David Peter Gosnell received the award was in recognition of his service to the economy of Northern Ireland, having worked for 40 years in the food and drink industry, largely spirits.
He has led 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. During this time, Gosnell moved The Old Bushmills Distillery to a 24-hour production schedule, increasing its annual output and contributing to the ongoing growth of the Irish whiskey category.
Prior to his, he worked for 16 years at Diageo 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 he secured £30 million investment into a new Baileys plant in Mallusk, Norther Ireland, which saw it bottle and export Baileys to 130 countries, and a multi-million pound investment into Guinness’s canning and bottling plant in East Belfast.
Prior to this, he worked for HJ Heinz for 25 years, where he was European operations director.
“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,” said Gosnell.
“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.”