The Board has ultimate responsibility for directing the Group’s affairs and setting and delivering the strategic objectives.
The purpose of the Board is to lead, direct and control the Group’s business, determining strategy, culture as well as scrutinising and evaluating delivery of those strategies. Operational management of the organisation is delegated to the Chief Executive, Executives, and staff.
Declarations of Interest for all Board Members and Co-optees is held on a Register, which is reported on annually to Board and is available for public scrutiny if requested.
For more information on the Board please contact Suzanne Nowell, Senior Governance & Assurance Officer.
Paul Smith - Non Executive Director: Board Chair, Member of Group Governance & Remuneration Committee
Paul is semi-retired after nearly 50 years in housing, working in the Local Authority and Housing Association sectors. After retiring from his job as Executive Director at Arena Housing Group and as a qualified management coach and member of the ILM Paul ran his own coaching and management consultancy “Cloud Coaching Consultancy” from 2012 – 2020 providing coaching, management services, and Governance advice to individuals and organisations. Prior to joining the Trust, Paul spent 7 years on the Board at Prima Housing Group.
Paul is currently Chair of the National Housing Federation’s North West Board Members Forum and is an active participant in a number of other housing-based forums locally and nationally, as well as providing mentee support to existing and prospective Board members. Paul is passionate about housing and has a real customer focus, in particular how customers can influence service delivery and the governance of organisations.
Non-Executive Director – Deputy Board Chair, Chair of Group Audit & Assurance Committee
Now retired, Patrick has worked in social housing for over 30 years, having worked for four housing associations, all of whom were stock transfer.
He has previously worked in the private sector in the engineering, iron and steel industries.
Patrick is also a qualified accountant (CIPFA and CIMA).
Lynne Mills - Non Executive Director: Chair of Group Governance & Remuneration Committee
Lynne is a strategic leader with over 30 years’ experience in the commercial and not for profit sectors. An experienced leader with excellent knowledge of business management, customer service strategy and sales. She has a track record of delivering results across all aspects of an organisation, leading to sustained customer service excellence, business growth and profitability.
Lynne has strong team leadership skills and extensive experience in business development activity Lynne has held key roles in BT, O2, Cap Gemini, The Dixon Group International, Genesis Communications and the Institute of Customer Service where for the last 8 years she has worked with CEOs across a number of different sectors helping them to improve their business results particularly around the customer experience.
Lynne is extremely customer focused and is well known for her passion about embedding outstanding service across organisations.
Ben Powell - Non Executive Director: Member of Group Audit & Assurance Committee
Ben is an experienced communications professional, specialising in public affairs, media relations and campaigns. He is currently Account Director at Hough Bellis Communications. He previously spent almost a decade working in Westminster and served as a Councillor on Cheshire West and Chester Council. He has also worked for health and maritime trade unions, as well as being part of the senior management team at 38 Degrees.
Ben has held a number of board level positions locally, including as a Non-Executive Director of Marketing Cheshire and Avenue Services, and as Chair of Overview and Scrutiny for Cheshire and Merseyside Local Enterprise Partnership. He lives locally in Helsby and is a passionate about contributing to the local area.
Non-Executive Director: Member of Group Governance & Remuneration Committee, Member of Complaints Panel
Priti has 30 years’ experience directing, leading, and developing children and families, adult social care, health and wellbeing and employment and skills services. Priti has held the position of Executive Director for The Big Life Group, a social business, and charity for the past 23 years. She has a strong social values base which drives her passion for innovation and creativity to deliver high quality services to those most in need and whose circumstances can make them marginalised.
Priti is passionate about how we drive change and embrace keeping people and communities at the forefront of everything we do. Empowering people to remain in control, have a voice and to makes choices that improve their lives.
As a leader in a Social Enterprise business development is a key strength having successfully secured a range of public services and taken them through transformational change and making them sustainable within the third sector.
Prior to this, Priti has 10 years’ experience of successfully managing ‘Care in the Community’ leading on change management from residential institutions to community based independent living for adults with learning disabilities and mental health.
Dani James Non-Executive Director: Member of Group Audit & Assurance Committee
Dani has worked in senior finance roles for the last ten years having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2009. She is currently the Director of Finance for Onward Homes and spent two years as Head of Financial Accounting at Riverside. Prior to this, Dani was the Finance Director of Liverpool Airport. Dani first joined the sector as a Board member of South Liverpool Homes (SLH) in 2015 and served as the Chair of SLH’s Audit and Risk Committee for six years.
Andrei Szatkowski – Non- Executive Director
Andrei is an experienced housing professional at board, executive and senior leadership level. Andrei has over 30 years' experience within local authorities and housing associations across the Northwest.
Andrei is currently the Executive Director of People at Aspire Housing. Andrei is passionate about making a difference to customers and is focused on ensuring they receive the best service possible.
Andrei is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit at Blackpool Coastal Homes.
Andrea Lowman – Non-Executive Director
Andrea originally studied architecture and after working in a practice became interested in regeneration and housing. Her first job in the housing sector was as a Development Officer at St Vincent's Housing Association and since then has been fortunate to work for a number of forward thinking organisations, mainly in the North West.
Andrea has also been a Board Member and Chair of a North West housing association and has been a director for the last 20 years responsible for all aspects of development, regeneration, community investment, asset management, investment and repairs delivery. Development is in her heart and she is really excited to be back in the North West delivering new homes and developing communities.
Andrea describes herself not a bricks and mortar person but a people person and that’s what really drives her to ensure we all work together to provide great homes and services for people who need somewhere to build a life.
Vicky Churcher – Non-Executive Director
Vicky has been a Weaver Vale Housing Trust tenant for the past 11 years, including experiencing a transfer move to another property. Vicky started her journey as an involved customer as a member of the Customer Voice Panel.
Vicky is heavily involved with members of the local community around the Winsford area with her voluntary position at GGO Community Group (a local constituted community group).
Vicky is committed to representing the customer voice of Weaver Vale Housing Trust tenants at Board level.
Victoria Lane - Non-Executive Director
Victoria is an experienced licensee with over 25 years’ experience of managed and tenanted public houses in a wide range of locations, including Central London and Cheshire, for a number of the UK’s major breweries.
Victoria possesses excellent customer service skills and being an existing tenant of Weaver Vale Housing Trust, she will be able to represent the voice of the customer around the Board table.
Co-optee Member: Group Audit and Assurance Committee
Kirsty is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and has spent over 20 years working in the charity / not-for-profit sector.
Kirsty worked for an international care charity for over 15 years before moving into the social housing sector. She is currently the Director of Resources at Warrington Housing Association and is responsible for Finance, Governance, ICT and Business Support functions.
Kirsty has lived in Cheshire West for over 20 years and is keen to contribute to the local area.
Amber Kenny - Co-optee Member: Group Audit and Assurance Committee
Amber has lived in various social housing for 10 years with the last 4 years being a customer of Weaver Vale Housing Trust.
Amber has worked in the private sector for the last 7 years as a Finance Manager for a UK Holiday Letting Agency. Amber’s main focuses are operational finance, team management, customer service and complaint resolution.
Amber is currently working towards completing a Bachelor of Law.