The finalists for the Business Woman of the Year Award 2010 are announced today. Now in its 28th year, the award recognizes the contribution women make to the economy, celebrates ability and achievement and aims to create role models for the future.
Year on year, the prestigious title attracts an outstanding field of candidates and 2010 is no exception. The seven finalists are drawn from every walk of life and have made a significant contribution to the performance and financial success of their organization. Their names are:
- Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
- Julie Moore, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
- Suzie Norton, Chief Executive of Birmingham based Screen West Midlands.
- Alison Whetton, Founder and Chief Executive of All About Weight, headquartered in Crewe.
- Kavita Jnagal and Rani Upelle, co-founders of Simply Recruitment, based in Birmingham.
- Fiona Toye, Chief Executive of Toye, Kenning and Spencer, headquartered in Birmingham.
The finalists will meet the Award’s judges at Mallory Court Hotel, Leamington Spa, on Friday 8 October. The winner will be exclusively announced by BBC Midlands Today news anchor, Suzanne Virdee, at the Woman of the Year Luncheon and Awards at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, on Friday 15 October 2010.
Time and again, the award has shown it is a signpost to future success. The 2010 title holder will follow in the footsteps of high profile winners including: Hilary Devey, CEO of haulage firm, Pall-Ex and star of TV’s Secret Millionaire; Karren Brady, former Managing Director of Birmingham City FC, as seen on TV’s The Apprentice; and 2009 winner Asha Khemka OBE, Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College, who first arrived in the UK with her young family at the age of 25, having received no formal education.
Notes to editor:
Chaired by Judy Groves, SCH Group Marketing Director, the 2010 judges are:
- Ben Gulliford, Regional Centre Head for Barclays Wealth
- Silla Maizey, Management Board Director, British Airways
- Gavin Tyzack, Director of Sales Southern Division, Hilton Hotels UK
- Geoff Cousins, Managing Director of Jaguar UK
- Tracy Westall, UK Public Sector Sales Director in the UK, SCC
About the finalists:
Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce
Awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to enterprise, Louise has worked for over 24 years at the most senior levels in both the public and private sectors. She is currently the Chief Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, which is one of the largest and most successful commissioners and deliverers of enterprise and education support in the UK, providing employment for some 170 staff. Louise has a strong and long standing interest in youth enterprise and leads the Midlands Young Person’s Centre of Expertise for Youth Enterprise. She has served Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for seven years.
Julie Moore, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Julie Moore has overall responsibility for running one of the country's highest performing and largest Foundation Trusts and Hospitals. She was appointed Chief Executive in 2006, following roles that included Executive Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer. University Hospitals Birmingham has consistently highly performed in the national rating system. It has a turnover in excess of £470 million, employs 6,700 staff and has a £545 million PFI programme for a new hospital – which opened in June 2010. Julie first graduated as a nurse and later undertook an MA in Health Services Studies. Other positions she has held include working for the Department of Health in a development role and as Operational Director at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. Julie is also a visiting lecturer at Keele University.
Suzie Norton, Chief Executive of Birmingham based Screen West Midlands
Suzie Norton began her career as a researcher at Westminster for GMTV’s Sunday Programme, having achieved a degree in British Politics. She was promoted to being political producer at the age of 23 and went on to become the youngest member of the Parliamentary Press Lobby in its 200 year history. Suzie then moved to the BBC and back to her home town of Birmingham where she became the inaugural director of Film Birmingham, the city’s first film office. She helped establish the city’s first online film location service, increasing regional filming activity by 40% and generating a further £14 million for Birmingham’s economy. Suzie joined Screen WM as CEO in 2007 with a remit to develop the economic, social and cultural wealth of the region. Since this appointment, she has been instrumental in restructuring the company and forming a new partnership with leading UK broadcaster Channel 4, to deliver the channel’s new 4iP fund.
