Network Ireland National Conference & Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2021

Friday 8th October: 9:30am – 5:30pm 

The Network Ireland National Conference and Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2021, with Official Partner, AIB and Event Partner, Enterprise Ireland takes place on Friday October 8th 2021. This event will be streamed live from Theatre Royal Waterford. Book your ticket now.

All proceeds from streaming ticket sales will go to Network Ireland’s charity partner for 2021, Focus Ireland. The audience will enjoy a programme packed full of expert business insight, real-world advice and entertainment, as well as the excitement that goes along with the Businesswoman of the Year awards each year.

About Aisling O’Neill – Network Ireland President 2021

Aisling web

Aisling is Manager of ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre, WIT, supporting entrepreneurs in South East Ireland to start and scale their companies.
Aisling became involved with Network Ireland as President of the Waterford branch when it re-opened in 2017 and led the branch for two years. In January 2021, she became President of Network Ireland and is dedicated to supporting women across enterprise, the professions, arts and charity sectors to achieve their most satisfying careers.

A keen advocate of the Arts, Aisling sits on the board of Garter Lane Arts Centre and is a proud member of Intonations choir.

As a yoga teacher, Aisling is committed to facilitating health and wellness for her students and is so proud to be part of the Alphazone School of Yoga community. In her very little spare time, Aisling loves time with family and friends, enjoying time in nature, good food, music and theatre!”

Our MC

Louisa Meehan - MC

Owner, Woodview HRM


Louisa is the owner of Woodview HRM, specialising in providing expert human resource and workplace mediation solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises through both consultancy and mentoring, and training of leaders and people managers. Woodview HRM covers all HR needs during the employee lifecycle, including HR policies, performance management, managerial development, workplace mediation, and disciplinary issues. Louisa lecturers in the field of HR and Organisational Behaviour in UCD / Smurfit on a part-time basis.

A strong supporter of women in business, Louisa was a founding member of the Network Ireland Wicklow Branch and was the National President of Network Ireland for 2020 supporting the development of professional women.

Official Partner – AIB

Catherine Moroney

Head of Business Banking - Market, AIB

Message from AIB

AIB is proud to back the Network Ireland National Conference and Awards for the 6th consecutive year as Official Partner. The power of Network Ireland has never been more evident than over the past 20 months as we witnessed businesses, their owners and employees stretch to the pinnacle of their creativity, resilience and teamwork. This was clearly evident in the businesses that participated in this year’s National Awards, in their stories of how the power of Network Ireland supported them.

Event Partner – Enterprise Ireland

Sheelagh Daly

Entrepreneurship Manager Enterprise Ireland

Message from EI

As part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for Women in Business, we recognise the importance of networks for businesswomen to engage at a peer-to-peer level. Acknowledging and recognising the talent and expertise demonstrated daily by women business leaders contributes significantly to increasing women’s entrepreneurship, resulting in better business and faster economic growth in Ireland.

The winners of this year’s Awards are exceptional role models, and Enterprise Ireland is delighted to be supporting the 2021 Businesswoman of the Year Awards and the nationwide members of Network Ireland.

Our Speakers & Panellists

Elizabeth Adeyemo

Research & Content Graduate at inclusio & Founder of Forget The Walls Podcast

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Elizabeth Adeyemo is a Research & Content graduate at inclusio and is founder of Forget The Walls Podcast. The podcast aims to challenge the many social norms that can trap people in dysfunctional patterns of thought and behaviour.

Elizabeth recently completed a Masters in Political Communication from Dublin City University, and previously a Bachelor of Civil Law & Art from Maynooth University.

In 2019, Elizabeth wrote about her experience in the Direct Provision system. The blog post, ‘In Our Decorated Prison’, explored the harsh realities of migrant children, and was published on the Irish Congress of Trade Union’s website.

Éadaoin Carrick

Operations Director, Cantec Group

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Éadaoin is co-owner and Operations Director of Cantec Group, an Irish technology company originally founded in 1994 which now has 3 distinct divisions: Docutec is a managed print and document management provider, SmartOffice develops and implements automation and workflow solutions, and Promotive offers design, print, branding and marketing services.

A mum of two grown-up children, Éadaoin spends her free time with her husband getting out for fresh air and exercise, enjoying good food with family and friends, and visiting garden centres & plant nurseries (but mostly you’ll find her out in the back garden, digging & pruning & planning!).

