Today, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss MP is congratulating UK exporters, business leaders and DIT staff who have been recognised with honours for their exceptional and outstanding service to international trade, investment, and exporting. The Birthday Honours List also recognises the work and dedication undertaken by those who worked during the pandemic to keep the country safe.
Those honoured this time around represent a diverse range of businesses, from retail industry through to the creative industry and government support to sourcing medical equipment and negotiating trade agreements.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:
I am delighted to congratulate our exporters for being acknowledged for their work in championing trade across the globe in this Birthday Honours List.
I look forward to continuing to celebrate investors in the UK and those who export overseas, showcasing UK goods all around the world. It is a testament to the innovativeness and creativity of our UK businesses.
Exporters and business leaders in the 2021 Birthday Honours list include:
- Andrew Jennings; Global Retail Advisor. (OBE)
- John Forkin; Managing Director- Marketing Derby. (MBE)
- Priya Guha; Venture Partner- Merian Ventures. (MBE)
- Paul Grover; Chair- Liverpool China Partnership. (MBE)
- Georgina Delaney; Founder- The Great Outdoor Gym Company. (MBE)
- Steven Mifsud, Director- Direct Access Consultancy Limited. (MBE)
Staff from the Department for International Trade (DIT) in the 2021 Birthday Honours list include:
- Graham Zebedee; Continuity Negotiations and Development Director. (CMG)
- Jackie Hart; HR Deputy Director HR Business Partners. (OBE)
- Thomas Duke; Deputy HM Trade Commissioner, British Embassy Beijing. (OBE)
- Simon Hall; Lately Deputy Director, Transition Planning. (OBE)
- Richard Cowin; Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, British Embassy Beijing. (MBE)
- Tiphaine Shah; Joint head of COVID-19 Medical Supplies Team. (MBE)
- Veronica Blackwood; Executive Assistant and Admin Team Support. (BEM)
Exporters recognised in this list include Steven Mifsud. Being profoundly deaf since birth, Steven has helped many organisations in the UK to become more accessible for disabled people by providing access audits and disability consultancy. Steven helps service providers make significant but inexpensive changes to improve their accessibility. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he utilised his organisation’s international contacts to source vital personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and deliver them to local authorities, care homes and disability charities.
Steven Mifsud, Director- Direct Access Consultancy Limited, said:
It is an absolute honour to be recognised for exporting British expertise in accessibility. Other countries often look to the UK with interest to understand how disabled people can be engaged and what is best practice in designing of buildings for access.
Britain is truly Great, and we have expertise that the world can benefit from. I was born profoundly deaf so have faced many barriers throughout my life, this award means so much in terms of being able to demonstrate I can be successful in exporting and be recognised.
I am hopeful that this MBE gives credence to the importance of international trade. Many disabled people do not get the opportunities they deserve, many give up at the earlier hurdles – I hope that this will not only encourage general businesses to export but also show disabled people that with hard work and taking the correct advice, the possibilities are there. Receiving this award from Her Majesty the Queen is truly the greatest honour of my life.
Priya Guha is awarded an MBE for her services to International Trade and Women-led Innovation. Priya is a former Diplomat to a Venture Partner at Merian Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in women-led innovation. Priya is an advocate, working to close the gender pay gap connecting her Silicon Valley and UK technology networks with the world. Through her leadership, Merian Ventures is one of the largest funds ($100 million) investing solely in women, investing at the earliest stages, and now has a portfolio of companies spanning a broad range of emerging technology. Priya was named 2019 Top 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech and 2019 Top 5 Asian Investors in UK Tech.
Priya Guha, Venture Partner- Merian Ventures, said:
I was so thrilled to hear I’d received an MBE for my work supporting international trade and women in innovation. This unexpected recognition only reinforces my resolve to do what I can to help grow the UK economy through global trade in a way that realises the business and societal benefits of inclusive innovation.
Georgina Alice Delaney is awarded an MBE for her services to international trade. Georgina founded The Great Outdoor Gym Company Ltd (TGO) in 2007, having spent her career working within the sports industry. With a turnover of £2.4m, 30% of which is from exports, she has driven TGO to become the world’s leading specialist in outdoor gyms, installing over 1,500 across the world in countries including India, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and across Europe. TGO has worked with some of the greatest names in the world; adidas, United Nations, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and COP22.
Georgina Alice Delaney, founder- The Great Outdoor Gym Company, said:
This is an incredible honour and I feel very proud to have received this recognition. I would like to thank the Department for International Trade. I am hugely committed to addressing both health and environmental issues and I am lucky to work with an enthusiastic team who share these values. I hope to inspire others to build more sustainable businesses, creating a healthy future for us all.
Andrew Jennings is awarded an OBE for services to international trade, fashion and retail. Andrew is a well-respected British senior retail executive, global ambassador. He has worked in the international retail industry for 50 years at many high-end department stores in many countries, including Harrods, House of Fraser, Saks 5th Avenue, Karstadt and Holt Renfrew. He is passionate about promoting British brands and goods abroad, as well as promoting export opportunities available to new and exciting British designers and retailers abroad.
Andrew Jennings, Global Retail Advisor, said:
I am thrilled and honoured with this high-level recognition after a successful and enjoyable global retail career that has been a life’s work of pride and passion. This is the ‘cherry on the top of the cake’ and is hugely appreciated.