Executive Leadership Team
This team is responsible for the day to day running and wellbeing of the organisation.
Julie Layton was appointed as Chief Executive of Advance in 2015, having worked for the organisation for a number of years as Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive.
Julie is a qualified accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. She has extensive experience in the social housing sector. She is a strategic, visionary leader who is passionate about improving the lives of vulnerable people and believes the non-profit sector has a big part to play in delivering change. Her philosophy is to embed a collaborative and open culture within the organisation and to inspire and empower people to perform well.
Julie has developed partnership working initiatives to ensure Advance can work with others to provide more high quality support options to customers to enable them to live the lives they choose.
In 2017 Julie was appointed to the Board of the Association of Mental Health Providers and is keen to take an active role in shaping the future of the Association and the mental health sector.
Ian Gilders joined Advance in March 2016 as Executive Director of Housing, responsible for Tenancy & Leasehold Management, Repairs & Maintenance, Customer Services and Housing Investment & Development.
Ian came to Advance from a similar interim role with Response Organisation, specialising in mental health. Prior to that Ian spent 6 years in a variety of senior roles with Sovereign Housing, including Regional Director and Projects Director. Before Sovereign, Ian was Head of Supported Housing for GreenSquare Group. Ian has also worked in Strategy & Commissioning as Supporting People Manager at West Berkshire Council, as well as being a qualified social worker.
Tracy Lanes joined Advance as Interim Executive Interim Director of Support on 1st August 2023.
Tracy has over 20 years’ experience at Director level within organisations who provide housing and support for people with a learning disability, autism and a mental health condition.
As Executive Director of People and Change Sarah Toye is responsible for the strategic leadership of our People function, to deliver positive employee and manager experiences consistently and accurately across all aspects of HR, from Recruit to Retire, enabling our workforce to perform at their best while being valued, appreciated, and safeguarded.
Sarah joined Advance in January 2023 having spent the past 12 years working in senior HR roles for a charity/Not For Profit organisation delivering care and support services for elderly people and adults with learning disabilities. Sarah’s HR background was developed within the manufacturing and service sector before moving into the social care.
As Executive Director of Finance and Technology Ratna Sukumaran is responsible for leading on strategic financial matters, treasury management and the digitisation programme.
Ratna has several years senior management experience in the private sector and later in the social housing sector. He has held senior financial roles at Hyde Housing, Metropolitan Housing and One Housing.
Prior to joining he was Director of Finance and Resources at Transform Housing and Support for over 10 years.
Ratna is passionate about Supported Housing and the impact the services have on the lives of our customers.