Paul Udenze MBA FRSA – Chair

Paul is an experienced Chief Executive with extensive expertise and knowledge in Strategic Planning, Business Development, Financial Planning, Change Management and Human Resources Management.

Currently CEO of Soligard GB, Paul has worked in senior positions in both the private and voluntary sectors including being CEO of The Drum Arts Centre, Birmingham, a £6.5m capital project funded by the public sector to support the development of African, Asian and Caribbean Arts in Birmingham. He has also held senior roles with Jaguar Cars, Grenfell Enterprises Ltd and Kito Art Gallery.

Paul has also served on the boards of several arts organisations including Culture West Midlands Ltd, Audiences Central, Trans Europe Halles, Black Country Touring, OSCAR Birmingham Ltd and, of course, ACE dance and music. Paul is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Jennie Gentles – Vice Chair

Jennie has over twenty years’ experience of working in the arts. She’s passionate about audience development and supporting organisations to grow and diversify their audience base. She values the arts and cultural activities and believes strongly that they enhance and can make a real difference to communities and people’s lives.

Her career highlights include gaining skills and experience in both the commercial and voluntary sectors having worked for leading organisations such as MGM, Sony, United Artists, Virgin and more recently The Drum, Waterman’s Arts Centre and Hoxton Hall. Added to this, she has been privileged to support a number of freelance artists to devise strategic marketing communications plans as well as hands-on planning and delivery of campaigns for events and festivals.

She’s mentored a number of early career arts marketing professionals and been a board member of the Arts Marketing Association, Bristol Old Vic and is currently Vice Chair of ACE Dance & Music.

Vincent Ugboh MSC FCEA, ACIS

Vincent qualified as cost accountant in 1983 before studying administration and law at the University of Ulster. He went on to study Corporate Finance at the University of Salford, completing his master’s degree in 1988. He became interested in corporate governance and trained as a Chartered Secretary, qualifying in 1992. He is also a qualified Lead Quality Auditor.

Vincent brings with him a wealth of experience. After seven years working for the Economic Development Unit in Islington and Business Link London advising start-ups and expanding small-to-medium businesses, he had five years as Group Head (Strategy and Quality Control) in an International Bank. Vincent worked for a project funded by Business Link Birmingham before spending another five years with a consultancy arm of University of Wolverhampton as Business Improvement Manager.

Vincent went back into management consultancy in 2011 and is now an Associate at SCA Management Consultancy limited. He is an active community leader and a member of OFNC, a Christian charity that has raised awareness and funds for sickle cell patients. Vincent is married with two children.

Nigel Gardener

Nigel is a strong supporter of the arts with particular interest in film, music and dance. He is a long-standing member of BAFTA.

In his professional life, Nigel is a Partner in the national law firm, Freeths. Based in Birmingham and specialising in commercial law, he regularly advises performers and producers working in the arts and leisure sector. Nigel has served on a number of boards before joining ACE.

Maretha Wallace

Maretha has always worked with young people and is passionate about educating through the arts. During seven years as a freelance drama specialist and Youth Theatre Director for Birmingham REP, she assisted organisations in delivering high quality performances, workshops, leisure, consultation and training events.

Her community work has involved working for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, engaging hard-to-reach audiences and supporting children in residential care.  She presently works in education as a Head of Performing Arts in a secondary school in the Midlands.

Maretha’s life has always involved the creative and performing arts in some shape or form and her philosophy is that it is an integral part of our lives. She has a degree in Drama and a Post-graduate Diploma in Drama and Education.

Oluwatoyin Odunsi

Oluwatoyin is an independent arts venue and festival programmer, an interdisciplinary arts producer, tour booker, theatre director and DJ. She is Artistic Director of Vintage Misfits, an Arts Management and Production Company. They specialise in bringing unique stories to new audiences, using current cross art forms such as theatre, dance, music, circus, film, live art and comedy as a way to express these stories.

With over a decade of experience working in the Arts and Cultural sector, Oluwatoyin has worked for a range of national and regional arts organisations, in the roles of Arts Development Manager, Arts Programmer, Artistic Director and Associate Producer. She has also been a guest speaker for companies such as One Dance UK in London, Project X in Scotland, Arts Marketing Association: Arts Marketing Association in Cambridge, Creative People and Places in Sandwell, The Hat Factory in Luton, Harrow Arts Centre in Middlesex and The Drum Arts Centre in Birmingham.