Meet the Make:IT:Happen Fund Panellists

The Make:IT:Happen fund panel is populated on a rolling basis from the pool of panellists, whose biographies are included below.  To learn more about why the panel is structured this way read our post from November 2012.

Laura Anderson
Laura Anderson is Online Marketing Manager for Craft Scotland. She is responsible for Craft Scotland’s online strategy and manages the website, online marketing, social networks, digital media, and other online connections.  As a multi-platform content creator, Laura looks for innovation and creativity in technology, and works to combine skills from her degrees in both Screenwriting and Mathematics with Computer Science. With over seven years experience in the digital landscape, Laura has worked with clients across fields including the arts, charity and corporate, in both the public and private sectors.

Abigail Carney
Abigail Carney can support you to determine how Ambition Scotland can enable your company to achieve its goals. She was involved in the first Ambition Scotland programme, first as an Assessor – so she knows what funders are looking for – and then as an Advisor, brokering relationships between arts organisations and digital technology providers to develop digital strategies to support artistic, business, audience development and marketing plans. She has worked with the teams at Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Lung Ha Theatre Company and Artlink Central to develop their business case and Ambition funding bids. She is currently working with Birds of Paradise and Creative Stirling. Core skills: Consultancy and facilitation; vision / mission development, business, stakeholder and audience development, marketing planning and evaluation. Further information on

Kieran Cooper
After a career in arts marketing with posts around the UK, Kieran Cooper became co-director of the consultancy Catalyst Arts which specialised in helping arts organisations make better use of technology. Projects included a major report calledThe Thirst for Knowledge for the combined UK Arts Councils which set out how the arts might make better use of data in decision making, and which led to the establishment of a series of initiatives that are now managed by ADUK. In Scotland the company also assisted Hi-Arts in Inverness to design and commission their ground-breaking box office agency The Booth, and acted as consultants to Tate in London when they brought in a new ticketing system ahead of the opening of Tate Modern in 2000. Between 2005 and 2012 he worked in the commercial technology sector for the email marketing software company Lyris with customers including Tate, National Galleries of Scotland, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, RyanAir,, House of Fraser and New Look. He is a Trustee of the innovative vocal group I Fagiolini and has managed their web and social media presence since 2010.

Nick Craig
Nick has worked in digital media since 2000, and as a student in 1995 built his first web site on a laptop from his student dorm room. Lacking any way of connecting to the internet, the web site’s popularity was limited. From 2001 to 2007 he headed up *greenparka, a leading digital agency that worked with clients in fund management, professional services, housebuilding, software, travel and many others. A 6-month career break in 2007 led to Nick returning to Edinburgh to set up Mackerel Media, a digital agency focused on search engine marketing and digital strategy consultancy and working with clients in online retail, tourism, financial services, professional services and manufacturing to name a few. He takes a very entrepreneurial view and is very keen to see Scotland develop as a digital media hub and see knowledge, expertise and employment in the industry grow. Outside of work Nick is a keen photographer, although having recently become a father for the first time, most of his images are now of his son.

Roanne Dods
Roanne Dods is currently Deputy Director at the Dovecot Studios, where primary role over the last year and a half has been to develop the organization through a process of change and profile. She also supports a number of other arts organizations in Scotland and England through change management processes. Her interest is primarily to work with special mission oriented organizations where culture and artists are at the heart of the vision. Roanne was Director of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation from 1998-2009, where the primary remit is to support emerging and talented artists and pracitioners through a range of programmes across all sectors.

Chris Elvery
Chris Elvery is an eBusiness Adviser with particular skills in: Business process improvement using technology as the enabler (review of business strategy and tech and then developing a blue-sky strategic vision – culminating in the development of an eBusiness strategy) and Customer conversion – both improving existing website conversion rates and speccing new sites to maximise return on investment. Combining skills as an expert in Analytics (I’m a member of the Web Analytics Association);Analytics (a member of the Usability Professionals Association) and retailing which are used together to maximise conversion rates.

