The former chairman and chief executive of Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate is due to be given the Freedom of the Borough tonight.
Until his retirement last year, Jonathan Wild helped to make the company one of the top 100 to work for, as well as helping to launch its Yorkshire Rainforest Project.
Just 29 freedom awards have been made in Harrogate, including to former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and historian Malcolm Neesam.
Council leader Anthony Alton said: “Bettys is synonymous with Harrogate.
“You can be anywhere in the world and say you come from Harrogate and most people will have heard of Bettys or even visited one of the company’s establishments. When Jonathan announced his retirement we felt that his contribution should be marked by this high honour.”
Mr Wild will sign the Roll of Honorary Freeman tonight, with a reception later in the summer.