2018 Scottish North American Leadership Conference Host Committee:
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 165. 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 has also served 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 is President of the American-Scottish Foundation. Brought up in Britain ("I am a hodge-podge - English, Scottish, German, French-Swiss"), Camilla came to the USA in 1990 launching 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 heading 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.
Camilla's career is one of transatlantic relations, undertaking projects both in Britain and the United States to further collaboration between the two countries.
Camilla joined the American-Scottish Foundation in 2009 as Development Director, and was appointed President of ASF in 2017.
In addition to increasing the ASF's charitable work, Camilla has developed diverse project and event programming including exhibits and performances, with a strong multimedia platform.
Camilla also serves as ASF's Representative to the National Tartan Day New York Committee, is a member of the Foreign Press Association, and 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 transatlantic relations.
Maggie McEwan was born close to London, England and spent many summers in Balloch sailing on Loch Lomond with her Scottish cousins. Maggie lived her teenage years in Southport, Lancashire and later worked and studied in Liverpool.
Maggie emigrated to Toronto, Canada as her first stop on her working journey around the world. Having recently received notice that she had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, she quickly found work in the computer lab at the University of Toronto, as a systems programmer on their new mainframe system. Her love of the four-season sports that Canada's climate offers persuaded Maggie to remain beyond the one year pledge that she had made when hired. She has a son and family in Toronto, a daughter and family in Chicago and now lives in the countryside around Toronto and Guelph.
Maggie's wish to nurture and preserve the Scottish heritage and culture in Canada led her to return to Scottish Country Dancing and to join the Boards of various non-profit Scottish Societies. She became a member of the Scottish Studies Foundation some years ago and was quickly invited to join the Board of Directors. Maggie is a past President of the Foundation, a volunteer for the Fergus Highland Games and editor of her community Newsletter.
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.