Board of Directors Profile

Wishaw and District Housing Association's Board Members agree our strategic direction and ensure our senior management team is able to run the organisation successfully.  

Julia Mulloy - Chair

Julia joined Wishaw and District Housing Association as a Statutory Appointee in January 2019 and has been Chair since August 2019.  Julia has been Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Housing Association since January 2011, and brings over 20 years experience in strategic leadership roles across the Social Housing, public, private and community led sectors in Scotland and England.  Julia is also a Board of Director of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.

Scot Smith - Vice Chair

Scot is a Case Worker with Routes to Work in North Lanarkshire.  He has worked in employability for 15 years, prior to which he worked for 10 year within housing - with the majority of that time being spent at Craigdale Housing Association in Castlemilk where he was a Housing Assistant.  Scot has been on the Board at WDHA for over two years, during which he has been involved in various sub-committees (including Transition, HR and Development sub-committees) and he is currently serving as Vice Chairperson.  Scot has been impressed with the level of tenant satisfaction and the condition of the stock within WDHA and feels that the Board role has been rewarding and allows personal development and enabled involvement in development presentations, carrying out interviews for staff members as well as for new Board members and in general learning to work as a team in relation to the Board itself.

Laura Calder - Secretary

Laura was appointed to the Wishaw and District Housing Association Board in December 2018 by the Scottish Housing Regulator.  Laura is an Audit Manager with a background in quality management and performance.  She has extensive knowledge of registered social landlords and is experienced in governance and scrutiny matters.

Helen Forsyth

Helen has been the Chief Executive of Berwickshire Housing Association for over 10 years during which time she has inspired staff to become number 9 in the Sunday Times Best Companies not for profit section and provided the innovation in order to solve the problem of how to keep building new homes, at a time when funding was in decline with the ground breaking "Fisherman Three" Community Windfarm, near Cockburnspath.

Helen joined Berwickshire Housing Association from Places for People in 2007 in which her role was Regeneration Director and previously to this role she was the Chief Executive at Edinvar Housing Association.  Helen's background has involved working in the public sector, health and social care and not for profit organiations.  Helen is the Chair of Resilient Scotland and appointed to represent the third sector for new South of Scotland Economic Partnership, an initiative which will devise a fresh approach to the economic development of Scotland.

Brenda Higgins

Brenda began her career in housing in 1984 after completing a Diploma in Housing Administration at Stirling University.  In 1997, she became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and completed a Master of Business Administration degree at Glasgow University. 

Brenda has provided support, in a voluntary capacity to several Housing Associations throughout her career and since retiring in 2010.  Brenda's fist spell as a Co-Opted Board Member was in the mid 1990s in Glasgow.

During her career Brenda worked in both small and large Housing Associations.  Latterly she worked at Link Group, where she led two subsidiary companies: Linkwide and Link Homes.  Linkwide, was the development and regeneration arm of the group, delivering new homes and innovative projects with, and for, local communities.  Link Home, the commercial company within the group, building new homes for sale, providing factoring services, and delivering the Scottish Government's LIFT Open Market Shared Equity project for first time buyers.

In 2010, Brenda set up her own Consultancy, and on two occasions acted as Interim Director at Housing Associations which were under High Engagement with the Regulator.  Brenda has also been a member of the Scottish Tribunals Service, serving on the Home Ownership Housing Panel, and whilst there completed training as a Mediator.

Brenda served on the Board of People in Glasgow for over 6 years, resigning in 2018, and is currently a Board member of a housing charity based in West Lothian.

Nile Istephan  - BA(Hons), MPhil, CIHCM

Nile joined Eildon as Chief Executive in April 2010 having previously undertaken a number of senior roles in the Scottish Government. 

In his role as Chief Executive at Eildon Housing Association, Nile currently leads a staff team of 130 people working across a range of housing, care and support services.  He is responsible for the day to day operation of the business and reports to a Board of Management who oversees the strategic direction of the Association.  Nile has recently completed six years on the Board of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, serving five of these as Vice Chairman.

Nile has a BA(Hons) in Economics, a MPhil in Urban Policy.  He is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.  He also serves on the executive committee of the Scottish Procurement Alliance.

Grant Kennedy

Grant is an experienced housing professional having worked in the social housing sector for the past 13 years, and is currently employed at a Housing Association in Glasgow.  Grant studied Social Housing at Motherwell College gaining a Level 4 Diploma, then the University of Glasgow where he graduated with a Masters Degree in Housing in 2016.  Grant is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and was a Board member at Wishaw and District Housing Association from 2011 to 2016.

Michelle MacDonald

Michelle is an Office Manager within a financial firm part of St James Place, where she is responsible for managing the daily running of the office and its clients on behalf of the Director.  Michelle was previously employed as a Business Support Manager within a factoring firm for 13 years and holds Member status of the institute of residential property management.  Michelle is also a qualified first aider with St. Andrews ambulance.

Nicky McLaughlin

Nicky is originally from Newarthill and is a Wishaw and District Housing Association tenant himself (since October 2010).  He has also worked in the Wishaw area for many years prior to 2010.  Since 2014 Nicky has worked as the Centre Manager for Christians against Poverty's (CAP), Wishaw Debt Centre, based in Newmains, and also the manager of the Live Well Foodbank at Coltness Memorial & Bonkle Churches.  Nicky strongly believes that Housing Associations provide a way for residents to have a greater say in one of the main areas in their lives.

Andrea Paterson

Andrea specialises in the strategic financial planning of public sector investment, particularly housing led investment in the UK.  Andrea started her career in Local Government Finance with East Dunbartonshire Council before moving into financial advisory services including with Ernst & Young for serveral years.

Andrea is a founding Director of The Indigo House Group and leads their financial advisory work which most recently includes leading advice to the Scottish Government and European Investment Bank, Highlands and Islands Enterprise as well as a range of local authority and Housing Association clients across the UK.  Andrea is also a keen supporter of the community finance and social enterprise sector in Scotland and has advised Scotcash in Glasgow since 2012.

Andrea has excellent knowledge of the affordable housing sector in Scotland and further afield.  She was lead financial advisor on Glasgow Housing Association's second stage transfer programme, specialist advisor on Audit Scotland's review of Scotland's social housing market, the Clyde Gateway project including the footprint for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Athletes Village and the Market Renewal Programme in Birmingham.  In recent years, Andrea has authored a number of important publications including regulatory guidance for social landlords on business and financial planning and, with colleagues, asset management.

Andrea is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) and has held a practice assurance certificate since 2009.  She has a BA in Accountancy and MBA (with distinction) from Glasgow University.  She was winner of the Anna Ritchie award for performance of all MBA graduates in 2001.

Cllr Jim Hume - NLC Rep

Jim was elected as a North Lanarkshire Councillor over 6 years ago.  He serves on a number of Committees and takes the lead for his Group on the Finance Committee and the Audit and Scrutiny Panel.  Jim was a member of the Lanarkshire Valuation Joint Board for 5 years and has been a Director of North Lanarkshire Municipal Bank for 7.5 years.  Jim joined the Board of Wishaw and District Housing Association in March 2018 as the co-opted representative for North Lanarkshire.