Trustees are nominated by our Members and are often employed by their trading companies. They are experienced at senior level in one or more of these fields: business and finance, administration, marketing, retail, publishing, picture libraries and licensing, catering and venue hire and other income generating activities.
Trustees have a unique opportunity to work closely with a diverse group of people across the entire cultural sector. Whilst having an influential role in the Association’s work, the role also provides a matchless opportunity for personal development and high profile networking, both of great benefit to the individual and supporting organisation.
Chair: Caroline Brown – Head of Commercial Services, British Library
Caroline started her working life as a teacher specialising in history and outdoor education. This was followed by a 16 year stint in the wine business before joining the cultural sector in 2005. After eight years as Head of Commerce at Royal Museums Greenwich and following the completion of a major redevelopment programme, she joined the British Library in 2012 as Head of Commercial Services.
Treasurer: Jo Clarkson – Chief Financial Officer, York Minster
Jo is Chief Financial Officer at York Minster, including responsibility for IT. She has spent her whole career as a financial professional in the not-for-profit sector, and has always been a keen advocate for the funding streams of sustainable enterprise. Prior to her time at York Minster, she was the inaugural Finance Manager at the Hepworth Wakefield art gallery, responsible for establishing the finance systems, processes and team from scratch.
Kari Coghill – Director of Enterprise & Communication, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Kari has over 30 years’ experience in Scottish tourism and heritage attractions. She joined Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 2018 with responsibility for the trading subsidiary, Botanics Trading Company, as well as public engagement, marketing and communications. Kari was previously Head of Business Development & Enterprise at Historic Environment Scotland.
Gabriela Gandolfini – Head of Visitor Services & Site Operations, Royal Opera House
Gabriela is Head of Visitor Services and Site Operations at the Royal Opera House, coach (CfPAC) and a trustee for Tonic Theatre, as well as the Association for Cultural Enterprises. She has a track record in the Performing Arts, including Deputy Director for Visitor Experience at the National Theatre and senior roles at the Barbican Centre, Arts Theatre and various West End venues with the Ambassadors Theatre Group. Gabriela is also a podcast host and family blogger.
Chris Gilbert – Finance Manager, Home Office
Chris is a qualified accountant and a former Finance Director of London Transport Museum where he was also on the Board of the museum trading company. Chris has led finance, facilities, IT and admin teams and currently provides financial and analytical support to an arm’s length body at the Home Office.
Matthew Henderson – Head of Commercial Operations & Development, Beamish Museum
Matthew leads on all aspects of income generation at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, including retail, food and beverage, experiences and overnight accommodation. Matthew was named Visit England’s Tourism Superstar in 2015, as well as Rising Star and Overall Winner in the 2022 Cultural Enterprises Awards.
Zak Mensah – Co-CEO, Birmingham Museums Trust
Zak is Co-CEO at Birmingham Museums Trust and was previously Head of Transformation at Bristol City Council for the Culture & Creative Industries service. When not solving problems where people, culture and technology meet, Zak can be found spending time with his family or riding his motorcycle.
Anthony Misquitta – General Counsel, V&A
Anthony is the General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at the V&A, specialising in commercial contracts, intellectual property, information and technology law. Alongside his role at the V&A Anthony is a Consultant Solicitor at Keystone Law, a virtual full service law firm.
Kingston Myles – Head of Commercial Development, English Heritage
Kingston is Head of Commercial Development at English Heritage, with responsibility for the Licensing, Holiday Cottages, Venue Hire and Compliance businesses. He is focused on areas of commercial opportunity and has already delivered a number of high profile and interesting uses of English Heritage properties alongside spearheading the revitalisation of their licensing programme. Kingston has an extensive background of hospitality and events management.
Duncan Smith – Head of Commercial Services, St Paul’s Cathedral
Duncan is Head of Commercial Services for St Paul’s Cathedral. The Cathedral relies on self-generated income through diverse commercial trading sources, from admissions, ticketing and catering to filming, corporate events and retail. With a background in catering, Duncan has had several roles within the Cathedral including corporate events, PR, marketing and travel trade and most recently Commercial Manager, overseeing the busy retail activity.
Rod Taylor – Chief Operating Officer, Royal Armouries Museum
As Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of the Royal Armouries trading company, Rod has led a major project to substantially improve financial sustainability through new income streams across the group’s venues at the Tower of London, Fort Nelson in Portsmouth and the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Rod was previously Deputy Director at the Hepworth Wakefield, where he helped to form the charity and launched the new-build gallery that achieved international and critical acclaim and won a number of prestigious awards.
Laura Wright – CEO, Postal Museum
Laura has been CEO of the Postal Museum since June 2018. In this role she is responsible for ensuring that the museum fulfils its mission and is open to as wide an audience as possible while also remaining financially sustainable. Previously Laura spent eight years as CEO of Tate Enterprises, the revenue generating company belonging to Tate Galleries, having originally joined Tate in 1999 prior to the opening of Tate Modern. In that role she oversaw publishing, retail, licensing and product development for all four Tate galleries.
Iain Watson – Iain Watson Cultural Consulting
Iain is a Visiting Professor at Newcastle University and a consultant working across the cultural sector. He is a trustee of the Amber Side Collection, of the Association for Cultural Enterprises and of the Tyneside Cinema. He is an Advisory Board member at Art UK and at the Living Archive. He has written and lectured extensively, in the UK and abroad, on cultural policy, museums, archives and heritage.
Equality and Diversity Statement
We are an inclusive, equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our staff and volunteer teams. All recruitment and employment is decided on the basis of experience, merit and organisational need.
Association for Cultural Enterprises. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, no 6480726. Registered office Unit B7, Durham Dales Centre, Castle Gardens, Stanhope, Bishop Auckland, DL13 2FJ. Registered charity 1122763
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