Mr. Bill Drysdale, Chairman of the British-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce has received MBE honours by Her Majesty The Queen for his services to Business. The recognition was published in the list of New Year’s Honours 2014 on 30 December 2013.
Mr. Drysdale is a prominent member of the business community in Bulgaria. In addition to his current role, he co-founded the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum. He worked as an adviser to Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha during his period as Prime Minister. Bill Drysdale was a senior partner for accountancy firm KPMG in the region.
I am delighted to see Bill Drysdale’s exceptional contribution honoured in this way. Bill is a great patriot, both for his own country and for his adopted country, Bulgaria. He strives in all he does to improve understanding between the two, in particular through strengthening and deepening business links.
As Chairman of the British Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, Bill has had a remarkable impact. He has put the BBCC on the local map and delivered a calendar of events that is the envy of longer-standing chambers. The BBCC stands in good health now, following two years of Bill’s leadership.
Bill does not allow his enthusiasm to blind him to where he perceives either of the two countries could do better! I am taken to task by him on government policies that he feels do not work for his members; and he is outspoken about aspects of Bulgarian life that he believes need to change. That is the mark of a true patriot: unafraid to work openly for the betterment of the two countries that he loves.
I commend Bill for his mission to increase trade and business between Britain and Bulgaria, and to improve relations between their peoples. This is a richly deserved honour indeed.
Maria Shishkova, Managing Partner of AIMS Human Capital, has said:
Mr. William Drysdale seems to possess an endless energy and dedication and proof of this is the fact that he recently reshaped and activated the British Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. Within a couple of years only he managed to position it as a visible and vibrant connection between British and Bulgarian businesses and as a respectable voice of the business community in the country”.
It is a great honour for me to accept this award for my work here in Bulgaria. I share the credit with a few special colleagues who have helped me far beyond the call of duty. Bulgaria is my second home and I am pleased that my efforts here have been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen. I believe that British business has a lot to contribute to Bulgaria and that trade, investment and exchange of skilled human resources between the two countries are of enormous mutual benefit.
About the Order of the British Empire
The Order of the British Empire recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds.
It was created during the First World War in 1917 by George V.
The King recognised the need for a new award of honour which could be more widely awarded, in recognition of the large numbers of people in the British Isles and other parts of the Empire who were helping the war effort both as combatants and as civilians on the home front. For the first time, women were included in an order of chivalry, and it was decided that the Order should also include foreigners.
Today the Order of the British Empire is the order of chivalry of British democracy. Valuable service is the only criterion for the award, and the Order is now used to reward service in a wide range of useful activities.
About Bill Drysdale
Bill Drysdale operates a free-lance consulting practice in Bulgaria and the Western Balkans.
After an initial career in KPMG in Scotland, Bill was managing Partner for nine years first of KPMG Poland then KPMG Bulgaria and Macedonia.
From 1998 to 2001 he was a founder member and first chairman of the BBLF. From 2003 to 2005 he served as an advisor to the Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg, then spent five years as a member of the management and consulting team at AIMS Human Capital.
Earlier in 2011 he held an advisory appointment with the Macedonian Economy Minister.
From 2011 to date he has served as Chairman of the Board of the British Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce.