Board Member Profiles

Discover more about our board members

James Strang

Jim was appointed to the Board in March 2021 and was elected as Chair in September 2021. Jim is a Member of Riverside’s Customer Experience Committee

Jim has more than 40 years' experience in the housing sector. He began his career working for local authorities across the west of Scotland before serving as Group Chief Executive of Parkhead Housing Association for 13 years.

Jim is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and served as Chairman of the Scotland Branch, Vice-President and then President of the CIH.

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Gerard Darroch
Gerard Darroch

Gerard was formally elected to the Board in August 2016. Gerry holds a Master of Arts in English & Philosophy and a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Administration and also in Housing Studies. Gerry is also an EFQM trained assessor.

Gerry has worked both in the private sector and also with the local authority where he worked for over 30 years within housing management. His responsibilities included asset services, community safety, waste management and grounds maintenance.

Prior to retirement Gerry held the post of Head of Housing and Communities in East Ayrshire and steered his service through the Council’s transformation strategy whilst leading on new housing developments and implementing a property factoring service.

Gerry was appointed as an Ordinary Member to the Housing and Property Chamber First Tier Tribunal in 2017.

Gerry was appointed to our Audit & Risk Committee in September 2020.

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Margaret Burgess

Margaret was elected to the Board in August 2016 and was appointed to the Audit & Risk Committee in March 2023.

Margaret is the former Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Welfare and was MSP for Cunninghame South 2011-2016. She was previously Manager of East Ayrshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB).

Margaret brings a wealth of knowledge of the housing system in Scotland both from setting policy and direction as the Minister responsible, but also from the perspective of tenants from her many years working with the CAB service.

Since retiring, Margaret is still involved in the local community. She is a member of the board of North Ayrshire Women’s Aid and chair of the board of the Volunteers Shop in Woodland View community hospital, where she also volunteers every week.

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Jane Galbraith

Jane was formally elected to the Board in August 2017. Jane has extensive experience in business development, currently self-employed with Market Route Mapping, specialising in product development. She is involved in high-level strategy development and is responsible for maintaining strong relationships with a diverse range of customers, stakeholders and partners.

Jane has qualifications in Project Management from IBM, Supervisory Management from West College Scotland and Investors in People accreditation.

Jane has a background in retail and has 23 years experience of sales and marketing in the retail sector, working previously as a Retail Design Consultant for the John Lewis Partnership and a Store Manager for Ness Clothing Scotland. Jane also has logistics and distribution experience working with FMCG companies.

Jane is also a Business Mentor with Young Enterprise Scotland, Women’s Enterprise Scotland and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce on a voluntary basis.

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Robin Hill, Board Member
Robin Hill

Robin was elected to the Board in August 2018 and became Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee in May 2019. Robin is a member of the Chartered Banker Institute and has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry with Bank of Scotland, HBOS, Lloyds Banking Group, TSB and currently as Chief Risk Officer of Oxbury Bank plc.

Robin is a risk management and governance specialist with experience across the retail, commercial and corporate sectors and has held a number of senior Risk and Internal Audit roles. Robin also has significant project management experience through the build and launch of Oxbury Bank, the build and divestment of TSB from Lloyds Banking Group as well as business integration projects for HBOS and Lloyds Banking Group.

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Sohini Petrie

Sohini was elected to the Board in September 2021. Sohini is a leadership and team coach and culture change facilitator, supporting leaders and teams to perform at their best and thrive. Her previous corporate career evolved from IT change to strategic change projects to wider organisational strategy.

Sohini has over 15 years of professional experience in financial services, retail, and public service. She holds degrees in BSc. in Applied Mathematics & Computer Science, BSc. (Hons) in Technology and Innovation Management, and MSc. in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. She also serves on the board of SEIN (Glasgow-based charity that supports refugees and asylum seekers).

Sohini is a volunteer youth coach with GRIT and The Bridging Project, and does pro-bono consulting for charities through The Cranfield Trust.

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Scott Stewart

Scott was elected to the Board in September 2021. Scott holds an HNC and Bsc Degree in Construction Management. Scott is also a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor and has over 20 years of experience working within the Built Environment.

Scott is currently the Director of Assets & Communities for another Scottish housing association. Scott is responsible for the management and strategic leadership of all the association's assets and community work.

Additionally, Scott and his wife are registered foster carers and are active in helping support young people through the fostering agency they represent.

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Patrick New

Patrick was appointed to the Board in December 2021. Patrick is Executive Director, Customer Service at The Riverside Group and is Group’s nominee on our Board.

Patrick has over 30 years’ experience working in regulated service industries and over 15 years’ experience at MD/Director/ Executive level. He has a track record of success in a range of customer service and commercial directorate roles including Royal Bank of Scotland, British Gas, Dyno Rod and Ecotricity.

Roles have included multi-site customer service leadership (managing teams of up to 3000 people), P&L management (up to £1bn+ revenue), sales & marketing, and nationwide operations management. He has Board and NED experience, is a professionally qualified Executive Coach and Mentor and is MBA qualified.

Patrick brings with him a wealth of experience. He has a passion for leading and developing people and providing great customer service.

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Steven Easton

Steven was elected to the Board in September 2022. Steven holds a Master of Arts in Politics from the University of Edinburgh and a Master of Science in Real Estate from the University of Glasgow. He also has a Certificate in Letting & Managing Residential Property from the Chartered Institute of Housing, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Building.

Steven has over 20 years’ experience in the property sector, with a particular focus on housing and domestic energy efficiency. As a business owner, he has extensive knowledge of business development, operations, and strategy.

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Peter Lynn

Peter was elected to the Board in September 2023. Peter is a Tenant Board Member.

Peter has worked in the railway, mainly as a subcontractor for the past 20 years. He has been both a tenant of the Association for over 20 years and prior to that an owner in the Pennyburn area, and therefore brings with him customer experience from both a tenant’s and an owner’s perspective.

Peter participated in the discussions at the focus group meetings as part of the Big Conversation Survey and was co-opted to the Board in November 2022, given his interest in contributing his customer experience / perspective to the Association’s decision-making processes.

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Paul Mason

Paul was appointed to the Board in May 2024.

Paul holds an MA and BA in Mathematics from Cambridge University. He is also currently undertaking postgraduate research towards a Doctorate in Business Administration at the University of Strathclyde.

Paul has over 25 years’ experience advising companies, governmental bodies and third sector organisations on finance, strategy, risk and corporate development matters. Paul is a partner and Head of Corporate Finance at CT: Accountants & Advisors and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

Paul has over 10 years’ experience in a variety of non-executive roles, across corporate, private equity and regulated company boards.

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John Miller

John was appointed to the Board as a co-optee in May 2024.

John has over 30 years’ experience of Accounting and Finance and is a long-standing member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

John is currently the Finance Director of Logitech Limited, a world leading producer of surface finishing technologies.

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Joanne Deans-Regan

Joanne joined the Board as a co-optee in May 2024.

Joanne has been a customer with the Association for a year now and lives with her husband who has been a customer for 25 years. She enjoys being involved in the local community and keen is to contribute her customer perspective to the Board’s decision-making.

Joanne is currently a Civil Servant. She was formerly an Engineer for over 15 years and has had a varied career which includes the Civil Service and working on Learning and Developing projects in the workplace.

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