On Tuesday 7th December, the RSGS was delighted to inaugurate Chris Tiso as an Honorary Fellow of the Society. Chris, who is best known for his role as CEO of outdoor retail specialist Tiso, was offered the award for his work in promoting the great outdoors, especially in younger people, and for the support he has quietly given to a range of geographically-oriented charities and expeditions.

Mike Robinson, CEO of the RSGS, presented the prestigious award at the Salutation Hotel in Perth before Mark Evans MBE, an accomplished desert explorer, gave an inspiring talk about his recent crossing of Arabia’s Empty Quarter.

Chris Tiso Receiving His Honorary Fellowship Certificate

During the Fellowship citation, Mike made reference to Chris’ tireless work to encourage people to connect with the great outdoors, particularly in Scotland, as well as his commitment to charities such as Countryside Learning Scotland, Scouts Scotland and The Polar Academy. Interestingly, the latter of these was established by RSGS Explorer-in-Residence, Craig Mathieson to provide a platform for youngsters with low self-esteem to travel to extreme Polar Regions, build their confidence and transform their lives.

The Polar Academy: Arctic Northern Lights

In addition, the audience was made aware of Chris’ dedication to a number of small businesses, the most recent of which was an environmental start-up based on the Isle of Mull. Entitled The Ethical Shellfish Company, this business seeks to ensure sustainable and ethical fishing practices are followed through from ocean to consumer.

As an Honorary Fellow of the RSGS, Chris joins an illustrious list of names including Sir Ernest Shackleton, David Hempleman-Adams, Michael Palin, Professor Dame Anne Glover and Professor John Briggs. And this fact was certainly not lost on the Perth-based businessman:

“I am immensely proud to be named an Honorary Fellow of the RSGS. As a highly respected educational charity, the Society undertakes fantastic work to further geographical understanding and engage people with the wonders of the great outdoors. I feel very humbled to be recognised with an award that has also been conferred on explorers such as Sir Ernest Shackleton, my personal inspiration.”

“I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in – and lead – many expeditions across the world, including some to the most remote corners of the globe. While I hope to do more in the future, my principal motivation is to inspire and facilitate the next generation of explorers and adventurers here in Scotland.”

Mike Robinson commented: “Chris is not only an inspirational business leader, but also a passionate advocate for the great outdoors and an individual who has quietly backed some of Scotland’s most inspirational adventurers. What’s more, Chris has invested considerable amounts of time into supporting a number of charities including The Scottish Mountain Rescue and The Polar Academy, and social causes close to his heart such as homelessness in Scotland. The RSGS is delighted to welcome Chris as an Honorary Fellow, and we look forward to working with him in the years to come.”

Mt Everest: Chris Made a Summit Attempt in 2000