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  • clerk@aberdeenburgesses.com

Meet the Burgesses Team

Lord Dean of Dean of Guild- SYLVIA HALKERSTON

Sylvia Halkerston – Lord Dean of Guild

Educated in Aberdeen and recently retired (in 2012) as a Director of Macphie of Glenbervie Ltd after 20 years with the company. Currently a consultant and mentor in HR and business. Worked primarily in the private sector working in Oil & Gas, Hospitality, Construction, Public Transport and Food & Drink sectors, with experience working in and with the public sector. Served as a member of the Commission for developing Scotland’s Young workforce – The Wood Commission. Now serves on the Implementation Board and the Developing Young People’s National Group for Scottish Government. A Governor of the Robert Gordon University and the Steering Committee of Friends of ANCHOR. Awarded Director of the Year by IoD, was the first recipient of the Top Cherry Award for Outstanding Contribution to HR and the Scottish Association of Businesswomen award for Outstanding Contribution to Business. On the steering committee for Friends of ANCHOR.

Joe Mackie/Senior Assessor

Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport and Commander of the Order of St. John whose Royal Head is Her Majesty the Queen. Worked in various posts with Aberdeen Corporation Transport, latterly Grampian Transport, and was a member of the management team during the employee buyout in 1989, leading to the establishment of First Aberdeen. Became a directory of First Aberdeen in 1994. Involved with several charities over the years, including Touch of Tartan Ball, Chairman of The Archie Foundation, Boys Brigade Aberdeen Battalion, Art Gallery Development, Arts Centre and Theatre, UK Bus Driver of the Year Competition, Road Operators Safety Council, First Group Heritage Trust, Aberdeen and District Transport Preservation Trust, Gordon Highlanders Museum, First Aberdeen Retiral and Benevolent Society,  Aberdeen Opera Company & Aberdeen Safer Community Trust (Absafe).

Rita Stephen/Assessor

Originally from Lanark, worked in local government for 23 years including the position of Head of Economic Development for Aberdeen City Council. Seconded from there to the post of Development Manager of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF) a public/private sector partnership responsible for the development of an economic strategy and action plan for Aberdeen City and Shire. A member of the Institute of Economic Development. Since retiring in 2015, has undertaken a number of consultancy roles in local government and the third sector. In addition to this role, charity work includes, fulfilling a support volunteer role for CLAN, providing emotional and listening support for people affected by cancer alongside their family and friends. Area coordinator for Aberdeen and North of Scotland Pituitary Tumour Support Group, organising meetings throughout the year for patients living with a pituitary condition and meeting with newly diagnosed patients. Married with a son and daughter, hobbies include local history, hill climbing, aerobics, weight training and languages. Inaugurated as a Burgess of Guild in 2001 and appointed Burgess Assessor in 2017.

Dr Stephen Wedderburn/Assessor

Born and brought up in Aberdeen spending my formative years in Torry. My secondary education was at Robert Gordons College, and I graduated in Medicine at Aberdeen University. I am now retired following a career in General Practice at Rubislaw Place Medical Group, combined with hospital work in Dermatology at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Kincardine Community Hospital in Stonehaven. I also worked as an assistant club doctor for Aberdeen Football Club mainly looking after the crowd at events. I have been involved with the Red Cross, teaching medical students and providing work experience to allied health professionals and medical school applicants. I am also a volunteer/member of the Friends of Johnston Gardens.

Michael Wilson/Senior Assessor

An experienced senior manager with a background in the wholesale distribution and construction industries. Educated at Banchory Academy, and the University of Edinburgh, obtaining a BSc in Biological Sciences. Joined the family business William Wilson as a supplier of plumbing, heating & electrical materials in their Glasgow operation. On gaining a MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School, worked in the Construction industry for five years. Returned to Aberdeen in 2003 and took-up the role of Commercial Director for William Wilson, now part of Wolseley plc. Past President of the Aberdeen Association of Royal Warrant Holders and served for 7 years on the London Council of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. Latterly, joined Aberdeen’s creative marketing agency Mearns & Gill as Managing Director, a business celebrating 80 years in 2016. Married with 3 children. Runs a local Scout Troop in Banchory and has been learning to play golf for many years

Stan Jack/Assessor

Born and educated in Aberdeen. Joined Aberdeen City Police in October 1971 until amalgamation with Scottish Northeastern Counties in 1975 and the formation of Grampian Police. During his service was attached to Divisional Policing, Airport Unit, General Enquiries Department, Traffic Department and latterly the Strategic Development Department. On retiring from the Police in November 2001 with the rank of Chief Inspector he obtained the position of Sacrist at the University of Aberdeen where he remained until his retirement in 2017. In 2018 he was awarded an Honorary Degree (M.Univ.) from the University of Aberdeen. A serving committee member of the Northeast Branch of the Retired Police Officers Association and currently a Signposter for the Retired Police Officers Scotland Association Transition and Wellbeing Program. Married with two daughters. Hobbies are golf, walking and gardening to name but a few

Garry Stevens/Clerk

Born in Montrose, and lived in various parts of Scotland before moving to Bristol at the age of 13. Married with 2 daughters and 2 Grandsons, and lives in Inverbervie. Employed in Local Government from 1992, Garry retired from his role in July 2016. Clerk to the Burgesses of Guild since November 2007 supporting the Lord Dean of Guild, Assessors and Burgesses in developing areas such as the website, social events/lunches and carrying out the duties of Clerk to the Burgesses of Guild in an effective, efficient and supportive manner. A sports enthusiast particularly Golf (member of Edzell Golf Club) and Football. Garry was made a Burgess in 2022.

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