Spotlight on Success Conference

Women in Business is delighted to present the Spotlight on Success Conference sponsored by Power NI on Wednesday 5th December at Crowne Plaza Belfast.

This unique half day conference will feature leaders from the corporate and entrepreneurial world that have climbed to the top of the organisational ladder or founded, grown and lead their own business. The personal and intimate talks from these business leaders will: 

  • Inspire and motivate attendees
  • Explore leadership skills, style and approach
  • Provide examples of overcoming obstacles, challenges and fears
  • Highlight the skills required to deliver, influence and perform as a successful leader

A range of  inspirational leaders will each step into the spotlight to share their  personal success stories with delegates.  Our line up of speakers include:

  • Elaine Birchall - CEO of SHS Group & WIB Business Woman of the Year 2018
  • Jill Minne - Strategic HR Director of Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • Dr Joanne Stuart OBE - Director of Development at Catalyst Inc.
  • Vicky Davies - Managing Director, Strategy & Corporate Development at Danske Bank
  • Tina McKenzie - CEO of Grafton Recruitment & Chair of Federation of Small Businesses Northern Ireland 

This will be followed by a Leaders networking lunch to ensure those value connections are made.


Speaker Profiles:


Elaine Birchall
A graduate of Dublin City University, Elaine commenced her career in financial management with Grand Metropolitan and Coca-Cola before joining Colgate Palmolive. During her time with Colgate Palmolive Elaine worked across Europe, the USA and South Pacific in finance, sales and marketing, supply chain and business transformation.
In 2008, Elaine joined PZ Cussons as Managing Director of PZ Cussons UK. She subsequently moved to their Executive Board and ran PZ Cussons Africa managing operations in Nigeria, Ghana & Kenya.
Elaine joined the SHS Group in 2015 as CEO.   The SHS Group has been operating in Northern Ireland for 40 years and has grown its turnover to over £500m, employing over 1,100 people throughout the UK and Ireland. The Group owns brands such as WKD, Shloer, bottlegreen and Merrydown Cider and distributes a range of brands including Colgate, Nivea, Nurofen, Finish, Jordans, Tunnocks and Mars Drinks.  In addition, the Group is the largest supplier of own label Herbs & Spices and Condiments in GB.
Elaine developed and launched a five-year strategy entitled Vision 21.  This sets the ambition for the SHS Group Commercial Divisions and Centres of Excellence and is built on the core pillars of Category Growth, Operational Excellence and Our People.  With a shared vision in place, an operational framework defining key strategic initiatives and a powerful set of values to define behaviours and performance, it is an exciting period in the Group’s journey.
Elaine has also led strategic acquisitions since taking up her CEO position. Over the last two years, the SHS Group has invested significantly to position itself for further growth through two major acquisitions: Standard Brands UK Limited, owner of market leading firelighter brands such as Zip and Sunny Jim, closely followed by the acquisition of 3V Group, the owner of nut butter brand Meridian and soft drinks producer Rocks.
SHS is a responsible business and as such is committed to the development of all employees, is proactive in its environmental approach and engagement with local communities.  Elaine has played a pivotal role in the introduction of a formalised CR Framework centred on three key areas: People, Planet and Place. Her continued commitment to diversity & inclusion won the SHS Group the NI Gender Diversity Charter Mark Bronze Award earlier this year.
Elaine is a Board member of Northern Irelands CBI council and Business in the Community.
Tina McKenzie
CEO of Grafton Recruitment Ireland
With 25 years’ experience in the Recruitment and Employment Services sector within Northern Ireland, GB and international markets, Tina has worked internationally providing HR and recruitment consultancy for the world’s largest blue chip companies. Her key expertise is in building global employment investment strategies and best people practices for a variety of sectors including logistics and professional services.
Tina started Staffline Group’s Ireland Division in 2013 with just two employees before entering a sustained period of organic and acquired growth.
Formerly the Northern Ireland Director of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (2013 – 2016) and the European Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (2016), Tina has recently been appointed the Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland. In recognition of her contributions to business, politics, and peace in Northern Ireland, the Finnish Ambassador to the UK appointed Tina as the Honorary Consul for Finland in Belfast in 2017, with responsibility for Consulate services in Northern Ireland.
