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Rubicon Dance & Gemma Barnett, Blake Morgan

The Challenge

The Arts Organisation
Rubicon Dance is a social arts organisation that has delivered dance to people of all ages and abilities, across Newport, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, since 1975.

The Development Need
To broaden the Board’s business expertise, specifically to include change management and develop Rubicon’s network within the business community.

The Adviser
Gemma Barnett, Business Development Manager at Blake Morgan

The Development Need
Having trained as a dancer, Gemma wished to apply the experience from her corporate career to help the arts sector, get an insight into how a different organisation operates and gain governance experience.

The Results

For Rubicon:

• Gemma has used her network to introduce Rubicon representatives to many opinion formers at events such as Cardiff Breakfast Club, which she helps to organise
• A hugely active Trustee and Vice Chair, who has helped galvanise the rest of the Board, implemented a Board skills matrix to identify gaps and help other trustees understand where they can add value
• Gemma has introduced Rubicon to a new IT provider, which was instrumental in resolving an issue that had previously been very problematic
• Gemma is also leading on the business change aspects of Rubicon’s strategy, using her extensive experience of mergers and acquistions

For Gemma:

• Great satisfaction from providing tangible and timely support to Rubicon, and seeing the impact of her advice
• An opportunity to give back to the organisation she danced with as a youngster
• Hands-on governance experience and developed influencing and negotiation skills

The Endorsement

Gemma’s networking and change management skills have been extremely useful to Rubicon at this stage in our evolution, as we implement our fundraising and business change strategies. She is always willing to roll us her sleeves and help out and I find her a really helpful sounding board and a great source of personal support to me. Gemma has boundless energy and has recently taking on the role of Vice Chair as part of our board succession plan. She is a real people person and is a great source of advice, reassurance and a helpful sounding board.

Kathryn Williams, Director, Rubicon Dance

I get a great deal of enjoyment from my placement with Rubicon, and I think my experience on the board has strengthened my CV as it evidences my skill set is transferrable to any sector. It has also shown how dedicated I am, to contribute as much as I have to the board as well as working full time. I’ve been able to support on significant strategic projects, and my involvement with the Roath Library development has directly strengthened my overall project management skills.

Gemma Barnett, Business Development Manager, Blake Morgan LLP