Alistair Vivian (VIV) ASTLING OBE DL

(April 2008)

Dudley Ambassador

QAVS Ambassador

Viv was formerly the Chief Executive and Town Clerk of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council for six years, then Chief Executive of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council for eleven years.  He has been the Independent Chair of Birmingham International Airport Consultative Committee since 1999.  He is also the Vice-Chair of the Midlands Arts Centre at Cannon Hill Park, and the Chair of Dudley College Governors.  He is Lay Chair of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Consultants Appointments Panel.  He is a trustee of the Heart of the National Forest Foundation, a member of the Birmingham Trees for Life Committee, and an independent member of the Appointments Panel for National Trust Regional Advisory Committee.

Viv has a particular interest in sculpture, and is a practicing stone carver with studio facilities at Dudley College.   He currently has three Public Art Commissions in the East and West Midlands including a work at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas.  

Viv is also a squash player.

Professor Madeleine ATKINS CBE DL

(January 2013)

Coventry Ambassador

Madeleine was formerly the Pro Vice Chancellor at Newcastle University, then Vice Chancellor at Coventry University from 2004 until 2013.  

In 2014, Madeleine was appointed Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Madeleine is a trustee for the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a Trustee for the Council for Industry and Higher Education


(October 1986)

Coventry Ambassador

After graduation Lord Aylesford worked in London as a Bill Broker and then joined Albert e Sharp , Stockbrokers in Birmingham in 1970. Thereafter he returned to his family home at Packington and has been involved in the management of the various activities which make up the family business. Apart from agriculture, these include quarrying, landfill, leisure in the form of fishing and golf and commercial and residential property.

He is President of Warwickshire C.C.C. and is a Trustee of various charities including locally Coventry Sports Foundation, Coventry Hospitals Charity, Lady Katherine Leveson Foundation and Coleshill Grammar School Foundation.

Lord Aylesford was Vice Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands from 1990 until 2015.


(September 2010)

Coventry Ambassador

Arun qualified as a dental surgeon (BDS) in 1983 from the Royal Dental Hospital in London.  Having specialised in Oral and Maxillo-facial surgery, he worked as a surgeon at Good Hope Hospital for twelve years.

Alongside his dentistry he was involved with developing  the family business known as KMS Limited, which trades in the import/export and distribution of motor parts.  The company has now been established more than 35 years.


(April 2008)

Birmingham Ambassador

Paul is the Chairman and co-founder of the Bond Wolfe group, established in 1983. He is also the Chairman of Bigwood Chartered Surveyors and the Chief Executive of Real Estate Investors plc.  

He is a former President of the Chamber of Commerce.  Paul is also a Director of Birmingham Hippodrome.

Paul was High Sheriff of West Midlands in 2009/2010.


(November 2014)

Coventry Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Louise is the Chief Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce - a post she has held since February 2003.              

Her career has spanned both the private and public sectors including Chambers of Commerce, the National Health Service and the retail industry. She has also undertaken lecturing on the Masters in Business Administration and has run her own small business.                   

In 2007, Louise was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for her services to business and enterprise.

Louise has a strong commitment to voluntary work and to supporting young people.  For five years, she was a volunteer Counsellor for the North Worcestershire Bereavement Service and, since 2013, has been a Foster Carer.

Louise has a strong commitment to young people and, during her career, has voluntarily served on School Boards of Governors, College Boards and a University Board.   Since 2013, Louise has been an approved Foster Carer and her family welcomes young people into their home with the aim of providing young people with a safe environment, warmth, support and a real commitment to raising their aspirations in life.  

For five years until 2014, Louise served as a volunteer counsellor to hundreds of clients needing to resolve issues around loss, trauma, bereavement, separation and grief. Louise is a qualified Psychotherapist/Counsellor.


(April 2008)

Birmingham Ambassador

Anita trained as a teacher and worked as a Community Relations Officer in Leicester, a Community Worker with the Asian Resource Centre in Handsworth, Birmingham.   She set up and ran a hostel for Asian Women (one of the first in the country).

Anita has had a varied career in broadcasting, from presenting a local radio programme for the Asian Community in Birmingham she went on to present Channel 4’s Eastern Eye (the first Asian magazine programme in English).   She also developed the BBC Radio Asian Network in the West Midlands (now a national digital service).  Her next move was to BBC Television News, as the Community Affairs Correspondent for Midlands.  She also took on the role of Editor Newsgathering and Managing Editor of one of the region’s local radio stations (BBC Hereford and Worcester).  Most recently, Anita was Editor Public Space Broadcasting for the BBC, with responsibility for the BBC’s Big Screens development.  

Anita is currently Chair of the Midlands Arts Centre, a trustee of the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, a member of Culture West Midlands (the DCMS Regional Cultural Consortium), Chair of the Birmingham Creative Board and a governor of Birmingham City University.

Anita was High Sheriff of West Midlands in 2010/2011


(January 2013)

Chair of Dudley Ambassadors

Business Ambassador

During his 20 years as a Partner at KPMG, Richard was a Managing Director and UK Board member for the firm's Management Consulting and then Corporate Finance businesses. He was also Chairman of the Centre for Manufacturing Consultancy and non-executive Chairman of KPMG's UK Automotive Practice for 7 years.

Richard was Regional Chairman of the Institute of Directors in the West Midlands and on the IOD National Council for 14 years. He has been a Board member and adviser for a number of private companies and is Chairman of a Group of Recruitment related companies. Richard is on the Board of IRC Global Executive Search Partners.  He is a Trustee of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment Museum and on the West Midlands Committee of the Prince's Trust.

Dame Christine BRADDOCK DBE DL

(November 2013)

Dudley Ambassador

Marketing & Communications Ambassador

Dame Christine is the Chairman of Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  She was formerly the Principal/Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College, Christine has nearly 20 years' experience in senior leadership of FE colleges.  

