Executive Team

Our Executive Team works closely with the Board to deliver our strategic objectives.

Denise Fowler

Chief Executive

Denise joined us as our new Chief Executive in February 2022. She was previously the Chief Executive of Women's Pioneer Housing and before that was the Housing Ombudsman for England. In her earlier career she held a number of senior legal positions in government. Denise grew up in south London and continues to live locally. She is passionate about Phoenix's resident-led model and determined to ensure that we continue to work together to build a better future for our community. Denise is the co-founder of the Women's Housing Forum, which seeks to raise awareness of the links between women's housing needs and gender inequality.

Nick Edwards

Assistant Director (ICT & Facilities)

Nick has been the lead for ICT and Facilities for Phoenix since 2008. Nick has led his team through key organisational change and major projects, including the procurement and implementation of a new Housing and Asset Management Systems. Nick is also Phoenix's lead for Business Continuity. Nick has worked in the housing sector for more than 10 years and prior to that worked in both the public and private sectors. Nick is a keen cricketer and a walking enthusiast, having recently completed the Three Peaks Challenge, covering the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in 24 hours.

Lesley Johnson

Director of Property and New Business

Lesley joined Phoenix in September 2017 with more than 30 years of experience working in housing with local authorities and housing associations. An expert on the built environment, Lesley’s career has particularly focused on housing development and area renewal. She has led on the set up of several successful stock transfers and delivered significant refurbishment and redevelopment programmes. Lesley was the local authority client for a 900 home housing PFI scheme comprising replacement homes for council rent, intermediate housing and homes for sale, which is now nearing completion. She is committed to providing good quality homes and places for people who need them.

Lesley has previously acted as a Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor to the DCLG. She is a Built Environment Expert with the Design Council CABE, is a tutor on a masters module at the Bartlett School of Planning and is a member of the Cambridgeshire Quality Panel.

Jonathan Lawn

Assistant Director, People Services and Communications

Jonathan joined the Executive Team in 2020 and has worked at Phoenix since 2013. He started his career as a journalist before progressing to a number of communications roles in local government. He moved into the housing sector in 2008 as Communications and Marketing Manager at Barnet Homes and The Barnet Group. At Phoenix Jonathan has overseen the organisation's successful reaccreditation with the Investors in People Gold award, alongside numerous award successes and the delivery of its first communications strategy. He is an accredited coach and passionate about promoting better resident involvement and engagement at a national level.

Chris Starke

Director of Finance

Chris joined Phoenix as Director of Finance in 2008. He has worked at an executive level in the housing sector for nearly 20 years, having held similar roles at Amicus Group and AmicusHorizon Group. Chris started his career with the accountancy firm KPMG, where he trained and qualified as a chartered accountant. At KPMG he developed his interest in the housing sector and specialised in the audit of housing associations. Chris is a member of the ICAEW Social Housing Sub-Committee.

One of Chris’ favourite pastimes is bike riding, both off road and on road, and he completed the Ride 100 challenge in 2017.

David Westworth

Director of Customer Services

David joined Phoenix in 2009 as Director of Customer Services. Previously he held senior positions at Westminster Council and at Hyde Housing Association, where he successfully delivered PFI contracts. David is focused on meeting Phoenix’s Customer Service standards by providing the best possible service both within the organisation and to customers. David holds a MSc in Housing and an undergraduate degree in Economics. He has a busy life with his young family but plays sport regularly and is a football and rugby enthusiast.