Chair of the Board of Trustees
Peter Harkness is a media entrepreneur and an experienced charity trustee. He joined the Trust at its launch and became chairman in 2016. He is chairman of Ink Global, which is the media partner of more than 25 airlines around the world, with divisions in the USA and Asia and headquartered in London. Peter is also chairman and co-owner of the magazine and e-commerce group MyTime Media; chairman of a venture capital trust and Senior Independent Director of the £500m business information group, GlobalData plc.
Before re-locating to the Cheltenham area Peter was a Trustee and vice-chairman of the York Museums Trust, which manages York's Art Gallery and two major museums and was a pioneer 12 years ago of the charitable trust model for managing civic assets upon which The Cheltenham Trust is based.
Over many years Peter and his family found themselves visiting Cheltenham’s festivals and cultural attractions so often that they bought a second home in the town and in 2013 they moved permanently from Yorkshire to a farm near Cheltenham where Peter raises award-winning pedigree sheep. Inspired by his connections with the art galleries in York and Cheltenham, Peter recently spent two years studying History of Art at the University of Buckingham and was awarded an MA.
Duncan is an accountant currently working for a national bank. He has extensive financial and commercial experience gained across a wide range of sectors including IT, retail, shipping and the public sector.
Duncan was a borough councillor for 18 years and also served on the County Council for eight years. During that time, he was Mayor of Cheltenham, leader of the Borough Council and is now an Alderman of Cheltenham.
He has held a wide range of charitable and community based roles including vice-chairman of Cheltenham Borough Homes, trustee and governor at Balcarras School, and governor of 2gether, the NHS Foundation Trust providing mental health services in Gloucestershire.
Martin worked in charity marketing and fundraising before being Cheltenham’s MP from 2005 to 2015. He is now the parliamentary spokesperson for the local Liberal Democrats.
He was Director of Fundraising at the Alzheimer’s Society and held fundraising and marketing positions at Oxfam GB, Oxfam India and Help the Aged (now AgeUK) before that. Immediately prior to being elected, he was Head of Consultancy for a Cheltenham-based agency advising third sector clients on fundraising and marketing strategy.
Martin was born and grew up in Cheltenham and is also a trustee for the Cheltenham Housing Aid Centre, Insight Gloucestershire and the Emthonjeni Trust and has links with many other local clubs and organisations. He lives in Cheltenham with his family who have been regular users of all of the Trust’s venues.
Judith has become involved with various voluntary roles since retirement, including as a trustee at Bletchley Park, a school governor in Cheltenham and leading, and fund raising for, a heritage restoration project as a member of a community group in Pittville.
Her professional life has included teaching, the voluntary sector and, for most of her career, GCHQ, where she held a Board-level position and gained experience of senior management, large scale projects and corporate services.
Brought up in the Slad Valley and educated in Stroud and London, Judith has spent most of her life in Gloucestershire (apart from spells in Scotland and the USA) and is an enthusiastic participant in the cultural and leisure activities that Cheltenham and the vicinity offer. She has 3 grown-up children and 2 grandchildren.
Jacqui is an artist, curator, project and event manager. She is a partner in Creative Solutions, Director and Chair of Axiom Arts Ltd, and Creative Producer of the Cowley Road Carnival in Oxford. She is also an Arts Award advisor, manages public art projects, and validates Artsmark for the Arts Council and Trinity College.
Creative Solutions works both independently and for clients such as Groundwork UK, English Heritage and Creative Partnerships, to take high quality and innovative arts and media practice into new locations. Prior to establishing Creative Solutions, Jacqui worked as a principle arts officer for Birmingham City Council, running the award winning Gallery 37, and as an Audience Development Officer for the Arts Council. She was also a founder member of the Art House in Lewisham, and has lectured on artists’ professional development, public art and audience development.
Jacqui moved to Cheltenham 10 years ago in order to start both a family and a business, and has made it her home. She has an MA in Fine Art from Birmingham. She has a son and daughter at a local primary who - currently - like nothing better than joining in with arts and leisure pursuits. She is a keen mud runner, and will be attempting her first Cheltenham half marathon this year.
Ian has worked in horseracing for many years and is the Regional Director for the South West region of The Jockey Club, with his main area of responsibility lying in the management of Cheltenham Racecourse. Ian joined Cheltenham Racecourse during 2012, and has overseen the recent £45 million development of the racecourse, completed in November 2015.
