Skip to content

Colin Daniels

Colin Daniels

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the University as a member of the University Council and as Chief Executive of the Warrington Chamber of Commerce. 

Chair of the Corporation of Warrington Collegiate since 1989, Colin Daniels has taken a very proactive and strategic role, including the complete re-building of that institution. He played a significant role in the successful transfer of the Collegiate’s Higher Education provision to the University of Chester in 2002.

He is a Senior Council Member of the University of Chester and a former member of the Court of the University of Salford.

In business, he is Chief Executive of Warrington Chamber of Commerce and Industry that serves Warrington and Vale Royal, and Chairman of Cheshire Chambers Enterprise Ltd, which serves the sub-region of Cheshire and Warrington. A director of Chambers of Commerce North West Ltd, he co-ordinates the work of the 16 Chambers of Commerce in the North West Region.

Sir Malcolm Walker CBE

Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) Business Administration in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the British retail industry.

Malcolm Walker was born in a mining village in the West Riding of Yorkshire on February 11, 1946, and educated at Mirfield Grammar School. He joined Woolworths as a trainee manager in 1964 and founded Iceland as a sideline in 1970, opening the first shop in Oswestry with an initial investment of just £60. After being fired by Woolworths in 1971 he served as Iceland’s Chairman and CEO through 30 years of continuous sales and profit growth, taking the company public in 1984. 

Malcolm left Iceland in 2001 but in his absence sales, profits and morale plummeted. He returned as CEO four years later, achieving a transformation in its performance and leading a £1.5bn management buyout in 2012. Iceland today has sales of £3bn, over 900 stores in the UK, Ireland, Czech Republic and Spain, and 23,000 employees who have twice voted it the Best Big Company to Work For in the UK.

The Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation has given more than £10m to good causes in the last eight years, focusing particularly on dementia research and forces’ charities.

Malcolm was personally responsible for forging a coalition of UK retailers pledged to donate revenues from the single-use carrier bag charge to construct a new Dementia Research Institute at UCL in London.

Malcolm’s other business interests include Chairmanship of the Individual Restaurant Company. Malcolm was awarded the CBE in 1995 and his autobiography, Best Served Cold, was published in 2013.

Amanda Wakely

Amanda Wakeley OBE

Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the British fashion industry.

Born in Cheshire, Amanda Wakeley is an established favourite of some of the most stylish women in the world, beginning with the late Diana, Princess of Wales and more recently seen on Amber Heard, Zoe Saldana, Katherine Heigl, Scarlett Johansson and Angelina Jolie.

Amanda Wakeley is an iconic London-based luxury fashion label. Founded in 1990, the brand captures the essence of Amanda’s European lifestyle and is reflected in her aesthetic vision of clean lines, impeccable cut, fit and effortlessly sexy glamour.

Now positioned as a luxury lifestyle brand, this is anchored by a flagship store on London’s exclusive Albemarle Street. The collection comprises a strong and rapidly growing presence in daywear, spanning flawless tailoring, luxury sportswear, sumptuous cashmeres and an expanding line of statement accessories and fine jewellery. Best known for her glamorous evening, cocktail and striking bridal dresses, these styles underpin every seasonal collection.

Since 1996, Amanda has co-chaired the committee for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, raising substantial sums which fund vital breast cancer research. In 2010 Amanda was awarded an OBE for her services to the fashion industry. She has also won numerous accolades which include three British Fashion Awards.

Brian Kerr OBE

Brian Kerr OBE

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution and commitment to Local Government and to the City of Chester and County of Cheshire.

Brian was born in Widnes and raised in Warrington. He joined the Civil Service at 16, before his career was interrupted by National Service. He served in the Royal Artillery, before being promoted to Bombardier (Corporal). After National Service he resumed his career in the Civil Service, before taking an accounting job in engineering.

He joined the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in 1956. He left after 37 years in the nuclear industry as Employee Relations Director of British Nuclear Fuels Limited.

After a sabbatical, he joined Chester Aid to the Homeless as Chief Executive Officer. After four years, he resigned as a paid employee and took up the voluntary position of Deputy Chairman. He left in 2000, to concentrate on other voluntary commitments.

