Howard Toplis becomes GreenSquare’s new group chief executive this month, taking over from David Ashmore, who is stepping down after a total of 25 years at the helm of the Group and, previously, its subsidiaries Oxford Citizens and Westlea housing associations.
Howard is leaving Devon & Cornwall Housing Group (now DCH) having been finance director and then chief executive at Tor Homes, the south Devon housing association that amalgamated with DCH in 2012. He is also chief executive of West Devon Homes, which is in a strategic alliance with DCH, and of telecare company Call24.
GreenSquare’s Board Chair Hilary Gardner said: “There's no doubt that David will be a very hard act to follow. He is a leader who inspires others, someone who demonstrates a real passion for his work that’s infectious.
“Responding and adapting to the rapidly changing environment in the sector, he has ensured that GreenSquare is expanding and growing its business at a time when it might have been expected to be doing the opposite. He has seen the benefits to GreenSquare of partnership working and has been skilled at establishing, and developing, meaningful and productive external relationships – both within the housing sector and outside of it.”
Welcoming Howard, Hilary said: “Howard’s years of experience as chief executive at Tor Homes, together with his outstanding leadership and entrepreneurial skills, will bring refreshed impetus to what we do. We are absolutely confident we have chosen the right successor to take the Group forward to even greater success.”
Howard says he is looking forward to joining GreenSquare: “I’m really pleased to have been appointed as group chief executive at GreenSquare – it’s an exciting job, at an exciting time, in a great organisation.”
David Ashmore announced his decision to colleagues last September: “When I leave in August, I will have worked for 40 years in housing – and will have served as chief executive of Oxford Citizens, Westlea, and then GreenSquare, for the last 25 years which has been an enormous privilege. But I had always planned to do a few other things both in and outside housing at this point in my life.”
DCH group chief executive Paul Crawford said: “While clearly we are sorry to lose someone of Howard’s calibre and commitment, GreenSquare is an organisation we have a lot of respect for. Howard has made a lasting impact on our work, and I am sure all staff and board members will join me in congratulating him on securing such a great role.”