Ralph Bernard CBE, Chairman
Ralph Bernard's career in media began as a journalist on various newspapers in London and Cambridge before moving into radio in 1975 in Sheffield. In 1977 he became a documentaries producer for independent radio based in Sheffield, producing the first commercial radio network documentary. He was responsible for the first corporate merger in commercial radio, creating GWR Group from a merger of Wiltshire Radio and Radio West in Bristol. GWR became an extraordinary commercial success and under Ralph's stewardship became the most successful commercial radio group in the UK. He led the team which created Classic FM which launched in 1992, he was a founder Director and the Chief Executive from 1996 to 2008 and then Chairman from 2008 to 2012. Ralph was awarded the CBE in 2002 for his services to broadcasting. Ralph became Chairman of Central School of Ballet in April 2008.
Pim Baxter is currently Deputy Director at the National Portrait Gallery, where she has also headed up the Communications and Development team since 1997 and more recently has taken on overall responsibility for the Personnel team. Over the years she has gained extensive knowledge of strategic planning and her role has included fundraising and sponsorship, communications, event and project management, leading a capital project, advocacy, public speaking and personnel relations. She has worked across the arts including in opera, visual arts and theatre. Prior to the National Portrait Gallery she spent eight years with the National Theatre. Pim has a wide range of mentoring experience - with the City University Cultural Leadership Programme, Arts Marketing Association and Arts & Business. She is also on the Board of ALVA (the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions), the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill and Faversham Counselling and has been a Governor of Mid-Kent College since December 2012. She is a member of, and Co-Chairs, the Women Leaders in Museums group. In March 2010 Pim was chosen as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme's 50 'Women to Watch' nominated within the creative and cultural sector. Pim was appointed to Central's Board in 2013.
Dr Virginia Brooke Virginia Brooke is Chairman of NixonBrooke, a niche consultancy firm which provides board-level independent advice on the strategic, management and commercial aspects of IT-enabled business change. She has worked in this capacity for PA Consulting Group and Capgemini for clients in central government and finance; travelling around Europe and North America. She is a member of the Whitehall and Industry Group encouraging dialogue between the public and private sectors and has a doctorate in management sciences from Somerville College, Oxford. Virginia's involvement with Central School of Ballet began in 1998 when she joined the Advisory Board to help with strategy development, planning and business management. She became a Governor in 2001. Virginia is a member of the Council of Goldsmiths, University of London. She is very keen that today's young talent has the opportunity to realise their potential and so champions education, the performing arts and innovation.
Simon Cole Simon is Chief Executive of UBC Media Group plc. After reading Drama at Manchester University, Simon joined the BBC for his initial training in the radio medium. He moved rapidly to commercial radio, joining Manchester's Piccadilly Radio in 1983. After only 3 years as presenter and producer, winning the industry's coveted 'Sony' award twice for "Best Classical" and "Best Pop Music" programmes, he became the station's Head of Programmes. In 1987, after he had predicted the emergence of an independent production sector, the board of Piccadilly Radio plc asked him to establish just such an operation on their behalf. PPM Radiowaves was the result, and the company went on to establish the market for sponsored networked programmes. In 1989, Simon left to establish The Unique Broadcasting Company which became market leader in both the production of network radio programmes for commercial radio throughout the UK and BBC Radio. In July 2000, Unique floated on the London Stock Exchange AIM as part of UBC Media Group with Simon as the Group Chief Executive. Whilst continuing its involvement in radio production, UBC has become a leader in the emerging digital radio industry. The company has developed software products which are powering the new interactive and data services sector of digital radio both here in the UK and in the USA. Earlier this year UBC sold its successful commercial radio networking business to Global Traffic Network of the US for $9million plus an earnout over the next 3 years. In December 2001, Simon was made a Fellow of the Radio Academy. Simon has supported Central School of Ballet for a number of years and subsequently joined the Board of Governors and the Campaign Council (Chairman) in September 2009.