Julian Forrester
Julian Forrester is the Director the Scottish artists’ residency centre Cove Park.  The organisation undertook their a digital development journey with AmbITion Scotland in 2010-11.  Julian reflects on the outputs, benefits, and impacts for the organisation’s operations, audiences, alumni and stakeholders in this AmbITion Scotland video case study.

Sarah Gee
Sarah Gee is co-founder of Indigo Ltd, a boutique marketing and fundraising consultancy which increases income and impact for the arts, culture and heritage sectors. She has worked across the world on fundraising, marketing and audience development projects for twenty years, with current clients including Dance Umbrella, mac birmingham, British Council, Arts Council England, Theatre Royal Wakefield, Performances Birmingham Ltd. and the European Broadcasting Union. In 2011 Sarah launched AngelShares, the UK-based philanthropic crowd-funding site for arts and cultural projects. In a voluntary capacity, she is a trustee of the BBC Performing Arts Trust, Motionhouse and Spitalfields Music. In 2004 Sarah was elected as a fellow of the British American Project, an initiative designed to establish stronger trans-Atlantic relationships across both public and private sectors, and in 2009 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA).

Nicola Henderson
Nicola Henderson is director of Woodend Barn, North East Scotland’s leading multi arts venue. She has worked within Scotland’s cultural sector for over 10 years and specifically within rural environments for 5 years. Nicola has practical experience working within arts venues box offices and marketing departments and as director at Timespan Museum and Art Centre before moving to Woodend Barn in 2011. Both Timespan and Woodend Barn were AmbITion Scotland partners, but with very different projects. She has been involved in website building and design, app development, social media, KITP projects and in investigating ways to break down communication barriers in rural areas using digital tools.

Crispin Hoult
After completing a Geomatics degree and PhD (Large-Scales Spatial Data Management) at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Crispin moved to Scotland to initially support, and then manage, IME UK Ltd delivering innovative desktop- and web- based mapping systems. Following a merger with 1Spatial, he became technical lead on award winning projects such as with the Property Registration Authority Ireland and the Scottish Government ePlanning initiatives. In 2011 Crispin returned to small business to set-up Linknode Ltd: integrating mobile and geospatial technologies for visualisation and augmented reality for the environmental, renewables, security, museums and culture & heritage sectors. When not at work he can be found organising and competing in the Scottish Mountain Bike Orienteering series and other events.

Susannah Jeffries
Susannah is currently the Business Manager at Cumbernauld Theatre (who received funding through the last round of AmbITion.). She also works as a freelance Project and General Manager. She has previously worked in Scotland at Great Leap Forward Ltd, The Federation of Scottish Theatre and Benchtours Productions. Before moving to Scotland she worked in London for Paines Plough and completed an MA Theatre Arts / Theatre Education at Goldsmiths. She is an inveterate facebook user.

Julie Johnstone
Julie Johnstone is currently the Librarian at the Scottish Poetry Library, based in Edinburgh. The Scottish Poetry Library was selected as a Partner for Amb:IT:ion Scotland, and over the past three years she has managed the Library’s Amb:IT:ion project. This has involved rethinking communications strategy at the Library, and has included developing a new online resource, exploring new ways to generate income online, creating a CRM, adopting an open source library management system and embarking on an audio digitisation project. The Scottish Poetry Library works to bring people and poems together, and is a unique national resource and advocate for the enriching art of poetry. Julie also runs Essence Press, making her own artists’ books and installations, as well as publishing other poets and artists in small editions.

Louise Mather
Louise Mather is the boss at No Middle Name Creative, producing videos and other digital content and building infrastructure for leading arts organisations. She makes a racket and frequently kicks about Europe as part of Any Color Black and enjoys excessive amounts of coffee every day.

Erin McElhinney
Erin McElhinney is convinced that if you could zoom in close enough, her DNA would spell out ‘geek’. Progressing from comics through to film nerdery and arts journalism, she’s been blogging online since 2001, and began playing with the collaborative potential of social networking through volunteer charity work. Now the General Manager at Arika, she is the Project Manager for their AmbITion project, overseeing the build of a new website [], and developing an online, collaborative learning space involving the digitisation of 10 years’ worth of Arika’s archive assets. You can follow her @ErinMcElhinney.

