Housing director killed in mountaineering tragedy
A well-known north east housing director was among the nine climbers killed in an avalanche in the Alps yesterday.
John Taylor, the director of resources at the Vela Housing Group, died alongside three other Britons while scaling one of the satellite peaks of Mont Blanc in one of the worst European mountaineering accidents in recent memory.
Mr Taylor, previously the finance director of Tristar Homes, had more than 20 years experience in the housing and construction sector.
At Vela, he was responsible for the group’s finances, human resources, corporate services and governance arrangements.
He held a ‘leading role’ in Tristar’s successful transfer from Stockton Borough Council and in the creation of the Vela Housing Group
Mr Taylor had also been a mentor for the Prince’s Trust and for Teesside University’s Diversitiees Scheme.
Cath Purdy, chief executive of the Vela Group, said: ‘This is an enormous tragedy and all John’s many work friends have been left absolutely devastated by his death.
‘He died doing something that he loved, climbing was his real passion. He was planning a charity expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro in February next year. Everyone at Vela shares with me an absolute sense of loss and sadness.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s wife Karine and his two children at this incredibly sad time and we will offer them any support they need.
‘John was a kind, gentle man, who was well-loved and always had time for his many friends. He was instrumental in creating the Vela Group and helping us to deliver quality homes for families across the Tees Valley.’