Cath Sutherland is the original founder of the Virtual Learning Academy. After 30 years of managing successful teams and as a multi award winning manager she completed her Post Graduate in Leadership & Management. She then used this to write, design and deliver programmes to develop managers at all levels of the organisation.
Her passion is to bring learning to those who have encountered challenges along the way to achieving or gaining a qualification. Her team work on a candidate led basis identifying each individuals barriers to learning and helping them to overcome and achieve.
Outside of work she spends her time with her family, dogs and avoiding cooking!
With over 20 years’ experience in commercial sales, holding various positions as a senior commercial Manager and Director within the financial services sector, Liam brings a wealth of experience in building successful teams, corporate strategy and project planning delivery to our team.
Passionate about self-development, succession and collaboration, Liam is also a well-known Master of Ceremonies for many charity and corporate fund raisers across the region.
Liam now oversees all things Management & Leadership. This includes business development, student support and delivering and designing development programmes.
Louise has been instrumental in the growth of the Virtual Learning Academy in recent years. Louise is responsible for business development and maintaining customer engagement.
She has over 20 years experience of working in recruitment and business development, the last 13 years of which have been within the Highlands business community.
Louise is driven by exceeding client expectations and nurturing client relationships across all sectors and industries. Louise is a lifelong learner and having recently completed her Diploma in Digital Marketing she is now soon to complete her specialist certificate in social selling with the Digital Marketing Institute. When not working or learning, louise is mum to two young children and enjoys the outdoors and eating out.
Learning consultant and Internal Verifier for a range of frameworks including IT, Data Analytics, Digital Application Support, Management, Digital Marketing and Business & Administration.
Mhairi previously worked as network engineer and brings this knowledge and experience to her role within VLA. She is a passionate supporter of woman entering and working in the STEM industries and has recently become a STEM ambassdor.
As well as supporting candidates through IT, Digital and Management qualifications Mhairi oversees our Quality Assurance delivery ensuring we retain our highest standards of confidence from our accrediting bodies.
In her spare time, Mhairi enjoys keeping reading, watching films and doing yoga. She also likes getting out and about with her family and Harris her springer spaniel.
Originating from Canada, Michelle has been with the VLA since its inception. Her previous roles have included being an IT trainer and managing fast moving teams.
She has been instrumental in developing and supporting the business changing her role to help the business grow and thrive. She now oversees our accounts students and has the unenviable task of auditing our compliance so she keeps us on our toes!
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two young boys and is an avid runner.
Fun Fact! Although Canadian she can name all 50 US states and their capital cities. Quite a party trick!
Roy has a background in media and has now specialised in all things digital marketing. He has his own business Mackenzie Business Solutions and has worked for the VLA as a tutor.
He is still one of the family and will continue to be involved in VLA projects.
Senior QA specialist with a passion for hospitality and business management
Vanessa is a senior Quality assurance specialist with a passion for hospitality and business management. She currently oversees Hospitality qualification delivery for the Virtual Learning Academy.
A highly motivated and passionate education specialist, with expertise in hospitality, management, retail, customer care, tourism and quality management. As an experienced subject specialist and programme developer Vanessa is keen to ensure that quality and innovation meet and exceed client needs by encouraging new approaches to staff development and training and enable the organisation to move forward and create new markets.
Dedicated to delivering a high quality service in all projects undertaken; whether one off training events or developing a full suite of training materials to meet client requirements.
Vanessa has practiced all over the UK and currently develop learning materials for UAE, Asia and European markets. She is keen to explore further markets and help develop bespoke training materials to suit client needs or offer quality assurance services to help centres provide a quality provision to their own customers.
Always listening, continuously learning and forever keen to explore new and innovative approaches.
Laura works with the VLA supporting candidates undertaking AAT Accountancy qualifications. She has a distinguished career in accountancy achieving her CA qualification whilst working on a wide range of client audits for Pricewater Coopers amongst others before working for Diageo as Commercial Finance Manager.
Nigel Scott MBA
Nigel has worked for many years in organisation development consultancy supporting public, private and voluntary organisations. More recently he has held posts as full time CEO of a pre-eminent barristers’ chambers in London and subsequently as CEO of a Charity Law Centre in Glasgow working with the homeless, refugees and mental health issues.
He began his career as an Army Officer serving in a variety of operational and peacetime posts at company, battalion and brigade level. He was an advisor for Investors in People and spent some time as an assessor for that quality standard. In his work for the Institute of Directors Nigel set up and implemented 3 iterations of a 15 month programme of development networks for Directors of businesses across the Highlands and Islands.
He has lectured on Strategic Change Management and provided personal development coaching to owner Directors and senior executives in the private, public and third sectors. He provided the commercial input to the ground-breaking “creating cultures of Innovation” project developed by the Institute of Design Innovation at Glasgow School of Art, creating innovation tools for SME’s and Charities. He is a seasoned interim manager with hands-on experience of guiding change in SMEs.