Our Executive Board

While the Board is responsible for the effective governance of the business, day to day management is delegated to the Executive Board members.

Executive Board members

Mark Washer, CEO
Mark Washer, Chief Executive

Mark joined Sovereign as Chief Executive Officer in June 2018, from his role as Chief Financial Officer at Clarion Housing Group. Mark has worked in the housing sector for 25 years and was, until recently, the Vice Chair of the National Housing Federation. 

Heather Bowman
Heather Bowman, Chief Operating Officer

Heather joined Sovereign in 2001 and has led a range of service areas as Managing Director for former subsidiary Sovereign South+West as well as Executive Director for Housing and Communities. Heather is a Chair of the National Housing Federation’s South East Standing Board and elected member of the CBI South East Regional Council.

Keith Astill

Keith Astill, Executive Director – Corporate Services
Keith is a commercially-orientated senior HR leader, with experience across sectors and economic cycles and at Board level, with a proven record in general management. His experience includes executive responsibility in UK financial services, telecomms and retail, with a particular focus on leadership of major change and integration Keith joined Sovereign in December 2017. 

Steve Barford

Steve Barford, Executive Director - Property 
Steve joined Sovereign in 2001 and was appointed to the Executive Board in March 2015. Steve has extensive experience in construction, the majority of which has been in the private sector, including commercial estates and facilities management with national infrastructure company, Amey PLC.

Photo of Dale Meredith

Dale Meredith, Interim Executive Director - Development & Commercial
Dale Meredith takes over from former Executive Director Ben Denton to oversee our development and sales programmes.  He spent most of his career as Development Director at Southern Housing Group, working throughout London and the south east on large scale regeneration programmes including the Olympic Village at Stratford, innovative housing projects and estate renewal. Dale was Chair of the g15 Development Directors group during much of this time.

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Barry Nethercott, Interim Chief Financial Officer

An experienced leader, Barry joined Sovereign in January 2019 as Interim Chief Financial Officer. For the past 10 years, Barry has worked at an executive level at several housing associations including The Guinness Partnership, Southern Housing and, most recently, with Network Homes.