Excellence in business recognised by Network Mayo

Nominees [from top left]: Carmel O'Brien, Lillian McNicholas, Eithne Cosgrove, Victoria Foutz and Sarah Flood. From bottom left: Christina Swift (nominee), Olwen Dawe (Network Mayo president), Caroline Gordon (nominee), Nicola Byrne (founder 11890 and guest speaker), and Jenny Brennan (nominee). Photo: Michael Donnelly.

Nominees [from top left]: Carmel O'Brien, Lillian McNicholas, Eithne Cosgrove, Victoria Foutz and Sarah Flood. From bottom left: Christina Swift (nominee), Olwen Dawe (Network Mayo president), Caroline Gordon (nominee), Nicola Byrne (founder 11890 and guest speaker), and Jenny Brennan (nominee). Photo: Michael Donnelly.

Network Mayo announced the winners of its Businesswomen of the Year awards, which took place at the beautiful surroundings of Newport House, Newport, last Friday June 24.

The awards, which are in their third year, recognise excellence in business within the Network Mayo membership. There are three categories: Businesswomen of the Year in Employment, Self-Employment and New Business. The awards, as per previous years, were hotly contested.

“The judges have found their job an extremely difficult one over the years – and this year is no different,” Network Mayo president Olwen Dawe said at the awards luncheon. “I must stress, however, that if our network and these awards prove nothing else – it is that the micro-climate is healthy, despite macro-turbulence.”

Crossmolina-native Eithne Cosgrove received the award in the Employee category. Cosgrove holds the position of sales and marketing director with Hotel Westport, and has more than two decades of experience in the tourism industry. Her current role involves formulating a new strategic direction to promote Hotel Westport in a constantly changing and currently challenging environment.

Caroline Gordon, accountant and registered auditor, received the Self-Employed award. Based in Swinford, Gordon’s practice focuses on providing personalised advice and support to clients, helping them to sustain and grow their businesses, a valuable service in these difficult economic times. The winner in the third category, New Business, was Jenny Brennan, owner of Virtual Office Worx. Her company offers businesses the opportunity to cut their outlays by outsourcing their administrative tasks, offering a strong and valuable cost-saving proposition that has proved a successful formula.

Finalists in each category were: [In Employment] Maria Moran, business development manager, Nampak Healthcare; [Self-Employed] Sarah Flood, owner/director, Snap Mayo; Victoria Foutz, proprietor, Victoria Foutz Bijoux; Lillian McNicholas, proprietor, Beverly Hills Boutique; [New Business] Carmel O’Brien, proprietor, Tutor Doctor; and Christina Swift, proprietor, Rainyday.ie As guest speaker on the day, founder and MD of Call 11890 Limited, Nicola Byrne reinforced the positive atmosphere at the event. Byrne spoke of the importance of persistence, self-belief, and sheer fearlessness in developing a business idea.

Network Mayo would like to thank the support of their sponsors: Mayo CEB, BNI, The Mayo News, Snap Mayo, Hotel Westport, Mayo Advertiser, ATIR, Caroline Gordon FCCA CPA, Harlequin Hotel, Tutor Doctor, Beverly Hills Boutique and Haven Homecare. It would also like to acknowledge the superb support of judges, Toni Bourke, editor, Mayo Advertiser; Joan Fahey, project manager, Mayo Ideas Lab; and Sean Staunton, former editor, Mayo News.

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