Welcoming Our Latest Chair

Welcoming Our Latest Chair

Posted: 24 September 2020

September not only marks a return to a more 'business as usual' way of working for us as a business, but the start of a new era as we welcome Paula McGrath as Chair of the Board.

Taking over from Wayne Hughes – Chair of the Board since HMS’ inception in 2011 – Paula will work with the Leadership Team and the Board to grow the organisation and help it recover in the wake of COVID-19.

Discussing this ‘changing of the guards’ Paula and Wayne join Managing Director of HMS, Paul Worthington, to share their reflections on the last nine years and what the next few years will bring for HMS, its staff and ultimately, its communities’.

Discussing her new role, Paula said: “I’m thoroughly delighted to have taken over as the Chair from Wayne, who has played a key role in building the business into the successful organisation it is today.

“I have been an independent Board member for 4 years now and have worked with Wayne and colleagues to help develop HMS’ product offering and customer base and will continue to focus on that as well as adapting operations to fit the industry demands and the Green Agenda during my tenure.

“I’m also passionate about diversifying the workforce and truly representing the skills and talents of the people who live and work across our communities’ and will play an active role in attracting female talent through the Women in Construction programme, as well as developing and supporting our existing team.

“Taking over as Chair is a responsibility I will not take lightly and I look forward to being an integral part of HMS’ journey and implementing growth strategies to continue HMS’ upwards trajectory over the coming years.”

Of his tenure, Wayne explains: “Back in 2011, HMS was effectively born out of the need to respond to a series of high-profile maintenance contractor failures that were becoming increasingly common place in the social housing sector. The Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) Board and CEO, Steve Coffey, were adamant that their customers would get the quality and value for money service they were promised and deserved, thus HMS was established and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I have been Chair of the HMS Board for nine years and I have been privileged enough to see HMS go from strength-to-strength, ultimately leading to the organisation providing more services than it did in 2011. Transforming from a Repairs and Maintenance company to one which now offers Facilities Management, Development and Construction services has transformed HMS into a highly respected organisation and one of the fastest growing contractors in the North West with over 700 highly skilled and committed colleagues.

“The true value of HMS lies beyond its services however, and I have also seen the true value of its investment into the communities’ it operates in. Through Gift Aid, HMS has supported the Torus Foundation in its mission to help build stronger communities and its £14 million donation is a contribution most other Registered Providers can only dream of.

“As I step down from my role, I know Paula will ensure that HMS and its success story will continue for a very long time to come.”

In light of the unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19 and the struggles evident across the sector, as well as nationally, we are now focusing on our recovery and growth, with this occasion marking a new phase for us.

Summarising, Paul continues: “It has been a challenging few months for HMS – as it has for organisations across the country and indeed, the world – and I am pleased to have something to celebrate!

“Wayne has been a dedicated Chair and has truly guided the development of HMS into the company it is today. The rest of the Board and Leadership Team will forever be grateful for his vision and encouragement as we can now proudly say we are an award-winning contractor – something we never could have imagined nine years ago. We all wish Wayne the best and would like to remind him that a hi-viz with his name on will always be waiting for him here at HMS!

“Having worked with Paula already for 4 years, I know how committed she is to increasing HMS’ local and regional impact and creating more opportunities for women in the construction industry, ultimately boosting our investment into good causes that have a positive ripple effect for the people who live and work in the areas we operate in and I, for one, cannot wait to see her aspirations come to life.

“She takes over at a time history won’t forget and I know that with her tenacity, enthusiasm and passion to make a real difference, the next few years with Paula at the helm will form part of HMS’ history, which I’m sure will see us become even stronger as an organisation – welcome Paula!”

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