MORE than 350 people from across the region celebrated the achievements of women at the Women in Business & Regional Development 2019 Influential Women in Business Awards on Friday the 9th of August.
Passionate and dynamic business owner Toni Vorenas from Metro Bakery & Café took home the coveted Business Woman of the Year Award. A director of two companies Toni’s path and businesses have continually evolved over the past decade as she has built her businesses, developed her strategic financial management skills and built a trusted brand. While accepting the award, Toni thanked her team of more than 54 people who she describes as “family”.
Also taking home honours were Cindy Patzel from the Book Place who won the Best Small Business Award and Nicole Reschke of Koonara Wines who won the Best Business Award. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was awarded to Sarah Hanley from Nawaehi, Employee of the Year was awarded to Ebony Moulden of Bersee Legal and the admired Community Leader Award was presented to Jacqui Bateman from Robe to Recovery Veteran Respite Program who could not attend the evening as she was in Minneapolis at the 2019 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress.
Reflecting on the night Jacinta Jones, Chairman of Women in Business & Regional Development congratulated this year’s winners, saying that the “depth and quality of entries had been outstanding”.
“The awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the women in our community- their achievements, their continuing ability to improve themselves, their contribution not just to the business community but to the wider community also and we are so very proud of all involved in the process, not just the winners but the nominees, sponsors, judges and the WIBRD Awards Committee that organised the gala event”.
The successful gala dinner and presentation on Friday night was hosted by Liz Rymill and featured an inspirational talk from Sarah Mullen, the Chief Operating Officer of Adore Beauty. A former Mt Gambier local, Sarah presented a motivational speech on her experience as a successful business woman for Australia’s number one cosmetics and skincare e-commerce business, selling more than 230 brands and employing more than 130 people.
“Celebrating the achievements of women is something that we as a board are very passionate about, as what we know for sure is that when we support each other, especially women it strengthens our communities and creates abundance in our economy,” Ms Jones said.
“This year the awards were bigger than ever with nominations received from all over the Limestone Coast and Western Victoria.”
Initiated in 2011 by the Women in Business and Regional Development, the awards aim to recognise, encourage and celebrate the many achievements of women who have excelled in business and regional development, those operating a business, working in a business or at a community level. They provide a wonderful opportunity for personal and business development for not only the winners but also the nominees of the awards.