Her career started in the Probation Service and her success in that led her to becoming Senior Education Adviser for the Home Office, managing and co-ordinating education policy and provision in 43 Midland prison establishments.  After this role she went on to work at Dudley College as Deputy Principal before becoming the   Principal and Chief Executive, of Matthew Boulton College (and afterwards Birmingham Metropolitan College when Matthew Boulton College merged with Sutton Coldfield College to became Birmingham Metropolitan College).

Christine is the first female member of the Birmingham and Solihull LEP Board.  She is a past President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group.  Christine is a Council Member of CBI West Midlands, a Council Member of Aston University, an Officer of the 157 Group and was previously Deputy Chair of Birmingham Forward, and continues as a Director at Birmingham Forward.   

She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to education in the 2013 New Year Honours.

Christine was High Sheriff of the West Midlands 2013/2014.  



(February 2004)

Chair -Solihull Ambassadors

QAVS Ambassador

David was elected a Fellow of the British Horological Institute and instituted by the Astronomer Royal Sir Richard Woolley. He has worked for W A Perry Co Watchmakers and Fine Jewellers, before joining Ebauche S.A. Company Neauchatel in Switzerland, in the research and development department.  He worked for Henry V Jones and Co Birmingham, and became financial director, then served 18 years as the managing director, Group Chairman and Consultant.

In 1979 David was appointed a magistrate and in 1982 was appointed as an Appeal Justice in the Crown Court and has served on the Lord Chancellors Advisory Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Birmingham Branch of The Magistrates Association.

David has served as a trustee of the Birmingham Anglican Diocese, Vice Chair of several local Trusts, a Governor and Chair of several Solihull schools.  He has extensive links with diverse faith organisations, particularly with the Chinese, Middle East and Far East communities.

David was appointed as Horological Adviser to the Birmingham Diocesan Advisory Committee for the care of Churches and Cathedrals.

In 2000 David was elected Chairman of the Victoria Law Courts - Birmingham Bench, a contributor to the Sentencing Review Committee and a contributor to Lord Justice Auld’s review and recommendations on the English Criminal Courts and the English Criminal Justice System.

Since 2000 David has worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, GNN, and COI in conjunction and more recently direct with The UK Defence Academy, and is the organising Chairman and interlocutor for The Royal College of Defence Studies, (RCDS) of seminars on the English Criminal Justice System, hosting national and international visitors for the last 15 years, receiving over 150 senior military personnel

from over 123 different countries.

He is on Baddesley Clinton Parish Council, is President of the Birmingham International Canoldir Male Choir, President of the Birmingham County Scout Association, President of The National Trust (Solihull).  He is also a member of the Anglo-Italian Society.


(November 2013)

Chair of Wolverhampton Ambassadors

Business Ambassador

Keith qualified as a Chartered Accountant.  He spent 7 years in West Africa before returning to establish and participate in a number of companies.  His major interest was in the formation of Takare plc, a company specialising in long term care.  When it was sold in 1998 to BUPA, the company had 20,000 employees.  

Keith has interests in the motor trade through Listers Group Limited,  electronic manufacturing involving sound reinforcing equipment through Laney Headstock Distribution Limited, and latterply property development through Nurton Developments Limited.  He is non-executive chairman of these companies.

Keith is the High Sheriff of West Midlands (2016 -17)


(April 2008)

Walsall Ambassador

Elisabeth’s primary role is as Chairman of NHS West Midlands, the Strategic Health Authority for the Region, responsible for NHS services to more than 5 million people. Since 2006 she has been Chair of the SHA Chairs’ Group. Elisabeth is also a non-executive director of the NHS Blood and Transplant Authority and Chair of the Ministerial Organ Donation Task Force.  She has been an NHS Chair since 1996 and a non-executive since 1992.

In addition she has a non-executive role with Simplyhealth, a private health insurance and occupational health mutual company.

Elisabeth’s background is as a health services and voluntary sector director, including a period as a trustee of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Chair of Walsall Refugee and Asylum Seekers Support Association. She teaches at a number of Universities and does board development work, principally in relation to governance and service.

Elisabeth is Chair of Birmingham Women’s Hospital since October 2011.


(November 1991)

Chair - Coventry Ambassadors

Business Ambassador

David is the Chairman of Burbidge and Son Ltd, which manufactures quality kitchen furniture at two factories in Coventry. He is also the chairman of Burbidge Capital Limited in Nairobi, Kenya which provides corporate finance advisory services in East Africa. He was a Director of the Coventry Building Society for over 20 years and was chairman of their £50m pension fund.

He was the founding Chairman of the Coventry Cathedral Development Trust, which raised over £5 million for the Cathedral ministry and for endowment.  He was President of the City of Coventry Scout County for over 12 years and was the Chair of the Belgrade Theatre until 2008.

He is now a main Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and previously Chairman of the Central Campaign for the £112 million Transformation project. He is also the chairman of the RSC pension fund trustees and a member of the audit and investment committees.

He was a Councillor on the Warwick District Council.  David was High

Sheriff of the West Midlands County in 1990/1991.


(April 2014)

Chair of Marketing & Communications Ambassadors

David has more than 30 years senior experience in the development and implementation of communications programmes starting his career on West Midlands newspapers before entering the world of PR, communications and reputation management. He established his own company in 1986. Today Clarke Associates advises some of the Midlands’ leading organisations.

David has a wide range of contacts in part because he is an enthusiast for the region. He is past-chairman of business lobby group Birmingham Forward, a former trustee of Birmingham Settlement and past-chairman of the Birmingham Business Breakfast Club. He has been a director of Marketing Birmingham and has recently stepped down as chairman of The Birmingham Civic Society. He serves on the Council of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, is an elected guardian of The Birmingham Assay Office and a non-executive director (pro-bono) of Miss Macaroon CIC - a social enterprise company supporting marginalised young people.


