Meet the people behind Aster

Our Executive Board

Bjorn Howard
Chris Benn
Amanda Williams
Rachel Credidio
Dawn Fowler-Stevens
Emma O'Shea
Bjorn Howard

Bjorn Howard

Executive director, Group CEO

Bjorn became Aster’s Group CEO in 2009 having previously been the chief executive of a smaller housing association. Since then, Aster’s housing business has doubled to more than 32,000 homes and has expanded its geographical footprint across southern England.

Bjorn has worked in the independent housing, care and support sectors for more than 30 years and has extensive board-level experience in both executive and non-executive roles. He has served as a non-executive director for an NHS Trust, educational organisations, regeneration boards and as a government appointee to a housing association.

Bjorn holds a master’s degree in management and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and Chartered Management Institute. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors.

Committee Membership:

Customer and Community Network

Chris Benn

Chris Benn

Group finance director

Chris joined Aster in 2014, bringing with him extensive experience from the commercial sector.

Before Aster, Chris held senior finance positions at Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC and Regus PLC. At Euromoney he ensured the finance team were able to support the five-fold profit increase of the Group from both organic growth, and through acquisitions, including the acquisition of a fellow FTSE-250 listed Group. At Regus Chris was involved in the IPO and floatation of Regus’ shares on both the FTSE and NASDAQ indices.

Chris qualified as a chartered accountant at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) in 1994.

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams

Group development director

Amanda has over 25 years’ experience in development, marketing and asset management for registered social landlords, joining Aster Group in 2012. She was previously director of business development at Synergy, prior to the merger with Aster and drove the strategic direction of the association’s new-build development activity, including becoming an independent preferred investment partner. 

Before Aster, Amanda was head of development for Sanctuary Housing Group for London and the South East, and an associate director of Adams Integra, a consultancy specialising in housing development and planning. She was also director of development services for Apex Housing (now A2Dominion) for nine years where she was responsible for growing a mixed development programme from scratch to over 1,000 units per year. 

Amanda is a Board Director of Silva Homes.

Rachel Credidio

Rachel Credidio

Group people & transformation director

In her role as Group People & Transformation Director, Rachel is leading a transformation in the way the business engages with its people to drive innovation, creativity, collaboration and productivity.

Responsible for HR and talent management, communications, IT, business insight, innovation and the project management office, Rachel ensures Aster has the strategic focus, as well as the tools required, to implement change, unlock efficiencies and support new ways of working which will have a positive impact on colleagues and customers.

With an academic background in psychology, Rachel understands how to get the best out of people and is a qualified change management practitioner.

Dawn Fowler-Stevens

Dawn Fowler-Stevens

Group growth & assurance director

Dawn is responsible for Aster’s growth strategy, as well as ensuring the business is sustainable into the future. 

She joined Aster in 2012 following five years at Savills. Here she was an associate director, providing support to housing associations and local authorities focusing on: governance, organisational change, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, as well as, project management consultancy. 

A career spanning 25 years across the public and private sectors, Dawn’s other areas of expertise include the creation of value through stock transfers, group structure establishment and corporate structure consolidation. Dawn has also served as a board director of a specialist care provider and currently holds other executive directorships on Aster’s cost-sharing vehicle company boards as well as being a Trustee on a disability charity. 

Dawn is a member of the Chartered Management Institute, the Institute of Business Administrators and ICSA: the governance institute.

Emma O'Shea

Emma O'Shea

Group customer services director

Emma joined Aster in April 2020 from Peabody Group and has 15 years’ experience in operational and strategic leadership. She successfully took Peabody and Family Mosaic through their operational merger, strengthening strategic customer focus; aligning repairs, housing and customer services.

With experience across multiple organisations both as an operational director and as a senior business improvement consultant, Emma has led a number of large scale transformation programmes creating long-term business sustainability.

As executive lead for the customer services directorate, Emma is transforming the way we manage and maintain our customers’ homes.

Emma is currently studying a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Henley Business School.

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