Senior Leadership Team

Our Senior Leadership Team guide Saffron and make sure we stay true to our commitment of enabling people to live independently in warm and affordable homes. They inspire our people to be the best they can possibly be.

Chief Officers

  • James Francis 2023

    James Francis

    Chief Executive Officer

    Appointed CEO in Spring 2019, James is responsible for the reputation and direction of Saffron and has worked with tenants and community leaders to create our Inspiring Saffron Strategy and Saffron Community Membership.

    For the 9 years before joining Saffron, James held Board-level Finance Director roles at g15 Housing Groups.

    James is Chair of BuildEast, a partnership of 15 housing associations across the East of England.

  • Saffron's Chief Financial And Sustainability Officer Iain Innes

    Iain Innes

    Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer

    Iain joined Saffron in 2018. He is responsible for Saffron’s Finance, Asset Management and Development. Iain qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2004 with Deloitte's London office, before gaining international experience in Toronto. He has worked at Director level
    in plcs, private companies and private equity backed businesses across a variety of industries.

  • Malcolm O'brien Website Picture

    Malcolm O'Brien

    Chief People and Change Officer


  • Jason Mc Website Picture

    Jason MacCormick

    Director of Sustainability

  • Paula T Website Picture

    Paula Tuck

    Director of Tenant Insight

  • Lynne Riddoch Website Picture

    Lynne Riddoch

    Director of Tenant Services

  • Saffron Director

    Jamie Crick

    Director of Finance

  • Richard Sage

    Richard Sage

    Director of Technology, Data & Change

Board Members

Saffron’s Board is made up of 11 Board Members, including the CEO. The Board Chair and Members bring with them a diverse range of knowledge and skills to the Board.

  • Board Chair Kim Newman

    Kim Newman


    Having grown up living in social housing and experienced first-hand the security, community, and life chances that this provided to her family, Kim was clear that her purpose was to give back to the social housing sector through both her business and work and as a Board Member. 

    With a background as a surveyor, Kim’s career progressed into procurement, commercial management, change, business strategy, continuous improvement and partnership working mainly within the Social Housing, public sector, and commercial property sector.  

    Kim is now the founder and Managing Director of PML, a specialist Business Change and Property Services Consultancy. Prior to setting up PML in 1995, Kim spent a number of years at national consultancy practices including Capita and Turner & Townsend in various leadership roles and was seconded to a variety of public sector clients to develop and implement their business strategies. 

    As a Non-Executive Director, Kim has been a Board Member of Orwell Housing Association since 2015 and has been Chair of the Board since 2019 and she is also a Director of two residential management companies for the Fellowes Plain Development in Norwich.

  • Board Senior Independent Director Thomas Fadden

    Thomas Fadden

    Senior Independent Director

    Tom is a disability equality trainer and consultant based in Norfolk. He has been a Saffron tenant since 2013. Working in the third sector for a number of years focusing on disability rights and community inclusion.

    Alongside his commercial experience, Tom volunteers helping to set up and run independent living groups across Norfolk which are peer support groups for disabled people, their families and personal assistants. In addition, Tom is a trustee of the UK’s largest disabled people’s user led organisation.

    Alongside this work Tom reads Business Management and an MSc in Brand Leadership at the University of East Anglia. With this mix of commercial and voluntary experience Tom hopes to make a positive contribution to the governance and strategic direction of Saffron ultimately resulting in much needed social housing being available for many years to come.

  • Board Member Alison Inman

    Alison Inman

    Board Member

    Alison is a former President of the Chartered Institute of Housing. She is a Board Member at Colne Housing Society, in North Essex, near where she lives. Alison is also on the Board of Tpas, the engagement experts, and is a co-founder of SHOUT, the social housing campaign. Alison is a previous chair of Colchester Borough Homes and the National Housing Federation.

  • Board Member Mike Jolly

    Mike Jolly

    Board Member

    Mike has held a Senior Relationship Manager role with The Royal Bank of Scotland and his extensive experience lies within Risk Management and comprehensive appraisal in a business environment. Mike is the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for Saffron.

    Mike is ex-captain of Norwich Rugby Football Club 2nd XV. He is also an active scout leader and trustee of the largest Sea Scout unit in the UK as well as a member of Reepham Runners running club.

