There have been a few changes on the MHH board recently. At the end of last year we sadly said goodbye to our secretary Graham Watson. Graham was a great asset to the organisation and helped us find our feet in the early days. His advice and cander was very much appreciated and we wish him well in his next endeavours. We have had a few free places on the board for a while and so undertook a campaign to encourage new people to join the network – in particular with skills in marketing/audience development, tourism and HR. We received a positive response to this call out and have added 4 new members in recent weeks. Welcome to Ben Thomas, Joe Derry Setch, Sophie Foot and Jason Martin. We are delighted to add such a variety of skills and experience to the board and look forward to working with them on our shared mission of helping Highland heritage to thrive.
Ben is Research Manager at Historic Environment Scotland, where he undertakes and supports research to understand the values and benefits of Scotland’s heritage. He is particularly interested in community heritage and intangible cultural heritage, and is Principal Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Outreach to Ownership community research pilot with Historic England. Ben has previously worked at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the University of Dundee. In his spare time, Ben is a board member of Gairloch Museum, and the editor of the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. He grew up in Gairloch, and lives and works in Inverness.
Joe Derry Setch
Joe is a Marketing and Communications Officer at Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), the national development body for museums. His work at MGS involves creating digital content, planning campaigns, taking photos, and offering marketing advice. He is interested in exploring how museums can improve the accessibility and inclusivity of their digital and physical spaces, particularly with regard to LGBTQ+ history and culture. As a member of the MHH board, he hopes to support museums which are exploring their approaches to marketing, accessibility, and inclusivity. Previous jobs include front-of-house work at National Museums Scotland and a museum assistant role at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. He has a background in Scottish early modern history, and spends his free time drawing, gaming, and playing badminton.
Sophie is originally from the Scottish Highlands, north of Inverness and now lives in The Hague, The Netherlands. Her academic background is in Ancient History and Egyptology, but she is fascinated by most areas of global history, ancient or modern and connections that are visible across cultures and time periods. I moved to Edinburgh for my Bachelors Degree in Ancient History, and then to The Netherlands for my Masters in Egyptology. Sophie brings experience in the creative and technology industries. She is interested in combining technology with history and heritage in innovative ways, to encourage audiences to be more engaged in heritage, especially using immersive technology to allow the audience to feel like they are participating in historical events. Sophie is our new secretary.
Jason recently returned to his hometown of Inverness having lived in Edinburgh for several years. He originally studied MA in historical studies at the University of Glasgow. He started his career in heritage as a volunteer at Culloden battlefield before joining the team as a learning assistant for a season, primarily guiding and working with school groups. Jason went on to work for Mercat Tours, 5 star award winning walking tour company in Edinburgh, before moving on to tour operator with Absolute Escapes, in their operations department planning holidays around the UK. His current position is Destination Development Manager at the Cairngorms Business Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and they operate VisitCairngorms. Jason is involved in various projects around the National Park, leading the development of CBP climate action plan, product development, business engagement and brings experience in marketing and working with travel trade.