Meet the Board

Berni Whitaker

Berni Whitaker (Chair)

Appointed to the Board: July 2016
Berni is currently Enterprise Manager with Sunderland City Council and has held previous management roles with Derwentside Council, Easington Council, South Tyneside Council and Sunderland College.
Berni was appointed chair from July 2016 following an external recruitment exercise.

Stuart Blackett

Stuart Blackett (Vice Chair)

Appointed to the Board: December 2016
Stuart is an associate of the ICAEW and is currently Managing Director Group Services at RPMI Darlington and has held various finance roles at RPMI since 2001.
Stuart is a member of the Remuneration & Governance Committee.

Alistair Brown

Alistair Brown (Chair of the Audit Committee)

Appointed to the Board: December 2011
Alistair qualified as an accountant (ACMA) in 1997 and has worked for the Department of Work and Pensions since 1983, currently employed as Head of Financial Assurance and Control.

David Goodman

David Goodman

Appointed to the Board: November 2013
David is a retired accountant / auditor who worked for the Audit Commission for over thirty years, progressing to regional director, focussing on legal and governance matters.
David is a member of the Audit Committee.

Fiona Coleman

Fiona Coleman

Appointed to the Board: August 2014
Currently Development Manager at Broadacres Housing Association and has been involved in social housing development for 25 years, also working for Bradford & Northern Housing Association, Cadarn Housing Association and Yorkshire Rural Community Council.
Fiona is chair of the Remuneration & Governance Committee.

June Grimes

June Grimes

Appointed to the Board: July 2016
June retired from her role as Director of Crisis Skylight Newcastle in 2015 having also worked in various housing roles with Home Housing, Three Rivers Housing and Northumberland County Council and tutor/lecturer roles with New College Durham and South Tyneside College.
June is a member of the Audit Committee.

Paul Stephens

Paul Stephens

Appointed to the Board: 1st June 2018
Paul has had a long and extensive career in the social housing sector and is currently FM Services Manager with Thirteen Group, having previously worked with Cestria Community Housing Association, Home Group and Sedgefield Borough Council.
Paul is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, with a BA (HONS) Degree Housing Studies. Paul is a member of the Remuneration & Governance Committee

Carl Makin

Carl Makin

Appointed to the Board: 1st July 2018
Carl is currently working as an Intellectual Property & Legal Administrator at The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP) and also previously worked for Railway Housing Association on an undergraduate placement assisting with the setup of the associations asset & liability register.
Carl attained his first class LLB (Hons) Law degree at Durham University June 2016, during which time he also undertook various support and advice roles for organisations including Shelter and Citizens Advice Bureau, and will embark on a PhD in housing law and regulation at York University in September 2018. Carl is a member of the Audit Committee.

Chris Fawcett

Chris Fawcett

Appointed to the Board: 1st March 2019
Chris is currently Business Transformation Director with Broadacres Housing Association and prior to this held both management and strategic IT related roles with Broadacres and also Hambleton District Council.
Chris is a member of the Remuneration & Governance Committee.