Accord Board

Meet our Board members

Accord Board

Elisabeth Buggins CBE, Chair

Elisabeth trained as a health service manager before leaving the NHS to look after three children with a variety of special needs. For 18 years she worked with the voluntary sector on local, national and European projects that interfaced with health services. Returning to the NHS, Elisabeth Chaired a Trust providing community, mental health and learning disability services.

As well as being Chair at Accord, Elisabeth also Chairs East of England Academic Health Sciences Network. She has previously been a Non-Executive Director for Simplyhealth Group, the NHS Blood and Transplant Authority and Chaired the UK Organ Donation Taskforce, publishing three major reports on ways to improve organ donation. She now Chairs the UK groups established to oversee and sustain improvements.

From 2002 – 2011, Elisabeth was also Chair of the local Strategic Health Authority, and in 2009, was appointed as Programme Lead for Board Development at the NHS National Leadership Council.

Elisabeth received a CBE in the New Year’s honours list 2008 and has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant (DL).

She has a keen interest in social justice and helping people to thrive in communities, as evidenced by being a leader in the Big Feed programme, Chairing Walsall Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Support Association and as a member of the Walsall Integration Board.

Jon Crockett, Deputy Chair and Chair of the Care & Support Committee

Jon has a degree in economics from Staffordshire University. His public service career began in 1976 with Wolverhampton Council and he subsequently worked in a range of positions in the NHS, including as Chief Executive of Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust from its creation in April 2002, until retiring in September 2011. 

During his NHS career Jon served on a number of national and regional bodies. A qualified accountant, he was elected president of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy for the Midlands in 2003, and served on its regional council for over 15 years.

Jon continues to work actively across a wide range of organisations including Chair of Citizens’ Advice Wolverhampton, the City of Wolverhampton Academies Trust and Believe to Achieve (B2A) a children’s charity. He is also a Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), Health Futures UTC and City of Wolverhampton College. 

He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree by the University of Wolverhampton in 2010 for his considerable contribution to the provision of health and wellbeing in the region and is Visiting Professor in Health Management and Leadership at the University, where he has been working on projects including leadership, public service commissioning and dementia.

Dr Lola Abudu, Board Member and Safeguarding Champion

Lola has had a long-standing career in the public health sector. She has sat on primary care trust (PCT) boards and has also been the Director for Planning and Partnerships of Worcestershire PCT.

Having worked for West Midlands Strategic Health Authority as a consultant in public health, Lola is currently Deputy Director for Health and Wellbeing for the Public Health England West Midlands Centre.

Gabrielle Berring, Board Member

Gabrielle joined Metro Bank in January 2018 to head up the Real Estate Finance business, with a mandate to build the team and move the business to the next phase of growth.  Previously the Head of the Major Private Groups team within Commercial Real Estate at Lloyds Bank, Gabrielle has been focused on the real estate lending sector since 2006. 

Having graduated from Warwick University with a degree in Accounting & Financial Analysis, Gabrielle started her career on the graduate scheme in commercial property lending at Commercial Union (now part of Aviva).  She has worked in many different financial institutions including BNP Paribas, where she was involved in capital markets issuance alongside senior debt lending. 

Her experience spans commercial real estate, housing association finance, and local authority structures.  She has also sat on the board at Midland Heart Housing Association, and the Finance Committee at Metropolitan Housing Trust.

Andrew Cardoza, Board Member and Chair of the Finance Risk & Audit Committee

Andy is a CIPFA qualified accountant and a Director at KPMG in its Public Sector Audit and Assurance Team. He leads KPMG’s Internal Audit Housing business in the Midlands and has worked with a wide range of housing organisations. Andy currently works with a large number of RPs providing them with audit, assurance, governance and risk management advice and guidance services across a range of control, compliance, assurance and regulatory issues.

During his time with KPMG, Andy has also been seconded to the management teams of some of the largest RPs in London, carrying out organisation-wide diagnostic reviews. His tasks included re-designing the target operating model for the organisation in order to bring about a much more coherent and one-organisation way of working. This helped the RPs ensure that their governance, operating models and group structures were fit for purpose, future proofed and able to deliver both efficiencies and better governance, whilst ensuring better services were delivered to their customers.

