Meet the Board

June 12, 2021

Jan-Pieter Costima

Jan-Pieter has been on the Board of Ascendance since 2013 and is presently the Chair. Before joining the Board, Jan-Pieter helped the company with IT and website development in a voluntary capacity. 

Jan-Pieter has a business background, and founded and ran his own successful company developing Innovative Process Control Concepts, mainly for the food industry worldwide.

Away from work, Jan-Pieter is interested in the arts including music, architecture and Medieval history. He belongs to the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society and to the Classical Association (Leeds) (where he is currently President). 

Sam McCormick

Sam is a Dance Artist with over 14 years of professional experience, primarily around community practice and positive social change. Sam has a passion for working with people, and loves to explore and discover, providing an inclusive space for people to take risks and be themselves.

Sam runs her own dance organisation, Curious Motion, which is based in Calderdale and aims to address inequalities with a focus on health and happiness. Sam also works freelance for a number of other organisations; including as Head of Dance forFlamingo Chicks, an inclusive dance charity that provides opportunities for disabled children to dance alongside their friends, English National Ballet, and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. 

Sam is passionate about dance, health, and inclusion and is proud to be a member of the Ascendance team.

Janet Mitchell

Janet joined the Board of Ascendance in 2005 and is currently the Company Secretary. Ascendance has undergone a lot of changes since Janet joined, and she's really impressed with how the company is doing so well to adapt to the Covid situation. Janet enjoys watching Ascendance’s activities when possible, but also contributing to the running of board meetings and other governance matters.

Following training in town planning, Janet's working life has been in local government, initially in planning and later in arts funding and committee administration, finishing with a stint as a Parish Clerk.

Janet is also involved with a Patients Participation Group at her doctor’s surgery, and other interests include performing and visual arts, walking, yoga and trying to play the piano.

Chris Lloyd

Chris has worked in the theatre industry since 1984. He is a former Independent Theatre Council board member (2013-2019) and is a producer for Red Ladder Theatre Company – a 53-year-old producing theatre company based in Leeds. Having been at Red Ladder for over 15 years, Chris is still in constant awe of the talent he has to work with at the company.

Chris has experience in running both theatre buildings and touring theatre companies; fundraising from the public and private sectors; producing and staging shows; contracting artists and booking and contracting tours. Well versed in governance and the requirements of The Charities commission and Companies House

Never happier than when sitting in his parlour counting his pennies, Chris occasionally emerges, blinking, into the theatrical spotlight for opening nights, launches, free lunches and end of tour thrashes.