Another year has begun and once again The New Year Honours kick it off on a positive note as we recognise those who have dedicated themselves to society, their community or their area of work.
This year’s list is significant as it is the first to be signed off by King Charles III after the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II in September. Over 1100 people across the UK have been honoured this year, 50% of them being women, and we would like to congratulate them all for their hard work and commitment.
Many of the honours have been bestowed on members of our communities, that would never normally want to draw attention to themselves however there are some whom we know very well here at JLA and we are very pleased to see them recognised for their achievements.
Former Olympic gold medallist and current Commonwealth Games president Denise Lewis was made a Dame for her services to sport after the resounding success of the 2022 Games in Manchester. Denise Lewis says becoming a Dame feels “like going full circle” after her gold in Sydney 22 years ago and recognises that she is one of few women in athletics to have received a Damehood, “I’m just so proud and incredibly beside myself.”
Grayson Perry, Turner Prize-winning artist was Knighted for his services to art, 8 years after being awarded a CBE by the then Prince of Wales and now King. One of the UK’s most popular modern artists and conference speaker Sir Grayson is best known for primarily working with ceramics however he has also sought to popularise art and social commentary through his various television projects.
After their exceptional performances at last summer’s Women’s European Championships where they “brought it home”, four members of the England football squad received honours. Lionesses captain Leah Williamson who lifted the trophy after the 2-1 victory over Germany received an OBE, whilst all-time leading goal scorer Ellen White received an MBE.
Chairman of Zoo Digital, Gillian Wilmot was singled out for her services to business, entrepreneurship and to the prevention of problem gambling and was awarded a CBE for her contributions. Gillian is also a conference speaker who can speak about many business topics such as leadership, culture and risk as well as the importance of diversity within an organisation.
Countdown star and presenter Rachel Riley has been made an MBE for her efforts to raise awareness of the Holocaust and to educate against antisemitism. The mathematician, whose mother is Jewish, dedicated the honour to all those fighting against anti-Jewish racism.
In publishing Vanessa Kingori, chief business officer at Condé Nast Britain and publishing director at British Vogue, the first female to hold the position in the company’s long history, was honoured with an OBE for her services to the Media Industry. Vanessa is a diversity proponent and youth advocate who is able to speak on business transformation, change management and how to embrace digitalisation.
Presenter, comedian and radio DJ Frank Skinner has been made an MBE for his services to entertainment. Frank whose real name is Christopher Graham Collins said he held off on telling those closest to him about the honour in case it turned out to be the result of “some sort of administrative error”.
You certainly shouldn’t choose a speaker for your event based on their title, we have an abundance of highly skilled and inspirational speakers, presenters and performers to offer who don’t have one. However, if you wish to have one of the newly honoured individuals above at your 2023 event, please contact your JLA agent now.