Avidity Group appoints new Group People Director, Sara Copeland

24 March 2024
Author: Linzi McGuire

Sara Copeland banner

We are delighted to welcome our new Group People Director Sara Copeland. Sara (pronounced Sarah) joined our Group in March and replaces Barry Dow who leaves us in April. Sara joins us following a 24-year career in HR, and she brings with her a wealth of experience from a variety of sectors, both public and private. 


sara headshot B&W

On Sara’s appointment, Jill Ross, Avidity Group CEO comments,

“Sara’s breadth and depth of experience across HR specialisms in multiple industries makes her the ideal person to lead the People strategy across our group of sales and marketing agencies. Sara’s leadership will be essential as we continue our mission of making Avidity a place where people can be themselves and grow. I’m delighted to have Sara onboard to lead the People function and become a key member of our group leadership team.”  


Sara adds,

“I am excited to join a growing group who are achieving great success within the industry with lots of great work going on within the People function. The colleagues I have met in the last few weeks have been fantastic and I am looking forward to working with the leadership team, People team, and across the business in the future.”  


Before entering the world of work, Sara studied Business Studies with a specialism in Human Resource Management at University of Ulster. During her third year she did a placement at M&S head office in London which led to her applying to join their corporate graduate scheme. She joined their programme with her first role in Braehead shopping centre in the outskirts of Glasgow and has been living in Scotland ever since.  


She remained at M&S for almost 5 years, where she learned the foundations of HR in a variety of store then regional roles, and gained a wealth of understanding into the world of retail. Next, she progressed her career at another retail giant, B&Q. Here, over a period of 8 years, Sara undertook a variety of senior HR positions which saw her undertake projects like configuring various retail sites and becoming their Head of Recruitment.  


Sara also has experience in local authority as Head of People Strategy at Glasgow Life which looks after all the leisure centres, libraries, art galleries, museums and music venues across the city. Sara comments that this was a very diverse role because of the volume of people working in different aspects of the organisation. Following that, Sara joined a very different business as the standalone Head of HR for a start-up. Here she set up the HR function including payroll, L&D and recruitment. Sara then progressed into Higher Education where she held leadership roles including Deputy Director of HR for the University of Strathclyde & Head of People for University of the West of Scotland. Finally, before joining us, Sara worked for Peter Vardy in the automotive industry as their Chief People Officer.  


Outside of work, Sara is kept busy being mum to two kids, Noah and Sophia. When she gets free time, she enjoys running and playing tennis to keep fit. She comments there’s nothing quite like getting her trainers on, picking some good music and clearing her head in the fresh air on a run. For light relief, she also reads when she can and is part of a book group in North Glasgow where she is based with her family.  

We welcome Sara to her new role and are excited to have her join us to focus on adding value, driving change & continuous improvement and delivering the strategy as a member of our Group Exec and the new leader of our Group People team. 

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