Our team

Leadership team

Dr Noorzaman Rashid
Chief Executive Officer

Noorzaman has a successful track record of leading professional services firms and public sector agencies and working with membership bodies at board level. He is a former Master of the Livery Company for Management Consultants.

After graduating in Three-Dimensional Design, he went on to study operational research and became an author and speaker on quality management and organisational performance. At the University of Warwick Business School, he led several international pieces of work in Japan, Russia, South Africa and the USA.

Noorzaman has worked for several professional services and technology firms including Harvey Nash Group, Norman Broadbent (part of BNB Resources) and ATKearney (part of the EDS Group), building significant businesses through organic growth, mergers and acquisitions.

Non-Executive roles have included Chair of the NHS Institute for Innovation’s Worldwide Board. He is founder of a Multi Academy Trust, E-ACT, through which he opened 30 City Academies with 29,500 students.

Mujahid Rasheed
Business Growth Director

Mujahid is a passionate results and process-driven commercial leader, with more than 18 years’ experience.

Having held several leadership positions within sales and marketing, business development and account management within many challenging business environments, Mujahid is well equipped to help lead on CEME’s business growth ambitions.

Mujahid started his career after attaining an MBA and an MSc in Business & Marketing. He has worked for many established organisations, including Debenhams, LA Fitness, Magnet, Capita, Royal Mail Group, Regus Group and Bizpace.

Mujahid joined CEME in 2023 to help materialise the vision set out by the CEO and senior leadership team – to deliver economic regeneration, be an accelerator for green technology and deliver business growth.

In the summer, Mujahid enjoys playing cricket for his town’s team.

Ben Houcheche
Finance Director
Lucy Groen
Head of Partnership and Skills

Lucy is a seasoned business operations professional with more than 13 years of experience leading teams and driving success. Passionate about forging strategic alliances and driving business growth, she is a skilled negotiator and relationship builder. Lucy excels at identifying and cultivating partnerships which expand reach, enhance offerings and deliver significant value.

Lucy has spearheaded partnership initiatives across various sectors, working at Macmillan Cancer Support, Diabetes UK and Business in the Community, with a diverse portfolio of companies, including Nationwide, Santander, RBS, Saint-Gobain, Tesco and Land Securities.

Ian Mitchell
Head of Operations
Chris George
Head of IT

Chris has been delivering CEME’s IT service since its launch in 2003. Starting as part of the project delivery team during CEMEs construction, Chris took a role as a Systems Administrator when CEME opened its doors to the public and has since progressed to Head of IT. In this time, Chris has seen many changes in terms of the technology used and its applications within CEME. Chris is a hands-on manager providing support to staff and tenants for all software and systems used, as well as being responsible for CEME’s IT strategy, budget, infrastructure projects, supplier relationships and procurement, policies, procedures and training.

Chris also sits on the Board of the Riverside BID, London’s largest industrial business improvement district, which represents more than 450 businesses.

Board of Trustees

Valerie Owen

Valerie Owen is a chartered architect, town planner, development surveyor and environmentalist – an expert in sustainable development and regeneration. In her early career, Valerie specialised in conservation and heritage, converting redundant listed buildings for commercial use. She then became Architect Director at international consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle, maximising investment returns by upgrading properties in major pension fund portfolios. Later, Valerie became Managing Director at London First, delivering sustainable development programmes through business and government partnerships.

Valerie is passionate about good design and sustainability. She has held numerous NED appointments, acting as commissioning client for major public sector projects. Until 2017, she was Chair of Lantra, one of the leading awarding bodies for land-based industries.

She currently runs Le Vaillant Owen Consultancy and holds ministerial appointments to Trinity House Lighthouse Board, Kent & Medway NHS Integrated Care Board and Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. In 2001, Valerie received an OBE for Services to Architecture. She is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University and Past Master of the Architect’s Livery Company. Valerie received the 2015 National Women in Construction Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2016 CBI’s ‘First Woman’ Built Environment Award, and a 2017 National Sunday Times NED of the Year Award. She lives in east Kent with her husband and three daughters and is actively involved with the RNLI and Girlguiding UK.

Neil Stubbings
Council Nominee

Neil Stubbings is a highly experienced Director (ACCA qualified) leading and delivering housing services, regeneration, economic development, services solutions and business re-engineering at senior manager level.

He is experienced in the delivery of innovative new build housing delivery models, wider regeneration and place shaping, as well as leading on developing inward investment strategies and the economic growth agenda.

Currently working for the London Borough of Havering, Neil has led the council procurement and delivery of three Joint Venture Limited Liability Partnerships to build up to 8,000 new homes across the borough plus master-planning for Romford town centre and Rainham.

He sits on the Board of CEME as Council Nominee.

Alessandro Attanasio

Having spent the first 12 months of his career working within a local authority as a HR Assistant, Alessandro Attainasio joined Ford Motor Company as a graduate in Human Resources in 2005. He had the opportunity to work in a number of different roles and support a number of different skill teams including finance, manufacturing and marketing, sales and service, and spent a considerable amount of time working in employee relations roles based in Dagenham, most recently as the HR Manager, Transport Operations and as the Senior HR Business Partner in Dagenham Engine Plant.

Having spent a significant amount of his career with Ford in Dagenham, Alessandro has had an awareness of CEME and its unique proposition and the opportunity to use its facility. He also has a keen interest in skills development, particularly within manufacturing and when the opportunity to become a non-executive director and occupy Ford’s position on the Board came about, he put himself forward to provide input to strategic discussions affecting CEME’s future.

Findlay McAlpine

A chartered surveyor, Findlay began his 35-year investment career with Standard Life before joining Conrad Ritblat (now Colliers) as investment director, advising clients on multi-sector property investment and development funding opportunities throughout the UK.

Following 18 years as an equity partner with Mason Philips Chartered Surveyors where he sourced, acquired and managed commercial and mixed-use investment and development opportunities with Ashbourne and other clients, Findlay left Mason Philips and co-founded Ashbourne Capital Partners in March 2016. Findlay became a shareholder and CEO of Preferred Homes Limited in March 2019.