From Tank man to Businessman - get to know your Kent Policy and Governance Ambassador William English CBE

William English CBE, Ambassador for Policy and Governance IoD Kent and winner of the Family Business category in the Director of the Year Awards 2023.

A former soldier for 36 years, he leads his family’s 13th century rural estate in Kent developing a core business in brewing and distilling.

Education and global travel have been two of life’s constants for William on his business journey. After leaving the Service in 2017, he set about developing his business skills by going back to school. Seven years on he is an alumnus of The Alliance Manchester Business School; The Chartered Management Institute; the Institute of Directors and is in his final year at Heriot Watt University completing a Post-Graduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in Brewing and Distilling.

Alongside running is business in Kent he has had other board roles, notably, independent Non-executive Director for a mid-sized global trading company; he is currently chair (elect) for an export company. William carries an American gene as a registered descendant of the Mayflower; he is currently the Deputy Governor of the Society for Mayflower Descendants (Europe). William says he is a blend of the Old and New World in both thinking and behaviours.

William loves the diversity of thought derived from a broad range of people and experiences. He is a keen practitioner of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). William studied to become an IoD Chartered Director in 2018 as he saw it as the best route to understanding and practicing the business underpinned by governance in the delivery of strategic intent. Having won the Institute of Directors, Director of the Year Award 2023 for ‘Family Business’ and been ‘Highly Commended’ for ‘Innovation’, he is now a Director of the Year 2024 judge and an assessor of potential Chartered Directors.

William English is Chair and CEO of Owen English and Son

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