Donna Cummins being presented by Mary Rogan, head of Business Banking AIB Tipperary
The Tipperary Branch of Network Ireland has three new names to add to its impressive list of award-winning women in business. Marian Kennedy (Clonmel), Orlaith Ryan (Clonmel) and Donna Cummins (Nenagh) took home the top prizes for Network Ireland Tipperary’s Businesswoman of the Year Awards recently.
Having won at the county level, these enterprising women will go on to represent Tipperary at the Network Ireland National Conference and Businesswoman of the Year Awards, which will take place on September 27 at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery, West Cork.
Network Ireland Tipperary President Brid Harrington (pictured above) says the night was a chance to celebrate all of the Tipperary members, as well as the finalists.
“The evening was charged with such positive energy,” she says. “Everyone interacted and celebrated in the sentiment of the evening – which was an opportunity to recognise the entrepreneurial and professional achievements of so many of our women in business throughout the county.”
The gala and awards ceremony took place at The Anner Hotel, Thurles and was sponsored by AIB, Local Enterprise Tipperary and Shannon Airport.
Awards were given out in three main categories:
STEM: Marian Kennedy, Post-Partum Health Care Ltd.: Kennedy has worked tirelessly to develop a range of comfort and hygiene products known as Anemum to assist women in the post-birth recovery. Her products will be available both online and in pharmacies.
Emerging New Business: Orlaith Ryan, Shorla Pharma: Ryan runs this speciality pharmaceutical company, which focuses on innovative therapies in the oncology space – particularly in the interest of women’s and paediatric health – in Clonmel.
Small SME: Donna Cummins, The Zip Yard: Cummins specializes in alterations of any kind at The Zip Yard, which is based in Nenagh. From dry-cleaning to bridal alterations, and leather to home-furnishing remodelling.
There were also Highly Commended finalists in each category:
STEM: Orlaith Ryan, Shorla Pharma (Clonmel)
Emerging New Business: Susan Ryan, Susan Ryan Travel Counsellor (Nenagh)
Small SME: Mary Quinlan, Mary Quinlan Hair (Moyne)
STEM winner Marian Kennedy believes the Network Ireland awards add validation and legitimacy for many women-run Irish businesses.
“For me, it’s validation, both personally and professionally, that the business is on the right track,” she explains. “It’s been independently assessed and reviewed. Also, the application experience gave me the opportunity to assess my company’s status and vision for the future to ensure we are on the right path.”
Cummins, winner of the Small SME award, agrees.
“I’m delighted to be part of a fantastic network of women who support each other greatly throughout the year,” she says. “I’m thrilled to have won!”
Network Ireland Tipperary meet on a regular basis to discuss best practises and offer support and mentorship for those starting out in business. Regardless of type or size of business, newcomers are always welcome and can apply for membership on the Network Ireland website (www.networkireland.ie/membership/).
Emerging New Business winner Orlaith Ryan feels that joining Network Ireland and taking part in the awards has been a positive professional experience.
“I was extremely honoured to accept the award for Emerging New Business for Shorla Pharma on behalf of myself and co-founder Sharon Cunningham,” she says. “We are delighted to receive such recognition from a dynamic group of inspiring ladies.”
Network Ireland Tipperary will continue to meet and host events in the coming months. A huge congratulations goes out to all finalists and winners in the Businesswoman of the Year Awards and the Network wishes the county winners the very best of luck in the national awards in September.