As our Head of Direct Distribution, Louise Thorpe is on the frontlines of any major strategic project we undertake, anticipating any eventualities and bringing exciting new changes to life.

Despite juggling many responsibilities, she’s clear about her duty. “Getting out of head office and into our branch network is the most important thing I do,” she says.

“I love chatting to members and colleagues, as it’s the best way to understand their needs and know what’s going on so we can strategize with the proper information.”

Whether it was her childhood goal to become a solicitor, teacher training at college, or her current role, Louise has always asked: “How do I use my skills to make a difference?”

She joined the Society in 2004 as a part-time customer service consultant because it fit well with her home life. Though she came in to cover maternity leave, Louise was quickly made a permanent member of the team.

As her children grew up, Louise began to again consider how best she could ‘make a difference’. With the Society backing her, she completed a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice and became a mortgage advisor, helping families to find homes.

Having lived in Guisborough all her life, it was fitting that Louise’s managerial career really took off when she became manager of her local branch, and later the Middlesbrough branch.

Louise was then offered the chance to oversee an additional four Teesside branches. Eventually, she accepted responsibility for all nine branches as our Branch Operations Manager.

In 2017, a restructure saw Louise form a centralised mortgage advisor team and oversee our intermediary team as Sales Operations Manager.

Two years later, we decided it would be most effective to split direct distribution and intermediary functions, which created two new roles: Head of Intermediaries and Head of Direct Distribution.

With her history of working directly with customers and her flair for strategy, Louise was a perfect choice to fill the new Direct Distribution role.

Today, she says: “When we think about what kind of an organization we are, and what our culture is, it’s just brilliant.

“You know you’ve got a team of people that are right behind you and want to do the best for the customer. It really brings us together as a team and makes coming to work truly enjoyable.”