Laurence S. Geller, Chairman of the Churchill Centre, was honored as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors List. The award was made in recognition of Mr. Geller’s “service to The Churchill Centre and for charitable and humanitarian work internationally.”
“I am humbled by the honor that Her Majesty the Queen as extended to me as a Commander of this historic order” noted Mr. Geller. “The recognition that this award provides for the important work of The Churchill Centre in preserving the thoughts, words and deeds of Sir Winston Churchill is what is truly important and deeply appreciated. I am sure it will be a ‘call and spur’ for me and the Centre’s Board to work even harder to continue our important mission.” Mr. Geller noted that “In Churchill’s words, I have had ‘the luck to be called upon to give the roar’ to The Churchill Centre’s voice.”
Mr. Geller, a lifelong and passionate Churchillian, became Chairman of The Churchill Centre in January 2007 and led the merger of the Centre and the American Friends of the Churchill Museum the following year. A native of London, he has enjoyed international prominence as a hotel owner, investor and international philanthropist for over forty years.
Following significant leadership roles with Holiday Inns International and Hyatt Development Corporation, Mr. Geller founded Strategic Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: BEE) where he now serves as President and CEO. He has authored over 50 published articles about the lodging industry as well as a novel, Do Not Disturb, and has received numerous awards for his service to the industry and for a wide variety of civic, humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors. A frequent lecturer at universities such as Cornell, NYU, Michigan State and the Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne, Mr. Geller is a graduate of Ealing Technical College and since May 2011 has served as Chancellor of its successor, The University Of West London. He received an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from Thames Valley University in 2010.
Randolph Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill’s great-grandson, noted “I am absolutely delighted that Laurence has been recognized for the very many good works he has achieved. He has been so generous with his time, energy and support for The Churchill Centre and I thank him for all that he is doing to uphold my great-grandfather’s memory and legacy.”
Lee Pollock, Executive Director of The Churchill Centre, noted: “On behalf of our Board and our members around the world, I am pleased to join in congratulating Laurence on this honor. His exemplary leadership of The Churchill Centre and his devotion to the Centre’s important mission are an inspiration to our efforts to ensure that Churchill’s legacy is preserved for future generations. Laurence’s passion and drive will be vital in ensuring the success of our new Churchill Library and Center being created in partnership with George Washington University and contribute greatly to the early completion of this exciting project.”