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New Year Honours for shining stars of beauty

The British Beauty Council’s CEO Millie Kendall and COO Helena Grzesk have been recognised in The Queen’s Honours List 2022 for their extraordinary service to the UK beauty and spa industry

UK

By Sarah Camilleri

03 January 2022

britishbeautycouncil.com
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The British Beauty Council’s CEO Millie Kendall and COO Helena Grzesk have been recognised in The Queen’s Honours List 2022 for their extraordinary service and efforts on behalf of the UK beauty industry. 

Starting the New Year with the best news, the beauty sector is celebrating the well-deserved accolade for two of its shining stars as Millie Kendall has been honoured with an OBE and Helena Grzesk with an MBE in recognition of their exceptional efforts to represent and protect the UK’s beauty industry during the pandemic.

The pair have worked tirelessly to safeguard the livelihoods of the many SMEs that make up the beauty, spa and personal care sector, which was estimated by the British Beauty Council to contribute £27.2 billion in products and services to the UK Economy in 2018. Critical decisions had to be made, including industry reopening dates, hygiene and safety protocols and the distribution of £500 million funding and vital restart grants.

“This honour signifies a change in how our sector is viewed, and an appreciation of not just my work but the monumental efforts of The British Beauty Council and its partners in affecting that change.”

Millie Kendall, OBE

CEO, British Beauty Council

Dynamic leadership: Millie Kendall, OBE

As the pandemic unfolded in 2020, many businesses – including spas and salons – were left behind due to a  lack of understanding of the industry and its economic value by the UK government.

Representing the collective voice of industry, the dynamic duo – with much support behind the scenes from many committed industry leaders, associations and media – worked tirelessly to lobby and inform government to ensure beauty and spa businesses were allowed to reopen safely and get the help required for recovery.

Taking a positive leadership role right from the start, Kendall and Grzesk worked to provide government decision-makers with critical information and communication, to expedite decision making and remove obstacles and uncertainty. They highlighted the economic value of the beauty, spa and personal care sector to the UK, as well as providing essential industry intelligence made all the difference to many crucial decisions.

Speaking of her OBE award, Kendall said: “It’s an honour to be recognised in this way. My passion for the beauty industry has never faltered, it makes such an impact on our everyday lives. This award signifies a change in how our sector is viewed, and an appreciation of not just my work but the monumental efforts of the British Beauty Council and its partners in affecting that change.”

“My passion for the spa industry fuelled my dogged determination to fight for the sector I care for so deeply in the face of continued challenges and obstacles. I simply wasn’t prepared to give up.”

Helena Grzesk, MBE

COO, British Beauty Council

Spa industry honours Helena Grzesk, MBE

The spa industry, a thriving contributor to the wider beauty and personal care sector is also proud to celebrate the extraordinary work of Helena Grzesk, MBE, who has represented spas for many years in her previous role as general manager of the UK Spa Association and more recently as COO of the British Beauty Council and UKSA policy-maker.

Speaking exclusively to European Spa, Grzesk said: “I’m overwhelmed and humbled to be honoured in this way. I never expected to receive such extraordinary recognition. My passion for the spa industry fuelled my dogged determination to fight for the sector I care for so deeply in the face of continued challenges and obstacles. I simply wasn’t prepared to give up.

“This award is a demonstration of the positive steps forward we have taken at the British Beauty Council, being recognised as a global leader in innovation and education. We are so truly proud of the work we have achieved to date – this is the culmination of that work.” 

The MBE also paid tribute to the work of the UK Spa Association team and members. “UKSA has been instrumental in championing the spa sector throughout the pandemic. This award is a demonstration of the strides we have taken in beginning to reposition the perception and importance of spa, for health and wellbeing. This will continue through our relationship with government in 2022.”

Commenting on Grzesk’s MBE award, Yvonne Ebdon, general manager of the UK Spa Association, said: “Helena is an incredibly passionate and dedicated woman who, when the global pandemic hit, went above and beyond her role to fight wholeheartedly for the spa sector.

“To be awarded with an MBE is truly outstanding and I know I speak for all of our members when I say that she truly was the only point of call in a very turbulent time. Helena is an integral part of the spa sector and continues to work closely with government for the UKSA and its members.”

As a heartfelt sign off to this article, myself and all the team at European Spa also send Helena and Millie our congratulations for showing exceptional leadership during crisis. We look forward to supporting your work to drive change and help our sector thrive and flourish in future.

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Click below to find out more about how you can get involved with the British Beauty Council

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www.spa-uk.org
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