Meet the directors who are responsible for the running of the charity.
Interim Chief Executive
Alison joined Groundwork West Midlands as Interim Chief Executive in late 2018 to review and develop its operations and opportunities. Prior to this she worked in an independent capacity for clients on health, charity and infrastructure projects undertaking reviews and providing strategic advice.
From 2005 – 2016 she was the chief executive of the Community Development Foundation (CDF), a national organisation working on a range of public policy areas and delivering multi million pound community programmes. Over that period she transformed it from a non-departmental public body to a social enterprise. As a result of her experience, she strongly believes that successful place-making and services are more effective when people and communities are at the centre of their design and delivery.
An entrepreneur, she has been involved in many community ventures, deploying her early corporate skills as a fashion designer to develop sustainable social activities. In 1996, as a volunteer, she was responsible for the inception, design and build of a 15300sqft low energy community facility and establishing a range of enterprises. As a result, in 2004 she was seconded to the Home Office and Department for Education and Skills, taking with her skills and knowledge to shape communities’ policy.
She has co-written community regeneration books and has founded several organisations. Alison also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Organisational Development and Consultancy.
Julie has worked in Regeneration for 17 years; originally joining Groundwork Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire as Development Manager in 2006, taking on the role of Youth and Education Theme Manager upon the formation of Groundwork West Midlands.
Prior to joining Groundwork, Julie worked for Business Link Staffordshire between 1997 and 2006 leading all Service Delivery and Brokerage including specialist services in SME skills development, business consultancy and sector specific support. This led to a wealth of experience working on service delivery contracts for DEFRA, RDA, ERDF, ESF and LSC.
Julie worked in the private sector for the first 10 years of her career, as a ‘local’ to Stoke on Trent, much of this was in the local pottery industry.
Business Development Director
Ann has worked with and supported businesses across the West Midlands for over 15 years. Prior to joining Groundwork, Ann worked at Remploy as a Business Development Manager and has also managed and delivered many Welfare to Work contracts, including apprenticeships and work placements. Ann has also worked with Black Country Chamber of Commerce and supported local businesses to address issues such as crime, anti-social behaviour, changes to legislation and barriers to growth. She was also instrumental in the roll out and delivery of the Train to Gain scheme, initially in the Black Country and then to the wider West Midlands.
Ann spent many years working in International Development before returning to the UK in 2003. During this time, she managed a fundraising project for an international charity in Malawi and has also worked in Angola, Denmark and Ireland.
Ruth joined Groundwork in July 2018. An accountant, Ruth qualified with Chartered Institute of Management Accountants for over 20 years, with experience across a wide variety of industries. She initially started her career in Retail Business Banking, but released that she felt more engaged by the clients businesses, than their banking facilities.
Ruth started her Accounting career in a small manufacturing firm in Oldbury and has stayed loyal to Black Country businesses ever since, working in Marketing, Online Retail, Wholesale, IT & Cyber Security and Healthcare, and spending 8 years working with Not for Profit/ Charity Sector, linked to Education, Residential care and Healthcare provision. During this time Ruth has become a specialist in Mergers and Acquisitions, with experience of both sides of the deals.