The Board – working hard on your behalf
The Board of Stafford Railway Building Society currently comprises eight directors who offer a wide range of personal experience. Profiles for the Chief Executive and Chairman, along with the other Board members, are provided here.
Mike Smith - Chief Executive
Michael was appointed Chief Executive Officer in October 2017 and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. Michael is a highly experienced corporate and retail banker, having previously served the Society as a Non-Executive Director for 8 years. He has over 35 years of knowledge and experience in Operations, Risk, Change, Sales Management, Infrastructure Projects and brings considerable experience in growing a business, people development and provides strong strategic direction.
Michael is passionate about the mutual sector and the benefits it brings to the local community. This is proving particularly important during the Society’s transitional phase and ensuring the continued sustainability of the Society.
Steven Jones - Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director
Steven was appointed to the Board in June 2018 as Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director and is responsible for finance control, treasury and risk within the Society as well as deputising for the Chief Executive on a range of society-wide matters.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has a strong background in the financial services sector having spent over 30 years in a variety of senior positions. These have covered Corporate Planning, Strategy, IT, Underwriting, Risk, Secretarial, and General Operations.
Outside of the Society he is a Corporation Member of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, where he also holds the position of Vice Chair of the Audit Committee. He brings a wealth of experience, from a wider context having served as a trustee and Chair of two regional charities and a Housing Association.
Karen McCormick - Vice Chair
Karen has held a broad industry career that began in accountancy and progressed into business leadership with a particular interest in business performance improvement focusing on people.
Karen has worked across range of sectors holding senior leadership roles including; Chief Executive Officer at a regional building society, Group HR Director, Vice President of HR, People Performance Director at a retail supermarket and HR Director at a home shopping business.
Karen’s experience of industry at both board and as a senior leader, will be invaluable at a time of transition involving both the business and people.
James Dean - Senior Independent Director
James is the Senior Independent Director, a role he previously held at a large Friendly Society where he also sat on the Risk and Audit Committee. He currently Chairs the Audit Committee at a listed bank and wealth management company and is also a member of their
Accordingly James brings relevant and contemporary insight and experience to his membership of Stafford Railway's Audit Committee and Risk Committee.
Gary Crowe - Non-Executive Director
Gary is Chair of the Audit Committee. He is a Chartered Banker with over thirty years’ experience in Financial Services. Gary previously held senior commercial positions in strategy, business transformation and Risk & Business management as well as expertise as a university professor of innovation and leadership.
Gary is a passionate believer in the mutual building society model and the long term benefits of member ownership. He has lived locally for over forty years.
David Grant - Director
David currently works as a business consultant across a number of different industries, both in the UK and overseas. He is also serves on the Board of an investment-based Friendly Society.
He previously held a wide variety of senior positions in Banks, Building Societies, Insurance and Pensions organisations.
David joined the Board in 2017 and became Chair of the Risk Committee in May 2019. He has considerable experience of first and second line Risk responsibility including the management of regulated product sales.
The combination of a strong depth and breadth of experience with contemporary knowledge enables David to make a strong contribution to the Board.
Mary Kerr - Non-Executive Director
After a Short Service Commission in the army Mary moved into Financial Services working for Building Societies and Banks, rising to become the Director heading up the Personal Banking operation of Kleinwort Benson Investment Bank.
She subsequently spent 10 years as an independent consultant and interim Director and Chief Executive, working with Building Societies, Banks and Insurers, gaining an MBA from Henley Management College along the way. After this Mary moved into the ‘Not for Profit’ sector, spending 8 years as Bursar (Chief Operating Officer) of St Hugh’s College Oxford and then 7 years as Chief Executive at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, a learned society of Judges and Barristers, providing training, accommodation and services to the profession.
Mary’s appointment to the Board marks a return to a sector that she strongly believes can survive and thrive