Department for International Trade
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Business leaders, UK exporters and trade experts recognised in Queen’s Birthday Awards 2022

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan congratulates those named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, including DIT staff, business leaders and exporters.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan recently (01 June 2022) congratulated exporters, business leaders and DIT staff who have been recognised for their exemplary service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In keeping with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee festivities, the list is a celebration of people’s outstanding contributions to UK society.

International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan recently said:

“It is wonderful to see some of the brilliant UK business leaders and exporters honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this year. I extend my warmest congratulations to the recipients and thank them for the valuable work they do.

“To see so many DIT staff honoured demonstrates the outstanding achievements of our trade professionals and the importance of their work boosting the UK economy and championing free and fair trade across the globe. Well done to all of those recognised.”

Business leaders and exporters honoured in the 2022 Queen’ Birthday Honours list include:

  • Karen Betts; Chief Executive, The Food & Drink federation (OBE)
  • Maggie Kessler; Co-owner and Export Director, 2M Group (OBE)

  • Mordechai Kessler; Chairman and CEO, 2M Group (OBE)
  • Sanjay Vadera; CEO, The Fragrance Shop and Per-Scent (MBE)
  • Bradley Aspess; Founder, Rarewaves (MBE)
  • Ameeta Virk; Markets Leader – India & USA in International Trade Team South West (MBE)

Department for International Trade staff honoured in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list include:

  • Rodney Berkeley; Director for Manufacturing, Energy and Infrastructure (CBE)
  • Esi Eshun; Director of Legal and Compliance Group (OBE)
  • Sandra Martin; Deputy Director, Southern England Regional Team (OBE)
  • Angela Whelan; Assistant Director, International Engagement and Protocol (MBE)

  • Tom Goodwin; Member of WTO Institutional Affairs and Governance (MBE)
  • Camille Pascual; Head of Marketing and Communications Middle East, British Embassy Dubai, UAE (MBE)
  • Sharon Neblett; Business Management Assistant to Deputy Director of Communications and Marketing (BEM)

Recognised recipients

Exporters recognised in this list include:

Karen Betts – awarded an OBE for her services to International Trade.

As the Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) until 2021, Karen provided outstanding leadership to the Scotch whisky industry and has been a powerful personal advocate of trade opportunities, participating in overseas missions and galvanising her organisation to provide technical support in trade negotiations.

Karen Betts, OBE, recently said:

“I am delighted to receive this honour. I have had the pleasure to work alongside superb colleagues in the SWA and across the global whisky industry, as well as with committed government officials at home and overseas, and this honour reflects their hard work and creativity as much as my own efforts.”

Bradley Aspess – awarded an MBE for his services to International Trade and Exports.

Brad is a devoted businessman founding Rarewaves in 2005 with the aim to source and offer a range of over one million home-entertainment product lines to the world’s biggest marketplaces. Brad is an official ambassador for the Exporting is GREAT campaign and Rarewaves’ achievements have been recognised through their receipt of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018.

Bradley Aspess, MBE, recently said:

“This is an incredible honour of my working life. It is very humbling. I look forward to working with DIT for years to come.”

Ameeta Virk – awarded an MBE for her services to the economy.

Ameeta is being recognised as a top performing Trade Adviser in the Southwest region – spearheading new Levelling Up initiatives and virtual programmes created during the pandemic to help SMEs. She has successfully created the Student Pathways to International Trade Programme with University of Exeter, which has launched the careers of over 100 graduates. And with unrivalled expertise and knowledge in two of the biggest global economies – US and India – Ameeta has also been named one of the most influential people in the UK for UK-India relations.

Ameeta Virk, MBE, recently said:

“The moment I learned of this very special honour, I felt surprised and delighted in equal measure. Being recognised for work that I feel so passionate about means more to me than I can put into words and fills me with energy to do even more both locally and internationally.”

Maggie Kessler and Mordechai Kessler – both awarded OBEs for their services to Industry in North West England.

Maggie and her husband co-founded the award-winning company 2M Group. In the past two decades they have driven 2M Group from strength to strength with sales growing by 440%, from £30m to over £130m. 2M have been recognised in multiple awards including Northern Powerhouse Export Champion (2019-2021) and The Queen’s Award for Enterprise (2019).

Maggie and Mottie Kessler, OBE, recently said:

“As co-founders, we are honoured that this award recognises our continued growth and investment in science, the tireless efforts of our key worker teams, and the vital importance of the UK’s Science Industry. DIT are key partners in our success. With a British HQ, 8 UK sites and 9 international subsidiaries, DIT has helped us reach over 90 export countries and has helped navigate our international journey to bring the magic of chemistry worldwide.”

Sanjay Vadera – awarded an MBE for his services to International Trade and Exports.

Sanjay’s innovative growth strategy and commitment to exporting is demonstrated through his role as CEO of The Fragrance Shop, the UK’s largest independent fragrance retailer. His vision aligns with the Government’s ambition to promote trade and investment and serves as an inspiration to other UK companies, especially those from the private sector, to expand beyond the UK and promoting a global, outward looking Britain.

Sanjay Vadera, MBE, recently said:

“I am absolutely thrilled but my true first thoughts related to my team and my customers; everything that happens is a result of a collaborative effort, fuelled by a vision, driven by passion, simplicity and innovation.  We want to find a fragrance suitable for everyone, that sparks the emotions, it gives back like we do!  This honour makes me even more determined to ‘spray a little happiness’, for my team, my customers, my brand partners and the charities we support.”


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