More Information
(Updated as of 25 March 2020)

 The Royal Exchange Theatre Board

Ben CaldwellBen Caldwell, Chair, joined his family hardware business after reading history at Cambridge. He spent the next twenty-five years evolving the business into the outsourcing company IESA. He was Vice-Chair of Business Link Cheshire and Warrington Collegiate, and Chair of the Warrington Chamber of Commerce and Warrington Youth Club. He is a founder investor in the Homeless World Cup and a member of Ashoka, an organisation that supports social entrepreneurs. 





Kate Vokes is the Director of Social Impact at Bruntwood. Her commitments to the city include being Chair of the Oglesby Charitable Trust and trustee of Manchester Youth Zone, and she has gained a passion and knowledge particularly around the youth sector and arts and culture. With a broad and commercial view of Bruntwood, she helps to get clarity on how we are using our experience, knowledge and resources to have the greatest long term sustainable impact, and introduces our partners to suppliers and customers to inspire others to get involved in effecting change..


Sally Penni

Sally Penni is a prominent Barrister at Law, diversity champion and community advocate. She is Vice Chair, Association of Women Barristers UK, and Counsel to International Criminal Courts, The Hague.




Jennifer Raffle

Jennifer Raffle was a chartered accountant with KPMG. Moving to GEC plc. she was responsible for business review and trouble-shooting. She returned to KPMG as a technology analyst before leaving to join the Manchester Technology Fund, the in house venture capital fund for the University of Manchester as an investment manager. Jennifer now has her own financial consulting business.



Aziz RashidAziz Rashid is Head of BBC North West in charge of BBC TV, Radio and Digital services for the North West of England. He has held senior editorial roles in BBC World News, BBC Breakfast and Network TV News. Aziz is also Head of Diversity for BBC English Regions.





Geoffrey Shindler

Geoffrey Shindler OBE is a Trust Consultant at Old Trafford Consulting Ltd, specialising in wills, trusts, capital taxation and estate work. He has held trustee positions with a number of organisations including Manchester Camerata, Manchester Portico Library Charitable Trust and Lancashire County Cricket Club. He is the Consulting Editor of Trusts & Estates Law & Tax Journal and a member of the Editorial Board of Wills & Trusts Law Reports.


Martyn Torevell

Martyn Torevell is a founding director of Dewhurst Torevell which provides active independent financial advice to high net worth individuals. Through his company Martyn has developed a significant portfolio of arts philanthropy in Manchester.

Nicole MayNicole May is Executive Producer at Young Identity. Young Identity is an arts organisation and a charity delivers dynamic poetry and spoken word workshops for young people aged 13–30 working with educational institutions, communities and arts organisations locally, nationally and internationally. Nicole describes herself as a Millennial – Producer, dramaturg, director and Writer. She was the Dramaturg for Alphabus Manchester International Festival (2019). Nicole is Associate Producer and Dramaturg at the theatre company Fio. She also was the Writer and Dramaturg for Timelines performed at RawFFest (2019). Nicole is a member of the UpRisingGM Advisory Board. Nicole is a graduate from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with a BA (hons) Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management. On behalf of the British Council, she taught a writing residency in Colombo and performed at Galle Literature Festival (2019). She was one of twelve poets commissioned from BBC and Forward Arts Foundation to write the North West Poem for National Poetry Day 2018. Nicole has performed and taught spoken word and performance both nationally and internationally, as part of Young Identity and as a solo performer and practitioner.  Nicole received a fellowship and established AndWhat TV.

Davina ShahDavina Shah
graduated with a degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Work and Organisational Psychology from the University of Nottingham, where she was Production Co-ordinator of the student theatre company. She worked at the Royal Exchange Theatre for a year as Trainee Producer/General Manager on an ITC training programme. Davina worked in a variety of successive roles in Theatre Administration, Planning & Producing for Hampstead Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre in London. She has also worked as a freelance producer for companies including: Digital Theatre, DryWrite, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Nabokov, Paines Plough, Theatre 503, Theatre Royal Stratford East & Shakespeare’s Globe. She has been a reader for the Bruntwood Prize and previously sat on the Board of Directors of the Independent Theatre Council. Davina has been a theatrical agent since 2011, representing writers and creatives, predominantly in Theatre, but also covering Dance, Opera, Film, Television and Commercial work. She launched her own agency, TEAM, in 2020.


EllenFloodEllen Flood is a solicitor with over 30 years experience. She currently works as Chief Legal Officer for a digital advertising business. She is a Trustee of Caritas Care, a charity which provides a wide range of services including adoption, fostering, disability support services and ex-offenders programmes.