M&E md meets the President

It was a case of ‘Presidential sweet’ for Cardiff-based smoke control boss Allan Meek this week when he was invited to meet his hero, US President Barack Obama, during his visit to London in advance of the G20 summit this week.

Meek, who runs ventilation and fire control expert Smoke Control Services (SCS), was invited to attend a meet and greet at The American School In London on Tuesday 31 March, where President Obama made a speech about the US-UK relationship and the importance of children as the future.

The latter is a sentiment Meek echoes, as it was his own daughter who provided him with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A chance encounter with a White House staffer she sold sunglasses to during her shift at Selfridges the previous day led to 20-year-old Rosie Meek being given two tickets to the exclusive event.

Rosie, star of Channel 4’s Shipwrecked, contacted her father straight away and as she expected, he jumped at the chance to accompany her to the event, which took place less than an hour after his helicopter, Marine One, touched down at the US Ambassador's residence in Regent's Park, about a mile from the school in St Johns Wood.

A crowd of about 150 people, who did not have tickets, waited outside the school to cheer his arrival, but thanks to their golden tickets, Meek and his daughter were ushered inside and to the front of the hall where they were privileged to meet the President and his wife Michelle, shake their hands and welcome them to London.

“It was like something out of Goodfellas with all the secret service men in suits running around talking into their walkie talkies!” said Meek.

“It was a real privilege to meet such an inspiring man and his wife, who is even more beautiful in the flesh. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to talk to him about the smoke control systems they use in the White House – maybe I’ll save that for our next meeting!”