AHI People

Here are the folk who are working as AHI Committee members. If you meet them at events or conferences, do have a chat and let them know what you think about AHI and its work. After all, they’re here to represent you…

AHI welcomes anyone who would like to get involved with running the Association. Please get in touch if you would like to stand for election to the committee or help out in any way.

Our Trustees

Jim Mitchell

Chair

jim.mitchell@ahi.org.uk

I’ve been an AHI member since 2007 and find it to be an invaluable way of meeting fellow interpreters and new friends while continuing to learn about this fascinating profession. I became a trustee in 2013 and then Chair in 2018. I am committed to help grow AHI and help other interpreters develop and gain from its support and professional network.

I discovered interpretation while working as a ranger in the late 90s. I realised it was the perfect way to combine my interests in wildlife, heritage and communication. Since 2006 I’ve been with the New Forest National Park Authority, developing interpretation and outreach programmes and partnerships.

Interpretation is a hugely exciting area to work in, with such a variety of topics, locations and interesting people. Plus it’s always changing to keep us on our toes.

 

Suzanna Jones

Vice chair

suzanna.jones@ahi.org.uk

Inspired at a young age by National Parks Suzanna has worked in the Brecon Beacons since 2004 indulging her passion for revealing hidden stories of landscapes, their cultural heritage, wildlife and conservation. She delivered the Walking with Romans App (with Living Data) - winner of the AHI 2015 Discover Heritage Award for excellence in interpretation of cultural and natural heritage.

Suzanna was awarded a MA in Heritage Management from the Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham, and is a
NAI Certified Interpretative Planner.

Since attending her first conference in 2005 the AHI has been of invaluable support during her career. She became a Trustee in 2015, Secretary in 2017 and the Vice Chair in 2018. She also worked with Interpret Wales for 13 years promoting best practice and raising the profile of the profession with colleagues across Wales.

As a Trustee Suzanna has led on the redevelopment of the AHI website, membership and events databases.

Ruth Coulthard

Secretary

ruth.coulthard@ahi.org.uk

 

I first discovered just how powerful successful interpretation can be during a childhood visit to the Caen Memorial in France - a museum focused on war but dedicated to peace. It wasn't a comfortable experience, but an inspiring one. I moved swiftly on to a love of medieval abbeys and cathedrals (obviously the museum's pacifist behavioural objectives did the trick!) and then to travel. When I finally settled down there was no option but to study tourism and heritage interpretation.

I’ve been fortunate to work in some incredible locations including some of the UK’s Cathedrals, on the Jurassic Coast working in sustainable tourism and interpretation before moving to the Brecon Beacons National Park. Here, I look after education, information and interpretation for the Park (or fun and enjoyment as I prefer to call it). It’s a job all about inspiring people to love and explore the landscape and its cultural heritage which is perfect.

The AHI has supported me throughout my career, and I've gained much from the various events and networking opportunities, something which led me to volunteer for the role of conference director.

Michael Hamish Glen

Treasurer

I had the pleasure of helping to set up AHI (as SIBH) in 1975 and have been its journal editor, chair and administrator at various times. I’m now beginning a new role as Trustee and Treasurer and am privileged to be one of AHI’s Honorary Fellows.

My happy association with interpretation goes back to 1969 when I joined the first UK course for trainers in interpretation. Later, Michael Quinion and I ran Touchstone Heritage Management Consultants, working as interpretive planners and writers. I also traded, latterly, as QuiteWrite. As a wordsmith, I now concentrate on preparing creative prose and poetry for people at places.

I was instrumental in founding Interpret Europe in 2010 and have been a member of the NAI in the USA for over 20 years.

 

 

Lyn Redknap

Administrator

admin@ahi.org.uk

 

Lyn, who  started her career as a laboratory technician,  brings over 25 years of administrative experience with a wide range of public-sector organisations to her role as Administrator with the AHI.  Lyn is our only paid member of staff  and looks forward to meeting members, new and old, at AHI Events.

