Our Team

The Circle has the support of an enthusiastic team with a range of experience and interests.

Our Staff

Kirsty Thomson

Kirsty is our Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Kirsty is a serial social entrepreneur who has set up and runs two Community Interest Companies over the past 7 years – ACK Third Sector Consultants CIC (formerly Along Came Kirsty) and Circle Scotland CIC (The Circle).

Kirsty has a wealth of knowledge and experience working in and with charities and social enterprises over 20 years to secure more than £13 million in funding. She helps them become better businesses to help communities thrive.

Kirsty is also a Saltire Fellow through Entrepreneurial Scotland and in 2017 Kirsty was recognised as a Women of Inspiration by the Association of Scottish Businesswomen. Last year The Circle won Social Impact Business of Year in The Courier Business Awards. Kirsty was also listed in The Courier’s Impact 100 list and is on the NatWest WISE100 2018 list, which recognises the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven businesses in the UK.

Paul Hastie

Paul is The Circle Manager. Responsible for motivating and leading the team to achieve incredible things, alongside ensuring the building and business operations run smoothly. He loves that The Circle is a fantastic example of an organisation striving to bring about positive change while maintaining commercial viability.

Paul originally joined Kirsty Thomson’s consultancy, ACK, as a volunteer. Impressing from the outset, Paul was quickly offered a part-time position as the ACK Champions Programme Manager. Nearing the end of the ACK contract an opportunity to join The Circle arose which Paul was delighted to accept, knowing how ambitious an organisation The Circle is. Paul is looking forward to doing everything he can to support the team and continue the great work already being done by The Circle.

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny is our Trainee Associate Consultant. She joined the team in January 2019 after four years working with ACK Third Sector Consultancy CIC. While at ACK Jenny helped support a number of charities, social enterprises, community groups and individuals in the third sector. She also provided marketing support to The Circle during the two years that ACK were based here.

Jenny is passionate about supporting and promoting the work of third sector organisations, especially the tenant organisations at The Circle.

Nicola Donnelly

Nicola is our Business Development Officer.  Nicola discovers, secures and develops opportunities for The Circle to work with organisations that share our values to positively contribute to our social impact. She is passionate about promoting The Circle to a wide and varied audience.

Nicola has developed a valuable network in Dundee during a career that has included working at the University of Dundee in various posts, running her own business and working with two social enterprises. Nicola has run conferences, workshops, fundraisers and even founded a book club.

Jennifer Gall

Jennifer has been Bookings and Training Administrator for The Circle since November 2018. Her job mostly involves handling bookings of our rooms and providing refreshments for people using these spaces. We can accommodate a variety of events from one-to-one meetings to events for up to 80 people.

If you need a room for your meeting, training course or event and would like to use one of our spaces, you can get in touch with Jennifer at bookings@theircledundee.org.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

Kara Swankie

Kara is our new Academy Manager. She has just recently joined the Circle and will be developing The Circle Academy which is a new initiative that will be launching this year.

Kara has a background in business having opened her first business at 19 whilst still at University, which her and her business partner went on to sell. They then opened Dundee Strength Unit. D.S.U. which they also sold recently, leaving her in an exciting position to go out and develop her own skill base. Kara will be bringing her incredible skills and experience in business to enhance our More Than Profit model.

On a personal level, she’s a Power-lifter with winning Gold at the Commonwealth Power-lifting Championships being her biggest achievement.

Ruth Finnan

Ruth is our new Financial Controller, working closely with the CEO and The Circle Manager to deliver the financial strategy of the business.

Until recently, she was employed as the Financial Controller of a construction company at the same time as running her own bookkeeping/accountancy business.

Due to the retirement and closure of the company she found herself reconsidering her future career. This offered her a chance to utilise her financial experience at the same time as being involved in a business which is working towards the benefit of the local and wider community in Dundee.

Sekai Machache

Sekai is our Junior Communications Assistant, delivering the Marketing and Comms for The Circle. She has been working with us since March this year when she was employed through a CJS position. Sekai is also a practicing visual artist who mainly works with photography.

Michael Ratcliffe

Michael is our facilities assistant at The Circle. Michael had previously struggled with employment due to his autism but with the help of a mentor from an employability team, he found a volunteer position at The Circle, he made such an impression that he was offered a full-time job with funding from community Jobs Scotland.

Stephen McLennan

Stephen is our new Cafe Manager for The Circle Cafe which is an Employability and Training programme for looked after young people and care leavers. Stephen has over 5 years of previous experience worked with third sector and social enterprises.

Caitlin Collins

Caitlin is our Café supervisor working alongside Stephen to set up the new employability and training programme for young people and care leavers. Caitlin has first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing the trainees having been through the care system herself.

Christina Thomson

Christina Thomson is our Facilities Supervisor. She works closely with our Facilities Assistant Michael to ensure that the building is in the best possible condition.

Our Board

Alasdair McGill

Alasdair is Managing Director of Ashton McGill. Alasdair is on a mission to transform organisations with how they design their services to give an enviable customer service. He is an established entrepreneur with several businesses under his belt and contributes as a non-executive director for a range of clients. Alasdair loves in no particular order his bicycle, proper coffee, Sharpies and TED talks. He spends a lot of time on the road and his time-management is the envy of many.

Louise Valentine

Louise is Head of Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Employability at the University of Dundee. She is the Chair of Design and leads on entrepreneurship and enterprise. In this role she supervises and examines Doctoral Degrees and is lead supervisor for three design researchers sponsored by the £45M Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum of Design Dundee. Louise is also President of the European Academy of Design.

Rod Mountain

Rod is based at Ninewells with a real interest in developing collaborations between the creative industries and the health / social care sectors. He aspires to focus on the value of Design and “Design thinking” and help grow new economies in Tayside through collaboration between the public, private, voluntary and third sectors.

Donald McPherson

Donald worked in legal and governance roles in listed companies for 30 years, latterly as Company Secretary of Alliance Trust PLC, where he was responsible for setting up and chairing the Alliance Trust Foundation.

Pete Baillie

Pete’s in a leadership role at WL Gore & Associates in Dundee and deals with complex high frequency electronics in the world of aerospace. Having spent the early part of his childhood growing up just a few hundred yards from The Circle, he enjoys being back ‘home’ and collaborating with folk on the ongoing evolution of the hub that supports so many different groups and outlooks. Pete’s still trying to convince himself that running to get fit can be ‘fun’ whilst secretly preferring a hill climb that at least brings the reward of a view or two.

Join the team

The Circle is seeking driven and professional people to join the team. These are the exciting opportunities to join the motivated team of one of Dundee’s most thriving new Social Enterprises. Find out more about how you can join the team here.