The business sector has long acknowledged the powerful impact that a non-exec/trustee role outside the workplace can play in the development of its talented people – it’s a live, dynamic, challenging and highly rewarding experience that connects people closely to communities and the vibrant arts sector.
Board Member of the Year - we are excited to open this award to any individual working in the private/corporate sector (i.e. an employee of a commercial company) who has served on an arts board for at least two years.
Heather Wright, Executive Producer at Aardman Animations, chairs the board of trustees at Creative Youth Network (CYN) and supports their fundraising programme. For the past 5 years she has brought her cultural and commercial experience to aid the strategic development of CYN. In addition, she brings the Aardman reputation and contacts with her, providing opportunities for young people to learn about a global creative company through the CYN programmes.
Heather’s position has also leveraged resources, partners and supporters to the organisation.
This relationship has been valuable for Aardman too, unlocking access to a network of local arts organisations that Aardman staff have partnered with.
Being Chair has also given Heather the opportunity to develop strategic and leadership skills in a way that just wasn’t possible to do within the company. Aardman Animations has benefitted hugely in return as her unique experience with CYN has led to Heather taking on greater responsibility within Aardman Animations.
"My work as Chair of Trustees for the Creative Youth Network has been rewarding not only in terms of supporting the CEO, the board and the organisation at large through a period of massive growth and change, but also in terms of the huge amount I have learnt from working at the coal face of social responsibility where charities, local and national government bodies and armies of willing individuals come together with a common purpose. When working well, these stakeholders have the power and the opportunity to change the direction of young lives in a positive and lasting way."
Executive Producer, Aardman Animations
"Working with Aardman animations has given the young people opportunities they would never have had and has brought the organisation to a new level of recognition and influence within the West of England."
CEO, Creative Youth Network
Our Young Board Member of the Year award is presented to a young person (under 30) from the corporate/business sector who has been an effective and dynamic board member. Young people are hugely under-represented on boards and according to a Charity Commission report published in 2010, only 0.5% of trustees in England and Wales are aged 16-24, despite this group representing 12% of the total population of these two countries.
Heather Wright won the A&B Board Bank Volunteer Award at the Arts & Business Awards in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, 2013. She follows a long list of previous board and young board member winners who inspired others to give their time and expertise to the arts.
All images provided by Creative Youth Network