Meet our Board members



Stephen Gabriel, Chair

Stephen currently works for Sandwell Council as the Strategic Manager for the Homes & Communities directorate, which has specific responsibility for the Strategic Housing function across the borough. Stephen has worked in local government for 25 years and has held a range of roles from both operational and strategic perspectives. Stephen currently has responsibility for private sector housing, environmental health, trading standards and licensing and has worked in economic development, equalities and education and has gained extensive knowledge in housing, regeneration and community development. Stephen has a PGD in Urban and Regional Studies at Birmingham University and studied law at the University of Central England, as well as having acquired British Sign Language level 2.

Moosa Patel

Moosa heads up the Governance Consultancy Service at Capsticks Solicitors LLP and works closely with public sector boards to support the development of their governance arrangements. Moosa also has an extensive background working in the NHS. During a career spanning 22 years, he worked at all levels from commissioners and providers to the Department of Health, where he worked closely with Ministers on national cancer policy. This extensive experience includes eight years as a Board level director at the Midlands and East SHA Cluster. Previous to that, he held a director level post at Leicestershire County and Rutland PCT and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Moosa has a Masters in Health Policy and Management and was previously the UK Adviser to the Department of Health and Human Sciences in Tasmania, Australia.

Shihab Hossain

Shihab is presently the UK CEO of John Paul Selects, a distributor of emerging sustainable personal care and beauty brands from the US. His early career began in research, development, sales and marketing for leading pharmaceutical companies. Applying practice to theory, he then undertook an MBA with a particular emphasis on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the workplace. Following this, he embarked on a career in management consultancy supporting early stage high-growth businesses in strategic development, raising finance and marketing. Shihab takes an active interest in the housing sector as a private landlord, trustee at Lench's Trust and a member of the Resources & Audit Committee at the Accord Group.


Zubeda Limbada

Zubeda is a founder and co-director of ConnectJustice, a Birmingham-based social enterprise that undertakes research, evaluation, training and facilitation between communities and states experiencing social and political conflict. Her organisation works on social justice topics to do with extremism, terrorism and child sexual exploitation. Zubeda has worked for over 15 years in the public sector (from Birmingham City Council to West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit) and has worked as a senior member in a wide variety of local, national and pan-European policy-orientated projects. She graduated from the University of Manchester with a BA in Politics and Modern History and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies. Zubeda is currently a CLORE 2014 Social Leadership Fellow and alumni of the USA Department of State's International Visitor's Leadership Programme (IVLP).


Kathy Lee-Cole

Kathy Lee-Cole works on national government policy in the Department for Education. Previously, Kathy held a number of senior positions in regional Government. She has a personal commitment to reducing inequality and has been involved in Ashrammoseley’s work on reducing child poverty, including our Holiday Kitchen programme.

Carol Smith

Carol currently works at Aston University as the Operations and Projects Manager in the Careers and Placements department. Prior to moving into the HE field, Carol worked in social housing for 24 years for both Solihull and Birmingham local authorities. She held a number of roles during this time from a generic housing officer to IT Project Manager, ending her time at Birmingham City Council as a District Manager responsible for allocations, housing needs and choice-based lettings. She has a degree in French and German from the University of Birmingham and has completed the Professional Qualification in Housing with the CIH.

Antoinette Thirbenny

Antoinette has worked in several sectors as a legal executive, an adviser within CAB and in social housing, with specific interest in leasehold management, property and community development, strategic planning, decision making, audit and risks management and financial planning and investment within the housing sector. Antoinette was given the Police Chief Constable’s Award for successfully pioneering and establishing a Neighbourhood Watch ‘group-cell’ in her local area and was also awarded the Junior Chamber National President’s Certificate Award for managing the Lord Mayor’s Parade. Antoinette has a degree in Law and Computing, another in Management and AAT Accounting and is also a qualified teacher/adult trainer.

Junior Hemans

Junior is a very experienced entrepreneur and consultant and has considerable experience within the social housing sector. Junior has previously worked for the Housing Corporation as a Regulation Manager and was one of the first appointees to the Corporation’s Stock Transfer Registration Unit. He was also a founding member and first Treasurer of the African Caribbean Community Initiative (ACCI) Mental Health Project, formed to support individuals and families experiencing mental illness. In 1998, Junior formed Education Plus, employing 21 teachers and delivering tuition to care homes across the West Midlands region. Junior joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a consultant in 2001, working on a significant range of public sector assignments, including several large scale housing stock transfers. He currently runs a growing property development/management business and over the past fifteen years has acquired his own property portfolio. He is now a self-employed consultant, specialising in business start-up and growth, third sector, social housing, local government and governance. Junior is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton Business School and is a business mentor for the Prince’s Trust and the University of Wolverhampton SPEED programme. Junior is also a non-executive director with Tuntum Housing Association in Nottingham and Royal Wolverhampton (NHS) Trust.