meet the board
INTRODUCING OUR TRUSTEES
The Board of Trustees, chaired by Dr Paul Belford, are elected individuals that support the Museum’s endeavours. Our Trustees play an important role in the leadership of the Museum, and we greatly value the experience, objectivity, expertise and commitment our Trustees bring.
Dr Paul Belford,
Paul is a professional archaeologist and currently the CEO of a third-sector organisation delivering cultural heritage services in Wales and England. He has over 25 years experience of leading, managing and delivering archaeology and cultural heritage projects in the UK and overseas, across the public, private and third sectors. Paul’s wide research interests include the archaeology and social history of industrialisation – particularly ferrous industries and industrial housing – and he has published widely on these and other subjects. With particular expertise in planning, education and community engagement with heritage, Paul also has considerable experience in the leadership and governance of educational charities in the heritage and environmental sectors.
Jonathan Badyal, Deputy Chair
Jonathan is Director of Communications at Universal Music UK, where he works across all aspects of the company’s internal and external communications. He is the Deputy Chair of Black Country Living Museum and sits on the Boards of Julie's Bicycle and the National Academy for Social Prescribing. He was previously a member of the Tate Modern Advisory Group and Roundhouse Board.
Before joining Universal Music, Jonathan spent five years advising the UK Government’s Culture and Digital Minister on policy and communications where his passion for music came to the fore.
Jonathan grew up in Wolverhampton and was educated at Heath Park and Wolverhampton Grammar School. He studied Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham before going on to study a Masters in Political Science.
Chris is Head of Creative Learning & Engagement at LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture, where he works with regional, national and international partners to lead education programmes and approaches to engaging diverse communities.
Previously, he was Head of Participation & Learning at the National Memorial Arboretum. Part of the Arboretum’s senior leadership team, he led an award-winning learning strategy and fostered relationships with national partners to engage young people and communities nationwide.
Chris holds a Masters in Fine Art from Oxford University and a Masters in Business Administration, specialising in cultural sector leadership.
He is passionate about the value of cultural engagement and the role of creative learning in supporting sustainable futures.
Katy is Director of Services at Oaks Consultancy, a Birmingham-based business consultants who specialise in supporting organisations with a social purpose with strategy, business planning and income generation. Katy has over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, including many years experience as a Youth Worker, working with some of the country's most disadvantaged young people. Previous roles include Managing Director at Summit House Support, Regional Manager at UpRising, Regional Partnership Manager at UK Youth, and Programme Manager for Catch 22.
Born in Birmingham, Katy actually grew up in rural Wales and now lives in the Black Country. Katy's family are all from the Midlands – her grandfather was born in Dudley and worked as a jeweller in the city's jewellery quarter. Katy has a History degree and an MBA in Strategic Management from Aston Business School. Katy is also a trustee for Aston University's Students Union.
Duncan is Partner & Head of Commercial Property at Fisher German, specialising in industrial and office properties, commercial property investment, and strategic portfolio advice. He studied at Oxford Polytechnic and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1990.
Duncan has deep roots in the Black Country, coming from a family of chain makers from Cradley Heath. His interests include British history, motorbikes and sailing. He is also a local Committee member of the Young Farmers Club.
Sally served as a police officer with West Midlands Police for 30 years and retired in August 2020. Throughout her service she worked in operational policing roles at all ranks in a range of areas across the region including Dudley and Wolverhampton. She has a wide knowledge and experience of neighbourhood policing, community engagement, partnership working, crime reduction, serious crime investigation, and covert policing. As a senior leader, she played a significant role in the development and delivery of a Blueprint for the future of policing in the West Midlands (known as WMP2020) in partnership with Accenture. Sally is an advocate for digital transformation and led WMP2020 work on transforming the relationship with citizens through new digital channels. She spent the final chapter of her policing career as the Dudley Neighbourhood Policing Unit Commander working closely with partners including with the Black Country Living Museum. Sally has a passion for heritage. She was chair of the West Midlands Police Museum and played an active role in ongoing work to develop a heritage centre at the Lock Up at Steelhouse Lane in Birmingham. She also volunteers for Moor Pool Heritage Trust in Birmingham.
Sally is an accredited assessor with the College of Policing for Fast Track and Direct Entry schemes reflecting her commitment to people development. Sally continues to give back to policing and our communities through her involvement with a not for profit organisation, Practice To Progress. She is currently involved in work to support women and people from minority ethic communities who want to join policing.
