Our Board

The role of the Board includes the definition of and compliance with the values, vision, mission and strategic objectives of the company. Our Board is tasked with ensuring the appropriate governance is in place, setting a positive culture with a strong customer focus and establishing an approach to risk that safeguards the assets and reputation of the organisation and the wider sector. Membership of our Board is made up of nine members who bring a wealth of professional and life experience to ensure the collective skills and experience reflects the need of an efficent social housing provider. The Board ensures we deliver on our aims, objectives and intended outcomes for customers in an effective, transparent and accountable manner. They share our passion to help provide better services to all the people we support. 

Specifically, our Board ensures:

•    Adherence to all relevant legislation
•    Compliance with governance and regulatory requirements
•    Accountability to customers, the Homes and Communities Agency, the Charities Commission and other stakeholders
•    Taxpayers' interests and the reputation of the housing sector are safeguarded
•    Effective systems of internal control
•    Performance is scrutinised

Our Board Members have knowledge, experience and skills in the areas of strategic leadership and management, the housing sector, asset management, financial and investment expertise,  business management along with extensive commercial acumen and entrepreneurship. We encourage our own customers to take an active role in overseeing our performance and driving change within the organisation.

Meet our Board 

Michael Kay photo

photo of Mike Kay

Graham Ward photo

Graham Ward .jpg

Michael Kay

Michael joined the Board in September 2014 and brings a wealth of housing, property and governance experience and expertise with him.

His current role is that of Chief Executive with Northampton Partnership Homes, having previously been Executive Director of Property for the Thirteen Group and Lead Director of Housing Hartlepool – one of the subsidiary companies within the Thirteen Group, now the largest housing provider across the North East.

Michael’s career has also seen a number of other major achievements including Chief Executive of Yarlington Housing Group (formerly South Somerset Homes), and with English Churches Housing Group.

Michael has wide ranging experience in organisation restructures, asset management, regeneration, business strategy and planning and delivering new-build developments.

Graham Ward

Graham is a Chartered Accountant with wide consultancy experience and joined the Board in 2013.

During his career he has held senior positions with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Consulting and from 2004 until 2013 he was Commercial Director at The University of Nottingham. Graham has served as a Non-Executive Director with Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust and Nottingham City Primary Care NHS Trust.

He now runs his own consultancy business as well as being a Lay Member with the Nottingham City Care Commissioning Group, where he is Deputy Chair and Governance Lead, and a Non-Executive Director with Eminate Limited, a company that specialises in the development of new food ingredients products.

Deborah Bennett photo

Deborah Bennett

Helen Devy photo

Photo of Helen Devy

Deborah Bennett

Deborah joined the Board in September 2015 and brings with her extensive knowledge and experience of the housing sector.

Before joining the Board Deborah was Executive Director at Seven Locks Housing for seven years where she delivered a £35 million investment programme and lead the company in the achievement of a number of high accolades. Previously she held senior roles at Leicester City Council and Blaby District Council.  Across these roles Deborah experienced responsibility for all aspects of housing services.

Deborah also worked for several years as a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University leading in the development and delivery of courses for other housing professionals.

Deborah is a trustee of Home-Start South Leicestershire.

Helen Devy

Helen’s appointment to the Board in September 2014 strengthens our commercial focus, thanks to her wide ranging experience in sales and marketing within the property sector particularly in new homes, social housing and estate agencies. Helen also currently serves as Chair on the Board Eione LLP, our joint venture company with Derwent Facilities Management.

Previous appointments include senior roles with Bramall Construction (Keepmoat Group), Quintain Estates & Development Plc and Crest Nicholson PLC.Helen is currently also a Non-executive Director with Orbit Homes, part of the Orbit Group.

Helen has also transferred her skills into a different business venture for her, as proprietor of the Red Balloon Day Nursery in the Torne Valley.

In her spare time, Helen, who is a qualified PADI scuba diving instructor, is a keen underwater photographer and enthusiastic traveller. 

Brian Ward photo

Brian Ward photo

Nigel Whitaker photo

Nigel Whitaker photo

Brian Ward

Brian joined the Board in April 2014 and brings with him a wealth of experience as one of our tenants as well as various management roles before and since retirement.

His early career was spent with British Railways and from there to road haulage and dockside cold storage. He moved to Devon to start a new cold store business before settling in the East Midlands for the next 20 years, several of these spent as a Special Constable in the Derby area. In the years up to his retirement, Brian was director of an events organising business before he set up his own company.

He has always been involved in managing people and now, although officially retired, is a major supporter of the University of the Third Age, organising activities and outings, running the jazz enjoyment group and working as an active West Wolds U3A committee member. Other interests include membership of the Market Rasen Station Adoption Group, local history organisations and the Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre.

Nigel Whitaker

Nigel joined the Board via co-option in July 2016 and brings extensive commercial experience in the fields of procurement, project management and process improvement to the Board, strengthening the organisation’s commercial knowledge and focus.

He has worked at Director level positions in the private sector and extensive experience within the public sector. He is experienced in setting and delivering strategies within complex international organisations and has managed real estate portfolios, construction projects and facilities management contracts. His previous roles have included Regional Director with Bombardier Transportation and Director level roles with a major international group in the defence, aerospace and technology industry.

Nigel holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and the Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Julie Flint photo

Julie Flint photo

Julie Flint

Julie joined the Board in 2011 and has wide experience of public sector finance, gained over 30 years. She is also currently Chair of our Audit Committee.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), Julie holds a masters’ degree in Applied Statistics.

Having started out as a Trainee Accountant with Lincolnshire county Council, Julie has held senior posts with the Division for Resource Management Division for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, where she was Head of the Financial Strategy Division. In 2012, Julie was appointed as Chief Financial Officer to the Police and Crime Commission for Lincolnshire.

meet our team link text

Find out more about our team by reviewing our executive leadership team here.