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Isle of Wight Venus Awards 2016

Finalists Announced

I am really pleased to announce that I have reached the final in the Isle of Wight Venus Awards category of Networker of the Year.

All the details are set out below from the Venus Awards press release: 

More than Tea for Two at this year’s Isle of Wight Venus Awards Finalists Announcement in association with Wightlink!

It was more than tea for two at Ventnor Winter Gardens on Friday 29th January at the Finalists Announcement of this year’s Isle of Wight Venus Awards in association with Wightlink.

The Isle of Wight Venus Awards 2016 in association with Wightlink and Regional Partner Mary Burgess of Mary Burgess Hypnotherapy celebrated with sponsors, Semi-Finalists and over 60 guests the announcement of this year’s Finalists at a delightful afternoon tea at Ventnor Winter Gardens on Friday 29th January 2016.

Competition has been fierce for the first Venus Awards on the island with 1122 nominations and applications received in one or more of the 14 categories – three of which are voted for by the general public.

The Awards on the Isle of Wight were launched in September 2015 and candidates have been whittled down to the Finalists stage through a combination of public and sponsored judging. Sponsors and candidates have attended a variety of events over five months to reach this point.

Aside from being Associate Sponsor for this year’s Awards Wightlink are also sponsor of one of the Awards most popular categories, Business Mother of the Year.

Pertemps Recruitment is this year’s sponsor of the Employer of the Year category and Debbie Bates, Branch Manager, said of their support of the Venus Awards,

“The philosophy behind the Venus Awards is something I feel really passionate about, providing women from all backgrounds the opportunity to be recognised for the Recruitment  hard work they do, in both their personal and professional lives. As the manager of Pertemps Recruitment and a mother of two children, I too realise the challenges which become part and parcel of everyday life. This is why I was so keen to be involved and become part of the Venus family.”

David Rye, Managing Director of Premier Ford said of their sponsorship of the Small Business of the Year category,

“I had previously heard of the success of the Venus Awards, and jumped at the chance to be involved on the island when presented with the opportunity. The fact that these awards recognise the contribution that a growing number of businesswomen make to our local economy should be encouraged so that we may all benefit from their success.”

This year’s Charity Sponsor is the Isle of Wight Youth Trust whose services for young people under 25 on the island include counselling, advice, and information.

The Venus journey will culminate in a glamorous Ceremony and Gala Dinner to be held at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday 18th March 2016.

The Finalists are:

 Isle of Wight Radio Customer Service Award

Susan Martin – Smart in Design

Rebecca Ann Blachford – Bebeccino

Michelle Newton – Four Seasons Cookery Academy


IFPL Entrepreneur of the Year

Victoria Coles – Wight Fit

Debs Murphy-Latham – VIP Cottages and VIP Solutions Ltd

Sam Buck – Arc Consulting


Beacon Magazine Home Based Business of the Year

Lindsay Mattinson – Mattinson Associates Ltd

Jane Summerfield – Jem Aesthetics

Claire Rees – Rhythm Time Isle of Wight

Premier Ford Small Business of the Year

Sue Paraskeva – Sue Paraskeva

Caroline Hurley – BeCalmed Wellbeing and Medi Spa

Sarah Greef – Isle of Wight Biltong


New Business of the Year

Charlotte King – Isle of Wight Flowers

Gail Middleton – Mrs Middleton’s Shop

Lily George – Lily’s Dance


Pertemps Employer of the Year

Mark Tutty – Top Mops Ltd

Stuart Nicol – Earl Mountbatten Hospice

Matt Kitchen – Southern Vectis


Wightlink Business Mother of the Year

Laura Holme – Utility Warehouse

Emma Theunissen – The Creation Station Isle of Wight

Claire Rees – Rhythm Time Isle of Wight


Isle of Wight Pearl Inspirational Woman of the Year

Claire Collins – Positive Difference

Dee Becker – Dee Becker Marketing Specialist & Professional Style Coach™

Kathryn Clarke – The Kathryn Clarke Foundation 


Isle of Wight County Press Influential Woman of the Year

Charlotte Corney – Isle of Wight Zoo

Vix Lowthian – The Green Party

Nikki Collinson – Nikki Collinson

Employee of the Year

Cindy Newnham – Lifeline Alarm Systems

Karen Furnell – Top Mops Ltd

Kitty Byrne – Isle of Wight NHS Trust


Lifetime Achievement Award

Jillie Wheeler BEM – Jillie Wheeler Fundraising

Eileen Monks OBE – Isle of Wight Youth Trust

Dianne Thompson DBE – The George Hotel


Networker of the Year

Julie Jones-Evans – Dragonfly

Alison Colley – Real Employment Law Advice

Lyn Blackledge –


Manager of the Year

Simon Guy- Premier Ford

Tracy Mikich – Seaview Hotel Bar and Restaurant

Lizzie Wade – Isle of Wight Pearl

Director of the Year

Fiona Grist – Ryde Arena

Claire Willis – Isle of Wight Radio & Beacon Media Ltd

Catherine Kidd – Specsavers


The Venus Awards were set up in Dorset in 2009 by Tara Howard to recognise the hard work, effort and skill it takes women to successfully juggle business with other commitments. The Awards have since been expanded to Southampton, Brighton, Devon, Oxford, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Isle of Wight and Bristol. Distributed on behalf of Venus Awards –

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