The HDDT Board of Directors is made up of committed volunteers who bring a variety of skills and expertise to the Trust from a diverse range of backgrounds. Their passion to improve Huntly & District unites them. HDDT staff deliver the projects and the day to day running of the organisation, with volunteers helping out regularly.
LES ALLAN – HDDT Chair
Les Allan is a Glaswegian who has lived in Portsoy with his wife and family for the last 25 years. He recently retired from Aberdeenshire Council where he was Area Manager for Marr which included Huntly. He led Huntly’s involvement in the Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership. He led community planning and engagement across Marr, encouraging working in partnership between communities and agencies. He has a degree in Business Administration and is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. He was also a qualified member of the Institute of Customer Service.
Elaine is from Clydebank originally, moving to Glass around 15 years ago. She trained with Grant Thornton CA for 4 years before returning to study for a professional management diploma. She then spent several years in various management roles before returning to accountancy practice. She currently works locally at Faith Simpson Accountants as a Senior Accounts Manager. Elaine still lives in Glass with her husband, two children, two dogs and cat. Any spare time is spent walking her dogs or taking her boys to football matches.
Neil is Huntly born and raised and attended The Gordon Schools. Having left school in 2005 Neil went on to attend Aberdeen College to do an introduction to construction course. However he found that didn’t suit him so went on to complete an army preparation course with a view to joining. Neil then decided to work as a labourer with his brother for two years until the business wound down, after which Neil was employed by G4S as a security officer. During his time in the security industry he gained qualifications in door supervision and cash in transit. In 2011 he became a fully trained and licensed close protection officer (bodyguard). He remained in the security industry mainly as a manager and security consultant until April 2014. Between April and October he worked for a local landscaper which led, in October 2014, to him starting up his own landscaping business. Neil loves to travel and intends on doing more in the coming years.
Raised in the North East of Scotland, Bruce started his career as an accountant and spent several years in that field. In 1989, he established an Aberdeen-based design, print and marketing company to support the oil and gas industry. After 8 successful years and building the business up to 20 personnel, Bruce was invited to join an international print services company and went onto become a Director responsible for UK-wide business development, as well as supporting international projects within a 2,500 strong international team. His career meant weekly commutes from the North East, leaving little time to support family life, including his son’s interest in cross-country skiing. After 13 years, in 2012, Bruce, his artist wife Anne and their son moved to Huntly. Bruce now works as a management consultant supporting businesses throughout the UK with print and marketing project cost control. He is fundraising co-ordinator for the Huntly-based British Nordic Development Squad, which trains and supports athletes aged 12-23 to help develop them into world class athletes competing on the global stage at Winter Olympics and International tournament.
Iain is Managing Director of Hyperion which is involved in the integration of renewable technologies into new housing developments with the goals to develop environmentally and energy efficient homes for the future. Iain joined HDDT in April 2015.
Like Paddington Bear, Alastair was born in Peru and likes marmalade. He was however raised rather conventionally in Edinburgh. He gained a degree in Physics from St Andrews University and more recently gained a degree in Psychology at the Open University. He is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society. His career has primarily been in industrial computer systems where he progressed from computer programming, through project management, and into business management. In 2000 he set up his own business employing a small handful of people providing consultancy to a variety of industries including oil, telecom, and the Post Office. He closed the business in 2009. In 2007 he was elected as an Aberdeenshire councillor representing Huntly, Strathbogie, and the Howe of Alford, was re-elected in 2012, and resigned in 2015 following some health difficulties. He’s better now. He was a director of Advocacy Service Aberdeen for 12 years and is currently Finance Director of Networks of Wellbeing in Huntly. He has been an enthusiastic walker and rock climber, has held a private pilot licence, and is now enjoying woodturning and cooking.
Sharon has a degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Learning. She worked for six years as a CLD Worker for Aberdeenshire Council organising various youth groups and established the Huntly Youth Forum, a platform for young people to give their views which led directly to Cooper Park improvements and the establishment of a Youth Café. She was subsequently employed as a Local Development Officer for a Community Development Trust. She has lived in the North East of Scotland for 33 years, has several years’ experience of screen printing, is a keen photographer and holds a basic bee keepers certificate. She is currently volunteering for Advocacy North East.
