Network Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards this Friday

Pictured ahead of the Network Ireland Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards, which take place virtually this Friday, were Miriam Flahive (Divisional Manager of Brown Thomas Cork), Marguerite O'Sullivan (President of Network Cork and Senior Engineer Strategy Leader J&J) and Barbara Nugent (Transilient Coaching and Network Cork Vice-President and awards organiser). (Picture: Darragh Kane)

The winners of the annual 2020 Network Ireland Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards will be announced at an online ceremony this week.

Eighteen finalists are shortlisted for the awards, which take place on Friday, 28 August from 12 noon and are sponsored by Brown Thomas.

Finalists for the Power Within Champion Award — recognising those who overcame challenges in business arising from Covid-19 — include Anne Marie McIlwraith of JFM Manscaping Lounge; Trudy McQuaid, Events Coordinator for Enable Ireland; and Karen O’Reilly, founder of Employmum and Employflex.

In the Transformative Employee category are Linda O’Connell, SVP – Society of St. Vincent de Paul Ireland; Emma O’Leary, DePuy Synthes; and Ana Vilão, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Up for Solo Businesswoman are Maeve Lankford, Kaleidoscope Coaching and Facilitation; Lucie Pouilly, Lucie Al Portraits; and Noreen O’Neill Roche, Epona Retreat Centre. In the Emerging New Business category are Louise Bunyan, SmartFox; Leigh Gillen, Leigh Gillen Events; and Madeleine Murray, Change by Degrees.

The three finalists in the Business Innovation category are Jenny Murphy, Red Balloon; Angela O’Leary, AG Associates; and Dr Tara Shine, Change by Degrees.

For Online Business Transformation, finalists include Eveanna De Barra Kumar, Himalaya Yoga Valley; Gillian McGrath, Change Grow Succeed; and Kathy O’Dwyer, Career Training Internships.


Speaking on the Businesswoman of the Year Awards, Network Ireland Cork’s president, Marguerite O’Sullivan said: “It is incredible to see such creativity, flexibility and resilience in the businesses community in Cork, particularly in recent months.

“Our new categories for 2020 — Power Within Champion, Online Business Transformation, Business Innovation and Transformative Employee — reflect the times we now live in, showing how businesses and business people have pivoted and adapted through uncertainty. The awards this year have also pivoted, and we are delighted to be able to put on a virtual ceremony that will celebrate the great success of businesswomen in Cork.”

The awards judges are Ernest Cantillon of Electric Bar and Kinsale Spirit Company; Sharon Corcoran, Director of Economic Development & Tourism at Cork County Council and Elmarie Kelleher, Branch manager of AIB. MC for the event on 28 August is Jonathon Healy.

The winners will go forward for the Network Ireland Business Awards on 2 October.