Our Team & Our Patrons
Professor Graham F. Chase FRICS FCIArb C.Arb FRSA FInstCPD
Graham has been a practitioner in the property industry for 42 years. He joined the BBC as a building and estates surveyor in 1976, moving on to Ladbrokes Racing Limited as a development surveyor in 1978 and joining Clive Lewis & Partners as a shop agent on 1st January 1980. He was appointed a Partner in 1985 and Chairman of the Retail Group, when Clive Lewis & Partners merged with Edward Erdman in 1993 to form Colliers Erdman Lewis. After seeing through the merger, he set up Chase & Partners on 1st June 1995 and has been trading under this brand ever since.
During his career, he has acquired and sold over £5 billion of retail & leisure property investments, advised on the development of 20 shopping centres and introduced and acquired the majority of Land Securities Retail Warehouse portfolio between 1984 and 1998 to the value of some £2 billion.
As an Arbitrator and Independent Expert for 15 years, he has given awards and determinations on over 200 disputes on a variety of issues from valuations, market rents, viability and planning conditions. For over 30 years he has appeared as an expert witness in the High Court, Lands Tribunal and Public Planning Inquiries on a number of complex and high-profile cases.
He is a Past President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Arbitrator, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, a current member of the Court of the Arbitrators Livery Company, a visiting Professor at Westminster University, an Honorary Fellow of London South Bank University, Past Chairman of the Covent Garden Area Trust, Chairman of the Saracens Multi Academy Trust, President of the Association of Town and City Management, Chairman of the Commonwealth Housing Trust and a Governor of King’s Ely School.
Philip Hillman BSc FRICS
Philip is a consultant to global real estate adviser JLL, with whom he has worked for over 35 years.
He specialised in advising the purpose-built student housing sector when it first began to evolve in the UK in the early 1990’s and he is now one of the leading advisors globally.
Philip is Non Executive advisor to prop-tech start up Staykeepers, a global business which helps student and private residential landlords fill letting voids. He is also Non Executive advisor to Sustainable Living & Energy (SLE) Global, helping this Dutch company to develop student housing and affordable housing in Ghana.
He studied Land Management at The University of Reading, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduating, he worked as a volunteer teacher at the Masii Secondary School in Kenya (1984-86) before returning to the UK to continue his career in real estate.
A Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, he also regularly speaks at international conferences on student housing.
Louise Archer BSc FRICS CIHCM
Louise is Executive Property Director at Broadland Housing. A not-for-profit housing association based in Norfolk and North Suffolk, with approximately 5,000 homes.
Louise has been at Broadland Housing since November 2007 and was appointed as Executive Property Director in July 2011. She is responsible for Broadland Repairs Service, Broadland Facilities Services as well as ensuring Broadland homes meet the decent homes standard. Louise also manages IT, facilities and services within the Property Team. Louise is passionate about promoting sustainability both within the organisation and with Broadland’s tenants. Louise has been recognised by Sustainable Homes for her work around sustainability, receiving an award for Leadership.
Louise is the SME representative for RICS UK and Ireland World Regional Board and a member of RICS Governing Council. She is also an RICS Associate Assessor for Quantity Surveying and Construction and accredited expert for RICS Board recruitment.
In her spare time, Louise has a passion for performing. She featured in the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London and is chair of her local theatre company.
Louise joined the CHT board in 2016.
Max Crofts FRICS
Max Crofts’ career as a chartered surveyor has been with the same firm, originally J P Sturge & Sons and then King Sturge, which he joined in 1970 as its first graduate trainee. Although West Country-based, his professional work was for clients throughout the UK and occasionally overseas.
His professional career has been complemented by an active involvement with other organisations including Bath Chamber of Commerce (President 1980), RICS Junior Organisation (National Chairman 1981), the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors (Liveryman since 1992), Somerset Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (President 1996) and RICS Committees responsible for Professional Standards, Public Affairs, Indemnity Insurance and Conduct.