Brian was elected as a Saughall Parish Councillor in 1975 and he served 40 consecutive years, including 12 as Chairman, until standing down in May 2015. He was co-opted back onto the Council in June 2016 to fill a casual vacancy. He also served a 12 year term on Chester City Council as Ward Member for Saughall.

Brian was elected to the Executive Board of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils in 1994. He was the Cheshire Association Council Member of the National Association of Local Councils from 1995 to 2004. He was the Chair of the National Association from 1999 to 2004 and Vice-President from 2004 to present.

He has various voluntary sector involvements including Cheshire Community Council (Chair from 2000 to 2004); Chester Council for Voluntary Services; Saughall Gardening Club; Saughall Youth Club and Saughall Vernon Institute. Brian was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to local government.

Dame Carol Black, DBE

Dame Carol Black, DBE

Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Medical Sciences and Education.

Professor Dame Carol Black DBE, FRCP, FMedSci is Principal of Newnham College Cambridge, Expert Adviser on Health and Work to NHS England and Public Health England. 

She chairs the Board of Think Ahead, the Government’s new fast-stream training programme for Mental Health Social Workers, and the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB’s) Health and Wellbeing Policy Group. She is a member of the Welsh Government’s Bevan Commission on health in Wales, of the board of UK Active, of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission, of the North East Combined Authority’s Commission for Health and Social Care Integration, a member of Rand Europe’s Council of Advisers and of PwC’s Health Industries Oversight Board. As Principal of Newnham she is on several committees at the University of Cambridge, for example the Advisory Board of the Centre for Science and Public Policy, and is one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors.

In November 2011, as National Director for Health and Work, she completed as Co-Chair an independent review for the UK Government of sickness absence in Britain. The recommendations of this report are now being put in place, with for example a national Fit for Work Service. She is now finishing a further independent review for the Government, of addiction to drugs or alcohol, or obesity, and the benefits system.

Professor Black is a past-President of the Royal College of Physicians, of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and of the British Lung Foundation, and past-Chair of the Nuffield Trust. The Centre she established at the Royal Free Hospital in London is internationally renowned for research and treatment of connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma. She is a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, of the Work Foundation, and of Uppingham School.

Helen Willetts

Helen Willetts

Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to broadcasting and meteorology.

Helen Willetts was born in Chester and shortly afterwards moved to Colwyn Bay on the North Wales coast, where she grew up.

She first became interested in meteorology whilst studying A level Geography at Eirias High School. In 1993, she graduated from the University of Nottingham, with a First Class Honours degree in Physics. On joining the Met Office in February 1994, Helen began a five-month forecaster training course at the Met Office College.

In July 1994 she moved to Cardiff Weather Centre and from April 1995 she appeared as a forecaster on BBC television and radio in Wales.

In October 1997, having successfully completed her final training, Helen transferred to the BBC Weather Centre in London.

Helen's main sporting interest is badminton, having played internationally for Wales. She also enjoys walking, cycling and travelling.

Michael Jones

Professor Michael Jones

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business education.

Mike had a 20 plus year career as a human resources professional. His industrial appointments included periods as Personnel Manager/Director in the Food Products, Engineering and Paper industries before joining the St Helens-based Pilkington Group, as Group Management Development Manager and Managing Director of its subsidiary leadership business, Lakeside Training and Development. This role led Mike into the university business school world when he was appointed to a Visiting Fellowship at Manchester Business School, to be followed by another similar appointment at the Lancaster University School of Management.

In more recent years he was Director General of the Association of MBAs. During his tenure, he set up and masterminded the global MBA degree accreditation service. Latterly, Mike was the Director and Professor of the Foundation for Management Education, which instigated and funded many initiatives for furthering the development of postgraduate management education specifically connecting Business with University Business Schools. Additionally, he also worked for a time as Dean of the Business School at the University of East London and on various Government committees concerned with linking Business and Business School academia.

In his semi-retirement, Mike continues to work in a consultancy role within the International Business School community. His views on management and business education are widely sought and he has held Advisory Board appointments at a number of the UK leading business schools.

Mike has developed an interesting portfolio of volunteer activities including being a Board member for a national housing association, a School Governor, Trustee at Balliol College, Oxford and a regional Director of Age UK. In addition he is currently a Visiting Professor at the University’s Business School. Mike holds a Doctorate of Business Administration and an MSc in Management, and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Marketers and a Freeman of the City of London.

