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Most Influential Woman in Marketing Solutions & Best Design and Digital Agency 2017 - Ontario We profile the firm and Founding Partner Farzana Abdulhusein to find out more and explore the secrets behind the firm’s success.

Photo Credit: Philip Castleton Photography Inc.














Welcome to the 2017 Influential Businesswoman Awards Across the globe, within a vast amount of sectors, women continue to shatter glass ceilings and establish themselves as being a significant part of the business world. From healthcare & pharmaceuticals to aerospace & defence, even banking to media, within these industries are the powerful women who are striving daily towards great success. Therefore, the 2017 Influential Businesswoman Awards honour the remarkable achievements made by the strong women from a diverse range of industries. These outstanding individuals have been breaking down barriers with their hard work, devotion and innovative thinking, which is why we believe they deserve recognition.

Contents 4. Creative Faze Inc. Most Influential Woman in Marketing Solutions & Best Design and Digital Agency 2017 - Ontario

16. EAL Consult Most Influential Woman in Sustainability & Energy Compliance - London 17. Koubou Interiors Best Woman-Run Interior Architecture Company - UK

7. Peek Architecture & Design Best Woman-Run Architecture Firm - UK & Award for Excellence in Interior Design

17. Stage Systems Ltd Best Modular Stage Systems Provider - UK & AI Award for Customer Service Excellence - Leicestershire

8. Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Best Female Cardiologist 2017 - UK

18. LEVEL5 Strategy Group Most Influential Woman in Ethnic Brand Strategy - Canada

9. Chemetall US Inc. Radiation Safety Officer of the Year 2017 & Best Chemical Development Company 2017 - North America

19. Ingram Micro Best IT Marketing Director 2017 - UK & Technology Products Wholesaler of the Year 2017

10. Mojo Marketing Best Woman-Run SME Marketing Specialists 2017 - Ireland 10. London Borough of Lewisham Best Crime Reduction Specialist 2017 - UK 11. Sir Fred Ltd Communications Executive of the Year & Best International Advertising & PR Agency 2017 - London 12. Acuregen Best Woman-Owned Acupuncture Training Company & Most Influential Woman in Alternative Healthcare 2017 - UK 12. Plum Communications & P R Public Relations Business Woman of the Year & Public Relations Business Woman of the Year - South West England

20. Anita Rosato Interior Design Best Woman-Owned Interior Design Firm - Europe & Most Influential Woman in Interior Design 2017 - UK 22. Neuro-Link HR CEO of the Year 2017 - UK 23. Eight Wire Best Woman-Run Creative Marketing Agency - UK 24. Veteran Writing Services, LLC Best Woman-Run Professional Writing Consultancy - Prince George’s County 25. Work Wales Ltd Best Woman-Run Recruitment Agency 2017 - South Wales

13. Mundipharma Pte

28. AIG & P&C Asia Pacific

Most Inspirational HR Leader - Singapore

Most Influential Woman in Insurance Law - Tokyo

13. Sovenco

30. 55FIFTY7

Best Woman-Led Management Consultancy - Mountain States & Most Influential Woman in Strategic Business Planning - Colorado

Best Woman-Owned Jewellery Designer & Most Inspirational Woman in Jewellery Design - UAE

14. My Business Consulting DMCC

31. Construction Project Safety Ltd (CPS)

Most Influential Woman in Management Consulting - UAE

Most Influential Woman in Construction H&S - UK

15. FCEM

31. Stevens Exhibits & Displays, Inc.

Most Influential Businesswoman 2017 - Taiwan

Most Innovative Businesswoman in Trade Show Exhibits Illinois

15. The Oystercatchers Best Marketing Consultancy Engagement Director - UK & Most Renowned Marketing Consultancy

32. Focus7 International Ltd Business Growth Advisory Specialist of the Year 2017


Most Influential Woman in Marketing Solutions & Best Design and Digital Agency 2017 - Ontario Company: Creative Faze Inc. Contact: Farzana Abdulhusein Contact Email: Contact Number: 1-844-WOW-FAZE (969-3293) Web Address:

Creative Faze Inc. Creative Faze is a design and digital agency that produces online and offline solutions in design, marketing, architecture, business and information technology. No matter what the project, Creative Faze focuses on the value it provides, the potential it has for revenue generation and its long-term evolution within the business. We profile the firm and Founding Partner Farzana Abdulhusein to find out more and explore the secrets behind the firm’s success. arzana launched Creative Faze in 2007. Believing strongly that a company is only as good as its people, she was on a mission to find the best talent. It wasn’t long before she realized that the most effective way to do that was to develop what she likes to call a virtual distributed business model. In other words, she acquires top talent no matter where it is. There are no boundaries. The end result is a global team that brings international intelligence to the work Creative Faze does. They’re familiar with global trends and the nuances of local markets – whether that market is located in Kensington or the Souk.


Like so many other entrepreneurs, Farzana left a high-paying corporate career to start Creative Faze. “Deep down, I know I’ve always had a natural business sense. You either have it or you don’t, and quite frankly, I don’t think you can be a successful entrepreneur without it,” says Farzana.

“...Farzana built strong relationships with several key players and stakeholders in the industry – many of whom have become clients of Creative Faze. She was also fortunate enough to have found several mentors and role models, who she is still in contact with to this day.” With both a grandfather and a father who owned several companies throughout the course of their careers, it’s possible that entrepreneurship was always part of her DNA. But before she made her own business dreams come true, she was employed by Brookfield Financial, a global investment bank, as a Vice President where she developed and delivered marketing strategies for both online and offline media platforms. In the early

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stages of Creative Faze, she worked diligently on evenings and weekends to bring her plan to fruition. She promised herself she would wait until she had so many clients and so much work that she could not possibly keep up her full time job on top of it all. That is exactly what happened. Commenting on this success Farzana states, “I’m a big believer that every experience in our lives influences those that come after. Some have a more significant impact than others. For me, my lifelong commitment to volunteerism has taught me important skills, qualities and values that shape who I am today. And my experience at Brookfield Financial has contributed heavily to the success of my business and to the kind of professional I have become. It was at Brookfield where I learned how to grow a company, manage staff, deal with the ebbs and flows of business, and implement large-scale, revenue generating campaigns catered to specific international markets.” Throughout the course of her time at Brookfield, Farzana built strong relationships with several key players and stakeholders in the industry – many of whom have become clients of Creative Faze. She was also fortunate enough to have found several mentors and role models, who she is still in contact with to this day. “If I take a moment to reflect on my work experience as a woman in the corporate world, I can tell you that I had to work twice as hard as so many others – not necessarily only because I was a woman but also because I was young and didn’t have a single connection to get me going. There’s no question about the fact that within the investment banking and marketing arenas, most of my counterparts have been and still are men. But I am lucky to have always been in an environment where the ideas, hard work and results I have produced have been rewarded. Even though my career with Brookfield Financial progressed quickly and I was appointed Vice President at the age of 30 within just 6 years,

my journey wasn’t easy. I was a very young female in a male dominated industry. I felt a sense of pressure to prove myself constantly in order to demonstrate that I did, in fact, belong. Early on, my ideas were often ignored. I had to make myself one of the smartest and most capable people in the boardroom until months and years down the road, the company recognized my perceptiveness and foresight, and began to rely on me to bring solid insights,” Farzana explains. As the President, CEO and Founder of Creative Faze, Farzana dabbles in every aspect of the business, be it a complex project such as designing an automation process for a website, or a rudimentary task like answering the phone. While she makes her mark across the company, she also knows when to entrust the work to one of her experts. “Make no mistake about it, without my talented, hardworking and dedicated team, Creative

Faze wouldn’t even be a fraction of what it is today,” Farzana says emphatically. To women at the start of their careers or who are looking to take their careers to the next level, Farzana offers her advice: “You don’t always have to follow the rules. Even though rules are there for good reason, sometimes it’s important to break free. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re blindly adhering to preconceived notions of what is “the right way” to do something. People don’t always welcome change, but if change is what is needed to succeed, you need to be bold enough to take that step. “Surround yourself by people smarter than you. It’s common for our insecurities to get the better of us when we see exceedingly talented people in our place of work. Will he take my job? Will she get

promoted instead of me? Will I be left in the dust on this team? Challenge yourself to think on the opposite side of the spectrum. Surround yourself with experts who are more knowledgeable, more driven, more skilled…. Why? Because you can

“...without my talented, hardworking and dedicated team, Creative Faze wouldn’t even be a fraction of what it is today.”

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easily train them, you can fully trust them to do the work, and listen, if you want to move up, you need someone to take over your job – so it better be someone incredible.”

“ matter the type of service or size of project. We’re an agency that truly cares for the wellbeing and success of our clients.”

