Our Training Partners

We work with a group of hand-picked, specialist Training Partners, who are each experts in their fields and in the delivery of business training. Find out more below!

Our Training Partners
  • Hilary Phillips

    Hilary Phillips is a business copywriter with a passion for helping others to develop their writing skills. With over 25 years of experience across commercial, public sector and third sector, she approaches every training day with creativity and enthusiasm.

    Hilary runs Cygnus Extra, a communications consultancy based in Edinburgh which provides business copywriting, tone of voice consultancy and web development. Clients include The Royal Yacht Britannia, University of St Andrews, Scottish Enterprise and The Law Society of Scotland.

    Delegates find her training style relaxed, friendly and engaging and enjoy the mix of presentation and practical activities that makes up a typical workshop.

  • Bryan Leslie

    Bryan Leslie is an accredited coach and trainer, qualified in DISC personality and PIAV personal motivator profiling.

    Bryan started his career in Financial Services in London and Edinburgh, working in Operations Management, Business Consultancy and HR for the Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life. In 2003 he founded his own training company, Abacus Coaching Ltd, working with organisations to develop the leadership and management skills of their people. He has written three published books: “The Useful Guide to Goal-Setting”, “The Useful Guide to Process Mapping” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Networkers”, each of which has sold enough copies to ensure he still has to work for a living!

    Bryan’s main areas of expertise are:
    • Growing leadership and management skills
    • Facilitating behavioural change through high impact training
    • Project, programme and change management
    • Developing high performance teams
    • Understanding key financial concepts relevant to your role in the organisation

  • Laurence Heron

    Laurence Heron is dedicated to helping Edinburgh businesses grow and prosper. Utilising 30 years successful experience within the corporate sector and running his own businesses worldwide he enjoys helping others achieve business excellence.

    Laurence runs Business Doctors Edinburgh. He advises, coaches and facilitates using a proven interactive, individualised and non-prescriptive method which has already helped thousands of SME businesses to strengthen their existing positions, fully plan their journeys and reach clear and realistic destinations. He helps them develop their own realistic, practical and achievable plan which can be implemented immediately.

    Attendees find his interactive seminars and workshops engaging, enlightening and thought provoking. They are often enthused by the opportunity to view their business in a new light.

  • Mark Douglas

    Mark Douglas is a Partner in Blue Ptarmigan, Management Consultancy focusing on ‘helping people achieve more than they ever thought possible’. With specific expertise in leadership and management development, coaching for both individuals & teams, change management, group and programme facilitation and project management, with a proven track record of delivering significant improvements and results. He has extensive experience in partnering with directors, senior leaders/ managers and professionals, in the design and delivery of leadership and management development interventions for SME’s, public sector bodies, third sector organisations and large corporations.

    He has been a retail manager, healthcare manager, change management consultant, led various functions including Supply Chain & Operations, HR, Learning & Development and Property Development for a major multinational company, he is also a business mentor and coach with the Princes Trust.

    When not working he is a keen cyclist, hill walker, skier in fact anything outdoors. And on the dark winter nights he can be found in his shed tinkering with old cars and motorbikes.


  • Brendan Reilly

    Brendan has worked in the creative industry in Scotland for over 25 years; beginning in design for print in Glasgow in the 90’s and working through graphic design, video, motion graphics and covering a broad range of projects from print, advertising, TV and marketing communications.

    Brendan opened the doors at Dangerous Studio in Leith in 2012 and since then he and the team have been working with organisations of all shapes and sizes to help them find their key messages and get them across visually to maximise reach and engagement. Dangerous offers services in video production, graphics, CGI visuals and post production as well as video content training to support businesses to create their own content.

  • Lina Poka

    Lina has built a successful marketing career in Toronto, Canada before moving to Edinburgh and holds a BBA & an MBA from the prestigious Schulich School of Business of York University in Toronto. For the past six years, Lina has operated and managed her own marketing and consulting company.

