The Group Board
We have a strong and experienced Board, whose skills are aligned to the delivery of the Cairn Housing Group Business Plan. The Board has responsibility for the strategy, viability and direction of the Group and to ensure high standards of governance and compliance across the Group. Our Board meets at least six times a year and our Group Audit & Performance Committee meet three times a year to give detailed oversight and scrutiny on compliance and improvement work. Cairn’s Board has a strong mix of skills and experience, including finance/banking, property management, legal, housing services and consultancy.
Cairn has a dedicated Governance Services Manager who is responsible for all governance support and administration across the Group, working with the Group Chief Executive to ensure all company secretarial and compliance matters are effectively managed.
- Don Jamieson - Chair
- Angus Lamont - Vice Chair
- Helen Barton
- Mary Black - ANCHO
- Laurence Casserly
- Nigel Chapman
- Lizzie Crawford
- Bill Gillespie
- Simon Guest
- Neil Wood
After a short spell in the private sector I spent 18 years in Local Authority working in a range of areas with economic development being my focus latterly. I progressed to European Funding for five years, managing large scale infrastructure projects and financial engineering before changing direction again to the voluntary sector. I have worked for a number of third sector organisations in Business Development roles before taking up my current post. As Chief Executive of the Coach House Trust I am responsible for the strategic direction of a charity that works to support a client group with mental health issues, learning disabilities, addictions, homelessness and offending backgrounds. The Coach House engages with these individuals through art, crafts and horticultural activities with a view to improving their employability. To complement this work we are developing a number of social enterprises. A large part of our external activities recently has been with local housing associations and that has provided me with a broader view than simply the ‘bricks and mortar' responsibilities that housing associations have. My main interest lies with the part that Cairn plays in the lives and the communities in which it operates.
After a long career in housing of almost 35 years in Glasgow and the Western Isles I retired in July 2016. My housing experience includes 12 years as Director of Housing at Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) responsible for housing strategy both for the public and private sectors, housing management, investment, new build, homelessness and Housing Benefit administration.
From 2005 until 2016 I was Chief Executive of the Hebridean Housing Partnership, a whole stock transfer from the local authority providing good quality housing for affordable rent and shared equity home ownership.
It has been my privilege to have worked in what is a vitally important service; the provision of good quality affordable housing for people in housing need. I am therefore delighted to have joined the Board of Cairn and commit myself to use my housing experience to contribute to the important work of my Board member colleagues and Association staff in delivering Cairn’s vision of great homes, great service and great people.
I have been directly involved in housing stock transfers with both disposing and receiving landlords, and have worked closely with tenants to ensure their interests were represented and taken into account.
I have enjoyed a successful and dynamic career to date working with a broad remit and a variety of challenging roles. I am delighted to have been able to join the team at Cairn as a Board member. Good quality affordable housing and excellent services are fundamentally important to ensure thriving and sustainable communities. I very much look forward to working with my Board colleagues and the staff team to put its core values into practice and maintain its role as a leading, dynamic and successful housing association in Scotland.
Mary has worked in the Housing sector for over 28 years. Mary started her career with Irvine Development Corporation in 1986 and moved on to work at Scottish Special Housing Association, Scottish Homes, Cunninghame Housing Association and Arklet Housing Association, where, having worked her way up to the position of Housing Services Manager/Depute Director, she retired in 2014. Mary has a passion for housing and believes that the Association should provide a first-class service to our tenants and promote tenant engagement at every opportunity. As a local person living in Irvine, Mary was delighted to be able to join the Ancho Board in June 2019 and enjoys working as part of the Cairn Housing Group following the Partnership between Ancho and Cairn which was formed in November 2018.
I am a Project Manager in a construction consultancy organisation working with clients on projects in a diverse range of industry sectors throughout the UK.
Alongside my experience managing construction projects in residential, healthcare, leisure and commercial sectors, I am also a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and have also completed an MSc in Construction Management at Heriot-Watt University.
I have good knowledge, understanding and hands on experience of residential development, including an understanding of design guides, public procurement guidance, construction contracts. Having been introduced to the affordable housing sector through previous employment with a residential developer, I have an interest in Scottish Government housing policy and the Regulatory environment in which housing associations operate, and the increasingly important role which Housing Associations will fulfil.
Working alongside public sector organisations in developing their projects and have therefore developed a good understanding of the governance, gateway process, reporting requirements and the importance of proactive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders including customers, staff, lenders, local authorities, Scottish Government and suppliers.
Applying my skills and experience working with both public and private sector organisations in the property and construction industry will enable me to make a positive and valuable contribution to Cairn Housing Association and I look forward to working with my colleagues at Cairn to continue to deliver great homes and great services.
I have worked in the UK Real Estate industry for over 25 years. After gaining experience in London private practice I joined Standard Life Investments (now Aberdeen Standard Investments) in January 2000 managing a significant real estate portfolio. In 2006 I was appointed Fund Manager of their UK Property Fund which I managed for 10 years. From 2016 I have been focused on increasing our investment into the residential sector, principally through developing new rental accommodation across the UK.
The UK housing sector currently faces significant structural challenges with many people struggling to find good quality, well managed and affordable accommodation that suits their needs. I am delighted to have joined the Board to help continue to address these challenges, and the impact they have on people and their communities. I commit my commercial investment experience to helping Cairn to continue to provide quality affordable homes and services, with the help of our communities, partners and staff, throughout Scotland.
Since a part time job at an Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors office and more recently becoming a homeowner, a tenant and a landlord, I’ve always been interested in property and housing.
