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Governance
CREDIT: Evan Dawson

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the strategic leadership of the RPS

Board of Trustees

The RPS has a Board of Trustees, also known as Council. The Board is responsible for governance and for ensuring that the RPS fulfils its charitable object of public benefit and the promotion of the highest standards of achievement in photography. On a more practical level, the Board supports the Senior Leadership Team, the staff and the volunteers, in the delivery of the RPS strategic plan.

If you are interested in finding out more about the role of a Trustee please get in touch.

For further information on RPS governance, please click here.

To find out more about our equality, diversity and inclusion work, and the RPS Critical Friends, click here.

 

Simon Hill HonFRPS
President and Chair of Trustees

Simon Hill

Simon has been taking photographs since he was three years old and joined the RPS while still at school. As a schoolboy, in 1982 he gained his LRPS and the following year his ARPS.  He went on to gain an HND in professional photography from Blackpool College of Art, followed by a BA from UCA (via the Open College of the Arts) and an MA from St Martins School of Art, London. In 1991, shortly after beginning in practice as a professional editorial photographer, he was awarded his FRPS in the ‘Applied' category.  Exactly forty years after joining the RPS and thirty years after gaining his FRPS, Simon became the 72nd President of the RPS and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS).  Simon is a Full Member of the Association of Photographers, a Fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photography (FBIPP) and of the Master Photographers Association (FMPA), and a Membre de l’Excellence of the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (EFIAP).

With over 30 years experience as a professional photographer, Simon's work has been published in National Geographic MagazineThe ObserverThe Sunday Times and many UK and European newspapers and journals. He is the first British winner of the Longford International Art Portrait Award, a former Kodak ‘Showcase’ Professional Photographer of the Year and, in 2019, was named BIPP Professional Photographer of the Year. In addition to his photographic work, as Managing Director and Lead Designer of VIDAR Media Group, Simon designs museum and gallery exhibitions for domestic and international clients. He has won many awards for his design projects including Best New Museum, the HLF Arts and Heritage Renaissance Award, RHS Bronze and Silver medals, European Attraction of the Year and Best Global Attraction of the Year.

Having over 25 years experience as a Charity or NFP Trustee, including three years as Trustee of the Open College of the Arts (an RPS partner organisation), Simon brings an essential and broad range of skills to the RPS Board of Trustees, not least his extensive commercial experience. Simon has held directorships on the board of over a dozen UK and European companies, including Chairman of one of Scandinavia’s leading cultural heritage design companies. In 1994 he gained the Institute of Directors Diploma in Company Direction and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. In 1996, he became a Qualified Member of the Chartered Society of Designers; in 2006, he qualified as a Chartered Marketer and was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Simon remains an active Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and of the Royal Geographical Society, through which he is developing reciprocal benefits for the RPS.

For the President's blog please click here

The President writes a Voicebox feature in the RPS Journal.

Email Simon

 

Tony Cearns
Honorary Treasurer

Tony’s career has spanned a wide range of finance and governance roles in the UK and in Asia. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he became Group Finance Director of a publicly quoted agri-business where he was responsible for financial strategy and reporting. Tony then joined a large private retailing and financial and services group with a wide risk assurance brief that covered the governance of a £300m transformation programme as well as taking responsibility for the relationship with the Financial Conduct Authority, world-wide supply-chain audits and ethical standards, Group and IT Security and customer complaints.

Tony also has Board/Trustee experience in the education and charity sectors. He served as a Governor of a large beacon-status further education college, chairing its finance committee. He has also been the Treasurer of a photographic gallery and, with a small team, was involved in putting together the Liverpool International Festival of Photography in 2015. Tony is currently chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of a membership charity with 75,000 members and significant investments. In his spare time, Tony enjoys training his border collie and is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Liverpool University. His big passion from an early age has been photography. He runs his own darkroom and enjoys film photography and exploring 19th century printing techniques.

Tony says, “At the RPS I see my principal tasks as ensuring financial stability and promoting governance arrangements to a high standard. My commercial and trustee experience will help me help the team deliver these. However, I am conscious that the success of the RPS is, in large measure, due to its many volunteers. How we support our volunteers is one aspect of the new strategy that particularly interests me”.

 

Mónica Alcazár-Duarte
Appointed Trustee

Mónica is a Mexican-British multi-disciplinary visual artist, with a special focus on photography. Her work acknowledges her indigenous heritage while exploring current ideals of progress. She embraces themes related to science and technology and their influence over society and the natural world. In her projects she mixes images and new technologies, such as Augmented Reality, to create multi-layered work, producing meaning through seemingly disconnected narratives. Monica’s work references western society’s obsession with speed, expansion, and resource accumulation as an index of advancement at a time in which ecological disaster looms, and considers other ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world. Her work has been exhibited and collected throughout Europe, Mexico and the United States. She has also received fellowships and awards from organisations including National Geographic, Mead Foundation, Photoworks, Ampersand Foundation, Bar-Tur Foundation, Autograph, Light Work, Firecracker and the British Arts Council.

