The supporting cast.

Our team brings a wealth of experience and a broad skill set. We invest in training and workshops to make sure our team is always learning.

Senior Management

Sara Thiam

Chief Executive

Sara Thiam

Chief Executive

As the public face of Prosper, Sara works tirelessly to make sure members’ thinking is shaping government and industry action.

She is a hands-on leader, working closely with the Prosper team to meet members’ needs, and acts as the main point of communication between the board of directors and the staff team. It’s very important to Sara that Prosper represents the true diversity of corporate and civil Scotland, and she’s a huge advocate for purposeful ways of working.

Sara is a fair-weather wild swimmer who also loves discovering Scotland’s places by bike and on foot. As well as mum-dancing to old soul music, she is hooked on history, current affairs, political podcasts and jazz gigs.

sara.thiam@prosper.scot

Scott Fergus

Director of Finance & Corporate Services

Scott Fergus

Director of Finance & Corporate Services

Scott spends most of his working day staring intently at spreadsheets and haggling with his colleagues about why they want to spend money out of Prosper’s precious budget.

A real multi-skiller, Scott can just as easily be found balancing the books as rolling his sleeves up to assemble the office furniture or putting his IT know-how to the test when the wifi goes down.

One of his greatest passions is being out on the hills, walking or running amongst the snow-dappled peaks of the West Highlands or on the gravel trails of Glenmore.

scott.fergus@prosper.scot

Clare Reid

Director of Policy & Public Affairs

Clare Reid

Director of Policy & Public Affairs

Clare’s role at Prosper fulfils her passions.

Clare looks after our Policy team and leads on government and stakeholder engagement, Peer Works and Young Engineers and Science Clubs. She loves working with our fantastic, talented team across all of these areas and getting to meet the most amazing array of people in her daily work. She really enjoys finding out about what’s going on in their worlds, uncovering future trends and bringing people from diverse industries, sectors and backgrounds together to make a difference.

Outside of work you’ll probably find Clare cooking up a storm in the kitchen, on a bike or up a hill walking and talking with family and friends.

clare.reid@prosper.scot

Policy

Our policy work

Gareth Williams

Head of Policy

Gareth Williams

Head of Policy

Gareth works with our members to influence public policy in ways that we think will develop a more prosperous Scottish economy.

That work involves producing research reports and consultation responses, communicating members’ views in Government meetings and creating opportunities for them to engage with key people on big issues. Gareth led Prosper’s work on our Blueprints for Scotland’s economy, and has written reports on subjects like tech, business purpose and natural capital.

Away from his policy brief, Gareth enjoys a daily run and racing or volunteering in parkrun at the weekend. A strong community is important to him and he chairs his primary school’s parent council.

gareth.wIlliams@prosper.scot

Dr Sophie Brett

Prosper

Policy Manager

Dr Sophie Brett

Prosper

Policy Manager

Working closely with the Policy Team, Sophie will work with members toward shared priorities for a sustainable and prosperous Scotland. Having previously worked in the third sector, Sophie looks forward to representing and collaborating with members from across Scottish society on a range of important topics.

Sophie gained her PhD Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries Campus where she conducted research examining the opportunities for agricultural education in Scottish secondary schools through Curriculum for Excellence. She also holds a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Governance and is passionate about working toward a more circular and sustainable Scotland.

Away from the office, Sophie loves taking in Scotland’s stunning scenery – usually from a walk or bike and always involving coffee and bacon rolls!

sophie.brett@prosper.scot

Nairne Hopkinson

Policy Analyst

Nairne Hopkinson

Policy Analyst

Nairne helps the Prosper policy team respond to consultations and maintain strong relationships with members.

She holds a Master’s degree in international politics and human rights and came to Prosper via a career in the third sector. Nairne is passionate about making Scotland a better place, one molecule at a time.

When she isn’t digesting weighty policy reports, Nairne enjoys taking care of her enormous plant collection, bouldering, and learning new things every day.

nairne.hopkinson@prosper.scot

Membership

Join Prosper

Grant Campbell

Regional Manager, Highlands & Islands

Grant Campbell

Regional Manager, Highlands & Islands

As our man in the north, Grant works closely with members from all sectors and industries to support their growth and development ambitions.