Ian’s previous role was as Managing Director for Arena Leisure PLC, who owned seven racecourses at the time. During his eleven years at Arena Leisure, he also held non-executive positions as a Director of the governing body of British racing, the BHA, and as a Director of the Racecourse Association. Ian’s first role in racing was as a trainee manager at Cheltenham Racecourse, with subsequent roles managing Wincanton and Salisbury racecourses and as Clerk of the Course at Aintree.
Cheltenham has featured in Ian’s life since the days he came racing here as a schoolboy. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Magdalene College, Cambridge with a degree in Land Economy. Ian lives to the west of Oxford with his wife and has two children, both now working in London.
Laura has built a career in Procurement, focussing mainly on ICT (Information Communications Technology) procurement, in both the private and public sectors. She is very experienced in managing strategic supplier relationships, complex contract negotiations, and generating procurement strategies.
Laura worked for BT for 14 years, gaining experience from a number of different posts, then moved to Orange where she was involved in several procurement negotiations to support the success of the Orange/T-Mobile merger (EE), before taking a senior procurement role in the public sector 3 years ago.
Laura moved to Cheltenham 5 years ago after meeting her husband Dan, and Cheltenham has really become her home. She has always had a keen interest in sports and leisure (she has a BSc honours degree in Sports Science) - she played badminton at county level, and has a great love for outdoor activities such as horse riding and snowboarding.
Since being elected to Gloucestershire County Council in 1981, I have gained a wide range experience in local government locally and nationally in a range of senior councillor roles. In the earlier period the main areas of interest were further education and the police, including chairing the Gloucestershire Police Authority. Later, interest has been towards corporate services, which has included partnership working and commissioning, economic development and tourism. After 2000, I chaired Gloucestershire Tourism during the change from Heart of England to SouthWest Tourism.
So when the opportunity to join the Cheltenham Trust came up I was delighted to be able to contribute, as it combines many of my own interests. Cheltenham is a great place to live, work and visit and the Trust will play its part in making Cheltenham even better.
Jaki is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant with extensive experience at Board level in the NHS, in Local Government and the water industry. Her expertise includes strategic planning, financial management, commissioning and governance.
In recent years she has undertaken a number of Non-Executive positions and is currently a Board member of the North Bristol NHS Trust and Trustee of the National Council for Palliative Care, New College Worcester and the local Friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum.
A Lancastrian by birth, Jaki moved to Cheltenham almost twenty years ago in order to join her husband and family. She and they are keen supporters and users of “…all the good things that make Cheltenham such a great place to live and visit”. Through her Trusteeship of the Trust she hopes to play her part in sustaining and developing its services and extending its reach to all residents and visitors.
Karl has lived in Cheltenham since 2013, having moved to take up a post with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
In May 2016 he was elected to Cheltenham Borough Council as Councillor for St Pauls Ward, the home of Leisure at Cheltenham. He is one of the Borough Council’s nominated trustees, having previously been a member of the board of the National Union of Students and Chair of Trustees for Reading University Students’ Union.
Karl studied for a BA in Politics & International Relations at Reading University, which included a period of study in the Canadian capital. Since graduating he has developed a career in public relations with specialisms in stakeholder engagement and higher education. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
Outside of work Karl maintains a keen amateur interest in history, architecture and the arts. He is keen to ensure the Trust remains engaged with, responsive to and rooted in Cheltenham’s community, whilst also having the freedom to be progressive and bold in its development.
Paul is an experienced Board Advisor and Company Director who has worked across a wide range of industries and sectors over the last 2 decades. Much of Paul’s career has been spent building and developing businesses, with particular areas of focus around customer development, product offering and routes to market both nationally and internationally.
Having lived in Cheltenham for almost 20 years, Paul moved from his home town of Sutton Coldfield in order to marry and outside of his business interests has served in Governor and Trustee roles in education and the third sector whilst at the same time enjoying family life with Julia and their 3 daughters and also trying to make the most of the surrounding countryside on foot (with dog), in trainers and on Mountain Bike… whilst he still can!
As honorary President to the Trust Joanna is an experienced board advisor, specialising in business and brand strategy. Financial services, professional services, leisure and nation-branding are her key areas of focus.
She recently spent ten years in Asia, first as Strategy Director at Interbrand and then running her own brand strategy agency. Prior to that, she worked in the UK for leading business consultancies. She is also a trustee at @Bristol.
In returning to Cheltenham Joanna has come home, having grown up and been schooled here. She has a 1st class degree in Chemistry from Oxford and an MBA from IMD in Switzerland. She is also the mother of three young boys and the proud owner of a VW early bay that is older than she is.