The whg Board comprises:
Danielle Oum (Chair Designate)
Danielle was appointed Chair Designate in October 2018. She has a professional background in the learning and skills and regeneration sectors and has held senior roles in organisations such as Black Country Consortium, Groundwork UK and the Learning and Skills Council.
In parallel to her professional career, Danielle has also held a number of non-executive roles, including within the housing sector at Optima-Family, WM Group and Wrekin Housing Trust.
Alongside her continued interest in housing, Danielle has held non-executive roles in the NHS. She is Chair of Healthwatch Birmingham, the regional agency for Healthwatch England that advocates on behalf of NHS and social care service users. She is also Chair of Audit for Healthwatch England. She has previously held non-executive/Chair roles at Dudley Primary Care Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust. In 2016, she was asked to become the Chair at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, to help turnaround this poorly performing Trust.
Danielle holds an MA in Equal Opportunities from Birmingham City University and a BA in Humanities from University of Greenwich.
Mike Hew (Interim Chair)
Mike joined the Board in September 2014, having retired as the Chief Executive of a registered provider based in the West Midlands. He has many years of housing experience at a senior level in both housing associations and local authorities in the region and brings expertise in strategic and asset management, change management and organisational development, social housing policy and governance. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a trustee of a local charity providing support services for families. Mike was appointed Deputy Chair in 2017 and before taking on the role of Chair on an interim basis earlier this year, he was a member of whg’s Audit and Assurance Committee. Alongside his position as Interim Chair, Mike continues to be a member of whg's Governance and Remuneration Committee.
Linda was appointed to the Board in 2014. She has worked in a number of roles including classroom assistant, hospital visitor and tutoring adults. She brings a wealth of experience of the needs of local customers and communities as well as a sound understanding of equality and diversity, social housing, welfare reform and customer involvement and scrutiny. Linda is a whg customer and is involved in several local voluntary groups including a patient participation group. Linda chairs whg’s Customer Services Committee and is also a member of the VIEW Board.
Gary Fulford (Group Chief Executive)
Gary was appointed to the Board in August 2016 and has been the Group Chief Executive of the whg group of companies since November 2009. Gary has over 30 years of housing experience and has held Director positions for 20 years. He is a member of Walsall Council's Borough Management Team (the Walsall Proud Partnership) and is also the Vice Chair of the Regional Committee of the National Housing Federation. His skills include housing management, asset management, development and finance. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, by examination. Gary is Chair of the whg Developments Limited and whg Treasury PLC Boards and is also a member of the VIEW, whg Trading Company Limited, Anthem Homes Limited and Buy For Good CIC Boards.
Ian was appointed to the Board in February 2016. He has been employed within the housing sector for over 18 years and has progressed via technical engineering positions and senior management posts to become a strategic leader in social housing. He brings expertise in strategic management and asset management. A chartered member of the CIOB and CIH, Ian is currently the Head of Housing Maintenance at Dudley Council. Ian is the Chair of whg’s Audit and Assurance Committee.
Noel has been a Board Member since 2014. Now retired, he previously spent 10 years working as a miner in the Cannock area before moving to work for a Cannock firm which supplied machinery to the construction and quarrying industries. He is a member of the management committee of a local sporting organisation and brings experience of the needs of local communities, performance management, service user involvement and customer services. Noel is a whg customer and brings a clear focus on customer service and experience. He is also a member of whg’s Customer Services Committee.
Paul has been a Board Member since December 2018. Paul is a Chartered Surveyor with 35 years’ experience in the construction, development and maintenance sectors. Having spent most of his career in the social and affordable housing sector, Paul now manages his own consultancy business and also undertakes projects for other consultancies. He brings skills in risk management and housing development, with a particular focus on representing customers’ needs and interests. Paul has been, and continues to be, involved in a number of non-executive roles, both within and outside the housing sector. His current appointments include membership of the RICS Housing Supply Working Group, through which he contributes to housing policy development and engages with Government and other agencies.
Jatinder Sharma OBE
Jat was appointed to the Board in March 2016 and is the Principal and Chief Executive of Walsall College. He is a qualified accountant with both private and public sector experience. He has a wide range of skills and experience including financial and treasury management, strategic and risk management, business expansion and change management. Jat has excellent knowledge of the local area and our local communities. In 2015 he was awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to Further Education. Jat is also the Chair of whg’s Governance and Remuneration Committee.
Greg was appointed to the Board in 2017. He has worked in the home ownership sector since 1997 and is currently the Senior Partner for a consultancy that he created in January 2016 to provide home ownership sales and marketing expertise to small and new developers. Before creating the consultancy, he was the Sales and Marketing Director for a major developing housing association delivering Shared Ownership homes and also its commercial subsidiary which sold homes on the open market to cross subsidise social housing. Greg is also the Chair of the Boards of our commercial companies; whg Trading Company Limited, Anthem Homes Limited and Buy for Good CIC.