Our Executive Management team

Our Executive Management team are responsible for the delivery of our business plan and are accountable to our Board of Trustees.

Mary Gibbons, Chief Executive

Mary GibbonsMary joined us in August 2018 from Hundred Houses Society, a housing association in Cambridge where she served as Chief Executive. Prior to this, Mary held senior positions including Housing Director and Executive Director of Strategy and Support at Swan Housing Association.

Having studied Housing Management and Development at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, Mary holds an MBA from the University of Essex and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Currently an Advisory Board Member with Essex Business School, Mary is also a Non-Executive Director at Origin Housing.

Mary’s passion lies in our customers, and she’s committed to ensuring their priorities are met by our people, providing high service standards and dedication to their needs. 

Paul Edwards, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer

Paul Edwards

Paul joined us in February 2016 as Director of Resources, and was promoted to the newly-created role of Deputy Chief Executive in January 2019. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Institute of Directors. Paul manages the Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Procurement and Administration and Facilities teams.

With nearly 20 years in the housing sector, Paul has a wealth of experience. He spent six years as Director of Resources at Havebury Housing Partnership and nine years prior to that as Director of Treasury Services at Swan Housing Group. He has also previously served as a non-executive director at Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust and Circle 33 Housing and is currently an audit committee member at Local Space in Newham.

Paul is a member of the National Housing Federation’s Financial Policy Advisory Group (FPAG) and a member of the SORP working party, which is responsible for setting the accounting standards for the sector.

Since joining us, Paul has led on the HCA regulatory engagement processes. He has also been instrumental in the maintenance of our ‘A+’ credit rating from S&P, and successfully delivered the issue of our retained bonds in late 2017, which paves the way for a larger growth programme in the next few years. He has also led the HR team in transforming our approach to talent management, succession planning and staff engagement.

Kate Franklin, Housing Director

Kate Franklin, Director of Housing Kate joined us in January 2019. A highly experienced transformation director, senior marketer and recognised expert in building customer-centred businesses through organisational alignment around the intended customer experience. She is passionate about bringing brands to life by using data-driven insight to create digital multichannel strategies and communications campaigns that deliver relevant and engaging experiences.

Kate has 10 years’ experience at executive leadership level in the housing sector with Hyde, One Housing Group and North Herts Homes (now settle) and is a non-executive director with MHS Homes.

Carl Hockey, Director of Development and Sales

Carl Hockey

With over 20 years of experience in the housing sector, Carl brings a wealth of knowledge. Carl has previously worked across Essex, London and Hertfordshire for housing providers such as Circle 33, Anglia Housing Group and Swan Housing in development and sales, housing management and policy development. Carl is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Since joining the company over 15 years ago, Carl has been integral in helping us expand our housing remit now operating and providing homes in 13 of the county’s 14 local authorities. Not only has he overseen the construction of 2,500 new build properties while at the company, he was also heavily involved in establishing Myriad Homes – our private sales subsidiary.

Leading the development and sales team, Carl and his colleagues aim to deliver further homes for our customers – in both urban and rural locations – by building and acquiring properties for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright private sale.

Denise Kent, Director of Commercial Services

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Denise joined us in 2009, beginning her career in housing in 1983 as a Maintenance Administrator for Circle 33 Housing Trust. She has since held senior management positions in Local Government, the private sector and Housing Associations in London and Essex.  Denise is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and holds the Institute of Housing Professional qualification.

She has managed a wide range of services including housing strategy, asset management, contract procurement and management, business development and improvement and housing development. Currently Denise is responsible for our property management functions: Asset management; Surveying and contracts; Supply chain; Responsive and planned maintenance; the DLO trade teams and our Service centre.

Denise has a strong commercial focus and is passionate about housing. She strives to develop and motivate her teams, improving business performance and customer satisfaction and is committed to providing high quality services.

David Lansdown, Director of Innovation and Insight

David Lansdown, Associate Director of TransformationDavid has been appointed to the newly created role of Director of Innovation and Insight to oversee equality and diversity, corporate social responsibility, customer feedback and business intelligence as well as continuing to lead large change management programmes within the organisation.

He joined us in January 2009 as Transformation Manager and was promoted to Associate Director of Transformation in April 2016. He has over 30 years of operational and strategic leadership plus management experience in the public/third sectors. David specialises in change management, organisational design, strategy and performance and is passionate about putting our customers and people first to ensure we deliver excellent services.

Since joining the company over ten years ago, he has successfully led numerous complex change projects delivering innovative outcomes to ensure our teams achieve their full potential.

David is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a member of the Institute of Directors.