Cork’s Businesswoman of the Year 2019 announced

Louise Bunyan, Fermoy (left), founder of SmartFox and Network Cork Committee pictured with Anne O'Gorman, Conna, senior recruitment consultant with Employmum at the Network Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards which took place in the Maryborough House Hotel & Spa on Friday, 24th May.

Several area winners will now go forward to represent Cork in the Network Ireland National Business Awards on Friday, September 27 in Cork, following the announcement on Friday of various category winners, at the annual gala in the Maryborough Hotel & Spa.

Overall Cork Businesswoman of the Year 2019 award went to Ciara Crossan, founder of WeddingDates, who was also named winner of the Large Business category.

Ciara was recognised for her significant achievements in business over the past 2 years, her adaption to new technologies and her excellent management of her team.

Best Professional in the STEM category was awarded to Marguerite O’Sullivan, Innovation Engineer Manager at DePuy Synthes Johnson & Johnson for her pioneering innovation in her field and outstanding contribution to furthering careers for women in STEM.

Loretta Kennedy, CEO of MamaBear Foods, was awarded Best in the Emerging Business category for her unique approach to business strategy and her entrepreneurial spirit.


The Rising Star Award which recognises women who have made important advancements in their chosen career path, went to Helen Walshe, recruitment consultant at Employmum.

The Shining Star award, which acknowledges team members who have made outstanding contributions to their company was awarded to Marion Courtney, business manager at Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre.

Valerie Finnegan Cahill, founder of Ikon Hair Design was commended in the Best Small Business category for her dynamic service offering, her passion and drive and her dedication to customer care.

MC on the evening was Cliona O’Connor. The awards which were sponsored by Brown Thomas Cork, was also supported by LEO, Network Cork’s Regional Sponsor and AIB, the organisation’s official partner.