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Image / Editorial

IMAGE Businesswoman Of The Year Awards: The Winners!

02nd Nov 2015

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Just this evening, the winners of the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2015, in association with Samsung, Electric Ireland, No7, AIB, Kuehne + Nagel, Versatile Bathrooms & Interiors and Weir & Sons, and supported by Newstalk,, Enterprise Ireland and Marks & Spencer, were announced at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dublin, Burlington Road. Now in their ninth year, the much anticipated Awards champion trailblazing businesswomen’s contribution to Ireland’s economy and their vital role within the Irish business community at home and abroad.

Anne Heraty, CEO, Cpl Resources plc, was named as the Overall 2015 IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year.


Anne Heraty is CEO of Cpl Resources plc, a recognised leader in workforce solutions, specialist recruitment, managed services and?outsourcing. With an annual turnover in excess of €390’million, the company has over 650 permanent employees. In?any one week Cpl also has circa 10,000 temp/contract staff?under management in customer sites. Her company has expanded through both’strong organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Anne has won numerous awards, and her company was ranked as ?best place to work 2015? in the large organisation category.?She is the deputy president of IBEC and the Chair of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Ireland.

The nine category winners are:

Entrepreneur of the Year: Sara Mitchell, co-owner, Poulet Bonne Femme


Sara co-owns and runs Irish rotisserie specialists Poulet Bonne Femme with her husband, Gavin. Begun by necessity, when the Irish recession hit hard and Gavin was made redundant from his position with a property developer, Sara and Gavin had to think on their feet. With a 10-day-old baby and faced with a financial crisis, Sara and Gavin put a passion of theirs to work and started their own food business in 2009. Originally a simple rotisserie van at various farmers? markets throughout the country, six years on and Poulet Bonne Femme now has four concessions in Avoca Monkstown, Rathcoole, Suffolk Street and Kilmacanogue, and continues to grow. They serve hundreds of customers an array of roast meats including their famous Irish free-range chicken, honey-roast ham, roast Irish pork, delicious roast beef and lamb, as well as their award-winning sandwiches, tasty salads and more.

Management Professional Businesswoman of the Year: Fiona Flannery, CEO, DEPFA Bank plc


Fiona is a senior banker with over 25 years? experience in the industry across a broad range of risk and strategic functions. She has held several senior positions within DEPFA prior to her appointment to the Board, including Head of Credit Risk & Credit Advisory and Global Head of Public Finance Risk Management. Before joining DEPFA Bank, she worked at Pfizer International Bank Europe and IIB Bank. Fiona is a member of the Board of Crumlin Medical Research Foundation and sits on the Advisory Council of WXN.?She holds a degree in Mathematics and English from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She has a CDip AF from the ACCA, is a Chartered Director, and is currently reading for an MSc in Business (Leadership and Management Practice) at UCD Michael Smurfit Business School.

Start-up of the Year: Bernadette Kinsella, CEO,


Bernadette Kinsella is a serial entrepreneur with a history of successful companies in the logistics and IT industries. As MD of Wheels Couriers,’she and the team have’developed an impressive list of blue-chip customers and have diversified the business into international ?white glove? removal and medical transport markets. In late 2014 she founded worldBOX a C2C international service. Bernadette got the idea from the constant requests she received from customers to ship personal goods from them. WorldBOX already has a growing list of fans, has been adopted by most of the four- and five-star hotels in Dublin and is about to launch in Cork.

Creative Businesswoman of the Year: Avril Stanley, CEO, festival director and creative director, Body & Soul


Avril Stanley is literally the heart and the soul of Body & Soul. Her creative passion has guided her path from a renegade party thrower in California to becoming the Founder and Director of what is widely considered the single best festival in Ireland.?Selling out every year since its inception in 2009, Body & Soul is a kaleidoscopic wonderland of beautiful art in a historic estate brimming with inspiring music, shared by like-minded people who come together to celebrate the Summer Solstice with a contemporary twist. In establishing it, she balanced motherhood with the challenges of developing a new business model in a male-dominated industry, infamous for its risks and failures. She successfully navigated a tough economic climate with uncompromising integrity and vision, delivering a world-class pioneering event that changed the landscape of festivals in Ireland. In 2015, she also took the innovative B&S experience to the UK as SOLAS at Latitude Festival.

Social Entrepreneurship: Michelle O’Donnell Keating & Niamh Gallagher, co-founders, Women for Election

ImageBusWomYr005Women for Election provides training, support and mentoring to women, to encourage them to become more politically active. The group was 2011 winner of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland IMPACT award, and in 2014 the Ireland Funds Flagship Programme Award. Prior to Women for Election, Michelle spent over 17 years in the financial services sector focusing primarily in the area of multinational project management and change management, while Niamh worked as a Research and Policy Analyst at the Children’s Rights Alliance in Dublin.

