Meet our National Winners – 2016
Deserving Venus National Winners join an exclusive and elite bunch—crowned from the cream of the crop, they compete across the national landscape of Venus Winners in their specific categories.
Claire Rees – Business Mother of the Year
– Isle of Wight
Claire Rees is a very hard working determined Mum of two who has taken on a business for the challenge, proving to herself and others that she was capable & providing something positive for her local community and her children.
Rhythm Time provides fun interactive music sessions for 0-6yr olds on the Island. From very young babies through to reception school children. We have constantly evolving, fantastically written, creative and age appropriate programmes of musical activities, fun for adults too!
Zara Hogg – Professional Of The Year
Zara is a NOT a boring accountant! She represents an old-school profession
with a smile, and a friendly and approachable manner. This is reflected in the
way she cares about her clients and staff, and the service she delivers.
organisation bio: Wilkins Kennedy LLP provides a full range of accounting and business
advisory services to a diverse range of businesses and individuals across the UK and abroad.
They work closely with their clients to help them achieve their goals.
Lindsay Mattinson – Home Based Business
– Isle of Wight
Talented Architect with global experience designing buildings ranging from beautifully
crafted residential, to highly specialised R&D buildings. Lindsay’s projects focus around
improving architecture, she’s on the Local-Listing-Panel, is the past Chair of RIBA(IW)
and founder of the “Young Designers Award”.
Award winning architectural practise founded 2004, designing unique
buildings that are beautiful, timeless, functional spaces to live/work/play in.
Best known for the ability to provide innovative, creative design solutions with
distinctive use of materials that blend seamlessly into their settings.
Tara Mussell – Digital Media and Online Business
Tara is dynamic and ambitious in her approach to achieving goals.
She is extremely tenacious and passionate towards every project, whether that be at work or at home.
Ratio is a software company dedicated to inventing smart products that help
make people’s lives better and whose innovations include a price comparison website called choose-wisely.co.uk, an intent-marketing platform
called remora.so and a men’s underwear subscription club called briefd.co.uk
Louise Pasterfield – Online Business
Louise Pasterfield is a hands on, inspirational leader who is creating a world-class business based at Plymouth Science Park. Her rapidly growing elearning company, Sponge UK is becoming a market leader in the competitive world of learning technologies.
Sponge UK works with large global organisations to take their training and transform it into engaging online learning. Great people are fundamental to Sponge, and the company is growing a talented team who share a passion for learning and creativity.
Gill Farnsworth – Lifetime of Excellence
Gill is a total inspiration, Countess Mountbatten Hospice improves the lives of those dying of cancer and that of their families.
Barbara Fowler – Networker of the Year
Barbara Fowler is the most Tenacious person. She NEVER givs up… she NEVER gives in and she NEVER (ever) takes ‘No’ for an answer.
MyBabylog is a small family run company but with a big heart who take enormous pleasure in supplying the perfect
gift to enable people to collect and treasure their most precious memories.
Kathy Murdoch – Business of the Year
Kathy Murdoch has a strong work ethic and works had to provide a balanced and loving environment for her young family.
Focussed on achieving excellent results for the Westward Living group she respects the skills and experience of her team.
Westward Ho! based businesses in the organisation include Westward Living self catering holiday cottages,
The Blue & Green restaurant, Westward Living Ltd development company and award winning wedding venue Ocean Kave.
The businesses promote everything fabulous about our locality.
Lesley Weatherson – Small Business of the Year
Lesly is a communication professional who strives to improve services for deaf people.
Educating those in public services, publishing papers to evoke debate in addition to raising
standards ensuring deaf people have informed choice and access to their preferred style of communication needs.
Lipspeaker UK is a unique, specialist company serving as a hub to match the needs of
deaf people with the skills of suitably qualified lipspeakers. Run by professionals for all deaf people in the UK and abroad.
Nikki Collinson – Influential Woman
– Isle of Wight
Nikki’s inspirational sole focus in life is to help others by making a significant difference to her two-legged or four-legged patients, her clients, and the thousands of lives she has and continues to save and help in Uganda.
Nikki runs a successful human and animal chiropractic business enhanced by her personal development coaching work; an approach that allows her to work on an emotional and physical level with her parents, whilst also running a charitable organisation in Uganda.
Michelle Leggatt – Manager of the Year
Michelle studied Russian and French at university and then went on to specialise in marketing obtaining her Chartered Marketer status. She has been a Company Director at MindWorks Marketing for 15 years and is passionate about all aspects of marketing, specialising in events and PR.
Based in beautiful Emsworth, MindWorks Marketing is the south coastís largest integrated marketing and de-sign agency with 35 staff and an enviable list of blue chip clients including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Suzuki, Wiggle, Honda and the Royal Yachting Association.
Mo Morgan – Marketing & PR
Mo is a highly motivated and experienced PR and marketing professional specialising in brand development, strategy and communications.
organisation bio: Lakesmere is a leading roofing, cladding and facade specialist contractor offering its clients a complete design, installation and management service across the full range of systems that make up the external building envelope.
