At Tobacco Factory Theatres we are well supported by a fantastic board of trustees. Please see biographies below.
SARAH SMITH (CHAIR)
Sarah is a professional business manager, with over 30 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors. As a Director of Elev8 Ltd she currently specialises in management consultancy, business development and project management working in the private and public sectors. Prior to this her roles included Development Manager, General Manager and, for three years, CEO of the Bristol Old Vic as well as being General Manager of the Hall for Cornwall Trust. Sarah was Project Director for the Redevelopment of Bristol Old Vic’s Georgian auditorium, rehearsal rooms and back of house completed in 2012.
Bertel’s experience of the arts covers a wide range of areas including literature, theatre and dance. His past roles include working for the Yardstick Black Writers Festival, the Bristol Old Vic, Kuumba, Circomedia and the Plymouth International Book Festival. He is currently the Director of Bristol publishers, City Chameleon which supports emerging creative writers from a range of cultural and social perspectives. His current role involves commissioning, designing and publishing books and promoting live literature events and theatre.
Mark is the Managing Director of Simpleweb, a Bristol-based studio creating digital products for start-ups and companies that want to act like start-ups. Over the years he has solved problems for a range of clients from Banksy to BP. Mark has over 20 years’ experience in the digital sector and specialises in product delivery, digital marketing, and simplifying technology.
Anna enjoyed a long and varied career in the cultural sector, initially at Tate Gallery, then as Director of the National Museums of Wales, and ultimately Chief Executive of MLA, the Museums Libraries and Archives Council. Since 1975 she has served on the boards of a number of grant making bodies, both independent and in the public sector. She chaired the Barrow Cadbury Trust from 1996 to 2006, and remains their Lead Trustee for the Young Adults and Criminal Justice programme. Having joined the board in 2006, Anna served as Vice Chair of Big Lottery Fund from 2008 to 2014. She has also enjoyed a number of roles with arts organisations. These currently include Chair of Arnolfini, Bristol’s contemporary arts centre, and Vice Chair of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.
Matt is a venture capital investor, working with start-up technology companies in the UK and abroad. Matt has been in the VC business for since 2002 and has backed over 60 tech start-ups in this time, across many different sectors. Matt has a passion for empowerment, and wants to see everyone get a fair chance, wherever they are from.
Mike is a retired Chartered Accountant. After qualifying in Bristol with one of the major accountancy practices, he worked for twenty years in the financial services sector (insurance and banking) before moving to the charity sector for the following ten years. He was finance director of the YHA for five years, and then held director of resources posts at a number of smaller charities, before retiring in 2013. He brings strong financial skills and significant charity experience to the board of trustees, of which he has been a member since 2018.
Claudia was one of the top ten fundraising directors in the UK charitable sector before her appointment as Chief Executive of Tenovus Cancer Care. She has more than thirty years experience in the voluntary sector, from running charity shops in Oxfam to the major cancer charity in Wales. Claudia has a reputation for hard-hitting campaigns, always geared to fundraising as well as awareness raising. She is extraordinarily creative, and seriously customer-focussed. She is a hard negotiator with Large Corporates and sympathetically tough with Major Donors and Lotteries. To her organisation, she also brings a passion for equal rights and is not only a great mentor, but also an empathetic teacher, particularly when coaching juniors on assertiveness and communication skills.
Ewen is an adopted son of the West Country having moved to Bristol (from his home town in the north of Scotland) in 1989. He is a solicitor and a partner at TLT, within the firms nationally recognised alcohol and gambling licensing practise. Ewen represents a number of nationally recognised clients (as well as significant number of independent operators) in the retail and hospitality sector, including theatre operators. He has previously undertaken other voluntary roles within the city including being a trustee and board director at the Trinity Centre. Over the years Ewen has enjoyed numerous productions at the Tobacco Factory, notable amongst them Othello, Jigsy (Les Dennis – a revelation!), Living with the Lights On and the wonderful Christmas productions.
Christelle is the Founder and Creative Director at Razana Afrika and the Cultural Heritage Manager at Black South West Network. Her work is focused on culture, heritage and visual art. Christelle’s professional background includes working in the education sector for over 15 years undertaking programme/project management roles with an international focus.
Christelle has also worked in the fashion industry for the last 10 years as a freelance makeup artist and her work experience covers advertising campaigns, magazine shoots, films, music videos, TV shows, Fashion Week. Christelle has expanded her skills into producing fashion events and has extensive experience of event management.
Christelle is also a co-director and a performer in a small theatre company called Black Women Let Loose Theatre Company and she is a presenter on Imperial Voice Radio with a show called Fashion Rendez-vous exploring areas of fashion and textile especially in relation to Africa and the diaspora.
Joe is a Digital Producer with a particular interest in immersive media and audience development. He has produced a range of innovative and award-winning digital projects, many during 7 years at the BBC. As an associate for The Space he has supported over 60 arts & heritage organisations develop and produce digital projects, and with his company Sideburn Panda has worked on the ‘Global Values: Where Do You Fit?’ Quiz for BBC Tomorrow’s World, the Dan Snow-fronted ‘Passchendaele 100’ and ‘Cambrai 100’ campaigns for the Royal British Legion and is currently developing the in-gallery digital content for Nottingham City Council’s £30m redevelopment of Nottingham Castle.