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.

  • Saffron's Chief Financial And Sustainability Officer Iain Innes

    Iain Innes

    Chief Commercial 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.

  • Julia Prichard Website Picture

    Julia Prichard

    Chief Tenant Officer

    Julia joined Saffron as Chief Tenant Officer in January 2024 and will lead Saffron’s end to end tenant services, including asset management, the direct labour organisation, contact centre, tenant insight and engagement.

    Julia is an experienced and passionate housing executive, with a successful track record of leading strategic and operational functions within the social housing sector. She has a wealth of sector leading expertise from her 21-year housing career. Julia joins us from Places for People where she played a pivotal role in leading customer experience and insight across the whole of Places for People’s 500,000 customers and 12,000 colleagues.

  • Malcolm O'brien Website Picture

    Malcolm O'Brien

    Chief People and Change Officer

    Malcolm joined as Chief People and Change Officer in December 2023 and has responsibility for Governance, IT, Data, Change, People, Workplace and Communications.

    Malcolm is a seasoned executive with more 20 years’ experience in the sector at Executive and Board level. Malcolm has a real passion for creating an organisational culture where people can feel they belong and have the tools and support to deliver great things.


  • Jason Mc Website Picture

    Jason MacCormick

    Director of Asset, Sustainability & Decarbonisation

  • Paula T Website Picture

    Paula Tuck

    Director of Tenant Experience & 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 use her lived experience to give back to the social housing sector through her business, her work and as a Board Member.

    With a background as a surveyor, Kim’s career progressed into procurement, commercial management, business strategy, continuous improvement, change and transformation and partnership development.

    Kim is now the founder and Managing Director of PML, a specialist Business Change and Property Services Consultancy working mainly within the Social Housing, public sector, and commercial property sector.. 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 was also a Board Member of Orwell Housing Association from 2015 and was Chair of the Board from 2019 to 2023 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

    Board Member

    Tom is a disability equality, access and inclusion consultant based in Norfolk. He has been a Saffron Housing tenant since 2013. Working in the third and commercial sectors for over a decade, he has focussed on disability rights, access, social housing, and community inclusion.

    Alongside his commercial experience, Tom has spent many years helping to set up and run peer support groups for disabled people, their families and personal assistants. These include groups for independent living, access, rail access, social care support, wheelchair basketball, and serving as a trustee for several disabled people’s user-led organisations. Additionally, Tom regularly volunteers at the Human Library organisation, which helps challenge stigma, stereotypes and prejudice by facilitating conversations between people from different backgrounds.

    Complementing this work, Tom holds a degree in Business Management and an MSc in Brand Leadership from the University of East Anglia. With his mix of commercial and voluntary sector experience, Tom hopes to make a positive contribution to the governance and strategic direction of Saffron Housing, ultimately ensuring much-needed social housing remains available for many years to come.

  • Board Member Alison Inman

    Alison Inman

    Board Member

    Alison is Past President of the Chartered Institute of Housing. She is Chair of Tpas, the social housing engagement experts and Co-founder of SHOUT, the social housing campaign group. Alison is also a board member of Procurement for Housing and Balkerne Gardens Trust, a small housing and care charity in Colchester, where she lives.
    Alison was awarded an OBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours list.

  • 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

    Senior Independent Director

    During a 35-year career spanning banks, building societies and specialist lenders, Rob has started 4 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 22 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 was nominated by our previous Customer Voice group, as his son has been a Saffron tenant since 2014 and lives in a shared house in Suffolk.

    Neil is currently on the Board of the Personal Finance Society, the Board of Crocus Home Ltd, and is a Member of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan Multi Academy Trust.

    Previously, he was a secondary school headteacher in Suffolk for 21 years, a founder member of the Board of Ofqual, on the Foundation Board of the University of Suffolk, and a lay member of the Architects Registration Board.

  • James Francis 2023 Board

    James Francis

    Board Member

    Appointed CEO in Spring 2019, James has overall responsibility for the performance, direction, and reputation of Saffron.

    Over this time, he has worked closely with tenants and community leaders to create and evolve 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 served as Chair of BuildEast, a partnership of 15 housing associations across the East of England, between 2022 and 2024.

  • 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 acquisitions and delivering s106 agreements. He previously worked as Construction Project Director for AGR Renewables Group, a renewable energy development company.

    Over the past two years Jason has been working across a number of start up businesses and high net worth individuals developing high profile and complex projects in central London.

  • Board Member Asha Cleavely

    Asha Cleavely

    Board Member

    Global Chief Administrative Officer, HR, HSBC  
    Chair, REMCo Member and Non-Executive Director

    Ash began his career in strategy and operations management where he focused on business improvement, people, culture and operational transformation. His financial services industry experience includes commercial banking, insurance, retail banking, markets, regulation, change and financial management. During his career, he has managed global direct and indirect teams in UK, Hong Kong, China, India, Singapore, mainland Europe, and the Americas. 

    As a passionate BAME leader, Ash is a member of a number of management boards and committees bringing innovation and fresh perspective to legacy issues and using his strong strategic and operational background to unlock the value within organisations. He is currently a Non-Executive Director for Saffron Housing Trust which provides vital services to 6,500 tenants, member of the People and Nomination Committee (REMCo), and the Chair of Crimson Development Homes Ltd.

    Always interested in creating value, Ash is an alumnus of the Yale University School of Management Accelerated Management Programme and a member of the Chartered Management Institute. As a very logical thinker, Ash is also trained in LEAN, PRINCE2 & Agile.

  • Board Member Jayne Sharma

    Jayne Sharma

    Board Member

    Jayne has extensive experience in Technology and Transformation, including responsibility as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Aviva’s Group Services. She has over 7 years’ experience of operating at Board level, in a complex, regulated organisation and membership of Group Executive Meetings, Risk and Audit Boards.

    As a global technology and transformation leader, Jayne has successfully delivered digital, cloud, cyber, network and unified communications technologies in line with group strategies. Jayne has experience working and influencing risk, finance, and regulatory bodies, leading teams of up to 1000 people, and contracting with suppliers.

    Jayne is passionate about creating a working environment with diverse leadership, thinking and acceptance, and successfully led the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) work across Aviva’s global technology, collaborating with partners in the Financial Services and Technology industries.

  • Board Member Tallia Langston

    Tallia Langston

    Board Member

    Tallia’s key motivation for joining the Board was to help ensure people are happy and safe in their homes. She is committed to finding creative and inclusive ways to improve things, so people can live their best lives. Tallia wishes to help the Board ensure that its policies are flexible, inclusive, and always considered from a customer cantered perspective.

    Tallia’s Professional career began in Primary Education, she stepped down from teaching when she became disabled. She describes her return-to-work journey as “a lesson in acceptance and perseverance“.

    Tallia is a Tenant Board Member, she’s been a Saffron tenant for 11 years.

    Tallia is also an NHS Governor for her local NHS Mental Health Trust, a Board Member for an independent board facilitated by Norfolk County Council that supports co-production of Social Care Services, and a shareholder and volunteer for a Community Cooperative Farm and Pub.

    She is a passionate advocate for putting people first and listening to what people want to need – especially people, facing challenges in life, such as living with, or in recovery from, physical illness; mental illness; drug & alcohol and substance misuse disorder; learning difficulties, and she believes strongly in listening to the voices of autistic people.