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

The Team

Conor O'Donovan

John Haynes Foundation Chair

Hilda Yarker

Interim CEO of The John Haynes Foundation

Hilda is Managing Director and founder of H2A Partnership Ltd which supports transformative change across sectors with a focus on Strategic Communications, Public Engagement, Staff Involvement, Leadership & Cultural Change, and Organisational Development. Hilda, the founder, was an NHS Director instrumental in shaping healthcare policy. Her passion lies in supporting those with lived experience. With a background in charity leadership, including Chair of Cheshire East CVS, she excels in Planning, Development, Governance, and Change Leadership.

Hilda has been interested in behavioural change ever since studying for a Public Health degree in the 1990s. This interest took her on a long journey of understanding herself before she could understand others. This eventually led to the John Haynes International Coaching Academy where Hilda met the incomparable John Haynes. She has yet to meet another individual with so much energy, a man who constantly gave to others. John loved people and he loved life. Hilda always welcomed the opportunity of spending one-on-one time with John, seeking his opinion on a variety of subjects, constantly asking ‘what do you think of this John, what would you do in this situation’? His opinion mattered to her as much as it did to so, so many others. Hilda is grateful that he touched her life and made a difference, and she is proud to be one of his eagles. The following quote always reminds her of John Haynes, he was, without doubt, a great leader:

‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a great leader’. - John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the USA

Andrew Dwerryhouse

Deputy Chair

Andrew Dwerryhouse is the Managing Director of Wild Thang LTD, a journey that began in 1996 with a small Princes Trust loan. Under his leadership, they've grown into the Liverpool City Region's largest branded clothing, merchandise, and print company, ranking in the top 5% nationally. Andrew specialises in creative problem-solving, branding, manufacturing, and distribution of related projects.

In addition to founding and leading the Wild Thang senior team, his expertise spans team leadership, financial planning, branding, PR & marketing, R&D planning, manufacturing, and quality standards. Andrew served as a Northwest Ambassador for the British Promotional Merchandise Association and currently holds a role as Foundation Governor at St Vincent De Paul Primary School.

Andrew believes in continuous personal development to realise his potential. A decade-long friendship with John Haynes, a friend and master mentor coach, deeply influenced him. His company embraced John's coaching, and instilled a can-do attitude, shaping Wild Thang's ethos. Andrew is committed to making a positive impact in business, society, and the local community, embodying the Wild Thang Way.

Neil Hogan


Katie Dickson

Company Secretary

Katie joined the JHF in 2022 and was a long time friend and supporter of John.

After working in the public sector for over 15 years, She founded Greyside Planning in 2012 and with the head office based in Liverpool city centre, she is passionate about the regeneration and growth of Liverpool and the City Region.

Katie is an avid traveller, having been to over 30 countries, with plans to tick many more places off in the future. A passionate cook, with shelves groaning with the weight of many cook books, she loves to entertain friends and family when time allows.

With many years’ experience in project management, financial planning, and public and private sector engagement she aims to become an integral part of the John Haynes Foundations' future growth and successes.

Shelley Douglas

Training Lead

Shelley Douglas is a dedicated health, safety, and well-being professional with a decade of experience leading global learning initiatives. Her expertise focuses on psychological safety, complemented by qualifications in hypnotherapy and counseling for goal achievement and thriving.

Since 2017, Shelley has driven 'The John Haynes Way' as Training Lead for our charity, enhancing lives through education. With a rich learning background, she grasps education's community impact and drives social change.

Shelley orchestrates educational programs aligning with our Charity's mission, collaborating closely with our team. Her compassionate approach to content delivery and resource design fosters collaboration and shared vision.

Driven by her passion for education and social justice, Shelley ardently advances our organisation's impact, sparking enduring change in our communities.

Linda Adkins

Chief Ambassador

Sarah-Louise McCartney

Marketing Consultant

Andy O'Hare

IT Consultant

Angela Preston

Executive Coach/Mentor/Ambassador

Angela is a four-time International bestselling author/playwright, award-winning Leadership Coach, and TEDx presenter. She's the founder of AP Coaching and Consultancy Ltd, and CEO of AP Coaching and Mentoring Academy CIC. Angela's work extends to corporate giants like HSBC and BNY Mellon and involves charitable contributions that exceed £10k.

With a passion for community, Angela established her business's academic branch, empowering individuals of all ages to reach their full potential. Her acclaimed 'Opening the Doors to Your Future' program, delivered to Merseyside schools, is a testament to her commitment.