Professor Janet Hemingway CBE

Professor Janet Hemingway CBE

Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to biochemistry and molecular biology and in particular for her services to the control of tropical disease vectors. 

Professor Janet Hemingway, CBE, BSc, PhD, DSc, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP,FRES (Hon), FAAM, Foreign Associated National Academy of Sciences USA, HonFFPH initially trained as a geneticist and is currently Professor of Insect Molecular Biology and Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with 450 staff based in Liverpool, Malawi and several other tropical locations. She has 38 years’ experience working on the biochemistry and molecular biology of specific enzyme systems associated with xenobiotic resistance. She has been Principal Investigator on projects well in excess of £60 million including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Innovative Vector Control Consortium.

She was inaugurated as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2006 and as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2008. In 2010, she was elected as a Foreign Associate to the National Academy of Scientists, USA and in 2011 as a Fellow to the American Academy of Microbiology, followed by her inauguration the same year as a Fellow of The Royal Society. She was awarded Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the Control of Tropical Disease Vectors in 2012 and has been conferred as Honorary Fellow by the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians.

Rob Wotton

Rob Wotton

Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to sports journalism and broadcasting, and in particular for the contributions made to the University of Chester during his time as Students’ Union President. 

Rob studied Health and Community Studies at the former Chester College from 1987 to 1990 before becoming Students’ Union President from 1990 to 1991.

Rob has been a presenter for Sky Sports since 1998. During that time he has fronted an array of live action from La Liga to Football League and from Non-League to NASCAR! But the constant thread of his time with the company has been in front of the cameras on Sky Sports News. As one of the founder presenters of the channel, Rob has delivered breaking news ever since it went to air. Before Sky, Rob was the Sports Editor of the multi award-winning Capital Gold Sports team, covering football both nationally and internationally.

He graduated from Chester in 1990 and spent a sabbatical year as Students' Union President, which he still describes as one of the "best years of my life". He then went onto London College of Printing and obtained a post graduate qualification in Radio and Television Journalism.

Robin Jones

Robin Jones

Master of Laws in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the law profession in Cheshire and North Wales.

In April this year, solicitor Robin Jones retired after a legal career spanning 44 years.

Robin was formerly a consultant at Knights Solicitors and the former senior partner at Wayman-Hales and Chester managing partner at Hill Dickinson. He began his career in White Friars with Wayman-Hales, which later merged with Hill Dickinson before it was taken over by Knights. Knights is the UK’s first private equity backed commercial law firm and has been in Chester since October of last year.

He is a former King’s School pupil and studied law at the University of Liverpool before qualifying in 1970. He practised commercial and commercial property law. He is a former President of the Law Society for Cheshire and North Wales.

Roderick Hunt MBE

Roderick Hunt MBE

Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of literacy in education. 

Educated at Marlborough Grammar School, and at Chester College (now the University of Chester), Rod graduated in 1959 in Divinity and English. In 1967, Rod was successful in applying for a one-year full-time course, the ACEd, instigated by the (then) DES at Oxford University Institute of Education, submitting his part two study on Educational Provision for the Disadvantaged (Operation HeadStart) in California, US, one year after completing the course.

He was a teacher for 19 years, beginning his career in East Croydon then teaching in the Oxford area at Matthew Arnold School, Temple Cowley, Ivanhoe Middle School on Blackbird Leys, and finally at Dunmore Junior School in Abingdon. He became a full-time writer in 1979.

His first books (Starters 1 – 4) were published by Nelson Publishers in 1974 – so he has been writing educational books for 42 years. To date he has written over 600 books. The Oxford Reading Tree has been his most successful project, for which he has written almost 500 books which have been translated into over 15 different languages.He has also written for children’s television and schools radio broadcasting.

In April 2009 he and his colleague Alex Brychta received the prestigious BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association) Outstanding Achievement Award at the BESA Awards Ceremony at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. In February 2015, he was the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award given by Renaissance Learning UK, which conducts the independent survey of children’s reading, by Professor Keith Topping of Dundee University.

Rod receives dozens of letters from children each week. He is an enthusiastic member of the United Kingdom Literacy Association and has been going to annual and regional conferences since 1988. He has attended and presented at international reading conferences in New Orleans, Melbourne, Hamburg and Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the English Association. He was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2008.

