Rachael Dennis - Chief Executive
Rachael joined Incommunities as CEO in February 2021. Since then, Rachael has focused on recruiting an experienced Executive team that together can deliver on a new, customer focused two year strategic plan. Racheal brings a wealth of financial expertise, passion for social housing and a determination to ensure that Incommunities is a financially strong and well-governed organisation.
Rachael has extensive experience in the housing sector and previously served as Managing Director (South East Region) at Taylor Wimpey plc. She has over 20 years senior experience in social housing including working for one of the largest housing associations in London and the South East as their Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Finance. Rachael has also held director roles with housing providers in the South-West. In April 2022 she joined Homes for the North, the alliance of 17 developing housing associations across the North of England, as Deputy Chair.
Rachael has an impressive track record in strategic leadership, delivering change and business improvement, strategic finance and governance. During her career, she has held a number of non-executive roles in housing, the NHS and arts charities. She is a qualified Accountant and is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Rachael says “The new executive leadership team that we have in place will play a pivotal role in delivering our strategic plan. We must ensure that our customers are demonstrably at the heart of our business, and that we are providing communities and homes the people are proud to live in. These are no small challenges in themselves, but as an organisation we are stepping up to the challenges and ensuring that we are well placed to respond positively to the requirements of the Social Housing White Paper, that we are listening to our customers and learning from the lessons of the past, whilst delivering more new homes.
“To ensure that we can achieve our ambitions at pace, we are re-focusing our corporate priorities to ensure that everything and everyone in the business is aligned in our goals: our governance structures, our finances, our people, our culture, and our technology. Of course, regaining our G1 status is a priority – not just because of the regulatory requirements, but because we all acknowledge that it’s the right thing to do for the business. The Board is working together with the Executive team to ensure that all the elements of good governance are in place at Incommunities to support a G1 rating.
“We have much to balance – the need for both stability and pace; decision making that is both driven and measured; and of course, having a commercial mindset with a strong sense of social purpose.”
Kate Still - Interim Executive Director of Customer and Communities
Kate joined Incommunities in December 2021 on an interim basis whilst we recruit a permanent Director of Customer and Communities. Kate’s skills and previous experience in transforming social organisations will be vital to us as we enter the delivery stage of our new two year strategic plan.
Kate is an experienced CEO and COO, known for her innovative and inspiring approach. Kate has experience supporting and leading service transformation and in her previous role created and re-designed service delivery and the organisation’s customer service strategy.
Kate says “I am delighted to be here at Incommunities, leading on key strategic change initiatives which will greatly improve our customer service and delivery.
“We know that we need to improve a number of key processes and it is crucial that we ensure that we are working effectively, so that our customers receive the service they should from us. I am also working with teams across the organisation to improve our customer satisfaction rating.
“Improving the way we involve customers is vital and this is a priority for me. I am determined that our customers should expect and receive the highest of standards in every interaction with us.”
Graeme Scott - Executive Director of Development
Graeme joined Incommunities in April 2022 as Executive Director of Development from a large housing organisation where he led the development team in their ambitions to deliver 600 new homes per year.
Graeme has worked on several joint development ventures to tackle the housing crisis, including one of the largest developments of affordable homes in Manchester city centre for many years. He is passionate about creating places where people choose to live, whilst offering high-quality customer service. Graeme’s previous experience includes delivering schemes on time and on budget, stakeholder management, developing effective relationships with key partners and stock rationalisation and acquisition.
Graeme says “At Incommunities, the number of homes we own has been reducing due to the impact of the ‘right to buy’ and ‘right to acquire’ schemes that we have been running. We also know that we need to build more homes for social and affordable rent.
My aim is to increase our new build affordable home programme and through this, we will be able to provide more affordable homes for people in need. My plans include bringing new people into the team to increase our skills and knowledge to enable us to support the delivery of homes and provide excellent customer service. I’m looking forward to working with the new Executive Team and my new colleagues to deliver these plans.”
Sara Sheard - Executive Director of People and Change
Sara joined Incommunities in November 2021 as our Executive Director of People and Change focusing on change management, ICT, organisational development, learning, marketing & communications, reward and recognition and employee relations.
Sara has extensive experience in strategic human resources and culture change and a wealth of experience in people and organisational change leadership across a variety of sectors including charity, manufacturing and finance. Her expertise and personal values lie in a people-centred approach to leadership. Her ability to combine vision with a practical understanding of change processes will be vital as we make the progress that we need to during the next two years.
Having recently developed our new organisational values and behaviour framework, Sara is now working with her Executive team colleagues, and colleagues across the wider organisation, to embed these and ensure that every customer interaction and strategic decision is made in line with our values.
Sara says “I am excited to be here at Incommunities, embarking on the delivery of a brand-new strategic plan. We have improvements to make and a very clear direction of travel now and I am confident that our objectives can be achieved. My team and I need to work on empowering colleagues to tell us how we can improve and enabling them to deliver a high quality service to our customers. Following a data and ICT audit, we know that we have opportunities for improvement and have an action plan in place to address these. Our values and behaviours must permeate throughout the organisation as we strive to be proud of ourselves, our homes, our communities and all we do.”
Shaeen Azam - Executive Director of Finance
Shaeen started as Executive Director of Finance with Incommunities in June 2022. Shaeen brings to the role more than 15 years of senior experience delivering significant financial strategies for social housing providers. Shaeen’s previous success in designing and implementing finance strategies and proven treasury management experience, will help us to deliver firm financial and governance foundations as we return Incommunities to G1 status.
Shaaen says “I know that myself and my team need to work at pace to deliver our new two-year strategic plan. Working in line with our new values and behaviour framework, we need to improve our performance to deliver an efficient service for our customers. I want to ensure that we are financially strong, resilient and agile and that our business is supported by an ethos and framework of excellent governance. We are currently operating at a G2 status, which is a measure of how effective our governance is. I am determined to make improvements to get us back to G1 status as an immediate priority.”
Anthony Brown - Interim Executive Director of Assets and Place
Anthony joined us as Interim Director of Assets and Place in December 2021 whilst we recruit for the permanent post. He has over 25 years experience gained within the housing sector and he specialises in providing support and guidance on strategic change, property and asset management, development and compliance. Anthony’s skills include auditing, overhauling and improving landlord’s compliance systems and governance to achieve full compliance in gas, electrics, legionella, fire and asbestos.
Anthony says “I am committed to ensuring that property compliance is at the top of our agenda - this ensures that homes are managed effectively and our customers are kept safe. We know that a large number of homes are coming to the end of their natural lifecycle and we therefore need to have clear plans in place for investment.
“I want to address issues with fly tipping and rubbish on our estates and tackle this to provide customers with a better environment. One of our ongoing projects is to improve the quality of data we hold about our properties to enable us to understand what is needed and to provide the right support and service. We also want to support customers at a time of rising energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of homes going forwards. I am keen to progress these projects, working alongside my new Executive team colleagues, to deliver the best possible safe and efficient service for our customers.”