Darlington Building Society is always innovating and growing, but it’s vital this happens successfully in a controlled and effective manner. That’s where Michael Cooper and his team come in.

As Head of Change and Procurement, Michael’s considerable task is to project manage all our exciting developments, ensuring everything we do is for the betterment of the Society.

“The key to my role is understanding the core essence of Darlington Building Society,” Michael says. “That whenever we do any sort of change, we’re doing it to improve what we offer to the members.

“We make certain everyone has the right tools to deliver change effectively. I usually say that we’re responsible for seeing that no-one tries to climb a mountain in flip-flops!”

Michael started his career in the civil service quickly working his way to team leader position at a young age.

He subsequently joined Wear Valley District Council, where he played a key role in the authority’s merger with Durham County Council in 2009. Later, he helped to deliver transformational change at Esh Group.

Michael brought over 15 years of expertise to the Society in 2019, introducing his methodology and way of working, and establishing a highly effective team.

He says: “The best thing about working for Darlington Building Society is that we all live our vision, we live our values. It’s not an organisation that says one thing and does another.

“After all, how many organisations send you out litter-picking with the chief executive?”