Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes has received knighthood for his services to business and to equality in the 2023 New Year Honours List.
Arla Foods UK managing director Ash Amirahmadi, C&C Group chair Ralph Findlay and Elbrook Group director Frank Khalid have made OBEs in the list.
Veteran SPAR retailer Peter McBride has received an MBE for his services to the economy and to the community in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
Two subpostmasters, Leslie Francis of Enham Alamein Post Office in Hampshire and David Ward of East Barkwith Post Office in Lincolnshire, have won BEMs for their services to the respective local communities.
Maria Jennings, director for regulatory compliance, people and Northern Ireland at Food Standards Agency has been honoured with CBE. Michael Bell, executive director of Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association received an OBE for services to the food and drink industry and to the economy in Northern Ireland.
Justin Shaw, founder of the Felix Project, the London-based food redistribution charity, also made an OBE in recognition of his community service. The Felix Project rescues good, surplus food from the food industry, including supermarkets, wholesalers, farms, restaurants and delis, and then sort and deliver it to almost 1000 front-line charities, primary schools and holiday programmes in London.
The recipients also include renowned master distiller Jim McEwan, a legendary figure in the Scotch whisky industry, and Natalie Gasson-Mckinley, development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses, both winning an MBE.
The Asian Connection
Born in Pune, India, Ivan Menezes has been the chief executive of Diageo since July 2013, having been an executive director since July 2012. He joined the business in 1997 and held various senior management positions with Guinness and then Diageo. Prior to his appointment as chief operating officer in March 2012, he was president and chief executive of Diageo North America for eight years. During this period he was also made chairman, Asia Pacific from October 2008 and chairman, Latin America & the Caribbean from July 2011.
Before joining Diageo, Menezes worked across a variety of sales, marketing and strategy roles for Whirlpool in Europe, Booz Allen & Hamilton in North America, and Nestlé in Asia.
The 63-year-old also serves as the chairman of the council of Scotch Whisky Association.
Frank Khalid sold his flagship Elbrook Cash & Carry, based in Mitcham, south London, earlier this year, and now focuses on his West London Film Studios business and properties, alongside his late father’s companies in Pakistan.
Born in 1968, Frank set up a wholesale business at the age of 16, following in on the footsteps of his father, Mohammed Ashiq, who arrived in the UK in 1963 from Pakistan, aged 16, and later went into retail, opening a local convenience store called Freshco Stores in Leyton.
“I am truly humbled and pleased with the news that I have been awarded an OBE by his Majesty the King Charles III. Even though this is an individual award, thanks to my staff, suppliers, friends and especially family who without their help I would not have got this award. I want to dedicate this honour to my dad who passed away 18 months ago, and I know he will be smiling down to me from heaven,” Frank said.
“2023 is a very exciting year for me with my businesses, my second Film Studios will be opened, busy year for my new Far Sports Agency which mainly deals with football, and my family’s businesses in Pakistan. Over 2000 people work for me worldwide and I will strive to carry on my success, continue with my charity work as well and help others less fortunate.”
Elbrook Cash & Carry has won the Wholesaler of the Year award at the 2010 Asian Trader Awards and the Wholesale Depot of the Year award at the 2018 Asian Trader Awards.
Ash Amirahmadi took over as the UK managing director of Arla Foods, the leading European dairy co-operative in July 2018. He joined Arla Foods in 2004 from Unilever and has held a number of leadership roles across the business, before being appointed senior vice president for sales in 2016.
He also serves as the chairman of the industry association Dairy UK. Amirahmadi is of British and Iranian descent, moving to the UK from Iran during his childhood.
Ralph Findlay, serving as the chairman of C&C Group since July this year, is a drinks industry veteran, who led the pub group Marston’s for 20 years as chief executive. He guided Marston’s through the successful sale of its brewing business into a £780m joint venture with Carlsberg in May 2020.
Findlay served on the Marston’s board from 1996, having previously held the role of finance director before being appointed chief executive in 2001. He also previously served as chair of the British Beer and Pub Association.