With passion and vigour, Farzana speaks candidly about Creative Faze, “The work we do inspires others every day. Letting our actions speak for themselves, we concentrate on building lasting relationships. We’re constantly raising the bar by going above and beyond at every step of the process – no matter the type of service or size of project. We’re an agency that truly cares for the wellbeing and success of our clients. “Overall, I feel Creative Faze’s greatest professional achievement is yet to come. I am proud to say that we are a boutique shop comprised of handpicked, highly talented and diverse individuals who are continually striving to improve and provide added value to our clients. The company has accomplished a lot since our inception and for this I’m very grateful but I believe there’s much more in store for Creative Faze. We have only just scratched the surface of what our potential makes possible.” When you work with Creative Faze, you benefit from an interconnected approach. One service or several – our knowledge and expertise crosses platforms to provide true value. • Strategic Consultancy

• Digital Marketing

• Design • Development

• Video Marketing • Real Estate Services

Photo Credit: Philip Castleton Photography Inc. 6 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017


Best Woman-Run Architecture Firm - UK & Award for Excellence in Interior Design Company: PEEK Architecture & Design Ltd Contact: Georgina Turvey Contact Email: georgina@ Address: Noland House, 12-13 Poland Street, Soho, London, W1F 8QB, UK Phone: 020 7734 3094 Website:

PEEK Architecture & Design PEEK Architecture + Design is a vibrant, design focused, architecture and interior design practice, founded by chartered Architect and Bartlett graduate, Georgina Turvey. We invited Georgina to share the secrets behind her success.


stablished in 2006, PEEK has developed predominantly through referrals, many who are now long-term clients.

Based in Central London, the firm maintains a varied client base, from families and homeowners to developers. Projects include homes, developments and commercial properties, ranging from large city houses and apartments, to extensions, basements, roof conversions, refurbishments and interiors. Clear procedures and effective communication has proved fundamental in achieving successful schemes. PEEK’s role is to take a project through initial sketches and permissions, to costing, construction detailing and interior fit out. Georgina, who founded the practice, discusses her own personal experience and how she draws on this when working on projects for her valued clients. “I was educated at the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, and my transformative time there under the guidance of my tutors, Paul Monaghan and Simon Allford (from the celebrated firm AHMM) can probably be compared to a kind of amazing, architectural bootcamp. “During my years in education, I continued to work throughout, 1 or 2 days a week. The extra contacts and experience I gained in this time, were invaluable for setting out on my own very early on, and after completing my chartership, I started my own firm soon after. I have not looked back since, and in the last 10 years have had the privilege of working with a loyal client base who have entrusted me with some great projects. Our practise executes everything from planning and feasibility, detailed construction design, interior design and bespoke furniture, mostly in prime London locations, although in the last couple of years we have been following our clients as they make the big move out of the city, so are working on some fantastic country residences now too. Construction is a male dominated industry, and occasionally at initial meetings I get a kind of hesitation from other consultants and contractors, especially when I am positioned as the lead consultant on some of our larger jobs. Construction is a collaborative process, so I overcome any preconceptions by being open and positive, and in no time at all mutual respect is established in all directions.

“Owing to my architectural background, my interior design style is driven by the function and form of a space and how light, circulation and sight lines are influenced. When this is established, I apply fresh colour palettes, natural materials and textures, with the aim of retaining a common thread throughout a scheme. My projects tend to have industrial elements mixed with classic features. Period properties in London form the basis for the majority of our work, and it is important to me to stay true to the original architecture.” Having operated in the market for so many years, Georgina has a strong insight into the latest trends in interior design which she is happy to share with us. “Within the wider interior design disciplines, interiors are getting less whimsical or ‘themed’, and are striving to keep things integrated and true to the architecture they inhabit. This means that hopefully they will remain installed for many years. It breaks my heart when you see skips throughout London, full of brand new kitchens and slabs of marble. “As such, most of the sources I draw upon, have a hint of the nostalgic about them. Paulo Mendes Da Rocha and his use of ceramics, concrete and glazing is incredible. Richard Neutra, my all time favourite, has always inspired me with his classic 40’s and 50’s houses, like the Kaufman House, and his use of clean lines and natural materials. I strive to create timeless and classic compositions like these.” Looking to the future, Georgina foresees many great developments for PEEK Architecture + Design as the company looks to build upon its current success and grow even further over the months and years to come. “Currently we are developing some bespoke furniture pieces, light fittings and designs for ironmongery. When carrying out extensive research we frequently find that certain products simply do not exist, and as such it would be great to create a line of products which reflect our practise’s developing style and meet the ever evolving needs of our clients.”

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Best Female Cardiologist 2017 - UK Company: Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Contact: Sylvia Siedlecka Contact Email: Address: Great Western Road, Gloucester, GL1 3NN, UK Phone: 0300 422 2222

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Dr. Sylvia Siedlecka is among a team of eight Consultant Cardiologists who each lead a team of specialist doctors and nurses at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We profile her to explore the vital work she undertakes. loucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest hospital trusts in the country and provides high quality acute elective and specialist care for a population of more than 850,000 people.


The Trust was formed in 2002 with the merger of Gloucestershire Royal and East Gloucestershire NHS Trusts and runs both Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals. Its doctors and nurses also see patients at clinics in all of the smaller hospitals across the county. Each of the trust’s own hospitals are district general hospitals with a great tradition of providing high quality hospital services; some specialist departments are concentrated at either Cheltenham General or Gloucestershire Royal hospitals, so that the trust can make the best use of the expertise and specialist equipment needed. To ensure that patients receive the very highest standards of support, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust employs approximately 7,700 staff, and its success depends on the commitment and dedication of these committed employees. Many of its staff are world leaders in the fields of

“Each of the trust’s own hospitals are district general hospitals with a great tradition of providing high quality hospital services” healthcare, teaching and research and we aim to recruit and retain the best staff possible.

Among this dedicated and professional workforce is Dr. Sylvia Siedlecka. Drawing on a varied career in cardiology, Sylvia treats a variety of conditions including ischaemic heart disease, acute St elevation MI, acute coronary syndromes, stable angina, hypertension, cardiac failure, valvular heart disease, atrial fibrillation, endocarditis, general outpatient cardiology, acute inpatient management 8 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017

of cardiac emergencies, ischaemia, cardiogenic shock, tamponade, arrhythmias as well as general medical co-morbidities. Throughout her career she has performed many operations, including percutaneous intervention with balloon angioplasty and stenting, including pressure wire (FFR) and intravenous ultrasound (IVUS) assessment and rotablation, as well as cardiac catheterisation: diagnostic angiography, right and left heart including cardiac output and shunt measurement. She has also undertaken pericardiac drainage, cardiac biopsy and permanent pacing. Overall, as one of the first foundation trusts, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust prides itself on its engagement with its members and have an active and involved Council of Governors helping it be more responsive to the needs and wishes of the local community. Moving forward Sylvia and her colleagues will be working together to ensure that patients receive the support and treatment they need and to maintain and better the already exceptional standard of care for which the trust has come to be renowned


Radiation Safety Officer of the Year 2017 & Best Chemical Development Company 2017 - North America Company: Chemetall US Inc. Contact: Cynthia G. Gordon Contact Email: Address: 675 Central Avenue, New Providence, New Jersey, 7974, USA Phone: 001908 508 2197

Chemetall Chemetall is the Surface Treatment global business unit of BASF’s Coatings division and a leading supplier of applied surface treatments and services for metal, plastic and glass substrates. We caught up with Cynthia G. Gordon to learn more about the firm and her role in its success. hemetall develops and manufactures customized technologies and system solutions for surface treatment. The products protect surfaces from corrosion, facilitate forming and machining, allow surfaces to be optimally prepared for the painting process and ensure proper coating adhesion. These specialty chemicals are used in a wide range of industries and end-markets, such as automotive, aerospace, aluminum finishing, and metal forming. Cynthia outlines her role in the firm and how she draws on her past experience to deliver excellence at all times.


“Personally, I work at the North America regional office of Chemetall in New Providence, NJ. My responsibilities as part of the Safety, Health and Environmental department include serving as corporate Radiation Safety Officer for North America in addition to issuing corporate safety policies and procedures, conducting safety audits, ensuring compliance with OSHA and EPA regulations, writing and conducting safety training courses such as Bloodborne Pathogens, Lock-out/Tag-out, radiation safety, safety policy and procedure training. My clients are the North American salesforce, laboratory employees, and Chemetall customers. “I have been with Chemetall 10 years working in the corporate safety office. Over my 40 year career I have also worked in the petroleum industry at Exxon Corporation, the pulp and paper industry at Union Camp Corporation, the pharmaceutical industry at Merial, and Radiation Science, Inc. before joining Chemetall. I was co-founder of the emergency rescue squad at the Exxon Baton Rouge refinery. The team has been the recipient of international world titles in rescue. Areas of focus included industrial hygiene as well as an assignment in quality assurance releasing pharmaceuticals for human consumption. Each of my experiences contributed to gained knowledge and expertise enabling me to handle a breadth of safety and health topics.” Throughout her career Cynthia has experienced difficulties as a woman working to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She explains how she has overcome these and what needs to be done to allow more women to do the same. “In the earlier years, I experienced challenges in the workplace and addressed each through effective

leadership. Gender equality and maternity rights were the most significant. Industry was a male dominated environment and although significant progress has been made, there is room for improvement. Being one of the first women in an industrial setting I quickly learned that I needed to overcome stereotypes and work twice as hard to prove myself. Safety shoes in addition to other PPE were not available in women’s sizes often making it difficult to complete a task. At one time it took 5 pairs of socks to keep them on my feet. To meet these challenges I had to remain true to my principles and work ethic, and collaborate with other women to change the laws and work environment. While there have been great strides made in opportunities for women in corporate America there still remains the issue of compensation equality as stated in the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The issues facing women today in the workplace should be of concern to everyone. Men and women alike should take an active part in creating a diverse workforce for greater creative and inclusive perspectives. “It has been my passion to be a contributor within my community and to that end I have been actively involved with local school districts promoting math and science education. I served as a fellow of the National Science Resource Center located at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. working with elementary school teachers promoting elementary science education. I feel corporate America needs to be more actively involved in our public education so that the US can be globally competitive and a leader in scientific research. In addition, we need to encourage young ladies to pursue careers in the math and science fields. The corporate world through stronger education and diverse thinking can improve employment opportunities and create a platform of success for women in the workplace.” Looking ahead, both Cynthia and her team at Chemetall have an exciting time ahead, as she is proud to conclude. “In looking to the future my main goal will remain the same: the safety and welfare of every employee. As a leader in the company I feel a responsibility to provide an environment that promotes safe work practices and procedures. If we as a company expect to be a leader in the industry we must invest and protect our most valuable resources: our employees.”

