CALA Executive

Jaci Douglas (Chief Executive)

Despite being Chief Executive since June 2017, there is still so much to learn and every day is so different, interesting and exciting! Our staff are incredibly dedicated and it is such a privilege to work with them to support children, families and communities. Our strong partnerships mean we are all working together with the child at the centre and I am so proud of all that we do together with colleagues in Highland Council, HTSI, Scottish Government, NHS Highland and more. I truly believe that these innovative partnerships and joint working are needed if we are to develop and sustain quality provision in a beautiful, if often remote and rural, place like the Highlands.

Before I was with CALA, I was an Independent Councillor for Badenoch and Strathspey for a decade and during that time held senior roles including Co-Leader of the Opposition and Opposition Budget Lead as well as a Board member of NHS Highland and Cairngorms National Park Authority. Previous to that I lived abroad in the USA and Scandinavia for many years including running an international outdoor play space in Oslo. I currently chair the community development organisation Voluntary Action Badenoch and Strathspey and am a lay member of the Joint Standing Committee for Legal Education of Scotland.

As a mother of four (almost grown-up!) daughters, life is never calm and quiet but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I do however try to find time to do yoga, read and, once restrictions are eased, I am looking forward to doing more travelling.

Norma Ruettimann, Director of Learning & Quality

Having taken a career break from my conference and banqueting role to have children, I became involved in toddlers and playgroup as a volunteer, then practitioner,  then as a part-time development officer in Badenoch and Strathspey. Fast forward several years, my son and daughter are all grown up and my role in CALA has grown and diversified.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in developing and delivering a variety of projects, training & quality improvement and have travelled many miles across Highland and Moray and other local authorities in the process. As Education Scotland says “every day’s a learning day” and with ongoing developments and expansion in child care and learning, there is always an interesting new challenge and learning gained from the inspiring adults and children I come into contact with.

I spend my time between Highland and Glasgow and enjoy walking, yoga, eating out and going to music events (not necessarily in that order!)

Valarie Bruce, Director of Finance

I joined CALA in 2006 as Finance Officer working my way up to my current role as Director of Finance.  I am lucky to be part of such a dedicated team and wonder where the last 14 years have gone!  CALA has changed in many ways during my time here and in true CALA style, I am looking forward to the many changes, challenges and successes ahead.

I am happily married with 3 grown-up children, in my spare time I enjoy cycling, walking, travelling and socialising with family and friends.