Dr Cantlay was brought up in Callander where he still lives and his business is headquartered. He has held several public appointments including Non-Executive Director on the board of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL), Convenor of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority; Chair of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley; Chair of the Board of Management at Forth Valley College; and an advisory member of the board of Scottish Enterprise. He is also a Board member of VisitBritain.
Dr Cantlay has had links with tourism throughout his career and brings extensive knowledge and experience of tourism at home and abroad, as well as a track record of serving Scotland’s global Diaspora. He was awarded the Scottish Thistle Tourism Award for Young Manager of the Year in 1992, has held numerous positions with local tourist associations, has been Director of several retail businesses with tourism links – both in Scotland and North America, and was a Board Member of the Scottish Tourist Board and VisitScotland from 1998 to 2005 (including Deputy Chairman from 2001 to 2005).
Dr Cantlay was awarded Public Sector Leader of the Year at the Scottish Leadership Awards 2012. He was awarded an OBE for services to tourism and hospitality in January 2015.