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. 

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 more than 30 years’ 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.

 Steve is also a Director of Pennyfarthing Building Services Ltd. and Westworks Procurement Ltd.

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.

Barry Nethercott

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.

Tom Titherington

Tom Titherington, Executive Director – Development & Commercial 
Tom joined Sovereign in January 2019, bringing a wealth of housing experience in delivering new homes on large-scale developments, building private and public sector partnerships and creating sustainable places. Tom was formerly Executive Director of Property and Growth at Catalyst Housing and before that spent two years as Chief Executive of the Network Housing Group, building on thirteen years as Executive Director of Business Development at The Hyde Group.