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Simon Weston CBE
Solider, Survivor and Inspiration 

In 1982 the Sir Galahad was destroyed in Bluff Cove on the Falkland Islands. On board was Simon Weston, Welsh Guardsman, a name and face that was going to become well known for his struggle to overcome his injuries (46% burns) and redefine his role in life. Simon's message is one of achievement, of triumph over adversity, of seizing the moment and succeeding. Following his injuries, Simon's road to physical, spiritual and mental recovery saw him active in a number of highly successful ventures including 'The Weston Spirit', a Liverpool-based young people's charity. His charitable work earned him an OBE in the 1992 Queen's Birthday Honours. He was also awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2002 in recognition of his bravery and his charity work in the region. He was also honored as one of the top 100 Welsh Heroes in 2004.

For two years Simon was the President for Wales Scouting, and is currently the Patron of the Falkland Veterans Foundation, The Enham Trust, Allied Service Trust and an Ambassador for Changing Faces. He has also helped to set up Care After Combat – a charity for veterans. Simon's story has been well publicised and he has been the subject of five major BBC Television documentaries. In 2014 he was nominated by viewers on the 'BBC The One Show' to have his Portrait painted and hung in the National Portrait Gallery, and BBC documentary followed Simon and the process behind creating the portrait. In 2008 Simon presented reports for ITN covering the 90th Anniversary of the end of the First World War and in late 2011 he returned to the Falklands Islands to film a documentary to help mark the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands War in 2012. His autobiography, 'Walking Tall', was No1 in the best selling list. 

A successful businessman too, Simon Weston CBE currently runs his own security business in South Wales and is a director of Zappawoo Ltd, set up to help transform the disabled holiday market.

Event Host, Mike Ode

Owner & Director, Potential Unearthed

Mike Ode is the owner and Director of Potential Unearthed, a Chorley based Management and Personal Development Training Company. Mike started the business along with his wife Sarah in 2009 and the business has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Mike is also a seasoned presenter and keynote speaker, presenting regularly at regional and national commercial events, business seminars and exhibitions. 

Phil Lynas
Founder & Director, All About Food

Phil spent 5 years managing the Phileas Fogg brand, initially as part of a private company and latterly as part of United Biscuits after they bought the business for just under £30m.

After Beer & Snacks, the next logical move was into Curry and a meaty role as Global Marketing & UK Sales Director for Patak’s. Rapid expansion, both at home & abroad, helped the following 5 years fly past with sales increasing from £15m to £35m+ driven by extensive brand and product development.

In 1999, Phil set up a new business - Nando’s Grocery - to sell & market the Nando’s range of PERi-PERi Sauces & Marinades. In 2002 they bought the famous pioneering vegetarian brand Cranks.

The business renamed itself All About Food in 2008 to reflect its passion for food brands and is now very proud of the fact that it represents Nando’s, PizzaExpress, Cranks, Wahaca, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Reds, Las Iguanas and most recently Costa Coffee. All About Food’s passion is for helping restaurant brands become successful in retail…

All About Food is based in The Tree House, a unique office space in Skelmersdale with its own village green, library, village hall, scout hut and supermarket. There are now 40+ ‘foodies’ based there & it is privately owned, growing rapidly and pleasantly profitable…

People are at the heart of everything that Phil does, and he has worked hard with the AAF team to create a unique culture with core values and a highly rewarding work ethic.

In 2016, Phil recruited a new MD to run All About Food so that he could look for new and exciting opportunities whilst still being involved in the business he set up at Board level in a new role of Founder Director.

Julie Thornhill

General Manager Regional Distribution Centre, 

Waitrose & Partners

Networking opportunities, free advice from business support organisations, hot buffet.