Sir David Lees

Sir David Lees

Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of his outstanding contribution as Chair of the University Centre Shrewsbury Advisory Board and former Chairman of the Bank of England’s Court. 

Sir David Lees was educated at Charterhouse, Godalming, Surrey. He was an Articled Clerk with Binder Hamlyn & Co, becoming Senior Audit Clerk in 1962-63. He became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA) in 1962. Prior to joining Binder Hamlyn he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery from 1955-57. From 1964-68 Sir David was Chief Accountant at Handley Page Limited, becoming Finance Director in 1969 for a reconstructed company (Handley Page Aircraft Limited,) which was sold to an American investor.

Sir David joined the GKN Group in 1970 as Group Finance Executive in 1976, becoming General Manager – Finance in 1977 and Finance Director in 1982. He became Group Managing Director and Chairman Designate in 1987, becoming Chairman and Chief Executive in May 1988. He retired as Chief Executive at the end of 1996, but continued as Chairman until May 2004. He became Chairman of Tate and Lyle PLC in October 1998 and retired in July 2009. In August 2005, he was appointed Non-Executive Director of QinetiQ Group plc and was appointed Deputy Chairman in September 2005. He retired in January 2012. In July 2009, Sir David was appointed Chairman of the Court of the Bank of England. He retired in June 2014. From March 1991 to May 1999, he was a Non-Executive Director of the Bank of England.

In August 2001 he became Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of Brambles Industries Ltd and Brambles Industries plc, retiring in December 2006. Sir David was Chairman of Courtaulds plc from mid-July 1996 to September 1998, having been a Non-Executive Director since 1991. From 1983 to 1990, Sir David was a member of the Audit Commission. In March 1998, he was appointed to the Board of the Royal Opera House and as Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee, retiring in August 2008. In May 2008, he was appointed as a Governor of the Royal Ballet School retiring in July 2013. In June 2001, he was appointed to the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) and an Honorary Fellow of Wolverhampton University. He was a member of the National Defence Industries Council from 1995 to 2004. He became a Governor of Shrewsbury School in 1986 and Chairman of the Governing Body in 2004, retiring in 2007. He was a Governor of Suttons Hospital in Charterhouse from 1995 to 2005.

Sir David was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in July 1991. He was President of the Society of Business Economists from December 1994 to January 1999.

In July 1996, he received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 1999 received the ICAEW Award for Outstanding Achievement.

In November 2007, he was commissioned to be a Deputy Lieutenant of Shropshire. He became the Honorary Patron of Shrewsbury Town FC in January 2010 and was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University Centre Shrewsbury, a partner institution between the University of Chester with Shropshire Council in March 2014.

Stephen Morgan CBE

Stephen Morgan CBE

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the building industry and, in particular, his creation of The Morgan Foundation. 

Born in Liverpool, Steve Morgan, 63, is the founder of Redrow plc, which hestarted at the age of 21 with the aid of a £5,000 loan from his father. Under his leadership, Redrow became one of the UK's most successful homebuilders and a FSTE 250 Company. He led the flotation of the company in 1994 and eventually stepped down as Chairman in November 2000, although his private company, Bridgemere, remained a major shareholder. Steve returned to the helm at Redrow in April 2009. Since his return, Redrow has grown to a £1.4bn turnover business (June 2016).

Steve is also Chairman of the Bridgemere Group of Companies, which has significant land and commercial development interests in the UK and Europe. Bridgemere’s other activities include Trinity Aviation and Carden Park Hotel, one of the UK’s leading golf resorts. Bridgemere recently sold Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club to the Fosun Group, after owning the club for nine years.

In 2001 Steve founded The Morgan Foundation, a charity which is one of the largest providers of funding for children’s and family charities across the North West and North Wales. Over £32m has been donated to charity over the last 15 years. The Foundation was also the main funder for Wolves Aid and Wolves in the Community, which at the time was probably the largest charity of its type in football. The Morgan Foundation philosophy is 'making a difference'.

In 1992 Steve, who is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Builders, was awarded an OBE for his services to the construction industry; this was followed in 2016 by a CBE for his philanthropic services.