Published: 2nd February 2022
Darlington Building Society has appointed two new executive team members. Both appointments were internal, underlining the Society’s commitment to growing its own talent.
Progression through the Society
Louise Thorpe is the Society’s Distribution Director, and Chris Brown is Products and Marketing Director.
Louise joined the Society in 2004 as maternity cover role for a part-time customer service consultant.
As she progressed through the Society, Louise’s roles included Mortgage Advisor, Branch Manager, Branch Operations Manager, Sales Operations Manager and Head of Direct Distribution.
Louise assumes responsibility for products and service distribution in her new role. This includes leading the branch network, plus the direct sales and intermediary support teams, to deliver outstanding member and broker experience.
Louise said: “I’m really proud to be joining the executive team. It shows the Society’s commitment to talent development and is a clear reflection of our core values. The message is ‘work hard and the Society will reward you with opportunities’.
“Because I progressed through the Society, I understand the challenges staff face in various roles. Job satisfaction for colleagues is achieved through supporting our customers and making a difference in the local community. Continuous improvement is important to help us provide the best results for both members and staff.”
The Society is supporting Louise through a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership at Loughborough University.
Opportunities on the horizon
Chris joined Darlington Building Society in 2019 as Head of Products and Propositions. He began his career on the Northern Rock graduate scheme before joining UK Asset Resolution Ltd, and later Virgin Money.
In his new role, Chartered Marketeer Chris will add overall accountability for marketing to his current responsibilities.
Chris said: “I’ve learned a lot in the three years I’ve been with the Society. I’m delighted have the chance to shine during what has been a challenging period due to the pandemic. I’m honoured to join the executive team in a fantastic organisation that truly believes in growing its own talent.
“My passion is listening and reacting to our members’ needs, through member-centric product development. We will also be increasing the Society’s brand awareness across the communities we serve. The business is in great shape, members are being well looked after, so there is an exciting future ahead.”
Committed to recognising talent
Clare Wilson will succeed Louise as Head of Direct Distribution, as part of the management restructure.
Clare’s previous role was Branch Operations Manager and she was the winner of the ‘Overall Making A Difference’ category in last year’s staff awards.
Chief Executive Andrew Craddock said: “Louise and Chris have both excelled in their previous roles with the Society. They bring a wealth of experience and skills, and they will be valuable additions to the executive team.
“Along with Clare’s well-deserved promotion, their progression demonstrates yet again that Darlington Building Society is fully committed to investing in our people. We recognise talent and build on individual strengths.”