2022 Judges

Chris Seeley

Director of ARK Consultancy Ltd

Chris has a strong track record in sourcing, delivering and selling homes; strategic asset management; project and programme management; and in mentoring individuals and supporting teams to maximise their success.

He is passionate about working with people and about the importance of building strong relationships with delivery teams, residents and stakeholders.

Chris has undertaken a wide variety of interim and project management roles across development-site sourcing, business development and project management as well as procurement and research projects.  Chris is an enthusiastic hockey player and walker.

Barrington Billings

Head of Asset Management and Development, Tuntum Housing  

Barrington began his senior housing career in 1990 as an Executive Director at Hallmark Community Housing. 

Since then, he has held senior executive-level posts at a number of Housing Associations, such as Prime Focus Group and Places for People Group and worked for the Housing Regulator as a Senior Stock Transfer Advisor. 

Barrington is currently Head of Asset Management and Development at Tuntum Housing Association. 

In terms of non-executive roles, he has served on the Boards of Gentoo Group, chaired Arhag Housing and currently chairs Manningham Housing Association. 

Barrington also served as a Board Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing for eight years becoming President in 2005. 

Outside of sector he has also been an External Examiner at De Montfort University, a Non-executive Director for a NHS Hospital Trust and was Chair of the Joint Awarding Body of the Chartered Institute of Building from 2007-2008.

Tracy Harrison

Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC)

Tracy Harrison is Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), a membership organisation for social housing providers. Prior to joining the NHC in 2006, Tracy held a variety of senior posts in blue-chip private sector organisations, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods giant, Robert McBride, and Sage Software. With the housing sectors’ ever-increasing focus on driving efficiencies, Tracy has been instrumental in ensuring that NHC offers its members products & services which support them with achieving this aim & developing solutions which can help improve the service they offer to their customers. Tracy has also helped to develop NHC’s influencing activities, particularly around placemaking and addressing quality and net zero issues within the North’s housing stock.

Tracy is also a Trustee of Age UK North Tyneside.

Prior to joining the NHC in 2006, Tracy held a variety of senior marketing and business development posts in blue chip private sector organisations, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods giant, Robert McBride, and Sage Software.

With the housing sectors’ ever-increasing focus on driving efficiencies, Tracy has been instrumental in ensuring that NHC offers its members products and services which support them with achieving this aim, and developing solutions which can help improve the service they offer to their customers. Tracy has also helped to develop NHC’s influencing activities, particularly around placemaking and addressing quality issues within the North’s housing stock.

Tracy is also an Independent Board Director of The Gateshead Housing Company and a Trustee of Age UK North Tyneside.

Charlotte Carpenter

Executive Director of Growth and Business Development at Karbon Homes

Charlotte is Executive Director of Growth and Business Development at Karbon Homes, a leading social landlord which operates in the North East of England and Yorkshire. Charlotte is responsible for Karbon’s development programme of circa 600 new homes a year, the investment plans for Karbon’s existing 30,000 properties, and leads the strategy, planning and communication teams.

She has a passion for housing’s role in the economic and social regeneration of the North East, borne from senior roles with One NorthEast and The Northern Way – a precursor to the Northern Powerhouse.

Charlotte is an alumnus of Cambridge and York universities and holds a PhD in Medieval History.  She is a member of the CBI North East Council, the CBI’s National Infrastructure Board, and the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Policy Advisory Committee.

Outside work Charlotte is an adventurous and prolific traveller, and an enthusiastic runner with Tyne Bridge Harriers.

Phil Morgan

Housing Professional

Phil has specialised in resident involvement and scrutiny for over 20 years.

He was Chief Executive of TPAS for 10 years and then Executive Director of Tenant Services at the Regulator of Social Housing. Currently he works with both Housing Associations and Councils.

He is also a Board Member of the Guinness Partnership chairing their Service and Performance Committee, Chair of Healthwatch Salford and on the Panel of Advisors to the Housing Ombudsman.

Phil is author of Learning from Regulatory Downgrades.

