My wife Maureen and I run a holiday cottage rental company meanwhile I am always on the lookout for new ventures involving IOT (Internet of Things) electronics. As well as having extensive business experience spanning many decades, my technical specialities include a broad understanding of modern ICT and the ability to explain complex technical issues to the layman. I have a good understanding of how ICT fits into the business world with an emphasis on small organisations (SMEs).
In the last year I have been involved in a number of technical projects involving ESP8266 (one award-winning) and Arduino microprocessors and the Raspberry Pi and in January 2016 worked in Spain on an IOT security project for the MOD via a third party. For 14 years I enjoyed the role of National IT Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses as well as Chairman of their Communications Group - roles which encompassed responsibility for the organisation's IT.
The FSB role also took me overseas, to the House of Commons and to Number 10 in London on several occasions. In June 2015, after years in the role, amidst organisational changes with which I had issues, though expected to re-stand for said IT role, I made the decision that it was more important to concentrate on ensuring my IT knowledge stays up to date - so I walked away and spent the summer in Spain complete with laptop and my friend Google.
For two years I held the role of vice-chairman of the IT section of an EU ESCO group and we met bi-monthly in Brussels, tackling the ICT (the most all-embracing and hence complex) aspect of the ESCO project, responsible for matching jobs, skills and competences in the ICT sector - exciting and relevant stuff.
I have attended a number of meetings of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) in Izmir, Gibraltar, Dublin and in Brussels (2013-2014) as an invited guest and in that capacity visited the European Parliament. I've also been invited on a number of occasions as a guest to the offices of the European Economic and Social Community.
I have represented the FSB in a number of SME-related externally sponsored round tables including Microsoft, Dell and others and developed relationships within those companies, for example the Dell ThinkTank event in Amsterdam and previously as a guest of Microsoft at their HQ in the USA.
For years as FSB IT Chairman I acted as a judge in the Computing Magazine Small Business Awards and also maintained a blog in that magazine's website. I had a guest blog on Dell's website but now focus on maintaining my own highly successful blog, tech.scargill.net. My work is also highlighted in numerous other postings worldwide.
Partner - Hollyberry Cottage
Hollyberry Cottage is an award-winning, successful family-owned self-catering holiday rental cottage in Bellingham, in the heart of Northumberland. This is our second family cottage rental business.
IT Chairman - FSB
I was a board director of and held the post of National IT Chairman of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) for 14 years during which time I transformed the IT capabilities of the organisation and helped ensure the organisations ability to handle the challenges of the 21st century.
CEO - Willow Design
Willow Design offered custom electronics design from concept through implementation as well as custom hardware and software. We empowered small businesses to compete in the global marketplace with affordable tech solutions
Director - Quantech Ltd
General Electronics Research
I formed Quantech in 1982 and spent 19 years in a successful business partnership developing groundbreaking electronic products in the entertainment and PC speech sectors
Head of R&D at Eltech
I joined Eltech Research in Newcastle Upon Tyne to develop ground-breaking graphics after providing consultancy for several months, supporting innovative products which we took to the World's Fair in Tokyo and to America Germany and elsewhere in Europe
Director - France & Co Ltd
General engineering and sheet metalwork
I held various posts including technical director at family engineering firm J. France & Co. Acquired skills included management and accounting but also encompassed engineering (metal work, welding and general machine operations)