People Transition Speakers

There are three opportunities to join the People Transition conference stream at the 2019 OGUK Industry Conference. View the full agenda here.

Our speakers in this stream include:

Oil and Gas UKCS Skills

Chaired by John McDonald, CEO, OPITO

Professor Paul de Leeuw
Oil and Gas Institute, Robert Gordon University

Paul has worked for over 30 years in the oil and gas industry and has worked for a number of companies, including Shell, Marathon Oil, Amoco, BP, Venture Production and Centrica Energy. His broad business and deep commercial background include senior leadership roles in strategy, commercial, business development, planning and supply chain.

Before joining Robert Gordon University in July 2014, Paul was the Strategy and Commercial Director for Centrica Energy’s upstream business. He is currently the Director of the Oil and Gas Institute at Robert Gordon University, Chairman of the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre, Chairman of PlanSea Solutions Ltd, Board member of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre and a member of the ONE Oil and Gas Board. Paul is also a regular commentator on developments in the oil and gas industry. Paul holds a Master degree (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Twente (Netherlands) and a MBA from the City University/CASS Business School (UK).

Helen Bates
Director of Operational Leadership Development

Helen is an organisational development professional with 25+ years’ consultancy experience across a range of industries including: Professional services, banking/financial, oil, gas and petrochemicals, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, government and MoD. In her current role at BP Helen leads a team of learning and technology specialists to design and implement a next generation Safety Leadership programme for BP Operational Leaders. Helen is passionate about integrating learning and development expertise and innovation from other sectors into the Oil and Gas industry, supporting capability development for the workforce of today and tomorrow.

Gillian King
Vice President – Europe, Russia, CIS & Africa

Gillian King joined Tendeka in 2007 and has held several roles globally including VP Asia Pacific, VP Corporate Development & Marketing and that of her current role, VP Europe, Russia, CIS & Africa. Prior to joining Tendeka Gillian spent several years at Weatherford Completion Systems working in technical and business development roles. With 20 years oil and gas industry experience Gillian brings knowledge in completions, sand control, strategic management and commercial strategies. She is passionate about her continual improvement, that of her organisation and the industry as a whole and strives to give something back via STEM Ambassador, ICoTA Committee and SPE eMentoring initiatives.

Gillian holds a BSc in Biochemistry from Aberdeen University and an MSc in Oil & Gas (Offshore) Engineering from Robert Gordon’s University.

Workforce Engagement and Culture

Mark Walker
Vice President EMEA
DEKRA Organisational Reliability Limited

Mark Walker is an experienced Vice President specialising in cultural change and leadership coaching. His wide range of hands-on experience working with organisations both on and offshore worldwide have made him a sought-after trainer and change leader.

Mark is committed to helping each of his clients improve decision-making and achieve reliable performance. He has worked with various companies, globally across diverse conditions to transform the behaviours of leaders and workers so that projects are delivered on time and safely. He has helped create cultures based on caring for the systems and processes, plants and people, thereby increasing not only safety but also productivity and engagement—even in the midst of trying economic times.

Mark has trained leaders to leverage skills based on humanity, integrity, and competency in order to create a workplace environment that has trust and respect at its heart. Through his work, he provides scientific tools to track culture from its current status to its desired state. In this way, and by ‘holding up the mirror’ to leaders’ behaviours via coaching, Mark assists organisations facilitate lasting change. Mark has a BSC HONS in combined social sciences.

Claire Scott
Legal Director
Pinsent Masons LLP

Claire Scott is a Legal Director in the Employment and Reward Team at international law firm Pinsent Masons LLP. Claire is based in Aberdeen and has extensive experience of advising international companies in the oil and gas industry.

Claire advises clients on all aspects of employment law. She has particular expertise in resolving sensitive and high profile disputes for employers and is skilled in the conduct of employment tribunal litigation, having acted for clients in employment tribunals across the UK. Claire assists clients with complex change projects involving restructuring, redundancy, outsourcing, and TUPE. Claire advises companies on issues affecting offshore workers, expatriates and contractors including advice on the implications for businesses of the changes to tax legislation affecting off-payroll workers. Claire has a keen interest in employee engagement and the benefits that this can bring to business.

Diversity and Inclusion

Erica Kinmond
Vice Chair
AXIS Network

and Associate
Pinsent Masons LLP

Erica is Vice Chair of the AXIS Network in Aberdeen and an Associate Employment Lawyer at International law firm Pinsent Masons LLP. She has been advising clients for over 10 years on all areas of employment law covering both contentious and non-contentious matters. Erica has a particular sector focus in Oil and Gas with interests in discrimination law and diversity & inclusion as well as international and a-typical working.

Erica is also an experienced advocate who regularly represents clients in internal processes, at judicial mediation and at the Employment Tribunal. Erica is also a former Module Co-ordinator and tutor for the Employment Tribunal Skills Module on the LL.M in Employment Law and Practice at the Robert Gordon University. Before qualifying as a lawyer Erica had a varied career working internationally as an overseas destination manager for a tour operator. She is now settled in Aberdeen with her husband and young son and daughter. Erica firmly believes that gender balance is better for business and hopes that by the time her children are working it will be a reality.

Susan Elston
SVP Offshore & Marine – UK & Ireland

Susan Elston is an MBA graduate. Born in Middlesbrough, she moved to Aberdeen in 1999. She is now SVP for Sodexo’s offshore business in the UK which has been delivering on-site services to oil and gas clients in the North Sea for 45 years. Her teams provide hotel services to 50 offshore sites in the UKCS (32% market share), providing jobs for more than 1,000 employees.
With more than 18 years industry experience, Susan has held several global offshore roles for Sodexo, including the current position of Global Lead for HSE on top of her UK operations remit. She was previously chair of COTA (Caterers Offshore Trade Association) and played a key role in the Working Time Directive challenge.

Susan has been awarded the Institute of Directors Scottish Female Director of the Year Award and Grampian Director of the Year.

One of the first female board members of Oil & Gas UK, Susan is now a Trustee of the Oil & Gas UK Chaplaincy’s Hardship Committee. She is also active in the community;
• Foyer Aberdeen – Chair of Board
• Women Connect (Aberdeen)
• Inspire Ventures – Board member
• North East Scotland College – Board member
• Sport Aberdeen – Board member