(April 2014)

Solihull Ambassador

Military Ambassador

Following service in the Royal Navy, Brendan held appointments in the Civic Service and private industry.  In 1987 he was appointed Personnel Director of Lucas Aerospace and over the following 15 years he held several senior appointments in Lucas Industries (and its successor companies LucasVarity and TRW).  

He was appointed CEO of Cosworth Racing in 2001 and left in 2004.  

Brendan is currently Chairman of CENEX; Centre of Excellence for LowCarbon and Fuel Cell Technology based at Loughborough University.

Brendan is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Royal Air Force Museum and he is the Chairman of Midlands Air Ambulance.


(November 2013)

Birmingham Ambassador

Military Ambassador

After gaining a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Birmingham John worked initially as a development chemist in the plastics industry. Later, becoming a chartered management accountant (FCMA), he had a career as finance director in private companies and PLC’s in manufacturing later moving to the service sector (passenger transport) where he became managing director in the largest independent operator in the West Midlands.    

From 2000-2008 John was a member of Council at the University of Birmingham, and he retains strong links with the University as chairman of two companies, a member of Court, chairman of the Defence Studies Dining Club, where he hosts internationally renowned guest speakers, and chairman of the support staff pension scheme. Previously he was president of the Guild of Graduates and the Alumni Association.

In 2009 John was appointed non-executive director of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust.  He takes a passionate interest in the NHS and its future development.

John has served as a director or chairman of various charitable organisations and is a member of the Lunar Society and Birmingham Civic Society. He is the chairman of the governing body at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield.

In 2015 John was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Birmingham for his contribution to the University, the City of Birmingham and the West Midlands.


(September 2009)

Birmingham Ambassador

Military Ambassador

Heidi is a Consultant in Transfusion Medicine for NHS Blood and Transplant and acts as an adviser to the Ministry of Defence.  She has 30 years of service in the volunteer sector.  She studied medicine at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, London and St John’s College, Cambridge.  She completed her postgraduate training in haematology at Nottingham and London.  She also undertook postgraduate studies in medical education and health care management.  After completing a travel fellowship in Jamaica and accompanying her husband to Cyprus for a year, she took up her consultant post in Birmingham.   

Heidi was commissioned in the Territorial Army 1984 and served for 30 years, during which time she served with several units and completed a number of operational deployments.  She was appointed colonel on appointment as Commanding Officer, 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital (V) in 2007.  She has served as an adviser in transfusion to the MoD since 2005 and was instrumental in promoting patient safety initiatives, European collaboration and military and civilian partnership.  Her work was recognised in the Military Civilian Healthcare Partnership awards in both 2009 and 2011.  She retired from the Army in 2014.  

Heidi continues to work for NHS Blood and Transplant based in Birmingham.  She has experience in many areas of transfusion, with interests in emergency planning, overseas development and pre-hospital care.  Past projects have included post-conflict reconstruction, workshops for the WHO, and medical planning for the 2012 Olympic Games.  She is an active member of the Royal College of Pathologists, working to raise the profile of pathology and science in society.

 Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

 Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists

 Defence Consultant Adviser 2010 - 2013

 Officer (Serving Sister) of the Order of St John, 2012

 Officer of the Order of the British Empire, 2013

 Colonel Commandant of the Royal Army Medical Corps, 2014

 County President St Johns Ambulance 2015

She is married to Lt Col (retd) Jim Storr, who is Professor of War Studies at the Norwegian Military Academy.  

Professor Sir David EASTWOOD DL

(January 2012)

Birmingham Ambassador

Sir David has been the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham since 2009.  He was previously the Chief Executive for Higher Education Funding for England and the Vice-Chancellor at the University of East Anglia.

Sir David is the Chair of Universities West Midlands, the Chair of University & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), a Board Member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, a Board Member of Marketing Birmingham.

Sir David was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014.


(January 2012)

Walsall Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Military Ambassador

David worked as an economist in London, before moving to the West Midlands in 1979 to work at the Walsall Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed Chief Executive of this organisation and then East Mercia Chamber before moving across to Coventry and Warwickshire where he was Chief Executive of the Business Link and the Chamber.

Between 2003 and 2011 he worked in Westminster as Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce, representing the interests of 100,000 businesses.

His activities are now in the field of Education, Enterprise and Employability. David is Chairman of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire LEP. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Coventry University College and Chairman of two national charities – Vinspired and National Numeracy and Deputy Chairman of the Ufi Charitable Trust.

Professor Abdul Rashid GATRAD OBE DL

(November 2014)

Chair of Walsall Ambassadors

QAVS Ambassador

Rashid  is a Consultant Paediatrician at the Manor Hospital in Walsall UK, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and also an Honorary Professor at the Universities of Wolverhampton and Kentucky, USA.

He has been a Clinical Director for Paediatric Services in Walsall and subsequently Post Graduate Tutor. He holds a National Award for Clinical Excellence. PhD gained him recognition as an international expert in trans-cultural medicine resulting in the co-authoring of two books - ‘Caring for Muslim Patients’ and ‘Palliative Care for South Asians’ both of which were launched to great acclaim in the House of Lords, with support from HRH Prince of Wales, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Sir Liam Donaldson, the then Chief Medical Officer.

Professor Gatrad has over 80 peer reviewed publications with past editorship of various journals. For the College of Paediatrics, he is a postgraduate examiner. In 1990 he was recognised by ‘Rotary International’ with the Paul Harris Fellowship for work on polio. In 2002 he was awarded an OBE and in 2014 received Freedom of the Borough of Walsall.


(January 2013)

Birmingham Ambassador

QAVS Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Stephen trained as a Chartered Auctioneer and in 1968 founded Alexander Stevens and Company, Surveyors in Birmingham. In 1990 he founded Stephens McBride, Chartered Surveyors in Yardley.

