Honouring Cork businesswomen

Women in business, past, present and future, will be honoured by Network Cork at a black-tie event this Friday, writes ELAINE DUGGAN
Honouring Cork businesswomen
Network Cork Women in Business Annual Awards organiser Marguerite O'Sullivan, Innovation Engineering Manager at DePuy Synthes Orthopaedics, Sinead Kane, first visually-impaired athlete to complete the World Marathon Challenge, who is guest speaker, and President of Network Cork Ciara Wilson, The Salon Shop. Picture: Darragh Kane

PAST, present and future is the theme of the Network Cork Business Women of the Year awards 2017, which take place this Friday.

President of Network Cork, Ciara Wilson, said their hope at this year’s annual event is to honour the women that kept the organisation going over the past 36 years. She has invited all the past presidents to join Network Cork for the ceremony, at the Rochestown Park Hotel, to celebrate Network Ireland and of course Network Cork.

Among the guests will be Network Ireland President Rebecca (Birchall) Harrison, who is second generation Network Ireland. Her mother was a member of the Waterford branch. Rebecca is also a past president of Network Cork.

As well as honouring the past presidents, the present will also be celebrated, by honouring Cork’s leading businesswomen, with awards in six categories and the overall Cork Business Woman of the Year too.

Celebrating the future is another important theme of the night — that is the growth of the organisation, which now has 12 branches, that is a 50% growth since December 2016.

Last years winner of the 2016 Cork Business Woman of the Year Award was Lorraine Maye of the Cork Midsummer Festival. She was first awarded winner of the Arts Category and then named the Overall Winner. She said: “Winning Cork Business Woman of the Year 2016 meant a great deal to me and was brilliant recognition and support of all of the work our small team and dedicated voluntary board has done over the past few years.”

This year sees two main changes within the annual awards. One being the transition from a lunchtime award ceremony to a night-time Black Tie ball and the other being the introduction of sponsored prizes to each of the six award category winners and for the overall winner.

Ciara Wilson, President of Network Cork, said: “We are thrilled with the award category sponsorships this year. We deeply appreciate the support which signifies recognition and endorsement of our awards by a broad spectrum of the Cork business community who readily acknowledge and wish to celebrate the contribution of Cork’s business women.”

The award categories and sponsors are:

Emerging Business Category sponsored by Keanes Jewellers to the tune of a €500 voucher.

SME less than 10 Employees Category has been generously sponsored by Westboro Partners with a €500 cash prize.

SME more than 10 Employees Category winner will be fighting fit from the benefits of the prize that Educogym are sponsoring. The winner will receive an annual gym membership to the value of €1,800.

Employee Award Category winner will receive uniquely special care and attention from Lucie Al Portraits, a portrait photographer based in Ballincollig sponsoring a €500 voucher for her studio.

Arts Category winner will also benefit from €500 worth of career and life coaching with Barbara Nugent, Director and Founder of Transilient Coaching Ltd.

Social Enterprise Category winning prize has been sponsored by Griffith College Cork, based on Wellington Road, with a €500 cash prize.

This year’s awards judges are: Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Enterprise in the Local Enterprise Office, Cork City, Mark Fitzharris, Head of AIB for Cork City and Tricia Sheehan, Quality Engineering Manager at DePuy Synthes.

The keynote address will be given at the awards by Sinead Kane, Cork’s visually impaired athlete, Record Holder, Brand Ambassador, Qualified Solicitor and Winner of Cork Person of the Month for April. Entertainment on the night will be provided by Fiona Kennedy.

Tickets for the night can be purchased on eventbrite.ie. Tickets for members are €85 and €100 for non-members, not inc. booking fee.

Tables of 10 are available for €850 by emailing treasurer@networkcork.com.

See Saturday's Evening Echo and next week’s WOW! for a profile on the winners.

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