August 12, 2009 Meet the Sunshine Coast's most outstanding business women
The Events Centre at Maroochy RSL was a buzz last night, Tuesday, August 11 as many of Sunshine Coast's top business women sparkled, in anticipation as the winners for the 2009 prestigious Business Woman of the Year Awards were announced.
The gala dinner, saw more than 330 business leaders and professionals get together to recognise and celebrate the many achievements of outstanding business women in the community.
Impressed by the high calibre of entries in this year's awards, judges named Kim Edwards of Sea English Academy the 2009 Outstanding Business Woman of the Year in recognition of her extraordinary career.
Since 1979, Kim has travelled and worked across 59 nations and been involved in Development and Education projects in the Middle East, Asia and Australia. She has travel extensively, championing the cause for positive social change and the empowerment of citizens through education.
In 2003 Kim established Sea English Academy which has grown to become one of Australia's most awarded and fastest growing English language schools and exports to over 20 nations around the world.
President of the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network, Sue Willis said that each year the awards are highly contended and this year was no exception.
"The calibre of this year's finalists is a testament to the depth of talented and outstanding business women that we have on the Sunshine Coast," said Sue
Winners were chosen in four other categories in addition to the most outstanding. Jodie Thompson of PJT Accountants and Business Advisors took out the Corporate Business Woman of the Year, while Sue Scheinpflug from United Synergies was named Professional Business Woman of the Year.
Profile Magazine's Genine Howard won the Micro/Small Business Woman of the Year and Melissa Austin from dbsn Group was recognised as the Young Business Women of the Year.
A prominent event on the business calendar, the awards have become recognised as the most prestigious and highly sought after for Sunshine Coast business women, which was reflected in the number of nominations and submissions received this year.
"Given the diversity of women that made up the 2009 award finalists, their leadership qualities and potential future contribution to their industries, the selection process to single out one winner over the others was a huge challenge," said Sue.
"Many of these winners are 'silent achievers', humbled by their win. We look forward to working with them throughout the year to continue our vision which is to assist women to realise their ultimate business and personal potential and to encourage women to make a difference within the community."
The major sponsors for this year's awards included the Sunshine Coast Daily, The University of the Sunshine Coast Faculty of Business, Garland Waddington Solicitors, ANZ and Telstra Country Wide.
Graphics to the right:
Colleen Lucas, Kim Edwards, Gina Van Wezal
Kylie-Jane Limpus & Peter Murry
Uta Bender & Annette Sym
USC Faculty of Business - Young Business Woman
Melissa Austin; dbsn Group
Melissa has always wanted a career that was rewarding both personally and financially. She began her career at dbsn Group over six years ago as a clerical assistant whilst undertaking her formal studies. Equipped with a strong work ethic and values, Melissa has advanced through the ranks to an associate position through hard work, loyalty and dedication to achieving great outcomes for both her clients and dbsn Group. Melissa takes pride in proving age is no barrier to success and continually challenges herself in the pursuit of excellence. She truly enjoys being a young businesswoman within the Sunshine Coast community.
Smart Advice - Micro/Small Business Woman
Genine Howard; Coast Profile Magazine
Genine is often told by people that she is lucky; lucky to have lived in amazing places, lucky to have a wonderful husband, lucky to have a great career and lucky to now live on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Genine is however, a great believer in creating your own luck, and that is what she has done. Genine is the proud sole owner and managing editor of Profile Magazine and has created her own enviable lifestyle. From biologist to publisher, she is testament that you can create the career and lifestyle you want. She is one lucky girl indeed.
Garland Waddington - Professional Business Woman
Sue Scheinpflug; United Synergies
Sue's career journey has been rewarding and full of the unexpected. She never anticipated working in the not-for-profit sector. Sue has worked in the private and public sectors, yet it is the last 12 years where she has truly learnt what it means to make a difference to the lives of people. Sue is fortunate to have had the company and support of an amazing and talented group of people working with her. They believe in what they do, they learn from each other and they learn form the people they support. Sue can't imagine doing anything else.
Telstra Country Wide - Corporate Business Woman
Jodie Thompson; PJT Accountants and Business Advisors
Jodie always had an interest in business, so becoming an accountant was a natural step. She began her career as an accountant with a local firm, and studied her Bachelor of Business part time. Jodie has worked for large international companies overseas in England, Canada and Ireland, however returned to Australia and purchased her own Accountancy Firm when she was 27. Since that time, she has worked to change the direction of her business to focus on improving their client's business by achieving their business and lifestyle goals. For Jodie seeing the wonderful results her clients achieve is a very satisfying experience.
Sunshine Coast Daily -- Outstanding Business Woman
Kim Edwards; Sea English Academy
Since 1979, Kim has travelled and worked across 59 nations involved in Development and Education projects in the Middle East, Asia and Australia. She has travel extensively, championing the cause for positive social change and the empowerment of citizens through education. In 2003 Kim established Sea English Academy. Today, Sea English Academy is one of Australia's most awarded and fastest growing English language schools and exports to over 20 nations around the world.