The Board

ALAN STACEY – CHAIR

Alan became the Executive Director of Headlong Theatre Company in July 2016 and was previously Director of Development and Commercial Investment at the Young Vic, and Managing Director of Young Vic Films working alongside Artistic Director David Lan. Alan’s previous roles at the Young Vic include Executive Director (Sabbatical Cover), with shows including the acclaimed A View from the Bridge and A Streetcar Named Desire, and Director of Marketing and Press. Before that he was Marketing and Sales Manager at Bill Kenwright Ltd, with responsibility for marketing dozens of touring shows and several in the West End. He is also Chair of the Board for Reading Rep.

SUZANNE STALLARD – VICE CHAIR AND SAFEGUARDING LEAD

Reading born Suzanne Stallard is an artist and designer. She is the founder of jelly, a Reading based arts charity formed in 1993. During her 20 years as Director of jelly, she has seen the organisation move and develop strategically over 5 homes plus many other short term pop-up spaces. She has developed artists’ studios, delivered innovative artist programmes, exhibitions, events, an education programme and has worked with many of Reading’s artists and creative groups delivering collaborative projects. Recently Suzanne was nominated as the Heritage Representative for the Community for Reading’s Cultural Partnership. Suzanne has a BA Hons degree in Fine Art and is also an active Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

PIERS ELLIOTT

Piers is a senior associate in the Financial Institutions Disputes Group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He acts for a broad range of financial institutions on civil litigation and contentious regulatory matters. He specialises in complex finance disputes and has significant experience of high value, large scale matters which often have a multi-jurisdictional dimension.

JONATHAN HOLLEY

A senior executive with experience in engaging and galvanizing people around the transformation and organisation journey. Currently Managing Director of Nationwide Hire Ltd, and a Partner in Breaking Barriers Innovations, Jonathan’s background is in IT, Property, FM, Management Consultancy at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Business Leadership. Jonathan has designed and delivered innovative change and transformation programmes within the public and private sectors including FMCG, Retail, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services and Government across EMEA and Asia.

ALEXANDRA DEWIS – SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION

Alexandra has 12 years’ experience in marketing, branding, PR and event management, with expertise in B2B and B2C start-ups and corporates. She has run popular annual events for Hammerson Plc at The Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading and founded a national industry award-winning sustainable clothing company, Alexandra Vintage. As a non-executive member of the board of trustees of Jelly arts charity, Alexandra supports and advises on events, marketing, and building key relationships within Reading’s local community. As a co-founder of Pineapple – a social impact organisation aiming to bring together social and commercial enterprises, to create more social purpose businesses – she is passionate about championing social purpose business for the greater good.

NATASHA RATTER

Natasha is the Trusts and Foundations Manager at the Natural History Museum, working to fund projects that re-connect people to the natural world. She was previously Development Manager at the Young Vic theatre working under Artistic Director David Lan, followed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Prior to this she was a fundraising consultant running six and seven figure campaigns for arts and education organisations across the UK. 

 

PAUL NEWMAN – ACTIVATE LEARNING REPRESENTATIVE

Paul is on the Group Executive Team of Activate Learning. Activate Learning is a forward-thinking and employment-focused educational group that brings together further and higher education, secondary schools, apprenticeships, training and consultancy for business as well as commercial enterprise. Paul has worked in teaching and management roles at Reading College for over six years, and has an MSc in Applied Management from the University of Reading.

JUDITH FOSS

Judith joined the Board in August 2021.  With extensive executive level experience across both the private and not-for-profit sectors, previous roles include Executive Director of HR with Guide Dogs and Executive Director of People and Culture with Catalyst Housing.  Awards include the “Brand, Purpose and Values” Business Culture Award and she is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  Other current roles include Board Vice Chair and Chair of the People.  She has lived in the Reading area for many years and is passionate about the role that the arts and culture can play in transforming lives and local communities.

 

AIDEN GROUNDS

Aidan is currently Associate Producer and General Manager at Greene Light Stage. Current productions include & Juliet and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella.  He was previously Executive Producer at Curve Leicester where he produced the critically acclaimed streamed productions of Sunset Boulevard (‘a game changer’) and The Color Purple; a 5 star revival of West Side Story; the world premiere stage adaptation of Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette with original music by the Pet Shop Boys; and Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees’ Giraffes Can’t Dance. He has worked in his hometown of Southampton at both Nuffield Southampton Theatres and MAST Mayflower Studios as well as the Young Vic, Air-Edel, and with producer Thelma Holt CBE. He was the inaugural Executive Director of Reading Rep which he joined at its inception while studying at Oxford University.

Aidan has been supported by UnLtd and EY’s Accelerate Programme for social entrepreneurs. He is a Trustee for Stage One. He is proud of his Vincentian and Indian background.

 

TARIQ RIFAAT

Tariq is Managing Director of Steeldeck Rentals Ltd. who provide temporary demountable staging and seating solutions for the live events industry including theatre, festivals, TV & film, and fashion shows. Tariq previously worked in the theatre industry for over 30 years in Production and Stage Management. As a full-time member of staff at the National Theatre from 2015-2021, Tariq production managed over 20 productions under Rufus Norris’ artistic leadership, including People, Places & Things, Angels in America, Amadeus, and Small Island. Previously he was Production Manager at the Royal Court for 8 years and has also worked as a freelance Production Manager in the West End and at several producing theatres around London including the Young Vic, Kiln Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe. Tariq began his career as a Stage Manager, working in theatres across the country as well as touring productions internationally, most notably Riverdance. Tariq often mentors students and young professionals training in Production Management and Technical Theatre to help support and develop the next generation of theatre technicians.

 

PREVIOUS BOARD MEMBERS

Thelma Holt CBE
Laura Gater
Alexandra Rowlands
Siobhan White
Emma Donald
Ian Germer