CDS Champions 02As part of our role in supporting the growth of collaborative working across Scotland’s business community, we are pleased to introduce our Consortium Champions.

Spanning a wide range of industries and specialisms, the Consortium Champions will play an important role in promoting collaboration by hosting or presenting at events, providing guidance and influencing others within their networks.

Here, we describe each of the Champions and the organisations they work with.

Highland-based Nathalie Agnew, PR director at The Wee Agency, has significant experience in the marketing and media sector. The Wee Agency brings together experts from the PR, marketing and digital design industries to offer customers a comprehensive consultancy service.

Food From Argyll is a consortium formed in 2007 by a group of food and drink producers in Argyll. Its aim is to market and promote produce that is farmed, made or harvested throughout the region. Virginia Sumsion is marketing and events manager at member business, Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd.

The Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance is a membership co-operative set up to boost tourism in mid-Argyll. It is also a member of the Argyll & the Isles Tourism Cooperative, an umbrella organisation covering all the marketing groups across the region. Carron Tobin, a rural development practitioner based in Callander, supported the establishment of the alliance in 2010 and then AITC in 2012, and is interested in consortia working in the travel and tourism sector.

Nathalie, Virginia and Carron have collaborated on a special project which will bring ‘Taste for Tourism’ to Oban on November 4. The three champions have joined forces to organise, promote and host the event, which aims to bring industry leaders and businesses from tourism and food and drink together to forge new and profitable alliances and support the development of food and drink tourism in Scotland.

Speaking of the project, Virginia said: “Carron and I had the idea to arrange the event and were delighted when a fellow champion was appointed to support us with the event management and marketing. By working collaboratively we have been able to maximise our knowledge, skills and networks to host what we believe will be a hugely valuable event with Scotland’s future at its heart.”

For more information about Taste for Tourism, visit:

Our other Champions

Joanna Dewar Gibb, business manager at Glasgow-based special effects firm, Artem Ltd, works in the film and advertising sector. Artem Ltd is a member of Screen Facilities Scotland, a collaborative venture affiliated to the UK Screen Association which represents facilities and service providers working in the screen, media production and creative industries.

Some of our Champions: Carron Tobin, Virginia Sumsion, Joanna Dewar Gibb, Dougal Perman, Richard Simmons

Some of our Champions: Carron Tobin, Virginia Sumsion, Joanna Dewar Gibb, Dougal Perman, Richard Simmons

Bruce Hamilton manages the Tayforth Machinery Ring, a non-profit-making member-owned consortium which encourages joint use of agricultural equipment and labour between its farming and non-farming members. Contracts and supplies are arranged between members in Fife, Tayside and central regions of Scotland.

InnerEar Ltd’s Dougal Perman is a director at Yellow Brick House Media Ltd, a consortium of four businesses specialising in new media content and marketing, television production, web development and graphic design.

Richard Simmons is a lecturer in social policy in the department of applied social science at the University of Stirling. He has a developing national and international reputation in the governance and delivery of public services and the role of co-operative and mutual organisations. As such, he is the Consortium Champion for governance, best practice and international.

Over the coming months we will be profiling each of our Champions in more detail, providing a valuable insight into their models and the many benefits collaboration has brought to their businesses.

For more information about consortia working and the support CDS can provide to businesses interested in this model, visit: