Search the Orwell Housing website
Orwell's Board and Directors
Board membership is open to all. From time to time Orwell will advertise vacancies in the local press and on its web site. Alternatively, please contact the Chief Executive’s Personal Assistant on 01473 228602 to register an interest in future vacancies.
A board member would normally serve for a period of 9 years and work with at least one of the committees. The committees would cover the areas of Audit, Governance and Remuneration.
The posts are remunerated and would involve a commitment of around one day per month.
Board members introduction
Dr Ian Beaumont
Ian Beaumont joined Orwell Housing Association as a board member in March 2009. He is also a member of the Policy & Finance Committee.
Ian trained as a research scientist before joining a new legal training company as Finance Director in 1994. Over the next twelve years Ian and his co-directors grew the company into one of the UK's leading legal training consultancies, with offices in London and Dublin, providing training around the world. In 2001, Ian, as Managing Director, led the sale of the business, subsequently joining the main board of Europe's leading provider of post qualification legal training. In 2006 he left to pursue other interests.
Ian currently maintains a residential and commercial property portfolio, as well as running an events business at an historic house near Ipswich.
In his spare time Ian is a keen cyclist, riding on and off road all over Suffolk. He also plays tennis and bridge regularly and enjoys photography.
Ms Kim Newman - BSc (Hons), MCIPS, MRICS, MBIFM, FCMI, MInstLM, MIAM, MIOD
Kim joined the Board of Orwell in March 2015. She was born in 1970 in London where she graduated from London South Bank University with an honours degree in Surveying and subsequently completed a post graduate diploma in procurement and became a chartered member of the Institute of Procurement and Supply.
With a background in commercial management and procurement, Kim has worked for professional practices and outsourced services businesses such as Capita and Turner and Townsend. In 1996 Kim joined the specialist performance improvement consultancy, PML Group, as a Director and owner and for the last eleven years she has been the Managing Director.
Kim has accumulated 25 years’ experience of working at board/senior, strategic, tactical and operational levels and she is a specialist in Procurement, Performance Improvement, Business Change, Collaborative Working and Asset Management within the Social Housing and Facilities Management sectors; and has written and implemented strategies for a number of clients. She has also been seconded to senior level positions within a number of social housing organisations.
Kim is also a member of the TPC/PPC Partnering Contracts Steering Group and is a Director of a Residential Management Company on the Fellowes Plain Development in Norwich.
Outside of work Kim enjoys reading, technology (particularly social media), going to the gym, good food and visiting the North Norfolk coast.
Joy became a member of the Board in June 2008, having been co-opted to the Supported Housing & Care Committee three years previously.
She is a qualified social worker and retired from Suffolk County Council in 2004, having worked for many years as a Manager in services for older people. For several years she did occasional consultancy work for Suffolk County Council and also for Age Concern. She has a strong commitment to Orwell’s services to the most vulnerable people in society.
Joy lives in Ipswich and has one son. Her main interests lie within the arts - especially literature and music. She is the published author of books of both fiction and non-fiction. She also loves to sing and belongs to a large choir in Ipswich.
Having joined the Board of Orwell Housing Association in 2012, Robyn is also a member of both the Audit & Risk and Governance Committees.
Robyn is currently Head of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) East of England, based in Cambridge, where she leads the team delivering grants, development, outreach and advocacy. HLF is the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage and a leading advocate for the value of heritage to modern life. HLF has awarded over £413m to 3,600 projects in the East of England since 1994. Robyn chaired the Regional Lottery Forum and was a member of the Regional Cultural Consortium and is currently a member of the East of England Historic Environment Forum.
Before joining HLF, Robyn worked for the Conservation Unit at the Museums and Galleries Commission in London. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) at the State University of New York, Robyn completed her MA in Arts Management at City University London, where her dissertation was on Performance Management in Museums.
Robyn has lived in Suffolk since 1991. She is Secretary to a local cricket club where she helps to promote youth sport, particularly for girls. She enjoys walking in the wonderful East Anglian countryside and spending time in her allotment. She is also an avid follower of social media, particularly Twitter.
