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Executive Leadership Team

Our business is overseen by an Executive Leadership Team.

The team is focused on ensuring the society delivers its purpose of making life better in our communities and shapes our strategic direction.

You can find out more about the ELT below.

Chief Executive Officer Alison Hands

Alison has over 34 years’ experience in a diverse mix of retail environments.

She started her career in store management at Marks and Spencer and spent over 20 years with the company. She has held numerous roles at Boots Opticians, at Walgreens Boots Alliance and The Body Shop before serving as Managing Director at Wilko. She joined Lincolnshire Co-op in April 2023.

She’s also undertaken community roles including as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Nottingham Forest Community Trust.

Alison Hands Lincolnshire Co op CEO Small 22 copy

Group Secretary and General Counsel Rob Allen

Rob trained and qualified with Eversheds Sutherland in Leeds, specialising in commercial and regulatory law. His career path changed in 2010 when he joined Deutsche Bahn's UK subsidiary, DB Cargo UK as an in-house lawyer, eventually reaching the position of Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs. He joined Lincolnshire Co-op in January 2023.

Robert Allen

Chief Purpose and Proposition Officer Laura Dunne

Laura started her career in marketing in Manchester and held various roles at marketing agencies before moving to adidas UK. Born and bred in Lincoln, she came back home to join Lincolnshire Co-op in 2011, focusing on marketing, membership and community.

She’s held roles including being a Board Member of Destination Lincolnshire as well as sitting on the Co-op National Members’ Council.

Laura Dunne

Chief Financial Officer Paul Howard

Paul has experience across both private and listed retail businesses, both in the UK and overseas. He joined Lincolnshire Co-op in April 2024 from international fashion retailer boohoo group plc, where he had been Head of Supply Chain Finance.

Prior to boohoo, Paul progressed through the ranks at Wilko, at which he held senior finance roles across commercial finance, treasury, financial control and strategic planning, as well as a two-year stint in Hong Kong as Finance Director for the group's sourcing office.

Paul Howard

Chief Operating Officer Steve Leach

Steve has a breadth of retail leadership experience, starting in store management at Marks and Spencer, before moving to roles at Sainsbury’s, Walgreen Boots Alliance and Vodafone. He also held senior roles including Sales Director at Co-op Group/Nisa and was most recently interim Chief Operating Officer at Vets Now before joining Lincolnshire Co-op in March 2024.

He’s a qualified workplace and personal leadership coach and has held community roles including being a trustee of Nisa’s charity Making a Difference Locally.

Steve Leach

Chief People Officer Heather Lee

Heather has wide-ranging HR experience in a range of sectors including retail, defence, and utilities with Blue Chip FTSE 100s and the Co-operative sector, joining Lincolnshire Co-op in 2005. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Her roles in the community and employment sector include sitting on the Leadership Board for Business in the Community, Vice-Chair of Governors at a Boston College and Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Cornerstone Employer Group, promoting best practice in business support to careers education.

Heather Lee

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