Mary is from Aberdeen and lived in North America from 1973-1976. On her return she lived and worked at a community farm in Aberdeen. She was involved in the establishment of energy advice agency SCARF in Aberdeen in 1985. After many years at SCARF she established her own company to provide energy efficiency advice to a range of customer groups. Latterly she worked for a community group in Banchory advising on energy and renewable energy in buildings and general awareness raising on climate change. Mary worked as a volunteer in Huntly from April 2012. She negotiated with SSE and A & R Hepburn Ltd on behalf of Huntly & District Development Trust and Gordon Rural Action to provide free insulation for local residents. Mary moved to Huntly in October 2012 and is retired. Mary is a director of Greenmyres Renewable Energy and chair of the Greenmyres working group. She is interested in native trees and is also a regular volunteer for Trees for Life near Invermoriston.
Jamie was born in Aberdeen and brought up in the Aberdeenshire countryside. After leaving Alford Academy in 2003 he studied Geography at Glasgow University and then completed a Master’s degree at the University of Aberdeen. Following some time spent working in rural development funding Jamie joined Community Energy Scotland as a Development Officer, supporting community groups develop renewable energy resources. During this period he worked with HDDT on the Greenmyres wind and solar projects. In early 2016 Jamie started in a new position as Co-ordinator with a development funding programme for fishing communities in Aberdeenshire. Jamie lives in Glass with his wife, daughter, son and two chocolate Labradors.
Donald was born and bred in Huntly. On leaving the town’s Gordon Schools he became a Chartered Surveyor in Aberdeen before working his way through Europe and the Middle East for two years. On his return to the UK he studied Environmental Management and Community Water Supply Engineering for developing countries at Cranfield University. He then worked for a year as a volunteer with a small charity in the Western Highlands of Guatemala installing gravity-fed water systems. A nine-year stint as project manager with the International Institute for the Urban Environment in Delft, The Netherlands followed. In 2005, Donald returned to his hometown as Town Coordinator with the Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership and completed his MBA with the Open University. He then helped establish its successor, Huntly & District Development Trust, in 2009 and became its first Development Manager.
DEBBIE HAEFNER – Administration Manager
Debbie grew up in Huntly and attended The Gordon Schools. Her past employment history and HND in Administration and Information Management has gained her significant experience within the office admin sector. Her employment history includes a long period as Practice Administrator at a local award winning architectural practice, as well as a stint as Clerk to Gordon Primary School Board. Debbie was employed as Clerical Officer in 2008 for HDDT’s predecessor Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership. She has been in her full time role as Administration Manager with HDDT since 2012. Debbie takes part in local fundraising and charity events and volunteers with local groups. She was for the past 14 and a half years, a Leader at 1st Huntly Brownies, and for the past year District Commissioner for Clashnoth District. She enjoys walking, hiking and cooking.
Jill was born in Aberdeen and studied Architecture in at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow and Scott Sutherland School in Aberdeen. After working for architects in the Outer Hebrides, Skye, North Berwick and Deeside she settled in Huntly 20 years ago. She started her own Architectural practice in 2002 and specialises in high quality design grounded on sustainable principles. Her children have all been educated at The Gordon Schools and she participates in many local ventures including Aurora Choir and Productions, Huntly Summer Traditional Scottish Evenings and as a singer in the Scots harmony group Tripple. She enjoys walking, cycling and swimming.
Dave is a born and bred Huntly loon. After leaving school he served as an apprentice Industrial Engineer with Wm. Spence Ltd before working for Grampian Regional Council and subsequently Aberdeenshire Council. He was part of several strategic initiatives including the installation of the first curricular computer networks, and the deployment of the Internet to all schools in the local authority. Both of which were ground-breaking at the time. Dave then moved to a career in satellite communications where he held various roles ranging from Engineering through to Managing Director. This enabled him to travel the world and enjoy a 3 year expatriate position in Angola, West Africa where he and his family helped in fundraising for local aid projects. Nowadays, Dave is a keen cyclist, micro-adventure, and part-time writer, and is involved with a number of community groups helping to promote physical and mental wellbeing.