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Stephen’s Royal seal of approval

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A PORTADOWN man has been given the Royal seal of approval at a special ceremony in Buckingham Palace.

Stephen McClelland travelled to London earlier this month, where he was awarded an MBE for services to the Economic Development of Northern Ireland.

The father-of-three had been named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list last June, and at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on February 3, the award was presented by Prince Charles.

Originally from Tandragee, Stephen had, up until December 2015, been Managing Director of Schrader Electronics in Antrim.

He was first employed in the start-up company in 1988, where he helped to grow the business to over 1,500 employees, with a very large R&D group and three world class factories - two in Northern Ireland and the third in the USA.

Schrader is the global leader of tyre pressure monitoring systems selling to most of the major car companies, including GM, Ford, Mercedes, BMW and Renault.

They are the number one supplier across the world including China and have offices in all the major auto hubs.

Educated at Cabra Primary School, Tandragee JHS and Portadown College, it was at Queen's University where Stephen got his degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

He is currently a business advisor and investor in a number of start-up companies and SMEs in Northern Ireland.

Stephen's wife of 32 years, Janice, accompanied him to London, along with son Tom (26) and daughters Sophie (23) and Charlotte (19).

Speaking to the Ulster Gazette, Stephen, an avid Manchester United supporter and runner, described it as "an absolutely fantastic day".

"The family were all every excited, especially the girls," he said.

"It was a lovely award after working so hard for a very long time in Northern Ireland and I'm very proud of creating employment and the business is still there.

"It was a start-up back in '88 and now I am working with start-ups again, so I have gone full circle."

In relation to the day itself, Stephen recalled how Prince Charles had taken time to chat with every recipient.

"He chatted to me about my career and what I was doing now. I was able to say I had left Schrader and I was able to tell him a lot of it was electronic technology, coupled with medical devices.

"He said that's really important and once you are asked to shake his hand, you know that is the conversation over," he added.

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