East Yorkshire businesswoman Deb Oxley receives OBE in honours list

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 31 Dec 2018

A businesswoman who played a key role in marketing the Humber region as an ‘Energy Estuary’ has received an OBE.

Deb Oxley, who is now chief executive at the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) in Melton, also previously worked at internet giant KCOM.

Her tireless work to promote the Humber saw her business, thinkingplace, partner with the Bondholders to develop the messaging of the region as a powerhouse for energy.

Ms Oxley said she “in shock, but delighted” to have been named in the 2019 New Year’s honours list.

She said the OBE “recognises the successful collaborative approach of the EOA team, Board and members in our work to mainstream employee ownership.”

“I also feel it recognises the increased importance and relevance of employee ownership at a regional economic level, especially for SME and family-owned businesses, and am hopeful it will help the EOA to enter into even more courageous conversations with politicians and business leaders about how to deliver better business in the UK,” Ms Oxley said.

The Humber has the potential to become a leading 'Energy Estuary'. (PA)

The businesswoman has received her OBE for services to Employee Ownership and Social Enterprise.

The EOA represents organisations which are either already employee-owned, or are transitioning into employee ownership across the country.

Examples of employee-owned businesses in the Yorkshire region include Lush, the John Lewis Partnership, and the City Health Care Partnership.

Read more: The Hull Power List 2018: The 45 most influential people in the city

In 2017, Ms Oxley led the UK’s largest independent national inquiry into employee ownership, which involved a panel of over 20 UK business organisations.

This included the LEP Network, Federation of Small Business, British Chambers of Commerce and Institute of Directors, and gathered evidence from more than 100 employee-owned businesses and those who advise them.

The findings of the report are now supporting future business growth and engagement.

Simon Fowler, who chairs the EOA and is director of communications at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “I am thrilled to hear the news of Deb’s well-deserved honour.

Read more: Software specialist APD poised for future growth as profits soar

“Deb has led the EOA, which represents employee-owned organisations across the UK, increasing the association’s influence throughout the UK with politicians and business leaders, and will continue to do so to meet an ambitious new target to achieve three million UK employee owners by 2030…”

The employee-ownership sector has grown by more than 10 per cent for each of the last five years.



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