I have a Business Studies degree where I specialised in management accounting. My career has spanned a number of project management, governance and operational roles within the defence industry, public sector and financial services. Several of these roles have involved delivering business transformation programmes and like Cairn, all of the organisations have customer service and people at the heart of their values.
I am delighted to be joining the Cairn Board at what I think will be a really interesting and exciting time for the organisation and hope that my skills and experience will complement those of the Senior Management Team and my Board colleagues.
Having lived and worked in the Highlands for 25 years, I am acutely aware of the importance of ensuring access to good quality affordable housing, not least in rural communities. I believe the voluntary housing association movement is central to sustaining and strengthening communities and look forward to Cairn further developing its capacity and commitment to making a difference through building, maintaining and managing good quality affordable housing.
The challenging economic climate requires housing associations to respond confidently and creatively in order to address the legitimate expectations of their tenants, their skilled staff, and those who aspire to an affordable home.
I have been a member of Cairn’s Board since 2011. I was a partner in an Edinburgh firm of solicitors for over 30 years, acting for many diverse, property related clients. I subsequently worked with Edinburgh based Applecross Properties for two years as Business Development and Legal Director.
I am now involved with various commercial and charitable organisations including Dance Base Limited, Scotland’s national dance centre.
I bring legal experience and an understanding of the housing sector in Scotland. I look forward to helping Cairn meet the challenges facing the sector in the years to come.
After a 35-year career in public transport where I worked in national and international companies at senior management and board level I am looking forward to bringing some of those skills and my experience to the team at Cairn Housing Association. Whilst having trained in operations management and marketing, the general management positions I held broadened my knowledge and experience to include finance, contract management, asset management and human resources.
I have always focused on service delivery and adding value to the customer’s experience. Through clear leadership and through the development of good systems, good staff training and the correct values, an organisation will have an edge in giving customer satisfaction. I am looking forward to helping Cairn achieve its vision of creating Great Homes, Great Services and Great People.
Senior Management Team
Our Senior Management Team consists of the Group Chief Executive, our Director of Finance & Business Services, our Director of Customer Services and six heads of service. The Senior Management Team are responsible for driving the achievement of the Group’s strategic goals and service and performance objectives across the Group and for translating the Board’s strategic direction into plans and action on the ground. The team are focused in achieving our Vision of Great Homes, Great Services, Great People. SMT work to achieve a positive and collaborative culture and working environment for staff, based on our Values of Customer First, Accountability, Excellence, Respect and One Team.
Jason has been Cairn's Chief Executive since December 2011. His role is to support the Board in the strategic direction of the Association and ensure high quality services to our customers. Jason is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and was elected to the Scotland Board 2013-15. He has served on the Board of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations since 2015. Since 1988 he has worked in the housing sector throughout his career. He has a range of experience in senior leadership roles in local authorities and housing associations, including as Executive Director of Regeneration & Development at WM Housing Group and as Corporate Director of Housing & Property Services at Tamworth Borough Council. Jason is committed to Cairn's core purpose of providing high quality homes and services to our customers and working with partners and communities across Scotland.
Director of Finance & Business Services
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Derek's previous commercial accounting background embraces roles within Engineering, Telecommunications and more recently Property Development and Banking. Derek has recently completed an MBA at Edinburgh University which adds a managerial awareness to his existing commercial experience. Derek's appointment in 2010 to the Executive Team at Cairn Housing Association, affords the Association the opportunity to utilise his considerable skills and experience during a period when financial probity will be at a premium.
Derek appreciates the Association's financial strength and plans to ensure the organisation remains as one of the leading associations providing affordable social housing in Scotland.
Director of Business Services
Morag joined Cairn in September 2019. She started her career as a Housing Management Officer in West Lothian Council before moving to Fife Council in 2003. She has led teams in many areas of housing including Performance and Improvement, Tenant Participation and Communications and Marketing. Following the successful Housing Inspection of Fife in 2010 and after gaining an MSc in Business and Quality Management she moved into Corporate Planning, working with the DLO functions of the Local Authority to drive performance improvements and efficiency savings. Morag has a strong belief that the customer should be at the heart of any service improvement and most recently helped to establish the Local Outcome Improvement Plan for Fife which has the Community Led Service ethos at its heart.
Director of Property Services
Meg is responsible for Property Services for the Cairn Housing Group, where she coordinates all aspects of investment in the Group’s new and existing housing stock, with an emphasis on planned maintenance and responsive repairs. Before taking on the Head of Service role, she led for 18 months on Cairn’s strategic asset management projects, including the evaluation of asset performance and modernisation of Cairn’s sheltered housing. Meg has worked in the housing sector for the past 15 years, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and holds a BSc in Architecture, an MSc in City Design and Social Science, and a PG Diploma in Housing. Prior to joining Cairn in 2018, she worked as a consultant advising a range of housing associations, local authorities and community organisations in Scotland and England on asset management, community engagement and regeneration projects.
Director of Customer Services
Prior to joining Cairn in April 2021, Connor worked with the Wheatley Group, leading and supporting a team of managers to deliver excellent performance and results, along with developing a ‘customer first’ culture. This included coordinating the provision and development of a range of services, across all group customer transactions, that continually improved service delivery. Connor's professional background includes holding other senior leadership roles, such as Director of Operations with the Community Renewal Trust and Regeneration Manager with Milnbank Housing Association. These experiences in housing services, community regeneration and third sector organisations, provided Connor with the opportunity lead on the delivery of quality and improved services, to customers and the communities they lived in. Connor is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing; Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Member of the Institute of Fundraising. In Connor's spare time, he serves as a board member on Glasgow Credit Union, Upkeep Community Enterprise and as a co-opted board member on his local housing association.