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Our Board of Directors and Trustees comprises:

Chair: Heather Lukins
Treasurer: David Johnson
Trustees/Directors: Brian Gibbs
  Steve Holt
  Jeanette Keech
  Mike Latham
  Ann Van Vliet  
  Jill Knight                                   
  Tansin Benn

Heather Lukins
Heather is Somerset born and bred and is Chair of Trustees at Age UK Somerset, a position she has held since 2012. Heather has also served as a director of the trading company since 2009.

A Chartered Surveyor by profession she gained her BSc (Hons) in Valuation & Estate Management at the University of the West of England.
Throughout her career Heather has run numerous businesses including that as sole proprietor of McKinlays Commercial Property Consultants (until December 2010) and with her husband has a mixed property portfolio of commercial and residential properties.  She also has an Antiques and Collectables business.

Heather brings a wealth of commercial and entrepreneurial experience to the board and has served on a number of local and regional business and commerce bodies.

 

David Johnson
David hails from Plymouth and after graduating from Cardiff University with an Economics degree moved to Taunton in 1987. He has worked at a local firm, BJDixon Walsh since qualification as a chartered accountant in 1992.

He deals with a wide range of clients from different sectors, mainly owner managed businesses and this breadth of experience in the commercial world brings a different perspective to the charity.
David is married with three children and has strong sense of family and community. He has been involved with a number of local charities over the years on a personal level or in a professional capacity. He has been honorary treasurer of Age UK Somerset since January 2014.

 

Brian Gibbs
Brian is a former senior RAF Officer who, on leaving the Service, became Company Secretary at Taunton Cider. He was a member of the executive team that completed a management buyout and subsequent listing on the London Stock Market.

Brian was one of the founding directors of the charity’s trading company and has been a trustee of Age UK Somerset for over 15 years. He is a Chartered Secretary, member of the Chartered Management Institute and a former President of Taunton Chamber of Commerce. Brian is married with 2 grown up children and has lived in Somerset since 1981.

 

Steve Holt
Originally from Manchester, Steve has lived and worked in Somerset for the past 30 years. He is married with 3 children and resides in Taunton. 

He holds a degree in Marketing from Lancaster University and has worked in several senior leadership roles in the areas of marketing, sales and international sales in a number of large commercial organisations. He currently runs his own sales consultancy business.

He joined as a Trading Board Trustee in January 2015.

 

Jeanette Keech
Following a commercial career in marketing and public relations, Jeanette was, in 2004, invited to join Age UK Somerset. Her initial appointment was as a director of the trading company but subsequently she was invited to serve as a Trustee on the main board. 

At around the same time Jeanette was appointed Non-Executive Director at Musgrove Park Hospital - a position she held for 9 years. This was followed by her election as a Musgrove Governor representing the Taunton Deane area. Jeanette is also currently chairman of a GP’s Patient Participation Group.

This Musgrove and Age UK Somerset work has led to further NHS involvement on a number of key development projects.

 

Mike Latham
Mike spent almost 30 years working for Nationwide Building Society before setting up his own Mortgage Consultancy in 2007. He joined Age Concern Somerset in 1990 after doing a research project regarding the Charity shops operated by the Charity at that time. He has served as Treasurer, Chair and also Vice-Chair during that time.

He has seen the Charity grow and develop enormously over that time, during good times and difficult periods alike and brings experience and context to the role as well as his financial expertise.

Mike is married with 2 grown up daughters.

 

Ann Van Vliet
Ann Van Vliet grew up in the Cotswolds. She has a degree in history and received management training in the engineering industry. In 1978 she joined the NHS working firstly in Acute and then Mental Health Service Hospitals.

After two years managing Youth Training Schemes in Birkenhead and Liverpool, Ann managed community hospitals in Cheshire, followed by 24 years in various senior roles developing GP, Dental and Pharmaceutical and Ophthalmic services. She moved to Somerset in 2002 and retired in 2009. Ann chairs the Sedgemoor Health Walks Group. She keeps active with Yoga, Pilates and swimming.

 

Jill Knight
Jill is a new Age UK Somerset Trustee having been appointed in February 2018.

She has lived in Somerset all her life. Jill has worked for Natwest for in excess of 30 years and is presently the branch Manager in Weston Super Mare.This role provides her with not only a financial background, but also a great understanding of the needs and vulnerability of our ageing population.

Before becoming a Trustee, Jill served as a governor at her local primary school for 8 years, particularly focusing on children with Special Educational needs ensuring that those children were fully supported and included in the school community. 

She is married with 2 sons.

 

Dr Tansin Benn (PhD, MSc, MEd)
Tansin worked in Education for thirty-eight years, predominantly in Birmingham and at the University of Birmingham. She taught in schools, then higher education, teacher-training, lecturing, programme development, management and research. Her field was physical education, sport and dance with research interests in social science, notably equality, gender, religious and cultural diversity, that took her to many countries.

She has won several awards including a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2008, the Outstanding Contribution Ambassador Award of theUK's Muslim Women's Sport Association 2012, and the Research Award of the USA's Women's Sport Foundation, 2013.

She retired in 2012 and returned to her home town of Weston-super-Mare. As a carer for her mother she came in touch with several bodies such as the Alzheimer's Association and Age UK Somerset and starting volunteering with Age UK Somerset health and well-being, teaching a weekly class since 2015.

She has Chaired the Weston Winter Gardens Community Board since January 2016 and in the past has been a Director of two dance Company Boards — Kokuma (African Dance) and Chitraleka and Company (Indian Dance). Tansin served on the Executive Board of the International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (www.iapesgw.org) from 2005 — 2017, President from 2009 — 2013, leading the quadrennial Congress of that period in Havana, Cuba. She was awarded an Honorary Life membership of the association in 2017.

She continues to write when life allows, publishing several journal articles and book chapters since retiring.