Stephen is now the Chairman of Stephen Goldstein group of Companies based in Solihull, which includes French Hotels and golf courses, a Self Storage company in Kings Heath and a property

He is the Chairman of Shirley Golf Club and Chairman of the Mad Hatters Charity.

Stephen has been the Vice Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award special project committee. He has also been the Chairman of Midlands Region Variety Club of Great Britain, National Co-Chairman of Fundraising Variety Club of Great Britain and Chairman of Solihull new hospital fundraising foundation Trust. He is a Committee member of the Solihull Hebrew congregation, Chairman of the Jewellery Quarter urban renewal and a member of special projects for heartlands hospital. Stephen has been a Co-Chairman of two regional Olympic appeals and one Commonwealth games appeal. He is involved in numerous other charity works.

Stephen was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015.

Professor Diana GREEN CBE DL

(May 2008)

Birmingham Ambassador

After a varied career including posts as a civil servant, consultant, partner in a small business and academic, Professor Diana Green became Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University in 1998. In that role, which she left in July 2007, she repositioned the University as one of the leading universities dedicated to exploiting the knowledge base to stimulate economic and social transformation.

She has a long-standing interest in economic development as a research field, developed through her Phd in Economics (studied as a mature student) and as a former consultant to the Department of Trade and Industry on economic and industrial change. She has a long track record as a non-executive director of several regeneration agencies in the West Midlands and in Sheffield.  She has also published extensively on quality and performance management.

Since retirement, she has developed a small  portfolio of Non-Executive roles in charitable and not for profit organizations, including two years as an NED assisting in the attempt to turn round the failing  Mid-Staffs NHS Foundation Trust.  The current portfolio includes the Kings World Trust for Children, which raises funds to educate and change the life chances of deprived children in Southern India.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, A Freeman of the City of London, and Liveryman of the Honorable Company of Air Pilots, a Member of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a Member of the International Women’s Forum, UK.

Diana was awarded a CBE in June 2007.

Professor Christopher HAM CBE DL

(November 2013)

Solihull Ambassador

Chris Ham took up his post as Chief Executive of The King’s Fund in April 2010. He has been Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of Birmingham, England since 1992. From 2000 to 2004 he was seconded to the Department of Health, where he was Director of the Strategy Unit, working with ministers on NHS reform. Chris is the author of 20 books and numerous articles about health policy and management.  Chris was a governor and then a non-executive director of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust between 2007 and 2010.

Chris has advised the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank and has served as a consultant to governments in a number of countries. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of the Royal College of General Practitioners, an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and a companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management.

Chris has served as a governor of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and the Health Foundation. In 2013 he was awarded the Donabedian International Award for a substantial contribution to healthcare excellence.


(November 2014)

Birmingham Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Steve’s career was in financial services with KPMG where he was a partner for over 20 years.  He served on UK and European Global Boards.  He has extensive experience in cross border transactions.  

Following retirement from KPMG, he now chairs and is involved in a number of financial services businesses in the UK and the USA.

Steve is Chairman of Birmingham Metropolitan College.  He is also Deputy Chair of GBPS LEP.


(November 2013)

Solihull Ambassador

Lynda worked for the West Midlands Lieutenancy since 1978, first as Assistant Clerk, then as the Clerk from 1986 until she retired in 2013.  During that time she served 3 Lord-Lieutenants, organised over 600 Royal Visits, 2 national Maundy Services and co-ordinated both the Golden and Diamond Jubilee visits of HM The Queen to the West Midlands.

Lynda has addressed the National Clerks Conference at Buckingham Palace and was awarded the MVO in 1994, then the LVO in 2007.

Lynda was previously a trustee of the Birmingham Hippodrome Development Trust and also the Coventry Belgrade Theatre Development Trust.

Frederik HSU DL

(December 2000)

Coventry Ambassador

QAVS Ambassador

Frederik Hsu was born in Hong Kong and grew up in London.  He spent the first 12 years of his career working in corporate finance roles before taking over as Chief Executive, and latterly Chairman, of the Firmin Group in Birmingham.  He is currently Deputy Chairman of NMS International Group, where his work in social/infrastructure projects takes him to many countries across Africa and the Middle East.

He has been an active supporter of British industry and served on the National Council of the CBI, Board and Council of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Chaired the Clothing and Infrastructure Group of the Defence Manufacturers’ Association (renamed ADS Group) and, as grantee of three Royal Warrants, was a Grantee Member of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.

He served as a Trustee of The Birmingham Foundation and has been an active supporter of a number of charitable organisations: NSPCC, Duke of Edinburgh’s’ Award and more recently, Caring for Courage and A Child Unheard.  He is a road safety campaigner, promoting safer road behaviour among young drivers and successfully led a five-year campaign for the introduction of speed restrictions on local roads.


(September 2010)

Solihull Ambassador

Business Ambassador

John Hudson is a chartered engineer and holds a Master's degree in Production Engineering. Following an engineering apprenticeship and early roles in technical positions he became general manager of Morphy Richards domestic appliances and thereafter a divisional CEO within the Delta group.

He was CEO of Wagon Industrial Holdings PLC for 10 years and for the last 14 years has chaired or been CEO of private equity backed businesses. Currently he chairs Birmingham airport and two engineering groups. He has been a director of various companies in the listed sector


(April 2008)

Birmingham Ambassador

Professor Deirdre Kelly is Professor of Paediatric Hepatology at the University of Birmingham, Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist and director of the Liver Unit for Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  She set up the Liver Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital which provides a national and international service for children with liver failure and undergoing liver transplantation, transforming survival and outcome for these children.  She runs an active research programme focusing on viral hepatitis in children, molecular genetics of inherited liver disease, quality and outcome of life following liver and/or intestinal transplantation.

