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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 24/02/2023

Our Meet the Team series is a monthly spotlight on staff across VisitScotland and the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. In this feature, hear from our Events Manager, Kathleen McNab, who focuses on delivering the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I grew up in Killearn, in Stirlingshire, before moving to Edinburgh to study Events Management at Queen Margaret University. I graduated in 2016 and joined VisitScotland as an Events Administrator in the EventScotland team. I soon moved into the Events & Exhibitions team, taking on the post of Events Manager in early 2022.

I recently moved closer to home, and now live near Balloch where I am loving having Loch Lomond and countryside walks on my doorstep once again.

Kathleen McNab at Glen Nevis

Kathleen at Glen Nevis

What is your role at VisitScotland?

I work in VisitScotland's Events & Exhibitions team as Events Manager. The team plan and deliver a broad programme of events both nationally and internationally. 

My main responsibilities are as a Project Manager of the Scottish Thistle Awards, which have been celebrating excellence within Scotland's tourism and events industry for nearly 30 years. My role is to manage the operational delivery of the regional and national awards ceremonies, and to coordinate a wider group of colleagues and partners in the development of the wider awards programme - from the development of categories and criteria, to overseeing the judging and evaluation process. 

It's a truly collaborative project and I enjoy working alongside not just my VisitScotland colleagues, but the many businesses and individuals within the industry who give their time as judges, partners, and members of our Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel. 

Kathleen McNab at the Scottish Open

Kathleen at the Scottish Open

Your team has just finished hosting the national final of the Scottish Thistle Awards. What do you enjoy most about the awards?

The Scottish Thistle Awards returned in 2022 after a two-year break and it felt really special to be back once again. There are so many individuals and businesses who have gone above and beyond over the last few years to help Scotland's tourism industry and local communities to get through an incredibly challenging time.

Providing a platform to shout about their innovation and achievements, and seeing what it meant to those nominated at the awards ceremonies felt incredibly rewarding.

The joy on the faces of those announced as regional or national winners will always be my favourite part.

Do you have a favourite place in Scotland that you love to visit?

My favourite childhood holidays were those spent camping in Scotland. I always loved visiting the beautiful Achmelvich Bay near Lochinver. With its beautiful white sands and turquoise waters, you could almost imagine you were in the Caribbean on a nice summer's day!

In recent years, I have spent alot of time in Perth where my brother now lives. He is a musician and the live music scene there is really impressive. If you're looking for a warm welcome, great food and live music, I would always recommend a day out in Perth.

Kathleen McNab in Eyemouth

Kathleen in Eyemouth

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