I moved to the US when I was 28 years old, working in the IT business, and was loving life there. My career was really taking off, I fell in love and married an amazing Texan girl. Then, just after I had started as Vice-President of North America sales for a German software firm, and 11 days after her 30th birthday, my wife Melissa took her own life. This was completely out of the blue, no-one in her family or amongst her friends saw her mental illness, it was well hidden, and she was the last person anyone would have thought of as at risk of suicide.
I was in shock, took 8 weeks off work, travelled home, talked to friends, tried to make any kind of sense out of what happened. Then I went back to work, initially for a sales job with less responsibility and then moving on to another software company. After 18 months, I decided to quit the software business and pursue my dream of becoming a golf professional. I was successful in becoming a PGA golf pro, and the focus on that helped me through that time. It also lead me home to Scotland, to run the six city golf courses for Edinburgh Leisure, and that in turn lead me to move back into Business Development for them, and then to my current role as Head of Business Development for Cyrenians.
The work that we do here at Cyrenians, often puts us in touch with people whose lives have fallen apart, all of a sudden either through relationship breakdown, health issues, financial problems or other unforeseen circumstances. I was lucky to have great support from friends, family, and survivors of suicide support groups in Atlanta and that experience somewhat helps me to understand how easy it is for a life to unravel. So, I have arrived in the right place for me, fifteen years after Melissa’s tragic decision. The future looks good, I have been married to Jenny for 3.5 years, and we have been together for 8 years. We have a house, wee dog and my weekends are fulfilled through golf and gardening. And Cyrenians is the right place for me to be, where I aim to play my part in the organisations growth, as we support people on their own life journeys.