Meet our teams

Our teams are committed to helping those we support to live happy, healthy, and meaningful lives.

Our Executive and Operations Teams work collaboratively with the many dedicated and inspiring teams across Achieve together and are proud to put people we support at the heart of everything we do. As an organisation which is driven by its people – both those it supports, and those delivering the support – Achieve together never stands still.

The Executive and Operations Teams, supported through a co-production ethos, use our knowledge and expertise plus trusted partnerships and networks to continually evolve and innovate. In so doing, we work to maintain the best standards of specialist support.

Leading by example our Executive and Operations Teams live and breathe what we do so that we can work together to deliver great support. We are proud to make a genuine difference to the lives of people we support, inspiring a generation and ensuring people can lead happy, healthy and meaningful lives.

Zak Houlahan, Chief Executive Officer

Zak has 20 years’ senior management experience, the vast majority of which has been spent providing essential services to the UK local authority network. He brings a wealth of hands-on experience in driving operational excellence for all stakeholders. Zak is passionate about the opportunity to make a real and meaningful difference to people’s lives.

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Michael Fullerton, Director of Wellbeing, Strategy and Collaboration

Michael’s career has always been in health and social care. He initially trained as a learning disability nurse, soon becoming a Home Manager. This was followed by a variety of roles including regional management, overseeing assessment and referrals and quality assurance. Michael’s role focuses on collaborating with key stakeholders, to clearly define strategies for the wellbeing of people supported.

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Zoe Armstrong, Director of Quality and Specialist Support Delivery 

Zoe has been working in social care since she was a teenager, and has subsequently taken every opportunity and every operational role possible in health and social care – in both community and clinical settings.

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Graham Dunster, Chief Operations Officer

Graham has worked in the healthcare sector for over 15 years, leading large scale operations teams across the UK. He is passionate about building teams who provide exceptional support to those providing care, striving to deliver the very best quality outcomes.

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Garry Fitton, Chief Financial Officer

Garry is a Chartered Accountant with over 16 years Healthcare experience. He works closely with our external auditors KPMG and our investors to ensure that the group has a sustainable and secure financial profile. Along the Achieve together journey Garry has led an extensive number of M&A, refinancing and transaction processes.

A Chemistry graduate from Durham University, he qualified with Arthur Andersen and gained experience with Reuters plc and other growing Telecom Companies before moving to the Healthcare sector.

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Sam Collier, Commercial Director

Sam has dedicated his career supporting children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and other complex needs in the social care sector for well over 20 years. He considers it to be part of his core identity.

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Lisa Cole, Chief People Officer

Lisa is proud to be leading the People Team and is passionate about making a difference and creating the best possible team member experience, in order for our teams to deliver the highest quality experience for people we support. She is a Chartered Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has led a range of People/ Human Resources functions across a variety of sectors. This is Lisa’s first role in social care, and she is delighted to be part of Achieve together, with the opportunity to make a real and meaningful difference to people’s lives.

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Jon Smith, Chief Technology Officer

Jonathan has successfully led a range of digital, data and technology functions, in various organisations. These all have the common aim of driving change to deliver lasting and impactful business transformation

Whether as technology lead or in a non-executive capacity, his focus has been to build diverse, inclusive and empowered teams. Achieve together provides an amazing person centred culture in which to drive quality and deliver service excellence through digital collaboration.

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Mary, Co-Chair of Unity

Mary has been a member of Campaign 4 change for a number of years and was the co-founder, with Mark, of Unity. She is currently on the Representative Body of Learning Disability England with significant experience of public speaking and promoting the rights of people with learning disabilities. Mary also works as a receptionist with Premier Inn, fitting in a lot of advocacy work alongside that role.


Simon, Co-Chair of Unity

Simon is employed as an autism ambassador and trainer. He has been working with Achieve together for several years delivering autism training and now working with the co-production team to ensure high standards of support within Achieve together.



Joanna McNally, Director of Operations

Jo started her Health and Social Care career in 2006 as a dedicated, proud Support Worker. She supported wonderful children and young people with complex needs in an educational/residential provision.

She had an instant connection to the role and found such passion in enabling people to achieve positive outcomes whilst maximising potential and experiences. Jo was quick to adopt a ‘why not?’ attitude to positive risk taking and support. She has fond memories of experiences shared with people supported, all of which have influenced her life and shaped her into the person she is today.

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