New Leadership Takes The Helm at Albyn Group

Albyn Group, which comprises Albyn Housing Society, Albyn Enterprises Ltd and Highland Residential Ltd, has appointed established Highland businesswoman and third sector specialist, Lisa Buchanan, as chief executive officer (CEO).

The move follows the departure of long-serving chief executive, Calum Macaulay, who announced his decision to leave the organisation in March after more than 20 years in post. It also comes at a time of change for the board, which has just named Highland Councillor and businesswoman, Maxine Smith, and Albyn tenant and retired businessman, Ian Fosbrooke, as joint-chair.

Speaking of her appointment, Lisa said: “This is a fresh and exciting opportunity to build on the success and high standing of Albyn Group, which Calum and the team have built over the past three decades.

“I am always ambitious for the organisations I work with, and I am eager to make Albyn’s vision to see everyone housed in affordable quality homes within sustainable communities a reality. I also relish a challenge, so I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to strike new partnerships that drive innovation and deliver bold solutions that meet the housing needs of the area.”

Edinburgh-born and raised in the Highlands, Lisa joins the society from Buchanan Shaw Consulting where she is a partner specialising in advising third sector organisations and SMEs on organisational development.

Previously, she spent several years with Northern Constabulary as Strategic Diversity Adviser before joining Cantraybridge College, where she held the position of CEO for five years. She also spent a short period as Manager of People and Culture at Parklands Care Homes prior to taking maternity leave following the birth of her son.

Lisa’s excellent calibre as a leader in Scotland’s third sector landscape has been acknowledged on several occasions. These include a shortlisting for the Institute of Directors’ Third Sector Director of the Year award, and a nomination as Scottish Social Enterprise Champion of the Year.

Lisa also gained non-executive experience in governance as a board member at North Highland College UHI.

A life-long learner, Lisa recently completed an MBA with distinction from Strathclyde Business School.

Joint-chairs Maxine Smith and Ian Fosbrooke, welcomed the appointment.

A long-standing voluntary Board Member of 14 years, Maxine said: “Lisa has relevant third sector experience, enthusiasm and strategic vision, making her the ideal individual to take us into this new chapter for Albyn Housing Society and its subsidiaries.

“It is an exciting time for the organisation. Not only are we ambitious to build on our heritage as a leading registered social landlord for over 40 years – we must focus on the sustainability of our older housing stock as well as future builds, in an ever challenging environment.”

Ian, a new Member of the Board who will bring fresh ideas from a tenant’s perspective, added: “By developing new revenue streams that enable us to invest in the communities we serve, Albyn can ensure the people of the Highlands have access to quality affordable housing for decades to come.

“Lisa will play a central role in shaping this future with us – with her extensive third sector experience and business acumen, I’m really excited to see what this holds.”

Both Maxine and Ian are both long serving members of the Albyn Group Board.

Maxine is a well-known figure in Highland civil society, bringing with her significant experience as a Highland Councillor for the Cromarty Firth ward and as established Leader of the Opposition in Highland Council.

An Albyn Housing Society tenant, Ian brings experience from various industries, having worked all over the world during his career. Now retired, his role with the society started with tenant participation activities, which included the Customer Involvement Strategy Management Group.