In addition to the main role in supporting the judiciary, forces of law, witness protection and the emergency services, and promoting the relevance of the Shrievalty, Wade Lyn also focuses on:
- Multi-culturalism and diversity in the West Midlands County, from a variety of stances: the rich and positive contribution that immigration has brought to the County, but also the challenges presented by communities living in silos and the prejudice, ignorance and mistrust that can create;
- The Interfaith movement which promotes understanding between diverse communities;
- Young people: promoting cohesion amongst the current generation and addressing under-representation of diverse communities.
Although the County of the West Midlands has only existed since 1974, the settlements of the West Midlands have long been important centres of commerce and industry as well as developing a good local infrastructure. Coventry was one of England’s most important cities during the Middle Ages, with its prosperity built upon wool and cloth manufacture. Birmingham and Wolverhampton have a tradition of industry dating back to the 16th century, when small metal-working industries developed. Birmingham was also known for its manufacture of small arms, whereas Wolverhampton became a centre of lock manufacture and brass working. The coal and iron ore deposits of the Black Country area provided a ready source of raw materials. The area grew rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, and by the 20th century had grown into one large conurbation. Coventry was slower to develop, but by the early 20th century, it had become an important centre of bicycle and car manufacture.
The West Midlands differs from most other counties in many ways. It is a largely urban county with three cities (Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton) and four metropolitan boroughs (Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall. It is a young county, dating from 1974, and also a richly diverse county.
Wade Lyn is honoured to have been appointed High Sheriff for the West Midlands this year. During the year he will aim to focus on opportunities for young people, in particular those from under-represented communities.
Wade Lyn came to Britain from Jamaica to join his parents when he was seven years old. He helped in the family business, a service and petrol station, while still at school. After graduating 1986 with a BA in Education specialising in Craft, Design & Technology, he was recruited as General Manager for Kon-Long Caterers of Wolverhampton.
In 1989, Wade established his own company, Cleone Foods Ltd. The company has experienced consistent growth and supplies his “Island Delight” brand to major multiple retailers, making it the largest manufacturer of Jamaican patties in the UK.
Cleone Foods has a long history of supporting its employees and is a “family” business in the truest sense of the word with numerous families employed across the organisation and a long-standing culture of investing in training and promoting from within. While Cleone Foods is now a truly national organisation, the company has made a significant impact on the economy and lives of a great many families across the region over the past 28 years.
Wade is a champion supporter of the local communities and good causes across the company’s trading area. Holidays times are given over to supporting those activities that gives back to others less fortunate.
He dedicates his time and resource to serving the Caribbean communities amongst others. One of the many examples being the 12/8 Group, where he provides excellent guidance and assistance to those Jamaican nationals who own small firms and are at the stage of wanting to take their business to the next level of growth.
Wade is a firm believer that the Food Retail Sector will always require talented persons to drive it forward and any way he can help to, train, nurture and encourage them is a very important priority for UK-Plc’s wealth development and for that reason he shares his knowledge and experience in business, particularly to young entrepreneurs.
In November 2013, Wade was appointed by the Government of Jamaica as Honorary Consul for Jamaica in Birmingham for the North. It is an important role, because Birmingham has the largest Jamaican community in the UK outside of London. Wade provides his facilities free of costs to house the Consulate and has provided employment opportunities for many young Jamaicans living and studying in the Birmingham and East and West Midlands areas.
Wade is the recipient of a number of awards in the UK, including Commander of the British Empire (CBE), which he received during the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2013. He was also recognised as Small Businessman of the Year in 2012 and appointed Business Ambassador for the West Midlands by Prince Charles in 2012.