Fiona Deas is to take the reins as the sole director at Eagle Couriers following the retirement of her business partner Jerry Stewart – and more than 22 years after she joined the firm as finance manager.
The achievement comes less than a year after she landed the title of Business Woman of the Year at The Scottish Women’s Awards 2018.
Stewart has stepped down from his role after more than 30 years with the Bathgate-headquartered firm, 13 of which were served as Deas’ co-director following a management buy-out (MBO) in 2006.
His departure comes after the business’ recent growth, buoyed by acquisitions of baggage repatriation firm THS Couriers in 2017 and Surrey-based Wey Group International last year, seeing the business expand south of the Border.
Deas – who has previously said the sector in which she works is 96 per cent male – commented: “I am proud to take over the reins at Eagle Couriers and continue to lead the company to more growth. I’ve worked in a lot of different roles over the years, but I wouldn’t be doing what I do now if I wasn’t passionate about it.
“The constant transformation of the courier industry is hugely exciting and it’s gratifying to know that you’re respected and trusted as a female leader in a male-
“I’m thrilled to see what the next few years will bring and I want to set an example for other women who aspire to break into the world of transport.”
Stewart joined the business as a manager in its Glasgow depot – and he said he has seen great change in the transport industry since the early “boom” years.
“It has been a pleasure to help the firm hit so many significant milestones over the years, building robust credentials and reputation amongst Scotland and the rest of UK’s transport industry and playing a key role in all types of business.
“I have no doubt that Eagle Couriers will continue to boost its growth and expand operations. The company is left in remarkably capable hands with Fiona.
“We have proven time and time again that Eagle can adapt to tough changes and challenging conditions in the market, always building up in a sustainable way.
“It will be gratifying to continue watching the company’s future successes from the sidelines.”
Stewart has been recognised as an industry leader by the Institute of Couriers and elected as a fellow in 2015, receiving the title at a gowning ceremony held in the House of Lords.
The firm has a combined fleet of more than 185 vehicles and has welcomed Scottish ministers Humza Yousaf and Keith Brown to its headquarters. Established in 1985, its deliveries have included taking the Calcutta Cup from Edinburgh to London, and the Scottish rugby team’s kit to Italy.
Deas before joining Eagle Couriers worked at an accountancy practice, in manufacturing and in health care. After the company’s MBO, she became a director and shareholder.