Our senior team

Meet the team that leads our day-to-day operations and implements the strategies and policies set by Our Board.

Mary Gibbons, Chief Executive

Mary Gibbons Mary has led CHP as Chief Executive since August 2018, having previously been the CEO at Hundred Houses Society and an Executive Director at Swan Housing Association.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director at HACT and an Advisory Board Member with Essex Business School.

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.

Mary’s passion lies in building more homes, making sure CHP’s existing homes are safe and warm, and delighting customers. She’s committed to ensuring customers’ priorities are met by our people and that we provide them with a great experience that’s dedicated 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 became Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer in January 2019. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Paul is responsible for Finance, Treasury, Governance and Assurance, and the Procurement teams.

With over 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 a Board member at Local Space.

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 successfully refinanced the organisation and led on the RSH regulatory engagement processes. He has also been instrumental in the maintenance of our ‘A-’ credit rating from S&P.

Michael Barber, Digital and Transformation Director

Michael joined us in November 2019 as Digital Director responsible for maintaining and improving CHP’s IT systems. Michael subsequently became Digital and Transformation Director in February 2021 by taking on responsibility for business change activity, leading the ongoing operational and digital transformation of the business.

Michael has operated at IT Director level for over 25 years and brings with him a wealth of experience from multiple sectors. He is reasonably new to the housing sector but has worked for several years as the Director of IT at the Peabody Trust, as well as at CIO level in several housing related businesses (real estate, home improvements).

Since joining us, Michael has delivered new agile working methods for CHP alongside building solutions for our customers to self-serve where they would prefer to. Michael has also been fully engaged in transforming CHP into a new flexible operating model enabling our teams to get closer to our customers.

Naomi Cohen, Communications, Policy and Engagement Director

Naomi joined us in May 2019 as Interim Head of Communications and took on the new role of Communications, Policy and Engagement Director in July 2021. Naomi is responsible for the Customer Engagement, Community Investment, Complaints, Communications, Policy and Insight teams.

CHP is Naomi’s first role in the housing sector. She has extensive experience in a variety of national and international public, private and voluntary sector organisations. She has held senior positions as an employee, consultant and interim in a range of areas with links to housing including mental health, environmental sustainability and post-16 education and training. Most recently she spent 11 years in financial services, in marketing, communications and product development. Ten of these were setting up and establishing the Nest pension scheme.

Naomi has extensive Trustee and Non-Executive Director experience including as chair of remuneration, development, and communications committees. She helped found two charities working in domestic violence and volunteering and had a weekly radio broadcast for six years. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Since joining us, Naomi has substantially reshaped and developed the communications function at CHP. She has also been instrumental in leading our response to the coronavirus pandemic, making good use of her prior experience managing crises and change.

Rachel Hadley, People and Culture Director

Rachel joined us in January 2020 as People and Communications Director, and became People and Culture Director in July 2021. Rachel is responsible for the HR, Facilities, Business Support and Corporate Health and Safety teams, and is our Leadership Champion for both Wellbeing, and Diversity and Inclusion.

With a career of over 24 years working across all HR disciplines, Rachel brings a wealth of commercial experience to her first role in the housing sector. Her previous HR roles have spanned sectors as varied as manufacturing and financial services. Rachel is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and acts as a CIPD mentor to support development of HR professionals. She currently serves on the Pension Strategy Board of Essex Pension Fund as an employer representative.

Since joining us, Rachel has led her teams in responding to the significant HR, Facilities and Health and Safety challenges that the pandemic has presented. She continues to play a pivotal role in embedding our values and culture, to make CHP a Great Place to Work.

Simon Hague, Interim Customer Services Director

Simon joined CHP in January 2020 as Interim Neighbourhoods Director, subsequently moving to Interim Director of Customer Services. He brings a wealth of social housing experience and knowledge working for over 20 years in social housing for housing associations and local authorities. He has held a number of senior positions including seven years as Head of Housing at Optivo and two years at Moat as Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods.

Simon’s passion is social purpose, delivering an excellent customer service and to help people in housing need. His aim is to build strong communities where people can flourish and get the best opportunities. He believes everyone is entitled to a good quality, affordable and safe home.

Carl Hockey, Growth and Partnership Director

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. Carl also has strategic responsibility for our relationship with Legal and General Affordable Homes.

Thomas Kearney, Homes and Places Director

Thomas joined us in August 2021 as our new Director of Homes and Places. He has over 11 years' experience working for housing associations in London and Essex.

Thomas started his career in the sector in housing management before moving to senior roles in asset management. He has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced from the development and day-to-day management of housing association homes, through to reactive and planned maintenance.

Over the last five years, Thomas has held senior management roles at Notting Hill Genesis and Peabody that have involved the delivery of planned maintenance, day-to-day repairs, heat networks, complex building resolution and cladding remediation projects.

Thomas is passionate about the sustainability agenda. A key focus area for Thomas is how we’ll deliver on our plans to improve the thermal and environmental performance of our customers’ homes over the next 30 years.