Nick Atkin

Chief Executive – Yorkshire Housing

Despite originally being from Yorkshire, Nick is a Warrington resident who has made the town his home for the last 23 years. After 14 years as the CE at Halton Housing he joined Yorkshire Housing in 2019. He has a track record of leading organisations through transformational change, driving performance improvement, with a focus on maximising the untapped potential from businesses and people.

He has driven the transformational change of Yorkshire Housing (YH) to enable it to be best placed to meet the future opportunities and challenges.

The business manages 20,000 homes across the entire Yorkshire geography. YH plans to build an additional 8,000 homes through an investment totalling £1.67bn. Currently employing 650 people it has a £130m turnover (revenue).

Previously he has introduced a fully flexible/ remote working approach. He also led the move to 90% of customer led transactions to be delivered through online self-service channels.

He is regularly included in the top 25 most influential people in housing and is a keen advocate of innovation. He uses digital as an enabler to drive fundamental change in how businesses operate. He is also a disruptor in the ‘future of work’ debate and has been paperless for 18 years.

He writes regularly for Inside Housing and HR Magazine as one of their columnists and tweets on a regular basis (@nickatkin_yh).

Caroline Gitsham

Business Consultant

Caroline has over 30 years experience working in the Public Sector, including 15 years working at an Executive Level. She is passionate about customer service and making a difference and she has worked with a variety of partners across her career including working in an advisory capacity to the government and other bodies. She has managed a range of complex services and a number of new and innovative service offers have been developed under her leadership, many of which are award winning with tangible outcomes.

She has experience of managing significant resources in challenging environments across a range of agendas. She has also led on a number of significant key corporate agendas.

Her previous employer describes her as ‘a consistent top quartile performer, demonstrating passionate, energised leadership, a role model for others and a force for positive change. She brings a different dynamic, challenges the norm and encourages a greater focus on cultural and values alignment, outcomes monitoring and social impact. Her strengths are many, she has an extraordinary belief in people and their ability to achieve their potential. A supportive leader, well networked who enjoys challenges and variety’.

Caroline is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and in 2014 she was awarded an MBE for services to business in the North East of England.

In 2016 after being made redundant she set up Caroline L Gitsham Consulting Ltd. It exists to encourage, challenge and inspire people and organisations to enhance their contribution for customers, communities and society.

In March 2018 she became Chair of Women In Social Housing (North East) and was awarded Outstanding Business Leader of the Year at The Chronicle Sunshine Awards in 2020.

In April 2017 she joined South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group as a Lay Member and became Chair in July 2019.

She has a number of other voluntary positions including:

  • Governor for The Links School in Sunderland (PRU) and the Link Governor for Careers Information & Guidance.
  • Trustee on the Board of Humankind and member of the Innovation Sub Committee.
  • Ambassador for Signal (Poverty StopLight) which aims to eradicate poverty.

Mike Brogan

Chief Executive – Procure Plus

Mike began his career with a national financial services provider, working at a senior level in sales and operations management, but 25 years ago he decided to give something back to the community and began working with Grosvenor Housing Association, helping the organisation to build social enterprises. It was one of these ventures which became the seminal project for what is now Procure Plus Limited.

After eight years, Procure Plus is now recognised as the market leader in its field, setting the standard for socially responsible organisations of its kind. Mike’s professional experiences during the past 20 years with Procure Plus – focusing on socio and economic regeneration – has led to his working with Cabinet Office, Homes and Communities Agency and HM Treasury as an advisor and member of several task forces in this field. He can advise on best practice for collaborative working in the social housing sector with a particular emphasis on how to make the money invested work harder.

Cedric Boston

Chief Executive, Unity Homes and Enterprise. 

Cedric Boston is currently the CEO of Unity Homes and Enterprise, a Housing Association based in Leeds that supports people into employment, training or to set up their own business. Cedric has over 30 years’ experience in Housing, 25 of them at senior executive level.

