GEM Board Members: Are We Setting Them Up to Fail?


Meena Anand

Founder and CEO of the Careers Company

Meena is an experienced Human Resources professional. She was latterly the Managing Director and Chief HR Officer for the 30,000 strong Global Business Services arm of Standard Charted Bank.

She currently serves as a Non-executive Director at both CNWL NHS Foundation Trust and Origin Housing. She is also a Trustee for the Community Schools, Multi Academy Trust and a Board Advisor for an HR publication based in Asia.

In addition to her Board work, Meena founded The Careers Company in 2021. A career development company focused on the career development and success of diverse employee groups.

Meena is on the Inspire List (Trustees Unlimited) and has been recognised as one of the 100 Women to watch to be a FTSE 350 NED by Cranfield in 2021.

Chyrel Brown

Chief Operating Officer, One Housing

Chyrel Brown is the Chief Operating Officer at One Housing, now part of The Riverside Housing Group. Since joining in July 2019, Chyrel has made some important changes to the teams to improve responsiveness and the services provided and ensure that teams deliver excellent customer service.  She leads on key operational areas of the business including property, housing, and repairs, and is responsible for building and fire safety.

Previously, Chyrel was Director of Resident Services at Hyde Housing Group and, prior to that, Interim Group Director of Housing. Chyrel also held the role of Assistant Director at Circle Housing and has also worked at L&Q and Asra Housing.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director at the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)and University College Hospital (UCLH) and a Board Member of Barnsbury and St Martins of Tours Housing Associations.

Chyrel a Coach and Mentor, supporting young people and women in leadership.

Caroline Pillay

Senior Partner, Chair of Councils at Building Homes

Caroline Pillay is a Senior Partner at Airey Miller Partnership and Chair of the Airey Miller’s Councils’ Councils Building Homes Forum, Caroline is also a Non-Executive Director of Social and Sustainable Capital and an ambassador for Women in Social Housing.  

A seasoned built environment professional Caroline specialises in supporting public sector providers as a client side advisor in the planning and delivery of Council re-development programmes. Caroline has advised on numerous housing projects including Housing PFI and major estate regeneration schemes. With a background in social care Caroline has been able to combine her diverse academic qualifications and experience across the broad spectrum of housing including specialist sector.

Prior to joining Airey Miller Caroline was for over 10 years director of her own Ltd company CAP Regeneration consultants providing client side support for the delivery of major projects with councils. More recently as a partner within Airey Miller Partnership  which established in 2015 as a subsidiary Airey Miller Ltd to provide the combined skills of strategic, commercial and technical services specifically targeted to support Local authority development programmes and activity.

Caroline is extremely passionate about improving social housing, placemaking and regeneration and the positive impact this brings for improving lives, transforming spaces, enhancing existing communities and creating new ones.  An established speaker and chair Caroline supports the sector as a contributor at various housing industry conferences and events.

Caroline is a Non-Executive Director with Social and Sustainable Capital a social Investment fund, supporting organisations that provide lasting solutions to social challenges.

Caroline also sits on the Investment Committee of Social and Sustainable Housing.

In her spare time, Caroline mentors aspiring housing young professionals as an informal mentor.

Ben Laryea​

Chief Executive Officer, Ekaya Housing Association

Ben has worked in the sector for over 30 years. He is Chief Executive of Ekaya Housing Association, which provides housing and support services primarily to black and ethnic minority women, their families and groups with similar needs.He has acted as an independent housing professional, supporting organisations through change and service transformation, and worked as a mentor to address the lack of diversity at senior management level within the sector.Ben is a BoardMember of Dolphin Living and The Guinness Housing Partnership, and Chair of BME London Landlords.

Date: 9th February 2023

Time: 14:00 – 16:30

Venue: Central London

If you would like to register your interest to attend the roundtable please click the link below.