Alison Whetton, Founder / CE of ‘All About Weight’, headquartered in Crewe, Cheshire
Alison Wetton founded ‘All About Weight’ in 2007, now a fast growing weight loss and weight management company. Alison began her career as an Avon girl, developed her sales and marketing experience working for a leading brand plc and later set up and then sold a food business to one of the UK’s largest cigarette vending companies. After starting a family, Alison saw a gap in the market for a weight loss plan that combined faster weight loss through quality, nutritionally complete meal replacement, combined with healthy eating and exercise for long term weight control. Launched following two years of product development and extensive research, the company has not been impacted by the credit crunch crisis, with sales increasing month on month since its inception. In a little over 15 months, the company has amassed over 70 consultants, they buy rights to their own geographic area and run local mentoring support groups, developing their own and local All About Weight business.
Kavita Jnagal, co-founder of Simply Recruitment, based in Birmingham.
Kavita Jnagal graduated from Sheffield Hallam University, after finishing her studies she worked in the Recruitment Industry, excelling in her field she was its top consultant for 3 years running. With over 10 years experience in the recruitment industry she decided to branch out with her business partner Rani Uppelle to found Simply Recruitment in 2007. Since then, the firm has grown from handling 250 temporary positions to 658 in 2009-2010. In 2009, Kavita and Rani expanded Simply Recruitment, adding two more services: Simply Alliance Training and the Birmingham College of Business & Finance. Kavita has shown immense determination, with a positive outlook to achieving her goal. This young entrepreneur is going from strength to strength by expanding the business on an international scale.
Rani Upelle, co-founder of Simply Recruitment, based in Birmingham.
Rani Uppelle graduated from Demontford University with BA Hons in Public Management in 1985. She worked for 3 years for American Airlines and then made a career move into the recruitment sector. Rani excelled in the industry, winning awards such as Consultant of the Year and Branch Manager of the Year. In 2007 she founded Simply Recruitment with her business partner Kavita Jnagal. Since then, the firm has grown from handling 250 temporary positions to 658 in 2009-2010. In 2009, Kavita and Rani expanded Simply Recruitment, adding two more services: Simply Alliance Training and the Birmingham College of Business & Finance. Rani is well known within the recruitment industry for her passion, energy and drive.
Fiona Toye, Chief Executive of Toye, Kenning and Spencer, headquartered in Birmingham.
Toye, Kenning and Spencer are manufactures of state insignia, civil and military uniforms and a whole range of medals including those for the FA cup final. It also produces design-led cufflinks and accessory collections for many leading fashion houses including Paul Smith, Hackett, Armani and Ralph Lauren. With turnovers in excess of £8 million, it is headquartered in Birmingham and celebrates its 325th anniversary this year. Toye Kenning & Spencer is still family run, its longevity being built on superb craft skills, innovative design, quality and service. Fiona is working closely with others in the sector, including the School of Jewellery and The Goldsmiths’ Company, to create high quality training and development programmes and ultimately a full blown apprenticeship scheme with an industry specific qualification. Born in New Zealand, Fiona came to the UK aged 19 and trained as a nurse. She subsequently met her husband, Bryan Toye, and has worked alongside him in the business.
About the event:
The Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards gala ceremony, at which the prestigious Businesswoman of the year winner is announced, is the best kept secret outside of London and a sell out year on year, the event is attended by hundreds of high profile and talented female guests.
In 2010, Ruby Wax, the forthright American comedienne and TV personality, and the very English pottery entrepreneur, Emma Bridgewater, will be key note guest speakers. New sponsor, Harvey Nichols, present a catwalk show of designer fashions and the opportunity to “Shop the Show”.
The event has raised over £500,000 for official charity, Vitalise, which provides short breaks, respite care and other services for disabled people, the visually impaired and carers.
A limited number of last minute seats remain available. The ticket price, including a three course, a la carte lunch, is £60.00. Telephone the events department at Vitalise on (020) 7017 3433 to book a seat now.
For more about Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards and to book tickets visit: http://www.womenoftheyear-uk.com/
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