Orders of the British Empire

King George V created the Orders of the British Empire in 1917 to reward services to World War I civilians at home and servicemen in support positions. The orders are now awarded mainly to civilians and service personnel for public service or other distinctions, and have a military and a civil division. Ranks in the Order are Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GBE), Knight or Dame Commander (KBE or DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE) and Member (MBE).

Kevin Howard

One distinctive accessory stands out when you look up Kevin Howard in the RBS facebook: a black cowboy-hat that the head of RBSís Houston office dons with Texan pride. Soon, Kevin now owns another accessory of distinction, worn by only a few of the UKís most distinguished figures from British business, literature, sports and the arts: a Member of the British Empire (MBE) medal. Kevin joined his fellow appointees at Buckingham Palace in the Spring of 2011 to personally receive the MBE medal. He is shown on the left, addressing Her Royal Highness at the time she presented his medal. She took time to have dialogue with him about his activities and about Houston. In the photo to the right is shown above with his wife Susan, and daughters Jennie on the left and Joanne on the right, and in the lower portion of the photo stands Kevin, medal in hand, and of course, his famous smile giving us an idea of how he was feeling.

The UK-born banker was honoured for his role as a champion of British industry, his contribution to the British-American business community and his commitment to philanthropy. ďI arrived in Houston in 1990 with NatWest, and have since made Houston my home,Ē noted Kevin, who originally planned for a three-year stint in the US. Twenty years later, Kevin leads of one of the top three energy banking franchises in the US and is an ambassador of the British business community in Houston. As the head of RBSís Energy investment banking team in Houston, Kevin spearheads the bankís relationships with oil, gas and mining companies headquartered in North America.

Additionally, Kevin is the Chairman of the Houston Chapter of the British-American Business Council (BABC) and is heavily involved in promoting and representing British industry in the city. He has also been a member of the board of directors of the Houston Grampian Association, and has supported our activities financially and with many hours of personal participation.

In terms of his philanthropic activities, he supports Houstonís musical theatre production company Theatre Under the Stars. Along with his wife Susan, he is also a member of the board of BAFTX, the British-American Foundation of Texas, which provides scholarships for academically gifted and financially challenged students. HGA has partnered with BABC in sponsoring our annual OTC breakfast for several years and which benefits BAFTX plus the events and activities of HGA. With Kevin Howard as its chair, the Royal Bank of Scotland hosts the annual Robert Burns Night in Houston, which every January honours the Scottish poet and celebrates RBSís heritage. ďAs the only explicitly Scottish bank in the US marketplace, our identity distinguishes our brand from those of competitors,Ē Kevin noted.


Mary Metz

We are distinctly privileged to have in our midst, people of great accomplishment and of recognition. In 2002, our own Mary Metz was honoured by Queen Elizabeth in her Queen's Birthday Honours List. Mary was named an MBE, or Member of the Order of The British Empire.

The Queen's honours are given twice a year, at the time of the New Year, and at the time of the Queen's birthday. For 2002, the Birthday Honours were listed on June 14th in the London Times and the Daily Telegraph and were communicated on behalf of the Queen, by the Prime Minister.

Honours on the Order of The British Empire are given for special achievements, either in a field of vocation or avocation, or of volunteerism. There are awards both in Military and Civil divisions, and the honour awarded Mary, is in the Overseas section, under MBE, and reads, "To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of said Most Excellent Order: For Services to Scottish - Texan cultural and business links".

Word came from Bill Niesh, Press and Public Relations Officer for our twin, Grampian-Houston Association, of an article in the Aberdeen Press and Journal which said: "Grampian Region has been twinned officially with the sprawling megalopolis of Houston, Texas, since 1979. And in that time there have been many business, cultural, social and sporting links established - thanks to the dedicated people who have kept the twinning flame alive. Now, one stalwart at the Houston end, Mary Metz, has been made an MBE in the overseas section of the Queen's Birthday Honours List. She is a past president of the Houston-Grampian Association and is an important link in the annual exchange of student nurses. English-born, Mary has received the decoration for her services to Scottish-Texan cultural and business links."

Mary, we congratulate you on your well-deserved honour, and we applaud and thank the Queen for her excellent choice in recognizing one so giving to her community, and so tenacious in her accomplishments of enriching all of the people and organizations with whom she is associated.

Mary's honour was presented to her at Buckingham Palace on November 5, and she is shown above just after receiving it.


Stewart Bain




Mary's honour carries on a tradition of high accomplishments by HGA members, as she follows in the footsteps of Stewart Bain and Rosemary Ryan. Stewart received his MBE in 1978 when he was Managing Director of International Aeradio Limited, Zambia (parent company was BOAC). The citation on the award states that he was honoured "for services to commerce". A long time, active member of HGA, together with his wife Aurise, Stewart has furthered the excellent traditions of Scotland and Houston and this award is most appropriate recognition to a great Scot.


Rosemary Ryan

With great service to HGA as our chief administrator, Rosemary Ryan was awarded the MBE by the Queen in April of 1995. Rosemary is a very proud member of HGA and has spent many active years in her leadership role in the organization and our members.

Rosemary's award was presented to her by Bernard Everett, the British Consul-General, and she was fortunate to be accompanied by six of her seven children and one of her grandchildren at the presentation. In earning this award, Rosemary was a stand-out recipient in that she is not British born, but was deserving of the Queen's honour because of her steadfast service and her numerous and ongoing contributions to the community and to Aberdeen-Houston relationships.


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