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.

Our Board is made up of eleven people – currently six 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 Andrews, Treasurer (elected)

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.

Mike Ash-Edwards (elected)

Until his retirement in 2016, Mike was the Cymru/Wales Regional Secretary for the Co-operative Group, responsible for the Co-op’s democratic, membership and community programmes, and for linking members with Co-op businesses in Wales. The role included the management of four Communities First clusters employing 45 colleagues in North, South and East Wales, working with people in the most disadvantaged areas of the country to address problems co-operatively.  In previous roles, Mike has worked for the Community Foundation Network, establishing Community Foundations in the North of England to raise and distribute local funds, and for over a decade was a Campaigns Manager for Oxfam, which included responsibility for managing the charity’s in-field communications in disaster and emergencies. He has recently retired as a football referee.

Lis Burnett (elected)

In a varied career, Lis has led Corporate Social Responsibility for a UK multi-national and was Head of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of South Wales. She has supported the development of social enterprise and social entrepreneurs in Wales, the UK and Uganda, acted as an advisor to both the National Assembly and Welsh Government and provided research for the Welsh Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission. In 2012, she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her contribution to social enterprise in Wales.

Previously a consultant to NESTA, the UK’s leading innovation body, Lis has hands-on experience of the private, public and third sector from operational and policy perspectives. As the Cabinet Member for Regeneration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Lis champions co-operatives and social businesses as an alternative economic model and the future of effective public service delivery.

John Chown (elected)

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.

Julie Cook (Wales TUC appointed member)

Julie is the Wales TUC National Officer and represents the organisation on the Centre’s Board. The Wales TUC is the voice of Wales at work. With almost 50 affiliated trade unions, the Wales TUC represents nearly half a million workers. It campaigns for a fair deal at work and for social justice at home and abroad.

Julia Houlston-Clark (co-opted)

Julia is Chief Executive of Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership, a co-operative organisation. Julia has over 15 years’ formal restorative experience, although she has always been committed to positive relationship development and conflict resolution work throughout her life. She is proud to be a Restorative Justice Champion with the Restorative Justice Council. She is a widely experienced trainer and expert practitioner in an extensive range of restorative approaches, from prevention and early intervention in education and families, through to high end response work, including working with offenders and victims around the most serious harms.

David Jenkins, Chairman (elected)

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.

Nigel Keane (elected)

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.

Tamsin Stirling (elected)

Tamsin is a housing researcher with over 25 years’ experience. She has worked within and with Welsh Government, local authorities, housing associations and third sector organisations. She has worked as a housing officer, research assistant, policy officer and consultant, was editor of Welsh Housing Quarterly for around 18 years and specialist policy adviser on housing, regeneration and planning issues to Welsh Government Ministers Huw Lewis AM and Carl Sargeant AM between April 2012 and April 2014. She is currently working as an independent housing consultant.

Tamsin has extensive board experience, including being a former Chair of housing community mutual Bron Afon Community Housing and youth homelessness charity Llamau.

Tamsin was co-opted onto the Wales Co-operative Centre board in 2015 and became an elected member in 2017.

Kathryn Williams (co-opted)

Kathryn is Chief Executive of Rubicon Dance, a social enterprise in Cardiff which delivers community dance activities in Cardiff and Newport. She has extensive experience of social entrepreneurship and leadership of non-profit distributing organisations. She was a founding member and is current Chair of Dylan’s Den, a co-operative after-school club in Treorchy. She has also been a trustee of Interlink and Clybiau Plant Cymru.


Robin Williams (elected)

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).

Governance documents

Find out more about our operations, activities and impact.

Read some of our key governance documents

  • 01 Corporate strategy 2017-2022

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Read about our vision, mission and corporate goals

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Corporate strategy 2017-2022 - PDF

  • 02 Impact report 2016/17

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Find out about our work and impact in 2016/17

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Impact report 2016/17 - PDF

  • 03 Annual report and financial statement 2016/17

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Review our formal annual report and most recent audited accounts

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Annual report and financial statement 2016/17 - PDF

  • 04 Board Code of Conduct

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Directors are expected to behave in accordance with the Centre’s values and objectives and the following 7 Nolan principles.

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Board Code of Conduct - PDF

  • 05 Matters reserved for Board

    Read some of our key governance documents

    This policy refers to matters reserved solely for the Board

    Read some of our key governance documents

    Matters reserved for Board - PDF

Get involved

Our governance relies on having an active community of members. We are always keen to recruit new members, whether they are individuals, social businesses or corporate organisations. Members are invited to attend our AGM and have the opportunity to stand for election to the Board.


Find out more