John Dennis Mowbray, Northumbrian Water’s Director of Corporate Affairs, receives the OBE for services to the water industry and to charity in the Queens Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours list.
His career in the industry has seen the Sunderland and South Shields Water company - the business he started with - merge with the Newcastle & Gateshead Water Company to create North East Water which in turn combined with Northumbrian Water to form today’s regional water and waste water treatment company.
Sunderland born and bred John, aged 54, started as a general services officer in 1983 and will retire this summer from his role as director of one of the leading water companies in the country.
John is currently President of the North East Chamber of Commerce – one of an extensive portfolio of additional business and community roles he is involved with.
He is also widely recognised for his contribution to the international charity WaterAid as Chair of the Northumbria WaterAid committee which has raised more than £5 million over the last 15 years saving 350,000 lives.
Heidi Mottram, Northumbrian Water’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It would be understandable if people thought that John had water flowing through his veins and his heart instead of blood!
“He is a true and dedicated servant of the water industry both at home, nationally and internationally, and has served the people in his beloved North East and further afield in so many and varied ways over an outstanding career.
“John has led by example and been an inspiration to generations, in particular, to aid hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and Asia where clean water, which John can take for granted at home, is literally a matter of life and death.
“We are proud that all those years of hard work, dedication and commitment have today been recognised at the very highest level.”
James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce said: “John epitomises everything that is great about “responsible business”. He is a consummate professional as a businessman but gives massively of his time to help the wider community across all walks of life.
“He has helped to improve the lives of so many both at home and abroad and is the perfect ambassador for the North East business community.”
John Mowbray said: “It was a lovely surprise to receive the letter telling me about the honour. I hadn’t expected it and it left me speechless for a change. Nevertheless, I was delighted and felt very proud. Although the award is to me, I think it recognises the great support I have had from groups of people supporting me to make things happen and there are many of them in Northumbrian Water and beyond. I have also had great support from various leaders at the company.
“I joined the Sunderland & South Shields Water Company nearly thirty years ago and had no idea how things would work out. I have been involved in much change in the industry and worked in a number of different areas.
“The industry has changed dramatically in the way it serves customers, invests to improve and supports its communities and I think this recognises the part we have played in that. Supporting communities is particularly important both here and overseas and WaterAid is close to my and the company’s heart.”
John, who still lives in Sunderland with wife Lynn, have two children, Martin and Laura.
For further information contact: Alistair Baker, Communications & PR Manager 0191 3016851 / 07711-793493.