Carrie Maginn
Carrie Maginn is the Head of Outreach and Engagement at DigitasLBi in Edinburgh. She has over fifteen years experience working in creative industries across three continents. Formerly the Operations and Development Manager at Stills, Carrie joined DigitasLBi in November 2011 to help lead and shape their evolving SEO department. DigitasLBi is a global marketing and technology agency, blending strategic, creative, media and technical expertise to create business value. Her role involves coordinating operations across a number of teams to deliver natural search campaigns to a range of big name clients, including Virgin Airways, Eithad and Conde Naste. Carrie is the also Producer of The Stitch Lounge, a bi-annual open lab incorporating sewing machines and studio space for people to come together, share knowledge and make things. Carrie is a member of the newly formed Steering Group for Creative Edinburgh.

Mary Paulson-Ellis

Mary Paulson-Ellis is a writer, teaching artist and tour guide, amongst other things. From 2008 to 2012 she was the General Manager of Stellar Quines Theatre Company, a Partner on the inaugural AmbITion Scotland programme. She started her career in arts management at TAG Theatre Company and has worked for many organisations along the way including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Princes Trust – Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University and her work has been published in a number of anthologies and literary magazines.

Lesley Ann Rose
Lesley Anne Rose is currently Creative Producer for Stellar Quines Theatre Company. She oversees all of the company’s digital development with the aim of improving its sustainability and creating new business models. Prior to joining Stellar Quines, Lesley Anne worked in the film exhibition sector, managing, programming and writing business plans for specialised cinemas, overseeing their transition to digital projection and advising Regional Screen Agencies in audience development for film. She is experienced in working with organisations facing the challenges and opportunities of new technologies and working with then in order to identify and develop new ways of working and new business models.

Karen Shaw
Karen Shaw is a freelance arts producer and project manager working with a range of organisations on diverse projects. Prior to this she was Executive Director of Giant, an arts organisation creating work with and for children where she cut her teeth on the Ambition Scotland programme implementing a range of processes and ideas to achieve organisational change.

Sarah Tierney
Sarah Tierney is an Executive Producer of film and television documentary and digital content, with a focus on international issue-driven work. Her productions have ranged from broadcast series to feature documentary to multiplatform slates, including Oscar®-nominated, BIFA-nominated, Grierson-shortlisted and twice BAFTA-winning work. With a background in creative content start-ups, Sarah also has strong experience of corporate governance and creative leadership. In 2011, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2012 was made a Fellow of the International Creative Entrepreneurs Programme.

Roger Tomlinson
Roger is an independent management and marketing consultant, working in the arts and entertainment sector internationally. One of the world’s leading experts on integrating on-line technologies for ticketing, marketing & CRM, he is a keynote speaker at conferences across the world, and is particularly interested in the way digital technologies are changing the ways people can relate to arts organisations and how they can develop audiences. He produces The Ticketing Institute information website. Follow him on Twitter as @BrandinyourHand and @TicketingInst.  His books include FULL HOUSE Turning Data Into Audiences (co-authored with Tim Roberts and also published in Spanish), BOXING CLEVER, DEVELOPING AND MANAGING A WEB SITE (co-authored with Vicki Allpress) and the BOX OFFICE MARKETING GUIDES, and JobWatch (about equal opportunities recruitment), and the Data Protection Guide.

Chris Willshaw
Chris Willshaw is responsible for developing the digital media strategy at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He runs ‘Broadcast’ – the behind the scenes blog which showcases life at the Royal Conservatoire, winner of the Heist Gold award for best digital project. He is responsible for training up and leading a team of in-house digital content creators who create authored digital material for ‘Broadcast’. Chris is an expert in digital content production and delivery having trained on several high profile television and digital productions within the BBC and the independent sector. Chris Willshaw is responsible for developing the digital media strategy at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.