Angela's coaching philosophy centres on self-awareness for effective leadership. She champions personal growth through engaging talks and seminars. Her friendship with John Haynes sparked collaboration, even though it was cut short. John's influence remains imprinted in Angela's coaching approach.

As a contributor to John's legacy, Angela finds fulfilment in coaching students at the City of Liverpool College. Angela’s own journey of lifelong learning continues to this day, having just completed a degree in Creative Writing and Politics, she said, ‘if I can do it, so can you’. ‘Lifelong learning is intrinsic to who I am and my motto; “always be the student in room” will guarantee that. “Never give up on your dreams.”

David McMillian

Executive Coach/Mentor/Ambassador

In late 2010, David finished with full-time Formula One (F1) and started Aspire Sports. In 2011, he was contracting in various forms of international motorsports and working in an ‘event technician’ capacity for various elite car manufacturers.

One Friday afternoon, David attended a networking event in Liverpool, and, as fate would have it, a certain Mr. John Haynes was the first person he met when walking through the door. “Right then young man, tell us who you are and what you do” were the first words out of his mouth.

David's reply was “Well, why don’t I tell you what I’ve done and what I do now.” They talked at length about David's 13 years with the British Cabinet and Foreign Office, Himalayan Expeditions, and his 13 years working full-time in F1.

John retorted “You’d make a GREAT Coach” David was invited to the offices of the ‘International Coaching Academy’ where, unbeknownst to him, his direction in life was about to change. John led David to the coaching room on the third floor (the room that changed hundreds of lives) where they talked for an hour. There and then he immediately knew that he had to do the courses, this is what he had been searching for.

Almost 13 months later, David completed his Master's Course and immediately started planning to combine his newly acquired coaching skills with his years of elite motorsports experience. Twelve years later, David still runs a successful coaching business with many champion racing drivers in his stable.

John was 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 a seasoned Sales and Marketing Consultant with a genuine passion for connecting people and optimising business opportunities through effective strategies and processes. With 28 years of diverse industry experience, including FM, IT, Media, Fashion, Beauty, and Health and well-being, Kate brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her coaching role at the John Haynes Foundation.

Specialising in Digital and E-commerce for 14 years, Kate has held key positions such as VP / Head of SME Sales for Bespoke (Digital) Barclaycard and served as Advertising Director of Newsquest. Her understanding of digital sales coupled with traditional business development has been instrumental in empowering businesses to excel in the ever-evolving online landscape.

Kate is also a dedicated advocate as the Chair of the Secondary Breast Cancer Charity, Fighting to be Heard. She is committed to raising awareness and offering essential support to those facing the challenges of secondary breast cancer.

Kate's journey as a coach at the John Haynes Foundation is rooted in her profound respect for her mentor, John Haynes, who guided her during a critical phase when her daughter's health was a top priority. Kate, a JHF Eagle, now pays it forward by leveraging her experience to mentor and empower others, making a lasting impact on their personal and professional journeys.

Trustees and Patrons

Dave Connor


Elaine Bowker


Elaine Bowker is the Principal & Chief Executive of The City of Liverpool College Group, delivering high quality skills across FE, HE and apprenticeships via the largest further education college in the Liverpool City Region. She has a strong background in skills delivery, policy and transformation, with previous roles including Strategic Director of Transformation at Manchester City Council, Area Director for Greater Manchester at the Learning & Skills Council and Executive Director for Greater Merseyside (also LSC).

Elaine is currently a member of the Liverpool City Region LEP Board, where she is the champion for equality & diversity, and a member of the advisory board for the Centre for Educational Leadership at Liverpool John Moores University. She is also a member of several national skills advisory committees covering skills and education. She’s a trustee of the Sound City Board, an organisation helping the next generation of musicians and business owners, in Festivals, Conferences and Learning Programmes, providing a platform for British artists, particularly those from Liverpool and the North West.

Alan Middleton


Alan was a close friend of John Haynes.

With a legal career spanning over 35 years, Alan is a seasoned solicitor who has diligently practiced his craft in the heart of Liverpool city centre. His presence in the legal landscape has garnered him both respect and recognition, solidifying his standing within the professional community.

Alan is well known in the Liverpool business community having been a founder member and director of Liverpool Vision and having advised many well known businesses and individuals both locally and nationally.

Now living in Woolton Village, Alan is a proud (young!) grandfather. He enjoys walking in the Lake District, travel, and sports.

Carl Wood


Carl, before joining John’s Foundation as a Trustee, was Regional Managing Director of Reach plc North West, North Wales and West Yorkshire which included responsibility for the Liverpool Echo, Manchester Evening News and Reach Sport UK print and digital businesses, in a career spanning 28 years.

