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Hospitality sector makes mark in New Year Honours

02 January 2008 by

Members of the hospitality industry received MBEs and OBEs in the 2008 New Years Honours, with recognition for Restaurant Association (RA) chairman Robert Walton.

Walton, proprietor of Trunkwell Mansion House in Reading and chairman at the RA, received an MBE for services to hospitality.

Lesley Gardner, secretary to the chief executive of industry charity Hospitality Action, was also accorded an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

Gardner has worked at the charity for the past 37 years. Current chief executive Penny Moore said she was "a truly remarkable individual" and she was delighted that in the charity's 170th year Gardner "achieved public recognition through this great honour".

Meanwhile former British Institute of Innkeeping chairman and 20-year Whitbread veteran Richard Pearson received an OBE for services to the hospitality industry.

Paul Breach, executive director of the Academy of Food and Wine and Philip Riddle, chief executive at VisitScotland also picked up OBE's. Kerry de Courcy, chairman of Rye and District Hotels and Caterers Association and member of the BHA's South-eastern committee was awarded an MBE.
John Williams, who has been executive head chef at The Ritz since 2004, also picked up an MBE for services to the hospitality industry.

Kenneth Melsom, currently chairman of Hastings College Governors, was awarded an MBE. Until recently Melsom was the owner of the Country House Hotel, near Hastings, which he bought in 1982 and sold last summer.

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By Christopher Walton

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