Simon Eastwood, Board Member, Chair of Remuneration & Nominations Committee and Growth Champion

Simon is a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years’ experience in the property development, regeneration and construction sectors.

He currently runs his own development consultancy business providing services to major development companies. He has previously held a number of senior roles including as Managing Director of Carillion Developments, with responsibility for the property development business in the UK and Canada, and as a Director of Manchester based Ask Real Estate.

Simon is a Board member of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and takes a keen interest in the planning, development and funding work steams of the LEP, including serving as Chair of the Board’s Funding Sub-Group.

Stephen Gabriel, Board Member and Chair of Communities Committee and Modern Slavery/Fairness Champion

Stephen currently works as Joint head of Housing and Communities for Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils. He has specific responsibility for Strategic Housing, Homelessness, Private Sector Housing, Community Safety, Community Development, Health improvement, Arts, Sports and Culture.

He has worked in Local Government for 30 years and has held a range of roles both strategic and operational. He has worked in Housing, Economic Development, Equalities and Regulatory Service.

Stephen has gained extensive knowledge in housing regeneration and community development.

He has held a number of non-executive positions including Independent Board Member, Chairman of Ashram Housing Association and Chairman of Bromsgrove Housing Initiatives. Stephen has a PGD in Urban and Regional Studies from Birmingham University and studied law at University of Central England, obtaining a Law Degree as well as having acquired British Sign Language Level 2.

Dr Christopher Handy OBE, LLM, Chief Executive

Chris has a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master of Law degree and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. He received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009 and in 2010 was made a Professor of Governance by Birmingham City University’s Business School. He has been Chief Executive of Accord and its precursors for over 25 years, previously working in other housing organisations and local government. 

Chris is a published author with titles including ‘Housing Association Law’ Fifth Edition, published in January 2019 with Professor John Alder, and ‘Discrimination in Housing’. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Housing Law. Chris is a Non-Executive Director of the Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group having previously been a Board member for the Strategic Health Authority for the Midlands and East of England. He is also a Board member of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership Board, Chairing the Board during 2018-2019, leading on housing, enterprise and the green growth agendas for the region.

Ninder Johal, Board Member and Communications Champion

Ninder is CEO of the Nachural Group - a music and media production company.

Until recently he was the President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce (two-year term) and was runner up in the Sunday Times Non-Executive Director of the Year.

Ninder is Chair of the Black Country LEP Broadband Group, Chair of Charity Steps to Work, Vice Chair of Sandwell College, Governor of Wolverhampton University, Trustee of Victoria Park Academy, Trustee of the Albion Foundation, a Board member of the West Midlands Growth Company and Director of the Black Country Consortium. He also holds Board positions on the Black Country LEP and the West Midlands Combined Authority and is a patron of the charity Access to Business.

Mushtaq Khan, Board Member

Mushtaq is a distinguished solicitor, former President of Birmingham Law Society and an experienced Board Director.

He has over 20 years' of legal practice experience including at a senior level at a national corporate law firm. He is highly recommended as a leading lawyer in the respected legal directory of Chambers & Partners UK.

Mushtaq cares passionately about improving lives in communities. He actively supports organisations and initiatives with shared values, he has for more than 10 years, supporting organisations in the housing, education and NHS sector as a board member.

He is the founder of the schools initiative, “Inspiring Communities” which he works in partnership with Birmingham City University and Central England Law Centre. It is an outreach school project to inspire students to consider a career in the legal profession and to get involved in helping their local communities. 

Mushtaq is a current Board member of Birmingham Education Partnership that is focused on school improvements to over 500 schools. He is also an NHSI Director of West Midlands Ambulance University NHS Foundation Trust.

Andy Potter, Board Member and Health & Safety Champion

Andy joined the Electricity Supply Industry as a Graduate Trainee and his career included personnel and training, customer service and marketing before being appointed as Managing Director of Engineering Services. He was a board member of Sandwell Training and Enterprise Council and a founding board member of Tipton City Challenge, which led to a five year regeneration initiative.

Having spent eight years as a Board member, then later as Chair of Rooftop Homes, he joined the Caldmore Accord board in 2013 and became Chair in 2015. Andy was also Chair of the development partnership, Matrix Housing Partnership from 2017 to 2019.