Carole joined the Royal Ballet Touring Company in 1958 and soon danced soloist roles including the Queen of the Wilis in Giselle and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. Her main career was spent at The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, where she had a number of roles created for her by John Cranko and Kenneth MacMillan, most notably one of the three Harlots in MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet and her portrayal of Helena in Sir Frederick Ashton's The Dream. On leaving the Company, Carole pursued a freelance career in films and television before retiring from the stage to bring up her two children. After completing the Professional Dancers Teaching Course at the Royal Academy of Dance, she taught for four years at the Bush-Davies School before becoming a founder full-time member of the Central School of Ballet faculty in 1982. Carole has taught at all year groups at Central with a focus on teaching the Third Years and coaching them in repertoire in preparation of the annual Ballet Central Tour.
David Gray David is Chairman of the Gas & Electricity Markets Authority (Ofgem) and he is also a non-executive director of the Civil Aviation Authority. David spent 30 years working in financial markets as an investment analyst and subsequently in corporate finance, where he led HSBC's team in the Energy & Utilities sector. From 2003 - 2007 he was an executive director of Ofgem where he led the Networks division. He subsequently advised the government on economic regulation of airports and led a review of the water sector regulator, Ofwat, before taking up his current position as Chair of Ofgem in 2013. He joined Central's Board of Governors in 2008.
Stephen Kane Having studied Surveying at Northern Polytechnic, Stephen's career as a Commercial Surveyor began in 1972 when he joined the Estates Department of Finlay and Company Ltd (the retail subsidiary of the Imperial Tobacco Group PLC.) He later joined Ayton Hooper Chartered Surveyors (1974-1977) where he became an Associate Partner and then Elliott Son and Boyton (1977-1992) becoming a joint Senior Equity Partner, Head of the National Retail and Leisure Department and Managing Director of the London Office. In 1992, Stephen established Stephen Kane and Company, Chartered Surveyors, specialising in the retail and leisure sectors of the UK and European property markets. Retained clients include: Academy Music Group; Apostrophe; Blacks Leisure PLC; Brooks Brothers; Caroline Charles; David Clulow; Edward Green; Futon Company; Gant; Greggs PLC; Hobbs; Mark Wilkinson Furniture; Original Penguin; Pandora; Paramount Restaurant Group; Patara Restaurants; Ponti's Restaurant Group; Smallbone of Devizes and Sunglass Hut. In addition, Stephen has held positions as a non-Executive Director with a number of companies including, historically, Hobbs Ltd, David Clulow, Oasis Stores, and, currently, with Brooks Brothers UK Ltd, and Ponti's Restaurants Ltd. Following a number of years of involvement with Central School of Ballet, Stephen was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2010.
Wendy Pallot Wendy trained as a chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand. She worked for seven years as the Group Finance Director of FTSE 250 company GCap Media - the UK's largest commercial radio operator with turnover of £200 million and over 2,000 staff. Wendy is now Group Finance Director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. She is also Chairman of Quidem Ltd, a group of local radio stations in the West Midlands. Wendy was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2008.
Tim Parsonson Tims background is in telecoms and technology businesses, primarily in the UK and South Africa. In 2008 he co-founded Teraco in South Africa, now Africas largest provider of data centre services. Teracos data centres colocate over 100 telecom carrier networks, cloud and internet service providers and serve as the hubs from which global content providers and carriers access the African continent. He has made investments in a number of private companies, including Undo Software in Cambridge, where he serves as Chairman and Webafrica in Cape Town, where he is a Non-Executive Director. Prior to Teraco, in 1998 Tim co-founded Storm Telecom, a provider of telecoms services in South Africa, which grew to employ 170 people and serve around 6000 businesses. The company was acquired by a listed South African group in 2008. Tim has an MA in Mathematics from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Tim and his wife Jacqueline and two children now live in Cambridge. Tim was appointed to Centrals Board of Governors in April 2015.
