Our People

People at Nordoff Robbins

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Nordoff Robbins is governed by a Board of Trustees, made up of nine people from across the music industry, accountancy, public health and law.

The diversity of our Board of Trustees brings a wealth of invaluable insight and expertise to Nordoff Robbins and enables them to take an informed and strategic overview of the organisation’s activities.

Our dedicated Leadership Team supports the board and is made up of seven members from across the organisation. They are committed to steering the organisation forward in line with our strategic goals, vision and mission.   

People at Nordoff Robbins     Our Board of Trustees

People at Nordoff Robbins

Leadership Team

Julie Whelan, Chief Executive

Chris Dew, Director of Finance & Operations

Dr Simon Procter, Director of Music Services (Education, Research and Public Affairs)

Oksana Zharinova-Sanderson, Director of Music Services (Chief Practitioner, Quality Assurance and International Engagement)

Hannah Sheedy, Director of Fundraising

Shelley Lindley, Head of People and Environment

Jo Kowalski, Head of Communications and Marketing

Senior Management Team

Dr Craig Robertson, Head of Research

Helen Apsey, Head of Public Policy

Sandy Trappitt, Head of Partnerships

Rachel Hayes, Head of Events

Alison Hornblower, Head of Music Services (Training)

David Robinson, Head of Music Services (Delivery)

Angus Nelson, Head of Scotland

Alli Anthony, Regional Manager, Music Services London North & Central England

Richard Bennett, Regional Manager, Music Services London South & South East

Esma Perkins, Regional Manager, Music Services North West England & Wales

Katy Grainger, Regional Manager, Music Services Yorkshire & North East England

Fraser Simpson, Regional Manager, South West and South Wales

Janet Halton, Country Manager, Music Services Scotland 

Mary Brown, Country Manager, Music Services Scotland


Our Board of Trustees

David Munns, OBE, Our Chair

David has been Chair of Nordoff Robbins since 2010, following a spell of two years as Chair of our Fundraising Committee. David has supported Nordoff Robbins for over 30 years, throughout his career in the Music Industry.

David has played an extensive role in the music industry having worked in senior marketing roles and as Director of A&R and Marketing between 1972 and 1987. In 1987David joined Polygram as MD and in 1991 was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President – Pop Marketing at Polygram International. Here he worked with artists including Bon Jovi, U2, the Bee Gees, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Van Morrison amongst many others.

In 2001, David re-joined EMI as Worldwide Vice-Chairman and CEO of North America and stayed in that role until 2007.

David is also Chair of the Music Industry Trusts Award, having held this position since 1995. To date, the event has raised over £4m for Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust. In 2011, David was honoured with a surprise MITs Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to charity.

David currently represents Bon Jovi and Kate Bush and consults on artist and industry issues.

Neil Warnock, MBE, Chair of our Fundraising Committee

Neil is the Global Head of Touring at United Talent Agency, one of the world’s foremost entertainment booking agencies, and was Worldwide President and founder of The Agency Group.

Neil’s career spans over five decades and he has represented or consulted on many of history’s most influential musicians including the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Michael Jackson. 

Neil continues trailblazing in the industry and has had significant success in booking tours in established and emerging markets, including Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe. Among his many unparalleled achievements are Michael Jackson’s tour in India, the Rolling Stones’ tours in South East Asia and two European tours, and Pink Floyd’s tour in Russia while the iron curtain was still in place. 

United Talent Agency’s talent pool includes the full spectrum in artist development, including emerging artists, artists at the pinnacle of their careers, and legends in music.

Michael Miller

A Chartered Accountant, Mike has 25 years’ experience running small to large companies in the music industry. He founded his own consultancy and now provides strategic, financial and commercial advice to the music industry and beyond. As well as being our Treasurer, Mike also Chair’s our Finance and Audit Committee and oversees our financial, investment and reserves policy on behalf of the Board.

