British exporters recognised in New Year’s Honours List 2021


Today, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss MP is congratulating UK exporters, business leaders and DIT staff who have been recognised with Honours for their exceptional and outstanding service to international trade, investment, and exporting.

Those honoured this time around represent a diverse range of businesses, from sourcing PPE for the pandemic, green energy, trade policy negotiations and to services exports in the creative industry such as cross-cultural theatre productions.

The New Year’s Honours List also recognises the work and dedication undertaken by those who worked during the pandemic to keep the country safe.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:

All those being honoured have made a terrific contribution to the UK over the past year, whether it be leading the fight against coronavirus or helping champion free and fair trade across the world. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work.

More trade and investment is vital to delivering the jobs and economic growth we need to recover from the pandemic and build back better. Our innovative and go-getting exporters are critical to that, and we will continue to support them as they look to sell more of their wares overseas this coming year and beyond.

Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Trade, said:

I am extremely proud of DIT colleagues recognised for their hard work for the Department on international trade issues.

It is also excellent to see so many British exporters and business leaders recognised in the 2021 New Year Honours List, showcasing the success of British exports abroad.

Many congratulations to them, and to all recipients.

Exporters and business leaders in the New Year’s Honours List 2021 include:

  • Kirsty Hamilton; Associate Fellow, Chatham House (OBE)
  • Stuart Paul Gibbons; Managing Director, Le Mark Group (OBE)
  • Sharon Pursey; Co-Founder, SafeToNet (OBE)
  • Steve Crane; Chief Executive Officer, business Link Japan and Executive Director of Export to Japan (OBE)
  • Matthew Hurn; Chief Financial Officer, Mubadala Investment Company, Chairman, Association of Corporate Treasurers, Middle East (OBE)
  • Ella Spira, Co-founder, Sisters Grimm (MBE)
  • Piertra Mello-Pittman, Co-Founder, Sisters Grimm (MBE)
  • Laura Bounds, Managing Director, Kent Crisps (MBE)
  • Manoj Varsani, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hammock (MBE)
  • Paul Jonathan Morris, Founder and Chief Executive Addmaster UK Limited (MBE)
  • Zoe Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Sparkol (MBE)
  • Daniel Leigh Brooks, Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Human Resources (MBE)

Staff from the Department for International Trade (DIT) have also been recognised in the 2021 New Year Honours list, including:

  • Matthew Davies; Deputy Director, Trade Agreements Continuity Programme (OBE)
  • Deborah Clarke; Country Director, Department for International Trade Malaysia (OBE)
  • Ruchi Nanda – Lately Account Manager, Trade, Investment and Business Support (MBE)
  • Jasmine Baker – Head of Insurance and Asset Management British Embassy Beijing (MBE)
  • Chris Dunn – Head of Infrastructure and Environment (China), Energy, Infrastructure, Creative and Sports Directorate (MBE)

Exporters recognised in this list include Laura Claire Bounds, who manages three businesses: Kent Crisps, Kentish Oils and Kentish Condiments. Her businesses already export to twelve countries around the world, including in the Middle East. Laura started exporting in 2015 and has worked tirelessly with DIT in getting the brand into overseas markets, particularly in Asia.

Laura Claire Bounds, Managing Director, Kent Crisps, said:

To have been awarded an MBE is an absolute privilege, especially when it relates to the work done for a county that I am so proud to be a part of.

Kent Crisps is made up of a small but extremely passionate team, without whom I would not have had this opportunity. I hope that this proves to others that we all can make a difference, and that with hard work & determination, anything is possible.

Pietra Marie De Mello-Pittman and Ella Louvaine Spira are other impressive UK exporters listed in the New Year Honours List 2021. They are the co-founders of Sisters Grimm, a productions company which creates cross-cultural collaborations in art, music and dance. The business is a creative partnership of former Royal Ballet ballerina Pietra Mello-Pittman and Grammy-nominated composer Ella Spira.

Pietra and Ella have worked with DIT to expand Sisters Grimm into new worldwide marketplaces such as Voices of the Amazon, working with Brazilian partners and Sakura in Japan. Their productions have been presented on the biggest stages across the globe.

Pietra Marie De Mello-Pittman and Ella Louvaine Spira, Co-founders of Sisters Grimm, said:

Being honoured with an MBE is a wonderful recognition of the role we play bringing talent together internationally. We feel such a passion and a drive for representing other cultures, and seeing our shows reach audiences all over the world.

It is an honour to be recognised not only in contributing to the creative industry but also for services to international trade. As female founders from mixed heritage backgrounds, we have had to overcome challenges to not only create a business model around the arts, but to be recognised as internationalists.

The impact that the arts can have on society should never be undervalued – they allow people to make sense of their emotions in a space they often don’t give themselves. In these dark and difficult times for live entertainment we mustn’t lose sight of how the arts have the ability to join people together.


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