The woman who spearheaded the successful transport operation at last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list.
Anne Shaw, who was made executive director of regional body Transport for West Midlands in early 2022, has been awarded an OBE for services to the Commonwealth Games.
She led the team which coordinated the Games Transport Plan, moving spectators to and from venues in Birmingham and across the West Midlands during the two-week event.
The plan included 19 park and ride sites, public transport usage included in the ticket price for spectators, hundreds of shuttle buses running free services to venues and events and free cycle hire for spectators and residents.
Two railway stations were redeveloped in the build up to the games, Sprint bus priority measures were introduced on two key roads – the A45 and A34 – and a traffic management programme was run to minimise disruption to residents and businesses.
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In particular, the organisation behind the athletics competition and opening and closing ceremonies at the 30,000-capacity Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr came in for particular praise from spectators.
It no doubt contributed to the decision by organisers of the European Athletics Championships to pick Birmingham to host the 2026 competition – the first time the honour has been handed to a UK city.
Ms Shaw has also led the development of the Regional Transport Coordination Centre which opened in 2020. Her career has been spent largely working in public sector transport including a spell as assistant director of transportation and connectivity with Birmingham City Council.
She said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised for our contribution to the success of Birmingham 2022.
“It is not just for me but also the fantastic team of talented people here are Transport for West Midlands as well as the wider transport community who made sure that we were able to get a million-plus spectators, athletes and officials to and from their events while the rest of the region went about their daily journeys.
“It was a hugely rewarding experience and something I am immensely proud of – this honour is the icing on the cake.”
Former FSB chairman Mike Cherry has received a CBE in addition to the OBE he was awarded in 2017 (Image: Huddersfield Daily Examiner) Other recipients from the West Midlands business community include Mike Cherry who has been given a CBE for services to business and international trade, adding to the OBE he was awarded in 2017. Mr Cherry spent many years with industry body the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
This included six years as its policy director before he took over as its national chairman in 2016, a role he relinquished last year.
Mr Cherry, 69, was a fervent supporter of small businesses, considered the backbone of the UK economy, and could often be found in the national media speaking in support of the sector.
He also devoted time to highlight the mental health struggles which can come with being self-employed or the owner-manager of a small company.
Day-to-day, he is the director of family-owned timber merchant WH Mason & Son in Burton which marked its 125th anniversary last year and now has the fifth generation of the family working in the business.
It supplies wood products to hospitality businesses for use in beer barrels and diversified during the pandemic to make engraved wooden gifts.
Mr Cherry told BusinessLive: “The OBE came after six years as policy director at the FSB and now I’m hugely honoured and delighted to be given this second award.
“This is reflective of the work all of us did, in particular during the pandemic and also in helping small businesses launch in overseas markets and grow.”
He added: “I’m still very much involved with WH Mason and not looking to retire and not every family business can say they have a fifth generation working in it.
“Like many businesses, we struggled during the pandemic, partly because we supplied to the hospitality industry so we broadened the product range into crafts and now sell around ten per cent of our range into international markets.”
FSB chief executive Julie Lilley said: “We’re all extremely pleased and proud to see Mike honoured with a CBE after he completed his terms of office as our national chairman.
“Mike has spent many years as a leading champion of small businesses and the self-employed through his FSB roles at both a regional and national level.
“Hailing from Burton, Mike has been a prominent local business leader for a number of years in the West Midlands as well as at UK level, running his own successful family business and bringing that experience and expertise to his volunteer roles across FSB. I’m delighted that his extraordinary dedication has been recognised.”
Lorna Millington has been awarded an MBE for services to business and the environment.
She is a widely respected chartered gas engineer with 25 years of experience in the industry who has spent the past five years working as the future networks manager at Cadent Gas.
The Staffordshire-based professional leads gas industry projects that progress evidence related to the repurposing of the gas network for hydrogen to allow for low-carbon heating.
She was the engineering lead for a pioneering project at Keele University that was the first to include a hydrogen blend into a modern UK gas network and also developed the concepts to be tested in a ‘village-scale’ trial of using 100 per cent low carbon hydrogen for heating.
Ms Millington has recently been asked to lead a board of colleagues to develop evidence on repurposing UK gas networks to 100 per cent hydrogen.
Karen Lynch has also received an MBE for services to social enterprise and charity.
She has impacted communities locally, across the UK and internationally including through her work as chief executive of bottled water company Belu which gives its profits to charity WaterAid.
Under her leadership, Belu became one of the best known and most awarded UK social enterprise brands.
She stepped down from the role in 2020 and is currently vice-chairwoman of membership body Social Enterprise UK and serves as an ambassador with the Warwickshire Lieutenancy.