Leaders Plus Mentors

Each Leaders Plus candidate is paired with a senior mentor from Future of London’s extensive cross-sector network. These mentors provide a ‘safe space’ sounding board for candidates, as well as invaluable experience and insights from their own careers. See here for more about mentoring.

Leaders Plus Round 9 – Mentors

Ria Bailes
Group Director of People & Change, One Housing

Ria has worked in social housing for 12 years with experience of change programmes and organisational redesign.  She now leads the HR, corporate communications and resident engagement teams as well as the One Housing Foundation. The Foundation provides employment, training and youth activities for One Housing’s residents. Ria set up One Housing’s Academy which is focused on apprenticeships and bringing resident and staff training together. She is passionate about improving gender equality and supporting people to be their best and hopes that the experience she has in this area will help others wanting to progress their careers.

Greg Campbell
Partner, Campbell Tickell

Greg has been a consultant for the past 20 years and has worked directly with more than 450 organisations, tackling a variety of strategic and operational matters. He has broad experience in areas such as governance, policy and strategy development, regulation, risk management, growth and new business, PR and marketing, regeneration and community development, HR and recruitment. Organisations he has advised on new business development have included housing associations, ALMOs and council owned companies, care and support providers, leisure services providers, charities, housebuilders and developers, property investors, maintenance contractors, and solicitors’ firms.

Shanaaz Carroll
Director, Make the Link Ltd

Shanaaz has been an economic development and policy professional for over 25 years in both the public and private sectors. She has worked for local, regional and central government where she led programmes focused on economic policy, business/enterprise, neighbourhood renewal and regeneration, including private sector engagement. She has worked with senior officials and Ministers on issues from social exclusion and place-making to retail-led regeneration. Prior to starting her own business Shanaaz was Chief Executive of the Association of Town & City Management, where she worked supporting town centre partnerships across the UK as well as with international partners.

Linda Convery
Head of Housing & Regeneration, TLT

Linda has 30 years’ experience of advising the social housing sector. She specialises in the development of new affordable housing as standalone projects or as part of mixed-use schemes. She deals with a range of issues including the negotiation of complex development agreements, conditional contracts, the setting up of joint venture vehicles, planning agreements, shared ownership leases and service charges. Over the years Linda has also been involved in the development and management of ExtraCare housing and supported housing. Linda is independently recognised as an expert in the field of social housing by Chambers UK and Legal 500, independent guides to the legal profession. She has also supervised several trainee solicitors.

Tracey Downie
Chief Executive, Women’s Pioneer Housing

Tracey has delivered a range of social housing services at senior, executive and non-executive level for over 15 years. Tracey began her career tackling racial harassment in some of the most deprived areas of south Birmingham and, throughout her 25 years in the housing sector, has continued to be an advocate for inclusivity and diversity. Tracey remains committed to delivering good quality social housing including through non-executive roles. She has recently been appointed Chair of Ekaya Housing Association.

Matthew Essex
Operational Director – Regeneration, Property & Planning, LB Redbridge

Matthew has worked in regeneration, project management and property for 20 years in a variety of roles across local government, the non-profit sector and development corporations. Matthew is an experienced mentor and a regular contributor at conferences and round tables on local authority led housing companies, mixed-use developments and placemaking. As operational director for regeneration, property and planning at LB Redbridge, Matthew is responsible for leveraging the value of the council’s significant landholding to drive an ambitious development programme which seeks to rapidly increase the supply of new public and private housing after years of slow/non-existent growth.

Sue Foster OBE
Interim Director of Place & Planning, RB Kensington & Chelsea

Sue is RB Kensington & Chelsea’s Interim Director of Planning and Place, having previously been Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth at LB Lambeth. Whilst at Lambeth, Sue’s portfolio included Housing Management Services (32,000 homes), homelessness prevention and temporary accommodation, establishing a delivery vehicle (Homes for Lambeth) to build and manage new housing and infrastructure and delivery of Lambeth Capital Programme (300m). In addition, Sue was responsible for environmental services and an extensive Investment and Growth portfolio including planning and economic development.

Kate Franklin
Chief Executive, Gateway Housing

Kate is a CEO and NED and an experienced results-driven senior leader, accomplished at designing and delivering organisational and digital transformation. Using her combined expertise in both marketing and operations, she builds customer-centred organisations by creating successful omni-channel engagement and communication strategies, whilst aligning people, technology and process to deliver the intended brand experience. Kate has a broad sector background as a director and consultant, across commercial and not-for-profit, and is passionate about leading and developing enthusiastic and high performing teams. Kate has coached and mentored many aspiring leaders, particularly in the customer service and experience disciplines in which she’s an acknowledged expert.

Jeremy Grint
Steering Group Chair, Barking Riverside Ltd

Jeremy has over 40 years’ experience of working in planning and regeneration in a local government context. Between 2006 and 2016 he was divisional director of regeneration and planning at LB Barking and Dagenham, through a period of three different leaders of the council and five different chief executives. He has experience of leading local plan making, leading the implementation of a significant mixed use development to completion and of leading the development of over 1000 council-owned affordable homes. He currently chairs the Barking Riverside Steering Group (which includes Barking Riverside Ltd, TfL and LBBD) overseeing the future planning of Barking Riverside an 11000 homes settlement on the River Thames.