Alastair Thomas - BSc Hons, FRICS
Alastair Thomas joined the Board of Orwell Housing Association in March 2012. He is Chair of the Development & Property Services Committee and also sits on the Audit & Risk and Remuneration Committees. He is one of the Orwell representatives on the e2 Joint Management Group.
Alastair is a Chartered Surveyor and founder of the Equity Estates Group that undertakes commercial property development, investment and asset management, principally in East Anglia and the South East. Uniquely the Group also undertakes the delivery of park and ride schemes and to date has designed, planned and delivered over 3,000 spaces for both Essex and Suffolk County Councils, including Ipswich’s first park and ride at Copdock.
Prior to joining Orwell Housing Association he was a non-executive director of Pathmeads Limited (a subsidiary of Genesis Housing Association) and Chairman of the Regional Committee for East Anglia.
A keen sportsman, his passions are watching cricket and fly fishing for salmon and trout. Alastair is also a qualified ECB Level 2 cricket coach.
Richard Mathias is from Pembrokeshire in West Wales. He started his working life in 1965 when he joined the Midland Bank in Birmingham. He undertook a variety of roles and management positions in the south–east of England, Bristol and South Wales. He is a fully qualified banker, becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in 1998.
In 1992 he joined the Julian Hodge Bank Ltd, a privately owned commercial bank based in Cardiff, which specialises in the commercial and residential property sectors. As General Manager he was responsible for the day to day running of the Bank and he was also an executive director on the Main Board.
In 2002 Richard set up his own business providing business advisory services and mentoring support to a wide variety of businesses. In 2006 he became a board member of the Cadarn Housing Group, a housing association based in Cardiff. He chaired the Audit Committee from 2008 until 2011, when he moved to Suffolk.
Richard was co-opted on to Orwell’s Audit Committee in 2012 and on to the Governance Committee in 2014. He joined the Board of Orwell in June 2014.
Barbara Thorndick OBE FCIH BA (Hons)
Barbara joined the Board in March 2016 and is also a member of the Governance Committee.
She is the former Chief Executive of West Kent Housing Association, which under her leadership was the first housing association in the country to be awarded top marks by government inspectors for delivering excellent services to residents. In 2007/8 she set up the Placeshapers Group of housing associations to help represent the interests of community-based housing associations who further their work through locally based partnerships. In 2008 she was awarded the OBE for services to social housing.
In 2010 she decided to move into the world of consultancy and through her company WKT Associates she now provides coaching services to managers in social housing and supports a consortium of housing associations she helped set up in 2011 called ‘Give us a chance’. This consortium, which she recently converted into a not-for-profit company, helps associations who provide training and employment opportunities for long term unemployed residents.
Barbara is passionate about the benefits of social housing. She believes that everyone has the right to a decent, affordable, secure home.
When not working she enjoys walking, gardening, reading, painting, travel, theatre, film, art and music
Jeanette Alfano - MBA, BTech (Hons)
Jeanette was born in Aberdeen but moved to Corby in Northamptonshire with her family in 1960. She graduated from Bradford University with a first class honours degree in Industrial Technology and Management in 1978.
After graduating Jeanette joined International Computers Ltd as a systems engineer. This was the start of a career in primarily technological roles. She has worked in both the private and public sectors, including six years as a Principal Lecturer in Technology at the University of Northampton.
From 1997-2009 Jeanette held a number of senior roles, helping organisations to make the best use of technology to achieve their corporate objectives. In 2009 she joined AmicusHorizon, a housing association based in London and the South East, as the Director of Technology. She joined the Board of Orwell in March 2015.
Mr Peter Jones had a City career in investment management until 2001 and currently has a portfolio of interests. He is Chair of Foundation East (a micro-finance organisation in East Anglia); a director of Orwell Housing; a former director of Havebury Housing; trustee of Age UK Suffolk and of the Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds; chairman of Suffolk Scouts; investment advisor to the Warwickshire County Council and Lincolnshire County Council pension schemes (each with assets of £1,500 million); an Independent Trustee or former trustee of a number of pension schemes and Chair of several of them; and former advisor to Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and other Quaker charities.
He is also a former director of Friends Provident Life Office and the former Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Association of British Insurers.
