Over the past 20 years, brother and sister team, Graeme and Gill Riley have transformed the GGR Group from a small, family run business with a £5000 budget into a £22 million global success.The compact crane and lifting equipment business was founded in 1995 and now employs over one hundred staff across three depots in Oldham, Thame and Glasgow.
Gill has been appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Construction—an honour that has rarely been given to a female in the industry. The official appointment will be marked with an investiture ceremony at St James’ Palace later this year.
On receiving the news of her OBE, Gill said:
I am truly honoured and humbled to have been chosen to receive such a prestigious award. It is very exciting to think that the work I have done over the years has had a positive impact on the construction industry as a whole.
I’m proud that our cranes have helped build and maintain some of the most iconic and prestigious buildings across the UK. We’ve truly gone from strength to strength thanks to a fantastic team and supportive family around me; this is a proud day for the whole of the GGR family.
Over the years Gill and Graeme have travelled the world to bring safer, more powerful and more efficient lifting equipment to the UK, finding gaps in the market where innovative products can lead to an improvement in safety standards on UK construction sites. By investing in top-of-the range lifting equipment and launching accredited training courses, Gill has made a remarkable difference to the industry.
As market-leading lifting experts, GGR are always looking for new ways to improve our products and services. We believe in raising health and safety standards across the sector and will continue to bring innovative lifting solutions to the construction industry in the UK and across the world, adds Gill.
One of the greatest barriers Gill has had to overcome in her career is to be accepted and make an impact in a male dominated sector. Gill is one of only a handful of female Managing Directors in the industry and she has to work hard to overcome prejudice and gain the same recognition as men in the sector. Gill has made herself known as a force to be reckoned with amongst her industry peers thanks to her tenacity, entrepreneurial talent and expert negotiation skills. She stands head and shoulders above the rest in the construction plant equipment industry, not just because she is a woman, but because she has worked zealously to improve lifting safety standards with commendable success.
Gill juggles her work life with the busy acting career of her children, which comes with its own challenges and demands—but this is what makes Gill unique. As a woman it is already challenging enough to earn respect amongst male peers in the construction and plant equipment industry, but to achieve this, raise a family and be awarded an OBE is exceptional.
The full 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List can be viewed on the London Gazette website.