Our Executive management team

Our executive management team consists of five members who 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. 

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


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 & management, business development & improvement and housing development. Currently Denise is responsible for our property management functions: Asset Management; Surveying and Contracts; Materials Outlet; Responsive & 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.

Kay Caldwell, Director of Housing


Kay joined us in 2009 with a proven track record gained over 20 years of housing and regeneration experience. She is responsible for all areas of tenancy, leasehold and estate management, leading the Quality of Life, Enhanced Housing Management, Community Engagement, Income Management, Housing Options and Communications teams.

Immediately prior to joining us, Kay was an Area Director for the Guinness Trust where she headed up a team of 90 staff providing housing management, community investment and repairs services to 11,000 homes. Kay was instrumental in setting up Colchester Borough Homes, an ALMO established to manage the housing stock held by Colchester Borough Council in 2003. She also spent nine years working for Waltham Forest Community Based Housing Association, where for the last four years she held the position of Assistant Chief Executive.

Having previously served on the Board of Estuary Housing Association and Colchester Borough Homes, Kay has a passion for delivering excellent customer service, and is committed to social housing and releasing the latent talent that exists within communities and organisations.

Paul Edwards, Director of Resources

Paul Edwards

Paul joined us in February 2016 as Director of Resources, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Institute of Directors. He manages the Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Procurement and Administration and Facilities teams. In addition, he is responsible for risk management and value for money.

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. He also chairs the Eastern Region FD’s network.

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.