Making a difference… improving homes, communities and lives

Executive Team and Board


The Accent Board works closely with the executive team to make sure we are heading in the right strategic direction. Members review how we perform to make sure all our businesses are performing to the level we need.

Gwyneth Sarkar

Group Chair

“I have over 30 years housing experience in frontline and managerial roles, and with a number of local and national support agencies. I believe making a difference in our communities is down to more than just practical experience – you have to want to make a difference and my passion is to do just that.”

Geoff Heath

Chair of Accent South

“I have been involved in housing for many years in senior management roles in supported housing and care organisations, and with other agencies at committee or board level. I am enjoying contributing to Accent’s decision making and being able to see the results in terms of success for our organisation and the delivery of excellent services for our residents.”

Carolyn Hirst

“I joined the Accent Group Board in 2008. I have worked in the sector for over 25 years, and was appointed Deputy Scottish Public Service Ombudsman in 2002. My current role is as a consultant and mediator. As an advocate for equality and diversity, I am keen to ensure Accent remains continually committed to promoting equality of opportunity and embracing diversity”  

Richard Beal

Chair of Audit Committee

“I joined the Accent Group Board in 2010. I have served on a number of committees and I am a Trustee of the Accent Group Pension Scheme. In my current role, I can help to ensure Accent continues to improve the services it provides to its residents and that any decisions reflect the Association’s vision and values and promote best practice.”  

Peter Caffrey

 “I have been a member of the board since 2012.  In my career, I’ve held a number of senior manager and director positions in high level financial institutions helping small businesses with loan facilities and providing funding packages for social housing providers. With Accent, I can continue to use my experience to help the association achieve its vision”.

Paul Grant

Chair of Accent Nene

 “I joined Accent in March 2010 and became chair of Accent Nene in July 2013. My career has centred on supporting and empowering disadvantaged people. I own a consultancy business, and work with public sector, voluntary and community organisations and private sector companies. I have also worked with prisoners and ex-offenders, supporting them with education, employment and training”.

Ken Wood

“I joined the Accent Group Board in March 2013, but my first years with Accent, from 1997 to 2005, were as a member of staff. I am currently employed as a director of Sweett Group, a global business providing professional property and infrastructure services. I enjoy being with Accent as a group board member and chair of the Asset Management Committee. We have some real opportunities to make the most of and challenges to meet in the coming years.”   

Jo Boaden

“As chief executive of the Northern Housing Consortium, I am involved in housing and social policy. Having an understanding and appreciation of residents’ needs is crucial for Accent and in fulfilling our promises of our new ‘personal, modern, better’ service offer.”  

Ian Bennett

“I have been an involved resident for several years, taking part in various forums and focus groups looking at improving services to residents. I use my knowledge and skills to help Accent develop the best possible services it can deliver to residents, based on making a difference, value for money and assurance that their views are heard and acted on.”

Maggie Punyer

I have been involved with the housing sector since 1975. Most recently, I was public sector development director for Ocean Media Group, where I managed the annual CIH conference and exhibition. I have been an active community volunteer for many years and I feel my interest in helping residents and their communities develop, combined with my knowledge of the sector can help Accent achieve our vision.”    


  • Gordon Perry
    Chief Executive
  • Claire Stone
    Executive Director, Communities and Assets
  • Gail Teasdale
    Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services
  • Andrew Williams
    Executive Director, Customer Services