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Introducing our new chair and 5 new board members

17th December 2018

We are excited to welcome five new board members, as well as a new Chair of the Board, Simon Wales, who will replace longstanding board member and Chair, Dorothy Wilson MBE, FRSA.

Simon Wales, General Manager of Waddesdon Manor, has been on the Motionhouse Board for four years and has a background in music and the performing arts, previously holding the position of General Manager of Town Hall Birmingham. He was the founding Centre Director of LSO St Luke’s, the London Symphony Orchestra’s music education centre.

In addition to Simon, five new board members will be joining our Board:

Amy Dalton-Hardy is the Project & Development Manager at Culture Central, the cultural development agency for Birmingham and the West Midlands. With a background as a community dance artist and former aerialist, Amy previously held the position of Head of Dance & Circus Development at artsNK in Lincolnshire. She was specialist dance advisor to Transported; an Arts Council Creative People & Places project, led numerous events as well as multiple successful dance programmes for children and young people.

Naveen Gupta is a qualified accountant and has undertaken senior level finance roles for over 15 years. Naveen’s professional finance experiences are across various sectors including live theatre, concert hall management, estates management, higher education, conferencing, utilities and financial services.

Rakhi Rajani is an Innovation Consultant with a background in engineering, design and psychology. She helps organisations think forward to identify white space and determine what they can do next. She has worked in a variety of sectors across the world and for organisations spanning the arts, hospitality, emerging tech, sports, retail, automotive and smart cities. Rakhi is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Currently working with Greenwich+Docklands International Festival and Without Walls Consortium, Toby Smith has over 20 years’ experience of programming, commissioning and producing in venues of different scales, multi-arts and music-focused festivals. He was Festival Director at the Salisbury International Arts Festival between 2014 and 2017, and has previously worked at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) as Director of Performance and Programming, at Cheltenham Arts Festivals and at the Barbican Centre.

Josie Stevens, brand marketing and communications consultant, has 25 years’ experience in the arts, sport and entertainment industries both in the UK and overseas. Beginning her career in the arts, Josie spent 3 years with Birmingham Royal Ballet as its first Press Officer. She has also held senior positions in house and in agencies globally including: Board Director, Sports Marketing & Sponsorship at Hill & Knowlton UK and Director of Global PR for adidas Group’s Reebok brand in the US. Most recently, she campaign managed Sport England’s multi-award winning, behaviour change campaign, This Girl Can.

Simon Wales, Chair of the Board, says: “On behalf of the board, I am very pleased to welcome our new trustees, who all bring with them considerable skills and experience, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Motionhouse family. Motionhouse have just celebrated their 30th Anniversary, and this is an exciting time in the development of the company under the leadership of its founders Kevin Finnan and Louise Richards. I feel honoured to follow on from Dorothy Wilson as Chair, and I am keen to ensure that the Board supports the company as it continues to grow and explore new artistic ground”.

Everyone here at Motionhouse and the board thank Dorothy, as well as Kevin Issacs and Sarah Fitzpatrick, who also stood down at the recent Annual Meeting, for their many years of service, and are looking forward to working with the new members in the years to come.