Jane Bryant

Bringing an extensive background in arts management and music education, Jane Bryant is currently Chief Executive of charity Artswork. Previous roles include Project Director in Hampshire for the national Government initiative Find Your Talent, Chief Executive of Coda Music Trust, Head of Development with Arts Council England, South East, and Director of Cumbria Arts in Education. She has also taught music in the Orkney Islands and United Arab Emirates. Jane is an active practising musician and in her spare time conducts two choirs in Hampshire. 

Perry Crosthwaite

Perry joined the Board in 2010 as its Investment Advisor. He previously spent over thirty years working as an investment banker in the City of London with Henderson Crosthwaite and Investec Bank. Since retiring in 2004, he has joined the boards of a number of PLCs as a Non-Executive Director, and is a member of the Nordoff Robbins Finance Committee. 

Howard Jones, chair of our finance committee

Howard is the Managing Partner of Sheridans, a leading media, entertainment and leisure law firm. He joined Sheridans as a newly qualified solicitor over 30 years ago. His practice covers both corporate entities and high profile individuals in the media and entertainment industries and the advice he provides ranges from senior executive remuneration packages to corporate/commercial deals in the music industry and related areas.

Ivan Rudd, chair of our music services committee

Ivan joined the Board of Trustees in March 2016. Ivan’s full time role is as a Public Health Specialist at Kent County Council working alongside Districts and Clinical Commissioning Groups to keep people well and help people recover from ill health.  He has particular insight into mental wellbeing.

For over 15 years Ivan has worked with leaders at Board level in the NHS and community sectors.  Ivan has worked in the independent, voluntary and not for profit sectors and has particular understanding of NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.  Ivan hopes he can help Nordoff Robbins to continue to grow its national impact and help more people connect to the transformative power of music.

Karen Ann josephides 

Karen Ann Josephides is HR Director for Arsenal Football Club and has been with the Premier League club since 2010.  Karen Ann has built and currently manages a team of 10 members including HR, L&D and Safeguarding.  Commercially astute with a demonstrable track record of success in formulating and delivering the club’s diverse people strategy across a global operation. 

Caroline Buckley 

Caroline worked for 20 years as a senior nurse before her life was turned upside down when her son Edward sustained a severe brain injury after being hit by a speeding taxi.

Edward was in a coma for six months before he finally emerged and began his rehabilitation journey. This included regular sessions with Jessica, a Nordoff Robbins music therapist. Music was and remains a major contributor to Edward’s recovery.

In 2015 Caroline set up a Domiciliary Care Agency, Teapot Home Care, which provides care to the vulnerable and elderly. It continues to grow and thrive.

Heather Gardner

Heather retired in March 2008 after working at both senior management and frontline level in the Community Education and Community Learning and Development Services in the Lothians for nearly 40 years, after graduating with an MA in Social Studies from Edinburgh University. Her last post was in North Berwick, East Lothian, where she was the Community Development Officer/Centre manager at North Berwick Community Centre.

Heather has gained considerable experience of developing social, recreational and educational opportunities for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and played a lead role in setting up East Lothian Special Needs Play scheme as a successful charity. She also has experience of working in the fields of mental health including dementia and helped set up both “Stepping Out” (A mental health charity in East Lothian.) and North Berwick Day Care Association for the frail elderly and those with dementia. As a result of her role in the development of music therapy in Scotland, Heather was invited to join the board of Nordoff Robbins Scotland in 1995 and elected Chair in September 2008. We're delighted to welcome Heather to our unified board following our merger with Nordoff Robbins Scotland.

Graham Bell

Graham Bell supported Nordoff Robbins Scotland for 16 years as part of the fundraising committee, and then as a trustee on the board. Graham is the managing director of GUITARGUITAR, a guitar and music retail store with five locations across the UK. We're delighted to welcome Graham to our unified board following our merger with Nordoff Robbins Scotland.

Sophie Guest

Sophie Guest is a qualified accountant and works as an independent consultant advising Boards and senior leadership teams on how to more effectively lead and manage their organisations, with a particular focus on governance and risk management.  She was introduced to Nordoff Robbins whilst studying music at the University of Leeds, and has been supporting the charity since 2016 as a member of the Music Services committee. Sophie joined the Board in early 2019 and is looking forward to watching the charity continue to grow and expand its reach across the UK.