Our People

Betty Suchar

Chair of Directors

Betty was part of the team involved in the re-opening of BRLSI in the 1990s and has dedicated herself to developing BRLSI’s mission to educate and entertain ever since. Formerly Chair of Management, she now enjoys steering the board to ensure BRLSI stays relevant and vital for future generations to enjoy and works tirelessly on cultural campaigns such as the one to create the Women’s Street Map of Bath.

Gerry Kontos

Chair of Management

Gerry Kontos has been Chair since spring 2021. She has enjoyed stepping up to the challenge of working to ensure BRLSI not only survives this rather interesting point in its history, but thrives and grows in new directions. Gerry also doubles as Chair of BRLSI’s Premises Committee, with the invaluable help of her right-hand man Mike Twohig.

Andreas Wasmuht

Chair of Programme

Andreas works with the BRLSI Programme sub-committee to deliver a world class lecture programme, covering an eclectic mix of subjects, and playing host to speakers renown across the world. He enormously enjoyed the challenge of taking the programme online during this last year and gaining the ability to reach new audiences, while looking after BRLSI’s much cherished old one.

Chris Garcia

Grants and Donations

Chris has been working hard during 2021 to make sure BRLSI keeps looking “Forward to the Future” with the help of grants from the National Lottery and Art Fund. These grants help BRLSI strengthen its offering for future generations, with this summer seeing the launch of a new website, exhibition and digital app all bought into existence by this vital source of revenue.

Dick Bateman

Chair of Membership

If you ever attended one of BRLSI’s infamous parties and left with a smile on your face, then chances are you will have come across our Chair of Membership, Dick Bateman. Dick strives to make BRLSI warm, inclusive and unstuffy, and to ensure our members get the best they deserve. He puts members’ interests at the forefront of his mind in all decision-making. If you would like to be involved please get in touch with him.

Henry Ford

Chair of Collections

When he’s not playing bagpipes in the Jenyns room, Henry Ford supports Curator Matt Williams hatch plans to best nurture and share BRLSI collections with our ever increasing visitors. This year having fun making the collection accessible with the help of google arts, Henry oversaw film projects which invited the curious among us to see some of the amazing things that take place behind the scenes of a museum.

Joe Houlihan

Chair of Virtual BRLSI

As Chair of Virtual BRLSI, Joe has had a rather interesting year, working hard to ensure BRLSI’s content has been available to view online during the national lockdown. He has also built the Virtual BRLSI YouTube channel from scratch. This amazing visual archive now hosts over one hundred videos and makes BRLSI talks available at any time of day or night, anywhere in the world.

David Haywood

Membership Secretary

As BRLSI Membership Secretary, David works with colleagues from across the Institution to respond to our valuable members’ needs. He has been involved in all branches of the BRLSI’s work and policy writing, and as chair of the Covid Response team has helped to ensure our visitors are safe and well looked after.

Joe Wilson

Chair of Finance

Joe has kept his steady hand on BRLSI’s financial tiller during a global pandemic. Not only are BRLSI’s finances stable, our lecture programme made as much revenue this year as in pre-pandemic times. Astonishing!

John Law

Chair of Website Commitee

With his visual arts background, John is responsible for editing all BRLSI’s digital content so that production standards are as high as our audience deserve. He is continually creating projects which keep BRLSI match-fit for 21st century challenges, including 3D tours of our exhibitions, and bringing the collection to life with a dash of virtual reality.

Ian Gadd

Chair of the Forward to the Future Steering Group

As Chair of the ‘Forward to the Future’ Steering Group, Ian has been busy overseeing a ‘digitally powered’ campaign of revitalization, enabling BRLSI to adapt to the new post COVID reality & core to revitalisation has been development of a new BRLSI branded Digital Walking App, an enhanced website and the embracement of the Google Arts platform, alongside our own dedicated YouTube channel, VirtualBRLSI.

Julian Vincent

Chair of Publications

As Chair of Publications, Julian not only sells BRLSI books (in-house and online), he strives to ensure we produce titles both the public and the bookshops in the local area are interested in. Of our most recent publications, BRLSI’s Adela Breton book and History of the BRLSI pamphlet have been among our most popular.

Matt Williams (MSc, AMA)

Curator and Collection Manager

Matt Williams is responsible for the maintenance and promotion of the BRLSI’s rich and diverse collections, library and archive. He was also responsible for organising and directing the archaeological dig at Strawberry Bank, carrying on the work of his hero and original BRLSI stalwart Charles Moore.

Jude Harris

Exhibitions Co-Curator

A core member of the BRLSI Team for over 25 years, Jude Harris has been a integral figure within collections, helping co-curate exhibitions and plays the leading creative force behind many cultural campaigns such as the one to highlight the contributions of women to Bath Life. Currently the online curator of BRLSI’s ‘Take 5’ Instagram campaign she takes objects and makes them work for young audiences while breathing life into them for the more mature amongst us.

Paul Browne

Paul Browne

Manager Room Hire

Paul manages our beautiful rooms and offers AV provision for meetings and room hire bookings. You can contact Paul with any of your Room Hire enquiries and he is always happy to help you with every aspect of your booking and event.

Gerie Herbert

Communication and Activities Manager

Gerie Herbert manages BRLSI’s magnificent volunteers and press team, and is the first point of contact for any volunteering, front of house issue, event or press enquiry. If you would like to contribute your skills, ideas or time to BRLSI in any way she would be delighted to hear from you!

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