Northern Ireland business figures recognised in Queen's Honours list

Richard Williams
Richard Williams Richard Williams

RICHARD Williams, head of Northern Ireland Screen, which is best known for its involvement in the making of Game Of Thrones, is among a number of business people from the north recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

He was awarded an OBE for services to the region's screen industries.

Under his leadership, NI Screen developed the Paint Hall at Titanic Quarter as a film studio, which has been the home of the HBO blockbuster, and more recently it partnered with Belfast Harbour Commission in the development of Belfast Harbour Studios, a new purpose built studio complex.

During his time as chief executive, NI Screen has expanded its support to cover large-scale production, TV drama, independent film, factual/entertainment, animation and interactive.

Richard previously worked for Waddell Media, during that time representing Northern Ireland on the Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television. He also previously worked in newspaper management and was a commercial solicitor.

He said: "I am delighted to accept this award, which I see as a celebration of the tremendous value to Northern Ireland from the growth of the screen industries here and also recognition of the part that all my colleagues at Northern Ireland Screen have played in that success story."

Awarded a CBE for services to business is Francis Martin, corporate finance partner at BDO Northern Ireland.

The Moy man is a former chairman of the Institute of Management Consultancy, and former board member and past president of the NI Chamber of Commerce.

In 2016 he became the first person from Northern Ireland ever to hold the presidential role at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) in its 159-year history, having served the previous three years as its vice-president.

Also recognised for his service to business with an MBE is Colin Walsh, chief executive and founder of Crescent Capital.

He has been an active venture capital investor in the local manufacturing and high-tech sectors for more than 20 years has served as chairman of Acheson Holdings Limited.

He also holds directorships at Re-Gen Waste Ltd, NiSoft Holdings Limited, Fusion Antibodies plc, Replify Limited and Belfast Power Limited.

Mr Walsh previously served as the CBI chair for Northern Ireland and chair of Andor Technology. He is also the trustee for Northern Ireland on the UK board of Barnardo’s.

Among others to receive MBEs for services to business include entrepreneurs Sheila Chambers, founder in 1989 of Around Noon in Newry, which makes upwards of 70,000 products a day for the food-on-the-go market and has annual sales of more than £17 million; and Tony Convery, founder and chairman of the CDE Group in Cookstown, a world-leading provider of wet processing equipment for quarries, mines and recycling operations.