Businessman is Ellon Probus Club guest speaker

Guest speaker at the recent meeting of Ellon Probus Club was Pat Machray, writes Jim Gauld.

His talk, “Business and Life”, was based on his personal and business experiences and how he had moulded these into a highly successful career and a positive life-style philosophy.

Pat, a local lad from Inverurie, readily admitted that he did not like school and was not very good at it.

However, at the age of 15, a great aunt had persuaded him that if he wanted to get on in life then he must get himself an education. He followed this advice and, using a natural flair for numbers, got himself a job with local accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael.

By 1978 he had qualified as a chartered accountant, in 1980 was made a partner with Johnston Carmichael and in 1991 became chief executive. Under his jurisdiction the company expanded fourfold and it is now the largest independent accountancy practice in Scotland.

Since retiring in 2007, Pat has held a number of positions with a range of companies and organisations, including chairmanship of ANM Group and corporate communications company Fifth Ring. In 2008 he was awarded an OBE for his voluntary work as chairman of Scottish Enterprise Grampian and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Economic Forum.

Pat passionately believes in promoting Grampian region and its wide range of natural assets and business opportunities to improve the economic success of the area. His philosophy is one of positivity and includes not only a work-ethic but also a time-to-think-ethic before tackling a problem - hiding from a problem is not an option.

A vote of thanks for an immensely stimulating talk was moved by Ken McDade.