Andrew Baker, Company Accountant
Andrew is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a former Partner of national UK accountancy firm RSM. Having left professional practice in 2011 he held a number of commercial finance roles with Molson Coors, the global brewer before joining Midlothian based waste management business, The NWH Group, in 2019 where he is the Chief Information Officer.
Kate is a teacher who works with children who have Autism and complex needs in Midlothian. She previously worked as a primary teacher across schools in Edinburgh. Over the past 2 years she has been on the Board for Forth Childen’s Theatre. Kate has 2 children who have taken part in Strange Town’s after school drama outreach programme, are currently in the youth theatre and the young actors’ agency.
After graduating from Edinburgh in Mathematical Science, Robert spent all his working life (35 years) in computing – splitting his time evenly between support and software development. He was – and still is – an enthusiast for personal computing. Since retiring, he volunteers with a few different charitable organisations to help and advise on IT matters.
Bob is a qualified Mechanical Engineer and experienced Director and Company Secretary. He has spent over 17 years supporting SMEs to set up and grow and the last 15 years working with and supporting Communities, Social Enterprises and Charities throughout Scotland. Latterly he has worked in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh as Business Manager to the Community Alliance Trust and joined Out of the Blue as Studio Manager for their Abbeymount Studios
Murray Jack, Company Secretary
Murray Jack is a corporate team partner of law firm Addleshaw Goddard. He has experience of advising on a broad range of corporate transactions involving private and public companies of a variety of sizes. He advises businesses principally in the life sciences, technology, food and drink, software and renewable energy sectors.
Richard Lewis, Chair
Richard is a freelance conductor, vocal coach, pianist, composer and lyricist. He is a permanent visiting lecturer to the Musical Theatre Department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a visiting lecturer at the Brisbane Conservatorium, Australia. He was Convener of the Culture and Sport Committee of the City of Edinburgh Council, and Festival and Events Champion, 2012-2017. He lives in Edinburgh and has a young family.
Gill is a qualified Drama Teacher and currently Head of Creative Arts at Leith Academy High School. Gill worked for several years as a freelance drama practitioner running youth theatre projects and directing productions for many of Scotlands leading youth theatre organisations. She set up and ran her own youth theatre company for 10 years before becoming a formal education teacher.
Kate is an independent producer of theatre and music theatre. She produces for Mairi Campbell; Skye Loneragan; When Mountains Meet, a project in-development and A Mothers Song, a new musical by Finn Anderson and Tania Azevedo. She works with Edinburgh Performing Arts Project. Previously she was Associate Producer for British Youth Music Theatre producing mid-large scale new music theatre and has had roles with English Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Hall Birmingham, City of London Festival and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
John Naylor OBE, Lifetime President
John has a wealth of experience gained from 40 years in the charity sector and has been at the forefront of policy and regulation changes in Scotland’s third sector. In 2000, he was a member of the Commission to Review Charity Law in Scotland, which resulted in the establishment of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), of which John became the first Chair in 2006. As well as Chair of Strange Town, John is currently President of YMCA Scotland; Chair of RSA Scotland; a Trustee of Foundation Scotland; and a co-opted member of National Trust for Scotland’s Audit and Risk Management Committee.
Mary McGookin, Lifetime Vice President
A graduate of the RSAMD, Mary taught at Broughton High School, home to the City of Edinburgh Music School, where she became Principal Teacher, Music. In 1992, Mary led the development of Lothian Region’s first arts policy and new arts unit. As Arts and Learning Manager for City of Edinburgh Council, her responsibilities included dance and drama officers, Youth Music Initiative, and the arts within informal learning. She also produced high profile events involving young performers. Mary is a past director of Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and a former Chair of Promote YT (now YTAS).
Catherine is a freelance facilitator and theatre maker from Glasgow. She graduated in 2014 with a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Screen Acting from University of the West of Scotland. Since graduating she has worked extensively across the central belt of Scotland including at the Tron Theatre and Macrobert Arts Centre, as well as working in schools and various outreach projects. Her work focuses on devised theatre, both in her work with young people and through her own performance career with her theatre company Spilt Milk. Catherine is very passionate about her facilitating role and aims to bring out creative potential in all the young people she works with, allowing them to find their own creative voice through making and performing.