Who We Are
Dennis Benson OBE – Chairman
Dennis has been Chairman of Debt Advice Foundation since August 2007. A former Managing Director of Leyland Multipart, Dennis was appointed Chairman of the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2005, leading what was then a new organisation and launching a £29m investment program that included work at Chorley and Royal Preston hospitals. He stepped down from the trust in 2007. Dennis was previously also Chair of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation. Dennis was awarded an OBE for services to Education and Commerce in 2016.
Karol has 30 years’ experience in the areas of insolvency and debt. She worked in the Insolvency Service for many years in a wide range of roles, dealing with the administration of bankruptcies and company liquidations, investigations and policy matters. Karol was an Official Receiver for 3 years and became Director of Enforcement in 2009 before leaving the Insolvency Service in 2011.
Karol’s current roles are Member of the Parole Board; Chair of the Lancashire Police Joint Audit & Ethics Committee; Vice Chair of the Investigations Committee for the Institute of Charted Accountants England & Wales.
Jeff is a former member of NHS Executive North West and a past Chief Executive of what is now the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. He was the Trust’s first chief executive following the merger of Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust and Preston Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The new Trust was the first in Lancashire to be awarded “Teaching Hospitals” status.
More recently he led a joint venture with the universities of Liverpool, Lancaster, Manchester, Central Lancashire and the then Lancashire & Cumbria Strategic Health Authority, which succeeded in gaining Government approval and funding for a large increase in the number of medical students in Lancashire and Cumbria. This work laid the foundation for a new medical school at the University of Lancaster. Jeff lives in Lytham St Anne’s and is a keen bridge player.
Peter is an Insolvency Practitioner with more than 35 years of insolvency experience. Most recently, he was a partner at Begbies Traynor (Halifax office), following the acquisition of his firm, Sargent and Co, which he established in 1995.
Peter is also a former R3 president, a position he held at the height of the last economic recession.
Sue Ireland – Trustee
Sue had a long career in the NHS in a number of management roles, most recently as Company Secretary at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For several years, she also managed the press and communications function at the trust.
Sue is currently a Director of a small family business based in Stockport, which is a wholesale distributor of goods for the model and hobby trade and is an active member of the University of the Third Age.
David Rodger – Chief Executive Officer
David brings with him a wealth of experience from many years served in the consumer debt advice industry. A graduate of the University of Birmingham, David began his working life in the public sector with Salford Social Services before becoming marketing manager of Debt Free Direct Ltd in 2005, where he made a strong contribution to establishing and consolidating the company’s leadership within the debt advice sector. David was appointed Head of Media at Fairpoint Group PLC in 2007 and joined Debt Advice Foundation in December 2008 as CEO.
Brian Souter MBE – Education Manager
Brian retired from teaching in 2012 having spent more than 25 years as Deputy Headteacher at Southlands High School in Chorley, Lancashire. In 2002, he was awarded an MBE for Services to Education and in the same year he won the prestigious North-West Lifetime Teaching Award. In 2013, Brian joined Debt Advice Foundation as Education Manager and is responsible for developing the charity’s DebtAware Progamme.
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