Who leads Origin

Executive leadership

Chief Executive – Karen Wilson, BA (Hons), FCIH

Karen Wilson has been Chief Executive since November 2004. She has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. Her career started in local government. Karen then spent 10 years at Metropolitan Housing Trust as Regional Director, with responsibility for development and housing services, and latterly as Director of Planning and Operations, deputising for the CEO. Four years as Operations Director at English Churches Housing Group followed, which included leading the extensive supported housing business. Karen is also a statutory appointee to the Management Committee of Quadrant-Brownswood Tenant Co-operative, and a Trustee of Women in Sport.

Karen works with an executive team that includes:

Manpreet Dillon, BA (Hons), Post Grad Dip Housing, MCIH - Director of Housing Services 

Manpreet has worked within the social housing sector for 20 years in a variety of roles. He was previously the Managing Director of Kensington Housing Trust, part of the Catalyst Housing Group, and prior to this worked for the Audit Commission and the Housing Corporation. Manpreet has also worked for a number of other London-based housing associations and provided consultancy support. Manpreet joined Origin in November 2011.

Manpreet Dillon - Director of Housing Services

Cathy McCarthy – Director of People Services, BA (Hons)

Cathy has over 25 years’ experience in Housing and Social Care. She has been at Origin since 1999 in a variety of roles and is responsible for our Care & Support services, Human Resources, Business Improvement and Community Development activities. Previously she has worked for PCHA, London Borough of Hillingdon and a number of other London based charities and housing associations.

Cathy McCarthy - Director of People Services
Gareth Jones - Director of Development, BSc (Hons) Surv, BA (Hons), MCIH: Gareth is a qualified Building Surveyor with over 25 years’ experience in residential development work. He previously worked for PCHA in a range of development roles including Regional Development Manager and Head of Land & New Business, and at Genesis Housing Association, where he held the post of Assistant Director of Development before joining Origin as Development Director in early 2006. Gareth Jones - Director of Development
Chris Trebilcock - Director of Finance & ICS, BSc, FCA: Chris qualified as a chartered accountant with Binder Hamlyn and remained in public practice until 1992 when he joined British Rail where he was involved in the privatisation of its rail freight business. He remained within the rail freight industry as financial controller of EWS until 2004. A period as financial controller with Plan International was followed by a post as Group Business Support Director for Hanover Housing Association prior to joining Origin in November 2007. Chris Trebilcock - Director of Finance & ICS

The Company Secretary for Origin Housing is Caroline Waterer.

The board

Origin is led by a board of individuals who have a breadth of experience relevant to running an effective housing business. This includes residents and people committed to the affordable housing sector. The names and brief biographies are set out below.

Colin Sherriff - ChairColin Sherriff

Colin has almost forty years’ experience in housing and is now working as a freelance coach and consultant, providing support and advice to Chief Executives and Boards of housing associations and voluntary organisations. He has been Chief Executive of Cordale HA, Somer Housing Group, Raglan HA, Parkside Housing Group and Windsor Housing. In the past he has been a local councillor in Haringey, and a member of the Executive of the National Housing Federation. Colin joined the board in 2009. He will step down from his position in August 2015.

Nicky Wilden - Vice ChairNicky Wilden

Nicky is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in the property industry. Nicky’s roles have included Chief Finance Officer at one of the largest privately-owned property companies in the UK, Corporate Finance Director of an Aim-listed property company, and director in the corporate finance teams of two of the top global property service providers. Nicky is a Non-executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of London & Continental Railways. She joined the board in 2013 and is the Vice Chair, and is Chair of the Governance Committee.

Suzanne DaviesSuzanne Davies

Suzanne is a Chartered Accountant who has worked in the corporate finance sector for 19 years where she acted as a financial advisor raising private equity and banking finance. She now runs her own property management business and has several non-executive roles in charitable organisations, including the London Early Years Foundation, where she holds chairing roles on finance and audit committees. She chairs the Origin Audit & Risk Committee.

Jolyon GriffithsJolyon Griffiths

Jolyon is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) with some 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector. He has extensive experience as a Chief Finance Officer and 12 years’ experience in investment banking, covering a wide range of products including equities, corporate finance, and fund management. He currently has a portfolio of part-time and consultancy roles. Jolyon joined the board in 2010. He chairs the Investment Committee.

Other Origin Housing board members:

Dayna Byfield: Dayna has over 10 years’ experience working within the Corporation and SME business field. Working as a freelance coach, mentor and business consultant; she is a successful entrepreneur, investing in and helping build individuals, businesses and organisations. She has been a committee member of a charity and works on a voluntary basis mentoring young people, vulnerable adults, and those who have aspirations but lack the support network to fulfil their potential. Dayna has also worked in education, the legal field, and Human Resources management. Dayna is passionate about customer experience and brings this perspective to the board’s work. Dayna joined the board in 2012. Dayna Byfield
Anne Bowers: Anne is a management consultant with more than 15 years of experience working with public sector bodies to improve delivery. She specialises in the intersection between health and social care for adults and for children. She is associate director of PPL Consulting, having recently worked freelance for the past four years. Anne joined the board in 2013.
Mash Halai: Mash is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor with 20 years’ experience, the last 10 years in both the private and affordable housing sectors. Since 2006 he has been an Equity Partner at John Rowan and partners, and Head of Residential Development and Regeneration. He is responsible for the development and successful delivery of new-build residential schemes, delivering over 500 brand new homes per year. At main board level he is Deputy Chairman with responsibilities including implementing key business initiatives, new business innovations and reviewing the strategic direction of the business. Mash joined Origin board in March 2014. Mash Halai
Stephen Mutton: Stephen is an experienced housing professional, having undertaken senior leadership roles in two prominent housing organisations. He has previously worked at the political centre of two London local authorities, as well as at the House of Commons. Stephen lives in East London and is an Origin leaseholder. He joined the Board in April 2015.
Steve White: Steve is an experienced business leader, who specialises in leading strategic change in organisations in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. This includes a period of four years as Chief Executive of the Hyde Group, a large London-based housing association. He is also a Trustee of Centre 404 a learning disabilities charity. Steve was co-opted to the Board in April 2015 and has been selected to become the successor Chair in August 2015.


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Origin Housing Limited is registered in England & Wales as an exempt charity under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965 (Registered No. 10008R) and with the Homes & Communities Agency (Registered No. L0871). Registered office: St Richard’s House, 110 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BS.

Origin Housing 2 Limited is registered in England & Wales as an exempt charity under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965 (Registered No. 31985R) and with the Homes & Communities Agency (Registered No. 4766). Registered office: St Richard’s House, 110 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BS.