Women in business take centre stage

DYNAMIC East Anglian businesswomen took centre stage at an event celebrating their contribution to local enterprise. The East Anglian Businesswoman of the Year awards, run by the Suffolk branch of the Institute of Directors and sponsored by transatlantic airline Eos, with additional sponsorship from the Suffolk Business Women network, were held at the Hilton Hotel at Stansted Airport.

DYNAMIC East Anglian businesswomen took centre stage at an event celebrating their contribution to local enterprise.

The East Anglian Businesswoman of the Year awards, run by the Suffolk branch of the Institute of Directors and sponsored by transatlantic airline Eos, with additional sponsorship from the Suffolk Business Women network, were held at the Hilton Hotel at Stansted Airport last Thursday.

Colleen Gostick, the first female and youngest-ever partner at Peterborough solicitors Buckles, was crowned East of England Businesswoman of the Year.

Erika Clegg, managing director of Spring Design in Southwold scooped the enterprise award, and Deborah Watson of Ipswich-based East Coast Publicity took the Young Businesswoman of the Year title.


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Guest speaker Beverley Aspinall, managing director of Fortnam & Mason, helped Eos executive vice president of global sales Toby Joseph present the awards.

She praised the achievements of all women in business and urged others to fulfil their ambitions at work.

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Mr Joseph said: “As I live in Cambridgeshire, I'm aware of numerous dynamic businesses created by women in the east of England. At Eos Airlines, we share and applaud this strong entrepreneurial spirit in the region.”

Ms Gostick made equity partner at her law firm in 1989, and managing partner in 2001. She has been instrumental in devising and implementing a programme of change at the firm, including rationalising work undertaken and the method of delivery.

As winner of the award, she gains entry to the National Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award. She also won a luxury hamper from Fortnum & Mason and two premium returns flights to New York courtesy of Eos.

The other three finalists were: Caroline Taysom, managing director of Giffords Ltd, Luton-based importers and distributors of speciality foods to the corporate entertainment market, Vaishala Mehta, founder of the Micas Group, a property company in Rickmansworth, and Dr Ann Williams, principal of West Suffolk College.

Enterprise award winner Ms Clegg relocated Spring Design to Southwold and developed a nationwide network of freelance designers which feeds into the studio-based team.

Young Businesswoman of the Year Ms Watson, 28, who launched her PR business in May 2005, said the award was “a real honour”.

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