Northern Ireland's top businesswomen were celebrated for their outstanding achievements at the 2019 Women in Business Awards which took place last night at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast.
This year’s Awards, now in their ninth year, brought together female entrepreneurs and businesswomen from a diverse range of disciplines to acknowledge and congratulate them on their hard work, dedication and success.
Sponsored by Virgin Media Business for the second consecutive year, the Awards received a remarkable 185 submissions and honoured sixteen inspiring women and one outstanding business organisation.
The highly acclaimed Business Woman of the Year 2019 award, also sponsored by Virgin Media Business, was presented to entrepreneur Edel Doherty. With over 30 years in the travel industry, Edel has an impressive career portfolio and is the founder and managing director of Beyond Business Travel, a bespoke travel management company. Edel started her company in 2010 and the business has gone from strength to strength with over 25 employees, an impressive turnover of £16million , plans to grow to £50million in 4 years and a new Dublin office.
After the success of The 148th Open at Royal Portrush this year, Women in Business was delighted to present Wilma Erskine, secretary-manager of Royal Portrush who is widely regarded as being the driving force behind securing the competition, with the Special Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Women in Business award winners 2019 were:
- Award for Advancing Diversity in the Workplace. Danske Bank UK (sponsored by Queen’s University Belfast Management School)
- Award for Best Customer Service (Corporate). Jackie Reid, DELI LITES (sponsored by RSA Group)
- Award for Best Customer Service (Small Business) Laura Killough, Larchfield Estate (sponsored by RSA Group)
- Award for Best in Professional Services (Corporate). Anne Marie Patterson, First Derivatives plc (sponsored by Advance Coaching)
- Award for Best in Professional Services (Small Business). Louise Breen, Mallon McCormick Solicitors (sponsored by Advance Coaching)
- Award for Best Marketing Campaign (Corporate). Amanda Sistern, Cleaver Fulton Rankin (sponsored by Kaizen Print)
- Award for Best Marketing Campaign (Small Business). Jennie Wallace, Beyond Skin Clinic (sponsored by Kaizen Print)
- Award for Best New Start Up. Lisa Smyth and Christine McKee, SheSaid Design and Branding (sponsored by Go For It)
- Award for Best Small Business. Katie Martin, Martin Contracting Services Ltd (sponsored by Danske Bank)
- Award for Outstanding Innovation. (Corporate) Dr Liz O’Sullivan, Allstate Northern Ireland (sponsored by First Trust Bank)
- Award for Outstanding Innovation. (Small Business) Dr Esther L. Skelly-Smith, Shanaghan Veterinary Services (sponsored by First Trust Bank)
- Award for Excellence in IT. Linda O’Reilly, Allstate Northern Ireland (sponsored by Citi)
- Award for Best Exporter. Jackie Reid, DELI LITES (sponsored by The Irish News)
- Award for Outstanding Management and Leadership. Anne Donaghy, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (sponsored by Fleet Financial Ltd)
- Award for Young Business Woman of the Year 2019. Kathryn Mills, Lifestyle Gymnastics Academy (sponsored by Ulster Bank)
- Award for Business Woman of the Year. Edel Doherty, Beyond Business Travel (sponsored by Virgin Media Business)
- Special Recognition Award for Lifetime Achievement, Wilma Erskine. Awarded by Women in Business
Alison Bawn, People Director at Virgin Media Business said: “We believe in providing job opportunities for everyone, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, or how we were raised. The success of any business depends on its ability to create a diverse and inclusive workforce which is why we’re proud sponsors of the Women in Business awards. All of tonight’s winners should be incredibly proud of their achievements which will inspire other businesswomen and accelerate the journey to workplace gender parity.”
Women in Business Chief Executive, Roseann Kelly commented, “We are honoured to bring together so many successful and inspiring women from across Northern Ireland. Awards such as these are crucial to promote positive recognition and encourage others to strive to achieve their goals and challenge outdated stereotypes.”