Ayr Housing Aid appoints Suzanne Slavin as new CEO as John Mulholland retires

Suzanne Slavin

Ayr Housing Aid has appointed Suzanne Slavin as its new CEO as John Mulholland steps down from the role.

Mr Mulholland joined the centre in April 1993 as the coordinator who thereafter became the CEO will step down at the end of June 2021.

He notified the board of his intentions to retire in November 2020 and typically outlined important areas of work which he hoped to complete prior to retirement and was able to do so.

John Mulholland said: “I have worked in housing related areas for the vast majority of my working life. I have had the privilege of working with many people over these years who have encouraged and inspired me and I owe them my heartfelt thanks.”

When Mr Mulholland joined the Centre in 1993 he was the only employee but with the support of the committee he developed the Centre into a highly respected charity and expanded on the services provided across South Ayrshire and beyond.

He was instrumental in developing innovative and forward-thinking services which fundamentally places service user interests at the core of the services. John further developed reporting systems which highlighted the value of the services provided which are reviewed and constantly developed.

He further led the Centre as we moved into a procurement world (bidding for contracts) firstly in 2011. Mr Mulholland reflected: “This was a challenging time for the Centre, staff and the Committee and we carried out a root and branch review of how we delivered our services. We critically evaluated how we delivered services and looked at how we could improve what we do while still meeting the contract specification we were bidding for.”

Mr Mulholland has led the Centre with the support of the Committee/Board through an intensive period of business growth and constitutional development.

The Centre successfully applied to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) which became operational on 1st October 2020.

Chairperson Alex Anderson, commented: “The conversion required a new constitution and a range of changes which would not have been possible without the full engagement of the Board, Senior Management and Staff. John was central to the successful outcome of this process and the new structure will serve the Centre well as we move forward”.

Mr Mulholland added: “it has been a great joy for me to be in a position that I could support and develop staff at the Centre. They are very much the future of the Centre and without the Board support this would not have been possible. I would take this opportunity to wish the Centre continued success for the future. The services we provide are essential for many individuals and families and this will be all the more important as we move to the COVID-19 recovery phase. Finally, I would extend my most sincere thanks to Alex Anderson, chairperson for his continued support and guidance over many years.

“Further thanks to my colleague Suzanne Slavin who has worked with me for over 24 years in adapting and developing the Centre as new challenges and needs identified. Without you we would not have achieved what we have done during my time at the Centre. I wish all my colleagues at the Centre and beyond all the best for the future. I can retire in the comfort that the Centre is in good hands and will continue to grow and evolve.”

John Mulholland

Karen Miller, office and finance manager, said: “John has always supported staff and encouraged their further development. He has been focused on delivering person centred services which seek the best outcomes for service users.

“All staff have often commented how approachable John has been with his open door approach and he will be missed.”

A spokesperson for the board praised John’s tireless commitment to preventing homelessness and tackling poverty. They said: “He has been dedicated to supporting people whose circumstances have rendered them homeless or are in danger of becoming homeless. In this quest he has effectively prevented evictions, and returned rent revenues to landlords, but has also had the wisdom to pioneer preventative approaches with dedicated and well trained staff. He leaves behind a strong basis to continue delivering broad based strategies to prevent homelessness in the future.”

Ayr Housing Aid Centre SCIO board after a rigorous recruitment process has much pleasure in announcing the appointment of Suzanne Slavin BSc (Open) as our new CEO who will commence in post on 1st July 2021 after the retirement of John Mulholland.

The chairperson of the board, added: “Suzanne has worked in a Senior Management role at the Centre for many years and is fully committed to the ethos and aims of the Centre. We have every confidence in her.”

Suzanne Slavin said: “It is an honour and a privilege to accept the post of CEO. The Centre has gone from strength to strength under John’s leadership and the Board’s direction and we will continue to deliver high quality advice and support services. I would like to personally thank John for his commitment and devotion he has shown not only to the Centre but to nurturing my own personal development at the Centre.

“He has been an excellent mentor throughout my career. I know I have large shoes to fill but I will continue in ensuring the years of experience of working alongside John stands me in good stead to ensure the Centre continues to be well respected and puts our Service Users at the Centre of what we do. I look forward to working with staff, Board and partners as we move forward.”

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