Rosanna Lawes
Director of Development, LLDC

Rosanna is responsible for the delivery of development programmes on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, one of the largest and highest profile urban regeneration projects in the UK and Europe. Her focus is to deliver new neighbourhoods providing a mix of residential, commercial and social infrastructure of circa GDV £3.3 billion. This programme includes significant enabling rail, road and social infrastructure projects of some £125 million. Rosanna is also the Senior Responsible Owner for East Bank, a £1.1 billion Cultural and University cluster with Sadler’s Wells, UAL’s London College of Fashion, University College London, the BBC and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

David Lunts
Chief Executive, OPDC

As CEO at OPDC, David is overseeing the evolution of the regeneration strategy and the team in light of 2019 planning and funding challenges. Until 2020, David led the Mayor’s housing, land and development functions and prior to that, he was HCA Executive Director for London, and GLA Executive Director for Policy & Partnerships, responsible for planning, regeneration, environmental and social policy. Before joining the GLA in 2005, David was Director of Urban Policy at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. David began his housing and regeneration career in Manchester, including leading the City Challenge renewal of Hulme in the early 1990s. He moved to London in 1996 to run the not-for-profit Urban Villages Forum; was founding chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation in 1998; served on Lord Rogers’ Urban Task Force; and from 2011-2016, was Chair of Future of London, where he is still a board director and frequent mentor. David is also a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Sean McLaughlin
Managing Director, Homes for Haringey

Sean has been Managing Director of Homes for Haringey (HfH) since April 2018. HfH provide housing, employment and other services for LB Haringey. Sean was previously Corporate Director of Housing and Adult Social Services for LB Islington for 10 years. His professional interests include delivering new homes (directly and in partnership with other housing agencies), improving outcomes for vulnerable people, and maximising community resilience. He has extensive experience of partnership working with housing providers, emergency services, Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS Trusts, politicians and the voluntary sector.

Sowmya Parthasarathy
Director, Arup

Sowmya is an architect and urban designer with over 25 years of global experience in the UK, US, Middle East and India. She currently leads Arup’s Masterplanning and Urban Design team in London. She is involved in preparing award-winning masterplans, strategic plans, and urban design guides for institutions, city districts, neighbourhoods, waterfronts, brownfield sites, and public open space. Some examples include London’s 2012 Olympic Legacy Masterplan; a plan for the expansion of the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in South Cambridgeshire and a new 7 square km urban district near Muscat Oman. In 2019 she took on the role as India’s Group Leader, recognising the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable growth of one of the world’s most dynamic and multifaceted places. She is one of the Mayor’s Design Advocates as part of the Good Growth by Design programme and is also on the London Design Review Panel and review panels for Transport for London and the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation.

Alan Strickland
Director of Partnerships, Optivo

Alan manages partnerships at Optivo, a housing association that manages 44,000 affordable homes in London, the South East and the Midlands. Before joining Optivo, Alan was a councillor in the London Borough of Haringey. As Cabinet Member for Housing & Regeneration 2011-2018, Alan spearheaded the Council’s major regeneration programme in Tottenham. Alan chaired the joint Haringey/Mayor of London Tottenham Taskforce which drew up the blueprint for regeneration following the 2011 riots. He also led the successful bid for London’s largest housing zone and built the Council’s first council house building programme for 25 years. Alan’s background is in the voluntary sector, where he was previously head of policy at a national charity.

Neil Toner
Head of Real Estate, Devonshires

Neil works with clients on regeneration and property development projects: from initial heads of terms discussions, through planning, contract negotiation, due diligence and project delivery, to property portfolio management. Neil’s work takes in issues including joint venture structuring, rights to light and other knotty title problems, long term environmental and ecological liabilities, development agreements, commercial leases, disposals and grant funding. Clients Neil has worked with include Registered Providers such as Hyde and L&Q, private developers such as Bouygues and Mulalley, Local Authorities such as Havering and Hounslow and Local Authority delivery vehicles including Red Door Ventures and Sutton Living.

Sara Waller
Co-Strategic Director – Sustainable Growth & Opportunity, LB Lambeth

Sara is a chartered surveyor with over 20 years’ experience across the public and private sectors. She was head of regeneration south for LB Southwark, responsible for the Aylesbury Estate Regeneration Programme, the revitalisation of Peckham and building 15 secondary schools; and an executive director of Cornerstone Property Assets, where she led large mixed use land promotion projects and acted as an advisor for many local authorities. She is now Co-Strategic Director of Sustainable Growth and Opportunity for LB Lambeth. She has acted as both a formal and informal mentor previously, and is a trained RICS mediator.

Ed Watson
Director, Ed Watson & Associates

Ed runs his own strategic planning and place consultancy EW&A having previously been a senior leader in local government. He works with a range of public and private sector clients including Arup, British Land and Be First. He is a non-executive director of a small architectural practice. At Westminster City Council he led the West End Partnership (WEP) as well as being the Executive Director for Growth, Planning and Housing. From 2009 to 2015 Ed was at LB Camden leading the Environment, Planning and Regeneration Directorates, where he led on Kings Cross, HS2 and the Council’s own development programme – the Community Investment Programme.

Follow this link to see the mentors for Future of Greater Manchester’s Leaders Plus Round 2.