In late July 2018 Tina secured the largest acquisition of a recruitment business in Ireland, with Grafton Recruitment joining Staffline’s Group portfolio which already includes PeoplePlus and Diamond Recruitment. This most recent acquisition means that the company has a turnover of £150m, 350 permanent staff and a contracted workforce of 10,000 people across the Island of Ireland. 
Tina is strongly committed to growing her recruitment and training offer, bringing a determination and energy to creating jobs and opportunities for people living in Northern Ireland.
Jill Minne
Strategic HR Director for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS)
She leads NICSHR, which delivers HR services and strategic HR advice to all NICS Departments, to enable an inclusive, well led, high performing and outcome focused NICS. She has led on the development of the new NICS People Strategy that sets out an ambitious people agenda for the NICS including rolling out apprenticeships; developing an NICS approach to agile working and talent management; revising Employee Relations policies, fundamentally changing the line manager role in these policies; and adopting new approaches to strategic workforce and resource planning.
As joint Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the NICS, Jill is committed to promoting and embedding an inclusive workplace that truly values diversity. A number of diversity and inclusion initiatives have already taken place such as the NICS’s recent signing up to the Stonewall index, the NI Mental Health Charter and Gender Diversity Charter Mark. 
Other initiatives underway include a NICS Gender Action Plan; Disability 'passport'; Transgender policy; and a Cancer Support Network.  Jill and her team have been leading the way with a number of NICS firsts including International Women’s Day celebrations and participating in Belfast Pride and International Job Shadow Day as an employer.
Before joining the NICS in April 2017, Jill was Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Organisational Development for Belfast City Council, where she worked for over 20 years with responsibility for organisational change; HR; communications, diversity and inclusion; and employability programmes for those furthest removed from the labour market.
Jill is also a board member for the Labour Relations Agency and an ambassador and board member for the Women’s Fund NI.
Dr Joanne Stuart OBE
Catalyst Inc, Director of Development
Dr Joanne Stuart, who has 30 years’ experience working in the IT industry including nine years with the Oracle Corporation, is the Director of Development at Catalyst Inc.
Catalyst Inc’s vision for Northern Ireland is a community of innovators so powerful that its people can change the world. Catalyst Inc provides the network, support and empathy to nurture this ambition and to support this talent to develop world leading products and services that will transform NI into one of the most entrepreneurial and inclusive knowledge economies in Europe.
Joanne is a former Chairman of Institute of Directors NI (2008-2011), and was the NI Champion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), from 2011 to 2016, focused on encouraging more young people to study the STEM subjects and consider careers in industry.
Since 2010, Joanne has been the NI chair of the US-NI Mentorship Program, established by former Economic US Envoy to NI, Declan Kelly. The program is a partnership between Catalyst Inc, Teneo and the American Ireland Funds, which provides challenging paid yearlong placements for recent graduates with global corporations in the States.
Joanne is currently involved in a number of Boards and Trusts and has recently been appointed to the board of governors of Wallace High School. Joanne is also on the Council of Ulster University and chairs the advisory group of the Digital Catapult NI.
Vicky Davies
Managing Director of Strategy and Corporate Development at Danske Bank UK
Vicky is MD of Strategy and Corporate Development at Danske Bank UK, Northern Ireland’s biggest bank. She is responsible for the strategy of the Bank and driving change across the organisation. She is the first ever female Executive Director to join the Board of the Bank and has held a number of senior roles across financial services. She is also married to a Northern-Irish man and mum to four young boys.
December 05 2018
Spotlight on Success Conference

09.00 - 14.00


Members: £45 +vat
Non members: £70 +vat


Crowne Plaza Belfast

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