Our Board is responsible for setting our strategic direction, has overall responsibility for our financial strength and our service performance, whilst ensuring that PCH achieves high standards and value for money. Our Board meet six times a year and our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held in September each year. You can view our Board minutes and our Board and Committee Calendar to find out more.
Our Board members bring a broad range of skills and experience with them including backgrounds in housing, finance, customer service, equality and risk management. If you are interested in finding out more information about our board members, you can view their biographies below.
Nick Lewis, Chair
Nick is a Charted Accountant and has an MBE for services to Economic Development in the South West. Nick has experience in Corporate Governance, Finance, HR and Audit & Risk Management. Nick has been involved in social housing for a number of years and was previously Chair of North Devon Homes. Nick became the Chair of Plymouth Community Homes Board in October 2017 and sits on the Remuneration Panel. Nick is also a member of the Investment Committee for Resonance Community Developers and a Board member of the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. To find out more about Nick read our interview with him.
Debbie Roche, Vice Chair
Debbie, our Vice Chair, is a former Plymouth City Councillor and health and social care lecturer. She is a member of both the Customer Focus and Development Committees as well as Chair of the Remuneration Panel. Debbie now works in the mental health arena with a particular focus on eating disorders. She has written a book, Anorexia: A Son's Battle, A Mother's War. Debbie is involved with the national eating disorders awareness charity, MaleVoicED. Debbie has served on many strategic bodies around the city but presently is Vice-Chair of the National Housing Federation's Board Member National Group and Chair of Pembroke Estate Management Board, Plymouth's only tenant managed organisation. Debbie is also involved with the Devonport Community Land Trust and also sits on the Housing Ombudsman Resident Panel. To find out more about Debbie, read our interview with her.
Graham Stirling, Board Member
Graham was for years the Managing Director of a global high-tech manufacturing business. Graham has chaired many local and regional committees including Devon and Cornwall Training & Enterprise Council and Prosper and Business Link. Graham also finds the time to be a Patron of Shekinah Mission, serves as an external trustee of the University of Plymouth Students Union and is a trustee of Provide Devon. Graham is Chairman of the Barden Corporation (UK) Supervisory Board and Friends of Holy Cross Church Newton Ferrers Trust, Deputy Chair of Plymouth Employment & Skills Board and is a Board member of the Plymouth Area Business Council. Graham is Vice Chair of the Development Committee. To find out more about Graham, read our interview with him.
Simon Ashby, Board Member
Simon is a Professor at Vlerick Business School, Belgium and is Director of Perilla Ltd, a training and consultancy firm. Simon also brings a range of practical skills in these areas, having worked as a financial regulator and a senior risk manager in a number of UK financial institutions. Simon has a PhD in corporate risk management and has published many academic papers and reports on risk, financial services regulation, banking and insurance. Simon is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. In his spare time Simon enjoys walking on Dartmoor and is a keen gardener. Simon loves to cook new dishes with the produce that he and his wife grow in their garden. To find out more about Simon, read our interview with him.
Graham Clayton, Board Member
Graham is a qualified chartered accountant and is a marker for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. He was a Senior Lecturer in Accounting & Finance at Plymouth University for 26 years until his retirement in 2015. Later that year he joined the board at PCH. Graham sees PCH as very much “tenant-focussed” and feels that it is extremely well run at all levels. His role in the organisation is, to him, both challenging and very enjoyable. Graham believes that social housing has a vital role to play in the lives and happiness of millions of people and their communities in this country and that PCH fulfils that role admirably in the city. In his spare time Graham is Treasurer and Driver for Totnes and Rural Community Transport and he is also Treasurer and Director of Harberton Cricket Club Ltd and Treasurer for Harbertonford Football Club. Graham is a member of both the Audit & Risk Committee and the Customer Focus Committee. To find out more about Graham, read our interview with him.
