The boss of an energy company who hails from Hetton has been awarded an OBE in The Queen's New Year's Honours list.
Rod Gardner, 50, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Network Operations, was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services to energy resilience.
It is in recognition of his contribution to the energy industry including shaping and influencing policy as well as driving real-time responses to incidents, including weather related network disruption, both regionally and nationally.
Speaking about the award, Rod said: “It was a fantastic surprise when I received the letter. To be personally recognised in such a public way for my work across the industry and at Northern Powergrid is very humbling.
"When I received the news, my first thoughts were of my dad, who is sadly no longer with us. I know he would have been overjoyed and immensely proud of this moment – so this one is for you Dad.”
Originally from Hetton, Rod now lives in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, with his wife and four children.
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Nick Gill, Northern Powergrid’s Operations Director, said: “This is an incredibly proud moment for Rod and his family – and everyone at Northern Powergrid congratulates him on this superb recognition of his work both in our company and across the wider UK energy industry.
“As well as being our Head of Network Operations and major incident manager, he also currently represents Northern Powergrid nationally on a number of strategic national groups. His OBE recognises the continued valuable contribution Rod brings to the industry and our company.”
Rod joined Northern Powergrid through the former Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in 1984.
Over the years he worked as an overhead linesman, based at Durham, and an engineer before rising through the ranks becoming one of the company’s first system operations managers, in network control.