Gentoo appoints two new Board members

Sunderland-based housing association Gentoo Group has appointed two new members to its Board.

Alison Fellows and Emily Cox were invited to join the Board at its meeting in February and will take up their new posts immediately.

Alison Fellows, who is currently Investment Director at Tees Valley Combined Authority, has eight years’ non-executive director experience with the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. She previously worked as Executive Director of Commercial Development for Sunderland City Council and as Assistant Director of Capital Investment for Newcastle City Council.

Emily Cox is currently Director of Public Affairs at Virgin Money and has a background in HR and law. She sits on the boards of The Sage Gateshead and NewcastleGateshead Initiative and was recently appointed as Chair of the North East Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Commenting on her appointment, Alison said: “I am delighted to join the Gentoo Board. This gives me an opportunity to try to put something back into the North East by using my commercial, legal and governance experience to make a difference to people’s lives at a community and individual level.”

Emily added: “Social housing is critically important and more must be done to tackle the shortage of good-quality, affordable housing. Housing associations have a key role to play in that and in helping to revive the local economy and build stronger, more diverse communities. I look forward to working with the Gentoo team to do this.”

Alison and Emily will join Gentoo’s existing ten Board members to determine the vision and strategic direction of the Group and to scrutinise its performance.

Chairman of the Board, Keith Loraine OBE, said: “I am so very pleased to further strengthen the Gentoo Group Board by welcoming two people with such valuable experience.

“Both Alison and Emily have worked with some of the region’s biggest businesses and public bodies and have a wealth of commercial and non-executive expertise to bring to Gentoo.

“I look forward to working with them and the rest of the Board over the next few months to shape the future vision for Gentoo as we develop our new five-year business plan”.

This follows two appointments to Gentoo’s executive team in recent months. Nigel Wilson joined as Group Chief Executive in January and Peter Lenehan took up the post of Executive Director of Finance in February.

Gentoo Group manages over 28,000 social housing properties in Sunderland. Its commercial arm, Gentoo Homes, is a profit for purpose business that builds more than 200 homes per year for sale which helps to generate subsidy to support the delivery of more affordable rented homes across the city.