Founder and CEO of Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS ), Evelyn O’Toole, won the Industry Category at (Ernst and Young ) EY Entrepreneur of the Year at the EY Gala Awards show which took place at the City West Hotel, Dublin, on Thursday October 26.
Ms O’Toole competed with seven other entrepreneurs in the Industry category to win the title and was one of four overall finalists from Connacht this year.
Commenting on the award, Evelyn O’Toole, founder and CEO of CLS, said: “I was competing against great entrepreneurs in this category so I am absolutely thrilled to have won the Industry EY Entrepreneur of the Year accolade. It is been a fantastic journey for me since setting up CLS in 1994 to where I am at today as an entrepreneur, scientist, and businesswoman.
“This is a tremendous recognition for me, and for all the team at CLS, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the judges for voting for me and the team at EY, as it has been an incredible experience to be part of.”
Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS ) was set up by Evelyn O’Toole in 1994 and has two facilities in Galway - CLS in Ros Muc, Connemara and CLS MedPharma on the Tuam Road, and employs 140 staff.
CLS is the largest privately owned contract laboratory in Ireland and provides sampling, analysis, and fully trained micro and analytical analysts on contract to clients in the food, environmental, medical device and pharmaceutical industries in Ireland and abroad.
Commenting on Evelyn O’Toole’s award win, Jeremy Fitch of Invest Northern Ireland said; “As sponsors of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Invest Northern Ireland warmly congratulates Evelyn O’Toole on her success in winning the Industry Category. Evelyn is a true entrepreneur.
“She has created CLS, which is a remarkable company, from her redundancy money in a previous job and she has built the business in her home county of Galway when others were seeking employment opportunities elsewhere. This is a fantastic story and hopefully an inspiration to other potential entrepreneurs.”
Kevin McLoughlin, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland added: “We are delighted to be celebrating the 20th year of the programme in Ireland. During that time we have seen some truly incredible entrepreneurs take part. The diversity of participants in terms of industry, gender, and location continues to grow and that is something we are delighted to be able to facilitate.
“Having established a thriving business in the Gaeltacht, Evelyn O’Toole’s excellence is clear to see. She has grown CLS to become the largest privately owned contract laboratory in Ireland with a number of international clients.”
Celebrating 20 years of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme, the EY judging panel this year was chaired by Anne Heraty of CPL and included well-known Irish businessmen Denis O’Brien and Mark Roden.