Board Member Profiles

Discover more about our board members

duncan mcechran
Duncan McEachran
Chair

Duncan was elected to the Board in August 2012 and was elected as Chair in August 2016. Duncan is Chair of Riverside's Scotland Committee and a member of Riverside's Neighbourhood Services Committee. Formerly the Chief Internal Auditor of NHS Dumfries & Galloway and Former Finance Director and Executive Board Member, Dumfries & Galloway Health Board. Duncan is currently a Trustee for Action for Sick Children (Scotland).

He is a lay member of Justice of the Peace Advisory Committee (South Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway) and Trustee (Chair) of Relationship Scotland, Dumfries & Galloway.

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Chris Bell

Chris was appointed to the Board in 2011. Chris is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Operations Committee. He is a freelance consultant in Horticulture and Agronomy. Chris is a tenant representative on the Board.

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John Wood

John was appointed to the Board in 2011. He has been employed in the housing association sector for more than 30 years, starting out as a housing management trainee, and having progressed through the ranks to the role of Executive Director Housing Services.

John gained extensive experience in core housing management activity as well as low cost home ownership and stock transfer work before moving on to broader and more senior leadership roles within Riverside, initially as Managing Director for Riverside Housing Association in 2004 and then to his current role as Group Director, Housing Services in 2009.

As well as having considerable experience in sitting on Boards himself, John has also been a co-optee/nominee to a number of subsidiary boards within Riverside including Berrybridge Housing, the English Churches Housing Group and now Irvine Housing Association.

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Fiona Garven

Fiona was co-opted to the Board in August 2016. Fiona is on the Governance and Staffing Committee. She is Director of the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) and Chair of Community Development Alliance Scotland (CDAS).

She has a background in community learning and development and has 30 years’ experience of implementing community development approaches across several sectors.

Fiona is currently working on initiatives supporting community led health, assets based approaches, building strong communities and community led research.

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Janice Murray

Janice was appointed to the Board in 2015. Janice is a member of the Governance and Staffing Committee and the Operations Committee. She has over 20 years’ experience in community involvement, ranging from supporting and setting up a variety of projects to volunteering within her local community.

Janice was also a member of Irvine Housing Association’s tenant scrutiny panel for 2 years, during this time she gained her CIH Level 3 in Resident Scrutiny Involvement.

Janice is a tenant representative on the Board.

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Ann Robertson
Ann Robertson MBE

Ann was formally elected to the Board in August 2016. Ann is a member of the Governance and Staffing Committee and the Operations Committee. Ann is a tenant representative on the Board and has over 30 years’ experience volunteering in the local community.

She is currently a Director of Pennyburn Regeneration Youth Development Enterprise (PRYDE) and is a Management Committee Member of the Pennyburn Community Association. She also has over 8 years’ experience in the Credit Union sector and is currently Chair of the local credit union, 1st Alliance.

Ann was previously a member of the Association’s Tenant Scrutiny Panel and is also currently a member of Riverside’s Tenant Federation.

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Gerard Darroch
Gerard Darroch

Gerard was formally elected to the Board in August 2016. Gerard is Chair of the Operations Committee and a member of Riverside's Scotland Committee. He has a broad range of public sector experience having worked as Acting Head of Housing and Communities with East Ayrshire Council.

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Jessica Meek
Jessica Meek

Jessica was formally elected to the Board in August 2016. Jessica is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Operations Committee. Jessica is experienced in delivering a range of practical consultancy tasks relating to best practice within the housing sector. Jessica’s professional roles have been highly focused on complex research analysis and data handling in addition to literature and best practice reviews.
Her recent completion of a Postgraduate Diploma (distinction) in Housing Studies at Stirling University has equipped her with a vast amount of knowledge in relation to the housing sector in Scotland. Jessica’s employment experience to date has built on this knowledge and contributed to a greater understanding of housing systems, policy and service delivery.

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Margaret Burgess
Margaret Burgess

Margaret was appointed to the Board in August 2016. Margaret is Chair of the Governance and Staffing Committee and a member of Riverside's Scotland Committee. Margaret is the former Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Welfare and was MSP for Cunninghame South 2011-2016. She was also previously a Manager at East Ayrshire Council’s 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.

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