Initially joining Historic Environment Scotland as Head of Commercial and Visitor Operation in 2009. Stephen is charged with managing the visitor experience, education and interpretation activities across Historic Environment Scotland’s diverse portfolio of properties to over 3 million visitors annually.
This includes responsibility for income generating activities in areas ranging from admissions to travel trade, retail and corporate hospitality. Born and Educated in Ayrshire Stephen began his commercial career as a Management Trainee and by the age of 24 he was one of the youngest General Managers with a progressive retail organisation. He moved to the North East of Scotland and became a Regional Manager in 1989 and later located to Morayshire where he spent 13 years developing the Tourism, Retail and Catering aspects of the family owned business – Baxter Food Group.
In 2006 he moved to the Lake District to work for Westmorland Limited and he was fundamental in reviewing and implementing change in the commercial activities at the Rheged Centre and also a number of projects at the only family run Motorway Service site in the UK. He has served as a Director of ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions) and was a member of the Tourism Innovation Group in Scotland and Vice-Chairman of the Perthshire based Tourism Consortium Great Scotland. He has also worked as a business consultant on a number of small and large scale tourism projects. He has been chair of the Heritage Tourism Group since May 2013. In September 2014, Stephen was appointed to the board of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions – ALVA.