About us

Meet The Management Team

  • Joanne Oak, Chief Executive

    Jo joined us in May 2020 and is a qualified accountant with over two decades of experience in senior leadership roles across the public and third sectors. She is experienced in leadership, change management, strategic planning, financial management and governance. Her previous role was in Social Care Wales where she was their Director of Strategy and Corporate Services. She had the pivotal role of driving the organisation through growth and transformation working with Welsh Government, sector partners and colleagues. Jo is also currently a Board member of Bron Afon Community Housing and a Trustee for Buildings Communities Trust.
  • Sarah Prescott, Chief Finance Officer

    Sarah joined in July 2017 as Chief Finance officer continuing to spend her career in the housing sector, in particular not for profit organisations. Her previous role was, Director of Finance and ICT for Cardiff Community Housing Association, before that she was the Assistant Director of Finance at Gwalia (now the Pobl Group), and also Director of Finance for Tenovus, the cancer charity. Sarah was a Board member at Valleys to Coast for a short period of time in 2011 and is currently on the Board of Cardiff and the Vale Care and Repair. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, has a CIPFA qualification in International Treasury Management, a Foundation Certificate in NLP from Chester University and a degree in Economics from Swansea University.
  • Paul Ryall-Friend, Chief Operating Officer

    Paul joined as Chief Operating Officer in March 2017. Previously he was Director of Strategy & Planning at Curo, a housing and care group based in Bath and operating across the South West of England. Paul has been in the Social Housing Sector for 5 years but his career started in the late 1980s at Lloyds Banking Group in 1988 working in Plymouth, Cardiff, Bristol, London and Edinburgh. Paul is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and has a BSc (Hons) degree in Financial Services. Paul is married with three children and lives in Pencoed.
  • Polly Thompson, IT Director

    Polly joined as IT Director in January 2018. She started her career at Southern Housing Group in London, before moving on to Scope and then Citizens Advice, where she spent 14 years supporting the use of technology and data to help individuals and to campaign for policy change. She has an MBA from the Open University.
  • Claire Marshall, Financial Director

    Claire joined in 2019 as Financial Director. Claire is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant with a wealth of experience from working in core finance, audit, corporate finance and risk management roles, and also holds an MBA from Warwick University. Claire has most recently worked in Advisory for Grant Thornton, but also brings housing experience as is currently the Chair of the Cadarn Housing Group, and has previously worked for both the Pobl Group and Coastal Housing.
  • Darrin Davies, Director of Development & Asset Investment

    Darrin joined Director of Development and Asset Investment in April 2017. Darrin is a Chartered Surveyor with nearly 30 years experience in both private and public sector asset management. Prior to joining Darrin had an interim role with The Pobl Group which followed 25 years heading up the asset management, development, procurement and health & safety services for Family Housing Association (Wales) Ltd.
  • Steve Gopal, Operations Director

    Steve joined Operations Director in 2019. Steve joined us from Pan Macmillan UK. Steve previously worked as Operations Director then as Business and Strategy Director at for Honda Logistics UK and then more recently Head of Logistics at McLaren Automotive. Steve trained as a barrister in London, is MBA qualified and occasionally lectures Economics.
  • Emma Howells, Director of Housing & Customer Services

    Emma Joined us in January 2020 after working in the housing sector both in England and Wales for over 20 years. She has held management roles in Trivallis, United Welsh and London Borough of Camden delivering a range of housing related services and has a special interest in the customer voice, restorative working and innovative service design.