James' work at Sellafield helps him make a positive difference to the UK.
Chris has found an exciting career challenge in Cumbria
Chris Harrison, Chief Executive of Furness Building Society, lives in Little Urswick
Chris is embarking on a “big adventure” after relocating to Cumbria to take charge of Furness Building Society.
After running large organisations across Europe, Chris has a clear vision for Furness Building Society in Cumbria.
“The business has a great brand and a very strong reputation in the region, which really appealed to me,” he said. “The Society helps members buy their own home and we’re trusted by a number of people in the local community to look after their savings, which is a great privilege.
“Since joining the Society I have been looking at how we can grow and build on our current membership. The current mortgage market is very competitive so we focus on the flexibility we can offer customers with our manual underwriting process, whilst also lending within more niche areas such the self build and holiday let markets.
“As well as providing members with our services, I feel proud of the role we play in the local community by making charitable donations to a wide range of causes that matter to our customers. These donations are made through our Affinity and Charity Savings Accounts and also our Furness Community Awards Scheme.
“I believe in organisations collaborating to succeed and having a culture which is very open and engaging. At Furness Building Society, I want to create a really good place for people to work. It needs to be personally and professionally fulfilling – a good work life balance, yet professionally stretching and supportive as people develop their careers.
"I want to make sure everyone does their very best and is engaged and motivated. We are currently creating a good team that will ensure our long-term success and prosperity."
Chris relocated from Newbury, Berkshire and was grateful for the support provided by Furness Building Society to facilitate his move to Little Urswick.
“I had initial discussions with the Society back in November, and joined at the beginning of April,” he said. “It gave me time to have several trips up here to look around, get to know the business and see what it would feel like to live here.
“My wife and I did some online research, spent a few days looking round, and felt like a good work/life balance could be achieved in Cumbria.
“It was very well thought out and we made some good decisions as a result of that. The team at Furness Building Society were really good at helping, too. The assistance and support provided by the business was hugely important.”
Chris is pursuing his passion for golf in Cumbria – and has already been approached to play for the county.
“I am a keen golfer and since moving here I have been invited to help out with some of the county events,” he said. “I’m a member at Ulverston Golf Club, and have been made to feel very welcome.
“I love food and drink, and I have a growing list of restaurant recommendations to try from new friends in the area.”
Chris has enjoyed settling into life in Cumbria, and his family look forward to experiencing the vibrant festival town of Ulverston.
“We spent the May Bank Holiday weekend in Cumbria and we went out in Ulverston on Sunday night after the Taste Cumbria Food Festival. It was good fun with live music, and lots of people around, and we are looking forward to the Dickensian Christmas Festival.
“It has been inspiring to appreciate the diversity of activities on offer in Cumbria since relocating here - there’s so much to do from mountain biking to orienteering, and fell walking to sailing. I am excited for my future career and lifestyle living and working in Cumbria.
"It’s an exciting adventure for me, both personally and professionally.”