Meet the contributors

The twenty three people interviewed for Stoke Your Success are either from Stoke-on-Trent, live here or have strong connections to the city.

For a taster of each chapter of the book, please click on the images of the contributors below. 

There are extracts of each chapter in the full book for each person - and a taste of their tips for others being successful too.

You should realise that you too can be successful, like one or more of them.

To view a sample of Dr Ruth Chambers' chapter click here.


If they can do it….so can you, too – maybe in a different way or time of your life - but keep trying and you should get there! 


If you like the samples, please buy the book by clicking here or as an e-book (coming soon). 

Jiri Borsky
Professor Liz Barnes CBE 

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Staffordshire University; member of four Multi-Academy Education Trusts and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board; Co-chair of the Opportunity Area Partnership Board

Jiri Borsky 

Well known artist who settled in

Stoke-on-Trent; trained in Burslem School of Art, lectured at Keele University; now prolific painter

Emma Bridgewater 

Founder and Director of Emma Bridgewater Pottery firm; architect of the annual 

Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival

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John Caudwell

Billionaire business leader who founded Phones4u and invests in other industries; a philanthropist who chairs Caudwell Children and Caudwell LymeCo 

Peter Coates 

Entrepreneur behind the creation of bet365, one of the world’s leading online gambling companies; Chair of Stoke City Football Club

Gareth Higgins MBE

Managing director of the KMF Group; set up the KMF Training Centre for young engineers, boasting the latest engineering technology

Jon Moulton

Venture capitalist and founder of the private equity firm, Better Capital; Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants; his Charitable Foundation promotes non-commercial clinical research aimed at advancing direct clinical benefit to patients

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Dr Prasad Rao BEM

Esteemed GP in Stoke-on-Trent who supported overseas doctors across the UK to drive up the quality of general practice care

Professor Steve Chapman 

Director of Virtual Health Shed; previously renowned academic in prescribing studies and simulated learning

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Pete Conway (Williams)

Hugely popular entertainer in the Potteries cabaret circuit, then the world and now joins his son Robbie at stadium gigs 

Tristram Hunt 

Historian, broadcaster, MP for

Stoke-on-Trent Central 2010 until 2017; Director of The Victoria and Albert Museum

Phil O’Connell 

Entrepreneur who has created the Simple Telehealth mode of digital delivery of healthcare, adopted in USA, Australia and across the UK   

Jane Sawyers 

Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police until 2017. After 33 years she saw many changes in the police force, but retained the enthusiasm for the job she always wanted to do, making a difference to the local community

Mo Chaudry  

Entrepreneur owner of Waterworld, one of Stoke-on-Trent’s most popular tourist attractions, as well as M Club and many other businesses

Mike Herbert  

Until recently, St Modwen regional director for almost 30 years, responsible for the development of Trentham Gardens, a leading UK attraction

Mike Lawton

Senior executive with Michelin Tyre plc; Vice-chair of Newcastle-u-Lyme based Aspire Housing

Jon Plant 

Co-director of Moorland Pottery and the iconic Stokie Ware artwork, which has successfully extended to other areas of the UK 

Jazmin Sawyers 

British olympic athlete, having competed as a bobsledder. She has also competed in the long jump and as a heptathlete. Jazmin is also a singer and songwriter  

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Angela Smith

Former world squash champion; now chairs Stoke City Fans’ Council, and Honorary Doctor of Science, Staffordshire University

Lord Francis Stafford

As Francis Fitzherbert he is the 15th Lord Stafford and landowner of Swynnerton Park estate; Chancellor of Staffordshire University

Martin Tideswell 

Chief editor of The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive; has honorary doctorate from Staffordshire University

Joan Walley

Former MP for Stoke-on-Trent North from 1987 to 2015; honorary chair of The Aldersgate Group and chair of the Burslem Regeneration Trust

Jonny Wilkes

Stage star - leading man in the annual panto at the Regent Theatre; created the Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts and raises £millions for Soccer Aid