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Company: Mojo Marketing Contact: Clodagh O’Connell Contact Email: Address: 12 Lower Pembroke Street, Dublin 2 Contact Number: +353 86 8209955 Website:

Company: London Borough of Lewisham Contact: Geeta Subramaniam Contact Email: Address: Town Hall, Catford, London, SE6 4RU, UK Phone: 020 8314 6000

Best Woman-Run SME Marketing Specialists 2017 - Ireland

Best Crime Reduction Specialist 2017 - UK

Mojo Marketing

London Borough of Lewisham

Mojo Marketing is a marketing agency offering a broad spectrum of marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses. We spoke to Founder Clodagh O’Connell to learn more about the business and the range of services it offers.

Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney draws on vast experience working in the crime reduction arena and for the London Borough of Lewisham to support the reduction of crime in the area. We invited her to share the secrets behind her success.

Founded in 2014, Mojo Marketing provides a “virtual marketing department”, and one of the companys most popular offerings is an “insourcing” service, whereby it works on-site in a client’s premises for an agreed number of hours per month. These clients operate across a wide range of industries, from the arts to distribution, and from online retail to facilities management. Clodagh draws on her vast expertise in the corporate landscape to support her clients, as she explains.

Having worked previously in various London local authorities, in roles in the youth and criminal justice field, throughout her career Geeta has worked to develop her experience and skills in a range of areas including senior management, leadership, research and problem solving. Geeta draws on this vast experience and shares these.

“I founded Mojo having previously worked as marketing director in a successful Irish travel company and as head of retail at Nokia Ireland. Most of my working career was spent in the mobile industry, both in sales and distribution and in marketing and brand management which provided me with a broad range of experiences in a variety of fields. This solid business training helps me in dealing with a diverse range of clients, and of course also gave me confidence in taking the leap to go it alone. My role within Mojo is multifaceted, from strategy and business development to key account management and business administration. I also work with a

network of trusted external partners who join me on projects which require specific skills such as graphic design and web development.” Moving forward, growth is the core focus for Clodagh as she seeks to build upon her current success. “Over the past three years, our turnover has increased steadily year on year, and as such I would like to continue on this track, and to grow my team to allow me to scale the business. To achieve this, a key focus will be growing our team with the right people. I am looking to surround myself with like-minded team members, and perhaps even partners, who are up for taking on the challenges of growing a small business.”

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“For the past 9 years I have worked at Lewisham Council as the Head of Crime Reduction and Supporting People. This includes youth justice, crime reduction, regulatory services, Public health and supported accommodation commissioning, and Environmental protection. I chair a number of London wide Boards and work collaboratively with colleagues across London in helping to shape and develop the Criminal Justice agenda. I am committed to improving life choices and chances for young people, disadvantaged groups and vulnerable people and communities. In March 2015, I was given the Borough Commander Commendation for leadership in community safety services in Lewisham. “I recognise the important role I play as a young, female senior leader in the organisation. I have always been supported

in my work and given the trust to test, take calculated risks, and innovate. I pride myself in my lifelong learning and continuously reshaping my thinking through extensive reading and qualifications. “My integrative thinking has enabled me to create an environment for creativity for myself and others with whom I work with.” Looking ahead, Geeta is keen to build upon the success she and her teams have already achieved whilst recognising “local government has been through challenging times. I believe it is important that we create a positive and vibrant environment in which to work, be creative and continue to deliver high quality services to support our communities.” There are five pieces of advice I would share: 1. Your time is crucial; spending time with others, think about how you think– these all contribute to a reflective and genuinely collaborative organisation. 2. Have a genuine interest in the whole business, not just your area. Ask as many questions to increase your understanding and develop relationships 3. Try to create an environment which allows risk taking, innovation, space to make mistakes without blame. 4. Always respect history and experience. Balance this with an injection of new. Keeps an organisation grounded, refreshed and dynamic. 5. Finally, think of 6 impossible things before breakfast, they may be possible!


Communications Executive of the Year & Best International Advertising & PR Agency 2017 - London Company: Sir Fred Contact: Francesca Rossi, Founder Contact Email: Addresss: Hill Street, Mayfair,· London, W1J 2JW, United Kingdom Web Address:

Sir Fred Sir Fred is a world class International Communication, Advertising and PR company based in London and operating worldwide. We spoke to Francesca Rossi, Founder, to find out more.

eing the Founder of the firm, I am involved in lots of aspects, such as writing a business strategy, working closely with the creative department, meeting clients and dealing with them at senior level, organizing what is needed for that particular project, and so forth. We handle everything inhouse. I am lucky to work with a great international in-house staff and external freelancers. The workload is heavy; sometimes we have to deliver a luxury brochure with photos and text, printed within 18/20 days; other times we have a shooting day on a Monday, and by Friday the video and photos are retouched, approved and ready to go on air. Despite this we work diligently to ensure clients receive the support and service they need.


“Before setting up Sir Fred, I was Group Account Director in Switzerland, and my main clients were Hedge Funds firms and Financial Institutions, Luxury goods and services, sports championships. I still have some of them as clients; they followed me when I started my own business. I moved to London because my dream was to work for a top 5 advertising company, and when I became European Account Manager there, I realized that it was not my dream anymore. After a transition in Switzerland, I established my business, and today I cannot imagine my future without it.” Moving forward, Francesca foresees a great deal of change in her market, and is determined to remain at the forefront of the latest market innovation.

“Being proactive today could make the difference for the imminent future. Think of Blockbuster/Netflix.” Established in 2012, Francesca drew on 9 years of experience gained in international roles to create Sir Fred because she wanted to found the best agency a client could work with. Francesca outlines the firm’s current offering and how she draws on her experience to offer the very highest standards of service to her clients.

“Looking ahead, in the next decade lots of jobs we know today will not exist anymore. The struggle that the retail industry is facing this year is the tip of the iceberg of what will happen soon. Being proactive today could make the difference for the imminent future. Think of Blockbuster/Netflix.”

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Company: Acuregen Contact: Amanda Shayle Contact Email: Address: 131 East End Road, London, N2 0SZ, UK Phone: 07778 267778 Website:

Best Woman-Owned Acupuncture Training Company & Most Influential Woman in Alternative Healthcare 2017 - UK

Acuregen Founded by Amanda Shayle over a decade ago, Acuregen is a training organisation and innovation-led product house, including professional materials and natural skincare ranges, with expertise in the field of cosmetic acupuncture and related treatments. We invited her to talk us through the firm and the services it offers. Acuregen provides a wide range of training services which are aimed at professional acupuncturists and doctors worldwide. Since inception the firm has now grown into a formal education provider in the USA. Amanda discusses her passion for her market and how she draws on her personal experience to create solutions which support the market as a whole. “As founder of the company my passion is to develop treatments, both for beauty and dermatology, and share these skills with my professional peer group of acupuncturists. I, of course, love giving treatments and am now considered a master in my work. I trained in early 2000 as an acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner so that I also dispense herbal formulas, my work ranges across all facets of treatment. Women’s health, fertility issues and my son’s skin problems as a child led me to focus on this area for my emerging company. “Blending the latest technology with traditional techniques is key to my approach. I have built into the training an uncompromising

level of attention to regulation and safe practice. This, as the result of over a decade of involvement in governance of acupuncture. “In order to address the issue of my competitors mimicking my firm’s services, I am now I am now focussed on expanding internationally with an even more effective style of treatments and feedback from my graduates confirms this.” Looking ahead, Amanda is excited for the future as she outlines the various developments which will continue to drive her firm to success. “In order to address the issue of my competitors mimicking my firm’s services, I am now adding more focus to rolling out a super effective mode of treatments, more so recently with feedbacks from my graduates. My dream is to have centres of excellence in major cities worldwide. It taken over a decade for my current achievements. We are getting there but it takes lots of careful planning, hard work and passion. I have an amazing new group of colleagues who have become friends, and we are all excited to continue moving the business forward over the coming months and years.”