Lavinia Porfir, Board Member
Lavinia was born in Romania and moved here with her husband and has a young daughter. Lavinia has numerous qualifications including a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, a Master’s Degree in European Studies, a Master’s Degree in Communications and Public Relations and an Advance Diploma in The Management of Resources in Public Administration. Having worked for eight years as an advisor in Iasi City Council Romania, she dealt with lots of people from different backgrounds and offered them support. Lavinia currently works at Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council as a Community Engagement Worker and Advocate. Lavinia is Chair of our Customer Focus Committee and also sits on our Remuneration Panel. Lavinia said: “The future of PCH looks brilliant and I want to make sure PCH continues to adapt to new housing requirements and continues to offer great service that people want and can afford.” You can read more about Lavinia here.
Liz Nicolls, Board Member
Liz is a Plymouthian who has worked for the Greater London Council, at the heart of Government and with Housing Ministers on affordable housing policy. In 2014, she began working with London & Quadrant Housing. She is a candidate for Southway ward in the next local election. When she’s not fully occupied with work, Liz’s hobbies are world travel, learning languages, and socialising. She also volunteers with Shekinah Mission. Liz is Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and also sits on Development Committee. Read more about Liz here.
Maddi Bridgeman, Board Member
Maddi is a city councillor for Moor View ward and is a Cabinet member for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change. She has been appointed as the Deputy Lord Mayor for Plymouth from May 21. She is also a Trustee of Plymouth Energy Committee. She has a foundation degree in Library and Information Science and has worked across a range of sectors and small businesses – everything from creative industries, farming and rural firms to large manufacturing corporations such as BAE Systems and Schneider Electric. She has also worked for the NHS. Maddi is a member of our Audit and Risk Committee. Read more about Maddi here.
Valerie Lee, Board Member
Valerie Lee hails from Plymouth and was educated at Plymstock Comprehensive, where she was head girl. She has enjoyed an extensive career in retail with director positions at Debenhams and Clarks. Valerie now runs her own consultancy company. She is currently non-executive Chair of Sphere Leisure Board for the Circadian Trust operating in the Bristol area and is a board member for Selwood Housing Group who operate in Wiltshire and Somerset. Valerie also has a non-executive role with the NHS at University Hospitals Plymouth. She is a member of our Customer Focus Committee.
Julie White, Board Member
Julie White is a chartered surveyor and member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors with experience in development, construction and property management across the private and public sectors. She is a Fellow of the Faculty of Building and a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. She is the former Chief Executive of Tamar Housing Society and co-founder of the new right-to-own tenure Rentplus. She is a trustee of the Kingsbridge charity Feoffees. Julie is Chair of the Development Committee.
Ember Wolffire, Co-optee to CFC
Ember is a tenant co-optee to the Customer Focus Committee and has held a variety of different roles ranging from estate agent and mechanic to cleaner and landscape gardener. She has also experienced first-hand the multitude of courses and opportunities PCH provides for tenants such as: spend and saves, mystery shopping and Learn for Free courses.
This wealth of experience and knowledge has led Ember to endeavour to say yes when opportunities present themselves. Ember enjoys getting involved and helping where she can and is also a dedicated Board member/Trustee of many organisations including Timebank South West, Plymouth Pride and Four Greens Community Trust.
Kelly Wilding, Co-optee to CFC
Kelly was born and raised in Plymouth. Her father was in the Marines and stationed here. Her family remained in the city after his retirement. She spent most of her working life in the cinema and film industry, including time working for 20th Century Fox in London. She is a carer for her disabled sister and also mum to a young daughter. She is currently studying for a BA at Marjon University. A PCH tenant, Kelly is a co-optee to our Customer Focus Committee and would urge any tenant to get involved with PCH.
Richard Connolly, Co-optee to Development Committee
Richard leads his own Management & Development services company, is an Independent NED at Exeter City Living and Exeter City Group - the commercial companies owned by Exeter City Council, and a NED Chairman of the Board of Oxford City Housing Group. He is also a school governor in Torbay.
Richard is proud to join PCH’s Development Committee to support the vision and ambitious plans for growth, investment and services.