It is common practice for valued employees to move onto new pastures carrying a souvenir to remind them of their achievements in their old job.
But Helen Rourke, who has just left her post as director of finance and company secretary at Bradford-based Manningham Housing Association, has set an especially high bar.
Last week, Mrs Rourke was named Finance Professional of the Year at the prestigious Women in Housing Awards at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester.
She has now taken up the position of executive director – finance with Mosscare St Vincent’s Housing Group.
Mrs Rourke was nominated for her award by MHA Chief Executive Lee Bloomfield, who said he was thrilled but not surprised by her success.
Mr Bloomfield, who triumphed in the Mentor of the Year category at the Housing Heroes awards in July, said: “Helen has been a wonderful colleague and is a worthy winner at the Women in Housing Awards.
“She began her professional career as a trainee at KPMG and quickly progressed through the housing finance world, serving as Assistant Director for Finance at Parkway Green Housing Trust and Finance Director at Trafford Housing Trust before joining MHA.
“Helen demonstrated remarkable leadership skills in working with the Executive Team and Board to enable us to significantly improve our governance and financial viability ratings as determined by the Regulator of Social Housing.
“She also acted as a mentor to up and coming housing finance professionals.
“Helen leaves with our sincere good wishes as the newly-crowned Finance Professional of the Year.”
Barrington Billings, chair of the MHA Board, said: “I am really pleased for Helen who has been a first-class ambassador for Manningham Housing Association and a tremendous support to Board members past and present.
“There is no doubt that future accomplishments will be added to her deeply-merited Women in Housing Award.”
Helen Rourke said: “I’m really shocked and humbled to have been given the award. There were some incredible women recognised on the night, and some inspiring stories of what they have achieved across the sector, and I feel honoured to be counted amongst them.
“It has been a real privilege to have been part of Manningham’s journey over the last two years. Everything we have achieved together is testament to the hard work of the Executive, Board and staff, and I wish them every success into the future.”
Interviews for the new position of director of Finance and Resources at MHA are currently underway with the successful candidate expected to be announced next month.