He was RICS Global President in 2009-2010. In his ambassadorial role he represented RICS in meetings with Government Ministers, a wide range of national organisations and the property media. He led initiatives on dispute resolution and professional standards and consolidated governance structures in the UK and mainland Europe. Overseas, he led expansion activities in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Malaysia.
His current pro bono activities include work for Dunkerton Parish Hall Charity (Chairman), St George Wharf Residents Association (Chairman), Wilts & Berks Canal Trust (Head of Land Team), the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition and the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy.
Jan G.F. Eijkemans
Jan is currently CEO/Partner of Robles Advisory Services BV based in The Netherlands and a frequent traveller to Kenya where he is involved in the development of affordable housing.
He studied Geography and Urban Planning at the University of Nijmegen and is an alumnus of Harvard University (Cambridge USA) and of INSEAD Fontainebleau (France).
His professional career has been spent in the international property industry and covered financing, development and asset/investment management and has worked for ING Real Estate, Rabobank Real Estate, PGGM (2nd largest Dutch pensionfund), FGH BANK (part of Rabobank).
He has lived in Manilla (Philippines), Munich (Germany) and Madrid (Spain).
Jan was also involved in projects with Habitat for Humanity in South Africa.
Bernadette Gitari MBS FRICS CIArB
I am currently the Regional Manager East and Southern Africa for RICS International Limited. My responsibility which include raising awareness of the RICS Agenda in the region by promoting Thought Leadership international standards, membership and training.
I hold a Bachelors Degree in Land Economics (1980) and a Masters Degree in Valuation and Property Management (2001) from the same University.
I am an accredited Mediator (2017), a Fellow of RICS (2012), a Registered and Licensed Valuer (1987) a full member of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (1983)
I have worked in various companies as a valuer and real estate consultant, my last one being with Knight Frank (2006-2019). I have carried out assignments in most of the African countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Southern Sudan, Eritrea, Mauritius, Seychelles and Ivory Coast.
Within the real estate profession in Kenya, I have held various positions which include Chairperson of a Taskforce Committee to develop valuation standards in Kenya, board member of Valuer Registration Board and a lecturer and examiner of professional examinations for membership to the Institution of surveyors of Kenya. I held the position of Chairperson of the Kenya Group of RICS between 2009 and 2015 when the group was wound up to give way to the current RICS office in Kenya.
I am passionate about real estate valuation and consultancy. In my career I have trained and mentored many young professionals who aspire to take up a career in real estate in Kenya. In this regard and in appreciation of my successful career, I was awarded Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) by the President of the Republic of Kenya in 2006.
I am a founder member of Mukuru Promotion Trust whose aim was to provide affordable schools within Mukuru slums in Nairobi. The trust also establishment Mukuru Kafoka Studville Centre which is a hostel that provides university students accommodation in Nairobi
I am a secular member of The Carmelite community, and I support Mary Rice Brothers who look after Autistic children from Kibera slums. I m therefore excited to be part of CHT and what they intend to do for Mwamko Group.
I am a single mother of one deceased son Raphael, for whom I set up the Rapho Foundation, to assist needy children obtain education.
Ripin Kalra MSc DipFM
Ripin has worked since 1992 on affordable green housing, education infrastructure, energy, urban risk reduction and resilience projects in 30+ countries in senior and leadership positions in global inter-disciplinary firms. He also teaches and supervises post-graduate planning and housing students.
He co-authored the National Climate Resilience Investment Plan for Belize (World Bank, 2013-14); led affordable green housing projects with World Bank/ IFC in Kenya and India; developed guidance for the World Bank on mainstreaming resilience within urban investment in East-Asia and the Pacific; worked as Disaster Prevention specialist on risk finance assignments in the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, conceptualised integrated models for zero carbon zero waste new towns in the Middle-East, India, South-East Asia, Nigeria, Ghana and China.
He has worked with planning and resource efficiency projects in higher education for University of the Arts new campus at Kings Cross, University of Hertfordshire and Dublin Institute of Technology; He collaborates with the British Standards Institute on 'Smart Cities and Sustainable Communities'.
