07 Dec 2021

Meet the contenders for the Network Ireland Kildare branch businesswoman of the year awards

Winners to be announced via Zoom this Saturday night

Meet the contenders for the Network Ireland Kildare branch businesswoman of the year awards

The Network Ireland Kildare branch judging panel

Judging for the Network Ireland Kildare Branch businesswoman of the year awards took place on Thursday, July 30. Winners will be selected in the following categories this year: Online Business Transformation, Business Innovation, Emerging New Business, Solo Businesswoman, Transformative Employee and Power Within Champion. The theme for this year’s awards is Celebrating the Power Within.

The judging panel are Sean McAuliffe (ISS Facilities Services), Tara Lane (President of Network Ireland Kildare Branch), Mary Patricia Gallagher (Gallagher & Assoc.), Fiona Dunning (AIB), Laura Maher (vice president and awards coordinator/manager Supervalu Sallins), Mouna Prenty (Martinsen Mayer) and Anna Fortune (commercial manager, Leinster Leader).

The winners will be announced this Saturday, August 29. See the full list of nominees below...


Online Business Transformation

Deirdre Dowling, Dowling Coaching

Deirdre was an employee of IBM for more than 30 years,  working as a project manager, senior learning consultant, and coaching lead in IBM Digital Sales Europe. She took the brave step to start her own business as a career coach and endured many setbacks in the first few years including going back to the workforce whilst still trying to grow her business part-time. With enthusiasm, belief in herself, and motivation to develop and support people, she has grown her business and loves what she does.  

Jo Browne, Jo Browne

Handmade in Ireland, the Jo Browne range includes natural skincare, including an award-winning cleansing balm and hydrating facial serum, luxury soaps, body scrub, body oil, bamboo aroma diffusers and sustainable bamboo pillowcase and bedding collection. The company’s passion is essential oils and their natural capacity for healing, invigorating and calming.

Karyn Flood, Tim Flood Flooring & Furniture Ltd

Their vision is to be the premier furniture and flooring and interiors store in Leinster.  Its mission is to have its customers think of them as their only interiors and flooring store that supply high quality products at excellent prices.

Krystle Foley, Fusion Digital

Krystle Foley is the founder and managing director of Fusion Digital, a full-service marketing agency helping companies reach their marketing potential. Fusion Marketing was founded in 2016 with a vision to provide companies with a range of marketing services to expand and grow their businesses.

Laura Barry, Florence & Milly

Florence & Milly Limited is a ceramic art studio and coffee bar located in Clane. Owner Laura Barry is a mixed media artist and art therapy facilitator. Combining her business skills and her creative expression, Florence & Milly is set for success.

Emerging New Business

Andrea Griffin, Glam Doll

Glam Doll is Ireland’s leading supplier of Hollywood mirrors, vanity tables and more, created and based in County Kildare. Glam Doll offers a full range of Hollywood-inspired beauty essentials to the Irish and international market.  

Claire Afolabi, LittleSitters

LittleSitters is an online vetted babysitting directory designed to take the hassle out of booking a babysitter. All sitters are background checked and can be booked in three simple steps - it's as easy as ABC!

Emma-Jane Leeson, Johnny Macgory Business Company

Johnny Magory reconnects families with Ireland's unique and beautiful wildlife and heritage. CEO Emma-Jane Leeson achieves this through a popular book series and toys.   

Erica Hargaden, Babogue Sleep Solutions

Erica, through her private practice, Babogue, offers one-to-one consultancy and support to families who are experiencing sleep issues with their children.  

Fiona Smiddy, Green Outlook

Green Outlook is for the eco conscious or eco curious person who wants to reduce their environmental impact. Providing a curated range of sustainable and natural products. We post plastic free for the conscious consumer.

Gail Doyle, Gails Rails

Gails Rails’ mission is to educate women to understand what suits their body-shape, personality and lifestyle which arms them with the inner confidence they need to get on with their daily routines and busy lifestyles. Gail is exercising her qualifications and experience in the industry to simplify fashion for the women of Ireland no matter what age, shape or size.

Jennifer Mullally, Jennifer’s Hat Emporium

Jennifer Mullally is the founder of Jennifer’s Hat Emporium. Currently the only hat hire business trading online, in three simple clicks a client can have their headpiece delivered to their door.

Louise Rawlins Traynor, RAW World Productions Ltd

Louise Rawlins Traynor is the executive producer of a new Irish TV show called The Celtic Ride. Focusing around adventure-loving clients of Ireland's largest motorcycle and car touring company, the Celtic Ride is a fun, energetic show featuring four generations of her family, personal growth and working closely together running a hectic travel business.

Marie Ramsbottom, Hereafter

Marie, a chartered accountant, with decades of diverse commercial and legal experience founded Hereafter to provide all aspects of expertise in paperwork and administration to help ease the burden on people going through life changing events.

