Lancaster ladies celebrate EVA prizes

Two Lancaster businesswomen are celebrating after scooping top prizes at the EVA award ceremony.

Annette Ritson, of Net Development, and Gemma Gardner, of Direct Transitioning Help, are now the proud owners of a 2017 Enterprise Vision Award (EVA).

The duo fought off fierce competition to scoop the Internet Industry and Inspirational Woman categories respectively.

Coral Horn, organiser of the awards and founder of networking group, Pink Link Ladies, said: “What a superb event the EVAs turned out to be.

“After learning of the news that the Empress Ballroom would be unavailable, we had to have a major turnaround to ensure the Pavilion was suitable and it certainly was.

“Our seventh year brought about the biggest turnout and it is safe to say the awards surpassed themselves once again.

“Entries were at an all-time high and we had fantastic, high calibre entries from across the North West. I want to personally congratulate each of the ladies and already, plans are underway for 2018.”

More than 650 people turned out in force to celebrate another EVA ceremony which took place in the Pavilion at Blackpool Winter Gardens where 16 awards were presented.

Guests enjoyed a three-course meal provided by Rowley’s and were left in the more than capable hands of MC Rebecca Jane, returning for her second consecutive year as MC.

Rebecca, owner of a successful all-female private investigation company, which was set up in 2009 after she suspected her now ex-husband was having an affair, also has a TV drama scheduled for 2017 based on her story.

“After last year’s awards, I didn’t think the EVAs could get any better, but it certainly did,” she said.

“I was over the moon to return as MC for a second year. I’m a huge supporter of women in business and each lady thoroughly deserved their award.

“It was excellent to see so many people supporting the awards, the atmosphere was electric and it was a pleasure to be involved in.”

The awards were founded in 2011. For the fifth year running NatWest has supported the EVAs as the headline sponsor.

Heather Waters, enterprise manager at NatWest, added: “The EVAs is a fantastic event celebrating the many successes of female entrepreneurs from across the North West and we are proud to support the awards for the fifth year in a row.

“The EVAs highlights the dedication that each woman has for their business and we believe it’s important to celebrate all of these achievements as part of our role within the local ecosystem. Whether you were a finalist or a winner, each woman should be proud of themselves for being involved in the EVA process.”

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