A Walsall business leader has been recognised by one of the country’s leading universities for his contribution to supporting the region’s business, education and charitable communities.
John Greaves, HomeServe’s Brand Director, was one of three people to receive honorary degrees at a series of University of Chester ceremonies held to champion achievements in engineering, drama and business, at Chester’s 16th Century cathedral.
Others receiving awards on the day included leading nuclear engineer Dame Sue Ion and acting legend David Suchet CBE, famed for his role as detective Hercule Poirot.
Speaking in front of Chester’s Deputy Lord Mayor, the Mayor of Warrington, business leaders, university graduates and distinguished guests from the region, John was awarded the honour by the university’s Ian Rasmussen.
“During John’s highly successful career as a business executive he has worked positively with communities right across the UK, but especially in Chester, though so many supportive corporate activities and investments,” said Ian.
“He was a ground-floor supporter of The High Sherriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature and ran MBNA’s community investment programme from which many local organisations and causes benefitted.
“John has been a key supporter of this university directly as it progressed from being a small college to the major university it is today. All of us, on this very joyous occasion, owe him a debt of gratitude for his sense of community, business nose and foresightedness.
“Now at Homeserve as Brand Director, John commands a huge brief that includes community engagement and public affairs among many others areas of activity. In that role, John continues to seize opportunities to show social responsibility towards others – indeed, his company is now a ‘Glassdoor’ Top 3 place to work. John continues to sponsor community and sporting groups through his work.”
“I am truly humbled and exceptionally proud to be the recipient of an Honorary Degree from the University of Chester,” said John, who lives in Birkenhead, Wirral.
“I worked in Cheshire for 16-plus years, and since 2012 I have worked proudly in the West Midlands, and have been so lucky to have jobs that have allowed me to get involved in some incredible projects that did, I hope, good things for the community, helped people along the way and have had a lasting impact.
“Many of these initiatives were in partnership with the University of Chester and I was always in awe of the vision and drive of the university leaders, who have created the world-class institution we see today.
“Someone in my family joked recently that I was receiving an Honorary Degree for "giving other people's money away". If that is the case and that money has made a difference, then I think that is a pretty good reason!”
John joined HomeServe UK in 2012 as Director of Public Relations and became Brand Director in 2013. In his role, he leads on all of HomeServe’s external communication, corporate social responsibility and community engagement, content marketing, social media, public affairs and the HomeServe brand globally.
At HomeServe, John has created and led a number of award-winning communications campaigns and has helped the company to become a Glassdoor top-three place to work in the UK.
Before joining HomeServe, John worked in Chester at MBNA, later part of Bank of America for 13 years as UK Communications Director and, before that, at Bank of Scotland in a senior corporate affairs role.
John's jobs at both MBNA and Bank of Scotland involved supporting the Chester community through a range of activities and investments.
John is the chair of governors at St. Anselm’s College where some of his children attended, and is a trustee of Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club’s Community Trust. He is also actively involved with a range of other local charities and associations.
John is married to Rachel and they live in Birkenhead, Merseyside. They have four children.
In his limited spare time, John is a Liverpool Football Club season ticket holder and also the drummer of Wirral's premier Dad-Rock combo, The B-Sides.
"I am truly humbled and exceptionally proud to be the recipient of an Honorary Degree from the University of Chester"
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