He is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. He is also a regular illustrator on environmental and sustainability issues such as the 'Urban Housing Manual' in 2004.
Valerie Kent BA MSc CPsychol AFBPsS
After leaving the LSE Valerie taught social psychology for twenty six years at Goldsmiths, University of London, specialising in social influence and social development. Her 1974 survey report on attitudes of a wide sample of local residents to re-development plans for the Camberwell Green area successfully helped to modify those plans. It also reflected her interest in housing issues which currently continues through involvement with CHT. She was awarded a Commonwealth Fellowship at the University of the West Indies Trinidad campus to further her work on the development of prosocial behaviour.
After leaving Goldsmiths she lived in Nairobi for seventeen years where she continued to write occasionally. Having studied singing for many years, including at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, most of her time in Kenya was taken up in extensive involvement with the growing world of classical music there, especially with young Kenyan singers, musicians and music teachers. She chaired the Nairobi Music Society for fifteen years, also chairing Nairobi Orchestra and serving on the Council of the Kenya Conservatoire of Music. In 2003 she was asked by a trustee of Harambee Schools Kenya to arrange a large fund-raising concert in All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi. In addition to the solo, choral and instrumental works she planned, she was asked to include another trustee, an organist based in the UK called Clifford Dann! She chaired the Commonwealth Housing Mutual Help Group (CHG) from its inception until she returned to the UK in 2016.
Aashna Puri BA
Aashna Puri is passionate about opportunities that empower people by connecting them with life-changing services and products. A commitment to this mission and her time living and working across Africa drive her involvement with the CHT.
Aashna is an experienced real estate professional. She has worked with JLL in New York on the iconic energy retrofit of the Empire State Building, then relocated to Johannesburg to lead their Africa Desk and is now based in London consulting large corporates on their portfolio strategy.
Interested in social innovation, Aashna founded Sogather, a social dining venture that allows people to connect over a freshly-cooked meal in the comfort of a home.
Aashna holds a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Entrepreneurship at the University of Cambridge.
Michael Sander BSc MPhil FRICS MRTPI CIHCM
Michael Sander has been in public service and private practice for some 50 years, as a Chartered Surveyor, Chartered Town Planner, Local Authority Chief Executive, and as a Consultant. He served as Chief Housing Officer at Lewes District Council, Director of Housing at Lewisham Borough Council, and Chief Executive at Crawley Borough Council.
He has been also Vice Chairman of a major Housing Association, Board Member of the Mental Health Trust for Kent; worked in International Development (especially in Africa), and continues to take part as an International Observer on OSCE and EU.Election Monitoring Missions.
He joined the Board of CHT at its inception.
Robin Witt BSc MSc
For the last 30 years I have been involved with a range of property development projects in the UK and Mallorca, Spain. In 2000 I set up a charity called the Rift Valley Tree Trust to try and help preserve the fast disappearing Mau Forest in Kenya, by getting commercial trees planted for felling, taking pressure off the forest. It became very clear that the greatest threat to the Mau forest came from the rapidly rising population of people, all requiring timber from the forest with which to cook on and build with. When I learnt that most women in the area had no access to family planning, and had more children than they wanted, it became clear that if we wanted to help save the forest we also had to give women the chance to choose how many children they wanted to have. In 2012 we changed the name to CHASE Africa (Community Health and Sustainable Environment) and started to work with partners delivering primary healthcare and family planning in rural areas of Kenya. We keep planting trees and have planted one-acre plots at over 200 schools, which when mature, provide a source of income for the schools.
I know Kenya well having been a regular visitor since 1976.
CHT is pleased to honour its Patrons and to thank them for their support.
The late Clifford Dann MBE
Patricia Dann JP
Patrons (RICS Past Presidents)
Graham Chase (Chair, CHT)
Max Crofts (Secretary, CHT)
Jonathan Harris OBE
Rt Hon Lord Steel of Aikwood, KT KBE PC
Sir Michael Latham, DL