Senior Management Board
Adrian Farnell – Director of Finance
Adrian joined Cheltenham Festivals in May 2013 after a 25-year career with The Royal Bank of Scotland during which time he took on a variety of different roles, mainly in senior Finance positions for a variety of businesses and functions. During his career with RBS, Adrian also led a sales team in Europe, a product development team in the UK and spent over nine years as Finance Director of a substantial asset finance business.
Away from Cheltenham Festivals, Adrian has been involved with The Leadership Trust, based in Ross-on-Wye, where he regularly facilitates on various courses. He is also a director of Create Gloucestershire, a local company which facilitates collaboration between a range of creative organisations and individuals in the arts and cultural sector.
Helena Bibby – Director of HR and Operations
Helena joined Cheltenham Festivals in February 2006 on a part-time basis to provide administrative support during the early stages of Cheltenham Festival’s independence from Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC). Helena soon took on sole responsibility for all HR as the Charity grew rapidly over the next 8 years gaining membership of the CIPD along the way. In early 2012 Helena took on the role of General Manager as part of the Senior Management Team with responsibilities including heading up the Operations team, overseeing HR and IT resource and Clerk to the Board of Trustees.
Helena’s first career was in classical music where she spent 6 years working for Harrison/Parrott Ltd in London an International Artists Management agency supporting individual musicians including Ashkenazy, Evelyn Glennie and Stephen Hough.
Ali Mawle – Director of Learning and Public Engagement Ali brings 18 years of arts/education experience to the Festivals. After 10 years working in inner-city London as a teacher, literacy consultant, deputy head teacher and ITT lecturer, she moved to the National Gallery to lead the national Schools Programme. She is a published author on the subject of Creativity, a Leading Thinker for the National Education Trust, and trustee of 2 national Literacy charities.
Ali was appointed in September 2013.
Ian George – Director of Festivals
With 16 years’ experience in the event industry Ian has worked in events both in the public, private and charity sector including running press offices, marketing departments and promoting and running festivals.
Ian joined Cheltenham Festivals in 2005 setting up its first ever independent marketing department from scratch, following its separation from Cheltenham Borough Council, including identifying key resource, formalising and coordinating strategy and establishing key partners.
In the summer of 2009 he was appointed as Director of Cheltenham Jazz Festival and over the last three years has developed and implemented a new sustainable business model for the festival while staying true to its artistic core. At the heart of the change was the move from becoming a venue festival spread across town to a more open air festival with purpose built structures all in one space. The motivation behind this was having the vision of creating a festival hub and buzz and thus providing an exciting space for artists, audiences, patrons and sponsors.
Prior to joining Cheltenham Festivals he worked for Cheltenham Borough Council for three years in what was then the festivals entertainments division serving the year round entertainments programme of both Cheltenham Town Hall and Pittville Pump Room programmes as Press and Marketing Officer. For three years Ian also worked for the Glastonbury Festival as press liaison and official website reviewer.