Our Executive Management Team is responsible for Avante Care & Support; performance and services. EMT members have a wide experience in many aspects of social care, including local government, housing associations, finance and development. These skills support the delivery of excellent care across the organisation.
Stuart Cross joined Avante Care & Support in January 2017 and is an experienced senior executive with extensive experience in the charity sector. He joined Lloyds Bank from university before leaving banking in 1999 and taking the role of Director of Finance at Mission Care. In 2007 he joined Greensleeves Care as Deputy Chief Executive and led a strategy of growth and quality improvement.
Stuart is passionate about delivering the Avante Vision – Communities where everyone has a vibrant and fulfilling life. In particular, he is a strong and effective advocate of Avante’s Philosophy of Care, the Eden Alternative. Stuart is committed to improving the quality of care delivered to residents and service users and visits all the homes and services regularly to see at first-hand how care is delivered.
He is a member of the leadership team at his church and was a Founding Governor of Bickley Primary School.
Director of Finance & Deputy Managing Director
Debbie was born and educated in Ramsgate in Kent, and began her career in finance working for an accountancy practice in Ramsgate. After this she worked for Thanet District Council and then became Financial Accountant at Thanet Community Housing Association.
It was here that she achieved her professional qualification. She has worked for Avante Care & Support since February 2000 and was promoted to Director of Finance and Resources and appointed Company Secretary in 2003.
She became Deputy Chief Executive in January 2009, in addition to her role as Director of Finance and Resources.
Debbie is also a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management MCMI FCCA
Director of Human Resources
Derek had previously served as a musician in the Royal Marines Band Service. On leaving the Royal Marines, he gained a Master of Science degree in Human Resources from South Bank University and worked as an HR and Training adviser for a large food manufacturing company.
In 2003, he joined Avante Care & Support as Human Resources Manager and adviser on health and safety. In 2005, he was appointed Head of HR and Executive Director of the organisation’s subsidiary training company, which provided learning and development for Avante and other social care providers as well as managing publicly funded contracts for the benefit of the Kent and Medway social care sector.
In 2008, Derek was appointed Director of HR. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, holds a NEBOSH H&S qualification and is a member of the British Psychological Society, qualified to administer and assess psychometric tests.
Derek is also an executive board member of the trade association, the Kent Integrated Care Alliance and vice chairman of the Deal Memorial Bandstand Trust.
Director of Quality
Jacqui was born and educated in Kent and began her career in 1980 in social care, running a day-centre for the elderly.
At twenty-four, she became one of the youngest managers to run a residential care home for people with mental health issues. In 1988 she was appointed General Manager and Company Director of CNH Ltd, managing dual registered nursing homes.
Jacqui joined Avante Care & Support in 1996 as the Home Manager at Barton Court on the Isle of Sheppey. In 1998, the role was expanded to include the management responsibility for Court Regis in Sittingbourne. This was then followed by her being appointed to the position of East Kent Area Manager.
In 2003 Jacqui was then appointed the General Manager for our London Care Homes. Jacqui is currently Director of Quality.
Director of Care Operations
Originally qualified as a nurse, Gina has extensive experience in the health and social care field since moving from her native Scotland in 1986.
Gina has worked in both commissioning and delivery of services across a wide range of client groups including, children, adults with complex conditions and disabilities, as well as working with older people and those living with dementia.
Gina is a Trustee with two housing associations specialising in care and supported housing. Outside of work her passions include football, travel and cooking.
Director of Property and Development
Chris has 30+ years experience in Asset Management and Property Development which he gained working for a variety of property companies and housing associations in the south and south east of England.
Born in Somerset, Chris spent his early career in property sales and construction and during the last 15 years he has operated at Head of Service or Director level, leading multi-disciplinary teams to deliver a range of repairs, maintenance and property development services.
Chris located to the Kent area in 2009 and joined Avante in February 2020 as Director of Property and Development. Whilst being new to the Care sector, Chris brings with him a wealth of executive leadership experience and has an excellent track record in formulating and implementing business strategy.
He enjoys delivering services which make a difference to the quality of life for customers and thrives on solving problems and implementing business change.
Chris confesses to being something of a petrolhead with an active interest in cars, motorbikes and aeroplanes which he combines with his other interest as a keen amateur photographer.