2016 Scottish North American Leadership Conference Host Committee:
Alan L. Bain
Alan L. Bain first came to the US as an exchange student. Returning to the UK, he served as an officer in the Worcestershire Regiment before obtaining a law degree at Cambridge University and being admitted to the Bar as a member of the Inner Temple.
Missing America, Bain returned to the US, studied at Columbia, and passed the New York State Bar in 1964. He practiced law until founding World-Wide Business Centres in 1970, pioneering the shared office concept in multiple US cities and internationally.
With a deep love for Scotland and as an active member of the Scottish-American community, he arranged in 1991 for WWBC to donate office space to the American-Scottish Foundation, an arrangement that continues today. His involvement with the Foundation grew and he was elected President in 1993, becoming Chairman in 2012.
In 2002, believing passionately in the need to grow awareness of the Scottish Diaspora and to increase its strength and cohesiveness, he co-founded with Wayne Rethford, President of the Illinois St. Andrew Society/CHICAGO SCOTS, the annual Scottish North American Leadership Conference.
As a founding member of The Scottish Coalition USA, he helped in the effort to gain recognition of April 6th as National Tartan Day, and in 1998, he organized the first New York Tartan Day Parade, marching up a side street to a park by the United Nations.
With the Parade growing, the ASF in 2002 became a founding member of the National Tartan Day New York Committee, a not-for-profit coalition that organizes it and related events. The Parade, now marching up Sixth Avenue through the heart of Manhattan, draws tens of thousands to the annual week-long celebration.
In addition, Bain has been involved in the Scottish textile industry since 1998, as both an advocate and investor in the Harris Tweed industry.
He has received awards in recognition of his work on behalf of Scotland and the New York community. After Linda, his wife of 47 years, passed away in 2006, he married Catherine Marley in 2012. He has two children, Heather and Ian, and twin grandchildren, Andrew and Emma.
John King Bellassai, JD
John King Bellassai is an attorney and management consultant. He is a graduate of Georgetown University's College of Arts & Sciences and the Georgetown University Law Center. John's maternal grandfather, after who he is named, emigrated to New York City from the little Loch Lomondside town of Killearn (of Rob Roy Fame) in Stirlingshire in 1910.
John's interest in his Scottish heritage has been a life-long one. He is President of the Council of Scottish Clans & Associations (COSCA), which is essentially the national professional association for the clan societies in America, of which there are some 140. A Past President of the St. Andrew's Society of Washington, DC, John is currently Vice President of The National Capital Tartan Day Committee, Inc. (NCTDC) and Secretary of The Living Legacy of Scotland, Inc. - a founding member of the Scottish Coalition, USA. Past Chancellor (in-house legal counsel) of the American Clan Gregor, Society, Inc. (ACGS), John currently serves as Chairman of the ACGS Board of Trustees, a five-member group which manages the invested assets of this nonprofit charitable corporation. He and his wife, Judith Walton, live and work in Washington, DC.
Lt. Governor John Cherry, Jr.
John Cheery became Michigan's Lt. Governor in 2003 when he was elected along with Governor Jennifer Granholm. Together, they served as Michigan's Executive leaders for the constitutionally allotted eight year. Before that Lt. Governor Cherry served the people of Michigan for more than 20 years as a State Representative and as State Senator. For six of those years, he served as the Senate Democratic Leader. During his nearly three decades of state public service, John Cheery developed a reputation as a fair-minded legislator who forged relationships with other legislators regardless of political party. During his service, John authored and co-sponsored several Michigan laws dealing with political reform, environmental protection and conservation.
The Cherry Commission on Higher Education & Economic Growth brought higher education into the larger discussion of creating and retaining jobs in Michigan. it was also recognized nationally as a road map for higher education policy, and it won praises from President Obama when he came to Michigan to unveil his National Community College Initiative. During his tenure as Lt. Governor, John Cherry was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saginaw Valley State University, an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Central Michigan University and a gubernatorial appointment to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact.
Camilla G. Hellman, MBE
Camilla Hellman's career has been transatlantic relations, undertaking projects both in Britain and the United States to further collaboration between the two countries.
Brought up in Britain ("I am a hodge-podge - English, Scottish, German, French-Swiss"), Camilla came to the USA in 1990. She loved the challenges and enthusiasm she found in the States, and started an import company representing leading luxury manufacturers and selling to major retailers.
Moved by the events of 9/11, she conceived and led on the creation of the British Memorial Garden in Manhattan's Financial District and headed its organization as President from 2002 - 2009, during which time the Park received four royal visits. The Park was further honored by a visit from HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 when it was renamed the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden.
Camilla joined the American-Scottish Foundation in 2009 as Development Director, becoming Executive Director in 2012. In addition to increasing the ASF's charitable work, she has developed diverse event programs, often involving exhibits and performances, with a strong multimedia platform.
She works with the National Tartan Day New York Committee, the non-profit coalition that organizes the annual New York Tartan Day Parade and related events, where her focus is on sponsorship.
She is Executive Director of the Foreign Press Association Scholarship Fund, and serves on the Board of Make Music New York.
In 2007, Camilla was honored by HM Queen Elizabeth II and awarded the MBE for services to British-American relations.
Gus Noble is the President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society (CHICAGO SCOTS). Established in 1845, the Society is the oldest 501(c)3 charity in Illinois and one of the world's largest Scottish cultural organizations. The Society's mission is to nourish Scottish identity through service, fellowship, and celebration of Scottish culture. The Society welcomes everyone who is Scottish by birth, by heritage or simply by inclinations. As the CHICAGO SCOTS, the Society offers scholarships and organizes events and initiatives to educate, entertain, and promote both traditional and contemporary Scottish culture. The Society is also proud to offer a range of outstanding elder care services at The Scottish Home and first in class memory care at The Caledonian House.
Gus was born in 1969 in Dundee, Scotland. He grew up in the Duns, in the Scottish Borders. In 1992, after graduating from the University of Stirling, Gus moved to Chicago, where he worked for the British Consulate General Chicago for seven years. During this time he concentrated on developing UK-US trade and investment. In 1999, Gus completed a Business to Business Marketing Strategy course at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Following 1999's devolution of government authorities in the United Kingdom, Gus established and operated the first overseas office of the Welsh Assembly Government in Chicago. Gus took up his current appointment in August 2004.
Gus serves on the Boards of the Admiral at the Lake and the Rotary Club of Chicago (ROTARY ONE), the world's first Rotary Club. Gus is a core member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance and is a member of the President's Circle of the Chicago Council for Global Affairs. Gus' interests include playing music and golf and supporting Newcastle United Football Club.
Gus is married to Aisha. They have a son named Bobby.