Aberdeen social enterprise Glencraft has appointed a new managing director.
Donald MacKay takes up the reins at the luxury mattress maker from Graham McWilliam who held the post for six years.
Born and raised in Lewis, Mr MacKay is a board member of Bord na Gaidhlig, the public body responsible for the advancement of the Gaelic language in Scotland.
Throughout his 30-year career in the energy sector, he held a number of senior positions including vice-president (Europe) at Odfjell Well Services, interim chief executive at Morgenstern and chief executive at Read Cased Hole.
Mr MacKay said: “It is an honour and privilege to be entrusted to lead, support and develop such a highly-regarded and vitally important social enterprise.
“I’d like to thank Graham for his remarkable work during a time of intense challenges, including the downturn in the oil and gas market and the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“He passes on a business in a strong position.”
Jonathan Smith, who has been confirmed as chairman of Glencraft, said: “We wish Graham all the best in his next adventure.
“He led our transformation to a luxury brand, expanded our reach through international agreements and supported the growth and development of a talented team.
“When Graham announced he was stepping down, the Glencraft board set in motion a process to find someone whose leadership qualities embrace the professional will and personal humility this demanding role requires. I’m delighted to say we have found that in Donald.”
Mr McWilliam, who will be pursuing new business interests after a short break, said:
“I’m of course sad to be leaving Glencraft but the time had come to find new challenges.
“In recent years, Glencraft has been put on the right track and I have no doubt Donald and the team will build on this to ensure it continues to grow not only as a commercial enterprise but as a valued support network in the Aberdeen community.”
One of Mr McWilliam’s final achievements at Glencraft was securing £75,000 of government funding – part of the Adapt and Thrive third-sector initiative – to replace outdated machinery and improve reliability and efficiency at the organisation’s
Mastrick site where its handmade mattresses are produced.
Glencraft has offered employment and support to disadvantaged people across the north-east for 178 years. The charity faced closure in 2010 after Aberdeen City Council pulled a substantial grant due to a funding review.
A campaign led by the late former chairman Duncan Skinner to save it and introduce a more professional approach secured its future.
Thirty of the team of 38 come from disadvantaged backgrounds in relation to health or social economic challenges.
Glencraft won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, promoting opportunity – through social mobility – for its commitment to supporting people from under-represented groups, while providing development and training support to its staff and a sustainable business model.
In May Glencraft was praised for its work and community contribution in a letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The social enterprise sells more than 5,000 mattresses per year. It is recognised as a luxury brand with sales to five-star hotels and multi-year distribution agreements with companies in South Korea and China.
Clients include the Fife Arms in Braemar, the Balmoral in Edinburgh and Brown’s Hotel in London’s Mayfair district.