Organising thought leadership and networking events for members in the Highland & Islands and working with the regional committee to understand the ever-changing economic landscape, allows him to work collaboratively towards better prosperity in the region. Living in Ross-shire allows Grant to live an active outdoor life with his family.

In his free time, you’ll find him on the golf course, out on a kayak or enjoying in the natural environment of a woodland walk, mountain or beach somewhere across the Highlands.

grant.campbell@prosper.scot

Mhairi Duncan

Regional Manager, Central & South of Scotland

Mhairi Duncan

Regional Manager, Central & South of Scotland

One of the great joys of Mhairi’s working life is that no two days are ever the same.

As one of Prosper’s Regional Managers, covering Central and South of Scotland, her job is to look after existing members and recruit new ones. There’s also plenty of event planning and hosting. Mhairi’s a west coast lass, hailing from the Isle of Bute and now enjoying life in rural Stirlingshire, living in a B&B run by her husband.

She enjoys country walks and hill climbing with the family’s cocker spaniel Cooper. Mhairi is also an occasional golfer, foodie, sports lover, music nerd and proud mum to Maisie & Tom.

mhairi.duncan@prosper.scot

John Urquhart

Regional Manager, North East

John Urquhart

Regional Manager, North East

John has a long-standing affiliation with the North East and is proud to represent Prosper members from that area.

He lives in Aberdeen, and absolutely wants the city and region to thrive. John’s working weeks are centred around meeting with existing members to try and understand the opportunities and challenges they are currently experiencing, and finding ways to help. He is heavily involved in developing a strong events schedule so local members can network, listen to quality speakers and experience many of the great venues in the region.

Personal time is devoted to family, golf, Aberdeen FC and many walks on the city’s glorious beach.

john.urquhart@prosper.scot

Events, Marketing and Support

Sabrina Allan

Head of Communications

Sabrina Allan

Head of Communications

Sabrina is queen of communications at Prosper.

She is in charge of our communications strategy, making sure that Prosper is proudly promoting what it does to all sorts of audiences, and sharing our many success stories. Before joining Prosper in 2023, Sabrina honed her communications skills across a range of roles including social housing, the third sector and higher education. She is passionate about making a difference and volunteered as a member of the Children’s Panel in Glasgow for four years.

Sabrina’s happy place is anywhere with friends and family – especially if it’s sunny and good food is involved.

sabrina.allan@prosper.scot

Fiona Downie

Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive/Membership Administrator

Fiona Downie

Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive/Membership Administrator

Fiona is a Prosper veteran. She’s been providing support to the Regional Managers for over 20 years, helping them generate membership leads and building productive relationships with members in the different regions. Fiona also assists Sara, Prosper’s CEO, in her regular engagement with members. Away from work she likes to keep active, whether that’s working out or walking her two Australian labradoodles. When she’s not taxi-ing her children to activities, she’ll pick up her latest cross stitch and relax in front of a warm fire, perhaps with a glass of wine.

fiona.downie@prosper.scot

Carol Anne Grady

Head of Events

Carol Anne Grady

Head of Events

Carol Anne is Prosper’s very own organisational genius.

A born organiser, she puts those skills to good use at Prosper by managing our annual events calendar. She’s responsible for bringing members together to network, collaborate and, hopefully, have a bit of fun while they’re about it. From printing badges to teaching celebrity hosts to use digital event platforms, Carol Anne does the lot. No matter how complex an event is Carol Anne can always come back to her core strengths of structure, spreadsheets and smiling through the chaos.

Outside of work, she enjoys puzzles and cryptic crosswords, and knits like nobody’s business.

carolanne.grady@prosper.scot

Alasdair Gray

Marketing & Social Media Co-ordinator

Alasdair Gray

Marketing & Social Media Co-ordinator

Alasdair’s role at Prosper sees him handling external communications to raise awareness of the organisation’s activities.

One minute he might be promoting in-depth policy work and the next he’s publicising events or just-published reports. Alasdair makes sure that Prosper’s digital presence remains up to date – his job is to keep on top of the website, social media streams and direct marketing. He’s a problem-solver who enjoys identifying new ways to improve the way Prosper works.

