Queen honours motor industry

Janet Wilkinson honoured for a career at the SMMT

SMMT’s communications manager, Janet Wilkinson, has been awarded an MBE for services to the Motor Industry and Charity in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2015. Janet, who has spent virtually all her career at the SMMT, has been responsible for many of the activities and events the organisation runs to help promote the industry to media and other stakeholders. She has also mentored dozens of young people who have gone on to enjoy successful careers in the industry.

Speaking on her award, Janet said, ‘I am thrilled and humbled to receive such an award. I never thought the work I did would merit recognition but to have been honoured today is a tribute to all the support and encouragement I have received from colleagues in the industry. The automotive sector is a great industry with fantastic, committed people and a hugely professional and passionate automotive media. The UK industry has had its ups and downs but is now re-established as an international success story and I am delighted to be a small part of that success.’

Chief executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes, said, ‘Janet’s award is richly deserved and will be applauded by everyone who knows her. To have given a lifetime’s work to one sector is increasingly unusual but to devote that career to a single organisation is even more special. Everyone at the SMMT and across the industry will be delighted, especially as she is someone who has given so selflessly for a number of charities, especially WOMAC (Women on the Move Against Cancer).’

Janet joined the SMMT in 1974 and has spent most of her career in communications and public relations for the sector. She has been responsible for creating and managing the media centres at some of the industry’s most high-profile events, including the British International Motor Show, the Commercial Vehicle Show, as well as SMMT Test Days which she has managed for over 20 years. These events promote the corporate reputation of the UK industry and showcase companies’ products and technology to thousands of media and the public from the UK and abroad. Janet is also a Trustee of the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Benevolent Fund and, significantly, Chairman of the charity Woman on the Move Against Cancer (WOMAC) raising funds and awareness for a variety of cancer charities.

Mike continued, ‘It is pleasing to see the UK automotive sector, which thrives thanks to the commitment and dedication of many tens of thousands of people like Janet, recognised today. The industry is enjoying an unprecedented period of growth, with multi-billion pounds of investment committed to UK manufacturing, a strong domestic market, and thousands more people able to pursue rewarding careers.’