Su Carty

Sport & Business Leadership

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A specialist mental health practitioner, performance, wellness, and sports Coach, influential speaker and thought leader, Su was voted Irish Woman of the Year in 2018 and was Highly Commended in our national finals last year in the Power Within category.

Su has a unique background in both mental health and sport. She works with business leaders to overcome stress and supports the development of united teams who own their performance and produce outstanding results.

Instrumental in and currently Director of Ohana ZERO suicide’s ground-breaking online training in suicide awareness. She is the first Irish female to join the World Rugby Council and also referees!

Teresa Chambers

HBAN Angel Investor

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Teresa Chambers has been an Angel Investor with the Boole Investment Syndicate for over five years. She is a Business Coach for Global Business Owners & Leaders and is MBTI Certified. She is a Consultant to the Pharma Industry, bringing 20+ years’ experience at Director Level in major Pharmaceutical Companies internationally, holding Operations and Strategy Roles, across multi-sites and international locations.

She has built matrix and cross-functional teams to address key business challenges, leading them to manage key products with sales of $10+ Billion.

Teresa holds an Hons degree in Engineering from NUIG and manages her own extensive property business.

Professor Kate Fitzgerald

Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School

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World-renowned Irish immunologist Professor Kate Fitzgerald has made many important scientific discoveries during her career. Originally from Waterford, this year she was inducted into the US National Academy of Science in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

In 2015 she was awarded the Science Foundation Ireland’s St Patrick’s Day Science Medal – the award is presented to an Irish-born scientist, engineer or technology leader living and working in the US.

Prof Fitzgerald has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from University College Cork and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and is now Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) near Boston.

Ciara Gibney

Commercial Director, inclusio

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Following a decision to take a year out in 2020 to focus on her family and her own wellbeing, Ciara joined inclusio at the beginning of 2021. A mother of 3 boys, she has over 15 years’ experience in the technology sector working for organisations such as Gartner and BT, where she is consistently recognised for increasing revenues and her commitment to client satisfaction.

Her passion lies in supporting and accelerating the growth of companies and improving the buyer experience. She is currently studying how D&I programs benefit both employees and their organisations.

Eímear Noone

Award-winning Composer & Conductor

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Eímear Noone is a Dublin based conductor and award-winning Irish composer. As one of the world’s premier composers of games scores, Eímear is responsible for some of the most enduring soundscapes on World of Warcraft and other best-selling video games and her music has reached over 100 million people.

Her composition portfolio includes 26 film and video-game titles, which have received multiple industry accolades including the ​“Hollywood Music in Media Award” for ​“Best Video Game Score”. Alongside composing, Eímear conducts orchestras worldwide – notably in 2020, Eímear made history by becoming the first female conductor to perform at the 92nd Academy Award’s ceremony.

Lisa O'Brien

Focus Ireland

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Lisa has worked for Focus Ireland for over 15 years and manages frontline services across the South East of Ireland. In 2014 she became a founding member of Youth Network in Europe.

In 2016 she was invited to have a representative seat on the board of FEANTSA – the only European NGO focusing exclusively on the fight against homelessness. FEANTSA has over 120 member organisations from 30 countries. Lisa has also worked with the European Housing First hub to create and deliver training on the model, Housing First for Youth, across Europe.

Eunice Power

Managing Director & Owner Eunice Power Catering

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Eunice Power is one of Ireland’s leading caterers, a food entrepreneur with vision, and a founding member of the West Waterford Festival of Food. Eunice has catered for one of the largest sit-down dinners in Ireland – 2,400 guests in Dublin’s 3Arena.

She is committed to showcasing and supporting Waterford ingredients and producers. This is clearly evident in Eunice’s latest venture, “AndChips” in Dungarvan, where ingredients are carefully sourced from Waterford and neighbouring counties.

Eunice writes for the Irish Times, is a guest chef contributor on the RTÉ Today Show, and more recently presented the Today Show.

Caroline Senior

COO, Blackwater Distillery

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Caroline Senior is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Blackwater Distillery. Previously as Artistic Director at Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford, she was responsible for the complete refurbishment of the theatre and produced and toured several theatre productions with Waterford playwright, Jim Nolan.

