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Trustees appoint the Chief Executive who with four directors is charged with delivering YHA’s plans to achieve the object and bring to life our vision of reaching out and enhancing the lives of young people.
Chief Executive - Caroline White
After a short period in the commercial packaging industry, Caroline’s earlier career was in the housing sector following her passion to make a difference to people’s lives, particularly those with no homes and rough sleeping. She was Chief Executive of both Soho Housing Association and English Churches Housing Group – at the time one of the largest providers of supported housing.
Before joining YHA, she had a successful consultancy for 10 years, initially working primarily in the private sector supporting senior teams to develop their strategic plans and leading change programmes. She led a number of voluntary organisations through major change, including the Alzheimers’ Society. She has held a number of non-exec roles including a Trustee of Centrepoint and Chair of her local PCT.
Caroline joined YHA in 2008 because she passionately believes in the huge life-changing opportunities YHA gives young people. This combines her skills for leading transformational change, property development, and the combination of commercial and voluntary sector expertise needed in a trading charity.
When not working, Caroline lives in London with her husband near her two children. She is a lover of city life but combines that with walking and running.
Director of Property - Jake Chalmers
I am a Chartered Surveyor with over 18 years experience in the property industry.
My career started in commercial property moving into specialising in acquisitions and disposals for investment funds and property companies. In 1998 I took a career break travelling extensively using hostels across the world. On my return to the UK I joined YHA becoming Property Director in 2007. My department encompasses a wide range of responsibilities including:
Hostel Acquisitions, Disposals and Property Management
Development and Maintenance of the YHA Network
Health & Safety, Environment and Quality
Capital Fundraising and Partnerships
I am extremely fortunate to be a director of the YHA. I work with great people who are committed to the ethos of the YHA, providing opportunities for everyone to stay at inspiring hostels, meeting new people and having life developing experiences. The fantastic thing about the YHA is the more successful we are the greater the number of people we can help to have the YHA Experience.
Director of Operations, People and Performance - Allison Green
I am responsible for the Operational and People elements of the business and have a direct team of 6 Heads of Department. This team make sure that everything that needs to be done in order to deliver our vision takes place. Each member of the team is focussed on making YHA a fantastic place to work, a fantastic place to visit and in doing so enables us to reach out and enhance the lives of young people.
My career to date has been in Operations, HR and Learning and Development and I have been lucky enough to work for both FTSE 100 companies and private equity companies before joining YHA.
I feel really privileged to work with the team at YHA and to make a difference to young peoples lives every day.
When not torturing my husband on a daily basis by being out visiting Hostels in the UK, we do a lot of international travel and love nothing more than being on safari in Africa.
Director of Finance and IT - William Howarth
I'm a qualified accountant with over 15 years senior management experience. I was Finance Director at Ladybird Books before spending eight years with the BBC in Factual TV productions.
I'm responsible for Finance and IT and work closely with the Treasurer to ensure that YHA remains on a sound footing and is able to meet the challenges and opportunities that the future brings.
Like many people I have early memories of YHA and fondly remember some great times in hostels whilst in Venture Scouts. Outside of work I enjoy music, sport (where I have coached hockey on a voluntary basis for over 20 years) and of course travel.
Director of Sales and Marketing - Joe Lynch
Joe is an experienced sales and marketing director specialising in the growth of youth, active, educational and multi-site businesses. He has 13 years of experience in the tourism and leisure sector, nationally and globally.
As the owner of a consultancy business offering expertise in all areas of sales and marketing, he worked with clients such as TUI Travel, Thomas Cook and The Education Travel Group. His key achievements include the development of the ‘Relax as Hard as You Like’ campaign, following the merger of Sunworld Sailing and Neilson Ski, which was awarded the Best Campaign in Travel; and the creation of the ‘Peak Horizon’ brand to tackle hotel occupancy in low season, which was listed in the Sunday Times Top 100 holidays in its first three months.
In his youth, Joe was a frequent user of the YHA, throughout the Yorkshire Dales – (even helping to build the steps up the side of Malham Cove!), and still enjoys the outdoor life; sailing, cycling and walking whenever time permits.
Joe Comments…“What a privilege to be involved in an association that offers so many opportunities and experiences to so many people. We have a tremendous opportunity now, with a hugely modernised range of hostels, a fantastic dedicated team and an ever increasing awareness of the good that the YHA does for all.”