Ark Housing Board

Meet the Ark Housing Board Members.

Tom Doran - Chair

Ark 78

Tom is a professional manager with over 30 years’ experience in the Utility/Energy sector and specialises in business change, business restructuring, stakeholder engagement, risk management and management development. As part of his consultancy, Tom is a recognised Chartered Manager and Independent End Point Assessor.

He is dedicated to supporting and building on existing skills, giving managers the focus and support they need to take them and their business to the next level in professional management.

Tom is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute Management, Chartered Institute Consultants and the Assessors Guild.  Tom holds a CMI Level7 Diploma in Leadership Coaching and Mentoring

Ian McAvoy - Vice Chair

Ark 98

After graduating in Economics, Ian studied Accountancy, holding the role of Finance Director and then CEO for over 16 years for a leading Irish brand. Ian has a wealth of expertise in Strategic Planning, Transformation, Marketing and Finance. He has held several non-executive positions: Chair of Playboard, Vice Chair of Sport NI and Disability Sport NI. Currently, Ian is also a Board Member of Extern, Ulster Community Investment Trust and North Belfast Business Centre.

Ian has a passion for sport, especially rugby football, firstly as a player and now as a manager, selector and administrator. He is President/ Chairman of Queens University Belfast (QUB) Rugby.

Nicole Mulholland - Board Member

Ark 97

Nicole Mulholland has 25 years management and leadership experience. She helped over 80 young entrepreneurs start their own businesses during her time with Shell LiveWIRE before moving on to a cross-border economic development role with Co-operation Ireland where she managed a number of business initiatives. Nicole was the first Secretary General of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events, based in Galway.

On her return to Northern Ireland, Nicole was responsible for leading economic development and regeneration initiatives in East Antrim before becoming a founding Director of Leading Governance Limited. Nicole currently works in Ulster University in a strategic marketing role. 

Nicole is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing

Catherine Blackbourne - Board Member

Ark 101

Catherine has 25 years’ experience as a qualified accountant and currently holds a number of consultancy positions across a range of sectors including charity/social enterprise, property, facilities management and retail. She has previously held roles in the transport industry, mechanical and electrical contracting, property investment and development, and corporate banking.

Catherine has a Master of Arts in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Ireland. She is currently Vice-Chair and Board Trustee of Community Finance Ireland and a Parent Governor at Ballyclare High School.

Deborah Reynolds - Board Member

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Deborah Reynolds has over 20 years’ experience in the public sector within Northern Ireland and has extensive experience across the fields of planning, performance, governance and financial management.

She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors and has been a Board Member since 2016.  Deborah currently sits on both the Governance & Audit and Compliance & Risk Committees.


Ward Erwin - Board Member


Ward’s career has involved developing performance management systems and delivering Learning and Development strategies in the Housing Executive. He developed the Social Housing Enterprise Strategy which led to investments in local community enterprises, enabling communities to be more self-sufficient. 

Ward has a degree in Public Policy from the University of Ulster and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management from the Institute of Management. Ward is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Denise Burns - Board Member

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Denise has over 15 years’ experience working in the public and third sectors, focusing on governance and risk.  She is a qualified Company Secretary and is currently the Corporate Governance Manager for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, managing audit, risk, corporate governance, and grants functions as well as the Office of the Mayor.  Prior to this, Denise worked in social housing for over 10 years.

Sara McClintock - Board Member

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Sara McClintock has over 18 years’ experience devising and delivering complex stakeholder communications strategies, nationally and internationally. She currently runs her own communications consultancy agency, specialising in the energy sector.

Sara started her career working in technology PR in London, then moved to Brussels and a broader communications and event management role, working for a European trade association. Moving back to Northern Ireland in 2004, she took up the post of Communications Manager at World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – the world’s largest environmental organisation.

Robert Hutchinson - Board Member

Ark 92

Robert Hutchinson has over twenty-five years experience as a Professor of Economics and Finance in both teaching and research publishing. He was formerly Dean of Ulster University's Business School and Provost of its Coleraine campus.

He is currently one of Northern Ireland's Local Government Staff Commissioners and chairman of the Finance Committee of Dalriada School's Board of Governors.

Chi Ting Yip - Board Member

Ark 94

Chi Ting Yip, known as Ling, is a dual qualified solicitor and specialises in real estate development. She has experience in various property-related legal areas and has been advising housing association on a regular basis.  

With a Master of Business Administration, Ling is also a member of the Board of Directors of Lagan Valley Regional Park. Ling holds a CMI level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership. 

Patrick Magennis - Apprentice Board Member

Patrick Magennis

Patrick works in an investment management role with Aon Wealth Solutions. In 2022, he became a Chartered Financial Analyst, Level 1 candidate, and will embark on a series of exams to deepen his investing credibility and knowledge.

Patrick is a keen sportsperson with a great interest in golf and rugby.