Our Board of Directors


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Meet our Board of Directors

The Cornwall Housing Board must act in the best interests of the Company, and set out the organisation’s values and purpose in a strategic Business Plan.

As a Registered Provider, Cornwall Housing is regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing, and complies with the National Housing Federation's Code of Governance. We publish an annual statement of how we comply with these regulatory and governance standards in the Company’s Annual Statement of Accounts.

The Board meets regularly and the meetings are open to the public. If you would like more information or to observe a public board meeting please email jackie.noyes@cornwallhousing.org.uk 

Cornwall Housing is a company owned by Cornwall Council. 

A picture of Mike Hanrahan

Mike Hanrahan


Since the early 1990’s Mike has held executive posts in a number of regional and national housing associations. For 10 years he was Chief Executive of Teign Housing. He has always put quality service delivery and meaningful tenant involvement at the top of his agenda. He has significant Board experience, having served on 3 housing association Boards including an appointment by the Social Housing Regulator. On his appointment as Chair of the Board of Cornwall Housing Limited, Mike said “I am looking forward to working with the team at Cornwall Housing, it is an organisation that is driven to provide quality services for its tenants and local communities and I am particularly excited to play my part in seeing this continue and develop.”

A picture of Mark Read

Mark Read

Cornwall Council Board Member

Mark is currently Service Director for Customer and Business Operations at Cornwall Council.  Cornish born and bred, Mark has worked in Local Government for over 35 years, starting his career with Restormel Borough Council and moving to Cornwall Council when it was formed as a new Unitary Authority in 2009.

During his career, Mark has provided senior leadership to a variety of services (including Housing) and is passionate about delivering the best possible services to customers and service users with a strong focus on customer need, efficiency and staff culture and wellbeing. Alongside leading services, Mark has had responsibility for the delivery of a number of transformation programmes for the Council including the £20m Digital Cornwall programme and playing a significant role in the transition of Cornwall from seven local authorities into one.

Married with two children, Mark is delighted to be a member of the Cornwall Housing Board.

A picture of Su Spence

Su Spence

Managing Director

Su started her career in the NHS in London, before moving to a local authority and then into housing. An accountant by background, she has used her financial skills to work in local communities throughout her career to capacity build and effect change through empowerment. Before joining Cornwall Su worked at Poole Housing Partnership, joining as the Finance Director and becoming Chief Executive in 2016. Her focus throughout that time was on ensuring that the organisation had a culture that delivered the best for local residents and organised and designed services jointly with them. Recognised nationally via TPAS awards and shortlisted for Landlord of the Year in the Inside Housing UK Housing Awards in 2018, Su was proud of the approach locally in Poole and all the officers who worked with her to deliver this. This expertise will be used to drive the change required across Cornwall Housing and will deliver services and teams focused on providing the homes required for local residents.

A picture of Peter Nourse

Peter Nourse

Independent Non-Executive Director

Peter is the Director of Assets at Clarion Housing Group which is the largest housing association in the UK. He is responsible for the planned investment of Clarion’s Housing Stock which comprises 125,000 properties. Prior to joining Clarion, Peter ran his own consultancy business and provided interim management and consultancy support to a wide range of Local Authorities, ALMO’s and Housing Associations. Peter has extensive non-executive director experience and also chairs the Quality of Existing Homes Group at the National Federation of Housing.

A picture of Dawn Sowerby

Dawn Sowerby

Independent Non-Executive Director

Dawn is an experienced strategic leader with a professional background in HR and Organisational Development, and she is the Founder and Managing Director of The Culture Business.  Dawn is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, is a qualified executive coach and has over 25 years’ experience in senior HR & OD transformation roles across public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including executive and non-executive board level positions.

Dawn’s passion is for creating workplaces that bring the best out in people and believes that we can only deliver the highest quality homes and housing services by doing that. She has a track record of delivering team turnarounds through supportive and engaging leadership, and has previously worked with the highly regarded Corporate Rebels, also featuring as one of their guest bloggers.  Dawn has also spoken several times at Employee Engagement seminars.

