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Our Board



Liz Potter, Chair of the Curo Board


Liz Potter (Group Chair)

Liz joined the Combined Board in September 2016 and is a highly experienced board chair, independent governance consultant and executive coach. She was Chair of Orbit up to 2013, leading the organisation through a period of considerable change and growth. As a consultant, she has focused on improving governance with housing associations and charity boards, and coaching executives and chairs. She is currently a board member at Housing and Care 21 and Care & Repair England. Liz previously worked as Director of Policy for the National Housing Federation and before that, for NACRO Housing.


Elaine Barnes

Elaine joined the Combined Board in November 2016 and specialises in customer experience, contact centre transformation and continuous improvement together with multi-channel selling strategies. She is passionate about continuous improvement of organisations to drive customer centricity, multi-channel strategies and contact centre and sales brilliance. Elaine has lived and worked in the UK, the US, Singapore and Poland and is currently the Chief Customer Officer for Cromwell Group Ltd part of WW Grainger. Elaine also Chairs our Remuneration and Nominations Committee.


Sonya Chowdhury (Independent Board Director, Curo Choice)

Sonya joined the Board of Curo Choice in September 2019, having been a co-opted member for a year before that. She is Chief Executive of UK health charity, Action for M.E. She has over 25 years’ experience of working in the public and voluntary sector in paid, voluntary and non-executive director roles. Sonya brings extensive leadership and governance experience. She is passionate about creating change to improve the lives of children and adults and has dedicated her career to this after her first role as a qualified social worker working in the fostering, adoption and child protection fields. Sonya is also working at an international level seeking change for people living with ME and leads an international alliance of national patient organisations to achieve this. Sonya has lived in Bath all her life although enjoys travelling and experiencing new communities and cultures.


Victor da Cunha

Vic joined the business in 2011, the Board of Curo Enterprise in June 2012 and the Combined Board in November 2016. His initial focus was on integrating three housing associations into one, bringing together our culture, governance and strategy. From these foundations, Curo was formed in 2013 as a re-energised commercially-savvy business with a strong social purpose. Today Curo has more than doubled its turnover and has a pipeline of over 2,700 new homes in development. It has established itself as an ambitious business with a regional and national reputation for innovation. Under Vic’s leadership, Curo has become an Investors In People ‘Gold' employer, has been ranked 27th Best 100 Not for Profit Company to work for in the UK by the Sunday Times and has won many awards for our services and our new homes and regeneration activities. Vic is Chair of Homes for the South West - a collaboration between housing associations working together to increase affordable housing supply in our region. Together these organisations can deliver 16,000 new homes between 2019 and 2024. Vic is also a Governor of Bath College, one of our local partners, sits on the National Housing Federation's Diversity, Equalities & Inclusion group and is active on the Bath Chamber of Commerce where he sits on the economic development sub-committee. In 2019, Vic won Business Insider South West Property Personality of the year and the Vistage Life Time Achievement Award.


Simon Gibbs

Simon is Executive Director of Finance and Strategy at Curo. He joined the business in November 2013, the Combined Board in February 2017 and the Board of Curo Enterprise in September 2019. He brings a wealth of commercial experience to the company. Since joining Curo Simon has led the fund-raising activities and business transformation programme resulting in substantial improvements in performance. He has also been heavily involved in establishing Curo's commercial house-builder business.

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Helen Hyde (Independent Board Director, Curo Places)

Helen joined the Combined Board in March 2021 and specialises in human resources. She is an executive coach with her own practice. Helen spent over 30 years working for the John Lewis Partnership and was the Personnel Director for Waitrose and the Partners’ Counsellor, a main board role. She is a trustee of the Crafts Council and Ufton Adventure.

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Jerry Loy (Independent Member, Audit & Assurance Committee; Independent Member, Remuneration and Nominations Committee)

Jerry joined us in 2018. He is a co-opted member of Curo's Audit & Assurance Committee and its Remuneration and Nominations Committee. He has over 20 years' experience of working with boards of directors and audit committees. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. He has a solid background in strategic and organisational planning having experienced and led the start-up and development of companies, and established appropriate corporate governance structures. Jerry has led a number of successful projects, including establishing two banks, the implementation of new systems as well as leading a project to outsource operations and IT. Jerry also has a strong commitment and interest in personal development and is a member of various boards including two educational establishments and a national youth homelessness organisation. Jerry also has a strong commitment and interest in personal development and is a member of various boards including two educational establishments and a national youth homelessness organisation.

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Mike Petter (Acting Chair, Curo Enterprise)

Mike, a chartered civil engineer by profession, is a monitor and former director of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and Managing Director of a construction management consultancy business. Mike holds non-executive positions at the House of Commons: chairing a Construction Safety Assurance panel for Strategic Estates and as a member of the Parliamentary Safety Assurance Board. Mike also chairs a Stakeholder Advisory Panel for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks. He has held executive and non-executive board positions within construction, housing and healthcare organisations.

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Jamie Strathearn, MBA MRICS MCIOB (Independent Board Director, Curo Enterprise)

Jamie is a Chartered Surveyor, Chartered Construction Manager and Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Building. Experienced in leading Development programmes across the Private and Public sector. Jamie is currently Head of Projects, Group Property at Next plc and brings experience in Governance, Financial viability modelling and Strategic Programme Management.


Chris Wilson (Chair, Audit and Assurance Committee; Acting Senior Independent Director)

Chris joined the Board in November 2016 and became Chair of the Audit and Assurance Committee in February 2017. Chris is a Chartered Accountant. He retired as a partner from KPMG in 2016 after a career of over 30 years in audit. With KPMG he worked extensively with housing associations for more than 20 years and led the firm's housing practice from 2006 until 2016. He has extensive experience in audit and assurance with housing associations, was a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants social housing sub-committee for many years, and a member of the working party that developed the 2014 Statement of Recommended Practice for housing association accounts. He has been a board member of several housing associations and is currently on the board of The Guinness Partnership and chair of its subsidiary association Guinness Care.

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