In remembrance of Maggie Punyer

In last month’s edition of CHIC CHAT John Fisher, our Chief Executive, advised of the sad and untimely passing of CHIC’s Independent Chair, Maggie Punyer. I write on behalf of the Board and CHIC Team to reflect on the immense contribution that Maggie made to our consortium and our sector.

CHIC is a member owned and governed consortium; the Board mainly comprises of member representatives. However, in 2017 we decided we should appoint an Independent Chair. Following a competitive process to find the most suitable candidate we appointed Maggie.

Maggie served two full terms of three years and we extended this for a handover period which was due to end this month, when Maggie would stand down as Chair, but complete a further term as a Board member.

Maggie was a larger than life figure. She had a passion for social housing and always looked at things through the tenants lens; her support for the theme of our recent 2024 CHIC Conference was overwhelming. She brought to our Board such energy and enthusiasm, always prepared to challenge the status quo, but for the greater good.

As Chair, Maggie cared deeply about her fellow Board members, ensuring that CHIC’s members perspectives were always represented, that we had the appropriate mix of skills and experience and that we were an effective governing body. For many member representative directors this was their first non-executive role and Maggie made sure they were welcomed, properly briefed and fully engaged in CHIC’s governance.

As her Deputy Chair for the last few years, I have learnt a lot from Maggie and always received unstinting support. But her input always made the interactions enjoyable; she was a forceful figure in a positive way – and always with a great sense of humour.

Maggie had to put up with a range of medical challenges in recent months and years, which she just skipped over stoically as just ‘minor irritations’, never complaining. She passed away too early, cutting short her hugely positive contribution to CHIC and to the social housing sector. We will miss her, but remember her with gratitude for what she achieved, with respect as an excellent Chair but also with fondness for her being the person she was.

David Wells
Deputy Chair

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