotland since 1999 as a Museum Manager. Within

Glasgow Life his role involves responsibility for the management and development of Glasgow’s 8 world class museums along with the innovative Glasgow Museums Resources Centre. He is also responsible for the cities collections; covering archaeology, natural history, technology, fine and decorative art and social history, the special collections in the Mitchell library and the city archives.

Christopher Baker – Director of European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at the National Galleries of Scotland.

Christopher Baker is Director of European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS). He is responsible for the collection and programme at the National and Portrait Galleries in Edinburgh and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for British Art. Before moving to Scotland in 2002 he worked at Christ Church, Oxford, and the National Gallery in London. Christopher is a member of the Spoliation Advisory Panel, the Recognition Committee (Museums Galleries Scotland), and the jury for the ‘Portrait Now’ international prize (Danish Museum of National History).

He has organised numerous exhibitions in the U.K. and internationally on aspects of British art pre-1900, drawings and watercolours, and old master paintings. His publications include: J. M.W. Turner: The Vaughan Bequest (2019); Landseer: The Monarch of the Glen (2017); Jean-Étienne Liotard (2015, co-author); John Ruskin: Artist and Observer (2014, co-author); Catalogue of English Drawings and Watercolours 1600-1900, National Gallery of Scotland (2011); Collecting Prints and Drawings in Europe, c.1500-1800 (2003, co-editor); and The National Gallery [London] Complete Illustrated Catalogue, (1995, co-author).

Peter Drummond-Hay

Peter provides advice on leadership and organization. In doing so, he draws on his 35 years of experience in leadership consulting and executive search at Russell Reynolds Associates, where he worked with boards of directors and senior management to help

them create success and growth, and where he was also extensively involved globally in the management of the firm over many years. He was the 2017 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Search and Leadership Consultants.

Before joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Peter was with the merchant bank Arbuthnot Latham in London and New York and earlier with Balfour Williamson, a subsidiary of Lloyds Bank International.

Peter is Chair of the American Patrons of the National Library and Galleries of Scotland. He was formerly Chair of the University of St Andrews American Foundation and of Restless Development USA, and was a board member of British American Business

and the New Canaan Country School. Peter received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from Trinity College, Cambridge University.

Susannah Ferreira – Associate Professor of History, University of Guelph


Ph.D. The Johns Hopkins University, 2003, M.A. The Johns Hopkins University, 2000, B.Ed. Queen’s University, 1998, B.A. Trent University, 1997

University of Guelph, 2004 – present

Kings College, University of Aberdeen, Lecturer, 2003 – 2004

Research: Late medieval Spain and Portugal, European overseas expansion, 1300-1600, Crown policy/assimilation of new Christians, 1497-1536 

Dr. Ferreira’s research has examined political centralization in Portugal during its early overseas expansion, evaluating the motives which led to the creation of its overseas empire. Her present research concerns the cultural assimilation of New Christians in Portugal, many of whom were forcibly converted by the Portuguese crown following the so-called expulsion of Jews and Muslims in 1496-97. 

Kirsty Devine – Project Director, Paisley Museum Re-Imagined

Kirsty Devine is the Director for the Paisley Museum Re-Imagined project.  She has 25 years’ experience of working in the heritage and cultural sector in the UK and internationally. She has worked on a range of museum capital projects including The Riverside Museum (winner, European Museum of the Year), National Museums of Scotland, The Royal Alberta Museum, Canada and The D-Day Story, Portsmouth (shortlisted European Museum of the Year). Other heritage projects include the redevelopment of The Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and Durham Cathedral.

Chef Gary MacleanExecutive chef of City of Glasgow College and Scotland’s National Chef

Born in Glasgow, multi-award winning chef Gary Maclean has been at the heart of the Scottish hospitality industry for 35 years, working up and down the country opening and developing over 80 venues along the way.

Gary has the honor of being Scotland’s National Chef awarded to him by the ScottishGovernment, a world first for a country to select a National Chef. In this voluntary role Gary supports the Scottish Government in food health, education and promotion of Scotland’s amazing produce around the world.

