Our Board

The Wales Co-operative Centre has been in business since the early 1980s. Our sustainability has been the result of strong governance and a reputation for delivery.

See this page in: Cymraeg

Our Board is made up of twelve people – currently seven men and five women – most of whom have been elected from our active community of members. It also includes a small number of people who have been co-opted because of their specialist skills and expertise. The Board has one committee – the Risk and Audit Committee – which has five members.

Meet our board members

Jeff is an accountant by profession, who after a long career in local government, the European Commission and the private sector, became a Special Advisor to Welsh Government ministers for nearly twelve years, nine of them with Finance Ministers. He stepped down in May 2016. He has been a long time member of the Centre’s Board and Executive Committee. He has held the position of Treasurer for a number of years.

John is a qualified chartered accountant and has been a director of Williams Ross Limited in Cardiff for twelve years. He has had a professional involvement in providing assurance services, advice, support and training in the not for profit sector covering charities, credit unions and other voluntary organisations for a number of years.

His voluntary experience includes::

  • Being a management board member of the Wales Co-operative Centre for over ten years.
  • Being a board member of Merthyr Valley Homes since January 2012.
  • Being a board member of two housing associations for a combined total of 18 years until 2001.
  • Being a current steering group member of an organisation looking to provide comprehensive, structured and long term business support to SMEs in Wales.

Angharad is the Programme Manager for Innovate to Save at NESTA.

Originally from Cefneithin in Carmarthenshire, Richard began his career in television and theatre before a local government career in leisure, arts, culture and tourism spanning 16 years. Richard took up the role of Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust in October 2015 and has steered the organisation since its inception into a new period of growth and development. He oversees the strategic management of the Awen and its trading subsidiary Awen Trading Ltd. with around 190 staff across 18 different sites.

Richard is a Member of the Institute of Directors and is a full member of the Bridgend Public Service Board. A fluent Welsh speaker, Richard is married with two children and is a season ticket holder and staunch follower of the Scarlets.

David Jenkins was one of the founder members of the Wales Co-operative Centre. He has been an active member of the Management Board since its first meeting in 1982 and he has served as the Centre’s Chair since the early 1990s.

Having served for 21 years as General Secretary of the Wales TUC, David retired from the position in April 2004 at the age of 55. Since then David has held a number of public appointments within NHS Wales and was Chair of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board between 2009 and 2017. He is also a member of the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

David lives in Monmouthshire, he is married with three grown up children and was awarded the OBE in 2004 for his contribution to improving industrial relations in Wales.

Dr Sarah Jenkins is Reader in Human Resource Management at Cardiff Business School

Nigel Keane is a Chartered Accountant who works as a Policy Advisor with the Wales Social Partners Unit. Nigel has worked in both the private and public sectors. He has extensive experience of the consumer co-operative sector, having served on the South Wales Area Committee and Cymru/Wales Regional Board of the Co-operative Group and their precursor body in Wales. Nigel also served as a national director of the Co-operative Group for two years.

Nigel has experience of supporting worker co-operatives from his time as treasurer of the Cardiff and Vale Co-operative Development Association and has served on the Management Board of the Wales Co-operative Centre for the past few years.

Nisreen Mansour is a Policy Officer at the Wales TUC, contributing to the organisation’s policy work on the economy and Fair Work agenda. Before joining the Wales TUC, she worked for the Bevan Foundation, an independent think tank based in Merthyr Tydfil, and for a South Wales MP.

Ben is an Associate Director at Arup, based in Cardiff with 17 years’ experience of working with public and private sector organisations on transport advisory and infrastructure projects. He leads the Arup Consulting business in Wales and is currently working with clients across Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Ben is an equality, diversity and inclusion champion and is passionate about unlocking the potential of individuals regardless of their background. Through his working career he has developed experience of start-ups/mobilisation, profit and loss account management, diversity, change management, team leadership, strategic leadership and business development.

A global professional services company, Arup has over 400 staff based in Wales and a history of almost 50 years in Cardiff. As an employee-owned company Arup takes pride in their community involvement and connection to the societies they serve.

Outside of work Ben has volunteered as a Wales Deaf Rugby Union committee member, helping to raise funds to provide development opportunities for young children and adults alike. As a father of two young boys, he is also involved in coaching football and rugby. He enjoys keeping fit by attending the gym, running and, despite the ravages of time, occasionally putting the boots back on for a game of rugby.

Allison Soroko is the Head of Engagement and Ownership and Company Secretary at Merthyr Valleys Homes, a stock transfer housing association that owns and manages over 4,200 properties in the Borough of Merthyr Tydfil.

Allison successfully managed the development and implementation of an innovative governance structure that allows both tenants and employees to become members of the organisation, and this has resulted in Merthyr Valleys Homes becoming Wales’ first tenant and employee owned mutual.

Allison specialises in Governance in the housing sector, and as an advocate of good governance, she has contributed to the development of a set of Model Rules for Wales and the Code of Governance for housing associations in Wales. Allison is a huge supporter of tenant engagement and employee involvement, along with effective communications.

Helen Wilkinson was born in Liverpool, brought up in North Wales, studied Politics and Parliamentary Studies at Leeds University and was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 1998.  She has worked in public policy,  communications and social entrepreneurship at director level for over two decades with a wide range of organisations including UK based charities 4Children, DrugScope, the think tank Demos, and the New York based Families and Work Institute. Helen has authored publications across a diverse policy portfolio, run her own consultancy, been a national columnist and commentator and worked as a broadcaster with BBC News and Current Affairs.

In 2010, Helen returned to North Wales. She led the Wales Council for Voluntary Action’s policy and influencing work on anti-poverty, regeneration, and European Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 and has been a member of key Welsh Government strategic forums reporting to Welsh Government Ministers including the Budget Advisory Group on Equality, Strategic Equality Plan Board, Human Rights Stakeholder Group, and National Regeneration Panel.
Helen became Chief Executive of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council in May 2016 and was appointed to the National Lottery Fund Wales Committee in February 2018.  She was appointed as an Independent Member to the Betsi Cadwaladar University Health Board in September 2019.

Helen is passionate about community led conversations, tackling poverty and inequalities, putting people in the lead, building a movement for change through voluntary action and social enterprise and transforming public services.

Robin has been a member of the Executive Committee and the Management Board of the Centre for many years, working with Derek Walker and his two immediate Chief Executive predecessors.

He was a solicitor in private practice for 35 years until his retirement in 2015, primarily engaged in advice to three prominent Trade Unions (GMB,UNITE and USDAW) and Legal Aid cases. For the last 15 years, he was engaged most of the time in all aspects of employment tribunal work (including discrimination claims). He also has extensive experience of personal injury matters (in particular disease claims).

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