PEDAL’s Board of Directors meet on a monthly basis to monitor the company’s finances, determine company policy, and provide oversight of the projects. There are 12 spaces on the PEDAL Board, and up to nine of these are open to ordinary members of PEDAL who are elected at Annual General Meetings. The remaining three spaces are for Directors co-opted by the Board – these can be PEDAL members or other people who have relevant skills and experience.
Our current Board members are listed below, along with a short profile of their skills, experience and interests.
Eva Schonveld has lived in Portobello for the last 16 years and has raised her three boys here. She was a founder member of PEDAL, helped set up the PEDAL orchard as part of the food group, and was part of the team who developed PEDAL’s CCF funded projects. She has worked in community development and involvement projects for the past 24 years and is very committed to the ideas behind the Transition model. Together with others in PEDAL she set up Transition Scotland Support, where she has been involved in working to support Transition communities across Scotland and building a national network for them. Eva is the project coordinator of the Fife Diet, and is a member of Portobello Community Council
I grew up in the Scottish Borders town of Selkirk which gave me a strong sense of community. During my 25 years of work as a GP in Portobello I lived here too and continue to do so. I have an interest in healthy, sustainable, locally produced food; hence my membership of Slow Food. Last year I established Portobello Apple which seeks to be a non-profit making community network linking local apple growers with local consumers. I have also actively supported the Portobello Market and Portobello Community Orchard. Further afield I have been involved in Breadshare, a breadmaking social enterprise and also in the private financing of local businesses.
I believe that communities like Portobello need to be working towards greater resilience in coping with future challenges whether climatic, economic or cultural and whatever the underlying causes. There are profound difficulties in this. Working with transition organisations like PEDAL offer the best way of making progress.
Diana worked for two blue chip companies, in the energy and finance sectors, for over 20 years. Her background is in training and organisational development, with experience in designing, delivering and evaluating training, designing organisational level development strategies and project management. She has been involved in a number of successful high profile local campaigns for environmental justice, including Portobello Campaign Against the Superstore and Portobello Opposes New Garbage Site. Diana has lots of experienced in organising and running events and fundraising, and is involved in a number of other local groups.
Ian was born and raised in Portobello. He worked for 27 years in community development roles in Edinburgh and Greater Glasgow, and through successive local government re-organisations. Ian is author of Radical Community Work: Perspectives from practice in Scotland, written with Mae Shaw. He is currently Director of Development Trusts Association Scotland, the community-led regeneration network and national trade association for community development trusts. In addition to his community development experience, Ian brings skills in strategic planning, organisational development and financial management.
Stephen is a Chartered Building Surveyor with extensive experience of working in local government, housing associations and the health service. He has been a part time lecturer in housing maintenance and building surveying at Heriot Watt University, and, between 2007 and 2012, was one of three Councillors for the Portobello/Craigmillar ward on City of Edinburgh Council. Stephen attends Portobello Community Council and has a long involvement in local affairs, including several successful local campaigns and projects. He has skills and experience in problem solving, project management, budgeting and control of expenditure. He also holds a Master in Business Administration degree from Edinburgh University, and is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Stephen’s particular interest is in integrated energy management and reduction in urban areas.
Justin chaired PEDAL from its inception in 2005 until 2010 when he shifted his focus to other PEDAL projects, and other community climate change work. In 2009 he stopped lecturing in social anthropology at Glasgow University to focus on supporting community responses to climate change. He helped develop a strategy for Fife Council to support community carbon reduction initiatives; and worked with initiatives across Scotland to build community resilience Holyrood 350. His current work focuses on supporting forest peoples in Central Africa to regain their rights to their lands. He has lived in Portobello since 1998 with Eva and their 3 boys (with brief periods living on Eigg and in Falkland), and is interested in how ‘local to local’ connections — across Scotland, and across the Global North/South divide – could radically re-energize national and international action for sustainability.
Mandy works for City of Edinburgh Council, currently with the corporate Business Intelligence team. She brings 2 decades of professional experience in economic development, community development, adult learning and project management in the public and voluntary sector. Mandy has volunteered with PEDAL for several years and has a strong personal interest in sustainable living. She recently spent two months living and working in Findhorn Foundation ecovillage in the north of Scotland.
Peter is a community activist who has lived in Edinburgh for 12 years. Peter came to Edinburgh to study geography, public policy and critical theory. His thesis was on land reform in Scotland. While at University, Peter was President of Edinburgh People and Planet and Vice President of the Students’ Association (EUSA), during which time he campaigned for carbon reduction, Fair Trade and ethical investment of Edinburgh University’s reserves. He worked for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and acted as Chair of Transition Support Scotland, an organisation that supports Scotland’s Transition Towns movement. Peter lives in Portobello with his partner, Maggie. He has been active in PEDAL since its creation. He has particular interests in community ownership and land reform. Peter is an editor of the Bright Green blog, and is currently Rector of Edinburgh University.
After completing a degree in Microbiology & Virology in 1985, Neil worked for the University of Nottingham Department of Pharmacology doing research for a well-known household products manufacturer. He went on to work for Scottish & Newcastle Plc in 1990, first in fermentation research and then as Pilot Brewery Manager, where he was instrumental in brewing and packaging designer beers. He later became Consumer Relations Manager for the UK, completed his MBA and became an auditor for BSI. Unfortunately, due to ill health, Neil was retired from this role in 2009, but following a full recovery is now looking for a new career. His interest in PEDAL came about through being involved in the Donkeyfield Orchard, and the opportunity to become more involved in the community was too good to miss. Neil lives in Portobello with his wife, Lorna, and their son Alexander. He is an affiliate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.