Howard Don, Chair of the board of trustees at The Haemochromatosis Society, is to step down at the charity’s AGM in April, having completed his full elected term of three years.
Howard took on the Chairmanship when founder trustee Janet Fernau stood down in 2015, and has overseen the transformation of the charity from a small and entirely voluntary based organisation to a growing, professional patient representative body employing a number of staff dedicated to the cause, turning over more than 5 times the income, and involved in several exciting high level projects.
Society trustees serve terms of three years at a time.
Howard said “I was sorely tempted to offer myself for re-election for another term because it has been an exciting and stimulating three years and I’m very proud of what we have achieved. However, it has also been pretty full on and it’s time to slow down, and spend more time on home and family based things for a while, not least our granddaughter and an impending new arrival. I also feel that David and I have achieved what we set out to do in our first three years, namely to lead the transition to a professionally run, financially sustainable patient body. I always said I would not linger too long as Chair, as I think a Board needs fresh impetus on a regular basis and now seems to be the right time to step down. We have a highly motivated and capable staff and dedicated and talented trustees so I am convinced the society is in good hands.”
David Head, Chief Executive at THS added “It’s been a pleasure working with Howard through a whole host of changes and I believe that between us we have more than justified the board’s decision to appoint an executive team. This was originally proposed back in 2013 whilst Janet was still Chair, with Howard very involved in seeing it all through”.
The board will now appoint an interim chair from within to take the reins from the AGM on 14 April for a period of 6 months or so, during which time two to four new trustees will be sought and appointed and the board will elect a new permanent Chair and Vice-Chair.
“The role of Chair has grown considerably, so my recommendation to the remaining Board was that they also appoint a Vice Chair in order to spread the load, and this was unanimously agreed” said Howard. “It also makes sense to take a bit of time to define the roles carefully before appointing to them, so putting an interim chair in place in the meantime is a very sensible way forward”.
Editor’s note: An announcement about the appointment of an interim Chair will be made very shortly.