The Great Western Society Limited has appointed Emma Jhita as its first chief executive. Emma will join the management team at Didcot Railway Centre, the living museum of the Great Western Railway.
This follows the recent reorganisation of the board of directors of the charity over the past six months, with the appointment of four new directors last September, followed by the retirement of Richard Croucher as chairman in January this year, and the appointment of Richard Preston as his successor.
Emma Jhita has recently been director of development at the Jewish Museum London where she led a number of successful initiatives to secure funding as well as developing and implementing the business plan. Before this, Emma was campaign director at The Postal Museum during which time the museum implemented its Mail Rail project. Prior to this role, she worked in fundraising, marketing and strategy roles for a number of other charities including the Royal British Legion's National Memorial Arboretum.
Emma Jhita said: "I have long admired the development of the Great Western Society's museum at Didcot Railway Centre, and look forward to working with the board and all the staff and dedicated volunteers who work hard to preserve the history of the Great Western Railway through Didcot's unrivalled collection of locomotives, rolling stock and artefacts. I recognise that the Society needs to ensure it can raise funds to continue with the conservation and restoration of its collection, and achieve its ambitions for development of Didcot Railway Centre. As an innovative heritage attraction and one of the most vital museums in our area, the centre offers a truly unique experience for all visitors – from young children to those who can remember the great days of the GWR."
Richard Preston, chairman of the Society said: "My colleagues and I are delighted that Emma is joining us. I believe that her management expertise, her people skills and her fundraising talents will help us achieve the longer term plans that we have been developing over the past few years."