Young Businesswoman of the Year: Chupi Sweetman-Durney, creative director, Chupi


Chupi is a multi-award-winning jewellery brand founded by former Topshop designer Chupi Sweetman. Irresistibly drawn to ?wild and natural things? Chupi’s aesthetic is influenced by the imperfect natural beauty of feathers, twigs and leaves complemented by the sparkliest of gemstones. Chupi’s signature piece is the I Can Fly Swan Feather Ring cast in solid sterling silver and plated in 18-carat gold from a delicate swan feather found along the banks of Dublin’s Royal Canal. Chupi’s ethereal jewellery has garnered fans around the world from London to Tokyo. Each piece is designed, manufactured and finished in Ireland.

Digital Businesswoman of the Year: Sandra McKenna, co-founder, Sheology Digital

winner of digital businesswoman Sandra McKenna at the Image Businesswomen of the Year Awards 2015

Sandra followed her dream to balance business and family by successfully starting her own company from humble beginnings as a mummy blogger. Co-founded with her husband Cormac McKenna, Sheology Digital, is now a multi-million-euro company with four female-focused lifestyle digital platforms that seek to reach women, primarily in Ireland and the UK, at every stage of their life:,,, and Overseas Businesswoman of the Year Award: Dr Jeanne Bolger, vice president of investment ventures, Johnson & Johnson ImageBusWomYr007 (2) Jeanne joined Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) as Vice President, Venture Investments, in February 2013.?She is based in London at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre. Jeanne’s responsibilities are focused on managing portfolio investments in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology areas in Europe. She has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in management roles across research and development, as well as commercial and business development.?She spent 11 years in Licensing and Acquisition, most recently as Global Head of Scientific Licensing for Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical business, having joined the Johnson & Johnson family of companies in 2005 from the Business Development group at GSK. CEO Businesswoman of the Year Award: Anna Malmhake, CEO, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Anna Malmhake holds a Bachelor of Social Science, Business and Law degree from the University of Stockholm. She started her career in 1991 at Procter & Gamble in Sweden and then joined The Coca Cola Company in Stockholm at the end of 1996, where she held various marketing positions. From 2001 to 2011, Anna worked in diverse roles across the drinks industry, including Marketing Director of the Coca Cola Swedish bottler, Global Brand Director and Marketing Director of the Absolut company, and finally Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, whom she joined in 2011. She brings all her strategic management and marketing skills to bear in this role, as well as her commercial understanding, on the continued rapid development of Jameson Irish Whiskey as an icon of the global spirits industry.

Lifetime achievement winner Mary Finan at the Image Businesswomen of the Year Awards 2015

The Awards also introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award to former Chair of the RT? Authority and one of the founding partners at Wilson Hartnell Public Relations, Mary Finan. Mary has spent her celebrated and extensive career working in communications. As well as chairing the RT? Authority, she co-founded Wilson Hartnell Public Relations, Ogilvy’s Irish public relations operation, and subsequently served as its chairman from 2003 to 2007. Since then she has been an independent non-executive director of a number of financial services companies and became the first female President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 1996. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law Degree by the National University of Ireland in 2011, and in 2012 Mary returned to Harvard to complete the Advanced Leadership Fellowship Programme.

Clodagh Edwards, CEO of IMAGE Publications said: ?This year was an outstanding one for the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards, both in terms of the calibre of entrants, and the superb event itself. We had more than 350 smart, successful women to consider in the judging process, and our Awards night drew 750 attendees from all sectors of the commercial, corporate and creative worlds. These awards really embody all that is positive about women in business ?? the support, inspiration, leadership and encouragement is infectious, and has certainly made the occasion a highlight of IMAGE’s 40th-birthday year.?

A photo posted by IMAGE ( on

The IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards judging panel included: in the chair, Ann Reihill, director at IMAGE Publications; Bobby Kerr, entrepreneur and presenter of Newstalk’s Down to Business;?Melanie Morris, editor-in-chief of IMAGE Magazine;?Sarita Johnston, manager of female entrepreneurship at Enterprise?Ireland;?Orla?Nugent, MBA programme director at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School;?Rosaleen McMeel, editor of IMAGE Magazine;?Lucy Gaffney, Chairperson of Communicorp;?Caroline Kennedy, founder of Kennedy PR + Brand;?Nick Mulcahy, publisher and editor of?Business?Plus; Laura George, group editorial director at IMAGE Publications;?Fionnuala O’Leary, executive editor,?;?Clodagh Edwards, CEO of IMAGE Publications, and?Marian O?Gorman, IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year 2014 and CEO of the Kilkenny Group.

The IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards were sponsored by Samsung, Electric Ireland, No7, AIB, Kuehne + Nagel, Versatile Bathrooms & Interiors and Weir & Sons, and are proudly supported by Newstalk,, Enterprise Ireland, Marks & Spencer, and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

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