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Trustees

Friends of the Staffordshire and West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force Trust

Patron

Ian J Dudson CBE KStJ

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire

Ian Dudson was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant on 29th March 2012. He is married to Jane and they have 2 married daughters and 3 grandchildren.

Ian was an industrialist whose family business, Dudson Ltd, has been manufacturing ceramic tableware for the worldwide hospitality industry, and based in Stoke on Trent, since 1800. He was Chief Executive from 1988 until 2009 and then Non-Executive Chairman until 2016. Other Ceramic industry appointments included being President of the British Ceramic Confederation from 2007-2009, a non-executive director of British Ceramic Research Ltd from 1994-1999 and President of the European Federation of Porcelaine and Faience from 2005-2008.

Ian was awarded the CBE for services to the ceramics industry in 2002 and made a Knight of the Order of St John in 2017.

Prior to appointment as Lord-Lieutenant, he was a Deputy Lieutenant since 2001 and was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 2010-11. He was Pro-Chancellor of Keele University and Chair of Council from 2005-2012, a board member of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce from 2002-2014 and he was also a founding member of the Local Enterprise Partnership. Currently, he is Chair of the Trustees of The Dudson Centre, which acts as a resource centre for voluntary groups and he chairs the Magistrates Advisory Committee for Staffordshire.

He has been a keen supporter of the work of the ‘Friends’ since they were formed in 2009 and regularly attends our fundraising events. In addition, he and his wife Jane often accompany the Trustees on their visit to the Cadets annual training camp each summer to meet the Cadets and to spend time with the Trustees.

Honorary President

Graham Stow CBE DL FCIPD FCIB FRSA

Previously Her Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire

Graham Stow was, until 2019, the Vice Lord Lt of Staffordshire. He is a previous High Sheriff of Staffordshire and former Honorary Colonel of Staffordshire and West Midlands Army Cadet Force. In that capacity, he had the foresight for and founded the Friends Trust and was appointed as its first Chair of Trustees.

Graham has played an extensive role in the life of Staffordshire including as Chair of Governors of Staffordshire University, from which he has an honorary degree, as a trustee of the National Memorial Arboretum and of Lichfield Cathedral amongst others. Graham is a businessman by background having held a number of senior appointments in retail and financial services. He was awarded the CBE in 2004 for his services to business and to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Upon retirement from the Trustees in 2018, he became lifetime Honorary President in recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to the Friends of the Staffordshire and West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force.

Trustees

Graham Morley DL – Chair of Trustees

Until 2018, Graham was the Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College. After taking early retirement he formed his own business successfully providing interim senior leadership and governance support to Further Education Colleges across the country. He is Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Staffordshire, a past President of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society and is a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute. Graham is passionate about the county of Staffordshire, the city of Stoke-on-Trent and providing opportunity for young people. Graham has been a Trustee since 2017 and was elected as Chair, effective from 1st April 2022.

 

Kate Farmer – Charity Sectretary & Vice-Chair of Trustees

Kate lives in Blythe Bridge, Stoke on Trent with her husband Paul. She has spent most of her working career in the Ceramics Industry; in Sales, Marketing and Administration. Kate also spent 10 years as Lord Mayor’s Secretary for the City of Stoke on Trent. Kate has travelled extensively around the world for business and pleasure. Now semi-retired, Kate gives lots of support to charities and is proud to be a trustee of The Friends of The Staffordshire & West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force Trust.

 

Ian Fitzjohn – Treasurer

A lifetime resident of Staffordshire, Ian joined our Trustee Board in October 2023. Ian has a wealth of experience gained from a long career as a Corporate Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank covering Staffordshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands. He currently works with Ansons Solicitors across their four offices in Cannock, Lichfield, Dudley and Sutton Coldfield. Ian is also active in volunteering for Sanja which has raised significant amounts for Staffordshire based charities.

 

Ruby Nagi

Born in Uganda, Ruby moved to the United Kingdom, which she classes as her home, nearly 50 years ago. She worked for the Leicestershire Chambers of Commerce for a few years and has been the owner of various businesses including opening her own nursery and local restaurants. Ruby has a passion for food and cooking and she is a committee Member of ‘Sanja’, which raises money for local causes in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. She is a Member of the Patients Participating Group at her medical surgery and has been a Trustee of the Friends since January 2018.

 

Stephen Smith

Stephen has lived in the Hanbury/Draycott-in-the-Clay area all of his life and comes from a long established Staffordshire farming family. He is currently Managing Director of Hayes Industries Ltd, based in Marchington. Stephen has been a Parish and District Councillor in East Staffordshire and he designed and commissioned the Millennium Monument located in Market Square, Uttoxeter. Stephen’s hobbies include cycling, skiing, sailing, long distance hill walking and was a soldier of the Reserve Army for 11 years.

 

Jamie Smith

After an impressive track record within the world of further and higher education, Jamie became the Co-Owner and Executive Chair of C-Learning Ltd, a growing business in cloud technology with wide a client base in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is also a Director of the Delling Cloud Group and the Alpha Academies Trust. Jamie is a successful entrepreneur, a published author and a TEDx speaker who describes himself as an education evangelist and sits on various advisory groups and judging panels across the world. Jamie is passionate about opportunities for young people and has witnessed first-hand the positive impact the Army Cadet Force has on young people.

