NB Communication

Meet the NB Team: Managing Director, David Nicol

August 20, 2019

Meet David

The next member of the team we meet here is David Nicol, our managing director.

David was one of the two co-founders of NB Communication, starting the business as a partnership with school friend Magnus Bray back in 2002. Magnus was an integral part of the business until 2006, at which point David took on the business as a sole trader before then becoming managing director when NB became a limited company.

David's been involved in all aspects of NB's operations over the years, but is now primarily responsible for the company's strategic direction and growth plans, as well as overseeing our work delivering the prestigious Promote Shetland contract.

David's wife Ingrid looks after NB's accounts and finance team, and they jointly bring up their three young sons here in Lerwick.

David is an occasionally adequate golfer, but a generally terrible footballer. He was also a founder member and lead guitarist of the reclusive and hugely un-prolific blues/funk band, Jamieson's Big Pockets.

David is a big fan of water biscuits and beef olives but has yet to try eating both at the same time.

David's Q&As

We asked David a series of fun questions, so you can get to know him a little better.

1. Tell us a surprising fact about yourself?

I have never tasted tea or coffee.

2. What are your top 3 life highlights?

Beyond the obvious life-changing events such as getting married and becoming a dad, some notable memories include:

Visiting Japan on a school exchange trip, before popping along Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Los Angeles on the way home.

Joining Fiddlers' Bid on the stage at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Taking part in the Calgary Stampede parade with the 2017 Lerwick Jarl Squad. It was a challenge walking several miles in 34 degree heat wearing a heavy viking suit, but we were cheered on by over a quarter of a million spectators and it was an amazing experience.

3. If Hollywood made a move about your life, who would you like to see cast as you and why?

There aren't all that many ginger haired actors around. Damian Lewis is really good in Billions, but he's got a lot more hair than me.

4. If you could be any animal, which would you be?

I'm fairly happy being a human, to be honest, but if I was forced to change into some other type of animal I might opt to be a tirrick (Arctic tern). They migrate incredible distances every year, and I think it'd be pretty cool to be able to fly half way around the world in search of perpetual summer.

5. What are your three most overused words/phrases?

I have a bad habit of asking others at NB if they have "any exciting news". The inclusion of the word "exciting" sets the bar far too high, as I generally need to know about non-exciting news too.

I also use the word "splendid" a lot, especially in texts and WhatsApp messages. However, I suspect no-one else knows that whenever I type this word I am imagining it the voice of Hedley Lamarr from Blazing Saddles.

I probably also use the phrase "fish supper please" a little too often in the course of any given year.

6. What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

I'm very grateful that NB is generally involved in a interesting projects for a hugely diverse range of clients. I don't want to highlight any one project, but I think it is pretty cool to be sitting here in Lerwick delivering excellent work for clients all around the UK, and beyond.

7. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

During my high school exchange visit to Japan, we were taken to a restaurant in Tokyo and treated to an amazing meal of Kobe beef. I'd love to experience that again.

8. If you could live in any period of history, when would it be?

I am fascinated by the huge changes in Shetland's economy and society during the height of the oil boom - roughly from the mid 70s to the early 80s. I was too young to be aware of what was going on, but I think it must have been an exciting and very optimistic time. It'd be fun to live through those wild years as a young adult.

9. What is the most important personal attribute that you bring to your job?

Having been involved in many hundreds of projects over the years, I guess I've gained plenty of experience which I can hopefully pass on to others in the team. But, at the same time, I'm keen to let everyone here get on with doing a good job of things by themselves without me interfering too much. Hopefully I get the balance right.

10. What technology innovation made the most impact on your life?

The easy answer here is 'the Internet'. Our business wouldn't exist if this - and specifically the World Wide Web - not been invented. But, on a more personal level, my life is better for the invention of the compact disk. I amassed a huge music collection at university and throughout my early 20s, almost all on CD. I know that more modern inventions such as MP3s and streaming make it even easier to access music instantly, but there was something very rewarding about searching through CDs in Clives, in Lerwick, and Fopp in Edinburgh. I like the permanence of having music available in a physical form.

11. What would you name your boat if you had one and why?

I'd consider serving for 15 years on the Lerwick Up Helly Aa committee just to be able to call my longship Boutros Boutros Galley.

12. How would you convince someone to visit the place you love the most?

That's pretty much the day job here with our Promote Shetland remit. I'm delighted to be able to point people towards shetland.org and any of the Promote Shetland social media channels, where I'm confident they'd get an authentic flavour of the islands.

August 20, 2019

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