Former mia CEO Jane Longhurst awarded OBE

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Jane Longhurst, former chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association (mia), has been awarded for an OBE for her services to the business events sector in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List.

Before her retirement last November, Jane was the driving force behind the trade association, committed to championing, collaborating with and uniting the many different parts of the sector while also advocating best practice to raise industry standards. During her 18 year tenure she launched the AIM accreditation scheme and celebrated talent with initiatives such as the prestigious miaList.  

The honour particularly recognises her role during the pandemic, working around the clock leading a simultaneous government, media and member relations strategy, where she provided insight, clarity and guidance alongside a comprehensive suite of business support tools that were signposted by government.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been recommended for an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and that the work being conducted by the business meetings and events sector has been recognised in what was an extremely dark time for our industry,” she said.

“There were so many incredible people working tirelessly throughout the pandemic pulling out every stop in support of the industry, so to have been singled out with an honour is extremely humbling. This recognition alongside the unanimous supportive feedback from members and high retention rates during my time at the mia would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of the wider mia team.”   

Steve Jones, chair of the mia, said: “We’re delighted that Jane’s name appears on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List – particularly in Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee year. After Jane’s many years of commitment and dedication to both the mia and the wider business meetings and events sector, being awarded an OBE is certainly a fitting tribute. We’d like to extend our congratulations to Jane.”

Elsewhere in the sector, two civil servants were recognised in the list for their work organising the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.  Eleanor O’Riordan, deputy director of events for the Cabinet Office’s COP26 unit, got an OBE while Mark Malone, event manager in the Cabinet Office, was awarded an MBE.

Paul Harvey
Written By
Paul Harvey
M&IT editor Paul Harvey is a journalist with more than 15 years of experience. He began his career in the local press, working for various titles across the north. Since joining M&IT in 2013, he has become a trusted and respected voice in the sector, championing event professionals and reporting on all aspects of the events industry for the brand.

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