Brighter Places
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Board members

The Brighter Places Board is made up of a maximum of 12 members.  Below are our Board Member profiles.



James was appointed Chair of Solon and United Communities' Boards in September 2020 after it was agreed that the two housing associations would enter into a strategic alliance.

James is a Chartered Surveyor and Managing Director of ADAPT Real Estate. He has worked professionally in Bristol for twenty years and has an in-depth knowledge of the property market in the city and beyond. James' experience in site acquisition, financing, joint venture structuring, development and asset management risks has provided Board level support to United Communities' Development and Executive teams since 2015. Since 2012, James has also been a Visiting Fellow in Real Estate at University of West of England.


Board Member and Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

Faye joined the Board in September 2020. Faye is a Chartered Accountant who trained in public sector audit and is currently a Senior Finance Manager at BT.

She has also worked in financial services for many years in finance and commercial roles and has served on the Board of a large corporate pension scheme. She brings this experience to the Board along with a passion for social justice and access to good quality housing for all.


Board Member

Fiona joined the Board in November 2020 and is also a member of our Audit & Risk Committee.

She has worked in the Housing sector for over 30 years having started her career as a Housing Trainee at Bristol City Council.

Fiona worked for Sovereign for 11 years during which time she has managed both generic and portfolio holding housing teams operating across a wide geography. Whilst at Sovereign Fiona also led a range of transformation projects across the West of England and Devon.

Fiona took up a new role in January 2021 as Head of Housing Management & Estate at Bristol City Council.


Board Member

Gill joined the previous Solon Board in November 2015, wanting simply to make a difference. She has worked in both private and public services for over twenty five years, holding a variety of roles with Housing and Highways and Transportation.

She is currently a Business Growth Director at WSP, an engineering consultancy, and is based in Bristol. Her experiences include housing management and preventing homelessness as well as being responsible for delivering a variety of services to local communities, developing training and improving employees' health, safety and wellbeing.

Now that her children are grown up she wants to devote some time for the good of the community.


Board Member

Keena joined the Board in November 2020.

She is a Brighter Places resident and has taken part in a number of resident engagement projects in the past including scrutiny.

Keena was actively involved with our merger proposals and with the creation of our customer service offer.

Keena has a background in finance and currently works in education.


Board Member

LaToyah joined the previous United Communities Board in 2019 and is also a member of Governance & Remuneration Committee. She is an Executive Director of St Pauls Carnival and Non-Executive Director of Ujima Radio. LaToyah has worked for over 15 years on homelessness support and management for St Mungos, amongst others.

She is a Clore Fello and has run her own consultancy for charities and local authorities in organisation and staff development, capacity and resilience.


Board Member

Michael joined the previous United Communities Board in 2019 and is also a member of our Audit & Risk Committee. He is Housing Manager for Wales & West Housing Association and leads a team of 12 staff, responsible for 2200 properties across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

He has designed and led the Association's Welfare Reform response and redesigned systems to improve delivery to residents. Michael is also a Director of Cardiff and the Vale Credit Union (CVCU).


Board Member

Mike is Regeneration Director at Curo Group with over 25 years’ experience in housing association regeneration, development and asset management. Prior to this he worked for ten years in construction and consultancy.

He is an incorporated member of the Chartered Institute of Building. Mike passionately believes that a good quality home is one of the key factors for a successful and happy life and is keen to use his skills and experience on the Board to help make this happen.

Outside of housing Mike is a keen motorcyclist as well as an avid Scotland Rugby supporter. Mike joined the previous Solon Board in 2018.


Board Member


Paul joined the previous United Communities Board in September 2015 and is also a member of our Audit & Risk Committee. He has over two decades of in depth experience in the arena of economic and community development and across a range of media platforms.

He works full time for Locality, as Development Manager (South West), supporting ambitious and enterprising community-led organisations to work together to ensure their neighbourhoods thrive. In his spare time Paul has co-produced a number of award winning short films.


Board Member and Chair of Governance & Remuneration Committee

Richard is a solicitor with over 25 years' property litigation experience. He was a senior associate at DAC Beachcroft in Bristol specialising in real estate disputes resolution for 13 years.

Richard has recently founded his own mediation business, Striving to Settle, to help people with resolving legal disputes and tricky negotiations and avoiding large legal bills. Richard joined our Brighter Places Board as he is committed to the provision of good quality affordable housing, and wants to help us provide that for as many people as possible.

Richard lives and works in Bristol. He joined the previous Solon Board in 2014.


Board Member

Sarah joined the Board in September 2020 as Senior Independent Director of Solon and United Communities, and is also a member of our Governance & Remuneration Committee. Sarah has a broad range of NED experience including the Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group and local charity One25 and ACVCO.

Until 2017, Sarah was Chief Executive of Above & Beyond, NHS Charity for University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. As well as her NED roles, Sarah runs her own strategic and governance consultancy, providing advice, solutions and mentoring for Executive teams and boards of charities and charitable foundations.


Board Member


Stephen joined the previous Solon Board in 2016. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. He was the CEO of Valleys to Coast, a stock-transfer housing association in South Wales from 2008-2018. He is now a housing consultant with a wide range caseload. His housing career started in the early 1980s in local Government working in Bristol, Sussex, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire before joining Fosseway Housing Association in 1997.

Stephen also has a BA(Hons) degree in German (Warwick University) and a post graduate Diploma in Management Studies (University of the West of England).

Born, bred and still living in Bristol, Stephen hopes his skills and experience on our Brighter Places Board will help make a difference to local people’s lives.

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