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National Women's Enterprise Day 2016 – Midlands Region Event 19th Oct

National Women's Enterprise Day 2016 – Midlands Region Event

(Westmeath, Longford, Laois & Offaly)


Hear five inspiring journeys and work out your own route to success over lunch at the Wineport Lodge, Glasson.

Date:           Wednesday October 19th 2016

Venue:        Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Athlone

Time:           10:30am-2.30pm (Lunch included).

This event, hosted by the Local Enterprise Offices in the Midlands region, offers an exciting opportunity for Participants to learn key tips from the experiences and journeys of all the speakers to apply to the running of their own businesses and the serenic location on the shores of Lough Ree will afford attendees the opportunity to step back from the day to day of running their own businesses and network, learn and share in the experience of other business women from the region.

Theme:        The Road To Success.

This is event will showcase female entrepreneurs from a spectrum of business sectors and stages of their business journey from each County in the Midlands.

This ‘On the Couch’ style event will be in informal interview/chatshow format with MC, Paula Fitzsimons in conversation with all our entrepreneurs.

The event will hear from Sonya Lennon Sonya Lennon, co-founder with Brendan Courtney of fashion label Lennon Courtney, to her business journey and taking risks. Lennon Courtney was established in 2013, by Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney, co-hosts of RTE’s ‘Off The Rails’ television programme.

Four local entrepreneurs will be interviewed individually and all the speakers will form a panel for discussion to bring the event to conclusion:

Regional Ambassador:  Regina Bushell of Grovelands Childcare.

Grovelands Childcare’s founder Regina Bushell has many qualifications in childcare, child psychology and early education. Regina was a founding member of the Westmeath County Childcare Committee. She was actively involved in National Children’s Nursery Association which is now Early Childhood Ireland. She is an active member of Start Strong and is regularly campaigning for investment in childcare, supports for working parents and for the rights of children particularly in the area of supporting children with greater needs and additional needs in main-stream childcare.

Regina has been described as “unique in her field in childcare” for the standards she strives for both in Grovelands Childcare and through her voluntary work and commitment at national level. She is committed to ensuring that children in early preschool education are cared for in ideal settings at all times.

Regina Bushell, MD of Grovelands Childcare has been deeply involved in childcare for 35 years and is passionate about enabling children to reach their full potential.

After working in her mother’s Naíonra for two years, Regina began running a playgroup from her own home. Since then, along with her husband Ronan, she has gone on to develop the multi-award winning Grovelands Childcare which consists of five beautiful, child-centred facilities (three in Athlone, and one in both Mullingar and Tullamore), employs 80 childcare professionals and caters for 600 families across the midlands

Grovelands Childcare’s founder Regina Bushell has many qualifications in childcare, child psychology and early education. Regina was a founding member of the Westmeath County Childcare Committee. She was also actively involved in the National Children’s Nursery Association, now Early Childhood Ireland. She regularly campaigns for investment in childcare, supports for working parents and for the rights of children particularly in the area of supporting children with greater needs and additional needs in main-stream childcare. Most recently, along with her daughter Deirdre, who is marketing manager of Grovelands Childcare, Regina established Private Early Education Providers (PEEP), an organisation dedicated to raising the standard of childcare across the sector and establishing more involvement from those working in the sector with policy development.

Grovelands Childcare’s standards of excellence has been recognised many times over the years; outright winner in the Westmeath County Enterprise Board Business awards in 2004 “Centre of Excellence Award” for its centres in Athlone and Tullamore in 2005. The Mullingar centre opened in 2006 followed by Corran Riada, Athlone in 2008. By 2008 all five centres were awarded Centre of Excellence recognition – a unique achievement for all sites operated by a childcare provider.

More recently, the organisation has been recognised as ‘Best Multiple Crèche’ for the past three consecutive years at the national Maternity & Infant awards. No other childcare provider has achieved such success or been so consistently honoured by judges and parents. According to the judges Grovelands Childcare was recognised for being ‘an outstanding Crèche representing everything that is positive about childcare in Ireland’ and a childcare provider that ‘goes the extra mile and looks for ways to give every child a great start in life.’

Regina was named as Business Person of the Year at the Athlone Chamber of Commerce Awards 2016 earlier this year.

Other Guest Speakers:

Heidi Higgins -     http://heidihiggins.com/

Heidi Higgins graduated from NCAD in 2008. Just under one year later she proudly introduced her own label to the Irish market in May 2009. Testament to her success, Heidi was awarded The Irish Tatler Fashion Woman of the Year 2012. Heidi's flagship boutique is based in her hometown of Portlaoise with her studio a hive of activity above. 

The Heidi Higgins collection is available in Ireland's leading luxury department store Brown Thomas and a selection of exclusive boutiques nationwide.

Heidi presents a confident contemporary label that is sensitive to emerging trends - with canny detailing that gives a sage nod to the catwalk while remaining fearless in pursuit of its unique aesthetic.

The labels motto represents the “Heidi” look perfectly- “elegance with a twist”.

Alison Ritchie, Managing Director of Polar Ice Ltd.     http://polarice.ie/

Polar Ice Ltd. Is Ireland’s leading manufacturer of dry ice products since 1996. A serial entrepreneur, Alison established her second business Polar IceTech Ireland Ltd. in 2005, growing the business to become the market leader in Cryogenic Cleaning, and successfully selling the business earlier this year.

Alison, graduated from Dublin City University with a Business Degree (2002) and in pursuit of business excellence, trained and qualified as a Financial Account (CPA) in 2011 and most recently a certified Tax Advisor.

An ardent supporter of Women in Business, Alison acts as lead entrepreneur and mentors a number of Women led Start-ups, on two national programmes – ACORNS and the DCU Ryan Academy’s Female High Fliers.

Alison, who is originally from Laois, was awarded the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award for Women Led Business in Leinster 2015, and presented with special award from Offaly LEO in recognition of contribution to Female Entrepreneurship in the same year. Most recently Alison was a finalist in the ‘Account of the Year (Industry)’ in the prestigious Accountancy Awards 2016.

Orla Barry – Managing Director of Barry Express          www.barryexpress.com

Orla Barry, one of the founding members of Barry Express and is responsible for the day to day running of the business and is the company’s fleet manager. Orla holds an International Haulage Licence CPC. Orla’s knowledge of the business and the company’s customers has ensured that the company has established itself as market leader for multi drop haulage in its region

Barry Express was established in 1989, it is a family run business managed by Orla and her brother Gerard Barry. It started out with 1 van and now is operating with 14 vehicles ranging from articulated to rigid trucks. Barry Express is Longford-based but provides a nationwide collection and delivery service. It is conveniently located 1.5 miles north of Longford town, just off the N4.

Barry Express pride themselves in providing a high quality service with experienced drivers and an excellent company safety record. It also provides a warehousing and distribution service, they understand the importance of ensuring that your product is delivered safely, securely and on-time. They have 25 years experience in the transport business so you can leave your warehouse and distribution needs in their hands so a business can focus on its core business.

Running Order

 10:30–11:00             Registration & Information Networking

11:00–11:05             Welcome and Opening Remarks

11:05–11:50             On the Couch with Sonya Lennon

11:50–12:50             Interviews with Orla Barry, Heidi Higgins, Alison Ritchie & Regina Bushell

12:50– 13:20            Open Forum and panel discussion

13:30                        Networking Lunch