AAI Board and Ambassadors

AAI Board and Ambassadors

Joy Lewis,
Chief Executive and Board Member

In 2009, and with the support of her colleagues at the Centre for Scottish Public Policy, Joy started the Adopt an Intern (AAI) programme. She spun it out as a social enterprise company in 2012.

It's gone from strength to strength, placing over 1800 jobseekers from diverse backgrounds into valuable paid work, cross-sector, using inclusive recruitment methods. The knowledge she and her team have gained sees them now also delivering much-praised Diversity Equity and Inclusion Awareness workshops along with social impact projects for businesses.

Having initially addressed the injustice of unpaid graduate internships, Joy and her team have widened their scope of inclusive employment, supporting more businesses to grow through helping them access diverse talent and creating a level playing field for all talent to access opportunity.

Eunice Olumide MBE, Patron

AAI first met Scottish supermodel, Eunice Olumide, when she appeared as the keynote speaker at AAI's 'Back to Work' project in 2017, a programme supporting minority ethnic women returning to work after a career break. Eunice built a rapport with the participants very quickly and delivered appropriate messages around goal-setting, personal responsibility and how to achieve success. Professional, personable and engaging, Eunice is exactly what AAI is looking for in a Patron. Her association with the Back to Work project greatly elevated the organisation's visibility in the national press and her impressive social media following. Eunice continues to bring her credibility, celebrity and enthusiasm for equality to AAI's projects around social mobility and equality.

Jo Green, Board Chair

Jo Green was appointed as Chair of AAI in July 2012.

She has a strong background in both the private and public sector, working on economic regeneration, and in the last few years has largely worked on delivering change in the public sector. This has included leading a major programme of change to support the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Government in reform of the planning system as well as leading a joint Scottish Government/SEPA programme to reform the approach to environmental regulation in Scotland.

Ross Martin, Advisor to the Board

Ross is the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Scottish Waterways Trust, working to strengthen Scotland’s economy through diversification and a focus on quality. Prior to this, Ross was Chief Executive of SCDI, and the Policy Director with the CSPP, and was part of the in house team that created Adopt an Intern.

Ross has a wealth of experience and knowledge ranging across the public, private and social sectors spanning over a quarter of a century, he is Adviser to Business Improvement Districts Scotland and has been engaged by a number of governments to assist their development of policies with which he has been intimately involved here in Scotland.

Gavin Mitchell, Board Member

Gavin joined the Adopt an Intern Board in January 2016. He is the Managing Director at BCF Technology Ltd.

During his 14-year career in BCF, he and his team have maintained consistent year on year growth and created a fun and rewarding place to work. Gavin enjoys the daily challenge of change and improvement and is currently focused on the worldwide development of the business and product portfolio and the strategic leadership of BCF. He is also a founding member and trustee of Vet Charity Challenge Foundation, a foundation to create good and raise sponsorship for charities by pulling together the UK Veterinary Industry.

Stephen Sweeney,
Board Member & Finance Director

Stephen is Finance Director of Campbells Prime Meat Ltd, Scotland’s leading supplier of fresh meat, fresh fish and delicatessen products into the foodservice market. He is President of the Scottish League of Credit Unions, which is the trade association for community credit unions in Scotland and has managed a credit union in his home town since 1995. Among other non-executive posts, he sits on the Board of Adopt An Intern Ltd as the representative of the Centre for Scottish Public Policy Ltd (CSPP).

Zoi Kantounatou, Ambassador

Zoi is the CoFounder and Chief Financial Officer at FutureX Group - a family of brands working collectively to build a better world through business, harnessing the power of entrepreneurs to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges.

To date, the FX Group has taken on 3 members of staff through AAI, and the teams share the values of ethical entrepreneurialism and opportunity.

Zoi’s dedication to socio-economic development is matched only by her passion and professionalism. She sits at the forefront of the movement to spread purpose-driven entrepreneurialism and fresh ideas into the Scottish ecosystem, and we're delighted to have Zoi represent AAI as an ambassador.

Colin Batten, Ambassador

Colin was previously a professional services director at Percepta. While in this role Colin delivered vital support services to Percepta business including learning and development, business intelligence, project management, workforce planning, and business process. He was also the most senior technology advisor for the Europe and Asia Pacific region and combined these specialist areas to provide additional consultancy services to clients.

We're privileged to have Colin onboard as an AAI ambassador, where he often provides us with access to his wealth of experience in a multitude of areas.

Caroline Donaldson, Ambassador

One of the founding Directors of Kynesis, Caroline's background combines over 25 years of consultancy with senior line management experience in Operations, Sales, Human Resources and Retail in blue chip organisations. Caroline focuses on the development of leadership within individuals, teams and organisations to create a more empowered and accountable culture.

Rehela Hussain, Ambassador

Rehela Hussain has worked within manufacturing industries in Scotland for the last 30 years (mainly electronics and medical devices) holding technical positions within Quality Assurance.

She is a positive and inspiring role model who uses her industry experience to mentor to other women in STEM and as a board member at West Lothian College.

Reflecting on her own personal experience of the difficulties faced after taking a career break, Rehela has more recently become more involved in Women Returners programs, with an interest in tackling the current skills shortages in engineering, manufacturing and technology.

Robert Lappin, Ambassador

Robert is a former Army Officer who, after leaving the service in 2008, took up roles within the third sector focused on supporting veterans.

Robert joined Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company in early 2019 to provide opportunity to veterans and others with disabilities in the manufacturing (signs) sector. The company’s beneficiaries have ranged from wounded veterans to others with mental health problems, neurological conditions, those recovering from social problems, returning from long-term unemployment and others who have simply not been given a chance.

Robert is particularly proud of the fact that 90% of its beneficiaries were unemployed before starting at SBMC and many of them have since entered permanent employment. In April 2023, SBMC was awarded the “King’s Award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity”.

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