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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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New chair and trustees appointed to board of agricultural society

This news post is over 1 year old

The RSABI has made several appointments ahead of Christmas.

Scottish agricultural charity RSABI has announced several new appointments to its board, including welcoming Jimmy McLean as its new chair.  

Mr McLean takes over the role from David Leggat, who reached the end of his term as Chair at the charity’s board meeting this month. Mr Leggat remains a trustee for a further year.    

Mr McLean has been a trustee of RSABI for five years and has spent the past two years as vice chair. 

Based in the Borders, he was formerly head of agricultural services at the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest. 

Mr McLean graduated with a BSc in Agriculture from Edinburgh University, working in agricultural consultancy with SAC, before moving into banking.   

Mr McLean is also a trustee of the Farmers’ Club in London and of Earlston Parish Church. 

He is a member of the Lantra judging panel for their ‘Albas’ awards and a fellow of the Royal Agriculture Societies and a member of the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) panel in Scotland.   

Mr McLean said he was looking forward to taking on the role of Chair and extended sincere thanks to David Leggat for his hard work and excellent service during the past two years.

He also extended thanks to Hamish Lean, who stepped down from the board after nine years of excellent service.   

He said: “We are looking at a period of great change for the agricultural industry and for many this will bring significant challenges. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow trustees, staff and volunteers to ensure that RSABI provides support to as many people in need as possible.   

“It’s also an exciting time in the 125 year history of the charity, with a range of initiatives underway and in the pipeline to extend our reach and services. It’s more important than ever that people in the agricultural industry know that RSABI is here to provide confidential emotional, practical and financial support.”   

Jane Mitchell, who has been a trustee for four years, has been appointed as vice chair, while Lois Newton and Sandy Hay have joined as new trustees.   

Born and brought up on the family farm in Inverurie, Ms Mitchell is a director with Johnston Carmichael, Chartered Accountants, specialising in the agricultural industry in Scotland. 

She has a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Aberdeen and gained her CA qualification through ICAS in 1993.    

With more than 25 years’ experience in the finance sector, Ms Mitchell previously spent 19 years with Clydesdale Bank where she held a number of positions throughout Scotland, including senior partner agribusiness and head of customer banking centre at the Bank's Thainstone Centre, near Inverurie. 

She was appointed to the board of ANM Group in December 2016 as a non-executive Director and to the council of SAOS in June 2018.   

Originally from East Lothian, but now living in Perthshire, Lois Newton is a partner in the Land and Rural Business Team at Gillespie Macandrew, based in their Perth office. 

She joined the firm as a trainee in 2010 and specialises in agricultural law, advising on all matters affecting the rural community. She is passionate about supporting those working in agriculture and promoting the success of rural communities and businesses.    

Sandy Hay was born and brought up on the family farm in Perthshire and completed an HND in Agriculture in Edinburgh. 

Mr Hay recently retired after 33 years with Bank of Scotland. 

During his time with the bank, he completed the banking professional examinations and became a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, and a Chartered Banker. Following various roles in corporate and business banking he became head of agriculture for Bank of Scotland in 2008.   

Carol McLaren, Chief Executive of RSABI, welcomed the new board appointments and extended heartfelt thanks to Mr Leggat.   

She said: “RSABI is very fortunate to benefit from a very high calibre of trustees with a great balance of skills and experience, who give their time and expertise freely and make a huge contribution in terms of the governance and strategic focus of the charity.   

“Our thanks go to David Leggat for outstanding commitment and dedication shown during the past two years of his term as Chair and to Hamish Lean for his very valuable contribution to the running of the charity, particularly as Chair of the HR Committee. 

“We are very much looking forward to working with Jimmy and Jane and grateful to all our trustees for the energy and enthusiasm they put into their roles.”