Carmel McKinney, OBE, Chairperson of Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Board has been shortlisted for two awards – in the Inspiring Leader and Not for Profit categories - in the 2017 Forward Ladies National Awards.

Announcing the North West, Wales and Ireland region shortlist, Forward Ladies Managing Director Griselda Togobo unveiled the names of 44 female business leaders who will compete across twelve categories.

Griselda Togobo commented: “The calibre of entries has been increasing year on year, but this year we have a number of outstanding entries. The shortlisted applicants in each of the categories will be invited to attend the glittering regional final at The Lowry, Manchester on Friday 13th October. 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 final in Leeds on 1st December.”

fire chairperson carmel mckinney

Ms McMcKinney added: “It is a great honour to be shortlisted for these prestigious awards and I am delighted to be representing NIFRS on a national platform. It is inspiring to see and to celebrate the success of women and to recognise our role across many industries.”

Judges for the Forward Ladies Awards include Jennifer Crawley, UK Head of Performance for Business Banking, HSBC, Ajaz Ahmed, the founder of Freeserve, Jan Flawn CBE, founder of PJ Care, Sahar Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic and Dale Murray, Co-Founder of Omega Logic.
The full shortlist for the North West, Wales & Ireland is:

Corporate Leader Category:

Marie Katherine Mayers, Sodexo Head of Health, Safety & Risk NI and ROI; Charlotte Rees-John, Freeths LLP, Partner

SME Growth Category:

Susanna Lawson, Onefile Ltd., Director/Co-founder; Shauna McCarney-Blair, Heavenly Tasty Organics Ltd., Managing Director/ Founder; Katie Street, Ashfield House, Co-Owner and Wedding Coordinator; Sophie Hughes and Lucy Cohen, Mazuma, Co-founder/Operations Director; Rachael Flanagan, Mrs Bucket, Managing Director; Sally Fielding, Sally's Cottages, Director; Belinda Sewell, Project Kitchens Ltd., Managing Director; Susanna Lawson, Onefile Ltd., Director/Co-founder

SME Emerging Category:

Shauna McCarney-Blair, Heavenly Tasty Organics Ltd., Managing Director/ Founder,
Sharon Stephens, Planet Veritas, Operations Director; Anna Wickham, Castletree Consultants Limited, Director; Bairbre Walsh and Jo Wilde, The Essential English Centre, Owners

Digital Category:

Hilary Stephenson, Sigma Consulting Solutions Limited, Managing Director; Susanna Lawson, Onefile Ltd., Director/Co-founder

Inspiring Leader Category:

Dorcas Crawford, Edwards & Co. Solicitors, Senior Partner; Carmel McKinney OBE, Northern Ireland Fire and rescue Service, Chairperson

International Category:

Sharon Stephens, Planet Veritas, Operations Director; Shauna McCarney-Blair, Heavenly Tasty Organics Ltd., Managing Director/ Founder

Not For Profit Category:

Helen O'Donnell, Children's University, CEO and Director of Partnerships; Wendy Hobbs, Dreams and Wishes Charity, Solicitor/Author/Volunteer; Sharon Evans, Carmarthenshire School of Gymnastics, Managing Director; Kerryanne Wilde, CERT UK Ltd - Community Emergency Response Team UK, CEO; Ruth Ibegbuna, Reclaim, CEO; Carmel McKinney OBE, Northern Ireland Fire and rescue Service, Chairperson

Rising Star Category:

Gemma Williams, Evolution Recruitment Solutions, Team Manager; Deirdre McInerney, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland, IT Lead Analyst; Ruth Logan, EY, Director at EY;

Rachel Kershaw, Click Finance, HR & Compliance Director

Start Up Category:

Carly Allchurch, Allchurch & Co, Director; Jane Hawkes, Seashore No4 Ltd., Director; Gemma Davies, Local Link Magazine, Managing Director; Anna Redfern, Cinema & Co., Proprietor;

Carolyn Pearse, Carolyn Louise Limited, Brand Coach & Stylist; Nadine Merabi, Alexander Merabi Ltd., Creative Director; Angela Pendlebury, Positive Lifestyle Rewards Ltd., Director;

Sharon Lomas, Lomas & Lomas LTD, Creative Director, May Hamid, Argan Liquid Gold, Director; Rose Aldean, Mello Drinks Ltd., Director; Michelle Inman, Centu Consultancy Limited, Operations Director

STEM Leader Category:

Maria Dalton, Depuy Synthes, Senior Engineering Manager; Marguerite O Sullivan, DePuy Synthes, Innovation Engineering Manager; Diane Hassett, Johnson and Johnson Vision Care (Ireland), Senior Engineering Manager

STEM Rising Star Category:

Johann Muldoon, Manor Architects Ltd., Architect/Director/50% Shareholder; Sophie Chadwick, STEM Graduates, STEM Women Marketing Executive; Helen O'Malley, J&J Vision Care, IT Lead Analyst

Young Entrepreneur Category:

Rachel Gilbertson, Roxiie's Treasures, Owner; Tino Dzaro, Tino's, Managing Director