History has been made at Aberdeen with the appointment of the first female director in the club’s 118-year history but do not expect Zoe Ogilvie’s arrival to be a token gesture.
With almost 30 years of communications and marketing experience, Ogilvie, director of PR and marketing agency BIG Partnership, where she heads up their Aberdeen office, has been involved with the Dons for more than a decade.
Having worked with Dons chairman Dave Cormack for the past 18 months, her appointment makes perfect sense, but Ogilvie recognises the significance of her new role and wants to make a positive impression.
She said: “When Gordon Buchan intimated he was retiring, Dave said: ‘I’ve been thinking, it’s time we had a woman on the board’. I thought it was a great idea in terms of diversity and inclusivity and started suggesting names, when he said: ‘actually we were thinking about you’.
“I gave it serious consideration before accepting. There were key considerations such as ensuring there was no conflict between the work we do on the club’s behalf and my role as a director.
“I’m obviously flattered at being the first woman on the board and I’m hugely honoured, but there is a feeling of trepidation too.
“I’m on a few other boards and committees and I take those roles seriously. I want to contribute and if there are jobs which need doing then give them to me and I’ll go do them.”
A fresh perspective
Ogilvie, who also spent eight years as public affairs manager at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, knows the significance of the club’s presence in the local community and is eager to get down to business on banging the drum on behalf of the Dons.
She already has a head start on what to expect when she takes her place in the board room at Pittodrie too and is eager to get involved in an official capacity.
Ogilvie said: “I’ve been working in marketing and communications at the highest level at the club for a while now and I share in the chairman’s desire to have more fan engagement.
“I will be a PR ambassador for the club in the wider community and do all I can to get the messages out there.
“I worked with Stewart Milne initially and have been involved on and off. The club is a client now and we were heavily involved in the Aurora campaign prior to Cormack Park opening and have been heavily involved with the club at all levels in the last 18 months.
“I’ve been to a few board meetings in an advisory capacity and I know the inner workings of the board well, but hopefully I can bring something new to the board room, a fresh perspective on things.”
Ogilvie contribution stretches beyond the boardroom
Football is in the Ogilvies’ DNA, with husband Bill involved at Cove Rangers, while daughter Francesca plays for Aberdeen FC Women’s team in SWPL 2.
If she did not know before accepting, it is clear Ogilvie’s new role on the Dons board is a big deal at home.
She said: “I was worried if this meant I would have to learn the offside rule. That’s a big issue in a football family and I’ve lost count of the number of times the salt and pepper shakers have been lined up on the kitchen table to try to explain it to me at home.
“Seriously, I don’t think my husband and daughter have been more pleased at anything else I’ve been involved in than this. They’re both hugely proud.
“Francesca is so excited about getting back to action this weekend, but Bill and I had booked a break before we knew the women’s team would be back playing, so we’ll miss the game on Sunday.
“I’m not sure if we would have been able to watch the game anyway as games have been behind closed doors. I’m hoping that being able to watch them play is a perk of being a director as I so miss watching her.”