  • Board Member Robert Lankey

    Robert Lankey

    Board Member

    During a 30-year career spanning banks, building societies and specialist lenders, Rob has started 3 new lending businesses and developed skills in risk management, operations, business growth strategies and leadership.

    Rob is also a trustee of a charity providing help to Armenia and has over 16 years’ experience of being a Board Director of a housing association where he held senior positions in Audit and Finance and Treasury Committees.

  • Board Member Neil Watts

    Neil Watts

    Board Member

    Neil has been nominated by our previous Customer Voice ensuring that the Board at all times has 25 per cent of the Board with Service User Experience and Perspective.

    Neil was a secondary school headteacher in Suffolk for 21 years and has also worked in both advertising regulation at the Advertising Standards Authority and press regulation at Independent Press Standards Organisation. He was a founder member of the board of Ofqual and a lay member of the Architects Registration Board.

    Neil is currently a Council Member of the Alpha Plus Group and Chairs the Family Carers Partnership Board in Suffolk.

    Neil's son has been a Saffron tenant since 2014 and lives in a shared house in Suffolk.

  • James Francis 2023 Board

    James Francis

    Board Member

    Appointed CEO in Spring 2019, James is responsible for the reputation and direction of Saffron and has worked with tenants and community leaders to create our Inspiring Saffron Strategy and Saffron Community Membership.

    For the 9 years before joining Saffron, James held Board-level Finance Director roles at g15 Housing Groups.

    James is Chair of BuildEast, a partnership of 15 housing associations across the East of England.

  • Board Member Jason Margetts

    Jason Margetts

    Board Member

    Jason has held board positions across the built environment and has specialist knowledge in property development and decarbonisation. He was a Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Building 2013-16.

    Until January 2022 he was Production Director at Berkeley Group plc, where he received two RoSPA Awards, and led across a number of delivery aspects including securing land deals and delivering s106 agreements. He previously worked as Construction Project Director for AGR Renewables Group, a renewable energy development company.

    Jason has now established a construction consultancy company, CubittNash.

  • Board Member Asha Cleavely

    Asha Cleavely

    Board Member

    Asha possesses skills in Strategy, Business Management, People & Culture, Operations, Technology and Regulation. He has worked closely with the Group Executive Committee members of Lloyds Banking Group PLC and HSBC Group PLC, and has a strong understanding of the role of Boards, including governance requirements. He has an understanding of regulatory matters in the social housing sector and is focussed on customer-first cultures and increasing efficiency.

    As a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) leader in Global Financial Services, Asha is passionate about enabling organisations to achieve their strategic vision, avoiding ‘group think’ and is mindful of unconscious biases. He collaborates with management teams and fellow Board members in the pursuit of shared objectives. He also has professional experience of leading private sector Ambassadorial programmes to achieve results for local areas, including liaising with the Offices of UK Members of Parliament.

  • Board Member Jayne Sharma

    Jayne Sharma

    Board Member

    Jayne has worked in the business area of Technology and Transformation since 1994. She has over 6 years’ experience of operating at Board level, in a complex, regulated organisation. As a technology and transformation leader, Jayne has successfully delivered against major strategies and has extensive experience working with risk, finance, and regulatory bodies, leading teams of up to 1000 people, and contracting with suppliers. In her current full-time employment, Jayne is responsible for £143m of IT Change for the UK, Canada, and Ireland markets, delivering strategic cloud, cyber, network, and unified communication technologies. Jayne’s role also involves membership of several Programme Steering Groups, Market Executive meetings, Risk and Audit Boards.

  • Board Member Tallia Langston

    Tallia Langston

    Board Member

    Tallia’s key motivation for joining the Board is to be a part of the housing solution and to contribute to creative and inclusive solutions to help people. Tallia wishes to help the Board ensure that its policies are suitable for as many people as possible, and that flexibility and inclusivity are always considered, to provide a customer centred approach.

    Tallia is currently a School Governor and an NHS Governor in her local Mental Health Trust.

    Tallia sits on the User Voice Council, the Charity connected to Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) and associated organisations, such as The Matthew Project and Change Grow Live. She also sits on the Council of Making It Real, a Co-Production for Social Care Services. Tallia is passionate about supporting people through recovery of physical illness, mental illness, drug & alcohol and substance misuse disorder; and supporting people living in the community with disabilities, autism and/or learning difficulties. Tallia also volunteers at her local dementia support group, which provides social support.