Meet our Board

Our Board has ultimate responsibility for making sure that Eastlight Community Homes Limited is run properly and delivers for our customers. Eastlight operates with a simple governance structure which is outlined below.

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Hattie Llewelyn Davies (1)

Hattie Llewelyn-Davies


Hattie was the driving force behind the merger between Colne Housing – where she was Chair – and Greenfields Community Housing to create Eastlight Community Homes in July 2020.

Her vision for what we could achieve together, as a larger organisation for the East of England, is what helped us to become the trailblazing community gateway organisation we are today.

Eastlight is not the only housing provider in the East to benefit from Hattie’s strategic governance expertise – she works with organisations across the region in her role as Chair of the East of England Chairs Group.

Awarded an OBE for her services to homeless people in 2004, Hattie’s career began in housing and homelessness, but it has since spanned health, compliance, and financial services across the public, private and third sectors.

Hattie is also Chair of The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and was previously Chair of the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and PA Housing.


Dale Butcher (1)

Dale Butcher

Vice Chair

A highly-skilled businessman with expertise in strategy, transformation and growth, Dale has been Vice Chair since Eastlight was formed in 2020.

Previously he was Chair of our pre-merger organisation Greenfields Community Housing.

He is Chair of our Investment Committee and brings a blend of commercial knowledge, understanding of development and the needs of our residents and communities to our Board. 

Having spent more than 25 years in the Automotive Industry in retail and distribution, Dale is also an adviser to the Emil Frey Group of Switzerland (2012), a board member of the Enthusiasm Trust Derby (2014) and a Trustee of the Inchcape Pension Scheme.


David Russell (1)

David Russell

Senior Independent Director (SID)

As Senior Independent Director, David serves as a sounding board for the Chair and acts as an intermediary for other directors. 

David has strong skills in governance and shares his values and commitment to social development. He is our Board champion for sustainability, ensuring that our homes are fit for purpose now and in the future. He is member of our Governance & People Committee and Audit and Risk Committee (ARC).

Following a distinguished Royal Navy career, David became Chief Executive of the charity The Harpur Trust from 2002-2019.


Kay Vowles (1)

Kay Vowles

Board Member

Housing consultant Kay has held a number of senior positions in housing associations and with the former regulator the Housing Corporation. 

Kay is highly motivated by Eastlight’s commitment to our residents,  communities and its ambitions to be a leading housing association in the East of England. She is a member of our Governance & People Committee (G&P) and Audit and Risk Committee (ARC).

Kay has been an interim Chief Executive for a considerable number of organisations and has extensive experience as a Non-Executive Director and change programmes.

Cha Patel (1)

Cha Patel

Board Member

Cha is a corporate finance specialist and has held Non-Executive and consultancy roles in a variety of housing associations, healthcare, social and commercial organisations.

She has worked in the commercial sector with expertise in finance, growth, change management, risk and treasury. She is Chair our Audit and Risk Committee (ARC).

Cha has been involved in a large number of mergers, acquisitions and financings and has garnered a lot of cross sector expertise.


Eastlight board member Malcolm O'Brien

Malcolm O’Brien

Board Member

A Human Resources expert, Malcolm has worked in the housing sector for over 17 years. He is currently Executive Director of Corporate Services at Swan Housing. He has been in HR for over 30 years and has lead the strategic development of IT, EDI, Communications and Facilities Management.

Malcolm also has significant experience in leading business and cultural change. He is Chair of our Governance & People Committee (G&P).


Simon Jones (1)

Simon Jones

Board Member

Simon is a chartered accountant who enjoyed a successful 30-year career with Grant Thornton UK LLP.

He is committed to organisations with clear purpose and strong values, like Eastlight, and also brings expertise in audit, governance and assurance. He sits on our Investment Committee and Audit and Risk Committee (ARC).

His last roles were as Chief Financial Officer and  Chief Operating Officer for the £500 million professional services partnership, covering audit, tax and advisory services.


