Sir John Madejski OBE, DL

Sir John Madejski OBE, DL

Sir John Madejski OBE, DL is Chairman and Director of 10 companies worldwide. His most high-profile position is as Chairman of Reading Football Club, and in 2006 he led the club into the English Premier League for the first time in its 140-year history, and again six years later, both times as Champions of the league. In 2000 Sir John was awarded an OBE in recognition of his contribution to Reading Football Club and the Reading community. In 2009 he was knighted for charitable services, the highest accolade in the Queen's New Year's Honours. Since becoming Chairman of Reading Football Club in 1990, he has changed the club beyond all recognition. Moving to the magnificent new Madejski Stadium in 1998, the club has earned its right to play against some of the biggest clubs in the world. All of the club's best seasons in its history have come under Sir John's Chairmanship and although he sold a controlling share in the summer of 2012, he remains Chairman and will eventually become Life President.

In the business world he made his mark as a founder of the multinational Auto Trader brand, but despite selling his stake in 1998 he remains an exceptionally active businessman. He is Chairman of the Clearview Traffic Group, manufacturers of the revolutionary Astucia SolarLite road stud - the obvious sequel to cats eyes. The Astucia studs save lives, save money and help save the planet. He owns the Royal Palm Hotel in the Galapagos Islands, a five star luxury resort set in just under 400 acres and a destination for many of the world's celebrities and dignitaries. He is also Chairman of Sackville Properties Ltd, a property investment and development company, he also owns Reading 107, one of the few remaining independent local commercial radio stations in the UK, the Millennium Madejski Hotel, which is situated at the Madejski Stadium, and the quintessentially English Leatherne Bottel restaurant on the banks of the River Thames at Goring.

He is a well-known philanthropist and in 2009 he was knighted for charitable services. He is a significant benefactor to the Royal Academy of Arts in London and has funded the John Madejski Academy in Reading, along with a new garden at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and a gallery at the Museum of Reading.

Sir John was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire in 2000. In 2006 he was admitted as a Freeman of the Borough by Reading Borough Council in recognition of the distinguished service rendered to the Borough of Reading, by his contribution to the growth and success of football in Reading, and by his support for education and arts. He was on the Board of Governors at Henley Management College for 10 years up until 2007 when he was made an Honorary Fellow for his contributions to the college and, in particular, his endowment of the John Madejski Centre for Reputation. In December 2007, he was made an Honorary Doctorate of Literature at University of Reading and instated as their Chancellor.

Sir John Madejski, OBE DL, will be the first to take to the podium on April 16 and will talk about aspects of business in Berkshire, kicking off the Future Of Berkshire Business event in style.

Sir John, one of the region's most prolific and successful entrepreneurs, will talk about how his empire has grown. He will outline the businesses he was, and is, associated with, including Reading Football Club, also, Auto Trader, which he started and Reading 107FM plus his hotel in the Galapagos islands and the riverside restaurant in Goring, the Leatherne Bottel, which he is particularly fond of.