A new Chairman and Vice Chairman for our tenant-led organisation!

At our September Board meeting, which followed the Annual General Meeting of members, our Chairman Jennie Ferrigno stood down after six years of leadership. Board members then voted in Mike Gahagan as the new Chairman, and Charles Leigh-Dugmore as Vice Chairman.

Along with his Board members, Mike was full of praise for Jennie:

“Her achievements and commitment to tenants speak for themselves,” he said. “Jennie was the driving force behind the vote six years ago to transfer homes to a new, tenant-led housing association and she has been fundamental to Red Kite’s success ever since. The fact that Red Kite has fulfilled the promises made on transfer on time and under budget, is financially sound and is investing in building much needed homes in High Wycombe, is a testament to Jennie’s vision and commitment.”

Looking to the future, both Mike and Charles vowed to build on Jennie’s legacy, with Charles stressing this

“Both Mike and I know that, first and foremost, we are a tenant-led organisation. We must ensure that, however we grow and develop in the future, we continue to maintain and expand the involvement, influence and decision-making by our customers.” Mike also added that “we will continue to improve on the good relationships that we have already established with local bodies in the area. These include Wycombe District Council which has the lead responsibility for the local housing strategy and for tackling homelessness in the District. We will also continue to make sure that we provide as much local housing as we can.”

Jennie Ferrigno congratulated Mike and Charles on their appointment and wished them well for the future. While Jennie has stepped down from Red Kite, she will continue to make an impact in our local community, moving into a new role as Chairman of Wycombe Youth Action.

Some information about Mike and Charles:

Mike Gahagan CB

From 1997 to 2003, Mike was Director of Housing for the Government at the Department of Communities and Local Government. Prior to that he was Director of Regeneration. Since his retirement, Mike has chaired a large housing regeneration scheme in South Yorkshire as well as the Centre of Refurbishment Excellence which was dedicated to improving the quality of housing refurbishment across the UK. He has also been Chair of the Paradigm Foundation, supported by the Paradigm Housing Group. In the mid-1990s he was President of the International Urban Development Association, based in Paris, and remains a Life President.

Charles Leigh-Dugmore FCIOB FCABE

Charles’ background is in the construction industry now running a consultancy providing advice on building issues, particularly in disputes. He has served on the Board of Town and County Housing Group, worked for the National House Building Council at executive level, worked for Lovell Homes Southern Ltd as well as having run his own building company. He currently sits on the Board of Golding Homes and acts as an expert witness in civil and criminal matters.