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Company: Plum Communications & PR Ltd. Contact: Karen Morledge, Contact Email: karen@ Address: Unit P, Purn House Farm, Purn Way, Bleadon, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS24 0QE, UK Phone: 01934 81 23 23 Web Address:

Public Relations Business Woman of the Year & Best Marketing & Communications Agency - South West England

Plum Communications & PR Plum Communications & PR delivers public relations and marketing services. We invited Karen Morledge to tell us more. Plum have a strong track record in the professional services; property and housing; and leisure and tourism sectors in the South West. The firm are particularly effective where their clients have limited or no marketing resources in house, as Karen is keen to highlight. “Here at Plum, clients love us because we always deliver high quality work, we do what we say we are going to do and because we’re great to work with. We come highly recommended, with over 85% of our business coming from recommendations and referrals and you will not find a more enthusiastic and effective team when it comes to working with a PR and marketing agency.” Karen started Plum following a career in communications and PR and draws on this experience to help her in her current role, as she explains. “Having started my career for a newspaper group in Cambridge when I was 19, I have had a wonderfully varied career which has spanned both the public and private sectors, many of my positions all having the common thread of marketing, communications or PR running through them. I graduated with an MSc in Management from

the University of the West of England in 2009 and then founded Plum the following year. “Since then, Plum has grown and become a top 20 PR agency in the South West having delivered some fantastically well received work for our clients, that include Sovereign Housing Group, North Somerset Council, Exelin (South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and Rookery Manor, amongst many others.” Plum marked the occasion of its seventh business birthday in May 2017 with a number of clients and colleagues at a celebratory vineyard tour and wine tasting event in Somerset (coinciding with Somerset Day), that included an organic wine made from plums. Looking ahead, Karen is keen to build upon this success and grow the company even further, as well as supporting women in her industry to achieve success similar to hers. “Moving forward, I have a ten-year personal and business plan for Plum and I’m optimistic about what the future holds for women working in PR, the PR industry as a whole, my future career and the continued development of my business. As the dictionary definition goes, I would say that the future is looking ‘plum’.”



Company: Mundipharma Pte Contact: Linda Downs Contact Email: linda.downs@ Address: 12 Marina View, #22-01 Asia Square Tower 2, 18961, Singapore Phone: 0065 6511 1165 Website:

Company: Sovenco Contact: Danielle Norris Contact Email: dnorris@ Address: 550 Wewatta St FL2, Denver, Colorado, 80202, USA Phone: 001720 588 0607 Website:

Most Inspirational HR Leader - Singapore

Mundipharma Pte Mundipharma, is an innovative Singapore based pharmaceutical firm that brings together a visionary approach and a pioneering spirit. We explore the firm and the contribution Group HR Director Linda Downs has made to its success so far.

Drawing on over 60 years’ experience, Mundipharma is dedicated to alleviating human suffering and improving quality of life for the human race.

Best Woman-Led Management Consultancy Mountain States Most Influential Woman in Strategic Business Planning - Colorado

Sovenco Sovenco is a Global Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to humanity and business. We profile the firm to find out more about this innovative woman owned business.

resource sectors to support the firm and offer her staff the very highest standards of support. Operating at Board level creating HR best practice across continents to enable business growth, she has proved herself a strong leader. She also holds a depth of expertise in: c-suite talent management; leadership development and succession planning; culture and organizational development.

As a network of independent associated companies, the group are able to put patients at the heart of everything we do. This includes a commitment to providing affordable treatment, and focussing on specialist therapy areas in which they can make the most difference, including analgesia, oncology, Looking ahead, Linda will be seeking ophthalmology, respiratory, specialty to continue to offer Mundipharma care, and consumer health. her support as it seeks to grow and work on the commercialisation of Linda acts as Global HR Director, innovative products to manage pain drawing on her expertise in and treat various conditions including the pharmaceutical, banking, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and manufacturing, technology and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Founded in 2011, Sovenco work to align social impact with business systems while increasing their clients’ business’ profitability and growth. With Sovenco, any company can innovate to the highest possible level, all while preparing for the purpose economy.

never been built before. Sovenco bridges the gap between for-profit and non-profit via its unique 8-Phase Purpose Framework and several service offerings.

Looking ahead, Sovenco will continue to innovate and work to act as socially responsibly as possible in The firm’s name stems from the fact order to support both its clients and that it is a SOcial VENture COmpany the wider corporate market. that helps build enterprises that have Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017 13


Most Influential Woman in Management Consulting - UAE Company: My Business Consulting DMCC Contact: Kamelia Allow Contact Email: Kamelia.allow@ Address: Indigo Tower, Cluster D, Dubai, UAE Phone: 97144327437

My Business Consulting DMCC Drawing on over 17 years’ experience, My Business Consulting DMCC are a leading corporate services provider based in the UAE. We invited award winning Founder Kamelia Allow to tell us more about the firm and the range of services it offers. stablished in 2009, My Business Consulting offer a wide range of services including company set up, amendment of company name, activity, bank account opening/closing, assistance in getting UAE resident visa, renewal of company license, accounts and bookkeeping and company liquidations. The firm was created by Kamelia in order to leverage her vast corporate experience, as she explains.


“Personally I moved from Bulgaria to the UAE in 1999, and worked in accounts and finance for nine years in a variety of different business spheres. In 2009 I started My Business Consulting with my own funds and only two employees, an accountant and a consultant, as well as myself “Today my company employs over 40 people from over 10 different nationalities. We have managed to buy the office which we rented from 2009, and attached one more next door. I am still working in the company as full time manager and have dedicated my time on developing the business. This revolves around technology, and as such we have a new web site, a massive social media campaign and new software which we are developing from scratch specifically for our business. In addition, we are growing geographically, expanding with a new office in Sofia to support clients from my home country.”

“No matter where you come from or what gender you are, the UAE offers you the opportunity to succeed...” The firm works with a wide range of clients from over 83 nationalities, all of whom are seeking to move into the UAE due to the many opportunities the region offers, which Kamelia is keen to highlight.

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“It is my belief that the UAE is the best place to invest due to lacking of tax on income and zero corporate tax. No matter where you come from or what gender you are, the UAE offers you the opportunity to succeed, as evidenced by my phenomenal achievements.” Looking ahead, Kamelia believes that her firm’s recent investment in new software and technology will provide it with great opportunities to grow and better support its clients, as she proudly concludes. “Moving forward, this year will be dedicated on customer service. Surveys, communications, and the finalization of process and procedures will ensure that we are delivering our service to a higher standard, making it easier, faster and more convenient for our clients. We also have the Project management system fully made by us, and we have also developed new finance software, completely attached with the CRM part. This year we will work out on developing the option of creating user and password of the client, so that any of our clients can have access to a corporate pack of documents, employee documents, statements, audit copies, in one click from anywhere in the world. “As the only firm in our industry who are investing significantly in CRM which benefit not only our clients and our partners, but our employees as well, we foresee many great opportunities over the coming months and years.”



Company: FCEM Contact: Lu Chin Mei Contact Email: Phone: 02 2395 9376 Address: 11F, No. 157-1, Sec. 1, Xin-Sheng S. Road, Taipei City 10657, Taiwan FCEM website: Brand website:

Company: The Oystercatchers Contact: Victoria Sinclair Contact Email: Address: 79 Wells Street, London, W1T 3QN, UK Phone: 0207 970 4785

Most Influential Businesswoman 2017 - Taiwan

The Oystercatchers

FCEM Lu Chin Mei is World Vice President of FCEM, as well as being President of Taimay Investment Co., Ltd. We invited her to tell us, in her own words, how these two roles have helped her to succeed in the corporate landscape. Drawing on her vast experience in the market, Lu Chin Mei supports a number of firms to ensure that they operate efficiently and effectively. She discusses her work in more detail and outlines how she draws on her past experience.

Oystercatchers are experts in accelerating marketing performance, providing a wide range of specialist consulting services to deliver the optimum model for marketing excellence. We profile the firm and explore how Client Engagement Director Victoria Sinclair has helped to drive the company to the success it enjoys today. Founded in 2007, Oystercatchers provides a wide range of specialist consulting services to meet the varied needs of its clients.

“As World Vice President of FCEM, my main responsibilities include strengthening the visibility of women entrepreneurs of FCEM in Asia, promotion of solidarity, friendship, and cultural understanding among members and bringing together women who share common desire of developing their business and their skills.

Taiwan. Now its business has been expanded to five major provinces in China mainland. From entry level through Planning Manager, Business Strategy Manager, Data “Additionally, as President of Analysis Manager, Administration Taimay Investment Co., Ltd., and Human Resources Manager, I mainly support local brands my responsibilities covered all developing both domestically and the functions. I got retired from internationally. COSENE is a new the company as Executive Board brand in which I have been investing Member after working with it for over recent years. Current products more than 25 years.” include facial cleansing soaps with no unnecessary chemicals, Looking ahead, Lu Chin Mei’s future or additives. COSENE has been focus will be on growing her firms created to satisfy consumer’s and supporting them as they look to demand for ‘natural’ products. build upon their current success. “Before my current role, I used to work with Mitsubishi Motors, which was founded in 1975 and now the biggest direct car sales company with more than 2500 employees in

Best Marketing Consultancy Engagement Director – UK & Most Renowned Marketing Consultancy

“In the future, I would like to continue to focus on FCEM’s presence in Asia and supporting Taiwan brands’ development in the international market.”