A picture of Karen Ayling

Karen Ayling

Independent Non-Executive Director

Initially a History teacher Karen has worked in Social Housing since the mid 1980’s. Firstly for Local Authorities and since 1992 for Housing Associations. She qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing in 1992, becoming a fellow in 2000. From 2004 onwards she has held Executive roles. Director of Housing at Thames Valley HA based in London and the SE and from 2008 as Managing Director of Westcountry based in Devon and Cornwall. Karen has been a freelance interim Executive since 2014. Karen has covered most strategic and operational areas from Operations including Repairs & Maintenance, Asset Planning, Estate management, the delivery of statutory functions such as Homelessness and Housing Register, Shared Ownership and development of Retirement Living models. Latterly her work as an interim has included supporting Boards to develop decision making and monitoring practices alongside strategic service redesign /implementation Previously she has held non-executive positions in the South West with Synergy now Aster Housing. Currently she is Chair of a local recycling charity in South Devon and Deputy Chair of Arc Aspire, a homelessness charity based in Taunton.

A picture of Robert Stronge

Robert Stronge

Independent Non-Executive Director

An experienced housing professional, Robert brings over 35 years experience to Cornwall Housing and has worked at senior levels with major housing associations operating in both England and Scotland. Robert was formerly Managing Director of Guinness Hermitage a division of The Guinness Partnership operating across the west of England including Cornwall, interim Chief Executive at Shire Housing Association in East Ayrshire, Scotland and has also provided management services to a south west based housing association. 

Robert is Chair of the Westward Housing Group, who operate across Devon and Cornwall. He also recently led the Board of the community based landlord, the North Devon Homes Group based in Barnstaple.

A picture of Vivienne Horton

Vivienne Horton

Independent Non-Executive Director

Vivienne is a lawyer by background and worked for over 30 years in local government finishing that phase of her career as Chief Executive of Macclesfield Borough Council. She then worked for a national regulator The Standards Board for England before working in the private sector as Director of the Public Sector team for a niche legal costs consultancy. She joined the Board of Merlin Housing Society in 2012 and became its Chair in 2017. In that role she led the creation of a successful partnership between Merlin, Severn Vale Housing and Bromford Housing Group. She served as Senior Independent Director and Chair of Remuneration and Nominations Committee of Bromford from 2018 until 2021. She is an experienced and influential NED with strong customer focus.

A picture of Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson

Tenant Non-Executive Director

Kate has a professional background in social work and has spent most of her working life in health and social care. For the past 14 years she has been in a lived experience role as Service User Consultant to Cornwall Foundation Trust. In this role she draws on her own experience of using services to ensure that the voice of patients, carers and citizens is reflected in all aspects of service planning and delivery. This is Kate’s first board appointment. As a Tenant Non-Executive Director, appointed in 2021, she is looking forward to playing her part in the continuing development of a high quality and responsive housing service. Outside of work Kate is very involved in village life and enjoys spending quality time with her cats.

A picture of Kevin Hawke

Kevin Hawke

Tenant Non-Executive Director

Kevin has lived in Cornwall all his life, and in Falmouth since 1984 spending the last 4 years of his education at Falmouth School. Most of Kevin’s working life has been spent working in, managing and owning public houses before starting his own business in 2007. He has enjoyed undertaking many qualifications in project management and business management with help from local providers, broadening his experience. Kevin moved into a Cornwall Housing property in 2002 with his wife and they have 2 adult sons. When Kevin isn’t working, he enjoys golf, cricket and walking his 2 “children”, basset hounds Matilda and Gertrude. Kevin is looking forward to the challenges ahead and representing tenants on the CHL board.

A picture of Amanda Leman

Amanda Leman

Tenant Non-Executive Director

With a background in direct marketing, Amanda worked for Ogilvy & Mather as a Client Service Manager. With a strong emphasis on developing and servicing client accounts in terms of quality and performance she delivered best practice for companies such as BUPA, Royal Mail and B.T. Appointed to work with Broadsystem Ltd in the role of Call Centre Manager she redesigned and implemented structures and processes to deliver high levels of service for clients such as The Times, GMTV and Celador. In 1998 she won an industry award for a Pan-European telemarketing campaign conducted for PictureTel International. Moving to the West Country in 2000 to work with The Marketing Architects (TMA Global), Amada has since qualified as a life coach with a degree in arts. Having lived experience as a tenant she enjoys working with the Board to ensure the tenant voice is heard and being part of a wider team engaged in the transformational journey that Cornwall Housing is on to deliver high quality homes and housing services to the communities of Cornwall.