 

Malcolm Sperring-Toy

Born in Birmingham, Malcolm moved to North Staffordshire in the early 1970’s and fell in love with the county. He had a successful career as a travel agent, operating predominately in Leek and the Potteries, and has travelled extensively across the world. One of his main interests is the military and political history of the Great War, especially the 1916 Battles of the Somme. He has escorted groups of adults and young people to the Somme battlefields and on several occasions, groups from the Staffordshire & West Midlands Army Cadet Force. He was so impressed with both the Army Cadets and its organisation that Malcolm became a Trustee of the Friends in February 2017.

 

Victoria Hawley

Victoria, who is from an Army family, has lived in Staffordshire for over 30 years. She started her career in PR before having a career change to become a sociology and politics teacher. She was a member of the Senior Management Team at Abbots Bromley School where she worked for 20 years.

She is the current High Sheriff of Staffordshire with a particular passion for cadet services across the county. She has numerous Board level positions including the John Sandy Trust which is responsible for HMP Featherstone visitor centre. Victoria is married to Charles and has three daughters.

 

Mohammed Khuram

Mohammed has twenty years experience in the Energy Industry with over half of his career in expatriate postings in The Netherlands, Kazakhstan, UAE, Iraq and Brunei. He is particularly experienced in the commercial execution of major infrastructure projects including the setting up of new project teams, engagement with Government and Regulatory bodies and dialogue with affected local communities.Mohammed graduated from Oriel College, Oxford with a degree in Law during which time he interned as a Political Researcher in the House of Commons and for the Foreign Office in Chad and Cameroon.
Having joined as a Trustee of the Friends Group in December 2023, he is also Chairman of CPRE Staffordshire and a Trustee of the King George V Lands Trust at Beaudesert and the Scouts. He has previously volunteered as a Mentor for the Prince’s Trust in Scotland and as Director for Communications and Development at the Prince of Wales’ Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan.

Martin Dodd

Martin is the Managing Director of Midlands Investment Agency, a financial planning business providing financial planning and wealth management advice to almost exclusively business owners or former business owners and their families in the Midlands. He works with a select number of clients, building long-term relationships advising on investment management and generational wealth planning.

 

 

Colonel (Retd) K J Knutton OBE ACF

Kim Knutton has been a volunteer member of the Army Cadet Force for 48 years during which he has, at some point, held every position within Staffordshire & West Midlands ACF including Commandant from 2010. During his command, S&WM ACF was awarded the Queen’s Award for voluntary service and in 2018 he was awarded the OBE for services to the Cadet Forces and Youth. In addition to the Army Cadets, Kim has extensive involvement in many Boards, Committees and organisations across the West Midlands. When not involved in Cadet Force or Youth duties, Kim runs his own landscape design and contracting business which carries out extensive projects for large country house hotel chains throughout the country.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Hurley – Deputy Commandant

After 38 years in the Reserves, Phill made the jump to Staffordshire Cadets in 2020. Phill started as a Combat Medic in 1983 and served most of his time with 202 Field Hospital and Birmingham University Officer Training Corp rising to the rank of Lt Col. Commissioning in 1997. Phill initially found himself involved in training roles but then progressed into Operational Planning and Command. In Civilian life Phill is a Biochemist, currently working as a Pathology Operational Manager at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. Living in Fradley, Near Lichfield, he is also a Group Scout Leader and a School Governor. He is passionate about his Rugby and is qualified as both a Referee and a Youth coach.

 

RSMI Shannon Phillips

Shannon has experienced first-hand the difference the Army Cadet Force can make to young people. She joined in 2002 as a young cadet and after 6 years reached the rank of Cadet Sergeant Major and became the Lord-Lieutenant’s cadet for Staffordshire. After spending a few years focussing on her career, Shannon rejoined the organisation in 2014 to pay forward the opportunities that she’d once been given. She spent 5 years within detachments across the Stoke-on-Trent area, before becoming the Training Sergeant Major for Adult Training. In May 2023, Shannon was appointed the new RSMI for Staffordshire & West Midlands (NS) ACF. Outside of the ACF, Shannon has worked as a Service Manager for several years, responsible for a portfolio of Digital and Network Services for a FTSE 100 company. 

Senior Officers

Colonel Chris Edwards OBE TD FIFST VR

Colonel Chris Edwards OBE TD FIFST VR joined the Royal Corps of Signals in the Territorial Army in 1985 and was Commissioned from Sandhurst the following year. His distinguished Territorial Army/Army Reserve career includes numerous deployments in senior Command roles and he experienced active service in Bosnia. He became an Officer of the British Empire in 2007 and has specific skills in delivering capability in barracks and the field Communication and IT systems. His 40-year civilian career has been spent in the food manufacturing industry. He was a senior leader in a Further Education establishment where, amongst other things he was responsible for the building of a new £5M manufacturing plant. He currently holds a senior executive position in a multi-national food manufacturing company. Colonel Edwards took up the role of Commandant of Staffordshire and West Midlands (NS) ACF in September 2023.

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