Meet the board

Tim Shobrook – Chair of the Board

A Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with a degree in Estate Management from London University. A valuer member of The First Tier Property Tribunal (formerly Leasehold Valuation Tribunal) for nearly 25 years until recently retiring from the Tribunal Service.   A Board Member of The Pearn Almshouses Trust in Plymouth.   A member of the Board of Tamar since 2015, elected Vice Chair of Willow Tree Housing Partnership in June 2020 and elected to Chair in September 2021. Still actively practising as a Chartered Surveyor specialising in valuation and leasehold enfranchisement fields. When not working still actively involved in sport and especially a keen golfer and tennis player.

Craig Sullivan - Vice Chair

Craig is a Chartered Accountant and is currently an Audit Partner at Bishop Fleming LLP. Craig is an experienced auditor and business advisor delivering high quality services to organisations across a range of sectors within the South West.  Throughout his career Craig has worked with Social Housing providers, where he has supported them on assurance, risk management and governance reviews. Craig was also previously a director at the Devon Chamber of Commerce for four years. Elected to Vice Chair of Willow Tree Housing Partnership in September 2021.

Michelle Smith - Board Member and Chair of Rem & Noms Committee

Michelle started her career in the private rented sector accumulating experiencing of managing large portfolio of mixed type properties.  After achieving her BSC Hons Degree in Housing and CIH Diploma in Housing, she moved on to specialist accommodation provider for people with learning disabilities. Commercial acumen with a focus on ensuring targets, contract compliance and quality sustainable outcomes are delivered on time from her time with Working Links delivering Wales wide DWP employment contracts and West of England Care and repair performance contract. Being able to play her part in changing people’s lives and creating thriving communities is her reason and passion for becoming a Board member at Willow Tree Housing Partnership.

Simon Haskell - Board Member and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee

Simon is a Chartered Certified Accountant and has had a varied career in finance for over 30 years. He has worked in general practice, as an auditor for the Audit Commission (where his interest in social housing started), as a housing accountant for a borough council and for a FTSE 100 company as a chief accountant. He currently works as an assistant finance director for a large housing association in the South West and has a great interest in the Social Housing sector.

Stephen Burtchaell – Board Member

Stephen is a solicitor who has specialised in Social Housing work for most of his 27-year career. Stephen now heads up a social housing team in a south west law firm and specialises in property developments and regeneration. He also has experience of acting for charities, local authorities and central government agencies in connection with their property matters. Stephen recognises the value of Social Housing to local communities and nationally and is committed to the sector. Stephen lives in Somerset.

Steve Hayes – Board Member

Steve co-opted to join the Board in 2020. Took early retirement at Christmas 2019 from being Chief Executive and Secretary of a ‘small’ Registered Provider (Housing Association) with charitable status based in Poole for the previous ten years, completing three mergers (Transfer of Engagements) in four years. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Steve has a wide variety of experience and expertise having worked for over 36 years in Social Housing starting at the reception desk of the large council estate he was brought up on. Prior to that Steve was a Police Officer and before that left school to be trainee quantity surveyor for a private housing building company. Steve is a Company Secretary and has been volunteering (unpaid) as the Green Room Manager to help run an annual science fiction (not for profit) convention for approaching 30 years, with all proceeds being donated to Teenage Cancer Trust.

Wendy Lewis – Board Member & Chair of Development Committee

Wendy is Chair of the Development Committee for WTHP, and currently works as a Housing Development Specialist at Somerset West and Taunton Council.  Wendy has a wealth of experience in affordable housing development spanning over 25 years, which includes five years as a Board Member for SWHS and is an expert in her field. 

Sue Lane – Board Member

Sue Lane is a highly experienced, executive director specialising in People, with executive, trustee, board and committee capability gained from profit/not for profit organisations across a variety of sectors. Her change programme experience has included mergers, substantial IT investments, Organisation Design and culture change.

Sue sits on the Board of Bath Spa University as well as their Audit, Remuneration and Nominations committees. Previously she served for 7 years on the Board of Chwarae Teg, a charity that focuses on women’s economic empowerment in Wales.

With an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Sue joined the board as she  believes everyone should have a home that they can feel proud of, can love and care for.   

Brian Whittaker – Board Member

Brian is the HR & OD Director with Brunelcare, a Bristol based charity providing social housing, care and support for older people in the South West.  Previously he was the Group HR Director of The Aster Group, a social landlord and care and support provider based in Wiltshire. He has extensive experience within human resources including as HR Director for Intercontinental Hotels and Little Chef restaurants and several years as the Employee Relations Manager for Forte Hotels. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Outside work he is a football referee, an enthusiastic cook and a reticent house renovator.