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GSA welcomes two new board members

Craig And Gillian New Board Members Oct 23

Following our recruitment process over the summer, we are delighted to welcome Gillian Durden and Craig Jones to our Board.

Our Board helps to set our strategic direction and works with our Executive Team to ensure we are held to account for the overall performance of the organisation and compliance with regulation and legislation. The Board also helps to ensure risks to the organisation are understood and managed, and helps to safeguard assets, finances, customers and our colleagues.

Gillian Durden has more than three decades of professional experience working in social housing holding many roles including Housing Officer, Housing Services Manager and leading Organisational Change for Bristol City Council’s Housing Repairs Service.

Now retired, Gillian’s most recent job role was Head of Planned Maintenance for a housing provider leading on asset strategies for property, compliance, estate improvements and carbon retrofit projects. 

Gillian said: “I relish the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives and being on GSA’s Board provides this opportunity. I want to ensure that our customers are central to our improvement plans, that our homes are decent and safe, and we stay focussed on our core aim of becoming a truly great social landlord.”

Joining Gillian on our Board is Craig Jones, Chief Financial Officer at the University of Derby.

Prior to his current role, Craig was a Finance and Corporate Services Director for two social housing and care providers in the Midlands and was a Non-Executive Board Member, and Chair of Audit Committee, at Black Country Housing Group for six years up to September 2023.

Craig's career background is in the global professional services firms, including PwC and Deloitte, where he worked for 18 years and led finance projects across UK government and local public services. Craig advised on public procurement, commercial structures and social and economic infrastructure projects. On the 1 December 2023, Craig will join Aston University as Chief Finance Officer and sits on the Executive of the British Universities Finance Directors Group.

Craig said: “I am delighted to have joined the Board of GSA, an ambitious and high performing social business providing much needed services to many people.

“I am passionate about the work of housing associations and am looking forward to working with the Board and management team to help progress GSA’s core strategy, alongside navigating important policy and financial challenges, to benefit our current and future customers.”

Commenting on the new appointments, our Chief Executive Ruth Cooke said: “It’s great to welcome both Gillian and Craig to our Board who both bring a wealth of experience in social housing with them. Our two new Board members have a deep understanding of the housing challenges facing communities in both the West Midlands and South West which will be an asset for GSA.

“Our board helps set our overall strategy, whilst monitoring our performance, service delivery and financial viability. I’m really looking forward to working closely with both Gillian and Craig.”

You can find out more about our Board here.