Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Poplar Harca

Making Poplar a place where people choose to live, work & enjoy life

Board members

The Board and Committee members are essential to the governance of Poplar HARCA. They hold the executive to account and make sure that different stakeholders' interests are represented - including the residents themselves.

Below are our Board and Committee members' biographies, arranged alphabetically. The members sit across the Poplar Board and its three Focus Committees:

Some of the members sit on multiple committees. They are made up of independent, resident and councillor members.

Board Members:

Chair: Bernadette Conroy is an Independent Member and Chair of the Poplar Board. She has significant experience of financial and corporate re-structuring and change management, including responsibility for the strategic planning of the corporate investment banking and markets activities of the HSBC Group.

Bernadette is also a non-executive director of Barnet NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, a non executive director of North London Estates Partnership and a Trustee of St. Paul’s Way Trust School.

Andrew Mahoney is a Resident Member on the Poplar Board and the Finance & General Purposes Board. He has lived on the Leopold Estate for over 33 years.

Andrew works as a civil servant. He was a member of the Leopold Steering group and previously the Leopold Estate Tenants’ Association. He has also chaired the Leopold Area Board since transfer to Poplar HARCA in 2005.

Away from Poplar HARCA, Andrew is a member of the Local Area Partnership 6 Steering Group and a member of the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery. He was Chair of St Paul’s Way School Governors until 2008.

Andrew Pinto is a Co-optee. He has sat on the Poplar Board since 2006 and is also on the Audit & Risk Committee. 

Colin Woollard is a Resident Member on the Poplar Board and is Chair of the Finance & General Purposes Committee. He was formerly the Chair of the Brownfield Estate Board. He is also a qualified inspector and served on a number of other committees, boards and groups. He has lived on the Brownfield Estate since 1992.

Colin is a specialist textile dyer who has previously worked in quality control, buying and sales. He was a school governor for over 13 years and volunteered with a special needs school for five years.

Dharmendra Mehta is a Resident Member of the Poplar Board.

Reverend James Olanipekun is a Resident Member and Vice-Chair of the Poplar Board. He is also an elected member of the Lansbury South Estate Board and chaired its Service Delivery Sub Group. He has lived on the Lansbury South Estate since 1991.

Reverend James is a committed member of Poplar HARCA’s Resident Involvement Policy Advisory Group. Since 2006 he has been a Parent Governor at Raines Foundation Secondary School in Tower Hamlets and is currently a member of Tower Hamlets Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Reverend James is a trained teacher and an author of four published books on Christian topics. He has been a volunteer Pastor for over twenty years for a diverse congregation.

Jo Ellis is an Independent Member on the Poplar Board and Vice-Chair of the Services Committee.

She has worked in housing for more than twenty-five years, gaining experience in a variety of roles with a range of registered providers. She is currently Operations Director at Town & Country Housing Group, which provides almost 9,000 affordable homes in Kent, Sussex and South London.

She was previously Chief Executive of Eastbourne Homes, an arms-length management organisation that manages 4,000 homes owned by Eastbourne Borough Council. Prior to that, Jo worked in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for five years. During this time she developed a strong affinity with the people of Poplar.

John Norman is an Independent Member on the Poplar Board and Chair on the Audit & Risk Board.

John spent his career in airport management in a variety of operational and HR roles and served on the boards of both Gatwick and Stansted Airports. His last airport role was as Group Head of Contingency Planning for BAA plc. Whilst at Stansted Airport he was responsible for the development of the Employment Strategy that was designed to assist the long term unemployed in East London begin careers at the expanding airport.

He has also enjoyed board level experience in the housing and voluntary sector. He was a board member of Essex Learning and Skills Coucil, and East Thames Housing Group, where he chaired the group’s subsidiary East Potential, which provided Foyer accommodation for young people. He is also currently a trustee of London Youth, and Chairs the Safety and Safeguarding Committee there. He is also a Board Member of the Shaw Trust.

Juliana Ben Salem is a Resident Member on the Poplar Board. She is a Poplar HARCA resident having lived on the Aberfeldy Estate all her life. She aims to bring a youthful contribution to the board and improve opportunities for Aberfeldy Estate Residents. She likes Poplar's strong sense of ambition and diversity. She is passionate about Spotlight, and future regeneration plans for Chrisp street and the Aberfeldy Estate.

Juliana has many years of experience in the social housing sector pioneering, and being a member of, the Youth Empowerment Board for four years. She was also its Chair for two years. It was her active involvement with this that led to her Poplar Board nomination. 

Matthew Rowe is Resident Member on the Audit and Risk Committee.

He is a philosophy lecturer, a consultant for the charity sector, sits as a lay member in Employment Tribunals and has extensive experience in public regulation. He's chair of the Standards Advisory Board for Tower Hamlets, a director of Limehouse Town Hall Consortium Trust and Chair of Governors of Salisbury Primary School in Newham as well as a member of the Brownfield Estate Board.

Cllr Ohid Ahmed is a member of the Poplar Board and Councillor on Tower Hamlets Council.

Prabha Rathinasabapathy is one of our younger board members and is an Independent Member of the Poplar Board, having served as an Independent Member of the Places Board from January 2009 to August 2010.

Prabha is currently pursuing a Master in Business Administration at London Business School.   She is a qualified Chartered Surveyor in Planning and Development. Prior to her MBA, Prabha worked as an asset manager with Argent, the development company charged with regenerating 67 acres in King’s Cross. 

Prabha believes that Poplar HARCA is in a unique position to be able to transform the quality of life for its residents through its work on better housing and better places.  She enjoys working with the residents and looks forward to seeing their aspirations realised.

Simon Turek is an Independent Member of the Poplar Board and Audit and Risk Committee. He works for the European Securities and Markets Authority and is a lawyer by training. He is interested in the development of Poplar into an environment where local residents have the ability to create homes and communities.

Tanya Martin is a Resident Member of the Poplar HARCA Board and Chair of the Services Committee.

Tanya has lived in Poplar for over 10 years, since moving from the borough of Hackney and is employed within both the Higher Education sector as a lecturer of Sport and Exercise Psychology and in the private property sector in residential sales and lettings. She is passionate about resident involvement and empowerment and aims to effect positive change to resident’s lives and the local community through her involvement with Poplar HARCA.