His current role as Executive Chef at City of Glasgow College is what really drives his passion for mentoring other young chefs and creative cooking.

Hilary Creighton – Founder, Scottish Creations

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Hilary spent her formative years in Canada before returning to Scotland to complete her education and raise her family. Later, having settled back across the Atlantic in Connecticut, USA, Hilary’s links with Scotland, Canada and the United States remain very strong. Combining her love for great design with her love for Scotland, Hilary established Scottish Creations in 2015 to introduce the very best Scottish designers to the US and Canada. Scottish Creations has a particular focus on small designers and producers working in some of the more remote parts of Scotland. Tapping into the county’s wealth of creative talent, today Hilary is one of the leading advocates for fine Scottish design across North America.

Emily Redman

Originally from Fife, Emily Redman joined the ScotlandShop Tartan Team in 2014 shortly after completing her Degree in Woven Textile Design at Heriot-Watt University in the Scottish Borders. She currently leads ScotlandShop’s Marketing Team but is preparing to move to Albany, NY in early 2022 to lead ScotlandShop’s first US Store in her new position as International Brand Manager.

During her time at ScotlandShop Emily has designed several tartans for both private & corporate customers as well as Doddie’5 tartan for Scottish Rugby legend, Doddie Weir and most recently the Albany tartan, ScotlandShop’s gift to the Capital Region which will be used to celebrate the opening of their new Store as well as highlighting the strong Scottish heritage found throughout all of Albany County.

Peter Wilson – President, Great Scot International

Peter Wilson is the founder of Great Scot International, The Scottish Weaver and The Scottish Grocer.

Great Scot International Inc was Founded and Incorporated in 1997. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company was initially involved with the supply of Scottish food products and unique gift-ware and then evolved into weaving and supplying tartan plaid fabrics and merchandise in worsted wool and non-wool fabrics.

SCOTTISH HERITAGE USA was founded in 1965 by Ward Melville “to recognize and enhance the original bonds of ancestral and national character among the peoples of Scotland and North America; and to disseminate knowledge of their respective cultural heritages; and in furtherance of such purposes to support the preservation of historic sites, the maintenance of centers of artistic and literary endeavor and such other activities as may be appropriate”.

Peter is a Board Member of the Scottish Tartan Authority.

Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Achleskine

Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Achleskine is the twenty-fifth head of the Clan since Labhran, name forefather of the MacLarens (MacLabhruinn) eight hundred years ago. The Clan is one of the most ancient of the Gaelic kindreds and its line of chiefs descends from King Lorn Mor of the 6th century. Donald succeeded his father in 1966. He became Convenor of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs in 2018. 

The Chief’s home is at the Kirkton, Balquhidder in the heart of the ancient dùthchas, the patrimony of the Chiefly House of Clan Labhran.

Alan D Beck – Senior Vice President, Robert Burns World Federation

Beck studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). He later won the entrance scholarship to the Postgraduate Opera Course at the Royal Northern
College of Music. In 1995 Alan won the British Wagner Society Singing Competition at Covent Garden and was subsequently awarded the society’s bursary. Later that year, he also won the Wolfgang Wagner Singing Competition in London.

Alan has sung all over the world in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Wellington, Christchurch, Aukland, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa, Houston, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Mexico City, Santo Domingo, Avilés, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Vilnius, Brussels, Vienna, Budapest, Belfast, London and all over Scotland.

Alan has taught singing for many years for organizations such as the Junior Royal Northern College of Music, the Junior Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and The National Youth Choir of Scotland, and he is currently the Vocal Coach for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus. Alan is a great fan of Robert Burns and delivers the Immortal Memory numerous times each year. He is currently the President of The Greenock Burns Club (The Mother Club) and lives in Greenock with his wife Polly and their two sons.

