Board of Directors

The affairs of the Trust are governed by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time. Directors are either elected or co-opted from among the Trust’s members or appointed to the Board by other community bodies. Election takes place at Annual General Meetings. Co-option can take place at any time, usually to fill a vacancy or a skills gap.

Information for prospective directors

If you would like to find out more, please contact Jan, our Development Manager on 074831 33203 or at to arrange an informal chat about the Finderne Development Trust and its current projects. A guidance note for prospective Directors is available below.

Current Directors

Karen Astill

Karen moved to Dunphail in 2014 and spent 7 years as secretary of Edinkillie Community Association.  She joined the board of FDT in 2018 and, until recently, worked for the NHS at Dr Gray’s Hospital.  In 2022 she qualified as a transformative life coach and currently works from home.

She spends her free time out in the countryside with her husband and dog.

Brian Higgs

Brian retired from his role as Malt Distilling Director for Diageo in 2014 after 30 years with the Scotch Whisky maker. He is married to Sarah and has two daughters.

After 40 years in the area, he can think of nowhere else as “home” and is passionate about the Finderne Development Trust becoming a leading force for the benefit of the local community. Brian has been a Director of the FDT since its inception.

Stewart McCracken

Stewart lives with his wife Anne in Rafford and has done so since 2012. He was posted to RAF Kinloss in 2006 as a wing commander after serving in Sierra Leone as a military adviser. He retired in 2008 after a 35yrs career. Since then, he has worked in the NHS and until recently in the voluntary sector, as a caseworker and chairperson of the local branch of the military charity SSAFA. He is also a member of the Finderne Community Council and believes in the power of local communities. 

Tony Pinner

Tony worked in social housing  as a chartered surveyor before setting up his own aviation business in the midlands. He sold the business in 2003 and he and his wife Jude moved to Moray in 2004. Tony set up a small building business and finally retired a few years ago after moving to Rafford. He has served on the Finderne Community Council since it was set up to monitor the A96 dualling. He has served on Parish Councils in England and has always taken an interest in community issues.

Sue Boulton

Sue has lived in Dunphail for over thirty years and has seen many changes in the area and its population.

Her work background is economic development, business start-up, and social enterprise and she is currently a Work Coach with the DWP. She has also survived ten years as a problem solver in an MP’s Constituency Office!

Sue is very keen to contribute something positive to an area that has given so much to her and her family and she very much enjoys working as part of a positive and successful team.

Dawn Nicolson

Dawn has lived in Dunphail since 1987 when she married her husband, Davie.

Over the years, Dawn has worked for SSE while bringing up a family of four. In that time she has also been involved with the local primary school, church and hall committees.

Dawn, with her husband and two sons, currently runs the family farm and agriculture contracting business. She also manages a horse livery.

Co-Opted Directors

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Alasdair Laing

Alasdair was born and brought up at Logie and, following spells away in the army and training as a chartered surveyor, returned home in the 1970s to run the farm and estate.  Now semi-retired, over the years he has been involved in most aspects of rural land management, was a founder shareholder and director of a helicopter company and sat on the boards of The Scottish Agricultural College and Macaulay Development Trust.