Parminder, Creative Director at Creative Black Country, has been designing and developing audience development initiatives for over fifteen years.
Since graduating in Arts Management and Fine Art, Parminder has introduced innovative ways of working across sectors and has catalyst impressive collaborations. She has commissioned pioneering arts projects locally, nationally and internationally with the BBC, managed Arts Council England national portfolio organisations, and has produced projects with the Victoria and Albert Museum, Radio 4, The Leicester Haymarket Theatre (now the CURVE), the New York Asia Society, and several UK leading artists. She is passionate about arts and broadcast and likes a good story.
Councillor Matt Follows
Councillor Matt Follows joins the Board as the representative for the Association of Black Country Authorities (ABCA). He is currently Chairman of Economy and Environment OSC at Walsall Council and has been a local councillor for Bloxwich West since 2015. In his Black Country hometown, Matt has helped lead various projects including launching the official Bloxwich Flag and promoting the town’s historical features and green spaces. He is also a trustee of the Walsall Museum and Art Galleries Development Trust, supporting The New Art Gallery in Walsall.
Matt is a Press Officer for the Conservative Party working across the West Midlands. He holds a Masters in Contemporary History and a Masters in Public Management from the University of Birmingham.
Victoria Jessop, Deputy Chair
Vikki is Senior Operations Manager at the Natural History Museum, where she oversees their Touring Exhibitions Programme. Before joining the NHM, she was an Art Handling Manager for Christie's, leading three multidisciplinary teams across their sales and exhibitions. Prior to Christie's she worked at the British Museum for six years, managing galleries, loans and exhibitions for the department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan. Other previous experience included the V&A Museum, Whitechapel Gallery and a number of other institutions (in addition to working for contemporary artists Banksy and Rachel Whiteread).
With a decade of technical experience dealing with monumental sculpture and exhibition construction, she is passionate about encouraging women to pursue technical-based careers in museums and has lectured extensively about this at universities across the UK. She was also recently appointed Vice President of women's leadership network City Women Speakers.
Vikki grew up in Stourbridge and worked at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham prior to relocating to London in 2011. She is enthusiastic about sport and fenced internationally for several years. In her spare time, she is also a Run Director for parkrun UK and is currently studying Art Law.
Louise is currently the Chief Finance Officer at Dudley College of Technology and has worked in the Further Education sector for over 20 years, in Birmingham and the Black Country. In addition to being a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, she holds a degree in Economics and Management from Cardiff University and a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education from Wolverhampton University. Louise has a keen interest in contributing to the regeneration of Dudley town centre through her work at the College and at the Museum, particularly ensuring that young people from all backgrounds are able to get full access to education and the important heritage of the Black Country.
Ruth is the Chief Executive of Relate Birmingham, a local charity providing services to help people have better relationships and improved wellbeing. Ruth is responsible for overall service delivery across the West Midlands and South Staffordshire and has many years’ experience of charity management including setting up new services, partnership working and income generation. She is passionate about ensuring services are accessible to all.
She has a keen interest in history and heritage and studied the Industrial Revolution as part of her history degree. She enjoys going to historical places and events, especially those that bring history to life and is a regular visitor to the Black Country Living Museum.
tarlok singh mander
Tarlok is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and works as a Finance Manager at Amazon where he is responsible for some of Europe’s largest warehouses. He has over a decade of experience working in finance functions across the public and private sectors, including at Network Rail and Jaguar Land Rover, with expertise in driving operational efficiencies and providing advice on large-scale capital projects. Tarlok grew up in Walsall and studied at Wolverhampton Grammar School after which he completed an undergraduate degree in Money, Banking and Finance at the University of Birmingham. Tarlok is a sports enthusiast and currently coaches boxing classes after competitively boxing for nine years himself.
Catherine is currently Audience Research & Insights Manager at the British Film Institute. She has been working in the field of audience development and marketing for over ten years, five of them at the Natural History Museum, London where she was Audience Insights Manager. Prior to this she had worked with hundreds of arts organisations across the country when she was at The Audience Agency, where she helped develop and launch the Audience Finder programme helping arts organisations develop insights about their audiences.
Catherine holds an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and a BA (hons) in History from the University of Sheffield. Growing up in Birmingham she has always had a keen interest in the history of the West Midlands and is particularly keen on widening public engagement with history and the arts.