Brands have historically adopted a number of different approaches to the agency model: for example, the ‘Traditional Model’, in which separate agency relationships are managed individually; or the ‘Lead Model’, where one agency takes the strategic and creative lead. CMOs are now revisiting and, where needed, reconfiguring the agency model so that it is fit for the ‘digital age’. To support clients through these developments in the market, Oystercatchers have in-depth experience of working with both major global companies and domestic businesses. The firm specialise in issues such as roster reorganisation, business unit collaboration, marketing department structure, and development of the tools, skills, and capabilities required to deliver against strategic marketing objectives. Victoria Sinclair is Oystercatchers’ Client Engagement Director. She

leads the direction our Senior Marketing forum, the Oystercatchers Club and our marketing activity along with new business. Since day one Victoria has been supporting the Oystercatchers, and as such she has been through the ranks in positions including, Head of Project Management and Marketing Communications Manager. Previously, Victoria worked alongside Peter Cowie at FITCHLive in New Business and Marketing. She also lived in Mexico City where she organised various branded events such as auto shows and promotions. Ultimately, Oystercatchers believe that collaboration and long-term relationships are the future drivers of innovation and commercial success for clients and agencies alike, and as such will continue to partner with clients and industry peers as the firm looks towards a bright and exciting future.

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Most Influential Woman in Sustainability & Energy Compliance - London Company: EAL Consult Name: Monique Simons BA DPSI MCIL NRPSI Email: Web Address: Telephone: 0208 930 5668

EAL Consult EAL Consult provides construction consultancy and project management for sustainability compliance. We invited Co-Founder and Managing Director Monique Simons to tell us more about her work and how the firm works to offer the very highest standards of support and service to its valued clients. ounded in 2008, EAL Consult provide BREEAM assessments, energy and sustainability reports, daylight, sunlight and overshadowing reports, SAP/ SBEM calculations for the construction sector. Supporting a wide range of clients, including architects, developers, M+E consultant and financial institutions, and as such it has to work hard to ensure it provides the very highest standards of service at all times, as Monique emphasises.


“Here at EAL Consult, building is in our blood. We have 25 years’ experience in the property sector that we apply to our architect and developer friendly approach. We understand the importance of design meeting compliance whilst following the client’s brief. We understand the developer’s perspective and look to facilitate the sustainability compliance process with a practical and pragmatic approach. “Our mission statement says it all: ‘We love buildings because they are a universal symbol of accomplishment and community.’ The reason we are focused on sustainable buildings is so that we help develop lifetime comfort and security, encourage natural, affordable, energy efficiency and to nurture the establishment of sustainable legacies. It makes economic sense to reduce energy consumption by adopting renewable technologies. Property becomes more marketable and buildings become more comfortable places in which to live and work.” Since the firm’s inception Monique has been on a mission to unite Part L compliance, the conservation of fuel and power, and sustainability with the construction industry so that they can co-exist to mutual benefit. When EPCs were going to be introduced in October 2008 and on one knew about it yet with only a few short months to go Monique was speaking to hundreds of estate agents across the UK informing them of the imminent changes that lay ahead due to the new EU directive. In 2010, when these changes started to affect building regulations she was helping architects understand the significance of this to their designs. Between 2010 and 2014 She spearheaded further information sharing to even more industry professionals with EAL stands at Eco build, Grand Designs and the Energy Expo. Later, in 2014 EAL teamed up with Vega Ingenieria to provide LEED assessments in the UK. Monique went on a fact finding tour of their award winning LEED project, Lucia Building in Valladolid University, that had the highest score in Europe and was second in the world to the Pixel building in Sydney. 16 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017

In 2015, by invitation of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce she was invited to be part of a delegation at the international Vienna Congress on Sustainable Building 2015 Vienna and a study trip to Aspern, Europe’s largest Passivhaus standard Urban Development, built for a community of 100,000 inhabitants. In 2015, in light of the further changes to Part L in the 2013 Building Regulations she was delivering in house CPD training to Mitsubishi Electric. In 2016 She held CPD seminars with the EAL panel of experts in central London on the latest building regulations Part L compliance for domestic and commercial buildings. These seminars attended by approved building inspectors, architects, developers, housing associations and facilities management companies were also engineered to encourage networking and collaboration for the construction industry within a sustainability forum. Monique is currently working to bridge the gap between the study of Energy and sustainability at higher education level and realistic job opportunities in the sustainable construction industry for graduates. She is exploring this with the Leeds University Sustainability Research Institute and will be speaking to Phd students in order to create a better understanding of what employers are looking for and what value a graduate with innovative research can bring to commercial energy, sustainability and construction consultancy. At the end of 2016 EAL was awarded Best Sustainability and Energy Boutique in South of England by Corporate Vision. Monique has attended executive workshops in the UK and USA and has won numerous business leadership awards for training local business communities in networking and marketing. She herself has passed close to two million pounds worth of business by referral whilst reaching out to a global network of businesses with her energy and sustainability consultancy. Moving forward, EAL Consult are seeking to continue to inspire its clients to push to engage with new ideas and technologies as Monique concludes. “Looking ahead, our biggest challenge is to help our clients meet the sustainability targets set by the government in a very busy market. The key issue is working towards 2020 where zero carbon emissions will be expected of all new buildings. This entails helping our clients with the mandatory transition from traditional building habits to embracing new technologies and we are excited to work with our clients to achieve this.”



Company: Koubou Interiors Contact: Gilly Craft Contact Email: Address: 4 Dukes Ride, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 6LT, UK Phone: 01344 779 323 Website:

Company: Stage Systems (Part of Havelock plc) Contact: Angela Allen Contact Email: Angela.Allen@ Address: 2 Princes Court, Royal Way, Loughborough, LE11 5XR, UK Phone: 01509 611021 / 07976 865 152 Website: www.stagesystems. &

Best Woman-Run Interior Architecture Company - UK

Koubou Interiors Koubou Interiors is a multi-disciplinary Interior Architecture and Design company producing award winning designs for its healthcare, commercial and private clients. We invited Founder Gilly Craft to tell us more. Established in 2005, Koubou Interiors offer a complete service, taking any project through from initial idea to completion. The firm draws heavily on the expertise of Founder Gilly to deliver the very highest standards of creativity and innovative support to clients. She discusses her previous roles and how they help her run Koubou Interiors. “Personally, I founded the firm over 12 years ago, after completing my Diploma in Interior Design graduating in 2002. This is my second career having previously worked for British Airways for over twenty years. I have also tutored on Interior Design for various colleges and still occasionally tutor in order to share my expertise. I run the company full time and have a team of designers and administrative staff that work with me on client’s projects. “My career with British Airways taught me a lot about Management but it was meeting the different people from all over the globe that taught me an awful lot more. Seeing the beautiful inlays in the Taj Mahal and the sweeping sails of the Sydney Opera House to name but two inspired me to choose my second career. I have watched carpets being made in India to silk

being spun in Japan and Thailand – I think all of this has given me a broad knowledge that I can bring to the table on any project. Recently I became President Elect of the British Institute of Interior Design, which is an exciting new challenge for me.”Within the construction industry currently many women struggle, and Gilly believes that whilst things are getting better there is still a way to go, as she concludes. “Looking ahead, I think things are improving for women in the construction industry but we are looked down on by many. In both my careers I have found that certain people have raised eyebrows when they find out that I am the ‘boss’ but you have to smile sweetly and be firm, sometimes you just have to prove you are up to the task and wait for the recognition and respect to happen. Having to earn respect is fine but it would be better if it were not based on gender, and I believe that awards such as this will pave the way for better representation for women in my industry, which is no bad thing.”

Best Modular Stage Systems Provider – UK & AI Award for Customer Service Excellence - Leicestershire

Stage Systems Ltd Stage Systems, part of Havelock plc, creates innovative portable staging products. We invited Angela Allen to tell us more about the firm and the range of products and services it offers. Portable staging from Stage Systems creates temporary performance platforms. Simple designs from kits, standard stock or bespoke solutions produce excellent results with flat, multi-height and tiering systems. Angela discusses the firm’s approach and how this ensures excellence for every client. “Here at Stage Systems, we are dedicated to staging and truly deliver on bringing spaces to life with creative designs in primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, conference centres, hotels and businesses as well as churches, halls and community centres. “First to develop the portable staging market, we set the standard for quality, versatility and service back in the 1960’s. Today we continue to share our stage solutions. Throughout our clients’ journey our expert UK based team will ensure that they receive the dedicated help and support that they need. We work collaboratively with them to come up with the right solution and aim to provide our customers with all the information and advice required.”

resulting performance space will surpass the client’s expectations of what can be achieved with their products, ideas, service and assistance. Angela outline show the firm works to create the perfect product for each client. “To ensure the client receives the solution they need, we will provide a free demonstration of our products, depending on location and availability and carry out a survey to produce a drawing if required. Our consultative service includes accurate advice and ideas to enable you to see how we can help you to get the very best from your available space.” Aftercare is also a vital part of the firm’s service offering, as Angela is proud to explain in her concluding comments. “Fundamentally, our service does not stop once we have completed your sale and delivery. Our continuous customer care includes further demonstrations and advice to ensure that clients get the most from their Stage Systems equipment.”

