Board and Ambassadors
Board of Directors
Gecko is a company limited by guarantee and we have a voluntary Board of Directors working alongside Artistic Director Amit Lahav to support the leadership and governance of the organisation. The Board meets four times a year, including an Annual General Meeting and Away Day. Directors are selected on the basis of their skills, expertise and commitment, and are subject to re-election every three years. When a Director comes to the end of their service we conduct an audit and recruit to ensure the Board represents the breadth of Gecko’s work, the diversity we wish to promote and the skills we need to succeed.
I work for Suffolk Mind, getting out and about spreading the word about our model and approach to mental health – enabling people to look after and understand themselves and the people around them.
I joined the Gecko Board through my appreciation of the arts (while possessing very little expertise in it). Driven by the exciting vision the Gecko team has for physical theatre, I am keen to help grow the company in whatever way best fits the skills and experience I can bring to the table.
Dr Sue Smith
Equality and Diversity Champion
I am an independent dance artist and Director of Dance in Devon. My practice includes extensive participatory work in dance in health and social contexts. I am passionate about creative education, and my projects are guided by my belief that dance can reflect and reveal real lives across the broadest spectrum of experience.
I was a founding member of CandoCo Dance Company, and Associate Director 2003-5. I am a Clore Fellow (2017) and completed a PhD at Falmouth University (2016).
I have been a Board member since 2017.
I work at MHA Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants, where I’ve specialised in charities and other not for profit organisations for all my professional career. As a Gecko Director, I pay particular attention to finances. I’m also governor at East Coast College, and am a former director of Sculpture for Norwich. I run when I can, and play cricket for as long as I can.
So why did I get involved in Gecko? I’ve always enjoyed dance and theatre shows, but when I saw Gecko trailers on YouTube I loved the energy, it blew me away. Then I met Amit and Andy, and went to see Missing and I knew that I wanted to get involved. This was just a week before the fire at Battersea Arts Centre that destroyed Gecko’s set. The love and generosity that followed that calamity astonished me and I’ve been proud to be with Gecko ever since.
Jeanette Siddall CBE
I became passionate about dance when training to be a teacher. I went on to perform and teach dance before moving into more organisational and strategic roles, including as Dance Officer for South East Arts, Director of Dance UK and Director of Dance for Arts Council England. As a freelance consultant since 2006, I have worked mainly in dance on funding applications, strategic reviews, evaluation and assessment, and am currently Chair of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. I was awarded the Jane Attenborough Dance Industry Award and CBE for services to dance in 2013. I moved to Ipswich in 2016 to retire to dancing, doing classes and joining EncoreEast performance company at DanceEast.
I joined the Gecko Board in September 2018 having got to know the company through writing the evaluation of The Wedding and the Cultural Manifesto on behalf of the We Are Ipswich group. I am keen to support artists and arts organisations based in Ipswich and do what I can to help them flourish.
Gecko is very grateful to receive support from voluntary ambassadors who bring their expertise to an area of strategic importance to the company.
Creative Learning Ambassador
During my career, I taught drama and led successful departments in London, Essex and Suffolk, as well as working as an A Level and GCSE examiner. Since 2005, I have commissioned Gecko to work with students on a variety of projects, ranging from week long residencies or single workshops to an international exchange programme, culminating in a joint Gecko devised project, performed in both Suffolk and Milwaukee.
Now retired, I’m delighted to continue my association with Gecko, advising on the development of their work in schools.