Lifetime Award Winner Will Be Hard Act to Follow

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), August 17, 2017 | Go to article overview

Lifetime Award Winner Will Be Hard Act to Follow


Byline: COREENA FORD coreena.ford@trinitymirror.com @EveningGazette

THE recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award last year could have won his trophy twice over.

Paul Booth OBE triumphed in this category of the North East Business Executive of the Year 2016 awards after judges heard how he could have won the trophy once for the industry in which he has worked with great distinction, and once more for the area he has served over many years.

Growing up in North Ormesby and being fascinated with Meccano sets, Mr Booth faced a choice between working in either the steel works or the chemical industry.

He chose the latter and never looked back, getting an apprenticeship with ICI at Wilton and then being sponsored to do a degree, first on Teesside and then at Manchester University.

He went on to work in the chemical industry for more than 40 years, serving ICI, Huntsman and, latterly, Sabic in roles on Teesside, across Europe and in the USA working in the nylon, polyester and petrochemicals sectors.

His time in the industry included what he described as "difficult and challenging" roles with ICI as the industry began to change in the 1990s, but when he stepped down in 2016, he was feted for his "immense contribution" to his employers, the wider chemicals industry and to the North-east.

His busy professional life did not prevent Mr Booth from becoming active in other ways, including chairman of the North East Process Industry Cluster, deputy chair of the National Skills Academy, a governor at Teesside University and chairman of Tees Valley Unlimited.

In 2013, he was awarded an OBE for services to the chemical process industry.

He is described as a "great ambassador" for the North-east and has been instrumental in bringing together the different parts of Teesside to agree its devolution deal.

And he has always been passionate about ensuring the young people from Teesside aren't left behind, and have better chances than those that have gone before them.

At the time, he said: "It's very humbling. You spend a lifetime trying to do the right thing and it's nice that that's recognised.

"When I was young, my mother used to say it's better to give than to receive. ICI paid for my ambition and I understand how important that was. So I have dedicated a lot of my time to try to help young people get into education, and get into careers, and I have always felt it very, very rewarding. It's about investing in people for the future."

The Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 is again sponsored by RSM, who said they were delighted to be supporting the renowned North East Business Executive of the Year Awards for a fourth year running.

The firm said it is proud to be involved in promoting the profile of some of the North-east's most successful and innovative businesses while celebrating the success of the entrepreneurs behind them. …

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