Executive Board of Trustees
Sally Greene is renowned for rescuing and restoring The Old Vic, Criterion and Richmond theatres. In 1999, having saved The Old Vic from closure, she formed The Old Vic Charitable Trust with Stephen Daldry, and in 2003 she appointed Kevin Spacey as Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company. She is the Founder and Chief Executive of Old Vic Productions plc, and co-producer of the Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot: The Musical. Sally is also the proprietor of the world-famous Soho jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s, and in 2007 she launched Greene Light Films. She is the recipient of an OBE and a Montblanc Arts and Culture Award, in recognition of her contribution to the arts in Britain. Sally is Patron of Pop-up Ltd, a community-based literature programme, and the acclaimed HighTide Theatre Festival. In 2004 Sally opened the Cheyne Walk Brasserie, once voted restaurant of the year by Harper’s magazine.
Michael Watt is an international businessman and entrepreneur who is considered one of the pioneers of international rights to televised sporting events (rugby, cricket, and soccer) and the entertainment industry. Michael has interests in many Broadway, West End, and Australian theatre productions as well as music, and is the only New Zealander to have received a Tony for Annie Get Your Gun. He is the co-owner of the world- famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, and with partner Korda Marshall he co-owned the record label Infectious Music, home to Grammy nominated and Mercury Music Prize 2012 winners Alt-J. A dedicated conservationist, he is a supporter of a wide range of charitable organistaions including ventures in Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Jordan, cricket academies in South Africa and New Zealand, and a music school in South Africa, just to name a few. He was awarded the ONZ for International Philanthropy.
Club managing director Simon Cooke has worked in and around the live music business since 1979 when he was manager at the legendary London live music club, The Venue. Thereafter he moved into tour merchandising to represent artists of the calibre of Genesis, Queen, Prince, Bowie, Bob Dylan, AC/DC and many many more. A change of direction in 1990 lead to a working relationship with the newly launched Jazz FM radio station with whom Simon worked until 2003. Whilst at jazz FM Simon set up the Jazz Enterprise division which expanded the business portfolio of the company and more than doubled the revenue through the creation of Jazz FM Records, Hed Kandi, concert promoting, events management and web sites. After the purchase of Jazz FM by GMG, Simon moved on to become founder Director of The Local Radio Company PLC before returning to his major love of live music, and particularly jazz, here at Ronnie Scott’s in 2008.
Sarah has built her Career across the Social Enterprise, Charitable and Private Sectors on a local and International basis. After training as an Engineer she worked in Finance before moving into the emerging Supply Chain and Logistics arena where she quickly established herself and became known for her creative and adaptive responses to making processes as simple and efficient as possible, identifying and implementing new technologies. A desire to do something to ‘give back’ led Sarah to spend 2002-2003 working in Africa, predominantly Malawi for a locally based business consultancy working on poverty reduction strategies through the development of public-private sector partnership in the sugar, cotton and tourism sectors.
On her return to Europe rather than re-joining, as planned, the large Blue Chip multinationals of her past she focussed her energies in the 3rd sector whilst continuing to work as a consultant on projects in Malawi. Being asked to head up the operational side of Grant Making at Comic Relief gave Sarah experience into the rigour, depth and importance of the relationships between grant maker and recipient – and also provided the opportunity to merge all of her strengths through process refinement and developing new technologies to solve problems most effectively.
Having had a lifelong love of Jazz and been a member of Ronnie Scotts for many years the opportunity to join the Board of Trustees and launch this new Foundation is a privilege and honour. Currently taking some time out from her career whilst she raises her family ensures that Sarah has some time to spend sharing her knowledge of grant making into this new sphere.