Susan Deacon to be keynote speaker at IoD Aberdeen Masterclass

Susan Deacon, former Scottish Cabinet Minister, is to be the keynote speaker at the Institute of Directors (IoD) “Sharing the Secrets of Success” masterclass event in Aberdeen on Tuesday, September 16.

Susan Deacon

Over the past 30 years Susan Deacon’s career has spanned leadership roles in the private, public and third sectors as well as frontline national politics and academic roles. A non-executive director at Scottish Power, Professor Deacon is also a professorial fellow and assistant principal for corporate engagement at the University of Edinburgh.

The title of Susan Deacon’s keynote address will be “Beyond Silos, Sectors and Specialisation”. Having spent much of her life working where different roles and sectors meet, Professor Deacon will argue that working collaboratively and across boundaries is an essential element of effective business leadership and will explore how it can work in practice.

Confirming the keynote speaker, Mike Bowyer, chairman of IoD Aberdeen, said:

“As a leadership advisor, Susan Deacon is an ideal keynote speaker to inspire delegates at our flagship masterclass event next month. Sharing the experiences from her successful career in both public and private sector, will also set the theme of the event, providing an insight into leadership and management strategies for current and future generations of business leaders.

“Leading the themed masterclasses, we have five exceptional business leaders who have achieved success and recognition in their own particular fields. Indeed, two of them – Peter Bruce of Entiér and Robin Watson of Wood Group PSN – will be heading to the finals of the UK Director of the Year awards in London on October 24.”

The five business leaders, and the themes of their masterclasses, are:
  • Peter Bruce, CEO of Entier: "Succeeding through people”
  • Edel Harris, CEO of Cornerstone “The Importance of Vision and Values”
  • Michael Urquhart, Managing Director of Gordon & MacPhail: "Taking a long-term view”
  • Robin Watson, CEO of Wood Group PSN: "Sustaining growth in a turbulent business environment” 
  • Michael Willis, IoD: "Are you sure you want to be a director?”

The “Sharing the Secrets of Success” masterclass is the flagship event for the IoD Aberdeen branch. First run last year, the half-day event attracted more than 100 delegates to the Riverside Building East at the Robert Gordon University’s Garthdee Campus in Aberdeen.

Sponsored by Johnston Carmichael, the Robert Gordon University, Santander and Stronachs, the “Sharing the Secrets of Success” Masterclass is a half-day event, starting with breakfast between 7.30 and 8.30 am and concluding with a networking lunch between 1pm and 2pm. The event will conclude with an open session chaired by Tom Smith, Chairman of ACSEF and a former chairman of IoD Aberdeen.

Bookings can be made at, or by calling IoD Scotland on 0131 557 5488. The registration fee is £130 ex VAT.
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