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People: The business diary

Sir Chris Hoy was to be found haring around the Grassmarket in Edinburgh last week. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

Sir Chris Hoy was to be found haring around the Grassmarket in Edinburgh last week. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

AS SCOTLAND prepares to stage the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup this summer, technology firm EMC invited Sir Chris Hoy and star caddie Billy Foster to attend an evening of sporting celebration at Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel.

Hosted by EMC’s country manager for Scotland, Martin Brown, the event included a question-and-answer session chaired by Gabby Logan, who questioned the pair on their rise through the ranks to reach the top of their respective games.

Foster, who has caddied for greats such as Seve Ballasteros and Darren Clarke, then hopped on a stationary bicycle to take a lap of a virtual velodrome under the watchful eye of Hoy, who has retired from competitive cycling to race Nissan cars and run his eponymous bike brand.

But the Yorkshireman’s dreams of glory were dashed when the chain fell off just as he was gearing up for the sprint.

A PR day’s night

The public relations industry enjoyed another night of celebration last week when the PRCA Dare awards concluded a day of presentations from some of the sector’s well-kent faces at the George Hotel, Edinburgh. Among those offering their advice were Lesley McPherson of Edinburgh Council, and John Penman, who heads up Lloyds Banking Group’s spokespeople in Scotland.

PRCA Scotland chairman Lesley Clark and co-ordinator Wilma Littlejohn seemed pleased with the day’s events. The evening’s entertainment was hosted by BBC presenter and Deacon Blue drummer Dougie Vipond.

Winners on the night included the Scottish Government PR team, Consolidated PR, 3x1 and VisitScotland.

Glynne-Percy volunteers

Robyn Glynne-Percy will be joining the ranks of volunteers at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after leaving public relations company Freshwater Scotland, where she was a director until last week.

Glynne-Percy says she has particularly enjoyed working with clients in food, drink and tourism businesses. “It’s great to see these sectors going from strength to strength,” she says.

Good deeds to chew over

Leisure group boss Garreth Wood and his former Miss Scotland and Miss UK wife Nicola are setting out to complete 50 “random acts of kindness” this week when they take part in the Gumball 3000 rally.

The couple are raising money for the When you Wish Upon a Star children’s charity, and the Aberdeen and Edinburgh-based firm Speratus will donate £2,000 for every gift and other act.

The duo will cover the 3,000 miles of the international event in a customised Rolls-Royce named the Velvet Phantom decorated in red chrome and black velvet.

Being the only Scottish team, the chrome boot will be filled with Scottish favourites such as Walkers Shortbread and Tunnock’s Teacakes, to be handed out en route from Miami to Ibiza.

This year is the first time the Gumball visits Edinburgh.

Nothing but the sleuth

Law firm Shepherd & Wedderburn is sponsoring a new Museum of London exhibition on fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.

Chief executive Stephen Gibb said that not only did the firm share its birthplace with Sherlock creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – both originate in Edinburgh – it also felt that the sleuth resonated with the legal profession’s ethos.

“I’d like to think that our own powers of enquiry and analysis together with unwavering determination to solve complex problems are not dissimilar to those of the great fictional hero,” he said.

A dram always helps

Outsourcing company Serco was awarded the Caledonian Sleeper franchise last week and its new boss of three weeks Rupert Soames promises a new era in luxury rail travel.

He has been a regular user of the service and admitted to always getting a good night’s sleep. “Mind you, usually aided by the odd glass of whisky,” he said.

 

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