She is on the council of the General Medical Council and was a Commissioner on the Care Quality Commission and then the Healthcare Commission. She has been the Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital. She has been President of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, British Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the International Paediatric Transplant Association.


(April 2008)

Wolverhampton Ambassador

Peter Knight retired from the position of Vice Chancellor of Birmingham City University in 2007.

He read physics at the University of York where his academic interests included astrophysics and the behaviour of semi-conducting materials. Whilst a lecturer at Plymouth Polytechnic he was elected National President of NATFHE, the union that represented the interests of 60,000 lecturers in further and higher education. From 1990 - 1994 he was a member and subsequently Chair of the Colleges Employers' Forum which acted for Colleges and Universities in negotiating staff pay and conditions.

He has served on a number of National Committees involved in the determination of policy in higher education including the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council and the Teacher Training Agency. In the West Midlands he has been involved for many years in the work of Housing Associations including the Chairmanship of the Prime Focus Housing Group. He is currently a member of Wolverhampton Homes.

Since 2007 he has held the appointment as a Local Government Boundary Commissioner for England. From 2004 – 2010 he was a member of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body.  In 2001 he was appointed by the Prime Minister as the Chair of the Prison Service Pay Review Body.

Professor Geoffrey LAYER OBE DL

(November 2014)

Wolverhampton Ambassador

Geoff Layer is a Professor of Lifelong Learning and has been the Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton since August 2011.  

Geoff has led on and advised on a number of national higher education initiatives in England.  Between 2000 - 2006 he was Director of Action on Access, an agency of HEFCE where he championed the Council’s Widening Participation Strategy.  He is a member of Universities UK’s Research Policy Network, the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Teaching, Quality and the Student Experience Committee and the Higher Education Public Information Steering Group.

Geoff is a board member of the  LEP and the City Strategy Board.  He was the Chair of the Steering Group of the HEFCE funded Centre for Sustainable Procurement and is a Board Member of the Equality Challenge Unit and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Geoff was awarded the OBE in 2003 for his services to Higher Education.


(November 2013)

QAVS Ambassador

Birmingham Ambassador

Beverly is the founder and general manager of Diamond Travel one of Birmingham’s leading independent travel agencies.

Beverly was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica and came to Birmingham to complete her Secondary Education. She started her career in nursing and midwifery and after leaving nursing she worked as a Senior Community Worker in Handsworth and also worked in the financial services before establishing Diamond Travel in 1987.

Beverly is a mentor, Ambassadors and supporter of the African Caribbean community not only in Birmingham but throughout the UK and internationally. Her success in business, aligned with her longstanding support for the local community, has resulted in her receiving many awards in appreciation of her outstanding work.

Beverly became a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham in 1997 and served as the President during 2012/2013, the first Afro-Caribbean woman president in almost a hundred years history of the Rotary Club of Birmingham.

Beverly is the Chairman of the Association of Jamaican Nationals (Birmingham) UK, a Board Member of the University of Birmingham’s Community Advisory Board, Director /Company Secretary of 3B (Black Business in Birmingham), a serving member of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham & Solihull Small Business Service and Birmingham City Council and the Learning & Skills

Beverly played a key role in the hosting of the 2012 Jamaican Olympic Team in Birmingham.

Colonel (retired) Thomas LLOYD OBE TD DL

(February 2004)

Chair -Military Ambassadors

Walsall Ambassador

Tom qualified as a Chartered Surveyor, was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1965, initially posted to 444 Lt AD Regiment RA(TA) at Wolverhampton.  Upon the reorganisation of the Territorial Army in 1967, this Unit became 210 Battery of 104 AD Regiment RA (V).  In 1976 he was appointed to Command of 214 AD Bty at Malvern/Worcester until 1980, subsequently becoming Second in Command of 104 AD Regiment RA (V) in 1982.  He assumed Command of the 104th Regiment from 1983-1986 with HQ in Newport South Wales. Upon completion of his appointment he became TA Colonel South to GOC HQ Wales at Brecon.  In October 1986, he was appointed Deputy Commander Royal Artillery (TA) to GOC North East District and 2nd Infantry Division with responsibility for all TA Gunner matters nationwide.  He retired in 1990 as Colonel RA (TA) having been awarded the Territorial Decoration with two bars.

Having been Chairman of West Midlands Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association 2002-2008, he still remains a Board Member. He continues as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Artillery Association.

He was Honorary Colonel to Staffordshire and West Midlands Army Cadet Force 2002-2008, and is currently Honorary Colonel to 210 (Staffordshire) Battery of 106th (Yeomanry) Regiment RA (V) from June 2007 to the present; he also continues as Patron to 214 (Worcestershire) Battery of 104th Regiment RA (V).

Having been self-employed for 35 years, he currently continues to work as a Consultant Chartered Surveyor. He was the Provincial Grand Master for the Masonic Province of Staffordshire from 2003-2012 and Chairman SSAFA greater Birmingham Branch since 2009.


(September 2010)

Birmingham Ambassador

A multilingual graduate of the Faculty of Law at Liverpool University and Chester College of Law and a Member of the Law Society, Jenny was an equity partner at Garner, Canning and Co. before leaving to set up her own law firm Loynton & Co. Solicitors Limited.  Jenny is a Director and Sole Shareholder of the Company which specialises in commercial property conveyancing, litigation, probate and immigration.  

She has an office at the Wing Yip Business Centre, Nechells, Birmingham specialising in Chinese legal issues.

 She speaks two Chinese dialects, namely Cantonese and Hokkien, together with Thai, Malay and English.


(April 2014)

Birmingham Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Hamid is an internationally acclaimed Manufacturing Leader with over 28 years of experience in the Automotive and Aerospace Industries. During this period he has held senior positions in a variety of disciplines ranging from Product Engineering to Supply Chain Management. He joined Rolls-Royce in 2001 from BMW Group where he was Director of New Product Programmes.

