WEST Cork businesswomen gathered at Liss Ard House to celebrate their achievements at the 2019 Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the year awards last week.
With over 20 companies making it to the finals, the five West Cork businesswoman who received awards and were recognised for their outstanding achievements were: Avril Allshire-Howe, Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd, winner of the Small SME category; Katy Ann Wareing, OMKO Ltd, the Emerging New Business winner; Noreen Murphy, Lisheens House, who won the Social Enterprise award; Katherine O’Sullivan, O’Donnell Furniture was named the Employee - Shining Star winner, and Noelle Madden, Rosscarbery Pharmacy Ltd won the Stem award, which is a new category this year.
Earlier this month, Tina Darb, Spearline Risk & Compliance won the overall regional award in the Employee – Rising Star category.
Guest speaker at the event, Vodafone chief executive, and no stranger to West Cork, Anne O’Leary congratulated the finalists and winners.
‘I am delighted to be part of the Network West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards – a big congratulations to all the winners and to those shortlisted,’ she said, adding: ‘Network Ireland provides an excellent platform for women to connect and develop professionally. Throughout my career, I have always placed a huge emphasis on getting out and networking – to meet people with diversity of thought, people who may be facing the same challenges as you, who may be able to help you or connect you to the right people who can help your business. It might even help you find a new career,’ Anne said.
President of Network Ireland West Cork, Ciara Lucy also congratulated the award winners and praised all the woman who had put themselves and their companies forward.
‘This is our second year hosting these awards and we had 21 businesses taking part,’ Ciara said. ‘It was a very difficult job for the judges to pick the winners as we have amazing West Cork women now going forward to national competition in September and I am very proud of the women of West Cork.’
Winner of the Small SME category Avril Allshire-Howe from Caherbeg Free Range Pork told The Southern Star that she was in shock after receiving the award.
‘We’ve had business awards before, as we are a family business, but this is the first award I’ve gotten myself and this means so much to me. This is a great affirmation that we are doing things right,’ Avril said.
Helen Collins of the Taste of West Cork received the Outstanding Contribution to West Cork award.
‘I am hugely appreciative of this award and it is wonderful to work with amazing people,’ she said.