She brought these skills to the refurbishment of the distillery’s new home and visitor’s centre, transforming a former 1950’s hardware store in the heart of Ballyduff Upper. A former member of the Arts Council, Caroline was also CEO of the West Waterford Festival of Food, held each April in Dungarvan & West Waterford.

Helen Smyth

Head of Ireland, Global Business Group, Facebook

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Helen is responsible for advertising sales and service for Irish businesses that use Facebook’s family of apps and services. Helen joined Facebook in 2010 and prior to her current role, she managed market teams in the Community Operations division.

Previously she spent four years with a gaming sector start-up and also worked in France Telecom’s gaming division. Helen is dedicated to helping small and medium businesses grow and showcasing how mobile can accelerate business success. Her focus, as SMB Head of Ireland, is to continue building Facebook’s presence in Ireland and develop opportunities for businesses to engage with customers.

Niamh Sterling

Investment Consultant HBAN

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Curating deal flow for HBAN, the largest network of angel investors in Ireland & overseas syndicates in the US, Dubai, London & Singapore. Co-founder & Board Member of two high performing export-driven companies both acquired by Bidvest in May2021. Seasoned executive who has developed & implemented viable business growth strategies & processes.

Founder and Chairperson of Recipe Guru, headquartered in Ireland and operating from New York and California – the company delivers high-value content solutions to the global smart-kitchen, food brand, retail and media sectors. Barclaycard UK Retail Woman of the Year 2018 and a mentor for the European Innovation Council.

Faye Walsh Drouillard

HBAN Angel Investor

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Faye’s diverse experience is driven by a mission to catalyse a sustainable and inclusive economy.

Following work in a law firm and politics, she served as Executive Director of Freedom Writers Foundation, an education enterprise. Consultant and investor in numerous start-ups, funds, social enterprises and foundations, Faye is now Founder & General Partner of WakeUp Capital, an impact venture fund.

Angel investor via HBAN, TONIIC, Angel Academe. Founder of The Giving Circles of Amsterdam and Ireland. Board observer: MagGrow; Board Member: The Community Foundation for Ireland, Philanthropy Ireland and ChangeX. BA: University of Washington; MBA: UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Sandra Whelan

Immersive VR Education Ltd

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Sandra is a Waterford businesswoman and a married mum of three. She listed her company on the London Stock Exchange and Euronext in March 2018, becoming the first tech company to list on the Exchange in 17 years. Sandra was a finalist for the Irish Women’s Awards, which recognise female professionals in all industries, and a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards under the Emerging Category.

Sandra is a mentor on the New Frontiers National Entrepreneur Development Programme and holds a Diploma in Project Management from the University College Dublin Professional Academy.


All proceeds from streaming ticket sales will go to Network Ireland’s charity partner for 2021, Focus Ireland. The audience will enjoy a programme packed full of expert business insight, real-world advice and entertainment, as well as the excitement that goes along with the Businesswoman of the Year awards each year.


Anita Siegl

Founder / Happy Feet Reflexology - Cork

Guided Reflexology

About Anita

Anita is a registered and accredited reflexologist and founder of Happy Feet Reflexology. During the first lockdown when in-person reflexology treatments weren’t permitted, Anita developed a unique guided hand reflexology programme where she combined breathing techniques, hand stretching and relaxation exercises with hand reflexology. Her programme helped thousands to release stress and anxiety, improve their sleep and concentration. Following the sellout success of this novel online workshop, Anita developed her Relaxing, Stretching and Breathing Exercises Program to improve hand & wrist mobility while relaxing and soothing the mind. Today, Anita will be treating us all to a short taster session.


The Voice Industry and Red Alchemy Theatre Co.

Live Performance by ALCHEMY


ALCHEMY is a six-piece female vocal group formed in 2019 by Christine Scarry. They have performed at a wide variety of events and occasions in venues such as St. Canice’s Cathedral, Trinity College, The Set Theatre, Markree Castle, The Grand Social, The Westbury Hotel, Cleere’s Theatre and Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre.

The group were honoured to provide the entertainment for the Vótáil 100 celebrations at Dublin Castle and launched their first album at their sell-out concert at The Sugar Club in December 2019. Equally at home as soloists or creating their magic together, ALCHEMY will captivate you with their diverse catalogue of material, all in the unique ALCHEMY style … it’s feminine, poetic and strong.

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