New Year Honours for event and hospitality figures

Events industry entrepreneur Nickie Gott (pictured) has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2016 for services to women into business and female entrepreneurship in the North East.

Gott founded She’s Gott It! in April 2002 and the County Durham-based agency has gone on to create many major events, including the recent Hitachi plant opening attended by the Prime Minister and Chancellor and the opening of the new Crowne Plaza Newcastle.

A previous winner of the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, NE Entrepreneur of the Year and Region’s Best Small Business award, Gott has also led her company to win two national event awards; Best Practice and Best Event at the National Outdoor Events Awards.

Gott helped form the North East Women’s Advisory board, part of the North East Chamber of Commerce, in September 2012. It is a group dedicated to promoting female entrepreneurship.

She said: “I was swept away with shock and gratitude when I opened the letter to see I have been being recommended for this prestigious honour. Championing women to start and grow their own business is my big passion, so being nominated especially for my services to women into business is wonderful.”

Also recognised in the New Year Honours list was Chardon Trading’s founder Maurice Taylor, who was appointed a CBE for his charitable work.

Chardon Trading owns and operates a portfolio of six hotels throughout Scotland.

Taylor said of his award: “Not bad for someone who started out in the hotel business as a junior night porter at the Turnberry Hotel – long before Donald Trump bought it!”

Taylor was founder and chief executive of Chardon Management, an independent management company which operated over 50 hotels around the UK under a variety of global brands, including: Hilton, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Hotel Indigo. The company was sold in September 2013 to the world’s largest independent hotel management company, Interstate Hotels and Resorts.

And Excel London chairman and former CEO Kevin Murphy, received an OBE in the New Year Honours list in recognition of his services to the business tourism industry.

Murphy oversaw the investment of £165m from Excel’s Abu Dhabi owners ADNEC including the creation of a new International Convention Centre for London. He also secured a £55m investment in opening the UK’s first Aloft hotel in his role as Excel London CEO.

A board member of London and Partners, the official promotion organisation for London, Murphy has worked to attract international businesses to meet and exhibit in the UK capital city and to promote London internationally. In 2015 he also joined the board of Visit Britain, the national tourism agency, a public body funded by DCMS.

His career spans more than two decades, and has involved both private publishing and exhibition businesses and senior corporate positions with large media owners, including AGB, Maxwell Business Communications and Emap plc.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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