Whatever the design, Stage Systems are confident that the Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017 17


Most Influential Woman in Ethnic Brand Strategy - Canada Company: LEVEL5 Strategy Group Contact: Hua Yu Contact Email: Address: 18 King Street East, Mezzanine Level, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1C4, Canada Phone: 14163613468 Web Address:

LEVEL5 Strategy Group LEVEL5 Strategy Group is a management consulting firm that builds and helps implement inspired growth strategies that generate ownable, competitive advantage. We explore how Hua Yu, Managing Partner of LEVEL5, has helped the firm to achieve the success it enjoys today and speak to her about her work for the company. ounded in 2002, LEVEL5 Strategy Group is a strategy firm created to drive branded business growth for our clients based on the perspective that brands are the most misunderstood and underleveraged assets in today’s business world. Hua discusses the firm’s service offering in more detail and explains how it works to provide excellence at all times.


“Here at LEVEL 5, We work with our clients to create the greatest value in theirs by helping unite their organization’s entire business system around their brand to guide every decision and action. North American clients we’ve worked with include: Metrolinx, Rogers Media, University of Toronto, Canada Post, Canadian Tire, Kimberly Clarke, SickKids Foundation, Home Depot, Live Nation, 3M, Canada Goose and more. Guided by our SMART BRAVE ACTION™ operating philosophy, LEVEL5 delivers strategy through a proven combination of business experience, innovative capabilities, and disciplined proprietary methodologies.” At the core of all of its services is the generation of ownable, competitive advantage. LEVEL5’s service offering is built upon three pillars to grow the clients’ organization: Insight and Strategy, Planning and Transformation, and Execution and Measurement. We work with clients to create implementable solutions that are true to the clients’ brand and align their organization on a clear path forward. These would not be possible without dedicated staff, and as such Hua and her team draw on their vast experience to support their clients. Hua talks us through her own previous careers and how she draws on them in her current role. “Personally, I started my career with Seagram (China) and was one of the key members responsible for the successful launch of Seagram’s Wine Coolers in China by introducing a brand new category to the local consumers. I moved to New York in the early 90s. After completing the Master degree, I joined a private equity firm and worked with many senior US government officials on 18 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017

various Chinese telecom projects and successfully launched several IPOs for major Chinese telecom companies in the US stock market. “In the late 90s, I moved from New York to Toronto. I then spent the next 6 years working for a marketing and communication firm (JSAI), developing marketing programs for global companies such as Pfizer, Interbrew and Eli Lilly. As such, with over 25 years of working experience in international marketing, finance and general management gives me the rich knowledge and experience to provide not only fact based strategy, but also the ability to help clients bring the strategy to life, particularly in developing the multicultural strategy and North American market entry strategy.” Moving forward, LEVEL5 Strategy Group will be seeking to build upon its current success as it looks towards a bright and exciting future. Hua discusses the future developments that she believes will be crucial to both her firm and her clients. “By 2030, visible minorities in Canada are expected to account for one-third of the country’s population, therefore the importance of identifying and understanding the ethnic consumers is becoming critical, and represents a major growth opportunity for Canadian companies. Therefore, I believe more and more Canadian companies will invest in understanding the key purchasing behaviours of these visible minorities, and leverage the insights to develop specific strategy to achieve the overall company growth objectives. “To support my clients to grasp this great opportunity, I want to continue to provide the good strategy and tactical advice to my clients. I also want to create channels to help other professional women become a successful global professional citizen. In October 2015, I founded #WeWorkingWomen, and it has now become the number 1 Chinese women leadership digital platform in Canada with more than 30,000 subscribers. I want to use this platform to promote professional women to achieve borderless success and become global professional citizen.”


Best IT Marketing Director 2017 – UK & Distributor of the Year 2017 Company: Ingram Micro UK Limited Contact: Maria Jackson Contact Email: Maria. Address: CBXII West, Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA, UK Phone: 0371 973 3000

Ingram Micro Ingram Micro is the world’s largest technology distributor placed at number 62 in the Fortune 500, with revenues of £43 billion, more than 30,000 employees worldwide and servicing more than 200,000 customers globally. We spoke to Maria Jackson to find out more about the firm and explore the role she has played in bringing it to the market leading position it enjoys today. ngram Micro helps businesses fully realize the promise of technology, helping them maximize the value of the technology that they make, sell or use. With its vast global infrastructure and focus on cloud, mobility, supply chain and technology solutions, the firm enables business partners to operate more efficiently and successfully in the markets they serve. Maria outlines how the firm works to ensure that clients receive the very highest standards of service and support at all times.


“At Ingram Micro UK the customer always comes first, and this is not just an expression but the way we operate at all times. We help businesses fully realise the promise of technology by enabling our partners to operate more efficiently and successfully in the markets they serve. We are committed to creating value at every stage of the lifecycle by offering a full range of end-to-end services and solutions. “Operating from offices around the world, in the UK where I am based we distribute technology for all the major technology brands, including Microsoft, HP and Cisco.”

“I think surrounding yourself with people that have a desire to succeed, with strong work ethics and a shared goal is fundamental to success.” As UK Marketing Director, Maria holds ultimate responsibility for the organisations’ marketing activities and oversees the development and delivery of a fully integrated marketing strategy for the business. She has been in this role for three years, prior to which she worked for Siemens as Head of UK Marketing. She discusses how she

draws on this experience to ensure excellence in every aspect of her current role. “Personally, I have been extremely fortunate in my career to have been surrounded by incredible talent. To work alongside colleagues with energy, passion, and hunger to deliver outstanding work is infectious. Across a lifetime of work in the Siemens business I held every possible marketing position, working in local, European and global teams. My managers and peers at every stage have been an inspiration and everything I have learned and share with my team today is from them, their words and advice echo in my ears. I think surrounding yourself with people that have a desire to succeed, with strong work ethics and a shared goal is fundamental to success. “If I were giving advice to other women who wished to succeed in the technology market, I would say that the key qualities you need are drive, self-reliance, integrity, passion, confidence and honesty. None of these can be learnt in a text book or taught in a class room. If you want to succeed, learn the traits that will make you successful and plan on living them out every day. Be humble and great. Courageous and determined. Faithful and fearless. Ultimately be who you are, stay true to yourself.” Looking ahead, Maria is galvanised by recent developments at Ingram Micro which will offer many exhilarating opportunities, as she proudly concludes. “Overall 2017 is an exciting time to be part of Ingram Micro, as we were recently acquired by the HNA Group, a Global Fortune 500 company. We have seen significant investment in acquisitions, with 28 globally since 2012 totalling $2B, which offers our associates and partners many great opportunities for future growth and success.”

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Best Woman-Owned Interior Design Firm - Europe & Most Influential Woman in Interior Design 2017 - UK Company: Anita Rosato Interior Design Ltd Contact: Anita Rosato Contact Email: Address: Unit 6, Paradise Dock, 142 Lea Bridge Road, London, E5 9RB, UK Phone: 020 8985 4285 Web Address:

Anita Rosato Interior Design Anita Rosato Interior Design Ltd is an award winning Interior Design practice specialising in the design of 4 and 5 star hotels. Anita herself talks us through the practice and the secrets behind its success. ith a unique ability to capture a vision, Anita Rosato Interior Design delivers a complete service from architectural drawing, concept design and development, through to skilled craftsmanship installations to create surroundings that are as individual as their owner. To ensure excellence, the firm is client led and personal, proudly delivering practicality with passion. Anita discusses her passion for interior design and how this influences her work.


“As owner of Anita Rosato Interior Design, having started the business in 2007, prior to designed hotels and residences for most of my professional life, I draw on my dedication to design in my work and am constantly seeking new inspiration. My mother was Danish and naturally inclined to paired back interiors, whilst my father was Italian and loved antiques. Both sides of my heritage have been the foundation of my work.”

“I think society needs to ensure that young men do not feel undermined by the success of strong women but instead inspired by them. “ Since inception the firm has flourished and Anita Rosato Interior Design now specialises in five-star hotel interior design and architecture. Anita and her team of talented designers have the experience and expertise to understand how to create stunning spaces that add value to our its clients’ brands. The firm have recently completed projects for the Starwood and Host Investment Groups. Anita explains how she has overcome many challenges in this male dominated market and shares her thoughts on how more women can make a success of themselves despite the issues they face. “Personally, I believe that young females need to be encouraged to develop their business leadership skills in equal measure to men. I think society needs to ensure that young men do not feel undermined by the success of strong women but instead inspired

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by them. This is a very tough industry, so my advice to anyone looking to succeed in it is to employ the best people your money will buy and do not be afraid to employ people who are better than you in order to achieve the best. Successful women need to be determined and keep putting one foot in front of another. Business has ups and downs; be sure not to give up in the down times; it is hard, but the lows of business are there to be learnt from and the foundation of progress. “Fundamentally, it is a man’s’ world in Business and men tend to withhold information or use information to their advantage. I do not hold back and share everything I know, sometimes I am seen as outspoken and so one has to be careful not to overstep the mark, but this approach is apricated by my clients who value my opinion and expertise.”

Looking ahead, Anita Rosato Interior Design has many exciting projects which will allow Anita and her team to build upon their current success. “Currently we are racing to complete The Lygon Arms Hotel Broadway, which is one of the UK’s oldest coaching inns, following this we have just been engaged to work with Hotel Du Vin on One Devonshire Gardens Glasgow, and are looking forward to developing the Guildhall Bristol Hotel which will be a development of the old Grade 1 listed Bank of England and Grade 2 Listed Guildhall restored for use as a 100 bedroom Boutique Hotel. “Overall, I love working on heritage buildings, and as such moving forward I want to continue to develop the company so that we have a reputable team that clients cannot fail to want to work with.”

Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017 21


HR CEO of the Year 2017 - UK Company: Neuro-Link Europe Contact: Jan Spicer Contact Email: Address: Whiteleaf Business Centre, Buckingham, MK18 1TF, UK Phone: +44 (0) 7837 365 404 Web Address:

Neuro-Link Europe Neuro-Link Europe, formerly The Company Transformation Group, develops people through many unique brain-based learning and development solutions. CEO and CoFounder Jan Spicer talks us through her role in developing this innovative concept. Formed originally in 2014 by Neville Pritchard and Jan Spicer, as the Company Transformation Group and HR in Flow. In 2016 they extended their portfolio by partnering Dr. Andre Vermeulen, who is the architect of Neuro-Link’s business system, products and services. Their focus is with brainbased learning and development. Together they provide their solutions on a global basis.


Jan outlines how the firm supports its clients through innovative solutions and techniques which enable them to enjoy a happier and healthier life, both professionally and personally. “At Neuro-link Europe we work across the UK and Europe on enabling performance focused brainbased learning and development solutions. Through my role as CEO and master practitioner I ensure all activities support and enable people to develop their value and potential, increase self-awareness, optimize and improve brain performance, find purpose, cope with stress and fatigue, improve selfesteem and better understand others. “By enabling people to know their own unique neurological design and understanding the drivers that impact this, is the key to potential development and performance improvement. It is something that I have personally found extremely beneficial in my own circumstances to deal effectively with the changes and challenges in life, not just in the work environment. “Using the neuro-link brain profiling tool helps people to recognise that everyone is smart, be it that it may not be in academia but in so many ways i.e. musical, spiritual, intrapersonal, interpersonal to name a few. Everyone is smart, it is just a case of making them aware of where they are intelligent and how they add value, which in my opinion is the key to unleashing their value and making a business successful.” According to the World Economic Forum Cognitive Flexibility & Emotional Intelligence are in the top 10 skills you’ll need in the workplace by 2020 – these are skills we help others to develop.

22 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2017

To support her clients through this intense journey, Jan draws on her own extensive experience working throughout the corporate landscape to provide her clients with the solutions they need to succeed. “Prior to Co-Founding Neuro-Link, I worked in various senior, executive and corporate management and L&D roles at Abbey National for many years doing a myriad of different roles in different areas from Contact Centre Management to Change behaviour in the organisation. I left Abbey National when they became Santander to join the public sector. During my career, I have designed, developed, implemented and delivered change behavioural programmes, cultural transformation, talent & Senior leadership development programmes, team & divisional workshops, stress management and have coached and mentored senior leaders. “The challenges that I faced in both the private and public sector were around leaders and managers not truly identify and recognising the value of people who work for them. It is amazing what people can do and how creative and innovative they can be when you give them the confidence to unleash their value and how beneficial this is to any business in terms of growth, productivity, wellbeing and staff engagement. “As such together with Neville we set out on this journey to help people to become the best that they can be and, in both our ventures, enabling senior leaders and managers to not only recognise this in themselves and help the people they lead to be the same and become better leaders.” This vast experience and knowledge has helped Jan to create a business which is a great place to work and where she and her colleagues can develop and grow, as she is proud to explain. “Life in corporate business used to be so different. When I first became an Area Manager at Abbey National I was one of the few women in that position and it was tough as I felt that I needed to perform better than my male counterparts. However, what I also realised was that my acceptance and ability to ask for help when I was not sure how to deal with


Company: Eight Wire Contact: Sara Pugh Contact Email: Address: Ebenezer Hall, 78 Trevethan Road, Falmouth, TR11 2AU, UK Phone: 01326 376 880

Best Woman-Run Creative Marketing Agency - UK

Eight Wire Eight Wire is a multi-disciplinary design and marketing agency that offers graphic design, copywriting and marketing solutions to help clients promote themselves in print, online and via other media. Founder Sara Pugh talks us through the firm and the services it provides.

things. They did not see as a frailty but were happy to help. I did learn the hard way by trying to do everything on my own, which was a big mistake. My male counterparts were flattered that I asked them for help and support and, whilst I thought they would see this as a weakness, they didn’t and gladly helped. “Fundamentally, in every walk of life, you just have to believe in yourself and your own ability, trust the people who work with you and help everyone to develop and grow. This is the reason why I love the neuro-link solutions so much as they really do add that extra spectrum to coaching and developing individuals. I am a neuro-link master practitioner, which enables me to accredit individual coaches and L&D specialists in corporate organisations across the UK and Europe to become practitioners of the neuro-link tools and solution.” As she looks ahead, Jan is excited for the many new opportunities she foresees for this unique company. “Looking ahead, the future looks bright and I am embracing it in helping people to become the best they can be at work and at home. “Ultimately, Neuroscience is the future in my opinion and rather than replace the current tools out there. It adds that extra dimension and enhances the coaching and development experience for individuals, and I am optimistic that over the years ahead more firms and individuals will embrace our creative techniques and join us in making the world a less stressful place.”

Founded in 2004, Eight Wire’s client base includes companies of all sizes and while the majority are based in the south west, the company has carried out a number of projects for clients internationally. Sara discusses how both she and the firm have grown and developed since inception. “Over the past 13 years Eight Wire has grown from a start-up with two members of staff to a creative team of 15 that includes designers, copywriters, web developers and marketeers. To achieve this growth, I constantly draw on my previous experience. On graduating from Falmouth in graphic design I was invited by the British Film Institute to work on the British Film Festival which had a big presence in the capital and was great fun. I wanted to move back to Cornwall so did a stint as art director on an international fitness magazine based in Penzance. I then took a sabbatical, travelling New Zealand in a van selling sunglasses for a year. It may sound odd but it taught me a great deal about retail and sales. Returning in 2004, I cofounded Eight Wire and now have a wealth of experience in helping companies to promote themselves.

“Fundamentally, I see myself as a business person, not a woman in business. All business people face challenges. I think you have to deal with them one at a time, making sure you learn from each one and make changes so that you are ready for the next.” Looking to the future, Sara is confident as she outlines the firm’s latest developments and how these will allow it to achieve even greater success. “Currently at Eight Wire we are in the midst of creating a comprehensive CRM system which the geek in me is quite excited about. It will help us manage our internal resources much better and will increase productivity to enable the team to be much more effective. It has been a long time coming and we have had massive support from Europe through Superfast Cornwall. This development will offer us many great opportunities for further growth.”

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Best Woman-Run Professional Writing Consultancy - Prince George’s County Company: Veteran Writing Services LLC Contact: Valerie Ormond Contact Email: Address: Bowie, Maryland, USA Web Address:

Veteran Writing Services, LLC Veteran Writing Services, LLC provides professional writing, editing, and consulting services to help businesses, organizations, government, and individuals meet their goals. We invited Founder Valerie Ormond to tell us more about the firm and the range of solutions it offers. ounded in 2014, Veteran Writing Services provides professional writing and consulting services for businesses, organizations, government, and individuals. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Valerie applies 30 years of diverse management and leadership experience to meet clients’ needs. Her areas of expertise include executive support, writing, consulting, human resources management, intelligence, analysis, planning, team building, and small business development. Valerie discusses her previous roles and how she draws on them to support her current clients.


“As Chief Executive Officer of my business, I draw on my experience to ensure excellence for my clients. I spent 25 years in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer and retired as a Captain in 2009. At that time, my plan was to truly retire, enjoy life, ride horses, and work out. I got an idea to write a book, and that’s where my business incubated. JB Max Publishing published my two books, Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too, which won numerous awards, and I ended up writing stories and articles for other books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. During this time, I also had former Navy bosses who hired me for various writing assignments, and that is how I discovered the market for proposal writers.

“My non-profit work has been pro bono and focused on supporting Veterans and horses.” “Personally, I am fortunate to have defense contracting clients including Kforce Government Solutions (KGS), Inc., Vencore, Inc., Invictus International Consulting, LLC, and MSGI Corp. – all great companies that have kept me busy. My commercial clients including The ARRC, AOC Key Solutions, Inc., Global Consultant Exchange Services, and others offer a variety of work. My non-profit work has been pro bono and focused on supporting Veterans and horses. One of the things I love about my business and my work is that it changes all the time. One month I could be writing a cyber security proposal, and the next I could be

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developing blog content to assist Veteran business owners.” “Overall, I believe my military experience has helped me in business because I have discipline, am used to making hard decisions, and am used to working in a team environment. I also learned leadership skills beginning with my first job managing 12 people up until being responsible for 500 people as Director of Operations for a global task force. My intelligence skills have also helped me in several ways, for instance, in looking at situations from all angles and in paying close attention to detail.” Looking ahead, Valerie is keen to continue to draw on her experience to support her clients, as she proudly concludes. “My goals for the future are to try to help other small businesses succeed, and I will do this by sharing information and lessons learned.”


