The Interface Highlands and Islands team
Rhiannon Merritt, Business Engagement Executive, Interface

By Rhiannon Merritt, Business Engagement Executive, Interface 

When did you start at Interface and where did you work before? 

I joined the Interface team in April from VisitScotland, as one of their Industry Relationship Managers where I was supporting businesses within the tourism industry.

What attracted you to the position?

I am so passionate about the beautiful Highland and Island community that I live in and saw this as a fantastic and rewarding opportunity to drive innovation and help the local, rural economy thrive.

What have you been doing so far in the job?

It’s been a truly fascinating first few months within the Highlands and Islands team. My main focus has been on companies Interface have already supported and helping them to innovate further. It has been utterly inspiring meeting businesses owners and entrepreneurs across the region who are so passionate about their previous academic collaborations and see the huge benefit in continuing that journey.

Tell us a bit about the team?

We are certainly an eclectic and energetic bunch who all share a passion in encouraging businesses to work with the vast world of academia. There are team members based around Scotland covering all regions, who travel to meet businesses to discuss opportunities and possibilities with them. All of the team are certainly driven, our latest team building day completing a ‘spy quest’ demonstrated that….. there is certainly scope for us to morph into a detective agency – MI6 watch this space!

What do you like most about the role?

It’s hugely rewarding being able to help businesses find a solution to their challenges and make a real difference to their company – and the fact that this also contributes to Scottish academia is an added bonus. This role has given me great exposure to the operations of a variety of sectors; it’s fascinating what industries are thriving in amongst these Highland mountains.

Where are you from?

I am a passionate Scot, from the Isle of Lewis, with an English accent - there is a puzzle for you (I hope you’re not reading this on a Monday morning!).

Are you a beach or a mountain type?

I’m an Isle of Lewis beach girl. In other words, I find nothing more satisfying than sunbathing in thermals and a jumper, much more preferable to a lazy day in the Bahamas!

What motivates you on a dreary Monday morning?

I feel lucky to be a morning person (I’m sure my colleagues don’t!). I look forward to the challenges that each day brings and working as part of the Interface team definitely caters to that as you never know what challenge a business is facing or new idea will appear on your radar next. A nice cup of peppermint tea also helps!

What three words sum you up?

Passionate, enthusiastic and energetic.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Possibly when (despite my irrational fear of sheep!) I single-handily eradicated a road blockage caused by my sheep using just a pair of pink wellies and some hand and leg waving action!

25 August 2016