PROMO John Haynes Foundation Great Gatsby Gala Dinner - 23rd Sept 2023

The Team


Conor O'Donovan

John Haynes Foundation Chair

Conor, CEO of Sefton Hospitality Group since 2007, oversees a diverse portfolio spanning hospitality, real estate, and the care sector. A dedicated advocate for personal growth, he serves on various boards, including the John Haynes Foundation and BITA Hospitality as Co-Chair. With over 13 years of friendship with John, Conor's commitment to learning led him to qualify as a Master Coach in 2018, using these skills to support others' development. Outside of work, he cherishes time with family, caring for his pets, and exploring new cultures whenever possible.


Hilda Yarker

Interim CEO of The John Haynes Foundation

Hilda, Managing Director and founder of H2A Partnership Ltd, drives transformative change in sectors like Strategic Communications, Public Engagement, and Leadership. With a background in NHS leadership and charity governance, she's dedicated to supporting those with lived experiences. Her journey in behavioural change began during her Public Health studies in the 1990s, leading her to the John Haynes International Coaching Academy, where she found inspiration in John's boundless energy and generosity. Grateful for his influence, Hilda is proud to be one of his Eagles, embodying the quote: 'If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a great leader' - John Quincy Adams.


Andrew Dwerryhouse

Deputy Chair

Andrew Dwerryhouse, MD of Wild Thang LTD since 1996, transformed a small loan into Liverpool City Region's leading branded clothing and print company, ranking top 5% nationally. His expertise in branding, manufacturing, and team leadership drives Wild Thang's success. Andrew's commitment to personal development, influenced by his friendship with John Haynes, shapes the company's ethos. Committed to business and community impact, he serves as a Foundation Governor at St Vincent De Paul Primary School.


Neil Hogan



Katie Dickson

Company Secretary

Katie, a close friend of John, joined the John Haynes Foundation in 2022 after a 15-year career in the public sector. As founder of Greyside Planning, she's dedicated to Liverpool's regeneration. An avid traveller and passionate cook, Katie brings extensive experience in project management, financial planning, and sector engagement to the John Haynes Foundation, aiming to contribute to its future growth and success.


Shelley Douglas

Training Lead

Shelley Douglas, a health, safety, and well-being professional, brings over a decade of experience in leading global learning initiatives. Specialising in psychological safety, Shelley holds qualifications in hypnotherapy and counselling for goal achievement and thriving. Since 2017, she has spearheaded 'The John Haynes Way' as Training Lead, driving education initiatives to enhance lives. With a focus on community impact, Shelley collaborates closely with our team to orchestrate educational programs aligned with our charity's mission. Her compassionate approach fosters collaboration and sparks enduring change in our communities.


Linda Adkins

Chief Ambassador


Sarah-Louise McCartney

Marketing Consultant

Andy O'Hare

IT Consultant


David McMillian

Executive Coach/Mentor/Ambassador

In late 2010, David transitioned from full-time Formula One (F1) to start Aspire Sports. His encounter with John Haynes at a networking event in Liverpool proved fateful, leading to a pivotal moment where John suggested David's potential as a coach. Inspired, David pursued coaching courses at the International Coaching Academy, blending his elite motorsports experience with newfound coaching skills. Twelve years on, David's successful coaching business boasts champion racing drivers among its clientele, proving John's intuition right.


Leon McCowan

Executive Coach/Mentor/Ambassador


Dave Verburg

Executive Coach/Mentor/Ambassador

Dave has been helping people live their best life since 2012. He has an unerring belief that we are all more capable than we believe. He sees it as he job to help people realise this themselves. He now spends his time supporting people to live their life on their terms. Dave will happily tell you that John Haynes was a great support for him in his early career. He now sees it as payback to John to do his version of John's work. Key topics for Dave to deliver on are, beliefs, confidence, communication, workplace culture and leadership.


