We are pleased to welcome three new co-opted members to our board of directors with the appointment of Aaron Fontenot, Geraldine Achieng and Lila Tamea. The appointments are in response to our recently updated diversity and inclusion policy, which aims to ensure that a broader range of voices from across Liverpool’s thriving digital and creative sector are represented and have an opportunity to help shape its future.

Baltic Creative’s new co-opted Board members. Left to right: Aaron Fontenot, Geraldine Achieng and Lila Tamea.

New board member, Aaron Fontenot is a socially-driven entrepreneur with a passion for branding and an eye for tech. He is the Business Lead at Matchstick Creative, as well as Project Lead on Firestarters; and, Founder and Head of Programming at Culture Deck, Liverpool’s leading urban media platform which celebrates the region’s Black and urban culture through events and creative media projects.

About his interests, Aaron said:

“The digital and creative sector has by far been the most exciting throughout my adult life. It is the sector where innovation meets creativity, often manifesting itself into new and exciting things. My passion and interest is for culture, and as a young person I’ve spent my life watching culture move from offline to online. I wanted to join the Board because I’m excited by the potential of that culture in the Liverpool City Region.”

Originally from Kenya, Geraldine Achieng joins the board after working with Merseyside Youth Association, WHISC and the Basement Advisory Centre. Geraldine also co-founded the events company, DATWAYSEASONS, inspiring the Black empowerment digital platform, ‘The Noire Review.’ Currently Geraldine works in PR and is involved with Liverpool City Council’s race and equality taskforce, prioritising health, housing and employment issues.

On why she applied, Geraldine said:

“I believe that success in self should be applauded, but success in others should be celebrated and so, with their similar principles, I’m beyond excited to join Baltic Creative! The opportunity is perfect to explore how we can prioritise community integration, particularly in minority communities, to ensure those with potential but no platform can be elevated to strengthen the creative communities in Liverpool.”

Lila Tamea is the former President and Vice President Education at Liverpool John Moores Student’s Union. Lila was involved in initiatives surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion, particularly race equality. Lila is currently studying a Master’s in Education at LJMU and, as a student community outreach officer, is involved in access and participation within the university’s student recruitment and admissions.

About her focussed interests, Lila said:

“As someone who had only interacted with Baltic Creative as a JMSU officer, I thought I could help the company be more inclusive of the communities I represent… My focus on the Board and at LJMU is engaging communities that we don’t normally engage with, or that we unintentionally exclude! I’m looking forward to supporting with this to grow Baltic Creative’s reach and network.”

Commenting on the new appointments, 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. 

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.” 

Left to Right: Mark Lawler (Baltic Creative MD), Aaron Fontenot, Fiona Armstrong-Gibbs (Baltic Creative’s Chair of the Board) and Lila Tamea.
Not pictured: Geraldine Achieng.

The management and growth of Baltic Creative is overseen by voluntary board members providing strategic advice and overseeing how generated funds are reinvested into the digital, creative and technology sector, while driving the business forward. The appointment of Aaron, Geraldine and Lila brings the board up to 8 members.