Business leaders recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Paul Kehoe

Outgoing Birmingham Airport boss Paul Kehoe has been named a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The honour comes a week after Kehoe announced he would leave the Airport next month, after nine years as chief executive.

He is one of 72 people from the West Midlands named in the Prime Minister’s List of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which recognises the contribution individuals have made to their sector or community.

Nick Baldwin, vice-chairman of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and chairman of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, has also been named a CBE.

Baldwin said: “I was delighted to be recognised in this way, by Her Majesty the Queen, for my contribution to nuclear safety and for my charitable works. However, I could not have achieved this without the commitment and support of so many colleagues across the public, private and charitable sectors and, of course, my family and I am enormously grateful to all those who have helped to make this possible.”

An OBE has been awarded to Al Rayan Bank chief executive Sultan Choudhury, who has been described as “a driving force in the founding management team that obtained Western Europe’s first authorised Islamic banking licence”.

“The last 13 years represent a tremendous, but sometimes difficult, journey to establish Islamic finance as an alternative to conventional finance in the UK,” said Choudhury.

“Islamic finance is based on ethical and faith based universal values which are good for society, embodying social justice, transparency and the equitable sharing of risk and reward. These values ensure that Islamic finance appeals, not only to Muslims, but to people of all faiths and none.”

Mike Bandar, founding partner of Turn Partners and a member of the Birmingham Young Professional of the Year organising committee, becomes a Medalist of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his work prmoting young entrepreneurs.

Turn Partners is focused on the acquisition and turnaround of distressed and underutilised businesses.

Mr Bandar has developed a small but diverse business portfolio which in addition to Hopper, includes Trigger Experiences – a paintball company, Toyboy Warehouse – a niche dating site, and several small technology projects.

He regularly delivers free workshops for start-ups and gives time to mentor young people through the New Entrepreneurs Foundation and Aston University.

He is also part a member of the Institute of Directors in the West Midlands and Birmingham technology promoter, Silicon Canal.

Dr Paul Sabapathy who broke new ground when he became the first non-white Lord-Lieutenant in its 550-year history has been awarded the Companion of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO).

Now a trustee of housing charity Bournville Village Trust, Dr Sabapathy was recognised for his service as Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands, a role he held for over eight years from 2007.

The role saw Dr Sabapathy serve, with distinction, the region’s three million people as the Queen’s personal representative, present awards on the Crown’s behalf and arrange Royal visits.

Ultra Electronics chief executive Rakesh Sharma, and Mike Cherry, national policy chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, have also been awarded OBEs. Peter Johansen, president of the London Taxi Company, receives the MBE.

Gareth Higgins, the managing director of KMF Precision Sheet Metal, has been awarded an MBE for services to apprenticeships.

KMF, which employs more than 500 people in Newcastle-under-Lyme, has gained a national reputation as a leader for apprenticeship and training, supporting young people into a successful career in engineering.

“It is an incredible honour to be nominated for an MBE but to be recognised for KMF’s commitment to skills and engineering makes this particularly rewarding,” said Higgins.

“Seeing how young people flourish at KMF gives me the greatest satisfaction. The MBE is a reflection of the fantastic work of our talented team at KMF who are committed to the business and to bringing through new talent — the future of KMF.”

Cllr Isobel Seccombe, the leader of Warwickshire County Council, and Prof Laura Green, the research group leader at the University of Warwick’s school of life sciences, also receive OBEs.

Maria McCaffery, who stepped down last year after 10 years as chief executive of RenewableUK, now has an OBE to add to her MBE.

Gideon Jewel, the Warwickshire-based global president of Lear Corporation, and Staffordshire restaurateur Pritpal Nagi have also received an MBE.