    Lina’s career has exposed her to a variety of projects and experiences including working with some of the largest companies in the world, managing teams of up to 50 people, building numerous websites and apps with millions of visitors & downloads, working on a project for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, brokering deals with huge American & Canadian retailers, and receiving numerous international marketing awards.

  • Mark Mackenzie Smith

    Mark started his career in Air Traffic Control, leaving to establish a personal and business brand development consultancy working with individuals, SME’s and an extensive range of UK Charities. He is an associate of Caledonia PA and owner of Boom, presentations training specialists. He delivers a range of business based workshops linking tried and tested techniques to practical solutions.

    With over 30 years of business behind him, Mark has developed a workshop method that is relaxed and activity focused. His seminars are challenging, pushing you to perform at your very best.

    He is chair of Lothian Young Enterprise and a Young Person’s coach with Edinburgh based charity Bright Light. Mark also sits on the Edinburgh Napier University Business Advisory panel and when he’s not working with clients he’s training his Guide Dog puppy.

  • Fin Wycherley

    A Senior Social Media Marketing Director with around 25 years’ experience in B2C and B2B marketing. Fin is the only accredited Facebook and Instagram trainer in Scotland and leads the #SheMeansBusiness initiative to support more women to start and grow their business with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

    Fin has trained and worked with a number of leading organisations to improve their sales via social media including more recently Skyscanner, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Meltwater, Hiscox, Sustrans, TSB and Tesco Bank. Experience of marketing across all sectors, including startup, consumer, small and medium business, large enterprise, private and public vertical sectors, and global.

    Fin is a regular contributor to the BBC, both TV and Radio, on the digital and social media economy as well as publications such as The Guardian, Women in Trade, BQ Scotland, SBBN, and Scottish Entrepreneur.

    Fin has won a number of prestigious awards and accolades including:

    • Top 5 Marketing Adviser 2019 by Enterprise Nation
    • “Woman of Inspiration 2018” by the Association of Scottish Women in Business
    • “Outstanding Contribution” 2019 by ASW
    • Advisor to 10 Downing St
    • Advisor to the Scottish Parliament
  • Bernard O’Connor

    Bernard is a Partner in Strong & Herd LLP and has over 46 years’ experience in Customs and international trade activities, ranging from deep-sea container shipping, European road transport operations, Customs procedures and company training.

    Bernard spent a four year secondment with HM Revenue & Customs and worked on international trade projects including the National Export System (NES), the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) and the SAD Harmonisation project (SADH).

    As a Partner in Strong & Herd LLP, Bernard undertakes customs compliance pre-audits, export control pre-audits, educational and training seminars, compliance awareness and technical assistance in most aspects of international trade procedures.

    Bernard has considerable technical expertise in Customs clearance procedures and Tariff completion rules, and is currently involved in the testing of the new CDS customs computer system.

    Bernard is an ICC Registered Incoterms® 2020 Trainer in the United Kingdom.

  • Steve Berry

    Steve has over 30 years’ experience in International Trade. This includes working for a variety of manufacturing companies in order supply roles as well as a logistics focus with a shipping line and a freight forwarder.

    Steve has worked for Strong and Herd LLP since 2014 supporting clients in export and import compliance in a variety of ways. This includes; providing technical support, delivering training on a variety of topics and carrying out audits. This knowledge also includes assisting businesses in UK and US Export Control Compliance.

    By utilising his manufacturing experience, Steve can relate to clients’ circumstances to provide relevant assistance and support.

    Steve is an ICC Registered Incoterms ® 2020 Trainer in the United Kingdom.

  • Shona Watson (Ferris)

    Shona has worked in the advertising and education industries in Edinburgh and Glasgow for over 15 years across a wide range of disciplines.