Kenneth C. Donnelly – Chairman, American-Scottish Foundation

Kenneth C. Donnelly is a native born Scot from Lanarkshire, Scotland. Now an American citizen, Kenneth came to the USA in 1982 to work for Pan American Airways. Kenneth is the Chairman of the American-Scottish Foundation and immediate past President of the Robert Burns Society of New York City, founded 1871.

Kenneth is the Treasurer for the International Advisory Board of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, ranked #3 college for drama and
the arts in the world and the Senior Program Manager at Mitsubishi Bank of Tokyo, New York specializing in Global Investment Banking, Commercial Banking and Global Markets. Kenneth is a Member of the International Advisory Board of University of the Highlands, Inverness, Scotland and a Member of Presidents Club, Glasgow City Chamber of Commerce.

William Robert Petrie – Chair, Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC)

William (Bill) is a Toronto native with primarily a career in Information Technology, Business Analysis and Knowledge Architecture.   After spending several decades in Quebec, William returned to the Toronto area where he now provides corporate training, science grant advisory services and audio/visual consulting.

William, as a tenor, has toured several times with choirs for performances in France (Notre Dame), Vatican City, Wales, Austria, Czech Republic and Italy.   Performance tours in Ireland and Scotland are currently on hold. 

William combines his paternal Scottish heritage of MacGregors through roots back to Edinburgh in the early 1800s with United Empire Loyalists (Merritts and Hamiltons) on his maternal side. He is a member of the Clan Gregor Society – Canada Council and co-editor of the Maple Leaf MacGregor newsletter (www.mapleleafmacgregor.ca).  

In the past, William has served on the Senate of York University and the IT Curriculum Advisory Committee for the University of Toronto Engineering Faculty. In addition to being Chairperson of CASSOC, William is also the editor of An Drochaid – The Bridge, CASSOC’s quarterly newsletter. 

Rory ‘Gus’ Sinclair

Rory ‘Gus’ Sinclair has been doing music in one way or another all his life. To begin with, there was a piano in the family home in Deep River and he noodled on the instrument almost daily till he left home for University.  While in Deep River he took lessons on the Great Highland Bagpipe and the Saxophone. In addition, he played clarinet and ukulele in two folk groups –self-taught on both.  While at University he took up guitar – learning on his roommate’s instrument. The guitar has been a constant in his life ever since. 

In 1991 Rory ‘Gus’ took up his bagpipes again and competed at Highland Games over the next 10 years with some success in Piobaireachd [classical form] as well as light music. Since taking up his piping again he has composed over 20 original pipe tunes and has produced 4 CDs of pipe music both traditional and with other instruments in genres and songs that have never seen pipes: Bob Marley, Chuck Berry, Cajun, Calypso inter alia. 

Rory is a member of the Piobaireachd Society and has attended their annual Conference for over 20 years.  In 2006 Rory presented a paper on 3 important piping artifacts that have turned up in Canada, the most important of which is the chanter that belonged to the legendary piper, bard and composer of Piobaireach, Iain Dall MacKay, the Blind Piper of Gairloch.  This chanter now has pride of place in the Museum of the Piping Centre in Glasgow.

Rory ‘Gus’ is a community activist and volunteers for several not-for-profit organizations.  He is a retired residential contractor but still consults and recommends trades.  

Maggie McEwan – Senior Vice President, Scottish Studies Foundation

Maggie McEwan was born close to London, England and spent many summers in Balloch sailing on Loch Lomond with her Scottish cousins. Maggie lived her teenage years in Southport, Lancashire and later worked and studied in Liverpool. Maggie emigrated to Toronto, Canada as the first stop on her working journey around the world. Having recently received notice that she had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, she quickly found work in the computer lab at the University of Toronto, as a Systems Analyst on their new mainframe system.  

She has a son and family in Toronto, a daughter and family in Chicago and now lives in the countryside around Toronto and Guelph.

Maggie’s wish to nurture and preserve the Scottish heritage and culture in Canada led her to return to Scottish Country Dancing and to join the Boards of various non-profit Scottish Societies.

She became a member of the Scottish Studies Foundation some years ago and was quickly invited to join the Board of Directors.