He is a former Chief Executive of Arhag, a BME association in London that specializes in addressing the needs of migrants and refugees. Prior to that he was Director of Housing at Lambeth Living, one of the UKs largest ALMOs, and before that the Director of Operations in Richmond Housing Partnership. 

He has a degree in law and politics and is a member of Gray’s Inn where he qualified as a barrister.

Robin Lawler

Industry Consultant and Non-Executive Director

Robin has over 30 year’s experience in social housing.

He holds a number of NED roles including Chair of Derive RP in Salford; Chair of Kirklees Council’s Homes and Neighbourhood Improvement Board and shortly to become Chair of Trustees of the Booth Centre- a homeless day centre in Manchester.

Robin is a Past President of the Chartered Institute of Housing and the founder Chief Executive of Northwards Housing.

Robin lives in Manchester, but has not forgotten his roots – he has held a season ticket at Anfield for 30 years enjoying good times and not so good.

Mandy Elliott

Chief Executive, Crosby Housing Association

Last year Mandy celebrated 40 years working in the Social Housing sector.

Her career started working for CDS in Liverpool and then to Greater Hornby Housing Association before taking up a role with the Housing Corporation in 1998. Here she developed a wealth of experience in a variety of roles starting in finance and moving forward as programme manager, investment manager and regulation manager. She has a good understanding of the issues faced by the sector and of smaller housing associations in particular.

Mandy has been Chief Executive at Crosby Housing Association since 2005. She believes passionately in the work of community based housing associations and she is an active member of the Community Housing Association North West (CHANW) group. Until Sep 2018 Mandy was chair of the NHF Smaller Associations National Group.

She is involved in wider community activity – chair of Waterloo Town Team, a member of: Crosby and Waterloo Coastal Communities Team, New Realities team led by Sefton CVS and Sefton Coastal landscape Resources Group led by Sefton Council

Lara Oyedele

President of the Chartered Institute of Housing  

Lara Oyedele, the current President of the Chartered Insititute of Housing. She is a social entrepreneur, property developer and campaigner for affordable housing.  She is passionate about eliminating homelessness and promoting diversity in leadership. Her presidential campaign is promoting ethnic and racial diversity in the boardrooms of housing organisations, while also raising shoes for the Charity ShoeAid which provides shoes for homeless families in poverty. 

Originally trained as a journalist, she has over 30 years’ experience working in housing associations, local authorities, private sector housing management companies and homelessness charities. A former Housing Association CEO, Lara was founding Chair of, and creative force behind, BMENational, the coalition promoting ethnic minority housing associations in England.  She was also central to the development of Migrant Rights housing information website https://www.housing-rights.info/index.php 

Lara is chair of homelessness charity, Hope Housing (Bradford) and a Non- Exec Director of Housing 21. Lara runs the training company Black on Board whose aim is to increase diverse representation on boards, and is also developing an affordable housing company.  She loves shoes, tea and Eastenders. 

Alun Hughes

Chartered Surveyor

Alun Hughes is a Chartered Surveyor, whose working career has been spent in passionate support of the wider social housing movement both in terms of quality and development.

Having spent five years at Liverpool City Architect’s Department, directly engaged in the refurbishment of its housing stock, he them spent a further five years in the Merseyside Regional Office of the Housing Corporation (forerunner of Homes England) as a technical consultant and auditor.

After spending time at Riverside Housing he then became the Chief Executive of Wirral Methodist Housing Association, from which he has recently retired after 30 years. During his time there, he more than doubled the size of its housing stock, winning many awards and accolades for his work in terms of innovation, design and imagination along the way.

He is most proud of leading the regeneration of The Hamilton Quarter of Birkenhead and developing schemes of Shared Ownership for people with Long-term Disability.

Liz Haworth

Group Chief Executive, Halton Housing

Liz Haworth is the Group Chief Executive at Halton Housing, an ambitious, award winning provider of social housing in the North West of England with a strong reputation for innovation and digital service delivery.

