David Peter Gosnell, the Executive Chairman of Bushmills Irish Whiskey®, has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal, in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List.
The award recognises David’s committed service to the economy of Northern Ireland, following a 40 year career that has seen him continuously encourage investment in Northern Ireland’s food and drinks industry.
David has worked in Northern Ireland since the beginning of his career, with his first role at HJ Heinz in Coleraine in 1975. He has been leading Bushmills Irish Whiskey since 2005, first as Managing Director when the brand was owned by Diageo and more recently as Executive Chairman after Casa Cuervo bought the Bushmills brand in 2014. PROXIMO, the global premium spirits producer, is now responsible for the supply and distribution of Bushmills Irish Whiskey.
Under David’s direction, The Old Bushmills Distillery has taken steps to take advantage of the huge global growth the Irish whiskey category is experiencing – moving to a 24 hour production schedule and increasing its annual output. David has also overseen product innovation with the introduction of new products, including BUSHMILLS RED BUSH™ and a new travel retail exclusive range called THE STEAMSHIP COLLECTION™ to help bring Bushmills Irish Whiskey to more and more whiskey fans around the globe.
David worked for Diageo for 16 years in a variety of roles, most recently as President of Global Supply and Procurement, where he led a team of 9,000 people around the world across manufacturing, logistics and technical operations. During his time with Diageo, David did lots to support the spirits industry in Northern Ireland, securing £30 million investment into a new Baileys plant in Mallusk, which saw it bottle and export Baileys to around 130 countries. He also oversaw multi-million pound investment into Guinness’s canning and bottling plant in Marshall Road in East Belfast. He also worked for HJ Heinz for 25 years, where he was European Operations Director.
David Gosnell said: “I always wanted to make a positive difference to people’s lives and I’m delighted to be receiving this recognition. I have had the pleasure of working on fantastic projects in the spirits industry in Northern Ireland and it has been a privilege to contribute to the sector’s growth over the years.
“Looking ahead, I’m focused on supporting the global growth of Bushmills Irish Whiskey by leading heavyweight investment over the next five years to expand and upgrade The Old Bushmills Distillery.”
David is also Non-Executive Director and Remuneration Committee Chair at Coats plc, the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business; and he is currently Non-Executive Director of Brambles Ltd, the supply chain solutions provider. David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Middlesex University. He is married with three children and lives in Buckinghamshire.