Bill Bevan

Trustee

bill.bevan@ahi.org.uk

 

I worked as a tour guide at Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage in Grasmere during the 1980s. I developed my interest in heritage interpretation as an archaeologist because of my belief that we all have a right to learn about our past. For me, interpretation helps us to understand something about the differing ways people at different times perceived and inhabited their worlds.

I set up inHeritage in 2005 and was the Interpretation Project Officer for the Peak District National Park Authority between 2006 and 2010. A lot of my current interpretation work is with helping community groups realise their ambitions while ensuring interpretive best practice.

I am also a writer and photographer, and have also been a terrible footballer, live movie sound-tracker and DJ - playing as far a field as Australia, Greece, Portugal, Zambia, Zanzibar as well as the UK.

I joined the AHI in 2006 and took a role on the committee to help the Association progress professionally and to support its members. I aim to re-instigate the awards scheme and develop the website resources section for members.

Philip Ryland

Trustee

philip.ryland@ahi.org.uk

 

My experience in the field of interpretation is based upon my current academic teaching and research activities within the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University as well as my personal interests and pursuits. I have been a member of AHI since 2005 and the NAI since 2000.

I teach wildlife & nature-based tourism at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As a Deputy Dean within the School, I also have responsibility for strategically leading the educational provision within the School. I therefore bring a knowledge of current issues in relation to the academic sector at FE & HE levels for the benefit of the AHI Committee.

In terms of research, my PhD focused on the on-site visitor experience at two locations on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site in Dorset and previous research has focused upon a study of 'earth education' as well as interpretation in public & private gardens which is a particular interest of mine.

Sheena Irving

Trustee

 

 

I always wanted to ‘do’ history at school, but having a yearning to work in hospitality and travel, I was steered by the careers department into science and then into the world of hotel management. It’s a very tough life but did allow me to carry on being a Cub leader, which is where I met my partner Douglas Bolton, in 1981 if anyone is counting! He worked with his father in a long standing family business called Audio Visual Consultants….I didn’t know what it meant, apart from quickly realising that they had been at the forefront of audio visual development, particularly in museums & visitor centres, since the beginning of the genre.

My interest in all things historical soon had an outlet and now, with over 30 years’ experience of producing for heritage and museum applications, I have worked all over the world, creating a large body of audio visual material covering a wide range of subjects, even science. And I love the challenges!

My goal since beginning in this industry has been to raise the profile of audio visual production in heritage applications and keep it up to date with client and visitor expectations of the medium whilst acknowledging the emergence and use of other digital technologies.

Kev Theaker

Trustee

kev.theaker@ahi.org.uk

 

My interest in interpretation developed through working as a countryside ranger and looking at the different ways that visitors engaged with sites that I managed. In the course of this work I led guided walks, school groups, managed visitor centres, worked with artists and most importantly became a storyteller.

For a different career phase I became a lecturer in interpretation and countryside management teaching to MSc and undergraduate courses. Or in other words I continued to work as a communicator of ideas, a storyteller and someone who encouraged people to question and think for themselves.

I now work with Written in Film, a specialist short form documentary maker which focuses on community and heritage activities. Telling stories and constructing narratives which allow people to tell their own stories.

AHI has provided a constant source of support and information throughout my different working phases, so as a trustee I want to see AHI continue to develop and support the diverse community of interpreters.

India Rabey

Trustee

india.rabey@ahi.org.uk

As other members may have experienced, I came across interpretation by accident. I was a graphic designer with a retail specialist background when I fell out of love with it and wanted to do work with more meaning and purpose. So I moved to Bristol in 2010 and began working at the Forestry Commission as an in house designer which is where I came across the AHI and the field of heritage interpretation. 

In 2014 I left to set up my own company, The Way Design, specialising in interpretation, branding and design for people and places. We have since grown into a passionate team of seven who collaborate with all sorts of experts to deliver exciting, fascinating and purposeful projects around the country and into Europe.

Taking an ever-active role, I joined the Trustees in 2018 as marketing and comms lead and look forward to raising the profile of the association, promoting it’s wonderful and varied activities and  meeting more members.