Michelle Baker

Michelle Baker

Board Member and Chair, Customer Influence Committee (CIC) 

Michelle, an accountant, is an Eastlight resident and reflects the views of customers at every opportunity. 

She reflects Eastlight’s customer voice at sector events and in the media and is passionate about improving the experience for disabled people.

To ensure a wide range of residents can be involved in Eastlight, she advocates flexible and digital engagement opportunities that fit around people's lives.

Michelle also serves her local community as clerk and Responsible Financial Officer for her parish council.

She is also Chair of our Customer Influence Committee.

Mike Johnson (1)

Mike Johnson

Board Member

Mike has worked in the housing sector for 35 years.

He brings experience of building homes, regeneration, asset management and setting up strategic joint ventures.  

He is Group Development Director at One Housing Group and a member of the sector’s G15 Development Directors Group.

Gail Shadlock

Board Member

Gail is a highly experienced director with a professional background in human resources and organisational development with extensive general and project management experience working in the UK and abroad.

Gail has worked both as an executive director and as a non-executive director and has led and contributed to significant transformational change in the public, private and not for profit sectors – including housing.

Catherine Turner

Catherine Turner

Associate Board member

Catherine enjoys being in a group working towards a common goal for the community. She believes we can learn from people of different ages and experience to make our efforts stronger.

She has specific expertise in access and equality. She has advised Colchester and Ipswich museums on accessibility, and has been a web accessibility consultant and an Assistive Technology trainer. 

Steve Bentall

Steve Bentall

Trainee Board member

Steve has worked in physical activity and health for more than 30 years. He currently works for Fusion Lifestyle, a leisure contractor operating over 30 sites in the UK.

Steve is the company's Sports and Community Development Manager for Essex, covering their three local authority areas. He works with stakeholders to ensure there are inclusive physical activity opportunities for communities.


Our Committee Members

Chris Miller (1)

Chris Miller

Investment Committee

Chris has more than 30 years of housing and development experience.

He is Development Director at 33,000-home housing association Midland Heart and leading their ambition to build 3,000 homes by 2024.

He is also a Board Member at homelessness charity St Basils, which works with young people.

Jo Savage (1)

Jo Savage

Governance & People Committee

An experienced housing leader, Jo is currently Chief Executive of Greatwell Homes where she has steered the organisation through strategic change. 

She has worked in housing for more than 30 years, is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing  (CIH) and a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Julia Thomas (1)

Julia Thomas

Governance & People Committee

Julia is a legal advisor, having worked in criminal law, local government and other non-profit organisations. 

She is committed to supporting the rights of children and young people and works for Ofsted as an advisory lawyer, specialising in education law and public law.



Our Board drives strategy and directs the affairs of Eastlight Community Homes Limited. It has responsibility for overall control of Eastlight Community Homes Limited and its subsidiaries. This includes monitoring performance; determining strategic direction; governance arrangements and oversight; overseeing the management and mitigation of risks and issues; and determining resources to meet financial and other obligations.

Customer Influence Committee

Oversees and supports the Board in ensuring that customers influence decision making and a wide variety of views are considered. The Committee oversees and monitors the Community Empowerment Strategy, the Asset Management Strategy, the Service Delivery Strategy and key policies that impact on customers.

Audit & Risk Committee

Ensures systems of internal control, assurance and risk management are appropriate and effective and that legal, statutory and regulatory requirements are properly audited and reviewed.

Investment Committee

Oversees programmes of investment including land acquisition, development and regeneration and the associated financing and investment in net zero carbon activity. Approves programmes beyond delegated thresholds for executive.

Governance & People Committee

Oversees and supports the Board in maintaining excellent governance through skills-based recruitment and succession, determining remuneration of Board and executive, regularly monitoring effectiveness and recommending enhancements to governance. Oversees and monitors our People Strategy and key policies including safeguarding, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.