Saharon Canning – Excellence in PR
Sharon Canning is a true professional, who leads by example and is passionate on all aspects of the property industry. As an employer, radio presenter, speaker and blogger, Sharon exudes expertise, knowledge and experience within her field.
Move On Rentals specialises in residential properties throughout Poole and Bournemouth. Their understanding in property related matters is second to none. Passionate, going the extra mile, maintaining relationships as well as having experience, expertise and knowledge puts them streaks ahead!
Louise Pen-Collings – Employee of the Year
Louise joined Extra Help in May 2013, to run the Plymouth Franchise. Since joining the team she has pushed
the business forward, with her passion and determination. As a result of this we have achieved the following;
joined the Trading Standards ‘Support with Confidence Scheme’, which allows us to receive referrals from social
services. Extra Help have also become members of Which? Trusted Traders, to provide our clients with extra reassurance.
We now have over 100 clients, in Plymouth and South East Cornwall, with 30 home helpers delivering our services.
The Plymouth Franchise continues to thrive…Louise has helped to grow it by more than 100% over the last 12 months,
and we now have strong foundations for future development.
Extra Help was originally set up to respond to the needs of elderly people who were still living independently and needed a helping hand. We recognised that many elderly people didn’t necessarily need a full-time or live-in carer, but having help with domestic tasks could significantly prolong the time that they were able to stay in their own homes. And sometimes, it’s just about providing company; a friendly smile and a chat can mean the world to someone who lives alone. Since launching, we have expanded our range of services to respond to the needs of new and working parents with mothers help services to working professionals and our domestic cleaning services. We now provide the service in 12 areas of the country.
Samantha Kingston – New Business
Samantha Kingston is a hard-working and passionate entrepreneur. Highly focused in working to find the next best thing in VR. Is a great advocate for women in games and women in Virtual Reality.
I am the client director for Virtual Umbrella and first point of call for all our clients and new business. I am an advocate for women in tech, working to promote equal opportunities in the emerging Virtual Reality industry.
Kathryn Clarke – Inspirational Women
– Isle of Wight
Inspirational, determined, a mum, a wife , a friend Kathryn has overcome many challenges
since her suffering “non life substantial injuries”.
Kathryn was not expected to survive but has
surpassed everyone’s expectations with her positive outlook and dogged determination.
Our moto is “you are not alone”, at the darkest time we can be
there for you, to keep fighting for what you are entitled to. we can help you get through this
Rebecca Ann Blachford – Customer Service Award
Rebecca Ann Blachford
– Isle of Wight
Mummy to the islands Mummys. She has provided a safe fun interactive environment for children to play creatively with each other and just be allowed to be children. While parents can relax and support each other.
We are the islands first childrens cafe. We provide a creative, child focusses environment. We team this with a child friendly menu, a range of classes, support groups and activities for parents and children.
Melissa Lane-Gilhespy – Team Leader
Melissa is a dedicated customer service professional who prides herself on delivering outstanding levels of service to her customers. A great ambassador for HTEC and well-deserving of recognition achieved on the Venus Awards journey.
HTEC Ltd is one of Europer’s largest providers of loyalty, payment and forecourt technology solutions. Through product innovation and customer service they build multi-year partnerships with customers who include some of the worlds largest retailers.
Gail Thomas – Director of the Year
Gail, previously a European Sales Manager is now Managing Director of TW Metals’ European Region.
TW Metals is a leading global distributor with over 30 stocking locations in North America, Europe and Asia. Providing outstanding service to their customers world-wide they stock and process Tube, Pipe, Bar, Extrusions, Sheet and Plate in stainless, aluminium, nickel, titanium and carbon alloy.
Laura Wall – Entrepreneur
Laura Wall is incredibly passionate about what she does. She is quietly stubborn and knows exactly what she wants to achieve – no matter how impossible the dream may seem. She will think it, and go about making it happen
Laura Wall produces original fine art and illustrations for companies such as galleries and children’s book publishers. She garners licenses for her brands, and also runs her own gallery in Teignmouth, as well as freelance work, school talks and murals.
Lizz Clarke – Lifetime Achievement Award
Lizz Clarke is an experienced businesswoman and marketer, having run her company for 26 years. She is a loving wife and mum of three and volunteers for the community – Chamber Board Member, Havant College, EBP and University Business School
Over the last 26 years, LCM has helped many hundreds of companies to be more successful, through integrated marketing strategies, stunning graphic design and clever copywriting, and effective web, digital and PR implementation. We live by simplicity, positivity and creativity.
Atlas Elektronic – Employer of the Year
Russell Warren has been with the company since it became Atlas, he supported the purchase and has made many changes over the past 5 years to nurture the growth and talent of its people. The introduction of the Graduate program and the apprenticeship scheme has helped with its growth
ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK Ltd, based in Winfrith, Dorset is a leading provider of science and technology solutions to the UK Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy and to other defence departments and corporate customers internationally. The company became part of the global ATLAS ELEKTRONIK Group in October 2009 and has doubled in revenue since.