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Mermaids appoints interim CEO – & other sector movers

Melanie May | 13 December 2022 | News

Looking up at skyscrapers. Photo:

A bumper edition of our regular movers column this month, with a host of sector moves, including Lauren Stoner’s appointment as interim CEO at Mermaids, and new CEOs at The Outbound Trust, the Cumbria Deaf Association, Exeter Community Initiatives, and Borough Market.

Mermaids appoints Lauren Stoner as interim CEO

Lauren Stoner joins Mermaids this week as interim CEO. She has spent most of her career working in health and social care with a focus on person-centred support, rights, and voice, and on fundraising and policy change, ensuring that disabled people and abuse survivors have the right support. She has also been involved in developing and supporting partnerships with providers, commissioners and others across the statutory, voluntary, and community sector. Previous roles have included CEO at SV2, and Director of External Engagement at VoiceAbility.

Cathy Webster announced as Which? People Director

Which? has announced Cathy Webster as its new People Director, responsible for leading the organisation’s people management, diversity and inclusion work and colleague wellbeing initiatives. Webster, who joined the company in 2019 initially as Head of HR Business Partnering and L&D, had stood in as interim People Director since July. Officially starting her new role on the 1 January 2023, she will be leading on important aspects of the organisation and its people. This will include ensuring Which? achieves its goals on employee engagement and leading the workplace changes at the organisation’s London headquarters, as the company’s approach to hybrid working continues to evolve. Another core remit of her new role will be equity, diversity and inclusion, specifically promoting an inclusive culture at Which? alongside planning and executing a new EDI strategy for the organisation.

New CEO for The Outward Bound Trust

The Outward Bound Trust has announced Martin Davidson as its next CEO. Having formerly held the position of Director of Scotland and Innovation, Davidson officially takes the reins as CEO of The Outward Bound Trust on 13 February 2023. He will succeed Nick Barrett who has held the post for the last 16 years. Barrett will remain with Outward Bound during a transition period and handover with Davidson, before leaving the charity on 31 March 2023.

© Harry Atkinson 08/02/2022. Paternoster Row, Carlisle, Cumbria

Cumbria Deaf Association appoints new CEO

Caroline Howsley, who has been General Manager of Cumbria Deaf Association for the last two years, has been named as its new CEO. With Howsley as General Manager, the number of people employed by the association has doubled from five to ten over the last two years. In the coming year further appointments are expected, with two more British Sign Language interpreters, along with a Family and Youth Officer and a Care Coordinator to grow the current community-based support service.

WPNC hires Phil Dearson for newly created Digital Director role

Phil Dearson has been appointed Digital Director at direct and digital agency WPNC. Dearson brings to the newly created role a wealth of professional experience and transformational skills, specialising in strategy, CX/XD and innovation. He has held many senior roles within agencies, including Head of Digital, Head of Strategy & CX, Head of Data & Analytics and Head of Innovation, at companies such as Tribal Worldwide, The Marketing Store, Cello and Engine Group. He has also consulted with leading charities on digital transformation. Dearson will assume overall responsibility for WPNC’s digital activities, including development (experience and engineering) and marketing.

Katie Holland joins Exeter Community Initiatives as CEO

Local charity Exeter Community Initiatives has appointed Katie Holland as its new Chief Executive. Holland took up her role on 21 November, succeeding Steven Chown who has stepped down after six years. ECI works in Exeter and across Devon helping people facing poverty, inequality and homelessness to get their lives back on track. Under Holland’s leadership ECI will continue to sharpen its strategic direction, look for new opportunities to support the local community, strengthen partnerships and establish new relationships. Holland comes to the role having held senior roles in the charity, finance and housing sectors.

Jane Swift appointed permanent CEO of Borough Market

The Board of Trustees at Borough Market have announced the permanent appointment of Jane Swift as CEO, following her appointment as interim CEO in September 2021. Swift has a background in the corporate world and the charity sector and worked with organisations such as the Trussell Trust, Workers Education Association and the Landscape Institute before joining Borough Market. She is passionate about food poverty and women in business and is a trustee of the Harold Hill Foodbank and the Hornchurch Passion Play. 

L-R: Robyn Harrison, 21, volunteer from Warrington, who used to attend Stick ‘n’ Step herself, Suzi Turnock, new Trusts and Grants Fundraiser, classroom assistant Aysia Kissock, Rachel, 17, from Colwyn Bay and Poppy, 15, from Haydock

New Trusts & Grants Fundraiser for Stick ‘n’ Step

Stick ‘n’ Step has appointed a new Trusts and Grants Fundraiser to its Fundraising Team to work across its two centres in Wallasey and Runcorn. With 12 years’ experience in the charity sector, Suzi Turnock has been living in Indonesia for several years, working as Director of Global Outreach for a rainforest conservation charity. A large part of her role was fundraising through grants and trusts as well as managing relationships with major donors. she has now swapped the jungles of Borneo for the more familiar territory of her hometown of Wallasey. With a BSc and MSc in Wildlife Conservation, before moving overseas, Turnock worked with various conservation organisations in the UK, including Chester Zoo.

Russell-Cooke appoints Sukanya Ransford as charity team Legal Director

Law firm Russell-Cooke has promoted three individuals across its Charities, French law and Real Estate teams to the newly established role of Legal Director. Sukanya Ransford takes up the role in the charity team. Ransford has a strong background in corporate law and predominantly works on charity governance matters, as well as advising charities on establishment, mergers, restructuring, trading subsidiaries and commercial contracts. She is a member of the Charity Law Association.

Vincent Marke

Crowe expands Social Purpose & Non Profits team with Partner appointment

Audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe has expanded its Social Purpose and Non Profits team with the appointment of new Partner, Vincent Marke. Marke joins from Mazars, where he was Audit Director with a focus on social housing. He brings more than 20 years of experience, advising a wide range of not-for-profit, public sector and corporate clients including large housing associations. He has also been in finance leadership roles in three large housing associations and has an in-depth knowledge of financial management, governance and reporting in the sector. His portfolio includes internal and external audit clients, including a number with listed debt.