Maggie is a past President of the Foundation, Canadian Commissioner  for the Clan MacEwen Society and a volunteer for Fergus Highland Games.

Michael Reid – American Scottish Foundation

Michael Reid, a member of the American-Scottish Foundation board and several of its committees, has long been active in Scottish-American affairs, having also served on the regional council for Clan Donnachaidh Society and the board of New York Caledonian Club, the planning committee for SNACC, as well as of the Cameron Scottish Dancers, and is active in two other New York City-based Scottish dance groups.  

His working life has included nearly two decades of supporting senior executives and boards at nonprofits in the education and healthcare fields as well as for profit firms in the financial technology arena.  But Reid has also had success as a performer, singing with New York Grand Opera, New Jersey State Opera, National Grand Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York Philharmonic, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble for Early Music, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Renee Fleming, Soupy Sales, the Muppets and many more artists.  He has also provided a home for a succession of rescue dogs, mostly miniature Schnauzers.

Jamie McGeechan

Jamie McGeechan is a Scottish musician and writer now based in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Born in Falkirk and growing up in Ayr, Jamie is an Ambassador for the American Scottish Foundation, World Peace Tartan, TamFest and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

He has released three albums, one of them recorded live inside Burns Cottage in Ayrshire, birthplace of  Robert Burns and his second album Midnight Kingdom was nominated for Scottish Album of The Year in 2020. He has performed from Ayrshire to Australia and across the USA. He was invited to perform at the opening of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and has collaborated and performed with a wide range of Scottish talent and artists including Brian Cox, Dougie MacLean, OBE, Eddi Reader, Capercaillie, Midge URE, OBE.

In 2020 he released a book of original poetry, Glaikit, in Scots and English which became a best seller on Amazon.

As the Music Ambassador for the American-Scottish Foundation he hosts the monthly Sounds From Scotland program celebrating the best of new Scottish music and celebrating the cultural links and communities of Scotland and North America.

Kimblerlee Bradford – President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Los Angeles

Kimberlee Bradford, is the first female President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Los Angeles. She is also an FSA Scot, a Mayflower descendant, and is a graduate of USC and holds certifications from Stanford and Yale in both business and marketing. Kimberlee’s professional career spans three decades as a film agent in the entertainment industry representing some of Hollywood’s elite actors, writers and directors. After retirement, she began her involvement with the Scottish community in Southern California to bring more exposure and visibility to Scotland’s talented and creative artists, and to the contributions that Scotland has made to America.

Cathy Hasse – Highland Games Chair, Detroit Scots

Cathy Hasse is a native Detroiter and a life long resident of the
State of Michigan. She is a retired educator. She was named in
the Who’s Who of American Teachers.

She has advanced degrees from the University of Detroit and the University of Michigan. Cathy is active in state and local history groups for the past forty five years. She was a founding member of the Friends of Historic Fort Wayne. Cathy has presided as the President of the Abraham Lincoln Civil War Round Table of Michigan and served on the Midwest Civil War Round Table Conference Planning Committee. She was the newsletter editor of the Greenfield Village paper for over ten year years and also served as a docent for the Village.

Cathy is an active member of the St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit
having held various offices. She has served on the Highland Games Committee and has been Games Chair for over twenty years. She is involved with Children’s Hospital of Michigan in major fund raising events. She has served on the Board of the Michigan Philharmonic for over six years. Cathy has presented to various Civil War conferences and Civil War Round Tables as well as local historical societies. Her interest in Civil War Art has led her to further research on many pieces of art and paintings. Cathy is an avid reader and collector of books – mostly Civil War related.

Terry Myles – Cobourg Highland Games 

Terry is the Vice president along with being the Highland Games Co-ordinator for Clan MacNeil in Canada and attends about six highland games a season in southern Ontario. Terry has been a member of the clan for 13 years and also belongs to Clan MacNeil in the US. He is the MacNeil Clan rep on the board for the Cobourg Highland Games and is on the CASSOC board as a director. He lives in Grafton, ON,
with his wife Debra and 2 Westie dogs, Jordie MacNeil and wee Roddy, plus a poodle mix called Brody. He really embraces his Scottish heritage and attends Burns suppers, Tartan Day celebrations and Highland Games.

