Our Executive Management Team

Peter Brown
Chief Executive

Peter has 40 years’ housing experience, including working with the single homeless, in architecture, and with 9 housing associations. This has given Peter a unique understanding of the business and its challenges. 

Jake Berriman
Deputy Chief Executive

Jake is a Chartered Town Planner by profession, and has a background covering Planning, Housing and Commissioning roles. A passionate advocate for community led approaches to planning and housing development.

Christine Duggan
Director of Housing and Communities

Christine has worked in the social housing sector in Herefordshire for over 15 years. She has experience across all parts of the business having previously led amongst others; homelessness and floating support, business improvement, and neighbourhood services.

Paul Sutton
Director of Assets & Development

Paul is a Chartered Surveyor with a wide portfolio in public and commercial sector. Paul began the journey to Connexus in 1994, leading the investment programme in the existing stock. Paul leads the procurement function and is an active board member of Central Housing Investment Consortium.

Richard Woolley
Director of Resources

Richard has over 20 years’ experience in the housing sector, gained with both Large Scale Voluntary Transfers (LSVTs) and traditional housing associations.  Richard has overall responsibility for key functions including Finance, ICT, HR and Corporate Services.

Ann Sutcliffe
Director of Independence Trust

Ann has worked in social housing for over 30 years. She is a qualified psychiatric nurse with a degree in social policy from Cambridge University and a postgraduate diploma in housing from the LSE. 

Francis Narweh
Director of Total Response Ltd

Francis has over 27 years experience working in social housing for private and public sector organisations. Francis holds an MBA in Financial Management and a fellow of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Our Board Members

Ruth Cooke
Chair

Ruth is CEO of Midland Heart, one of the largest housing and care organisations in the country. Ruth is passionate about the delivery of quality housing and care services, and has a particular interest in the challenges of providing affordable housing in rural communities.

James Williamson
Vice Chair

James is a Chartered Accountant and spent most of his career working in Finance and General Management for an American multi-national in both the UK and Europe and latterly as a part time Finance Director to several companies in different sectors in the UK. 

Graham Biggs

Graham is the Chief Executive of the Rural Services Network (RSN) – England’s largest national membership organisation relating to services to rural communities. Graham is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators and was awarded an MBE in 1995 for “Services to Local Government”.

Sonia Higgins

Sonia has more than twenty five years experience in the energy industry and has held a number of senior roles. Sonia has worked as a consultant providing management consultancy services to multinational groups, financial institutions and smaller project companies on their investment and future commercial strategy.

Gill Jones

Since April 2014, Gill has been self-employed, working with a range of public, private and voluntary sector clients in areas of business development, project management, fund finding and neighbourhood planning.

David Lincoln

David has previously worked in the gas and electricity industries, in roles ranging from operational to business and systems development and change management.  David is also a volunteer adviser with Herefordshire Citizens Advice Bureau.

Dr Michael McCarthy

Michael has a background in social policy, later life housing and services and in local economic regeneration.  In 2001, he became MD of a rural regeneration consultancy and since 2008 has run his own strategy and development consultancy, Work House. 

Michael Parkes

Michael has almost 40 years’ experience in Environmental Health, where he developed interests in public protection and the development of partnership working to improve health and well-being.  He has held a variety of roles with many related regional, national and professional groups. 

Allison Taylor

Allison has many years’ experience at a senior level with a particular emphasis on people management and helping organisations create a climate to enable people to work at their best.  Allison runs her own consultancy offering leadership development and executive coaching.

Liz Walford

Liz has a lifetime's experience in the social housing, having held a number of executive positions within leading organisations in the sector. She retired as Group Chief Executive of Walsall Housing Group in 2009 following five years in that post.