Ryan Jones, MBE
Ryan is a three-time Grand Slam-winning former Wales Rugby Captain & British and Irish Lion. Ryan is the Ex-Director of Performance at the Welsh Rugby Union and a previous Board Member of Disability Sport Wales. Ryan was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2021 for his services to rugby and charity, raising thousands of pounds for the NHS during the first lockdown period in 2020, with events such as a solo garden marathon and a 100-mile kitchen treadmill endeavour.
Charlotte has a twenty-year career history as an academic and strategist, leading cultural change most recently as Head of the Women’s game at the Welsh Rugby Union, where she instigated the inaugural professional contracts for senior women’s rugby. Charlotte has a wealth of experience working across public, private and third-sector organisations. Charlotte is a self-confessed insight geek who supports companies in measuring the impact of strategic and cultural change.
Ex-England Rugby Captain and once voted the Best 7’s Player in the World, Ollie is a Director at PwC and Founder of Optimist Performance. Since retiring from professional rugby, Ollie has been involved in a number of life-changing challenges and has notched up 4 Guinness World Records to date. Ollie brings over 20 years of experience in sports and business to help leaders overcome change and transform their teams to achieve new levels of success.
Vanessa Cuddeford brings 20 years of experience as a news anchor and reporter for BBC News, ITV News and international news channels.
For the past 8 years, she’s been coaching professionals to speak confidently and persuasively so they can reach the outcomes they want – whether through presentations, meetings, interviews or panels; to internal or external audiences.
Having graduated from Cambridge with a Maths and Economics degree, Rusty played rugby for several teams, including Bath (winning the European Cup in 1998) and England 7’s, before moving into coaching and working with England U18’s, U20’s and 7’s, coaching and mentoring some of the brightest young players and coaches in the country. He now works across business and sport, helping the likes of Google, Abbott, NZ Rugby and GB Hockey responding to their needs, including creativity, coaching skills, leadership and high-performing teams.
Alex Gear mBANT/CNHC
Stress and Sleep Expert Alex Gear is a trained Chef, ex Cookery teacher, Registered Nutritional Therapist and Naturopath with a wealth of experience. Alex has been in the food industry for over 20 years, and her passion for helping people feel their best through food and lifestyle is contagious. Alex inspires and motivates individuals and organisations with her accessible, balanced and realistic approach to health and wellbeing. Alex runs clinics, workshops, writes articles and is an effective public speaker.
Neil is an award-winning entrepreneur, world record-breaking adventurer and a former Royal Marine Commando, helicopter pilot and Special Forces Officer. Neil has a passion for adventure, travel and sport. He has organised and led over 50 expeditions on 7 continents by land, sea and air. He summited Mt Everest with Bear Grylls, circumnavigated the UK & Ireland on a jet ski and piloted the world’s first road-legal flying car on a 10,000 km journey from London to Timbuktu.
Clare is a multi-faceted coach with 23 years of experience, known for creating lasting transformation. FAST. An expert in Mental Performance and Flow, seasoned Executive Coach, Consultant Mental Skills Coach for elite sports, and Anxiety and Trauma Resolution Specialist, she helps individuals and organisations thrive under pressure and in uncertainty without sacrificing mental health or well-being. Her approach is neuroscience backed, practical, and straightforward. She specialises in recoding the reflexive thoughts, emotions, and behaviours usually thought of as beyond conscious control.
David is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Emotional Intelligence coach with over 10 years of experience coaching high-performing leaders in business, sport and entertainment. He has vast experience in assisting leadership teams in growing companies from 5 to 150 employees and coaching leaders through the growing challenges in that journey. His focus now is working with founders and senior leaders in fast-growing scale-up companies across Europe. He lives in the Cotswolds with his wife and two very active spaniels!
Jim Steele is a professional speaker and coach specializing in the design and delivery of programs and strategies to drive high performance. He has worked with hundreds of organizations throughout Europe, the United States, and Asia and consistently demonstrates his ability to inspire the mindset and behaviours needed by those leading and managing the business as well as interventions to engage teams and drive new ways of working.
Ready to reach your potential?
Can leaders help with anxiety at work? – By Optimist Performance
Our jobs are or can be, for many of us, a source of stress and anxiety, and since in May we have Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to talk about some of the most common causes of anxiety at work and what leaders can do to help with it. What can cause anxiety at...
Styles of communication in the workplace – By Optimist Performance
Have you ever been in a meeting and thought “Why is this taking so long, this could have been sorted in an email”? Or maybe you thought “Why is he going over so many details? I don’t need to know all that.” We are all different, which means we all have different...
What do our Eternal Optimists say? – By Optimist Performance
At Optimist Performance, we are always looking for ways in which we can improve ourselves. What lessons we have learned and how we can use them to become the best version of ourselves and help others do the same. So, to celebrate International Women’s Day this year,...