Meet our Board members
Elisabeth Buggins CBE, Chair
Elisabeth Buggins trained as a health service manager before leaving the NHS to look after three children with a variety of special needs. For 18 years she worked with the voluntary sector on local, national and European projects that interface with health services. For nearly six years, Elisabeth chaired an NHS Trust providing community, mental health and learning disability services. She was a Non-Executive Director for the National Blood Authority, and then the NHS Blood and Transplant Authority for nine years, and chaired the UK Organ Donation Taskforce, publishing three major reports on ways to improve organ donation. From 2002 – 2011, she was Chair of the local Strategic Health Authority. In 2009, Elisabeth was appointed as Programme Lead for Board Development for the NHS National Leadership Council. Elisabeth received a CBE in the New Year’s honours list 2007/8 and has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant (DL). She has a keen interest in social justice and helping people to thrive in communities, as evidenced by being a leader in the Big Feed programme and chairing Walsall Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Support Association.
Jon Crockett, Deputy Chair and Chair of Care and Support Committee
Jon has a degree in economics from Staffordshire University. His public service career began in 1976 with Wolverhampton Council and he subsequently worked in a range of positions in the NHS, including as Chief Executive of Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust from its creation in April 2002 until retiring in September 2011. During his NHS career Jon served on a number of national and regional bodies. A qualified accountant, he was elected president of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy for the Midlands in 2003 and served on its regional council for over 15 years. Jon continues to work actively across a wide range of organisations including Chair of Citizens’ Advice Wolverhampton, the City of Wolverhampton Academies Trust and Believe to Achieve (B2A) a children’s charity. He is a Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) Health Futures UTC and City of Wolverhampton College. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree by the University of Wolverhampton in 2010 for his considerable contribution to the provision of health and well-being in the region and is Visiting Professor in Health Management and Leadership at the University, where he has been working on projects including Leadership, Public Service Commissioning and Dementia.
Dr Lola Abudu, Non-Executive Director
Lola has a long-standing career in the public health sector having sat on primary care trust (PCT) boards and having been the Director for Commissioning of Worcestershire PCT. Having worked for West Midlands Strategic Health Authority, she is currently a consultant in public health for the Public Health England West Midlands Centre.
Simon Eastwood, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Remuneration Committee
Simon is a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years’ experience in the property development, regeneration and construction sectors. He has held a number of senior roles including as Managing Director of Carillion Developments, with responsibility for the property development business which undertakes property schemes throughout the UK and Canada, and as a Director of Manchester based Ask Real Estate. He is a Board member of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and takes a keen interest in the planning, development and funding work steams of the LEP, including serving as Chair of the Board’s Funding Sub-Group.
Stephen Gabriel, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Communities Committee
Stephen currently works for Sandwell Council as the Strategic Manager for the Homes & Communities directorate, which has specific responsibility for the Strategic Housing function across the borough. Stephen has worked in local government for 25 years and has held a range of roles from both operational and strategic perspectives. Stephen currently has responsibility for private sector housing, environmental health, trading standards and licensing and has worked in economic development, equalities and education and has gained extensive knowledge in housing, regeneration and community development. Stephen has a PGD in Urban and Regional Studies at Birmingham University and studied law at the University of Central England, as well as having acquired British Sign Language level 2.
Dr Christopher Handy OBE, Chief Executive
Chris has a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master of Law degree, Fellowship of the Institute of Housing and membership of the British Institute of Management. He received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009 and in 2010 was made a Professor of Governance by Birmingham City University’s Business School. He has been Chief Executive of Accord and its precursors for over 20 years, previously working in other housing organisations and local government. Chris is a published author with titles including ‘Housing Associations: The Law of Social Landlords’ (written jointly with Professor John Alder) and ‘Discrimination in Housing’ and he is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Housing Law. Chris is a Non-Executive Director of the Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and was previously a Non-Executive Director of the NHS Strategic Health Authority for Midlands and East of England. He was appointed to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership Board in 2012 and leads on enterprise and the green growth agendas for the region. In addition, he is Chair of the Matrix Housing Partnership Strategy Group and was Executive Commissioner of the Commission for Co-operative and Mutual Housing.
