Colin Bryan OBE CEO at Drayton Manor Park

Colin Bryan, chief executive at Drayton Manor Theme Park, and Dr Sharon Redrobe, chief executive at Twycross Zoo, have both received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2017.

The accolade has been given to Colin Bryan in recognition of his charity work and his ongoing contribution – lasting more than 52 years – to the tourism and leisure industry.

Colin said: “My parents opened Drayton Manor Park in 1950 and I have been working there since I was a young boy, when my first job was helping them clear the rubble with my miniature wheelbarrow.

“I have worked in nearly every department over the years and qualified as a chef to really understand what makes the park and catering companies what they are today.”

His parents, George and Vera Bryan OBE, purchased a derelict property together with 80 acres of land near Tamworth, Staffordshire, in 1949.  Not long after, they set about transforming the site into a leisure park that would be ‘affordable, reachable and open to all’.

Colin said: “It is in my blood so I feel very honoured to receive this OBE. I still love watching our guests have fun, enjoying themselves, knowing I have played a part in that.”

Sharon Redrobe from Twycross Zoo, meanwhile, has received her OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2017 for her services to Skills, Science and the Economy in Leicestershire.

CEO Dr Sharon Redrobe

Pictured: CEO Dr Sharon Redrobe. (Photo credit: Lucy Ray).

Renowned as a wildlife vet and a leading figure in the world of primate conservation, Dr Redrobe has over 20 years’ experience working in academia, charity and business sectors.

Over this time, she has become a respected authority and advocate on zoological matters.

She said: “I am delighted and humbled by this unexpected honour. Ever since I started working at Twycross Zoo, I was inspired by the great legacy of the zoo’s co-founders Ms Nathalie Evans and Ms Molly Badham, who herself was appointed OBE.

“The job of the CEO of Twycross Zoo is certainly challenging, but my belief in the role modern zoos must play in conservation keeps me focused on moving forward to help save our precious wildlife.

She continued: “I hope this honour will help increase awareness of the good work we do at Twycross Zoo to protect endangered species and habitats.”

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