Mónica is committed to showcasing more work from artists who expand and challenge current aesthetic norms. She is interested in a widening of point-of-view and development of expanded vision and relevance through the introduction of new and different creative voices. This is a result of recognising the importance of the complexity that a variety of voices and viewpoints can bring to contemporary discussions on image making. As part of her practice she nominates and mentors femme and non-binary photographers for programmes such as the Joop Swart Masterclass, as well as independently. She is also interested in developing a platform that can facilitate conversations on diverse approaches to image making, particularly those concerned with current digital practices.

 

Nicola Bolton ARPS
Elected Trustee
 
 
Nicola Bolton is a businesswoman with ten years’ experience in Board Trustee/Non-Executive Director roles, including for another educational charity with significant membership. She has twelve years’ Executive Board Member experience in addition to hundreds of interactions with private sector boards of all sizes and nationalities while working at IBM and in government. A high energy leader with a reputation for openness and honesty, she has worked internationally for most of her 33-year career in the commercial and public sectors.

She has a background in manufacturing, strategy, digital transformation, and operational delivery with a track record of starting up business units and transforming underperforming operations. She has managed budgets from £100k to $2bn, influenced the policy decisions of five Cabinet-level Ministers, and led engagement with 3,500 citizens to develop a strategic local government plan. More recently, she fulfilled a lifelong ambition and qualified to teach English as a foreign language, teaching general and business English until the start of Covid lockdown in 2020. Currently she is a director of three companies.

In her spare time, Nicola contrasts quiet life in the countryside with extensive travel around the world. She has enjoyed photography since childhood and is an active photographer whether with phone or DSLR. In 2016, she received Freedom of the City of London.

  
Gavin Bowyer ARPS
Elected Trustee
 
 
Gavin qualified as a doctor and went on to specialise as a trauma & orthopaedic surgeon. He enjoyed a career in the Army for 17 years, with many “interesting” travels and operational tours, much of that time with airborne forces. He then spent 20 years working as an orthopaedic consultant in the NHS and in private practice. Throughout his career, in the military and in civilian life, Gavin held positions of considerable responsibility on national bodies, with a strategic and development role, as well as having a particular interest in training and education at an international level.

Travel and photography have always been an important part of Gavin’s life and work, from photographing disease-carrying snails in African irrigation schemes, to recording war wounds on the Afghan border and in Gaza for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Gavin believes that photographs have had a tremendous relevance - not just as records, but as part of establishing a treatment and scientific narrative.

Gavin’s photography interests and commitment have developed considerably in the past 5 years, as he moved into semi-retirement. This has been in no small part related to his involvement with the thriving local Winchester Photographic Society. Gavin has sought ways to support charities through photography, working with organisations in Africa to raise awareness of welfare and conservation issues. He is also involved in remembrance photography in the UK, volunteering for Remember My Baby.

 

Sebah Chaudhry
Appointed Trustee

Sebah is a freelance creative producer and curator, experienced in working on international festivals, projects and events. She is co-founder and co-director of ReFramed, a photographic based visual arts network based in the Midlands, supporting the community and artists who are Black, Asian, or from other ethnic minorities. She is Director at BCVA, where her focus is to work with the South Asian Community. She is currently Project Coordinator of ‘Picturing England’s High Streets’, a Historic England funded project managed by Photoworks. She is also Creative Producer on ‘Peer To Peer UK/HK’, a digital exchange programme managed by Open Eye Gallery and the University of Salford.

Sebah was Creative Producer on the international British Council funded project with Ffotogallery, ‘The Place I Call Home’, connecting the UK to the Gulf region, culminating in 10 exhibitions in seven countries.

From 2013-2017, Sebah was Coordinator at FORMAT, the UK’s largest contemporary photography festival. She continues as a freelancer for FORMAT, organising the UK’s largest annual portfolio review. She also manages the Belfast Photo Festival Portfolio Review.

Sebah reviews portfolios internationally and mentors artists. She was on the selection panel for the RPS IPE 163 Open Call and the BJP Portrait of Britain 2021. She is also the Curator for AIS Open 2022, an online exhibition and exhibition as part of Beta X in Leicester. Currently UK editor for thephotoexhibitionarchive.com (Berlin), Steering Group member for FORMAT Festival (Derby) and a Board Member of Redeye Photography Network (Manchester).

 

Sarah J Dow ARPS
Elected Trustee

Based in Wiltshire, Sarah is a professional portrait photographer, specialising in creative documentary and environmental natural light portraiture, working on location across the south west and beyond. She joined the RPS in 2016 while studying photography at the Salisbury campus of Wiltshire College, and holds both Licentiate and Associate (Contemporary) distinctions. She’s often spoken at RPS Distinctions events, and in 2020 joined the Distinctions Panel as a Licentiate advisor and assessor.

Prior to life changing events ten years ago, Sarah was a successful business and marketing strategist with expertise in digital, health, and media channels, and has worked with every kind of enterprise, from local SMEs to national charities, the BBC, and global pharmaceutical brands. She has also served on the board of Governors for the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, volunteered with local cancer, wildlife and other animal rescue charities, and remains a founding member (and was Trustee) of Flat Friends, the only UK charity dedicated to the support of women who choose to live flat, without reconstruction, after breast cancer.

Email Sarah

 

Andy Golding ASICI FRPS
Elected Trustee

Andy has been teaching photography, for more than 30 years. He was a Visiting Professor of Photography in Nanjing, China and has taught, lectured and exhibited internationally. He was the Head of photography and film at the University of Westminster.

Andy has been an advisor for the RPS since the 1990’s including serving on the Distinctions Advisory Board, Education Committee, Awards Committee and recently set up the Film Panel. He was awarded the Fenton Medal in 2009.

His other significant voluntary role is Chair of his local youth football club.  Andy continues to teach part time and professionally he is working on accreditation of a school and a university, ensuring the highest standards of equal opportunities and diversity, teaching and learning, assessment, feedback and all aspects of quality assurance.

Email Andy

 

Mathew Lodge LRPS
Appointed Trustee

Mathew began making photographs at age 10, when he learned to shoot, develop and print black and white images. At University he served as Director of Photography for the student newspaper, leading a team of volunteers and producing pre-press images. Moving to the US and embarking on an international business career helped him visit 35 countries and work on his travel, landscape and architecture photography. His images have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, TV shows and websites, and on the walls of restaurants, wineries and hotels. He joined the RPS after returning to the UK, achieved the Licentiate distinction, and is planning his Associate submission.

He is CEO of an AI spin-out from Oxford University, and serves on non-profit and for-profit boards. He has 25+ years’ experience as a product executive in Silicon Valley at market-leaders Cisco, Symantec and VMware as well as small venture-funded start-ups. He has extensive financial, governance and organisational experience building and growing products from zero to hundreds of millions in revenue, and from helping non-profits achieve their goals.

A key area of contribution to the RPS strategic plan is using his experience to help the RPS executive team grow an engaged membership base, raise RPS’ profile, and build a strong financial backing for its mission. That includes finding ways to remove barriers and broaden participation and enjoyment by photographers from all walks of life.

 

Mervyn Mitchell ARPS
Elected Trustee

Before transitioning into his photography practice, Mervyn’s career was in the areas of Sales, Marketing and Project Management, in which he amassed a wealth of experience and several professional qualifications including a post-graduate ‘Diploma in Management Studies’.

Mervyn is a staunch advocate for the use of photography as a means to engage and inspire communities and individuals. It is his expertise in this area which he brings to the RPS.

Within his photographic practice over the past 12 years he has worked as the Community Engagement Officer for The New Art Exchange (the largest gallery in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts) and with schools, using photography to help bridge the gap between urban and rural schools, and introduce black role models through photography workshops. 

10 years ago (until present day) he co-founded the Nottingham Photographer’s Hub, giving a voice to marginalised people and communities. They work with Adults with mental ill-health and Young People who are not in education, employment or training. During this time Mervyn has gained an MA in Photography, and continues to develop his personal photographic skills and knowledge.

Email Mervyn

 

Dr Peter Walmsley LRPS
Elected Trustee
 

A Chartered Engineer with a PhD in underwater sound sensors, Peter realised that he preferred subjects which combined art and science. Most of his career has been in international marketing and commercial roles, developing products for new technology markets in the private sector and working in several government departments on procurement and supplier management in the public sector. He holds a keen interest in good project, programme and change management, having been a Major Projects reviewer for the Cabinet Office and currently sits on the ISO standards committee for collaborative business relationships.

His interest in international business comes together with his passion for travel photography as a means to explore different cultures. As Peter sees it, the camera is the ticket that gives you permission to ask other people how they live in street photography and the reason to seek out interesting locations off the usual tourist trail. The philosophy seems to work as in 2021, Peter won the international Travel Photographer of the Year competition (TPOTY) in the ‘Colours of Life’ category with the image ‘Flower Power’ and gained his EFIAP accreditation on the international exhibition circuit in 2019.

Peter is also a competition judge in the Southern Counties Photographic Federation and gives talks on travel photography and related subjects. He is particularly keen to help improve standards in picture making and is considering a personal campaign to ban use of the word ‘snap’ in photography!

 

For staff contact details please click here.