Susan Scott Parker OBE Susan Scott-Parker is the Founder and Chief Executive of Business Disability Forum (BDF). The Forum is the worlds leading employer organisation promoting the economic and social inclusion of disabled people. Launched in 1991 by HRH the Prince of Wales, BDF now has some 350 members who employ circa 20% of the UK workforce. BDF makes it easier to employ disabled people, serve disabled customers and develop partnerships with disabled people in the wider community. Susan has built an international reputation as a passionate and authoritative advocate for the advantages for business of disability confidence. She has empowered the private and public sector towards new ways of thinking about business, working directly with board level and other senior players at Partners such as Cisco, American Express, Barclays, Royal Mail, GlaxoSmithKline and Ernst & Young. Susan is now working with GSK and Barclays Bank to create Business Disability International, which will enable global business to transform their relationships with disabled people, and with public policy makers and civil society. Susan joined Central School of Ballets Board of Governors in 2003.
Simon Sporborg Simon is the UK Managing Partner of Brunswick Group LLP, a leading international corporate communications firm providing informed advice at a senior level. Simon joined Brunswick in 1998 and works on a range of financial and corporate accounts with a predominate focus on clients in the consumer industries and real estate sectors. He works with these clients on reputation management as well as mergers and acquisitions; crisis management; and raising their corporate profile. Prior to joining Brunswick he completed an MBA at Cass Business School and served in the British Army for four years. Simon is also a Non-Executive Director of MerchantCantos and on the Campaign Board of The Place2Be. Simon was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2009.
Charlotte Talbot Charlotte trained at Central School of Ballet from 1989 to 1992, touring with Ballet Central in her graduation year and then following Director Christopher Gable to Northern Ballet Theatre where she danced between 1992 to 2003, under the direction of Gable, Stefano Giannetti and David Nixon. As a principal dancer she has danced a wide range of classical and contemporary repertoire and was fortunate to have many roles created on her by prolific choreographers. She has performed in numerous European cities, America, China and Japan and toured extensively throughout the UK. Between 2001 and 2004 she worked as a freelance guest artist performing works by the late French choreographer Roland Petit and she retired from the stage in 2004 to start a family. Since 2009 Charlotte has worked as Guest Ballet Mistress and assistant to Director/choreographer David Nixon working on the creation and re-staging of his ballets. Charlotte was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2012.
Andrew Tuckey Andrew is a Senior Adviser at Quayle Munro, a corporate finance advisory firm. After qualifying as a chartered accountant, Andrew worked at Barings for thirty years, predominantly as a corporate finance advisor and latterly as Deputy Chairman of the group. Prior to joining Quayle Munro in 2008, Andrew was a senior corporate finance advisor with Phoenix (then acquired by DLJ), Credit Suisse, and latterly with Bridgewell (then acquired by Landsbanki). Andrews career has encompassed a wide range of UK and international experience; he served on the International Advisory Board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the Financial Law Panel, the board of Dillon Read, the investment banking Supervisory Board of Credit Lyonnais. He was treasurer of the Friends of Covent Garden and board member of the Royal Opera House. Currently Andrew is the Chairman of the Watermill Theatre. Andrew joined Centrals Board of Governors in 2004.
Jonathan Wood Jonathan is a partner at the international law firm, Weil Gotshal & Manges, specialising in mergers and acquisitions, principally for private equity investors. Jonathan also sits on the committee of the Serpentine Gallery's Future Contemporaries group and chairs the Rosebery Group at Sadler's Wells. Jonathan joined Central School of Ballet's Board of Governors in 2007.
Tamas Wood Tamas is a Director in the Public Sector Audit practice at KPMG LLP where he works with clients in the government and not-for-profit sectors. A chartered accountant, Tamas is an experienced external auditor and Head of Internal Audit, specialising in Board development and risk management. Tamas was appointed to Centrals Board of Governors and Chair of the Audit Committee in 2013.
Maintaining Membership to the Board of Governors in terms of representation in number and skill-set is paramount to ensure the continued success and development of Central School of Ballet. Therefore, stringent procedures are in place to uphold this and to undertake the recruitment of new Governors when positions become vacant. Further details on Board recruitment procedures are available upon request from the Company Secretary at email@example.com