Business people stand tall after being honoured by the Queen
THE Queen’s Birthday Honours has recognised the work of a fashion businesswomen, a property entrepreneur and the man who is leading Coventry’s bid to be the UK’s capital of culture in 2021.
Jess Jeetly, the managing director of a clothing company for petite women set up three years ago, has been awarded an MBE for entrepreneurship in the Queens Birthday Honours.
Ms Jeetly, who is 5ft 1in, set up Jeetly to produce clothes for women who are 5 ft 3 in and shorter.
She had previously worked as an optometrist and became frustrated at being told she didn’t look old enough for her job, which she attributed to her height and the lack of suitable clothes for petite women.
Ms Jeetly said: “It’s a huge honour that brings with it the responsibility to empower more women and girls in the UK to step up and be the change they want to see. This recognition gives me the strength to grow the petite fashion sector and make the UK fashion industry the leader in this business.”
The online business creates samples and showcases them on its website, where the most popular are voted into the next collection.
Property entrepreneur David Shortland has also been awarded an MBE, for services to Coventry and Warwickshire.
Mr Shortland, who runs several property firms in Coventry, spearheaded the £17m redevelopment of the Belgrade Theatre where he served as a director and chairman for 10 years and remains an honour ambassador.
He joined surveyors Robinson, Osborne and Moules, rising to become a main board director of owners Hambro Countrywide. He founded estate agents Shortland Horne in 1995 followed by commercial property agents Shortland Penn + Moore, and land development firm Bluemark.
Mr Shortland has also been a member of the Coventry University Business School Advisory Board, a board member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Champions and chairman of the Associate Directors at Coventry City.
He said: “I was born and raised in Coventry and have worked here for much of my career so I feel very strongly about the city and the county and what it has to offer.
“I have, through my work, been able to help contribute to the development of the city and hope that my other interests have had a positive impact in some way on the city.”
The man who is leading Coventry’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021 has been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
David Burbidge has been awarded a CBE for services to cultural philanthropy in the West Midlands – especially in Coventry and Warwickshire.
He is the chairman of Burbidge and Son, a 148 year old family-owned company which manufactures kitchen furniture at two factories in Coventry.
Mr Burbridge is a champion of the arts and is the chairman of the executive group for the bid for Coventry to become the 2021 UK City of Culture.
He is also Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands, and was chairman of Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre until 2008 and led the venue through a major management change and a successful £14m capital project.
Until recently he was also main board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and was the chairman of the Central Campaign for the £112m transformation of the RSC theatres at Stratford upon Avon. More recently he has been the champion for the £4.5m campaign for restoration of the Swan Wing at the theatre.
Mr Burbridge was also the founding Chairman of the Coventry Cathedral Development Trust, which raised more than £5m for the Cathedral ministry and for endowment.
He said: “I am incredibly honoured to receive a CBE for my services to cultural philanthropy in the West Midlands.
“I have always had a strong interest in arts and culture and look forward to continuing to being involved with this sector.
“I especially look forward to continuing my work on Coventry’s bid to become the UK City of Culture 2021.”