He was previously Chief Executive and Trustee of ‘In Their Name - The Halo’ an anti-slavery charity, based in Liverpool. In addition, Carl was a member of the Merseyside Leadership Board for Business in the Community (BITC), a board member of the University of Chester Business Advisory Council, and a Director of West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, he is a Non-Executive Director of Cockbain & Associates Wealth Management Company, a Director on the Executive Board of The Liverpool BID Company, a consultant for SOG Ltd on the Liverpool City Region's beacon project 'Heath Park' and an Advisory Board Member on Liverpool Hope University's Business School SEARCH project.

Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends, good food, relaxing holidays, live music, and is a big Liverpool FC fan.

Carl loved John and feels extremely proud not only to be a trustee of his foundation but also to have been one of John’s ‘top mates’

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, Deputy Chief Executive, and head of the club's official charity, Everton in The Community. The first female Director on the Club's Board since 2016. Holds expertise across ten Executive Portfolios and has served on Advisory Boards to the UK Government, including The Children's Commissioner and The C-19 Business Recovery Panel. Also, a member of several Non-Executive Director Boards, including the 2021 Special Olympics and Sport England. Recognised with honorary awards, including the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“I am incredibly proud and honoured to be Chief Patron of the John Haynes Foundation. I’ve been fortunate to be asked to chair many panels and sit on many boards over recent years, but this one is particularly special to me. Special because it’s for John, and because of the nature of the work we will undertake in his name.

“The word legend can often be overused, but it is appropriate for John Haynes. He had an incredible spirit and a unique determination to help everyone he came into contact with. I remember fondly the first time I met him. His warmth, beaming smile and unwavering positivity was extremely infectious and instantly put you at ease. He made you feel you could achieve anything. He inspired you to be your best. These are special qualities that have benefitted more than 300,000 people across Liverpool and abroad. From young people in vulnerable situations to senior business leaders, John worked with so many people to help them achieve success. I say this from personal experience. John supported me in so many ways, he was my mentor and my coach, and helped me develop many of the leadership skills that have helped me throughout my time at Everton. He was a knowledgeable, trusting confidante. But above all, a friend. Someone who you could rely on, someone who was there for you when you needed them.

“I am hugely excited to work with my colleagues at the John Haynes Foundation and continue John’s legacy and dream of educating one million people to allow them to ‘fly with the Eagles’, and not scratch around with those nasty, horrible turkeys!”

Steve Rotherham


Paul Askew


Paul Askew is one of the UK’s most pioneering figures in hospitality. Chef Patron for the last 9 years at The Art School in Liverpool, Paul creates classic and innovative fine-dining whilst working with many excellent young chefs under his tutelage. His focus remains fixed on bringing the highest standard of gastronomy to Liverpool and showcasing just how good the city can be, striving to achieve the region's ever more recognition.

His focus remains fixed on bringing the highest standard of gastronomy to Liverpool and to showcase just how good the city can be, striving to achieve the region ever more recognition.

Over the last 18 months, Paul has cooked away from his kitchen for the G7 delegation in December 2021, recreated The Art School at The Grand National in Aintree in April 2022 and 2023, The Turner Prize December 2022 and is the patron of the recent Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux festival.

As part of his wider work, Paul is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and their Chairman for the North of England. He is also part of a collective of chefs who opened the intimate Scouse brasserie in Liverpool, Barnacle, in December 2021, to great acclaim.

Paul’s list of credentials includes:

Christian Owens


Christian Owens is the Founder of GenderSpace and a retired Detective Sergeant. He was recognized as a 'Lifetime Achiever' finalist at the 2020 National Diversity Awards and awarded 'Business Person of the Year' at the 2023 LCR Pride.

A compelling transgender speaker, Christian draws from his personal journey to inspire individuals and organizations, including law enforcement agencies and educational institutions. Growing up in a Catholic family in Runcorn, Cheshire, Christian attended Catholic primary and secondary schools.

With a 27-year career in the police service, Christian transitioned while serving in Merseyside Police, marking a significant milestone for the force. Now retired from his role as Detective Sergeant, he continues to collaborate with Merseyside Police through his business, GenderSpace. In this capacity, he educates and raises awareness about transgender issues for staff and officers.

Christian's transformative journey from facing obstacles, discrimination, and bias to becoming an authentic role model exemplifies courage and empowerment. His personal experiences as a gay trans male provide audiences with a profound understanding of the journey of transition. Through his words and experiences, Christian fosters empathy and comprehension, leaving a lasting impact on those he addresses.