The North West, Ireland and Wales shortlist unveiled for the FL National Awards & Summit 2019

The FL National Awards & Summit, now in its 10th year, has today announced its anticipated regional shortlist for the North West, Ireland and Wales.

Designed to demonstrate enterprise, talent and innovation from across the region’s thriving business community, the annual National Awards & Summit has become one of the most recognised and well-attended business awards in the region.

Forward Ladies Managing Director, Griselda Togobo, revealed the 38 shortlisted applicants who will now compete for ten prestigious awards, in categories across all sectors including Emerging Leader, Start Up, Charity/Social Enterprise, Mentor of the Year and more.

Griselda explained: “Since launching in 2009, these are the only business awards to recognise those leaders and organisations who have made the greatest impact on the regional and wider UK economy over the last 12 months.

“For another year running, we have received some excellent entries from businesses large and small, and from individuals at all stages in their career journey. All of those who have been shortlisted this year can be immensely proud of their success and all they have achieved.”

The shortlisted applicants (outlined below) in each of the categories will be invited to an exclusive awards lunch hosted by acclaimed television presenter, reporter and producer Arti Halai, on Friday 13th September at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, Manchester. The winners from this, and the other regional finals, will then be invited to appear before a live panel of independent judges in November, followed by the National Grand Final in Leeds on 29th November.

Lara Oyesanya, UK Counsel and Director, Legal at Klarna Bank AB, was last year crowned with the top award of Forward Ladies Outstanding Business Woman of the Year 2018, after leaving the judges “amazed and highly inspired” by her “stunning career”.

Commenting on her triumph, Lara said: “The impact of the awards has been huge. This achievement has shone a spotlight on my career and inspired others. More importantly, the awards have enabled me to promote women’s causes and to encourage women to consider all possibilities.

“For me personally, I’ve taken away the importance of getting involved and sharing my story, and providing the visuals that are so necessary as part of the storytelling because people relate far better to what they can see.”

The awards are delighted to welcome back one of last year’s judges Sahar Hashemi, Founder of Coffee Republic. Commenting on the event, Sahar said: “I absolutely love the Forward Ladies awards. I remember the first time I attended a few years ago and entering the room as the speaker – I couldn’t believe the buzz and the energy. But then again it’s no surprise that so many high achieving women in one room could create an unbelievably high octane, inspiring atmosphere. Every year it gets better and better.

“As a judge, I get so much inspiration and positive energy from meeting the incredible women shortlisted for awards. So here’s to another fabulous year – the future is female and you are all living proof – you go ladies!”

The full shortlist for the North West, Ireland and Wales region is:

Charity/Social Enterprise Category:

Nicola Ellis, Programme Lead, Tech Manchester; Vicki Roskams, Engagement Manager / Director, Enbarr Enterprises Limited & Enbarr Foundation CIC; Chelsea Slater, Co-Founder, InnovateHer; Jessica Gallier, CEO, Gallier House C.I.C

Corporate Leader Category:

Natalie Bell, Head of Business Development, Andrew Scott Ltd; Nicola Bottley, Head of Capital Allowances – North, Grant Thornton; Laoise        Flanagan, Director – CMO for Deloitte Private North South Europe, Deloitte; Debbie Francis, Managing Director, Direct Rail Services Limited; Emma James, Director of Support Services and Business Operations, McGoff Construction

Emerging Leader Category:

Emma Ainsworth, Business Manager to Retail CEO/Lean Operations Manager, Co-op; Hannah Lees, Account Director, Havas Media UK; Hannah Thomas, Principal GIS Analyst, Jacobs Engineering; Leah Ward, Account Manager, Softcat PLC; Gemma Walker, Operations Director, Helispeed; Aimee Hall, Recruitment Associate, Mazars

Female Entrepreneur Category:

Lorna Davidson, CEO, RedWigWam; Natasja Kashyap, Dentist, Brunner Court Dental & Implant Practice; Anthea Morris, Co-Founder and Director, Better2Know; Helen Tonks, Co-Founder, Hydraulics Online Ltd

Mentor of the Year Category:

Jane Baker, Entrepreneur & Coach, Jane Baker Coach; Carole Nash, Retired, Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd; Carol Ann Whitehead FRSA, Managing Director, The Zebra Partnership

Public Sector/Academia/Not for Profit Leader Category:

Jane Crombleholme, Managing Director for Executive Education, Alliance Manchester Business School; Diane Curry, Chief Executive, Partners of Prisoners and Family Support Group; Dr Faisal Maassarani, GP, Dr Maassarani and Partners; Vicky Taylor-Plane, Communications and Marketing Manager, The University of Manchester; Olivia Bussey, Head of Quality & Compliance, NCC Education

Start Up Category:

Jo Britton, Founder and Director, PACE Development Ltd; Stephanie Fisher, Director, Naked Media; Miranda Christopher, Business Owner, The Minerva Directory

 STEM Leader Category:

Julianne Antrobus, Technology Director, SNC Lavalin Atkins; Gemma Cameron, Head of Digital Technology Practice, Co-op; Leanne Holmes, Managing Director, CPI

Young Entrepreneur Category:

Kelly Bolton, CEO, Aggressive Growth Marketing; Sarah Clarke, Founder and Director, Finer Equine; Jenna Meek, Founder and Creative Director, The Gypsy Shrine; Carly Thompsett, Owner, Anaphase Store

The Male Agent of Change will be announced at the event.