    She started work at Euro RSCG Riley, Glasgow in advertising client services 15 years ago before moving into education at City of Glasgow College, where she was a lecturer for six years. During this time, Shona was integral in the development and delivery of the Advertising and PR course to NQ/NC, HNC and HND students, with the units including: Consumer Behaviour, Advertising: Planning a Local Campaign and Media Sales. After helping many students achieve their qualifications, Shona then made her next move to focus on the industry which she loves and started working at MediaCom, Edinburgh, planning and buying media space before moving onto AKA Scotland. During her time with AKA Scotland, Shona created marketing and advertising campaigns for clients within the Arts & Culture Industry including National Galleries of Scotland and ATG Theatre Group.

    Shona is now a Director at SW&CO a brand, design, and digital creative agency she founded with her partner Scott Watson. As an agency they focus on building brands with people, for people. SW&CO work as creative partners with clients to establish their brand identity, naming & tone of voice, logo design, website design through to digital marketing strategy and implementation.

    Her love of teaching and helping people learn has never changed and she has always been involved in training & education throughout her full career and is delighted to now join Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.



  • Sue Wright

    Sue Wright, Manging Director of Exporter Services, began her International career over 30 years ago as a junior Shipping Clerk for an Engineering and Manufacturing Company. Inspired by her work she quickly progressed and saw this as a career path going on to study to post Graduate level with The Institute of Export.

    Sue moved on after several years to take up a Shipping Managers role for an engineering company. The work involved project managing contracts of supply and delivery across the world and working with Letters of Credit for payment.  There were multiple parties involved in the cross-trade movements with Customs and HMRC compliancy being paramount.  Some of this work involved Special Import Procedures, Import Licences and Controls of various items.

    In 2010, with this vast amount of knowledge, Sue started Exporter Services. Initially as a trainer, she delivered courses in various areas of International Trade. Training expanded as planned and in phase two of the growth plan, the business developed into a support service for those SME’s who required technical support and assistance in the how and why of International Trade movement of goods.

  • Sue Grewcock

    Sue Grewcock is our Training and Consultancy Manager and coordinates training and consultancy activities. Having spent 30 years in various businesses in the IT arena working as a senior manager / director she decided to use her international knowledge and business skills and switch careers. She spent 6 months in 2017 shadowing Sue Wright’s training and Sue now delivers her own International Trade training and consultancy with great customer feedback.

    Further to this, in 2019, Sue achieved the Level 3 Certificate in International Trade, and an Award for receiving the highest mark in the International Transport and Documentation Module. She has now completed the Level 4 Diploma in International Trade receiving a distinction and highest mark award. She has also completed Level 4 of the UK Customs Academy gaining a Certificate in Advanced Customs Compliance.

  • Calvin Sherratt

    Calvin Sherratt is a Customs and International Trade Advisor at Strong and Herd. Calvin has over 36 years of Importing and Exporting experience, and has been a member of the Institute of Export for 26 years, and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport for 19 years

    Calvin completed his WCO (World Customs Organisation) Tariff Classification Academy in Brussels, and is also an AET qualified adult Teacher and a Certified Industry Qualifications AEO Level 3 award Trainer/Auditor/Examiner, and an ICC Incoterms 2020 registered trainer.

    Calvin’s speciality areas of teaching include Customs Special Procedures (Inward and Outward Processing), Customs Warehousing, End Use and Temporary Admissions.

  • David Gray

    David Gray has a background in bidding, strategic business development and commercial development, with specialist skills in bid direction. His bidding experience spans 15 years and more than twenty sectors, where he has a proven track record in public, private and third sector markets, leading and developing bids worth over £2bn in contract wins.

    David is a Certified Practitioner and International Board Director of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) and won the 2021 APMP UK Outstanding Leadership Award.

  • Jeanette Shaw

    Jeanette Shaw joined AM Bid in October 2019 after obtaining an MBA from the University of Edinburgh. Her previous experience includes inhouse Bid Management and Bid Writing for the world’s largest cloud computing and IT security company and for a UK-based facilities management firm. Her knowledge and experience cover commercial and public sectors including professional services, facilities management, IT, construction and maintenance. Jeanette has extensive writing and editing experience from 12 years of working in book editing and publishing, where she edited two New York Times bestselling books.