Ian Twinley to receive Member of the Order of the British Empire in The King’s Birthday Honours List 2023.
The King’s Birthday Honours list recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK, from all walks of life.
Ian Twinley joined Ford Motor Company in 1979 as an Engineering Trainee. He finished his apprenticeship in 1983 and then held a number of appointments in Ford of Britain, Ford of Europe and Ford U.S.A during a 22year period. Leadership roles included Marketing for Europe, Fleet & Leasing across Europe, Financial Management & Accounting, Strategic Acquisition and Brand Management. Ian also attended a Ford sponsored Management MBA Program.
In 2002 he joined John Grose Group as Chairman. John Grose is a multi-franchise Dealer Group established in 1888 with a turnover of £190 million, employing 350 staff. In 2004 he took a controlling interest. The Suffolk based Group has won the Ford Chairman’s award for Customer Satisfaction 21 times, John Grose is ranked one of the top Ford Dealers in the Country.
In 2016 Ian stepped down from serving 10 years as the UK Vice President of Group1 automotive, a Fortune 500 Retailer that owns 50 UK Dealerships employing 3500 people. Ian took on the role as a start-up and grew it through multiple acquisitions.
As an employer of Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, Ian travelled to Afghanistan in 2008 and spent time with Suffolk based reservists serving in Kandahar and Camp Bastion. Ian was appointed Chairman of the East Anglia Reserve Forces & Cadets Association on April 1st 2018, having chaired the Employer Engagement Board since 2012. He serves on the main board of the RFCA as well as the Strategy and Engagement committees.
When asked about the honour Ian gave us this statement:
“What a wonderful surprise, I was thrilled when I opened the letter from the cabinet office. It must have been almost 20 years ago; I was asked to help raise funds for the Army Benevolent Fund. Then in 2008 my wife and I hosted a Royal Anglian Regimental Event. During the proceedings, a senior military officer whispered in my ear, would I consider a visit to Afghanistan as one of twelve National business leaders to review how the reserve forces were integrated into the regular force. Well, that was an easy yes, but I did say, ‘don’t mention it to my mother’.
The trip was an amazing experience. In both Kandahar and Camp Bastion I couldn’t help offering ideas and thoughts on equipment maintenance efficiency, logistics planning and personnel productivity. I should have kept quiet as the next thing you know; on our return I am being volunteered for all sorts of committees and initiatives.
My term serving on the RFCA Board and Council has been one of life’s highlights for me. I didn’t get the chance to serve my country as a younger person in one of the three forces, so to have had the chance later on in life has been an enormous privilege. And the fact that I have been the only non-military civilian Board Member is also a great honour. As you can imagine I worked with some really smart military folks.
Now to have been recognised is very special, I am very fortunate. I must say that the recognition should be credited to my parents and my wife. Thankfully, my parents brought me up to recognise responsibilities in life and my dear wife has had to bear huge sacrifices, as I have been missing from home a great deal.”
As well as his services to his country, Ian has also been involved for many years with a number of charitable organisations.
Ian is a Patron of the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and Chairman of the Essex Dog Day Committee. He and his wife are both keen fundraisers, with events at their Essex home over the last fifteen years raising over £750,000 for local charities. They both have a passion for historical buildings. They spent fifteen years carefully renovating a Georgian Rectory that had been lying empty for five years. They have since moved and for the past 15 years have been caring for their Georgian listed parkland property. In the past five years they have been renovating a neighbouring Grade II* listed Georgian property now fully open as a wedding venue. Historic England was fully supportive for the change of use and the addition of 10,000 square feet of new Orangery space to ensure a sustainable future.
Ian was Chairman of Team Ipswich for five years and a Trustee of the Inspire Suffolk Charity for three years. He is a Suffolk New College Ambassador and loves spending time motivating the students. In 2014 Ian was instrumental in establishing the annual Suffolk Skills Show, where 5000 young people engage with over 100 local businesses, the event was then established in Norfolk by the RNAA. Ian is currently the Honorary President of the Norfolk and Suffolk Skills shows. The University of Suffolk made Ian an honorary fellow in October 2018.
Within his role as Chairman at John Grose, Ian has continued his charitable work, providing minibuses to local causes heading to Ukraine to transport refugees from the ongoing conflict, holding annual events for local charities and supporting numerous charities within our local community with the loan vehicles whenever possible.
For his services to charity and youth he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Essex in 2012. Ian is a Member of Court at the University of Essex; he is also a Regional Ambassador for the new Cambridge Children’s Hospital.
Ian will be invited later in the year to an investiture at Buckingham Palace to receive the award from a member of the Royal Family.