Clwyd Theatr Cymru's artistic director Terry Hands' long career in theatre has been recognised with a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.
Terry Hands spent 25 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company
Mr Hands, 65, who joined the Mold-based company in 1996 after leaving the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), said he was "astonished" and "delighted".
Simon Smith, North Wales Fire Service's chief officer, was also honoured with the Queen's Fire Service Medal.
They are two of 12 people from north Wales to be recognised in the list.
Mr Hands founded the Liverpool Everyman Theatre in 1964 before joining the RSC in 1966, where during a career spanning 25 years he rose to become first joint artistic director then chief executive.
He joined Theatr Cymru in 1996 as artistic consultant, and became its director and chief executive the following year. The company was renamed Clwyd Theatr Cymru in 1998.
Mr Hands said of the award: "I'm surprised and delighted. I think it's always good for the arts to get any kind of award - it sort of proves that we're not entirely rogues and vagabonds.
"When the letter arrived I was astonished.
"I think it's very good - good for the theatre and good for the arts in general."
The former chair of the now disbanded body education body Elwa, Sheila Drury, from Graianrhyd, Denbighshire, also receives a CBE for services to industry, training and education in Wales.
Simon Smith, who has been with the fire service for 27 years, became North Wales' chief fire officer in 2000.
He receives the Queen's Fire Service Medal for "conspicuous devotion to duty".
Two people from Llandudno have received OBEs - former Boundary Commission for Wales member John Elwyn Davies, for public service, and Dr Charlotte Williams, for services to ethnic minority groups and equal opportunities.
Among six people made MBEs is Terrig Morgan, the former chair of the National Farmers' Union Milk committee, for services to the dairy industry.
Mr Morgan, from Mold, said: "I'm very thrilled, not just for myself but for my family.
"Those weeks and days that I was away talking to the dairy industry, somebody had to keep the fort and keep the wheels turning here at home.
"I feel thankful that they're part of that honour."
Three of the newly-appointed MBEs come from Anglesey - Doris May Jones, for services to people with learning disabilities and the community of Anglesey, Richard Keeves, a senior valuer with HM Revenue and Customs and Ann Lewis, a Holyhead town councillor, for services to the community.
The others are Elizabeth Jones, from Hawarden in Flintshire, for services to education and the community, and Gillian Lowndes, from Prestatyn, for services to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at Ysgol Bryn Elian in Colsyn Bay.
North Wales Police Chief Superintendent Michelle Williams receives the Queen's Police Medal.