Let’s hear it for the girls at the Venus Awards

The winners of the 2016 Venus Business Awards celebrate with organiser Tara Howard.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (160597-5)
The winners of the 2016 Venus Business Awards celebrate with organiser Tara Howard.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (160597-5)

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More than 160 glamorous guests partied the night away to celebrate women in business.

An event was held on Friday at The Pyramids, in Southsea, to announce the winners of this year’s Portsmouth Venus Awards 2016.

The event, in association with Peter Cooper Motor Group, saw winners declared in each of the 14 categories.

Competition was fierce this year with a record 1,100 nominations and applications received.

The host for the evening’s celebrations was Shelley Jory-Leigh, the Hampshire-born British power boat champion and business woman.

The night saw a dinner and entertainment, plus more than £2,000 raised for charity Global Make Some Noise.

Simon Williams, the director of business banking at Portsmouth’s NatWest, which sponsored the category of New Business of the Year, said: ‘NatWest is proud to have been involved with the Venus Awards since they started, because we share their values around women in business, recognising that they are neither better nor worse, but they are very different.’

Benjamin Dennehey of Sandler Training SouthEast UK, which sponsored the Manager of the Year category, said: ‘The Venus Awards is an awesome event and as someone who gets involved on a commercial business perspective to get out there and forge relationships with new people and companies, it has been invaluable. I would recommend it to anyone that they do it. It’s a noble thing.’

Kim Way, owner of Changes Clinic of Excellence in Portsmouth, which sponsored the Inspirational Woman of the Year category, said: ‘What a fantastic night. Changes Clinic has been delighted to be involved as a sponsor and judge.’

The News sponsored the Customer Service Award, won by Katie Fairhall from Katie Bakes.

Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘Well done to everyone, 
and especially to Katie 
who is an inspiration for other businesses.’

All of the winner will be invited to the Venus Awards National Finals in Audley Woods Hotel in Hampshire on Thursday, July 7.

Lifetime Achievement

Sponsored by Shirlaws

WINNER: Lizz Clarke, LCM

Lizz is an experienced businesswoman and marketer, having run her own company for 26 years. She is a loving wife and mum-of-three and volunteers in the community. Over the last 26 years LCM, in Copnor Road, Portsmouth, has helped many hundreds of companies to be successful, through integrated marketing strategies, graphic design, copywriting and digital and PR implementation.

Director of the Year

WINNER: Maureen Frost, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

Maureen is truly professional and reliable person who consistently delivers excellent customer service. Her attention to detail is matched by her enthusiasm for promoting business in Hampshire. Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organisation for businesses providing support with events, workshops, advice and networking, as well as lobbying and representation.

Professional of the Year

Sponsored by Checkaprofessional.com

WINNER: Zara Hogg, Wilkins Kennedy

Zara has a quiet determination in everything she does. She likes to succeed, but doesn’t blow her own trumpet. She cares about her clients and staff, and the service she delivers. Wilkins Kennedy, which has an office in Fareham, provides a full-range of accounting and business advisory services to a range of businesses and individuals. They work closely with their clients to help them achieve their goals.

Influential Woman of the Year

Sponsored by Peter Cooper Motor Group

WINNER: Annette Du Bois, CHAMPS Academy

Annette is a children’s and teenagers’ confidence development expert and author. She created the ‘CHAMPS Applied Confidence 5-step Method’ – an effective confidence and coaching system without the need for counselling. CHAMPS Academy, in Chichester, provides coaching that boosts young people’s confidence. It offers coaching sessions, workshops and presentations at home and school.

Business Mother of the Year

Sponsored by Heart

WINNER: Maxine Fitzgerald, Amour Recruitment

Maxine is fun, encouraging, caring, nurturing, playful, protective, honest and reliable. She is always available for a cuddle for her children, friends and anybody who needs one. Amour Recruitment in High Street

Cosham offers a full, permanent and temporary recruitment service.

Customer Service Award

Sponsored by The News

WINNER: Katie Fairhall, Katie Bakes

Katie is a ‘pocket rocket’ – she’s hardworking and focused with immense enthusiasm for everything she does, particularly business. She juggles being a mum with running a successful business and is uncompromising when it comes to high standards. Katie Bakes, in Gosport, produces award-winning artisan baking mixes. Quality and attention to detail are paramount.

Employee of the Year

WINNER: Amy Richardson, Changes Clinic

Amy is 100 per cent committed to everything she does. She will go out of her way to help anyone with anything even if it is in her own time. She is friendly, caring and thoughtful in every aspect of her life. Changes Clinic, at 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, is an aesthetic clinic which provides treatments for face, body and hair, surgically and non-surgically.

Small Business of the Year

Sponsored by Portsmouth Business School

WINNER: Lesley Weatherson, from Lipspeaker UK

Lesley is a communication professional who strives to improve services for deaf people – educating those in public services, publishing papers to evoke debate and raising standards ensuring deaf people have informed choice and access to their preferred style of communication. Lipspeaker UK, in Titchfield Road, Fareham, is a specialist company that matches deaf people with lipspeakers.

Inspirational Woman of the Year

Sponsored by Changes Clinic

WINNER: Charlie Reilly, The Reilly Enterprise Ltd

Charlie is an inspiration; although she has had a number of personal issues she stands out as an innovator, motivator and mentor who helps companies, charities and individuals fulfil and develop themselves through social enterprise projects. The Reilly Enterprise, in Gosport, is an award-winning multi-faceted social enterprise project that has fabulous projects in entertainment, events, plus more.

Manager of the Year

Sponsored by Sandler Training

WINNER: Michelle Leggatt, MindWorks Mentoring

Michelle studied Russian and French at university and went on to specialise in marketing. She has been a company director at MindWorks Marketing for 15 years and is passionate about all aspects of marketing, specialising in events and PR. Based in Emsworth, MindWorks Marketing is a leading integrated marketing and design agency with 35 staff and a list of clients including Rolls-Royce and Suzuki.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by SMART Accountancy

WINNER: Emily Warne, Headromance

Emily works tirelessly for her business and her team, it’s like an addiction! She loves to nurture them and watch them flourish. Emily is upbeat, positive and ambitious. It’s infectious, which makes working with her exciting. Headromance, in Havant, is a dream come reality for Emily – the salon is three years old and a whirlwind success. Her Chichester salon is a success and is not yet two months old.

New Business of the Year

Sponsored by Natwest

WINNER: Katrina Willis, Beautiful Bells

Katrina is a focused, determined woman and a total perfectionist. ‘That’ll do’ and ‘second best’ are not in her vocabulary. She sets herself high standards and won’t settle for anything less. Beautiful Bells, established in late 2013, is a mobile glamping company in Portsmouth. It has 55 bell tents which are furnished and hired out for weddings, events, parties, guest and festivals.

Business of the Year

WINNER: Debora Parsons, Coffee Cup Portsmouth

Debora is hardworking, dedicated and forward thinking, She is a leader who leads by example. She is someone who offers support and guidance to her team and employees. Debora is creative and vocal on issues she feels strongly about, Coffee Cup Portsmouth is a family-run Italian espresso coffee business. Originally created by the married couple in 2007, it now employs 60 people in Portsmouth,

Employer of the Year

Sponsored by Dynamite Recruitment

WINNER: The Car Finance Company

The Car Finance Company was created in 2007 to provide finance to those with poor credit. Its focus is on ethical and responsible lending and putting the customer’s interest at the heart of every decision. The Portsmouth business has grown to become one of the UK’s leading alternative finance lenders and it has provided loans for over 65,000 people who have been denied access to mainstream credit.