She is passionate about driving transformation in the social housing sector through engaged people, passionate leaders, inside out brand development and a digital first customer experience. 

With 18 years’ experience in the housing sector, her previous roles include Chief Operating Officer and Group Director for Delivery and Transformation at Torus. 

John Bowker

Executive Director of Operations at Stockport Homes Group / Threesixty

John began his career in housing over 25 years ago and has worked for a number of housing organisations within the Northwest in a variety of roles.

John, who lives in Stockport, joined SHG in 2017 as the Director of Property Services before also taking over responsibility for the organisation’s neighbourhood functions in 2020.

As Executive Director of Operations, he is responsible for our asset management and development functions, neighbourhood services and maintenance and commercial operations, which are delivered through Three Sixty. Having worked at all levels within the housing sector, John remains passionate about achieving the highest levels of staff engagement, motivation, and productivity to ensure that customers receive the highest level of service and value for money.

Graeme Foster

Chief Executive, Alpha Living

Graeme has been Alpha Living’s Chief Executive since 2014. Prior to that, Graeme worked in a variety of leadership positions across the housing sector including senior regulator with the Regulator of Social Housing and Lead Housing Inspector with the Audit Commission.

Graeme is passionate about the difference Alpha’s approach can make to the lives of older people. He has already overseen many changes including securing new private funding, grant funding and moving Alpha to a position where it is able to grow.

Graeme’s career has focused on housing management, resident involvement, governance and research. He has an MBA and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, as well as being a Board member at ForHousing where he sits on the Audit & Risk and Customer Committees.

Ulfat Hussain

Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Operations, Manningham Housing Association

Ulfat is Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Operations of Manningham Housing Association. He has specific responsibility for the delivery of housing management, maintenance and asset management services ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Ulfat has almost two decades of senior management experience at both small and large housing associations. He has been a board member at Pennine Housing 2000, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, has a degree in Housing Studies, a Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and is qualified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner. Ulfat is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Board. In 2019, he was second in 24 Housing Magazine’s “40 over 40” list. 

Ulfat was instrumental in Manningham HA receiving Customer Service Excellence status and becoming the first housing association in the country to be officially accredited for its work in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.  

Alison Inman

Former President of the Chartered Institute of Housing

Alison Inman is a former President of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a Board member at TPAS, Housing Diversity Network and Saffron Housing Trust. She is a former Chair of Colchester Borough Homes and the National Federation Of ALMOS and a co-founder of SHOUT, the social housing campaign group. Alison has lived in the South since her twenties but still considers herself a Northerner!

David Miller

Director & Principal Architect, David Miller Architects  

David has worked at the highest levels of design both in the UK and abroad and is passionate about emerging technology, progressive architecture and delivery excellence.

Before setting up the practice, David worked in the offices of Norman Foster and Santiago Calatrava, then became an associate director of Future Systems, where he was project architect for the Stirling Prize-winning Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

His specialist knowledge of complex buildings evolved into an interest in three-dimensional analysis and computer modelling to enhance building design. This is fundamental to the practice’s approach to search for delight and proportion in solutions to everyday problems.

Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey

Chief Operating Officer at West Lancashire Borough Council

Jacqui currently heads up the Council, having previously had over 30 years’ experience in the housing sector.

Jacqui is ambitious about developing communities and believes in putting customers at the heart of everything. She is passionate about inclusiveness, authentic leadership and building strong sustainable relationships.

Jacqui has worked in a variety of executive leadership positions across the housing sector throughout her career and now leads the Council during a period of rapid change and transformation.

Jacqui has a strong reputation in strategy and influencing, development, regeneration, asset management, strategy, housing advice, homelessness and community development.  She has a track record of driving transformational change and positive improvement and is dedicated to creating great customer service and maximising untapped potential.

Jacqui also has significant governance experience as a Chair, Board Director and Trustee in a range of businesses, including RP`s, private sector, social enterprises, partnerships and voluntary organisations.

She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, the AEA and is currently a Director on the ARCH National Executive Board.

Event Sponsors