CoLab Exeter has announced the appointment of Amanda Kilroy and Fiona Carden as joint chief executives, a first for the organisation, which supports people with complex lives in the city.
The new structure comes at an important time for CoLab, which has doubled its workforce to 37 employees over the last 12 months. The Exeter-based charity is now leading and commissioning multiple civic projects, alongside its core infrastructure role as the home of, and supporter to, 30 aligned organisations.
Both Amanda and Fiona have been part of the senior leadership team since the organisation’s inception in 2016. In addition to their role as joint chief executives each will continue to focus on their own areas of expertise: Amanda on System and Social Impact and Fiona on Learning and Innovation.
“Sharing the role of CEO with Fiona is going to bring additional skills, experience and capacity while CoLab’s role in the city is expanding. Over 2021 the team has secured significant new funding streams, including a National Lottery Community Foundation Grant; One Mental Health Team funding; and Devon Mental Health Alliance funding and we have a multitude of other projects in development.”
“I’m delighted to join Amanda as joint chief executive of CoLab. The new structure will enable us to focus on the strategy for CoLab and ensure the sustainability of the organisation through income generation and new business development. It’s an exciting time to be stepping up as joint chief executive.”
Julie Dent, chair of the CoLab board of trustees said:
“CoLab has grown into its role as the key access and delivery point for supporting people with complex lives in the city. CoLab is ambitious in its vision and is working on a number of innovative projects including the Urban Academy, Safety of Women at Night and developing a new multi-purpose space. This, paired with the current cost of living crisis, means we anticipate that demand for our services and staffing will increase exponentially. Now is the right time to ensure we have the best possible leadership in place. Re-structuring the organisation under a joint CEO will enable us to support those who need it most.
“It is vital that CoLab’s values are true for our staff as well as people accessing our services. This new structure brings additional strength to the leadership and improves work/life balance for the team.
“Amanda and Fiona have a proven track record in leading CoLab and I am confident that together they will continue to develop CoLab to benefit the community.”