Network Ireland Cork – Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2019

Posted on: 14/06/2019


On 24 May 2019, members and friends of Network Cork gathered to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women in business and, in particular, to celebrate those who won the six Businesswoman of the Year Award categories.

Congratulations to our six winners as well as to our finalists and nominees. Well done for stepping up and putting yourselves forward for these awards.

To learn a little more about the women who will go forward to represent Network Cork at national level at the Network Ireland awards in September, please read on.

Emerging Category Winner – MamaBear Foods – Loretta Kennedy
Mama Bear Loretta Kennedy began making her own 100% natural and reduced sugar ketchup when she couldn’t find one that her children liked. Her ketchup has more than 50% less sugar than regular ketchup and also contains prebiotics. Kind to teeth and kind to tummies, it tastes delicious and is handmade in Ireland. Perfect for your little cubs.

Large Business & Overall Winner – Wedding Dates – Ciara Crossan
WeddingDates provides web-based software and online marketing to wedding venues and suppliers across Ireland and the UK. WeddingDates assists wedding venues & suppliers increase their wedding revenue by filling unsold inventory. Operating with top wedding service providers across Ireland and the UK, the WeddingDates system provides real time revenue reporting and competitive benchmarking for their sector. In business since 2008, we have a well-established and passionate team. Our customer success stories speak for themselves and we have wonderful testimonials from venues happy with our service.
WeddingDates was the winner of the Irish Social Media Awards in 2011, and is a graduate of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-up programme. Founder Ciara Crossan is a regular speaker at national conferences and events and was shortlisted as “Outstanding Entrepreneur” in UK Women 1st SHINE Awards in 2013.

Small Business – Ikon Hair – Valerie Finnegan Cahill
Cork’s Award Winning Hair Salon
3 Times Winner of National Training Salon of the Year
3 Times Winner| of National Salon of the Year
Flagship JOICO Salon
Ikon Hair Design was founded in 1997, by Valerie Finnegan Cahill and her husband Declan Cahill. We opened our doors with a team of 3 in two small rooms on Tuesday the 3rd March 1997, on the first floor of Princes Street, Cork. We grew quickly into a team of 13 and took over three floors in the premise. Outgrowing our surrounding, in 2011 we decided to make the big move to 9 Oliver Plunkett Street. On Wednesday the 23rd of November, we opened our door and announced our arrival to the world!

STEM – Depuy Johnson & Johnson – Marguerite O’Sullivan
The DePuy Synthes Companies are part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. We offer the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of orthopaedic and neuro products and services in the areas of joint reconstruction, trauma, spine, sports medicine, neuro, cranio-maxillofacial, power tools and biomaterials.

Shining Star – Business Manager at Himalaya Yoga Valley Cork – Marion Courtney
Himalaya Yoga Valley is a leader in the field of yoga education sharing traditional teachings at our centres in Cork City and Ballincollig.
For more than 5 years we have been sharing accessible, authentic and affordable yoga with the people of Cork. We are proud to have helped so many clients improve their lives through yoga. We are dedicated to improving health, happiness and wellbeing of our clients and also our communities. We have raised over €60,000 for Cork Simon community through our Yoga in the Park project.

Rising Star – Recruitment Consultant and Change Manager in EmployMum – Helen Walshe – nominated by Karen O’Reilly
We provide educated, skilled and diligent people to drive businesses forward. Our integrity lies in the integrity of our candidates and therefore we only engage with reliable, trustworthy and professional people. We will not waste our time, employers’ time or candidates’ time – we are a small and agile company with a 93% success rate of matching the client to the right candidate.
We are all about #qualityservice

Many thanks to our judges who had the unenviable job of choosing just one winner from each category:

Gillian Keating, Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors
Adrienne Rodgers, LEO Cork
Noreen Walsh, AIB, our National Partner

Many thanks to our sponsors:
Brown Thomas Cork for the winners’ prizes
ASA Marketing for the trophies
To Have & To Hold for the table centrepieces and that amazing flower wall
Elite Pilates and EducoGym for the champagne spot prizes
Leanún Design for the notebook spot prizes

The six winners will be interviewed in September, with winners announced in the Celtic Ross Hotel on 27 September, and we wish them all the very best of luck. Here’s to bringing back a lot of trophies to Cork (city!).