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Executive Leadership Team

Our leadership team of managers puts the overall policies and plans of the Southway board into practice.
The leadership team heads our 100-strong workforce, manages the day-to-day housing service, and makes long-term plans to deliver our exciting £117million home and environment improvement package.

Karen Mitchell: Chief Executive
Karen is our most senior member of staff. She has been a housing professional for over 20 years and has worked for several local councils. As head of housing at Barnsley, she played a major role in setting up an arms-length management organisation (Almo) to take over running local council housing.
She joined Eastlands Homes (a not-for-profit landlord of former council housing in east Manchester) as director of neighbourhood services when the new company launched in 2003. She brings leadership skills in strategy, governance and business-planning; and experience of managing a range of housing and estate management services.
"We're spending millions on improving local homes and estates," she says "But Southway is about much more than that. It's about the people who live in south Manchester - people from all backgrounds. We can make a real difference to the quality of life for tenants and their communities."

Neil Botfish: Director of Finance and Resources
Neil manages the 'engine room' of the organisation - the central functions like human resources, finance, and IT. He is a qualified chartered accountant who has been at senior level in housing for more than ten years, in both public and private sectors. He has extensive experience of business strategies and of consultancy advice to a range of housing organisations. He brings a vital financial and business know-how which means Southway will deliver value for money in everything we do.

Jane Gant: Director of Regeneration and Asset Management
Jane is responsible for the teams that carry out the improvement work to our homes - people who survey the buildings, plan the improvements and organise the work. She has worked in housing in Manchester since 1990 and has bags of experience in home improvement programmes, managing big projects and securing investment funding. She has a passion for working with local communities too. 

Ray Smith: Director of Neighbourhood Services
Ray leads the staff that deliver local services such as rehousing, rent-collection, customer involvement, tackling nuisance, and environmental services. He started as a housing officer in the late seventies and rose to assistant director with the city council’s housing service. He has a wealth of experience in estate management, cultural change and customer service, and a special interest in the environment.