Executive Recruitment

Meet the Team

All the members of our leadership team are pretty amazing! They make it possible for everyone who works at First Ark to change lives, generate social value and make a difference in everything we do. They have fantastic ideas and insight into the things which will make a real difference to people’s lives and the courage to empower the Group to transform those ideas a reality.

Leadership at First Ark

Leadership for the Group is provided by four non-Executive Boards – one each for First Ark, KHT, Vivark and One Ark - and a Strategic Leadership group which operates across the Group. 

First Ark Board

We have four Boards and they oversee the strategic operations of the different companies in the Group to provide complete assurance for all our customers and investors.

The First Ark Board is made up of our customers and some council nominated to meet the different needs of the companies. When we have independent Board member vacancies we advertise these through our site so check out our latest vacancies if you’re interested.

All our Board members share the same commitment to creating solutions which are sustainable and really making a difference to local communities and the people who live and work in them.

You can view our Strategic Leadership Group here. 

Our First Ark board members are:

Helen White, Interim Chair

Helen has a wealth of experience across both the public and private sectors including nine years’ experience in the housing sector. In 2003 she was named The Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru “Young Housing Professional of the Year” for her innovative and inclusive approach to working with tenants. Originally from Wales and now based in Chester, she started her career with Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd Housing Association and went on to work for North Wales Police Authority and Chester City Council as Housing Strategy Manager. Helen is also chairman of North Wales Housing Association.

Tracey Johnson

Tracey has an extensive and proven track record in strategic human resources, organisational development, IT, governance and change management. She has a practical background as a senior manager and director in both private and third sector organisations. Tracey is currently the Executive Director, Customer Experience at the Aspire Group, with responsibility for all areas detailed above, together with housing management and customer service. Her strengths lie in people, customer service and change. Tracey is both a non-executive director on the First Ark Board as well as chairing the Remuneration Committee.

Andy Orrey

Former Chief Executive Officer of Ongo Homes with a successful history of working in the Housing sector and in the private sector as a Finance Director. Skilled in Coaching , Staff Engagement , Business Planning, change management and Strategy. Strong business development professional and non executive director. Andy is also Chair of Cross Keys Homes. Andy is also the Chair of our Audit & Risk Committee.

Phil Cusack

Phil is a Chartered Town Planner and he began his career working in local government for Lancashire County Council and Trafford Borough Council as an urban planner. He moved into the private sector after receiving postgraduate diplomas in both management studies and marketing and worked for Amec, Wimpey Construction, Tarmac, Snape, and Kier in the construction sector.

Having gained a Masters in Business Management along the way, he moved into the consultancy sector working at Director level at Faber Maunsell, Aecom and Capita Property and Infrastructure. He chaired the Property and Construction Sector Group at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, became a Director of the Chamber and is now Chairman.

He is a former Board member of the Atlantic Gateway, the North Liverpool Urban Regeneration Partnership and Skills Solutions Limited. He is now a non-executive Director of the Manchester Growth Company, sits on the Strategy Board of the Airport City Enterprise Zone, is a member of the Governing Council of the University of Salford and is Vice-Chair of the Manchester Jazz Festival.

John Mallalieu

John is Chief Executive of Bank Workers Charity (BWC) which is the only occupational benevolent fund for all current and former bank employees working in the UK and their families. The Charity's objects are prevention and relief of poverty and advancement of health amongst Bank Employees, their families, children and dependents; the advancement of education amongst the children of Bank Employees.

Prior to joining the Bank Workers Charity in 2017, John was Managing Director of Commercial Ventures, Health & Employment within Turning Point, a health and social care organisation providing services for people with complex needs including those affected by substance misuse, mental health issues, unemployment, housing issues, offending behaviour and those with a learning disability. Turning Point is engaged with over 25,000 people in over 200 locations across England, employing over 3,500 people with a turnover of £125 million.

Within Turning Point John was responsible for the creation and delivery of the commercial activities – including the business to business and business to consumer services as well as the Turning Point Primary Care GP services and the Employment support provided to DWP, Job Centres and NOMS. John also led the Turning Point partnership and merger work including the acquisition of a specialist Autism Charity into the Turning Point Group. From a career in Retail Banking John has held a range of senior leadership roles across Health and Social care delivery for public sector, private sector and third sector organisations.

John joined Turning Point in 2009 as Director of Substance Misuse, Young Peoples and Employment services before progressing to Managing Director.

John holds a Non-Executive role with NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and is also the Independent Chair of the Primary Medical Services Committee.

John additionally chaired the Department of Work & Pensions Mental Health & Work Group for the Welfare Minister and is a member of the Psychological Wellbeing & Work Expert Advisory Group.

In 2016 John accepted a role as a Non-Executive Director of the First Ark Group and is the Chair of One Ark – the Group’s Investment Charity.

John also voluntarily provides leadership advice and support to the HomeStart services across North & South Manchester.

Previously John has held Non Executive Roles with NHS Direct, The Chartered Management Institute, Calderdale Primary Care Trust and Orangebox Young People’s Centre in Halifax.

He is a Trustee of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Chair of the TCV Employment & Training Services Limited Board.