MaryBeth Coll, co-founder of Foraging Vintners, has been nominated for the vacant seats on the Legislative Council.

Mrs Coll was nominated by Dr Michelle Haywood, seconded by DHSC Minister Lawrie Hooper and assented to by John Wannenburgh and DEFA Minister Clare Barber.

In her nomination, Dr Haywood said: ‘MaryBeth is no stranger to the workings of government and has been a member of the Visit Agency in the Department for Enterprise for 3 years. She has actively worked with the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Agency in relation to small business operations. She is a co-founder of successful Foraging Vintners, the Isle of Man’s only winery. MaryBeth has worked to promote food, drink and the hospitality sector, including assisting with changes to the Licensing Act. She has a background in law in the US and Australia and has been providing legal review to Isle of Man based companies operating in multiple global jurisdictions. Her global perspective, legal background and local experience would stand her in good stead for a role in Legislative Council.’

As well as running FV, Mrs Coll has worked with the Visit agency, the Southern Agricultural Show and practiced law in Australia and America.

Speaking of her nomination, Mrs Coll said: ‘Like many fellow islanders, I have had the opportunity to live in many different parts the world, however, I am grateful to be living here for over 10 years. The beauty of the land, its people and the community spirit are truly our greatest strengths.

‘My background involves being an international lawyer working on commercial and environmental transactions and working in investment banking in the energy sector. I am also a local small business owner and have managed to navigate a small hospitality and manufacturing business through Brexit and a pandemic. These are all challenging prospects but what faces our island in the next several years will be pivotal in shaping how our future will look for the next generation of islanders.

‘When we took the decision to open a winery business here, our start up process required that we navigate through most of the government departments and also review and understand the legislation and regulations regarding our operations. It was during this process that I came to experience how the Government and its laws were functioning. Having gone through the process and seeing where the efficiencies and weaknesses are gives me unique insight to where improvements can be made. I also have seen where legislation can produce unintended consequences even though the policy concept is sound.’

Two new MLCs will be selected by MHKs to serve until February 2023 following the election of Kate Lord-Brennan and Jane Poole-Wilson to the Keys.

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