Kathryn Orr-Gordon


Kate is an experienced Sales and Marketing Consultant with over 28 years of industry expertise across various sectors, including FM, IT, Media, Fashion, Beauty, and Health. With a specialisation in Digital and E-commerce for 14 years, Kate held key positions such as VP/Head of SME Sales at Barclaycard Bespoke (Digital) and Advertising Director at Newsquest. She brings her wealth of knowledge to her coaching role at the John Haynes Foundation, where she mentors and empowers others, inspired by her mentor, John Haynes. Kate is also dedicated to her role as Chair of the Secondary Breast Cancer Charity, Fighting to be Heard, where she raises awareness and offers support to those facing challenges. Her commitment to making a difference is rooted in her profound respect for her mentor, John Haynes, who guided her during a critical phase in her life.

Trustees and Patrons


Dave Connor



Elaine Bowker


Elaine Bowker serves as the Principal and Chief Executive of The City of Liverpool College Group, overseeing skills delivery across further education, higher education, and apprenticeships. With a background in skills delivery and policy, Elaine has held strategic roles at organisations such as Manchester City Council and the Learning and Skills Council. She is actively involved in various boards and advisory committees, including the Liverpool City Region LEP Board and the Centre for Educational Leadership at Liverpool John Moores University. Elaine is also a trustee of the Sound City Board, supporting the next generation of musicians and business owners.


Alan Middleton


Alan, a close friend of John Haynes, boasts a legal career spanning 35 years. Based in Liverpool, he is a respected solicitor known for his expertise and contributions to the city's legal landscape. Alan has been involved in various business ventures and advised prominent businesses and individuals nationally. Currently residing in Woolton Village, he enjoys outdoor activities, travel, and sports, and is a proud grandfather.


Carl Wood


Carl, a trustee of John’s Foundation, brings 28 years of experience as Regional Managing Director of Reach plc North West, North Wales, and West Yorkshire, overseeing leading print and digital businesses including the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News. Previously, he served as Chief Executive of 'In Their Name - The Halo,' an anti-slavery charity. Carl is actively involved in various boards and advisory councils, including Business in the Community and the University of Chester Business Advisory Council. Currently, he serves as a Non-Executive Director of Cockbain & Associates Wealth Management Company and is involved in several projects focused on the Liverpool City Region. Outside work, Carl enjoys family time, good food, holidays, live music, and cheering on Liverpool FC. He cherished his friendship with John and is proud to support his foundation as a trustee.


Denise Barrett Baxendale

Chief Patron

CEO of Everton Football Club in the English Premier League from 2018 to 2023, with a prior 13-year tenure in various key roles, including Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive. The first female Director on the Club's Board since 2016. Recognised for her leadership across ten Executive Portfolios and contributions to Advisory Boards to the UK Government. Honoured with the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. “I am proud to be Chief Patron of the John Haynes Foundation. John's infectious positivity and unwavering support impacted countless lives, including mine. He was a mentor, coach, and above all, a friend. Together, we'll continue his legacy, empowering individuals to achieve greatness."


Steve Rotherham



Paul Askew


Paul Askew, Chef Patron at The Art School in Liverpool for 9 years, pioneers fine-dining with classic and innovative cuisine. He mentors young chefs and strives to elevate Liverpool's gastronomy, showcasing the city's culinary excellence. Recently, Paul catered for prestigious events like the G7 delegation and The Turner Prize. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and Chairman for the North of England. Paul's recent ventures include co-founding the acclaimed Scouse brasserie, Barnacle. Paul’s list of credentials includes:


Christian Owens


Christian Owens, Founder of GenderSpace, is a retired Detective Sergeant and celebrated advocate for transgender rights. Recognised as a 'Lifetime Achiever' finalist at the 2020 National Diversity Awards, and 'Business Person of the Year' at the 2023 LCR Pride, Christian's journey from growing up in Runcorn to serving in Merseyside Police while transitioning, marks a significant milestone for LGBTQ+ representation. Now retired, he continues to educate and raise awareness about transgender issues through GenderSpace, inspiring individuals and organisations with his transformative journey and authentic advocacy.