Gary Gordon of cookshop Kitchen Kapers has been awarded honorary life membership by the British Independent Retailers Association (bira). The award was made at the association's annual general meeting on the day of its High Street Conference on 11 May.
Proposing the honour, bestowed on only a handful of members, Richard Rowlatt, himself a recipient of the award said: "There can be no more natural candidate for this honour than Gary Gordon."
Mr Gordon was at the forefront of the formation of The Cookshop & Housewares Association 21 years ago and later chaired the division. He also served as National President of the British Hardware Fedreation, one of the precursors of bira, in 2004.
Mr Rowlatt elaborated: "The true measure of Gary is not in titles but in actions. Kitchen Kapers is a highly successful cookshop chain and cookware importer. He has also made many media contributions as well as writing his own columns in the trade press."
Mr Rowlatt went on to enumerate the many other roles which he has fulfilled for the organisation. He has been Chairman of bira publishing for many years, a member of the Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee, and has represented independent retailers as a specialist on property matters at the British Retail Consortium and to government.
He has been a regular attender at the bira Five Counties branch, which he has also chaired. He has chaired the bira Training Committee for many years and is, said Mr Rowlatt: "a true proponent of the value of learning and personal development."
Mr Gordon commented: "This is a great honour; unexpected but deeply welcome."