Central School Of Ballet


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 OBE

Pim Baxter OBE is currently Deputy Director at the National Portrait Gallery, where she has also headed up Development since 1997 and more recently Human Resources. Pim has worked across the arts including in opera, visual arts and theatre. 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 also has a wide range of mentoring experience. Prior to the National Portrait Gallery she spent eight years with the National Theatre. She is on the Board of ALVA (the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions), is a Governor at MidKent College, Chairs Faversham Counselling Services and has been a Lay Canon at St Paul’s Cathedral since 2014 and a Governor of St Paul’s Cathedral School since 2017. She is also a Kent Ambassador. Pim was awarded an OBE for services to the arts in the 2015 New Year’s Honours She was appointed to Central's Board in 2013.

Dr Virginia Brooke

Virginia Brooke’s professional career was spent as a management consultant providing board-level advice on business strategy, business transformation, and digital/IT strategy for clients in the finance and central government sectors. She worked in this capacity with PA Consulting Group and Cap Gemini for international clients throughout Europe and North America. After founding her own firm sixteen years ago, Virginia has now retired and is a non-executive director and mentor. She has a doctorate in systems engineering from Somerville College, Oxford.

Virginia’s involvement with Central School of Ballet began in 1998 when she joined the Advisory Board to assist with strategy development, planning and business management. She became a Governor in 2001 and continues in this role. Virginia has also been a member of Council of Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is passionate about the arts and keen to ensure that today’s young talent has the opportunity to realise their potential and so champions higher education in the performing and visual arts. She is herself a practising artist.

Simon Cole

Simon is is an experienced media and technology executive. He currently serves as Senior Non Executive Director at virtual reality company Melody VR, having worked in the last 20 years in both radio programme production and streaming music.

After studying Drama at Manchester University, Simon joined the BBC for his initial training in the radio medium, moving rapidly into commercial radio and joining Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio in 1983. In 1987, after he predicted the emergence of an independent production sector, the board of Piccadilly Radio plc asked him to setup just such an operation, PPM airwaves. The company went on to establish the market for sponsored networked programmes. In 1989, Simon left to found The Unique Broadcasting Company which became the market leader in both the production of network radio programmes for commercial radio throughout the UK and BBC Radio. In 2000, Unique floated on the London Stock Exchange as part of UBC Media Group plc with Simon as Chief Executive. UBC Media were leaders in content production and software development for the global radio and online communities. During his time as Chief Executive for UBC Media, Simon oversaw the acquisition of several production companies in both London and Manchester and drove the Company’s move into new online platforms. In 2001 Simon was made Fellow of the Radio Academy. In 2104, UBC merged with 7digital to create a global leading company in end-to-end digital music solutions with Simon as Chief Executive.

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 Gable

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 Mutual Energy, an energy infrastructure company in Northern Ireland, and 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, when he led HSBC’s team in the energy sector. From 2003 – 2007 he was an executive director of Ofgem where he led the Networks division. He subsequently advised government on the economic regulation of airports and led a review of the water sector regulator, Ofwat. He returned to Ofgem as Chair from 2013 to 2018. He joined Central’s Board of Governors in 2008.

Christopher Hampson

Christopher Hampson joined Scottish Ballet as Artistic Director in 2012 and was appointed Artistic Director / Chief Executive of Scottish Ballet in 2015.

Christopher trained at the Royal Ballet Schools. His choreographic work began there and continued at English National Ballet (ENB), where he danced until 1999 and for whom he subsequently created numerous award-winning works, including Double Concerto which won a National Dance Award, Perpetuum Mobile and The Nutcracker. Christopher’s production of Romeo and Juliet, created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB), was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award (Best New Production 2005). Christopher created Sinfonietta Giocosa for the Atlanta Ballet (USA) in 2006 and after a New York tour it received its UK premiere with ENB in 2007. He created Cinderella for RNZB, and was subsequently hailed as Best New Production by the New Zealand Herald and televised by TVNZ in 2009. His work has toured Australia, China, the USA and throughout Europe. Other commissions include, Dear Norman (Royal Ballet, 2009); Sextet (Ballet Black, 2010); Silhouette (RNZB, 2010), Rite of Spring (Atlanta Ballet, 2011), Storyville (Ballet Black, 2012) nominated for a National Dance Award 2012, and Hansel and Gretel (Scottish Ballet 2013).

Since Christopher joined Scottish Ballet, the Company has performed in theatres across the world including: The Kennedy Center, The Royal Opera House, The Maryinsky Theatre and the Joyce Theatre, New York. He has brought some of the most sought after creators in dance to work with Scottish Ballet, including Crystal Pite, David Dawson, Javier de Frutos and Helen Pickett. In 2017, Scottish Ballet curated the world’s first Digital Season for dance creations to be viewed only via digital platforms. He also established a Dancer’s Education Group (DEG) allowing dancers to receive structured and bespoke training in community engagement and teaching while pursuing their stage careers.

Beyond Scottish Ballet, Christopher participated in TEDx Glasgow, giving a talk on ‘Creative Thinking’. He also developed and led the inaugural Young Rural Retreat for Aspiring Leaders, in association with Dance East. Christopher is a co-founder of the International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague and has been a guest teacher for many major international companies and his work now forms part of the Solo Seal Award for the Royal Academy of Dance.

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 Pallot is Chief Financial Officer of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. Wendy has over 15 years’ experience working as a director in UK main market listed companies in the media sector. Between 2011 and 2018, Wendy was Group Finance Director of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Prior to that, she was Group Finance Director for GCap Media plc and GWR Group plc. Wendy is the Non-Executive Chair and co-founder of a company which operates local radio stations. She was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2008 and is also Chair of the Finance Committee.

Tim Parsonson

Tim's 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 has over 40 years’ investment banking experience advising a wide range of clients including private and public companies and government institutions. After qualifying as a chartered accountant Andrew worked at Barings for thirty years predominantly as a corporate finance adviser and latterly as Deputy Chairman of the group. Andrew was Executive Chairman of Quayle Munro, a corporate finance advisory firm, for a number of years. Quayle Munro was acquired by Houlihan Lokey in 2018 where Andrew continues to be closely involved in the business as a Senior Adviser. Andrew’s 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 and the boards of Dillon Read and Credit Lyonnais. Andrew is on the board of a number of companies and is Chairman of Teraco, the South African data business, and the Watermill Theatre. Andrew joined Central’s 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 board of the Serpentine Gallery and the board of the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre. Jonathan joined Central School of Ballet's Board of Governors in 2007.

Tamas Wood

Tamas is a Partner at KPMG LLP. A chartered accountant, he is an experienced external audit, internal audit and risk management practitioner specialising in bespoke risk management and assurance services. Tamas was appointed to Central’s Board of Governors and as 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 governor@csbschool.co.uk

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