NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Recruitment specialist Amanda Watson was “over the moon” to be named Businesswoman of the Year in a glittering awards ceremony in Lincoln.
The Managing Director of Ambitions Personnel, who is more used to giving jobseekers good news, received thunderous applause as she collected the Angel on Fire accolade at the Angels Bring Business Awards – staged at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
Amanda, who started the business in Lincoln, and who was “grateful” for her nomination, was presented with her award by Sills & Betteridge LLP Managing Partner John Mitchell.
“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the company, which has a turnover of more than £40 million, 12 branches and 70 employees. I am proud to receive this honour, but the award is as much for my colleagues as myself,” said Amanda.
She pipped Belinda Darley of ABC Accounting Services to the top award and her success marked the culmination of a fantastic night, which honoured five other overall prizewinners.
A big cheer went up when ecstatic Kirsty Gale of Branston-based Red Carpet Ready, found herself under the spotlight after beating Rachel De Caux and Paula Short of Beauty Boulevard in Lincoln to clinch the Angel Wings Unfurled award – for start-up business of the year.
Kirsty, who dazzled in a gold sequinned gown, received her award from the University of Lincoln’s Head of Business Incubation & Growth, Vicky Addison.
“In the last 15 months, we have become one of the UK’s biggest dress stockists. We won Prom Queen on Channel 5. Our customers visit us from all over the UK, but we also sell worldwide and we are the nominated dress suppliers for Miss Great Britian and Face of The Globe,” said Kirsty.
Sally Baker of Perfect Day Training & Development was equally thrilled when Lincolnshire Police Chief Superintendent Paula Wood presented her with the Angel Outreach Award – which recognises excellence in commitment to the community.
HR Consultant and mum-of-four, Sally set up her business in 2006. In 2009 she got involved with her local Pre-School, Busy Bees in Sutton-on-Trent, putting in place processes and structures which allowed it to operate more efficiently.
“I am enormously proud to win this award. It is also for the staff of Busy Bees and I would also like to dedicate it to my mum Lorna Dyson,” said Sally.
(Naomi Watkins of NW Consultancy Solutions was runner-up in this prize category).
There was extra excitement when it was announced that the Active Angel Award had been “split” between two winners.
Running Imp International Managing Director Faye Yarwood presented the “key contributor to sport” accolade to Michelle Mortimer, who founded Witham St Hughes-based Witham Runners. (Kim Baker of Skegness Amateur Swimming Club was runner-up).
Faye then congratulated delighted champion, off-road motorcyclist Emma Bristow, from Alford, as she presented her with the award for “top sportswoman.”
2014 was an amazing year for Emma, whose achievements included becoming World SuperEnduro Champion, World Trials Champion, World Team Trials Champion and Women’s British Trials Champion.
“It is difficult for girls to succeed in motorsport as a whole and the boys get paid so much more than me. It hasn’t always been easy but mum and dad have been there for me the whole time, now they can step back a bit,” she said.
Runner-up in this awards category, Jade Etherington – the most decorated British female Paralympian in history – received a deafening around of applause.
And Claire Hall, of Percy’s T from Kirton Holme, near Boston, had every excuse to toast herself with a glass of her very own vodka iced tea, when she walked away with the Angel Manna Award – presented by Lincolnshire Chef Rachel Green.
Claire, who has successfully devised a range of award-winning drinks, recently celebrated starting to sell them online via Not On The High Street!
(Rachel Linstead of Firecracker was runner-up in the Angel Manna award category).
Before the awards ceremony got underway guests were entertained by Foss Ladies’ Choir.
The evening also included an hilarious performance by Jan Jack of the Laughter Comedy Club, and the dinner menu featured recipes from the Women for Women International (WfWI cookbook).
Guest speaker, WfWI Director of Fundraising & Marketing Shivonne Graham showed a short film about the charity – which helps women survivors of war to access the organisation’s life-skills and vocational training programme.
It aims to help these women to rebuild their lives and gain the skills and confidence to launch small enterprises which will support their families.
As an ongoing supporter of the charity, the Angels Bring Business Awards ran a bumper raffle, which raised £625 for WfWI.
Angels Bring Business co-founders Wendy Spalding-Siracusa and Josephine Peacock said they were delighted with the event.
“The evening aimed to celebrate successful women in business and to inspire others into starting their own enterprises,” said Wendy.
“There was a real buzz and we have already had some great feedback,” added Josephine.
Lincolnshire Business was media partner for the event.