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 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 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, added, “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.

WGMW chairman John Kendall said, “Everyone in the industry in the UK and many outside know of Janet and the tremendous contribution she has made to the business.

“Her professionalism and attention to detail is well known among motoring journalists and media and I am sure all our group members think this is a thoroughly deserved and appropriate honour for someone who has given so much to the industry and her unflinching charity work and support.”

Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts

Robin is the longest serving chairman of The Western Group. He’s been vice chairman or chairman for over ten years and oversees the annual Western Group PR Driving Day each summer assisted by the group committee and supported by group members.

He contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.

Robin specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.

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