Kathryn has extensive experience in many areas of the media industry including national newspapers, magazines and radio. She has also turned her hand to running cross-media initiatives that expanded her role into television, posters, radio and cinema. Now as CEO of Pearl & Dean, she just focuses on film and cinema. Building on the reputation of Pearl & Dean, the team have grown their activities outside of the usual venues into pop up cinema, cinemas on luxurious ships, film partnerships and product placement.
As well as her role at Pearl&Dean, Kathryn is a member of the RADA development board, the Council and Board of the Advertising Association and is on the Executive Council of SAWA, the worldwide trade body for cinema advertising. Kathryn is the Chair of the Advertising Association workstream on Inclusion, an initiative that involves every aspect of the communications industry. She has also co-authored two books on diversity and inclusion. The first, published in 2016, was “The Glass Wall” and focused on gender equality and opportunity. The second “Belonging :The key to Transforming and Maintaining Diversity, Inclusion and Equality”, published in 2020, reflected the necessity of driving inclusion across all underrepresented groups.
Ruth is a proud GP and academic with nearly a decade of experience as a senior healthcare leader, including latterly as Chair of the organisation that oversees the running of the NHS in Manchester. She is Lead for Ethics and Law at Manchester Medical School and has particular expertise in health inequalities, inclusion health, homeless healthcare and Complex Safeguarding. Through her board roles, she has been actively involved in Arts and Creative Health for several years now, believing passionately that good health comes from so much more than medicine alone. She is a devoted mum to two sons, one of whom is, very usefully, a walking encyclopaedia of film. When life allows, she loves to spend her spare time singing and dancing, sometimes on stage, sometimes simply round her kitchen.
Sita has over 30 years of sales, marketing and ticketing experience in UK theatre with tenures at venues, agencies and most recently, WhatsOnStage where she was the COO for more than seven years. She now works as a freelance consultant for the industry specialising in audience development and diversification.
Sita also sits on the boards of Kiln Theatre in north London and Curve theatre in Leicester and recently stepped down as Chair of Tonic Theatre after two terms.
Victoria Pinnington is the Director, Communications and Income Generation at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, a leading UK visitor attraction located in south London. Victoria is a member of the Horniman’s senior management team and is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Communications and Income Generation directorate – comprising commercial, communications, digital, events programming, fundraising, marketing, membership and visitor experience teams. An experienced communications and business development strategist, Victoria has over 25 years’ management experience in both private and public sectors. Prior to the Horniman and working in the cultural sector, Victoria enjoyed roles in education as Head of International Marketing at King’s College London and a range of other business development roles working across Asia, Latin America and Europe. Victoria is a proud Mancunian, holds a degree in Latin American Studies, a CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing and is a Full Member of the Institute of Fundraising. She is also a Trustee at Kids in Museums, a governor at Forest Hill School and lives in south east London with her husband and two young sons.
Raj is the Managing Director of Richard Haworth, a leading supplier of hospitality textiles in the UK, a company founded in 1876. Raj is also Director of the Ruia Group, a 2nd generation family-owned textile company with a turnover of c.£100m, it is one of the largest privately owned textile groups in the UK.
Raj is also the founder of Rhode Island Coffee, an award-winning regional chain of coffee shops based in the North West of England.
Raj Is married to Reshma Ruia, a published author and poet, and has two children, Ravi and Sabrina. He is passionate about the arts (especially south Asian), India, travel and making a difference outside the world of business.
Natalie Ibu is the artistic director and CEO of theatre company tiata fahodzi. Previously she was the Creative Producer for In Good Company, launching the regional artist development programme in the East Midlands for Derby Theatre, Embrace Arts Leicester and Create Mansfield. Other roles include Programme Manager at the Roundhouse, Creative Producer for Only Connect and Associate Director (Warehouse) for HighTide Festival Productions. As a director, credits include readings and productions of new plays in venues in Scotland and England. Natalie is a trustee of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme and she is a South East Area Council Member for Arts Council England.
Jo Bloxham is a keen supporter of the arts, with a particular interest in the visual arts. She has been a Board Member of the Crafts Council for four years, the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair since its conception, and was previously a Board Member of Manchester Art Gallery. She is a collector of contemporary art jewellery and regularly curates jewellery exhibitions for Manchester Art Gallery and specialist international galleries. Jo is patron of Tate, Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth, Manchester International Festival, Liverpool Biennial, the Heyward Gallery and the Southbank Centre
Chris was the Director covering Education, Quality and Commissioning, for the NHS in the North West, covering education strategy and contracts, workforce development, Deanery and medical and dental school liaison. He had previously been an NHS trust Finance Director.
He is also Lay member for Finance and Audit for Manchester Health and Care Commissioning and a trustee for Stockport Plaza Theatre trust. He is a listening volunteer for Samaritans and engaged in suicide prevention training and activities and a climate activist with Extinction Rebellion.
Outside of his voluntary activities, Chris does lots of hill walking and tennis and has a wide range of interests including film, theatre, art, architecture and philosophy.
Chris is married with three grown up children and lives in Cheadle Hulme
Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE is the Deputy Leader for Manchester City Council and previously served as Executive Member for Schools, Skills, Culture & Leisure. He is a strong advocate for the role of culture in the development of the city and believes that all members of the community should be able to participate in the broadest range of cultural activities. He initiated the city’s first Culture Awards in 2019 and the Festival of Manchester – a large scale community event in Platt Fields park, which showcased the vibrancy and diversity of culture and creativity in the city.