In his current role as Director of Global Manufacturing, Rolls-Royce plc, Hamid is responsible for leading the Manufacturing activities & strategies across Civil, Defence, Marine & Energy sectors of the company. This includes the development and deployment Manufacturing methods, standards, technologies, systems and Lean practices and behaviours to achieve Best in Class performance. He is also responsible for the professional development of the global Manufacturing community in the company.

He has a keen interest in the latest developments in Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management and contributes regularly to professional bodies in his capacity as Pro Chancellor University of Nottingham and External Professor at Cranfield and Sheffield Universities. He is a Chartered Engineer, winner of the IET’s International Manufacturing Gold Medal, Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, IMechE and IET and a Board member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult & the Advanced Manufacturing Institute.  

Hamid passionately believes in the social and economic value of Manufacturing. He plays a leading role in the advancement of competitive Manufacturing in UK by promoting collaborative programmes such as the Global network of Advanced Manufacturing Research Centres, the development & application of Lean Production Systems, The Future of Manufacturing project with the Government Office of Science and cross-sector education and training programmes for industrial leaders.


(September 2009)

Chair - Sandwell Ambassadors

Wolverhampton Ambassador

QAVS Ambassador

Military Ambassador

Sylvia is the SaBRE (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers) Campaign Director for the West Midlands and a member of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA). She was a Territorial Army Nursing Officer (Major) in 202 (Midland) Field Hospital (V), whose headquarters are in Kings Heath. She has served in both Gulf Wars.

Previous to gaining her nursing qualification as a mature student, Sylvia was a director of a small family business. Her career has spanned both the public and private sectors, she was employed by Wolverhampton Primary Care Trust from 1987 to 2000, being involved in Community Nursing, caring for families and individuals as a Health Visitor, and finally as a member of the Health Care Management Team, helping to shape NHS policy, before taking up her present post at the RFCA.

Sylvia has been a Magistrate on the Wolverhampton Bench since 1991 and has been a member of the Family Panel since 1996. She is also an Associate Hospital Manager (1983 Mental Health Act Appeals) for the Black Country Partnership NHS Mental Health Trust.

(Joseph) Alexander PATRICK CBE DL

(April 2002)

Solihull Ambassador

Alex has been involved in the family business throughout his life. The business started out as Patrick Motors Ltd but this is now part of PMG Investments Ltd.

He has been involved in numerous groups giving service to the community, Chairman of the Patrick Trust, Trustee of The Patrick Foundation, Honorary Life President of The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, Chairman of the Joseph Patrick Trust (Muscular Dystrophy Equipment Fund), Trustee of The Black Country Living Museum (retired), member of the Development Committee for Oundle School Foundation, Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a committee member for The Stonehouse Gang. He is also an Honorary Visiting Fellow of Green Templeton College Oxford.

Sir Peter RIGBY DL

(June 2000)

Coventry Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Sir Peter Rigby is the founder, CEO and Chairman of the Rigby Group, which contains Europe’s largest independent IT company, SCC. He started the founding company in 1975 and today it is one of the biggest privately owned businesses in the UK.

Sir Peter is also the Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), which aims to promote business and industry growth within the area. He is also a trustee of several key charities, including The Rigby Foundation, his family charitable trust.

Sir Peter has an enormous depth of business experience, including nearly 40 years of successfully running his own businesses both nationally and internationally. He is one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and someone who has worked through a number of downturns and continues to be successful. In 2002, Peter Rigby was knighted for his contribution to IT and business in the Midlands.

Sir Paul SCOTT-LEE QPM DL (June 2003)

Birmingham Ambassador

In 1969 Sir Paul joined the Warwickshire and Coventry Constabulary; he rose to the rank of Superintendent with Northamptonshire Police and was appointed as Assistant Chief Constable with Kent Constabulary. He later became the Deputy Chief Constable with the Suffolk Constabulary before becoming Chief Constable in 2002 with the West Midlands Police and retiring in 2009.

Prior to Joining West Midlands Police he was Chairman of The Guardians of The Foyer – an organisation providing accommodation and support for 16-24 year olds.

He received his Knighthood in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2007.


(April 2014)

Wolverhampton Ambassador

QAVS Ambassador

Satya is a retired General Medical Practitioner following 36 years in NHS and 31 years as GP.  He is the ex-Chairman of the  Local Medical committee in Wolverhampton and an ex-member of the General Medical Practitioners’ Committee BMA.

Satya is a Trustee of the SSMF Trust, New Cross Wolverhampton. He is a Fellow of the British Medical Association since 2013 and was awarded this honour for extraordinary service to the profession. He is Vice Chair of the BMA Midlands Council.

As Chairman of the Organ donation group in West Midlands, Satya is keen to promote Organ Donation in all sections of Society.


(January 2012)

Birmingham Ambassador

Chris joined the Metropolitan Police in 1980.  Following service in Central London he ran an estates policing pilot in South Acton and then joined a New Scotland Yard policy group with responsibility for estates and inner city policing.  This work included a secondment to the London City Action Team.  In 1989 he studied for an MBA at Warwick University before returning as a Chief Inspector to Holloway Division.

In 1994 he transferred to Staffordshire Police and as Superintendent. In 1998 he was promoted as Assistant Chief Constable in West Midlands Police, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in January 2003.

In 2006 he was appointed the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policing Policy and Practice at the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) based in London. He was responsible for research and evaluation, doctrine development and implementation and portfolio management.  

In September 2007 he was promoted to the position of Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police and then in 2009 he was appointed Chief Constable of West Midlands Police.

He is the Chair and Vice Chair of a number of Association of Chief Police Officers groups and is the Home Office appointed ACPO lead for the Reducing Bureaucracy Programme Board.