Astrid Krumins

Trustee

astrid.krumins@ahi.org.uk

Astrid Krumins is the Interpretation Manager for Wakehurst, RBG Kew’s wild botanic garden and home to the Millennium Seed Bank in Sussex. Interpreting the science and conservation stories of our native and global flora and fauna has been deep-rooted throughout her career. She has previously worked for the Wildlife Trust, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and the National Trust. She is also a qualified primary and TEFL teacher, and has a PGDip Interpretation: Management & Practice. Astrid is hoping to promote the benefits of AHI membership to other plant-passionate interpreters and will be helping organise the 2020 Conference.

 

 

Beth Môrafon

Trustee

beth.morafon@ahi.org.uk

Beth Môrafon is founder and Director of VisitMôr public realm and visitor experience consultancy. She has 20 years’ practice in interpretation planning and creation. During this time she has developed over 40 large-scale national and international projects. Her work has doubled peak visitation and been shortlisted for Museum & Heritage Awards. She was formerly Senior Consultant for The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and its subsidiary business WWT Consulting. Beth will support the AHI to raise membership and build the profile of the organisation.

Damon Mahoney

Trustee

damon.mahoney@ahi.org.uk

Damon Mahoney is a freelance Design Consultant based in Cumbria. He was Senior Designer for Forestry Commission England (now Forestry England) for 12 years and led on place identity, interpretation and wayfinding development across forest visitor sites. After setting up his own business in 2016 Damon now works across a variety of identity and interpretation projects for public, charity and private clients. As an AHI trustee he will be supporting the development of communications, marketing and the organisation of the 2020 Conference.

Chris Walker

Trustee

Chris Walker is a founding Director of Bright White Ltd, a design, innovation and delivery consultancy based in York. For 15 years he has worked with hundreds of different clients to deliver learning-led projects in the museums, archives and cultural sectors. Bright White has won multiple awards for its work, mainly for innovation and the use of technology for good. Chris will be bringing his digital expertise to the AHI.

Trustee Nominations

The Executive Committee now consists of a maximum of nine elected trustees and three co-opted trustees. Four of the nine elected trustees are elected to the posts of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. There are a further five Ordinary Trustees. Each year, one-third of the elected trustees must retire (i.e. three). Trustees are elected for a three-year term, and one third of them must retire at each AGM.

All Nominees (i.e. those putting themselves forward for election as an AHI Trustee) must be either an individual AHI member (Student, Associate, Full, Fellow, or Honorary) or the nominated representative of a corporate AHI member. All those proposing a member for election as a trustee must themselves be either an individual member or the nominated representative of a corporate member.

Awards Judging Panel

AHI Awards Judging Process

The five-member judging panel review all entries, then meet to discuss and shortlist the entries. The panel is chaired by an AHI Trustee and has a representative from each of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The panel aims to shortlisted 3 entrants and commend up to another 3 per category. The final number of shortlisted and commended sites in each category depends on the quality of entrants and how many meet the criteria to be shortlisted. It is possible that there may be more or less than 3 shortlisted entrants in a category. 

Each entrant who is not shortlisted is provided with a short feedback paragraph explaining what the judges like about the project and why it was not shortlisted. Site judges anonymously visit shortlisted entrants in a mentor-mentee pair and assess each site according to a standard judging form. Sites judges complete the form in their pairs, scoring the entrant according to different interpretive criteria and writing a summary. This is led by the mentor. They recommend whether the site should win the award or not.

The judging panel meets to review site judges’ reports and select the winning entrants; they can request additional information from the site judges and/or entrant at this stage, if necessary, to inform their decision. The panel chooses a winner in each category as well as the overall recipients of the AHI Awards for Excellence in Interpretation and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The panel can provide a special mention to deserving runners-up. Each shortlisted entrant receives feedback based on the site judges’ report. This summarises the judges' comments and highlights how the project achieved interpretive excellence along with any opportunities for improvement.