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Ikon Board of Trustees Announcement

Professor Helen Higson OBE DL

Ikon is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Helen Higson OBE DL as Chair of the gallery’s Board of Trustees. Helen is Professor of Higher Education Learning and Management, Aston University and Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands. Simultaneously, Ikon Trustee Harminder Randhawa, Accountant, Jaguar Land Rover, takes the position of Chair at Ikon’s Risk Committee.

As Professor of Higher Education Learning and Management, Higson’s role at Aston University includes ensuring that the students have the best learning experience possible, and that their lives are transformed for the better via this and integrated work experience. Her career in higher education has spanned over 37 years and she is a National Teaching Fellow (NTF), a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and a Fellow of the Association of University Administrators (FAUA). She was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to Higher Education. Professor Higson is Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Employability and Skills Board, and a Board member of Ravensbourne University, London, amongst other positions. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and has a Fellowship with Birmingham Metropolitan College. Professor Higson was appointed as Vice Lord-Lieutenant in 2020.

I am totally delighted to be appointed as Chair of the Ikon Board. It is a great responsibility to be a guardian of this wonderful institution, and I am proud to be associated with such high quality curation, outreach and education work. Ikon is an “iconic” Birmingham landmark, but it has a reputation for excellence well beyond the region, both nationally and internationally. Those of us on the Board have a duty to make sure we advance this standing. I promise that I will do this as much as I am able.
Professor Helen Higson OBE DL

Helen Higson takes over as Chair from Oliver Longmore, Corporate Banking Manager, Handelsbanken UK who now retires from Ikon’s Board having served as a trustee since 2014, and as Chair since 2018. He remains a friend and supporter to Ikon and we thank him for his enormous contribution.

We also thank Victoria Tester, Chief Operating Officer, Shakespeare Martineau, who steps down as a Trustee.

With gratitude and some sadness, we say farewell to Oliver Longmore as Chair, while looking forward very much to having him back at Ikon as a regular visitor and patron. He has a passion for contemporary art which, as it happens, is shared by his successor Helen Higson. It is with great pride that we announce her appointment as the new Chair of Ikon’s Board of Trustees. We are lucky to have such an accomplished and respected figure taking charge as Ikon moves optimistically into a new post-pandemic chapter.
Jonathan Watkins, Ikon Director

Ikon’s full Board of Trustees:

Chair: Helen Higson OBE DL, Professor of Higher Education Learning and Management, Aston University and Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands.

Councillor Kate Booth, Cabinet Member for Children’s Wellbeing, Birmingham City Council
Rachel Chiu, Head of Business Development, Spring Housing Association
John Claughton, Former Chief Master, King Edward’s School, Birmingham
Soweto Kinch, award winning alto-saxophonist and MC
Jenny Loynton, Director, Loynton & Co. Solicitors Ltd
Harminder Randhawa, Accountant, Jaguar Land Rover
Nick Smith, CEO, Elonex

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