Terry’s grandmother‘s name was Margaret McNeill and she instilled his interest in Scotland. She was born in Ayr, Scotland, and she always told Terry growing up that they were MacNeil’s from Barra.

Pipe Major Sandy Jones

Pipe Major Sandy Jones started his piping career at the age of eight. Coming from a remote area in the mountains of Idaho, he was indeed fortunate to have had the opportunity of getting lessons from a first rate player.
In 1958, he enlisted in the United States Air Force Pipe Band and traveled extensively with that group – often featured as a soloist. In addition to this more routine work, his duties included performing for various Presidents, Heads of State and other foreign dignitaries. He became Pipe Major of this organization in 1964 and held that position
until the unit was disbanded in 1970.

A few short years later, he and the late John MacFadyen of Busby, Scotland, co-founded the North American Academy of Piping, a resident summer school held near Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. After retiring from the Air Force in 1978, he accepted a position teaching the pipes at the Citadel, The Military College of the South, in Charleston, South Carolina. After 25 years of teaching Citadel cadets the pipes, he has retired to Jonesborough, Tennessee, along with his wife, Dorcas. He continues to conduct the summer school or piping in Valle Crucis and on many weekends throughout
the year he tutors pipe bands around the country, as well as judging piping competitions.

Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor

Sir Malcolm MacGregor was born in London in 1959 and is based in Scotland. He served for 17 years with the Scots Guards and the Gurkhas.

He is 24th Hereditary Chief of Clan Gregor, a Past Convenor of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs (SCSC), and a Past President of the Scots Guards Association.

In 2000 he began photographing for his book ‘Wilderness Oman’ made over a two year period concentrating on the eclectic mix of desert, mountain and coastal landscapes. His genre is wilderness landscape photography, searching out aspects of nature that are off the beaten track. He is well travelled throughout Scotland and has held three photography exhibitions related to the Highlands and Islands in London. He has carried out numerous photographic features on historic houses and castles for Scots Heritage Magazine.

Kevin James – Professor of Modern Scottish History, University of Guelph

Kevin James holds the Scottish Studies Foundation Chair and is Professor of Modern Scottish History at the University of Guelph.

A graduate of McGill University, where he obtained the highest standing in Arts in his graduating year, and of Edinburgh University, where he held a Commonwealth Scholarship, Kevin is a prolific author who has held many grants and fellowships, and collaborated in research partnerships around the world. A specialist in modern Scottish tourism and travel history, Kevin is also Director of the University’s Centre for Scottish Studies.

Brandon Beech – Manager, Inward Investment, Scottish Development International

Brandon Beech serves as Manager, Inward Investment, at Scottish Development International, having joined Scotland’s international economic development agency in 2012.

In his spare time and in tandem with his position at SDI, Brandon is also the President and Founder of the Scottish Universities Alumni of Chicago. He is a graduate of both the University of Dayton (BS Political Science) and the University of Edinburgh (MSc Nationalism Studies), while currently promoting inward investment into Scotland and managing a team of lead generation specialists located in SDI’s US-based offices.

Charles L Sherwood

Charles L Sherwood lives in Denver and is recently retired from full time employment, having spent over43 years as an attorney and oil & gas professional.

Charlie has been active in Scottish cultural groups for over 20 years. Charlie is or has been on the Executive Board of the Clan Scott Society (President 2011-2015, 2020-present), Scottish Club of Tulsa past-President), Colorado St Andrew’s Society, and Council of Scottish Clans and Associations.

Charlie first visited relatives in the Scottish Borders as a child in the 1960’s and has made numerous trips to Scotland since. Charlie and his wife Dona are collectors of Scottish Malt whisky and were co-founders of the Oklahoma Malt Whisky Society. Charlie has taken formal training in single malts and he and Dona frequently hold charitable whisky tastings.