Our Board

Nigel Wilson - Chair

Nigel Wilson is chair of FRC Group and joined the Board of trustees in 2014.  Nigel is the Chief Executive Officer of Gentoo Group, joining the Sunderland-based housing association in January 2019 from Wythenshawe Community Housing Group in Manchester, where he previously held the role of Chief Executive Officer for six years. Prior to his role at Wythenshawe, Nigel was Chief Executive of Parkway Green Housing Trust.

Nigel has worked in the housing industry for more than 30 years and has vast boardroom experience having held a number of roles across various boards and committees, including most recently as Chair of JV North – a consortium of 12 housing associations in the North West of England.

Having spent his entire career working in the social housing sector, it is no surprise that Nigel has a deep social purpose. He is passionate about social investment, community involvement, building new affordable housing and developing his people – but ultimately he’s passionate about making a positive difference to people’s lives.

Nigel sees partnership working as a key component to achieving success and delivering positive change. He is very keen to explore how he can lead Gentoo to work closely with other businesses and key stakeholders to keep the city of Sunderland and the wider North East region, moving forward with the existing ambitious plans for growth and change that are in place.

Professer Erik Bichard

Erik Bichard has served on the FRC Group board since 2002. His entire career has been devoted to the field of sustainable change.

He first served as an Environmental Planner and then held positions with two sustainability consultancies. He was then Executive Director of the UK National Centre for Business & Sustainability and later became Chief Executive of Sustainability Northwest. Erik subsequently became Professor of Regeneration and Sustainable Development at the University of Salford where he turned his focus to developing and implementing Sustainable Return on Investment and has now jointly set up the pioneering consultancy RealWorth which advises on the importance and value of social and environmental change in the built environment.

Erik is a regular contributor to printed media, radio and television and has published academic papers, book chapters and two books including ‘Positively Responsible’ and ‘The Coming of Age of the Green Community’. Erik has been a sustainability advisor to Co-operatives UK and Liverpool City Council and is currently a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Council of the Merseyside Civic Society, and a Visiting Fellow of the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute

Jeff Vernon BA (Hons) FCA MBA AMCT

Jeff has served on the board of FRC Group since 2005.

Jeff is the Finance Director of Rathbone Investment Management (RIM) which is a leading provider of discretionary investment and wealth management services for private clients and trustees. He also has operational responsibility for Group

Treasury, Banking and regulatory reporting. He is a member of the RIM Executive, Banking Committee and Risk Committee.

He qualified as an accountant while with Royal Insurance (now Royal SunAlliance) where he also gained an an MBA . Having spent over 7 years with RSA in a variety of finance based roles, he joined Rathbones in 1999 and was appointed to the RIM Board in November 2000.

Jeremy Nicholls

Jeremy Nicholls is the former Chief Executive of Social Value International and Social Value UK. These are membership networks for those interested in measuring, managing and accounting for their social value, united by a common vision of changing the way the world accounts for value.

As well as being a Trustee of FRC Group, Jeremy is also a member of the IRIS advisory committee, a contributor to the Social Stock Exchange admissions panel, on the ICAEW Assurance Panel, and a member of the Social Impact Measurement Sub-group of GECES for the EU.

Jeremy is a regular speaker and writer on social value including 'There is no business like Social Business' with Liam Black, a number of SROI guides including the 'Guide to SROI' and a column for Pioneers Post.

Dr John Hines

Dr John Hines has served on the board since 2008. Having gained his D.Phil in Chemistry at Oxford University, John joined Unilever R&D in the UK where he worked across all Home and Personal Care categories and on innovations for global brands including Dove, Skip and Axe.

Following a brief spell heading a leading materials technology consulting business, John joined SC Johnson Professional as Global R&D Director in 2010 and has since lead delivery to market of award winning innovations in Healthcare and Industrial & Institutional skincare.

Jeremy Nicholls has served on the board of FRC Group since 2009.  He is a director and one of the founders of Social Value International, a membership organisation for individuals and organisations supporting principles and standards in accounting for social and environmental value. He works part time with the Impact Management Project and is Professor of Social Value at Staffordshire University.

He is also a non-executive director of the Social Investment Business (a social investor) and the Social and Human Capital Coalition. He chairs the British Standards Institute’s social value committee and is a member of Accounting for Sustainability’s Expert Panel; the IRIS advisory committee; and the UK Social Value Taskforce.

He originally qualified as a chartered accountant, including time as the Finance Director for Tanzania Railways.

Lesley Dixon

Lesley has served on the FRC Group board since 2014.

Lesley is the CEO of PSS - a social enterprise that works across the UK, recognising when people are in need and finding new and practical ways to help them get the most from life.

Prior to her move to PSS Lesley had a career in Higher Education as Chief Executive of Leeds University Union and before that the University of London and Kings College. 

In addition to her work at PSS Lesley was also part of the Liverpool Fairness Commission, has been a trustee of the national Board at mental health charity Mind since 2008 and is currently the Vice Chair.

Lesley is also a Chartered Manager, a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Leeds.