Ninder Johal, Non-Executive Director
Ninder was until recently the President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce (two-year term) and was runner up in the Sunday Times Non-Executive Director of the Year. He is Chair of the Black Country LEP Broadband Group, Chair of Charity Steps to Work, Vice Chair of Sandwell College, Governor of Wolverhampton University, Trustee of Victoria Park Academy, Trustee of the Albion Foundation, a Board member of the West Midlands Growth Company and Director of the Black Country Consortium. Ninder also holds Board positions on the Black Country LEP and the West Midlands Combined Authority and is a patron of the charity Access to Business.
Andy Potter, Non-Executive Director
Andy joined the Electricity Supply Industry as a Graduate Trainee and his career included personnel and training, customer service and marketing before being appointed as Managing Director of Engineering Services. He was a board member of Sandwell Training and Enterprise Council and a founding board member of Tipton City Challenge, which led a five year regeneration initiative. Having spent eight years as a board member then Chair of Rooftop Homes, he joined the Caldmoreaccord board in 2013 and became Chair in 2015. In 2017 Andy became Chair of the develoment partnership, matrix housing partnership.
Dr Alan Harrison, Non-Executive Director
Alan is a recent trustee of the Albatross Theatre project (Geese Theatre) working with vulnerable people and is currently a non-executive director with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. He was appointed as Vice-Chair in 2010 and Senior Independent Director in 2014. He is a former Chairman of the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust having overseen the merger of the two probation areas and their successful bid for Trust status. Alan became the first Chief Executive of England Athletics, and was responsible for setting up the new governing body for the sport in preparation for the London Olympic Games. He has worked closely with disabled people as a senior executive in Remploy. Alan spent the major part of his career with Courtaulds plc in a succession of senior management roles and set up Courtaulds Specialty Fibres with its focus on the medical sector. He has managed a number of business turnarounds and led a worldwide business improvement programme for Courtaulds Fibres.
Mushtaq Khan, Non-Executive Director
Mushtaq is a Director at BPL. He is a solicitor with more than 17 years’ experience, including at a senior level as partner and national head of department at top 50 commercial law firm, Freeths LLP. He is highly recommended as a leading lawyer in the globally renowned directory on lawyers - Chambers & Partners UK. Mushtaq has worked with a wide range of enterprises spanning the private, public and the third sector. He is a former President of The Birmingham Law Society. In 2016 Mushtaq was selected as one of Birmingham’s top 250 most influential people in the Birmingham Post, Power 250.
Andrew Cardoza, Chair of Finance Risk and Audit Committee
Andy is a CIPFA qualified accountant and a Director at KPMG in the Public Sector Audit and Assurance Team. He leads KPMG’s Internal Audit Housing business in the Midlands and has worked with a wide range of housing organisations including WM Housing Group, Futures Housing Group, Aldwyck Housing Group, Sanctuary, Hyde and Peabody.
KPMG currently works with (as internal or external auditors, or advisors) some 60% of all RPs in England and the knowledge and experience KPMG has of the housing sector, combined with the huge amount of sector-specific benchmarking data that they are privy too enables Andy to provide advice and guidance across a range of control, compliance, assurance and regulatory issues.
Andy is also responsible for ensuring that KPMG’s housing internal audit work complies with the Firm’s in-house quality review programmes in terms of quality and compliance against statutory requirements; and in addition that all KPMG housing internal audits pass external reviews carried out for the same purposes. To date the Midlands Housing Internal Audit Team has passed all these annual assessments.
During his time with KPMG Andy was also seconded to one of the largest RPs in London, with over 50,000 units (turnover c£400m pa) to carry out an Organisation-wide Diagnostic Review. His tasks included re-designing the target operating model for the organisation in order to bring about a much more coherent and one-organisation wide way of working, rather than the silo type working that existed at the time. This helped the RP ensure that its governance, operating models and group structures were re-designed and made much more fit for purpose, future proofed and could deliver both efficiencies and better governance, whilst ensuring better services were delivered to its customers.