In his spare time, Alasdair enjoys photography and graphic design as well as all things DIY.

alasdair.gray@prosper.scot

Carolyn Howley

Finance Assistant

Carolyn Howley

Finance Assistant

Carolyn keeps Prosper straight when it comes to money.

As an important member of the accounts team, she offers administration, credit control and accounts support for her colleagues. Carolyn’s been helping to keep our accounts right since 2021. However, life’s not all about numbers and columns for Carolyn, she loves living near Glasgow city centre and likes frequenting the shops, restaurants and bars at weekends. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, and has a special place in her heart for travelling and shopping.

Carolyn also makes regular trips to and from London to spend time with her husband who works there.

carolyn.howley@prosper.scot

Ethan Lowell

Prosper

Modern Apprentice (Business Administration)

Ethan Lowell

Prosper

Modern Apprentice (Business Administration)

Ethan is the team’s Business Administrator Modern Apprentice, helping the membership and Peer Works teams with all things administration, social media, and general support.

Ethan is hard working, willing to help, conscientious and enjoys collaborating with the whole team. He is really excited to learn more about every aspect of the business and we’re delighted to have him on board.

When he’s not working hard in the office, Ethan likes gaming and reading manga.

Adèle Milne

Admin & Digital Co-ordinator

Adèle Milne

Admin & Digital Co-ordinator

Some say Adèle is a miracle worker, and she certainly needs her superwoman cape to keep Prosper’s office and IT systems running smoothly for the Scotland-wide team.

Working with key suppliers to meet the needs of the team and organisation, she manages digital projects and implements new approaches which transform the way Prosper works. Adèle supports the team’s admin tasks hugely with her keen eye for detail – she absolutely loves a spreadsheet!

Outside of the 9 to 5, she enjoys exploring new places with her family, often scouting out destinations which are off the beaten path.

adele.milne@prosper.scot

Claire Williamson

Events Co-ordinator

Claire Williamson

Events Co-ordinator

An integral part of the events team, Claire manages all the intricacies of the events calendar, ensuring that everything happens when it’s supposed to, with no detail left behind.

Claire is always on the lookout for new ways of working, particularly when it comes to making processes more efficient. She is also an invaluable addition to the team when it comes to improving Prosper’s sustainability credentials and bringing colleagues together socially (Cake Wednesday being just one notable innovation).

When she’s not organising and planning events, she loves trying new restaurants and cafes, is an escape room afficionado, and bakes a mean carrot cake.

claire.williamson@prosper.scot

Peer Works

Find out more

Eleonora Vanello

Programme Manager

Eleonora Vanello

Programme Manager

Eleonora is Peer Work’s hunter-gatherer!

Her role is to connect people and provide places where they can learn from each other’s experiences. To do that she hunts for inspirational leaders who share their stories, explaining the challenges and achievements of running an organisation. Eleonora is also skilled at gathering together people from all sorts of backgrounds who want learn from those stories and apply their new knowledge to be able to work better and smarter.

Eleonora is a real foodie and as an Italian in Scotland has been impressed with the country’s very best produce.

eleonora.vanello@prosper.scot

Alison Douglas

Digital & Event Co-ordinator (Maternity Leave)

Alison Douglas

Digital & Event Co-ordinator (Maternity Leave)

Alison is an essential member of the Peer Works team, managing the Club’s online presence and external communications, as well as organising and promoting all the monthly events.

She loves to make the most of online tools for digital storytelling, using these to help support others and make a positive impact. Alison has a degree in Law and Psychology, and prior to joining Prosper, worked mainly in the third sector.

Away from work Alison enjoys being a mum, baking and delving into all things true crime.

alison.douglas@prosper.scot

Brendan Njoku

Digital & Event Coordinator (Maternity Cover)

Brendan Njoku

Digital & Event Coordinator (Maternity Cover)

Brendan supports the Programme Manager to ensure successful delivery and promotion of Peer Works programme. His responsibilities include the effective coordination and promotion of our events calendar.
He is passionate about aligning innovation, strategies, and processes to guarantee seamless delivery. With a degree in Marketing, he brings a wealth of knowledge in communications and technology to our team.
Outside of work, he enjoys engaging in intellectually stimulating board games such as Scrabble, and is currently shaping his skills in chess.

