Baltic Creative CIC unveils new board members

Following an update of its diversity and inclusion policy Baltic Creative CIC in Liverpool has appointed Aaron Fontenot, Geraldine Achieng and Lila Tamea to its board. Tony McDonough reports

Baltic Creative CIC
From left, Mark Lawler, Aaron Fontenot, Fiona Armstrong-Gibbs and Lila Tamea

 

Baltic Creative Community Interest Company (CIC) has welcomed three new co-opted members to its board of directors.

In a response to its recently updated diversity and inclusion policy, Aaron Fontenot, Geraldine Achieng and Lila Tamea, all aged under 30, will join the board of Baltic Creative CIC which has helped drive the transformation of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool.

Its estate is home to 180 digital and creative businesses, employing 650 people. Its new inclusion policy aims to ensure that a broader range of voices from across the digital and creative sector are represented and have an opportunity to help shape its future.

Aaron Fontenot is a socially-driven entrepreneur with a passion for branding and an eye for tech and consumer trends. He is the business lead at Matchstick Creative, as well as project lead on Firestarters, a cross-sector community of Liverpool city region organisations coming together to do good.

He is also the founder and head of programming at Culture Deck, an urban media platform which celebrates the region’s black and urban culture through events and creative media projects.

Originally from Kenya, Geraldine Achieng has joined the Baltic Creative board after working with Merseyside Youth Association, The Women’s Health Information & Support Centre (WHISC) and the Basement Advisory Centre.

He work involved highlighting the lack of employment opportunities for students, while promoting positive mental wellbeing, particularly in men from minority communities.

Geraldine also co-founded the events company, DATWAYSEASONS, at the heart of Liverpool city centre to promote the North West between 2017 and 2020, inspiring the black empowerment digital platform, ‘The Noire Review’.

In her day job, Geraldine is a PR executive, as well as being involved with Liverpool City Council’s race and equality taskforce, campaigning to prioritise health, housing and employment issues affecting Liverpool boroughs.

Lila Tamea is the former president (20-21) and vice president education (19-20) at Liverpool John Moores Student’s Union (JMSU). During her time at JMSU, Lila was involved in initiatives surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion.

Baltic Creative CIC
Geraldine Achieng, a new board member at Baltic Creative CIC

 

She introduced the university’s attainment gap council, designed to spearhead initiatives to close the black attainment gap at LJMU. Lila is currently studying her master’s in education at LJMU.

Baltic Creative CIC managing director, Mark Lawler, said: “We’re excited to have three new additions to the board, and we are already enjoying their fresh input from a younger perspective, as well as drawing on their varying cultural and career experiences to date.

“Diversity within the digital and creative sector as a whole is a challenge and we hope that the appointment of Aaron, Geraldine and Lila will enable us to be more proactive in addressing where the gaps are, so that there are more opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved.”

In 2019 Baltic Creative, surveyed its tenants found that 72% of employees were aged 20-39, 91% were white British and 63% were men. Mark added: “The diversity survey data made for interesting reading and really highlighted to us that more needs to be done to bring more representation into the sector.”

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