The company believes in delivering a person-centred solution to life’s greatest challenges such as bereavement or other life changing events. It provides a comprehensive checklist to guide people on the many items that will need consideration.  

Maureen McCowan, Soft Skill Success

Maureen McCowen, Soft Skill Success, is a communication and presentation skills specialist who helps business professionals create and deliver presentations with impact.  After spending almost 30 years as a secondary school teacher, Maureen knows the importance of being able to communicate your message clearly, effectively and professionally.  Maureen works with entrepreneurs, business executives and teams to help them unlock their speaking confidence.

Michelle Lawlor, The Nude Wine Company

The Nude Wine Company specialises in organic vegan and natural wines. Unlike other online wine shops, The Nude Wine Company includes a video tasting of every wine to recreate that in-store experience. With nationwide delivery and award winning wines, it is the go-to shop for wine gifts, be it a gift to orders or a gift to yourself!  Join in its live virtual wine tastings on Friday nights to learn more.

Rose Lawlor, Tribe Art Studio

Tribe Art Studio is owned and managed by Rose Lawlor. Motivated by her love for art, Rose created Tribe. Rose believes in the power of the process and provides encouragement and belief in all who attend Tribe Art Studio. Tribe activities ensure participants receive the complete benefits of the creative process in a supportive, friendly and warm atmosphere.

Samantha Corcoran, Samantha Corcoran Make-Up

Samantha is a bridal make up specialist at Head Office Salons and is also the make up artist for Newbridge Silverware. She is the CEO and founder of the Irish Make Up Artists Association and is an advocate for her Industry.

Sharon Kearns, Your Style Your Story

Sharon is a serial entrepreneur and passionate about women in business. She believes in empowering women to be the best version of themselves by taking the first step and dressing for success each morning. She runs an online clothing boutique offering a personalised service to every woman.

Transformative Employee

Heather Finnerty, Celbridge Manor Hotel

As corporate sales executive for Celbridge Manor Hotel, astunning building built in 1747 by Speaker Connolly and primarily known as a wedding venue, Heather’s role is to promote the hotel’s meeting and conferencing facilities. With two conference suites, four meeting rooms, 66 bedrooms, an outdoor roof terrace and substantial gardens for BBQ and team building events and a private dining room, the hotel has so much to offer leisure and corporate guests alike.

Michelle Campion, Westgrove Hotel

Michelle Campion, who has been working in four-star hotels for a number of years, is very invested in the tourism industry. She is currently working for the Westgrove Hotel, owned by the Fadden family of Clane, who are delighted to serve the community since 2007.

Solo Business Woman

Evelyn Murphy, Learn How Training

Evelyn is the owner and director of Learn How Training and a proud Kildare woman. She specialises in the delivery of Covid compliant on-site training. Courses include first aid, infection prevention and control, manual handling and more.

Jane Manzor, Manzor Marketing

Manzor Marketing is a boutique marketing agency dedicated to the SME sector. Manzor Marketing is all about discovering your 10% difference and bringing it alive through their three-step process – marketing, management and measurement. Jane Manzor (CEO) has over 20 years experience in marketing. She is a passionate, organised and data obsessed marketer and delivers results every time.

Maria Bourke, InspirAction

Maria B. Bourke is a passionate personal empowerment coach and facilitator and the author and creator of My Kinda Magik books and affirmation cards. In 2006 she started InspirAction - a training and coaching company – best known for the signature Jumpstart Your Life course and 321 Focus Online Challenge.  

Niamh Mullins, Empowered Health Solutions

Empowered Health Solutions, a private and corporate wellness company, empowers you and your business to take control of your overall health and well-being through the use of safe and natural solutions.

Sarah Breslin, Sarah Breslin Wellness

Sarah is passionate about helping people to feel their best through herwellness therapies. She focuses on gut health with colon hydrotherapy and supplements and juices, along with training others to become colon hydrotherapists

Business Innovation

Claire Kelly, Kildare Audit & Accountancy Services

Claire Kelly, auditor and personal insolvency practitioner, believes that everyone deserves a second chance to recover their financial freedom, however most need professional advice and support to get there and and her company provides that with empathy as well.

Finnella Naughton, DMAC Services Ltd

DMAC Services offers bespoke fulfilment that offers SMEs a service that allows them to grow their own business while keeping their costs down. It also offers a shipping solution for those who want to pack their own orders. Both packages are unrivalled in terms of cost and service.

Louise Murphy, Cyc-Lok Ltd

Born out of a shared vision to create a more efficient and safe storage solution, Cyc-Lok was established in 2014 to investigate, develop and validate the concept. The idea for Cyc-Lok originated out of the desire to meet the challenges posed by increased bicycle theft and vandalism, whilst encouraging and offering cyclists a mobility solution.

Nichola Kennedy,  FAOI, Optometrist & Styling Optician

Nichola is an optometrist and styling optician. Her role is to help you feel confident, comfortable and composed with my eyecare and eyewear styling consultations.

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