Brendan.Njoku@prosper.scot

Stemovators

About Stemovators

Thomas Wild

Head of Stemovators

Thomas Wild

Head of Stemovators

Science never stays still, and as the supremo of Stemovators, Thomas’s job requires him to constantly update his knowledge and he learns something new every day.

His day-to-day work involves overseeing all of Stemovators’ diverse education programs and partnerships in science and technology. With his team, Thomas develops science resource kits, experimenting with new ideas and distributing them to schools right across Scotland. He gets to travel around the country to deliver school workshops, teacher training CPDs, and events, while meeting with partners to secure funding, co-develop STEM activities, and arrange volunteering opportunities.

When not working, you likely find Thomas up a hill somewhere with his friends, or maybe taking apart a bit of his house to begin a new DIY project.

thomas.wild@stemovators.scot

Julie Fleming

Programme Co-ordinator

Julie Fleming

Programme Co-ordinator

Julie just loves her work with young people.

She thinks it’s brilliant to travel around the country to attend events and see the students’ enthusiasm for STEM first hand. Julie particularly enjoys working closely with schools, industry partners and other STEM providers to promote, grow and expand the project’s reach. She plays an important role coordinating Stemovators communication and marketing, distributing project and resource kits to schools across the country. Julie also organises our school workshops, teacher training and celebration of STEM events.

When not working, Julie can be found at the gym or out walking in local hills with friends.

julie.fleming@stemovators.scot

Melanie Riddell

Programme Manager

Melanie Riddell

Programme Manager

Melanie’s work is varied and diverse and she welcomes every opportunity to contribute to Stemovators’ growth and success.

She enjoys collaborating with schools, and forging strong ties with other STEM providers. As well as planning and implementing innovative activities and events for the project, Melanie helps organise teacher training workshops and creates engaging marketing materials, social media updates and project evaluations.

Outside work, you can usually find Melanie indulging her creativity with all kinds of crafts, both traditional and digital. However, crafting regularly gets put aside for walks with her energetic cocker spaniel puppy, Nova.

melanie.riddell@stemovators.scot

Dave Craig

Projects Specialist

Dave Craig

Projects Specialist

Dave’s long experience in STEM subjects (36 years as an Engineer and 5 years as a Physics teacher) is perfect for his work with Stemovators, where he develops science, engineering and maths activities.

He really enjoys presenting them to young people when he gets the chance. It’s important to Dave that he makes sure that Stemovators present accurate and relevant science in simple language to young people, and of course, that it’s good fun!

When not doing science stuff, Dave likes to bag Munros (slowly), is trying his hand at curling, or can be found fixing up his cottage in Orkney.

dave.craig@stemovators.scot

Eira James

Project Co-ordinator

Eira James

Project Co-ordinator

As a passionate science communicator, Eira really enjoys developing, coordinating and delivering impactful digital and face-to-face programmes for Stemovators.

She is particularly interested in creating accessible learning resources which help promote inclusivity in STEM. Her work at Stemovators focuses on the Climate Smarter project, which is designed to enthuse and inspire school pupils to use their creative thinking to come up with solutions to the biggest global problems which face them now, and into their future.

When Eira’s not supporting young people in science, you can usually find her walking in nature.

eira.james@stemovators.scot

Benjie Marwick Johnstone

Projects Specialist

Benjie Marwick Johnstone

Projects Specialist

Benjie has been taking things apart to find out how they work since he was tiny – but putting them back together again wasn’t always so easy!

This inquisitive mind has proved useful in his work with Stemovators, where he designs STEM projects, hosts teacher training workshops and delivers pupil events. Benjie was responsible for the popular Go Forth challenge – which involved designing a 2 metre bridge from lollipop sticks and cable ties, strong enough to support 50 standard bottles of water – and many similar projects. As an electronic engineer by trade, he also works with Edinburgh Laser Optics, Cramasie and CreativEnergie alongside Stemovators.

Benjie can often be found wandering in the countryside or making large pots of vegetable curry.

bmarwickjohnstone@stemovators.scot