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Honouring accountants for their work

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 10 Feb 2022

The recently published New Year Honours List saw 11 ICAEW members among those receiving awards. We take a look at those who were honoured.

Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, has been awarded a CBE for services to the arts. Burger, who joined the NT as its finance director in 2001, will step down from her role this summer. Burger was instrumental in expanding the NT’s outreach. She set up NT Live in 2009 and created National Theatre at Home in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burger said to be acknowledged for her contribution to UK culture is incredibly humbling and a moment of real reflection as the end of her time at the NT approaches. “My career has seen me work in a number of arts organisations across the UK where I have been consistently overawed by the passion of my colleagues, creating working environments full of talented individuals from whom I have learnt so much.”

Christopher Moore, Vice-Chair of the Bletchley Park Trust and a former chair of the charity Fight For Sight, was awarded an MBE for charitable and voluntary services to heritage and to visually impaired people. Moore, who has been Vice-Chair of the Bletchley Park Trust over the past 17 years, was previously chair of the trust’s executive committee. He was chair at Fight For Sight for 22 years.

Moore said: “The award, which came completely out of the blue, is after that sort of time commitment a very nice endorsement of the fact that perhaps I did do something useful. But also, I would happily say that the progress we made and what we achieved with both charities was only possible because of the commitments of a very wide group of supporters, including the small but very competent executive teams.”

MBEs also go to:

Michael Evans, Trustee, Wood Street Mission. For services to charity and to disadvantaged people in Manchester and Salford

Kamini Mehta, Chair, KPMG UK. For services to trade and investments in the UK and female entrepreneurs

Christopher Argent, Chair, United Kingdom Reserve Forces’ Association, was awarded an OBE for voluntary service to reserve forces in the UK and NATO.

Argent said: “The citation for my award specifically mentions the two-year period I spent as the head of NATO’s representative body of 1.3 million reservists across more than 30 nations. But without my original professional training as a chartered accountant, I do not think I could have achieved that success. The award represents the pinnacle of all aspects of my career.”

OBEs go to:

David Sleath, Chief Executive Officer, SEGRO plc. For services to charity and business

Peter Burnett, Chair of the British Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong. For services to the British business community in Hong Kong

Nicholas Owen, UK Chair, Deloitte LLP, for services to the professional services sector

Claire Ritchie, Chair of Trustees at Sevenoaks Larder, was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Sevenoaks, Kent, particularly during COVID-19. During the first lockdown in April 2020 chartered accountant Ritchie realised the plight of many people in her community who had lost their jobs and were struggling financially, so she quickly set up a team of volunteers to raise money to offer a shopping service for people in need.

Ritchie said: “We did a £25 shop every week for people who registered with us and sent them an order form because I wanted to make it different from other food banks or food support services. I felt quite strongly that by the time people got to that stage, they’d be feeling pretty low and out of control of their lives, and I wanted to leave as much control with them as I could to try and preserve some dignity for them.”

At the end of the first lockdown, it became apparent that the problems weren’t going away and that the demand for help remained high. Ritchie and her team of 200-strong volunteers set up as a charity and a permanent food bank. They now have 116 registered households. Of her BEM, Ritchie said: “It’s a huge honour. I feel a bit guilty to be singled out for the award, because there are so many people doing so many wonderful things. Just to know that we've made a bit of a difference is really the best thing.”

BEMs go to:

Karen Sawbridge, Chair, Bridgnorth Rugby Club. For services to grassroots rugby union football and to the community in Bridgnorth, Shropshire

Adam Prince, for services to the community in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, during COVID-19

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