Brendan Dawson


Brendan Dawson joined the Judge’s Choice team as Commercial Director in April 2019. In November 2019, Brendan took on the role of Chairman and continues to focus on how the company can best meet the needs of it’s loyal customers while introducing the Judge’s Choice brands to more fur parents. Brendan comes to us with over 25 years of experience in the Financial Services sector.


Brendan has 3 dogs, all from the Labrador family. Harley, or Mr H as he is fondly known, is the Grandpa of the pack. He is a 9 year old (retired) working yellow Labrador who enjoys long walks in the Surrey Hills. Bibby is Brendan’s second dog who is an 18 month old black Labrador Retriever. Bibby is a real softie and likes nothing better than to snuggle up on the sofa and have her tummy tickled! Poppy is the newest member of Brendan’s four legged family. Poppy is a Fox Red Labrador and the baby of the family at 7 months old. Poppy was a rescue puppy and the beginning of her life has been a bit tough. Poppy has spent a lot of time visiting the vets with liver problems as well as a bone defect, however, she is well on the way to recovery and is full of beans, as you would expect a cheeky 7 month pup!

James Chester


James has been a part of the dog food world for over 40 years and started Judge’s Choice Petfood Ltd in 1991. In 1996, he was proud to be bestowed the Royal Warrant for the Queen which the company has held ever since. James enjoys catching up with customers, many of whom have been with Judge’s Choice for years and who have in, turn, become very good friends.


James has had many dogs in his lifetime all with different characters and traits. He remembers with fondness Duncan, his Border Collie who enjoyed chasing balls and eating cheese! He is currently Grandfather to Buster, a 2 year old show Cocker Spaniel who has a penchant for long walks, cuddles and the smell of pheasant!


In his spare time, James enjoys fishing and is currently introducing his Grandchildren to the art of fly fishing. They are still learning that fish have ears and that quiet and patience is the order of the day!!

Chieko Chester

Chief Executive Officer

Chieko joined Judge’s Choice in 2016 to work alongside James (who is her Dad). Her background is in Marketing and Advertising and she spent a decade working in a large corporate company. She then built and sold her own business before joining the family business.


Chieko is proud of the heritage of Judge’s Choice and her focus is on building a business environment that aligns with the values of the company. She is always looking for the best way to share the values of the company and it’s brands with our customers, through our products.


Kiki is Chieko’s black working Labrador Retriever and happens to be the litter sister of Bibby, one of Brendan & Carol’s dogs. Kiki is 18 months old and loves to swim, whatever the weather and however clean or unclean the water! Kiki has boundless energy and also loves a tummy tickle, just like Bibby

Stu Walker

Chief Operating Officer

Stu joined Judge’s Choice in 2018, initially as a consultant to work on technical infrastructure and streamlining retail product flow, in other words, one of those ‘tech types’! He joined the management team at the start of 2019 taking responsibility for developing the sales side of the business and enjoys meeting with our customers to find out what the Judge’s Choice brands can do to help them and their dogs.


In his spare time, Stu can be found down in the Canaries, as he believes all the best brains are solar powered.


Tyler, Stu’s German Shepherd is 13 years old. She’s an old girl but bright as a button. Tyler has no idea she is a dog because she has been included in everything as part of the family, she has even joined in at the table for Christmas dinner (although hers was Natures Harvest).

Carol Dawson

Brand Development Director

After a career spanning 25-years in media and advertising, Carol joined Judge’s Choice at the beginning of 2019. Carol looks after the Nature’s Harvest brand and makes sure that our customers understand what our values are and how this helps us create the products that we offer to them.

Carol is married to Brendan and they have 3 dogs, Harley, Bibby and Poppy. They range in age with Harley being ‘Top Dog’ at 9 years followed by Bibby at 18 months (who is the litter sister of Kiki, Chieko’s dog), and Poppy at just 7 months. Poppy came to Carol from a rescue home and Harley and Bibby have embraced their new cheeky pup sister, even though Poppy’s puppy antics can be slightly annoying to them both!!

Carol enjoys travelling and one of her favourite places is Cortona in Tuscany, Italy. She tries to visit once a year to brush up on her Italian and enjoy the beautiful Tuscan scenery.

Hiroko Chester

Company Secretary

Hiroko Chester, with her husband James, founded Judge’s Choice in 1991. 


She has worked on product development of many of our products and has been an integral part of the growth strategy that Judge’s Choice has enjoyed, especially in the Asian markets.


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