This year Network Ireland had to revisit the award categories for the annual Businesswoman of the Year Awards and the focus for 2020 is on the professional woman as a whole entity, looking at the totality of their professional and community to reflect the altered working world we find ourselves in. 2020 has brought about a time for reflection, drawing on the #Powerwithin which is the Nationals Presidents mantra for this year, to create a new way forward.
Network Galway are very proud to present our five finalists going forward to the National Award Interviews on Monday 7th September. This year the interviews will be held via Zoom interview. The National Winners will be announced on the 2nd October when the National Conference will also be held virtually.
Network Galway’s 2020 President Sharon Egan said “this has been such a difficult year and at time I felt like we would not have any awards. But we had 21 super finalists going into the awards process. While five of these ladies go forward to represent Galway at a National level, I want to say that every one of the 21 ladies who entered are winners for stepping up and applying in such difficult circumstances”.
The Winners were announced last Wednesday evening by way of a Zoom Celebration. At the Event the President Sharon Egan also announced her President choice Award winner for Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year who was Dr Clare Desbonnet. “I choose Clare for her dedication to mentoring others around her in upskilling and paving a future for themselves. Clare identified early in her career when she moved into a leadership position that many women didn’t value themselves and would not apply for jobs that they were more than capable of doing. Clare also applies this to her Network tribe where she has actively encouraged other members to experience the awards process and is working with the winner to guide them to the next stage. She is a true advocate of Power Within”
OUR FIVE FINALISTS
Online Business Transformation
This category is designed to recognise how a business has movedonline or significantly changed its online business presence inorder to serve customers whilst maintaining physical distancing.
Galway Winner Emily Jean O’Byrne - Emily Jean Millinery Atelier
The Emily Jean Millinery, is a nationally andinternationally established atelier for headwear,jewellery and accessories, created with fashionforward style and quality. As a designer, I like tobring the passion and love for what I create tomake ladies feel strong, confident and stylish. Emily Jean said:
‘The recognition of winningthis award from Network Galway has given mefurther confidence in my accessories brand and Ihave bright hopes for the future.’
Not all transformation is about going online, this award is designedto recognise how a business has been innovative in terms of work, operations, process, procedure, financial structures, etc., looking athow a business has adapted to the crisis and become stronger for it.
Galway Winner Suzanne Ryan- Home Instead Senior Care
Suzanne Ryan is the Managing Director of HomeInstead Galway a service offering quality homecareto elderly clients ensuring essential support and carein the safest place; their own homes. Suzanne said:
‘I thrilled to receive this award inrecognition of all the vital work that is done withinthis sector. To be honoured with such an achievementfrom the Network Community is something that I’ll share with the whole team of 200 people across Galway and on a personal level will bring a big smileto my face for a long time!’
Emerging New Business
This category is applicable to a business established since 1stJanuary2017. The business entity can operate as a sole trader/partnership orlimited company. We have seen new businesses formed, and youngbusinesses evolve, grow and adapt in ways they never thoughtpossible, this category is designed to recognise the amazing workthese businesses have done.
Galway Winner Aveline O Sullivan - Bloom in a box
Aveline O’ Sullivan, owner of Bloom in a Box innovatingthe gifting of flowers! Mission to deliver kindness onebox at a time. The idea of Bloom in a Box was bornto solve the transport issue and the demand forsomething different in a gesture. Aveline said
“ I am thrilled to receive the award. It means so much to me and gives me the energy andfocus to keep pushing forward. Thank you NetworkGalway”.
This category is for the exceptional employee who has initiated atransformation for their company allowing them to work betterand achieve more. In order to enter this category, you must havebeen an employee in the company for a minimum of 1 year.
Regional Winner Sinead Cassidy - Galway Racecourse
The Galway Races, one of the greatest racemeetings in the world. The racing, the fashion,the entertainment, the friendships and an electricatmosphere that continues to draw people from allover the world. Quiet simply...unmissable Sinead said:
“Thanks very much. I’m honoured. Iwork for a progressive organisation, with brilliantpeople, in an industry I love. As Sharon Egan said,“ignite your tribe”.
Power Within Champion
Juggling life has never been quite so complicated, whether you havechildren, caring responsibilities, working from home with familyaround or in quarantine alone the current crises has been turbulentand one can feel quite frazzled. This award is designed to recognisesurvival, it may not be pretty, it may not be perfect but you aresurviving and getting through each day. This category is open to allmembers to recognise the amazing women they are.
Galway Winner Dorothy Scarry - Next Step Forward
Dorothy Scarry is the owner of Next Step Forward who areexpert workshop providers for those in school transitioning.Dorothy also owns Workplace Health and Wellbeing Ltd whichprovide corporate wellbeing training. Dorothy said:
“The Power Within Champion award has givenme a boost in my self-belief and motivation to forge a path inmy resilience and wellbeing business. I feel re-energised with anew intent and focus on growing Next Step Forward. The awardhas shown me that hard work, perseverance and self-belief isacknowledged. “