Honours for digital integration, resilience and sport

Digital inclusion, business resilience and sport are big themes running through King Charles III’s first New Year’s Honours list.

The North West business leaders honoured include Talk Talk’s equality and future talent manager Sam Davys for services to digital inclusion, for which she is to receive an MBE, at just 30 the youngest recipient this year.

She said: “I’m in disbelief and over the moon to receive this award. I loved every minute of working on project kickstart and to know I played a small part in changing young people’s lives by giving them their first opportunity in work means a great deal to me.”

Daniel Kasmir, chief people officer for TalkTalk, said: “Sam changed dozens of young people’s lives by setting up an amazing program in a short space of time in the middle of a pandemic. It is clear that many of these young people ended up staying with us for life, which shows how valuable it was to us as a company. We got new perspectives and fresh blood, as well helping local 16–24-year-olds disadvantaged by COVID.”

Ex-director of EY Elizabeth Scott, the former client engagement director at Tech Nation in Manchester, was awarded the MBE to support the technology sector.

Elaine Clark, a well-known Liverpool hospitality boss, was also awarded an MBE. She is the owner and chief executive at Baa Bar, which operates five venues in the city as well as in Nottingham. She’s been forthright in her experiences of developing the business after the lockdown and championing the hospitality sector.

Former Everton Football Club chief executive Rob Elstone has been awarded an MBE for services to sport in recognition of his work at the Toffees from 2005 to 2018 but also at both Deloitte and PWC’s sports advisory teams and at Superleague, where he served as chief executive from 2017 to 2021. 

Helen Webb was the chief people officer of Co-operative Group from June 2022 to June 2022. Anne Gornall is the executive director of Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network and has been awarded a CBE. Anne Gornall has also been recognized for her services in further education and skills.

Care sector leader Martin Jones has been named as an MBE for his work leading care home operator Home Instead and as an active member of Business in the Community’s Age at Work leadership team, where he champions the role of older workers.

Mark Smallwood, Liam Manton, founders and CEOs of Didsbury Gin, were awarded the British Empire Medal to recognize their contribution to the community during the pandemic. 

Professor Robina Shaikh is the University of Manchester’s most distinguished honouree. Already a DL and an MBE she’s been a strong supporter of women’s football as well as a leading academic in the field of clinical psychology. The principal of the Royal Northern College of Music can be found down Oxford Road at the Royal Northern College of Music Professor Lynda Merririck is awarded a CBE for her services to music education. 

In regional public service Janet Alexander, director, compliance operations, HM Revenue and Customs in the North West is to get a CBE, while Nagesh Reddy’s work on the Labour Market and Plan for Jobs at the Department for Work and Pensions earned him a CBE.

Blackpool College’s principal and chief executive Bev Robinson is to get a CBE. She was a member on the Augar committee that funded university funding. She is also a member the Lancashire LEP skills advisory panel and the Blackpool Town Board.

Andrew Stephenson MP (the Pendle MP who presided over the Conservative Party’s summer 2022 election) was one of the regional politicians to be awarded an honour. He will also receive a CBE. In recognition of her 28-year tenure as a Labour councillor, Sue Murphy, St Helens Mayor, will be receiving an MBE for public service and political service.

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