A WEST Wiltshire woman who has worked in the cement and concrete industry for all of her 42-year career has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Kathleen Mary Appleby, managing director of The Concrete Society, based in Camberley, Surrey, received the award for services to the construction industry.

Kathy, 65, of Perry’s Lane, Seend Cleeve, is an exemplar ambassador for the construction sector, having been MD of the Concrete Society for the past seven years.

A professional of more than 40 years standing in the cement and concrete sector – she has also worked unstintingly as both a volunteer and as a consultant to the Society.

Kathy was first involved with The Concrete Society as a regional volunteer in the 1970s and 80s in the South-West Region, becoming both Honorary Secretary and then Chairman of that region.

Her hard work and determination and commitment to the industry culminated in her becoming the Society's National President – the only woman to hold that role to date.

Kathy joined Blue Circle Cement in Bristol in 1976, spending 32 years at the firm before leaving Lafarge Cement (as it was later known) in 2009.

She worked as a consultant to The Concrete Society until 2011 when she became managing director, an appointment which the Society’s Council unanimously agreed upon.

The Concrete Society, founded in 1966, is an independent not-for-profit membership organisation and is the leading supplier of technical information to all those in the construction industry, delivered through its advisory service, technical seminars, publications and magazines.

There are also 11 regional committees across the UK serving as a volunteer network to organise social and technical events.

Kathy said: “I am amazed and delighted to be honoured and accept this award on behalf of colleagues and volunteers I have worked with over many years. I think that I represent a lot of unsung heroes who do a lot of work for this industry.

“I was notified a few weeks ago and had to keep it secret. I finally told my son, Ben and a couple of close friends just before the announcement was made over the weekend.

“I am particularly proud of all the work that the Society does through its staff, its governing Council and especially the hundreds of volunteers who organise regional events to support local industry, and particularly the work they all do to raise money (thousands of pounds every year) for both local and national charities, including the RNLI, the British Heart Foundation and The Princes’ Trust.”

William Doherty, the President of The Concrete Society, said: “For over 40 years Kathy has worked tirelessly for the construction industry and with The Concrete Society.

“We on the governing Council are extremely delighted that she should be formally recognised and rewarded for this outstanding contribution to both the Society and the construction industry.”