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Compass’ Michael Hickman makes shortlist for Lifetime Achievement Award


Michael (Mick) Hickman MBE FIH, Foodservice Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, has been announced on the Lifetime Achievement Award shortlist for the 2021 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards - the world’s largest celebration of veterans in second careers.

The Lifetime Achievement Award looks at the accomplishments of service leavers throughout their whole career. Since launching in 2018, the prestigious awards initiative has played a prominent role showcasing the exceptional talent formed by the thousands of people who leave the Armed Forces each year. The Ex-Forces in Business Awards aims to cultivate a celebratory and positive veteran narrative to the business community, by showing how military skills and values help enable business success.

Mick joined the Royal Navy in January 1973 as a Junior Mechanic and underwent training at HMS Raleigh. He transferred into the Logistics branch and later became a Catering Management specialist. During his time in the Navy, Mick served at sea on HMS Hecla, HMS Sheffield, HMS Southampton, HMS Hermes and HMS Ark Royal during the Gulf War. Ashore at HMS Rooke (Gibraltar), HMS Dolphin, HMS Tamar (Hong Kong), HMS Sultan, on the staffs of Flag Officer Sea Training and Flag Officer Surface Flotilla, MoD Ensleigh at Bath as a Catering Policy Desk Officer and ended his career as the Fleet Catering Officer in the Fleet HQ Portsmouth. Mick was promoted to Warrant Officer in 1991 and in 2004 he was awarded an MBE for his outstanding contribution to catering standards, safety and training within the Royal Navy.

He joined Compass Group UK & Ireland in 2005, starting in the role of Project Manager with a focus on the Defence sector. Mick is now Compass’ Foodservice Director, responsible for leading on sustainability, foodservice systems, health and wellbeing and responsible sourcing agendas. He pioneers Compass’ Armed Forces Covenant Committee, which oversees the delivery of specific pledges to support ex-service personnel and the wider Defence community. Mick is also the Chairman of the Business Services Association (BSA) Contract Catering and Hospitality committee - a role has held for 10 years.

Mick Hickman said: “It’s a privilege to be recognised on such a wide ranging and prestigious shortlist for this award. I’m really proud of my background, having started out in the Royal Navy and forging a fantastic and rewarding career - then making the move out of the forces to pursue a new direction within Compass, who fully supported my transition, enabling me to create a new and successful pathway within the private sector. I look forward to the award evening next month and wish all the finalists the best of luck.”

Robin Mills, MD - Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented: “This recognition is truly well deserved. Mick’s prominent impact on our sector is impressive – starting within the Navy and moving on to create a distinguished career within Compass. He demonstrates commitment, coupled with in-depth and expert knowledge. I’d like to congratulate him for making the shortlist for this prestigious tribute and wish him all the best for the upcoming awards.”

Mark Webster, Managing Director, ESS – Defence, Energy & Government Services, commented: “Mick’s knowledge, dedication and professionalism are unfaltering, and his career is teeming with notable achievements. Mick has played a pivotal role in changing and developing the food systems we use daily, both within the military and within Compass. I have worked with him closely over the years and I’d like to say a personal thank you, as well as congratulations on being named on the shortlist for this Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Over 600 people were nominated across the award categories this year. The winners will be announced and celebrated at a glittering ceremony on 2 December, taking place in the InterContinental London - The O2. In attendance will be over 1,000 business and military leaders, expected to represent over 400 UK employers.

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Mick Hickman