Special event held to thank our retiring Chief Executive Officer

Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway has held a special event to wish a happy retirement to its chief executive Norma Austin Hart.

Colleagues and friends were invited to the celebration at The Usual Place to thank her for her near six years in charge.

Norma is well known in the region having also been the lead officer of the tourist board for six years until 2005.

She was born and brought up in Dumfries followed by spells in further education in Edinburgh and Birmingham, where she also worked for the City Council, before her return to Dumfries and Galloway and her role with the tourist board.

She was in this position when foot and mouth disease brought devastation to the region, before helping the area to emerge again as a tourism destination.

Norma with former TSDG board chair Sue Irving, current chair John Dougan, and former chair Helen Keron.

Norma was later seconded to Visit Scotland and then launched her own business where she quickly earned a reputation as a sought-after trainer for the management technique PRINCE2, training hundreds of organisations across the UK.

A move to Edinburgh also saw Norma step into the world of politics in 2007 as a Councillor for City of Edinburgh. One of her main achievements in that time was helping to secure Living Wage Employer status for the Council, seeing it introduced to all of its activity, including procurement and contracts – one of the first local authorities in Scotland to achieve this award.

After a short period of consultancy with Buccleuch Estates, Norma then became the Chief Executive Officer of Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway in 2018.

Speaking at the celebration event, the organisation’s board Vice-Chair, Jo Shearer, said: “Her achievements, working with her team, are many, including a surge in meaningful engagement with the sector, real advancements in social enterprise, community health and wellbeing, employability, digital inclusion, community transport, communications, and fund administration. The list goes on, as will her legacy.”

The charity’s new Chief Executive Officer is Alan Webb, who has now started in post.

Main picture: Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway’s Alan Hall, Claire Brown, Kateryna Stoian, Dan Allan, Iona Callum, Nadine Coltart, Gail McPhillips, Jane Stanistreet, Norma Austin Hart, Niomi Nichol, Rachel Muir, Yuliia Dymkovska, Sharee Donoghue, Selina McMorran, Natalie Anderson.