Board directors

Chair of Thirteen Board

Jane Earl

Jane Earl

Jane is the Chair of Thirteen.

Jane has had a successful career in housing, local and national government, as well as the arts, youth and culture, and now joins us as chair.

Jane is no stranger to the North East, having grown up in Sunderland. She’s also chair of Sunderland Culture, which brings her passions for art, culture and the North East together.

Much of Jane’s non-executive work over the last 15 years has been in the world of housing. She is currently a non-executive director at housing association VIVID and M & G Shared Ownership Limited and brings a wealth of knowledge in social housing to Thirteen.

Jane is also chair of Surrey Choices, specialising in services for people with a learning disability. She’s also chaired several arts and education organisations, all of which are concerned with social justice.

Thirteen Board Director, Senior Independent Director and Chair of Audit and Risk Committee

Annette Clark

Director Annette Clark

Annette is the Chair of Audit and Risk Committee.

She is a former Director of Aviva plc. where she led both the Human Resources and Operations (Customer Services) functions, leading business units of 7,000 employees based across the UK and overseas. 

Annette has an LLB Law Degree and a particular interest in all aspects of employment law.

Thirteen Board Director and Interim Chair of Remuneration Committee

Rob Goward

Rob Goward 2

Rob has over 30 years of experience within the HR field. He was Vice President of HR for the Seagram Spirits and Wine Group for 15 years, Global HRD of Smith and Nephew plc and Group HRD of Maxxium Worldwide BV.

He is currently a Partner within the Mercer Consulting Group. He has an MSc in Politics from London University and an MBA from IMC along with Chartered membership of the CIPD.

Thirteen Board Director and Finance Committee member

Richard Buckley

Director Richard Buckley

Chris is Managing Director of Buckley Burnett, a development consultancy and project management company.

Starting his career at Ward Hadaway, Richard went on to become a regional director and run the development side of Tees Valley Regeneration before setting up Buckley Burnett.

Thirteen Board Director

Chris Newton

Director Chris Newton2web2

Chris is Global Head of Facilities Management at Citi, the American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation.

A Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) with a degree in quantity surveying, a post-graduate degree in real estate and property management, and an MBA from the University of Durham, Chris is also a member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management. 

During his career, he has led corporate real estate teams in both retail and banking with the remit for acquisitions, fit-outs, facilities and disposals. 

Chair of Development and Investment Committee and Chair of Thirteen Homes Board

Anthony Riley

Anthony Riley

Anthony is the Chair of Development and Investment Committee and Chair of Thirteen Homes Board.

He has worked in housing for 35 years for a number of local authorities and housing associations. He has held several executive positions leading both development and operational teams.

Thirteen Board Director and Audit and Risk Committee member

Robert Cuffe

Bob Cuffe

A Teessider by birth, Bob spent over 30 years in local media, latterly as Regional Managing Director of Trinity Mirror North East, publishers of the Gazette in Middlesbrough and the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun in Newcastle.

Bob now works with a number of organisations as Chair, Vice Chair and non-executive director.

Thirteen Board Director and Chair of Thirteen's Customer Committee

Catherine Wilburn

Katy Wilburn

Katy is a researcher and analyst by profession and for the past eight years, her career has focused solely on research in the social housing sector, working directly with more than 60 registered social housing providers across the UK, supporting them to continually improve and enhance the services offered to tenants and residents.

Having been born, raised and now with a family of her own in Norton, Katy is a proud advocate of her local area and its heritage and is ambitious for its future. She sees being part of the Thirteen Board as a chance to make a real difference.

Thirteen Board Director

Salma Yasmeen

Salma Yasmeen Web

Salma brings a wealth of knowledge of health and care systems and leading innovation and change in organisations and across systems with people at the centre. She currently works in the NHS where she is an executive lead for strategy, change, communications and inequalities. 

Salma has also led policy development and implementation across systems in parts of Yorkshire and London around equalities, integrated approaches and services to improve health and wellbeing. She was also CEO of an award-winning mental health community development charity that she established from a pilot project. It was recognised nationally for developing ground-breaking approaches to engaging people from diverse communities to co-produce solutions to better mental health and address health inequalities.

Salma is passionate about public services and the role they play in addressing inequalities and enabling every person to live a safe, connected, meaningful and healthy life.

Thirteen Board Director and Interim Chair of Finance Committee

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

Andrew has a background in consulting, mergers and acquisitions. He owns and manages a number of his own business interests and investments, as well as consulting work.

He previously worked for the publisher Penguin Random House as finance and commercial director for their distribution business, as well as spending over 10 years at Sage Group PLC leading work on strategy, mergers and acquisitions.

Andrew holds an MEng in chemical engineering from Cambridge University.

Chief Executive of Thirteen and Thirteen Board Director

Ian Wardle

Ian Wardle Web2

Ian joined Thirteen as our Chief Executive in 2016. The first ten years of his career were spent in the private sector and the last ten years in local government. Ian started his career in Middlesbrough as a graduate trainee at George Wimpey (now Taylor Wimpey) later becoming a land negotiator, land manager and development director. He was then a project director for the Sunniside Regeneration Project in Sunderland.

Moving into local government, he joined Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, as Head of Regeneration Services, later becoming Director of Regeneration Services with responsibility for a range of front-line and corporate services, as well as the delivery of large capital regeneration projects.

Before joining Thirteen, Ian was Managing Director of Reading Borough Council with responsibility for delivering hundreds of services across the town, while making substantial savings and managing 2,500 colleagues with a turnover of £480m per annum.

Ian is responsible for leading Thirteen, overseeing the implementation of board decisions, progress towards meeting corporate objectives and ensuring the business continues to move in the right direction.

Ian has held a number of non-executive and trustee roles for a housing association, university, community interest company, a charity and a school. Ian is currently a board member for the Northern Housing Consortium.

Board Director remuneration

You can find details about Board Director remuneration on the financial statements page.