Leadership team

Chief Executive

Ian Wardle

Ian Portrait

Ian has recently joined Thirteen from Reading Borough Council where he was Managing Director from 2013.

He is well remembered in the North East, starting his career as a graduate trainee at George Wimpey in Middlesbrough, moving onto the Sunniside Partnership in Sunderland and Director of Regeneration at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council before his move south.

He 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.

Executive Director of Resources

Heather Ashton

Heather Ashton Web

Responsible for the group’s support services including finance, IT, HR, policy, communications, performance and planning, Heather also acts as company secretary, leading on the governance function for the group. She has recently taken on oversight of the group’s customer income and debt teams.

Heather has worked in the quasi-public sector for the last 10 years in both housing and higher education. She has many years of commercial experience in both the retail and manufacturing sectors.

Having qualified as an accountant a number of years ago she also holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and is a Chartered Member of the CIH.

Executive Director of Service Delivery and Development

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Chris leads on new business development, including joint ventures, diversification and new partnerships to deliver outcomes for customers. She is responsible for business analysis, performance and research and corporate social responsibility.

Chris is a member of the Health and Wellbeing Board in Middlesbrough and chairs the Wellbeing in Middlesbrough Partnership.  She is a trustee of Middlesbrough Environment City, a Northern Housing Consortium board member and sits on the regional Work Programme Advisory Board. She is also a director of the arcc consortium, a new company set up to deliver the transforming rehabilitation programme on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

Chris leads on the health and housing agenda for the Thirteen Group and is the lead executive for Erimus Housing, ensuring the effective delivery of its business and operational plans.

Executive Director of Property Services

Russell Thompson

Russell Thompson

Russell has responsibility for Thirteen’s in-house repairs and maintenance function, major refurbishment programmes and investment covering all of the group’s properties as well as neighbourhood services of cleaning, caretaking and concierge services.

This includes managing property assets, contract management, repairs and maintenance, cleaning, caretaking, concierge, investment, surveying and estimating and compliance with property legislation.

Russell has a wide range of experience having worked on major projects with a variety of companies and public sector organisations throughout his career. This covers property services, large organisational change and consultancy support for organisations across the country.