The Board

The Board
Board Members have ultimate responsibility for directing the activities of the Association, ensuring it is well run and delivering the objectives for which it has been set up.

In March 2016 Cherry Tree adopted the National Housing Federation’s Model Rules 2015, and in parallel, adopted the National Housing Federation’s Code Of Governance. 
The adoption of the new Rules led to changes to the Board membership, as some existing members had exceeded the recommended maximum term of office.

The full Board usually meets 6 times each year, with an Annual General Meeting and an annual Strategy Day being held in addition the regular cycle of Board meetings. 
The Board currently has 2 standing Committees - the Audit Committee and Development Committee; which meet to discuss specific matters of business. 

The Board is collectively committed to the highest standards of governance, aiming for openness and accountability in all its business. 
Board vacancies are advertised from time to time, and are always openly advertised. Board members are appraised on an annual basis, and on alternate years, this process is facilitated by an independent external adviser. 

At the beginning of 2017, the Board agreed that Board members should only serve for a maximum of 2 terms of 3 years ( 6 years in total ), with the scope for members to serve an additional year if the Board agreed this was in the best interests of the Association.  

Board Members

Mary Pedlow (Chair)

Mary joined the Board in 2016, and after serving as Vice Chair was elected Chair of the Board in March 2017. Previously, Mary had served as Vice Chair of the Board with a large regional housing association for 8 years. Mary brings wide expertise of housing associations, local government, and the health care sector, having held senior positions significant budgetary responsibilities with 3 local authorities, having Chaired an NHS Trust, and having served on national representative bodies for local government and the NHS. Mary is keen for Cherry Tree to offer an excellent service to all its customers, and build effective partnerships at all levels across Hertfordshire.

Lakshmi Raghavachari (Vice Chair)

Lakshmi joined the Board in 2012. Lakshmi has consideral professional expertise in the HR field and currently works as a Senior HR Business Partner for a local authority. She is a Chartered member of the CIPD and a member of the Herts Branch.

Lakshmi is a member of CTHA Audit Committee.

Linda Middleton (Chair of Audit Committee)

Linda joined the Board in 2016. Linda has over 25 years of experience of working in housing and has gained a wide-ranging knowledge of the issues and challenges which housing associations face both now and in the future. With operational experience in a number of areas including strategic housing, housing allocations, homelessness and affordable housing delivery, Linda now works as a Transformation Manager in local government.

Linda is the Chair of CTHA Audit Committee.

Adam Szasz

Adam joined the Board in 2016. Adam is a graduate of the University of Birmingham and is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser. He works for a large accountancy firm advising entrepreneurs and businesses in a variety of sectors, including property, technology and media. Adam lives in Radlett with his wife and they enjoy walks in the country and playing squash.

Adam is a member of the CTHA Audit Committee.

James Yates

James joined the Board in 2017. He is a Chartered Surveyor with substantial experience in investment, development and property management, predominantly in the private sector. He has a broad interests in history, architecture and motor sport.

David Partridge

David joined the Board in July 2017. He has extensive senior level experience of property development and management in both the public and private sectors. Living in St Albans for over forty years has enabled David to keep abreast of local issues and involve himself in the life of the city. He is retired and is currently a volunteer with an international aid and development charity.
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