Peter’s interests include being with family (especially his grandchildren), almost all sport, going to the gym regularly, swimming and holidaying in Spain. He is also a keen Sudoku puzzler and is addicted to the music of Richard Strauss.
Dan was previously head of service for Suffolk County Council and was responsible for the council’s 16 residential care homes for older people. He was lead manager for the department’s capital programme and coordinating the development of specialist housing services with district and borough councils. He has also had management roles within procurement and corporate services.
Dan is currently the Housing Learning and Improvement Network’s Eastern region lead and works across health, adult care and housing to promote older people’s housing and care services. He has developed consultancy services through the SHOP@ programme that support specialist housing planning and development.
Dan is an active sports player, an avid life-long Liverpool Football Club supporter and can be seen at a range of music gigs across East Anglia. He spends a considerable amount of time trying to tame an unruly large garden.
Cynthia Alers joined the board of Orwell Housing in March 2017. She has worked in finance for most of her career, holding senior positions in investor relations, corporate strategy and corporate communications for companies including JP Morgan, Sage Group, Laird plc and Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), where she worked on a wide range of strategic reviews, capital-raisings, IPOs, corporate restructurings, and acquisitions. She also experienced in working with government and the public sector with the Continuing Care Committee, Ofwat, and the Industry and Parliamentary Trust.
Prior to joining the board of Orwell Housing, Cynthia was a board director with the Newcastle East Multi-Academy Trust (NEAT) where she was Finance Director during the merger of the member schools and establishment of the new multi-school academy trust. Previously she was a board director with the Port of Dover, where she chaired the audit committee.
Orwell’s executives have almost 100 years of housing related industry experience between them. Stephen, Paul and Wendy have all worked for other housing organisations, Chris previously work in commerce.
They all enjoy what they do. Please do not let their photographs put you off them!
Stephen Javes MBA, BSc (Hons), DMS, FCIH, MIEH is Chief Executive of Orwell Housing Association, which he joined in 1991. Since his arrival the Association has grown steadily from 800 homes to some 4000 dwellings for people in housing need, including hostels and specialist accommodation for older persons, those with learning difficulties, and people fleeing domestic abuse. The Association has also diversified into the provision of direct care.
Over the years Stephen has sat on the boards of many local organisations such as Mencap, Stonham, Housing 21, the North East Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau (NESCAB), St John’s Housing Trust (now Access Community Trust) and. was chair of the board for Eastern Procurement Ltd.
Currently he is Chairman of Community Action Suffolk, as well as being a member of the Suffolk Strategic Housing Partnership and the East Suffolk Partnership Board.
Stephen is also a qualified coach, and lectures on management techniques and leadership.
Director of Finance & Resources
Chris joined Orwell in January 2007 as Director of Financial Services.
He is a fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants having qualified in 1986 whilst working at BT plc.
Prior to joining Orwell Chris held senior positions within the construction and manufacturing sectors within the UK, Europe and America including 17 years as Finance Director of the manufacturing subsidiary of a FTSE 100 company. Two years after joining Orwell, Chris’s remit was expanded to include responsibility for Human Resources and Procurement.
Director of Housing & Care Services
Paul has worked at Orwell Housing since 1994 and been in the housing sector for over 30 years, having worked for two local authorities and a housing association in Norfolk prior to working for Orwell.
Qualified to MBA level, Paul has been extensively involved with the Chartered Institute of Housing Eastern Regional Committee and the National Council, as well as in the past being involved with the Royal British Legion Housing Association, Abbeyfield Society and Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, a mixture of voluntary and paid positions. More recently Paul is a Board member at Estuary Housing Association in Essex and chairs their Services Board.
Paul is a housing professional who enjoys the diversity and challenges of leading Orwell’s housing, support and care service.
Director of Development & Property Services
Wendy Evans-Hendrick BA(Hons) DipDM DMS originally trained as a Town Planner but after a short time in the profession joined a housing association and moved into the development field.
She has been Director of Development & Property Services for Orwell Housing Association since 1994 and also acts as the Director of Development for the e2 Development Consortium which represents three other associations in Norfolk and Suffolk and two local authorities.
She is a trustee for the Seckford Foundation.