(April 2008)

Chair of QAVS Ambassadors

Solihull Ambassadors

Clive is CEO of a consultancy company and has just retired as Chairman and CEO of Redcliffe Catering who operated 50 contracts throughout the Midlands focusing on education, business and industry and conference and banqueting.

In addition to his company responsibilities, Clive chairs The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service Ambassadors group within the Lieutenancy,  is a Corporation Member of BMET college, a council member of the Chamber of Commerce, and is involved in numerous charitable organizations. He is passionate about ensuring young people have access to training and skills, and understanding the value of learning and development. Over the last 20 years he has been an active member of regional organisations which included Business Voice West Midland (previously West Midlands Business Council), the Regional Skills Partnership Board and the Learning and Skills Council.

Satinder Kaur TAUNQUE OBE DL

(January 2012)

Birmingham Ambassador

Satinder has engaged herself in a wide range of professional, social, cultural and religious activities and voluntary services to the community and presently, she is a visiting lecturer. Satinder is an elected public Governor of Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and a member of the Standing Appointment Committee of the Trust and is a volunteer Chaplain at Heartlands Hospital.

Satinder’s contribution to inter-community integration has been tremendous. During the past 41 years she has been trying to bridge the gap between the East and West, between the host community and ethnic minorities by holding several cultural link programmes, multicultural events and organising cultural exchanges.  The impact of these activities is reflected in the uniqueness of inter-ethnic harmony that one finds in Birmingham today. Satinder has been awarded numerous accolades for her voluntary work in the UK and abroad.

Satinder is a member of Birmingham Civic Society, a member of Women Confederation on World Peace, a member of the Hall Green Residents Association; she is an Associate Member of The Royal Society of St. George. She is also a former member of the Community Relations Council and also a former Chair of the Sikh Education Forum. She is the former Chairperson of Roshini Council which runs a hostel for homeless Asian women and girls and a former member of the Advisory Committee to the Independent Broadcasting Authority. Satinder is also a former member of Parents Teachers Association of Hall Green Infant and Junior School and a former governor of Chilcote Primary School, Birmingham. She is a former member of East Birmingham Community Health Council and a former member of the Community Health Council and Social Welfare Panel.

For the last 30 years Satinder has participated in raising funds for the disabled and especially blind elderly people in Birmingham she raises funds for “Free Eye Camp” in Punjab, India.  In 2005 Satinder worked tirelessly to raise funds for the Tsunami victims.


(November 2013)

Solihull Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Marketing & Communications

Paul is the CEO of the NEC Group, and presides over what is one of the Europe’s largest and most high profile venue management companies that contributes more than £2 billion a year to the West Midlands’ economy and supports nearly 29,000 jobs.   In addition to operating world class venues, the National Exhibition Centre and LG Arena, in Solihull, and the International Convention Centre and National Indoor Arena, in Birmingham, the Group also runs a national ticketing agency, The Ticket Factory, and an award winning catering division, Amadeus. Every year the group connects around 4 million people through shared experiences of business, live entertainment, sport and leisure at in excess of 750 events.  

Paul represents the NEC Group on the board of Marketing Birmingham; is Chair of Birmingham & Solihull Employment & Skills Board, Chair of the Birmingham Sports commission, and provides business mentorship to 3 businesses in the digital and media markets.

In addition to supporting the NEC Group’s Charity of the Year, Paul is a patron of Marie Curie and is a member of the advisory board of Bowel Cancer UK.

Professor Sir Nigel THRIFT DL

(April 2014)

Coventry Ambassador

Sir Nigel is currently Executive Director of the elite Schwarzman Scholars Programme. Before that, for the ten  years from 2006 - 2016, he was Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick. He joined Warwick from the University of Oxford where he was made Head of the Division of Life and Environmental Sciences in 2003 before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2005.

As Vice-Chancellor, he has launched an ambitious new strategy for Warwick’s future and has led to a step change in its performance, including: implementing an extensive capital plan; achieving a large increase in research income; producing high levels of philanthropic income; establishing high-profile partnerships and research collaborations and rapidly increasing Warwick’s international profile. He was also instrumental in building on Warwick’s strong links with business and industry, both nationally and internationally.

Nigel is an international research figure in the field of geography. He continues to maintain an active research career alongside his role as Vice-Chancellor and has been the recipient of a number of distinguished academic awards including the Royal Geographical Society Victoria Medal for contributions to geographic research in 2003, Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the Association of American Geographers in 2007, and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society Gold Medal in 2008. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003, received an Honorary LLD from the University of Bristol in 2010 and an Honorary LLD from Monash University in 2013. He has been a member of the Governing Board of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, and a Commissioner of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission.

Sir Nigel was knighted in the New Year Honours in December 2014.


(April 2008)

Dudley Ambassasdor

Marketing & Communications

Peter started broadcasting as a sports reporter for the Home Service of the BBC and went on to join HTV in 1968 as a presenter and announcer, moving to Granada Television in early 1971. He arrived on the scene in late 1972 to be ATV’s weekend host and it was during the February of the next year that he came up with the idea that was to become Tiswas. Peter presented the programme with Chris Tarrant until the end of 1977.

In 1979 Peter became the Managing Director of Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton, leaving in 1985. He helped to form JTA in 1988 which specialised in helping companies communicate more effectively internally. The lure of the broadcasting world was never far away however and in 2000 he was asked to become part of the SAGA bid for the third regional commercial radio franchise in the West Midlands. Having won that bid Peter took the station SAGA 105.7 fm on to the air in 2001 retiring in 2004.

In 2005 Birmingham Children’s Hospital offered him the challenge of Director of Communications, Marketing and Fundraising. He was the driving force behind The Red Balloon Appeal which raised £3 million for the new Burns Centre.

He was a founding member of The Coming of Age Partnership which educates employers on the benefits of employing people aged 50 and over, he is President of the West Midland Light Orchestra, Chairman of the CRUK committee in the Wyre Forest and  a former member of Birmingham Chamber Council. Peter is a Councillor on Wychavon District Council for the ward of Ombersley in Worcestershire.

