Winners announced at Women Mean Business Awards 2015

Business | Thu 8 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
WMB Award Winners 2015
Pictured (L-R): Caroline O’Driscoll, Michaela Blott, Marissa Carter, Julie Currid, Niamh Townsend and Amy Smith

Marissa Carter and Niamh Townsend were among the winners at the Women Mean Business (WMB) Awards, held at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel on October 5th.

The theme for WMB’s ninth annual conference and awards was ‘Pay It Forward’ and the event included guest speeches from guest speakers, such as Paula Fitzsimmons from Going for Growth.

The Businesswoman of the Year Award was awarded to Niamh Townsend, GM, Dell Ireland.

Most recently, Townsend held the role of leader of Dell’s Enterprise Solution Team, where she was responsible for leading and motivating a team to grow Dell’s Enterprise Solution business in Ireland. As of June 2015, Niamh was promoted to general manager, and is now responsible for driving Dell’s business on the island of Ireland, delivering services, solutions and products to its clients in the public and private sector.

Marissa Carter of Cocoa Brown picked up the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award gong.

The first Cocoa Brown products hit the Irish pharmacy shelves in November 2012. By March 2013, approximately 97% of Irish pharmacies and over 300 beauty salons stocked the brand. Carter recently secured a listing with retail giant WalMart, which will see her products widely available across the States. A couple of weeks ago, Marissa launched two more products in her range – both Instant Tan Bronzing Gels.

Mairead Healy was named Newstalk Social Entrepreneur of the Year. The Future Voices founder focuses on working with teenagers attending DEIS schools, particularly those DEIS schools with the lowest numbers of students progressing to third-level education.

Healy has created a programme where the most deeply marginalised in society can be nurtured towards a different path and empowered to change their lives. Future Voices has gone from strength to strength and now has a full-time staff team operating three separate programmes.

Michaela Blott won the Woman in Technology Award 2015. Blott is principal engineer and engineering director at Xilinx, an American semiconductor company with over 3,000 employees, which established a Dublin operation in 1995.

Blott heads large-scale international collaborations with leading universities such as Stanford and Cambridge. She finds opportunities and value propositions of the company’s components, which can help build greener and faster data centres for the future.

The Empowering Women Award 2015 went to Caroline O’Driscoll, partner, KMPG and vice-chair, IT@Cork.

O’Driscoll provides corporate and international tax advice to multinational companies and advises a number of high growth indigenous companies, particularly in the technology sector, as they rapidly expand their business within Ireland and into international markets.

She also leads the Women in Tech programme at IT@Cork to highlight and promote talented female role models in the technology sector.

The Sodexo Female Newcomer of the Year Award went to Julie Currid, co-founder and COO, Initiafy.

Initiafy manages the workload for companies, saving them time and reducing risk on site.

The company is three years in operation and is experiencing fast paced growth – what started with two people in a garage, has now grown to 25 people in two offices. Initiafy has recently set up an office in New York where early indicators show great opportunity for expansion.