Peter was the High Sheriff of the County of West Midlands in 2007/2008.


(April 2008)

Chair - Birmingham Ambassadors

QAVS Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Simon Topman has made a lasting contribution to corporate life and society in The West Midlands. Especially so in Aston and the North West where his company and world renowned  brand , Acme Whistles , has had its headquarters  for over 140 years.

His singular approach: tradition leading to innovation, employing only from bordering post codes  ,  creating a workplace that plays  a full part locally  and nationally in the social realm , has created  tenfold business growth over 30 years.

His current position as Chairman of Millennium Point is typical of the many leading roles he has held in the private, public and voluntary sectors bringing together his interest in the arts, education and citizenship. As chairman of the North West Birmingham New Deal for The Community he charted a course that took the organisation forward to become the country’s outstanding N.D.C. and an exemplar in regeneration.


(January 2013)

Chair -Business Ambassadors

Sandwell Ambassador

Stewart trained as an Accountant with the Birmingham firm of Farmiloe & Co.  In 1976 he moved into industry on completion of final exams as Group Accountant.  He was appointed to the Main Board in 1978 taking responsibility for the commercial and financial development of the Group.  He completed the buy-out of the business from the Hadley family in April 2006.  

Hadley has grown from £1 million annual turnover in the mid 1970’s to over £100 million annual turnover in 2012.  Growth has been primarily by product development, not acquisition.  Hadley have manufacturing plants in the Middle East, Far East and Europe and licensees throughout the world.

Stewart was awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to Industry in the West Midlands.

He was appointed as Business in the Community’s Regional Ambassador for the West Midlands by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in June 2007. Stewart was High Sheriff of the West Midlands 2012 -13.

Stewart is Chair of Business in the Community, West Midlands Region (October 2009 onwards), Chair of Black Country L.E.P. (December 2010 onwards), Chair of Governors at Bromsgrove School, The Ace Academy & Sixth Form Centre, Tipton,  Governor of Wolverhampton University, Aston University and Sandwell Academy.  He is also a Patron of The Prince’s Trust.

In July 2014, Stewart became Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton.


(August 2005)

Solihull Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Tim Watts joined the family business, Pertemps, in 1970 initially opening  a second office in Wolverhampton.  The company grew steadily and in 1994 Tim formed Pertemps Recruitment Partnership Ltd (PRP).   Today the company has a turnover of £250 million and has over 150 branches throughout Britain.  In August 2008 Tim was made CEO of Network Holdings Group Plc.

Tim actively supports education, the arts, sport and charities and is a trustee of numerous institutions.  He is very proud of the achievements of Pertemps and believes winning the 1995 Daily Telegraph/British Telecom Award for Customer Service has done a great deal to improve the image of the whole industry throughout the United Kingdom.  Furthermore, both Pertemps and Tim pulled off a unique double by being voted by the British Business Awards the winner of both the Business of the Year and the Businessman of the Year in 1997.

Tim was appointed as an Ambassador for Advantage West Midlands to help promote the region as a premier location in which to work, learn and live and raise the profile of Advantage West Midlands.

In 2005 Tim was made Vice President of the Spinal Injuries Association under the patronage of HRH The Princess Royal.  Other achievements include being made life time President of the Birmingham Foundation.  In March 2006 Tim received honorary membership of the Beta Gamma Sigma Society from Aston University for his business achievements.   In 2007 Tim was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Aston University in recognition of his services to business.

In 2008 Tim was appointed a West Midlands Ambassador for the Olympics. In 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University in recognition of his services to business.

Tim was the High Sheriff of the West Midlands 2014 - 2015.

Bishop Derek WEBLEY MBE DL

(September 2009)

Birmingham Ambassador

Bishop Derek previously worked as an administrator for British Gas West Midlands before going into full time church work in 1987.

He is a Minister of Religion for the New Testament Church of God.  He was National Director of Evangelism (1987 – 1991), then National Director of Youth and Christian Education (1991 – 1997) and since 1996 has been the District Bishop for Birmingham / Solihull.

Bishop Derek has served on a number of committees, including Relate (Executive Member), Lord Chancellor Advisory Committee, Birmingham Citizens, Chair of The Drum (Arts organisation) and was Chair of the West Midlands Police Authority.


(April 2008)

Wolverhampton Ambassador

Business Ambassador

Jeremy joined B E Wedge Ltd initially in the engineering department, moved into general management in 1969.  He is currently Chairman & Managing Director of B E Wedge Holdings Ltd, the largest group of galvanizing companies in the UK, with a turnover of approximately £100 million and 960 employees.  The company also has interests in plants in United States, Germany and Italy with affiliated interests in Czech and Slovak Republics, Holland, Belgium and Turkey.

Jeremy was Involved in the CBI locally for many years, initially as a member of the Small Firms Committee and the Smaller Firms Council in London.  He then became the inaugural Chairman of the CBI Black Country Steering Committee, when the interests of the Black Country boroughs were brought together at about the time of the formation of the Black Country Development Corporation.

Jeremy is a past member of the CBI West Midlands Regional Council and Regional Chairman of the West Midlands in 1994-96.   He is a past Chairman of the UK Galvanizers' Association and past President of the European General Galvanizers' Association.  He was also a member of the Management Board of the Engineering Employers' Federation, West Midlands for a number of years and President in 2002-2005.

He was appointed Chairman of Governors of Tettenhall College in September 2005 and was a past independent Governor of University of Wolverhampton 2004-2011.

Jeremy was awarded the CBE in the 1998 for services to Business in the West Midlands.  He was High Sheriff for the West Midlands in 2000-2001.

Jeremy was recently appointed Patron of Compton Hospice.

Deputy Lieutenants