Best Woman-Run Recruitment Agency 2017 - South Wales Company: Work Wales Ltd Contact: Christina Allen & Sophie Benyamin Contact Email: Address: 4 pell Street, Swansea, SA1 3ES, UK Phone: 01792 477340 Website:

Work Wales Ltd Work Wales is an innovative recruitment agency dedicated to bringing local talent to businesses across the country. We spoke to Founders Christina Allen and Sophie Benyamin to find out more about the firm and explore the secrets behind its success. stablished in 2008 Work Wales are leaders in the recruitment industry, a home-grown recruitment agency based in Swansea, Cardiff and Llanelli offering a flexible and modern approach to recruitment. Christina and Sophie discuss how far they have come since they started the firm over nine years ago.


“Throughout our long friendship we have been two young women with a common ambitious dream- to set up our own business and set new standards in the corporate landscape in Wales. That dream came true when we established Work Wales in 2008. Over the years since inception, we have built up a reputation for the highest levels of professionalism, service delivery and knowledge of the local job market. This means we are ideally placed to work with our clients. “Since opening the vibrant and highly motivated team initially consisting of just ourselves has grown a lot. Now the Work Wales team consists of a Branch Manager Ashley Oliver Perm Recruitment Manager – Fiona Williams, Perms Recruitment Consultant Michaela Bennett, an Account manager, Matthew Murphy, an office Coordinator Lisa Matthews and finally a Recruitment Administrator – Julija Kulacenoka.

“We are a business who listens, advises and most importantly cares. To ensure excellence for our clients, we are in no way are we a one size fits all business. ” “With a busy team our roles as Directors are to run the management side of the business but also keep involved in the day to day running of the organisation. Our clients are loyal and have worked with us for 10 years, they like our interaction and dedication to ensuring they receive the best service and quality candidates, and we can only ensure this by working with the consultants every day, we love what we do and making a difference to so many people’s lives is close to our hearts. We are a business who listens, advises and most importantly cares. To ensure

excellence for our clients, we are in no way are we a one size fits all business. We founded our business on passion, honesty and integrity, values we live by each and every day.” When it comes to recruitment, the Work Wales handpicked team of skilled and practiced professionals have been there. With a combined total of 40 years’ experience, the firm’s dedicated staff have direct knowledge of recruiting for a huge cross section of industry sectors. Christina developing her career and family life in the Welsh Rivera - the Mumbles. Seeking management roles throughout her career she blossomed in one of her first job roles working in the fast food chain McDonalds, the new store opened in Aberdare where Christina quickly worked her way up to a floor manager and at just 17 was responsible run and manage areas of the restaurant. This vast industry experience has been vital, as she worked from the age of 14 and throughout her business degree in Swansea University. Recruitment was an interest throughout the early and education years and after spotting a consultant post with an international recruitment agency Christina knew this was her calling to step into the professional world of recruitment and unbeknown at the time meet her business partner to be – Miss Sophie Turner as she was known at the time. Some will say this was a match made in business heaven, and they were right, the pair hit it off immediately and after working together for a few years the pair developed their lifelong dream – to set up their own business. Overall, Christina is a strong, independent and confident business leader and her natural creative flare helps to drive Work Wales in the right direction to grow and develop with the ever changing industry. She is most happy when planning and seeking out new opportunities to develop the creation that both Directors grew from nothing. Her fellow director Sophie has had an equally long and varied career before founding Work Wales. During her career, she has risen quickly through the ranks in a variety of management roles. In 2003 she earned a BSc (Hons) Business I.T.

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degree which led her to gain immediate experience in Office Management followed very quickly to an appointment as a Branch Manager within an international recruitment agency. Sophie’s 10 years’ experience in the recruitment industry across South Wales and England has been the foundation for the success of her company, Work Wales Ltd. As CoFounder and Director she built the company from scratch in 2008.

challenge yet, to be able to survive the recession. Our team continued to think positively and carry out our working day as normal, to maintain and service existing customers and sell to potential and new, it was a difficult time.” Moving forward, the ongoing focus is on growing Work Wales into an even greater agency and

In addition to her strong leadership skills, Sophie is also an excellent Career Development coach, having undertaken the Train the Trainer course in Seattle; U.S. she has trained, mentored and developed staff for over 10 years. Sophie’s focus over the years has been recruiting for multiple industry sectors of all sizes including Constructing, Engineering and Manufacturing. As Work Wales continues to grow Sophie’s continued focus is on driving the business forward whilst also specialising in recruiting and head hunting senior level professionals using her natural consultative approach whilst ensuring attention cultural fit for her clients. She and Christina outline how they have overcome many challenges to achieve the success that they Work Wales has become and how they work diligently to ensure excellence at all times. “Challenge, fortunately enough, is a word that holds a passionate edge for us both. If it is a challenge then we want to take it on even more, because we do not want things to be too easy. Making the choice to leave well paid jobs and a reputable status within a company, while having mortgages and outgoings that you have in everyday life to start an initial ‘idea’ with no real guarantees of success was initially our biggest challenge. The fear and risk of possibly losing everything we had worked for within our 25 years could all be lost with one wrong decision. “There will always be situations in life and along the way that everyone could do without but this decision was evidently our own and so the ‘challenge’ has a lot to answer for in our success today. We have faced situations where we could not have any financial backing, no grants or help with our office or product requirements and so we made the decision to take the risk personally with personal loans using our own mortgages for collateral. Once the decisions were made and the business was set up the challenge changed, it was then facing the main stream or well established recruitment agencies with low costs and established reputations. We had to make a name for ourselves and with limited funds win new customers, workers and make money from day one if we were to survive and break into the highly competitive market place. “Moving into year two we were faced with the challenge of the economic climate. The credit crunch, the recession, the country and beyond were hit with banks closing along with the wellknown high street names, the country declined and businesses closed daily, local businesses and local people being made redundant in their thousands all around us. It was a worrying time and as we lost customers and workers daily we faced the biggest

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supporting a wider range of clients, as Christina and Sophie are proud to conclude. “Looking to the future, at Work Wales we are keen to improve the training of our staff members, for our company this will be an investment as training is a long-term investment in the development of our staff and the progression of our business. Work Wales

“Christina is a strong, independent and confident business leader and her natural creative flare helps to drive Work Wales in the right direction to grow and develop with the ever changing industry.” have set a plan in place that will target what staff requires therefore go on to meet those targets. We will also ensure that our staff members know the targets we have set in place for their training, and how they connect to helping the company progress as a whole. Our training processes will never be limited to just our new starters, as there is a process in place that lets our employees suggest any training options they think may be suitable to help them grow as a person. If there are any that we think will help them and therefore the company, then we will also be discussing these options with our staff members. “Ultimately, our long-term vision will eventually include a number of offices throughout the South Wales. We want to maximise profits, increase sales and expand into areas that are not yet developed. These are exciting plans and we look forward to taking advantage of the opportunities they will provide for all of us here at Work Wales.”

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Most Influential Woman in Insurance Law - Tokyo Company: AIG & P&C Asia Pacific Contact: Pamela Yeo Contact Email: Address: 78 Shenton Way, 09-16, 79120, Singapore Phone: 0065 6419 1000

American International Group, Inc. American International Group, Inc., also known as AIG, is an American multinational insurance corporation with more than 88 million customers in 130 countries. We explore the role Pamela Yeo, General Counsel for AIG P&C Asia Pacific, has had in supporting the firm in its incredible global success. stablished in China, the journey of AIG began in 1919. It has since grown across China and then further expanded throughout the globe, learning new markets and cultures. This helped to develop a further understanding of risk, and created inventive new ways to deliver to our clients. The firm are the number one commercial insurer in the U.S. and Canada, whilst they are also ranked as one of ten most preferred carriers of commercial insurance. AIG are a market leader in helping to secure financial futures, also being ranked as the number one provider of fixed-rate deferred annuity sales and a top of provider of group retirement plans. A leader in personal insurance in countries around the world, the company are also the choice of almost half of the Forbes 400 richest Americans. Being ranked as the world’s largest nonlife insurer by market capitalisation. AIG are also humbled to serve 98 percent of the Fortune 500, 96 percent of the Fortune 1000, and 90 percent of the Fortune Global 500.

AIG customers. The firm makes sure it emphasises this, and as such the teams work together to make a difference around the world. The firm women and men volunteer thousands of hours to non-profits in the communities where we work, live, and serve our customers. At the corporate level, AIG’s global charitable giving program reflects three broad social themes: safety, security, and disaster preparedness and relief.

“...the future looks bright for both AIG and Pamela, as both seek to build upon their current successes and support a wider range of clients over the coming months and years, providing them with the same high quality solutions which the organisation has come to pride itself on. ”

Developing her team and providing insight into her expertise in the industry, Pamela helps contribute to AIG’s mission to prevent losses and achieve better outcomes. The results produced by Pamela and other teams at AIG are shared by the company and add to the glowing reputation of AIG.


Pamela Yeo is the General Counsel for the Asia Pacific Region at AIG, having previously worked in the private law sector, focusing on insurance litigation in private practice. The firm is not just limited to every day paid work, with both women and men volunteering thousands of hours to communities where people work, live and serve

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As testimony to the level of excellence it provides, AIG has received many awards and are proud of their achievements, and their teams which make their success possible. The firm values curiosity and adaptability, applying those qualities together in order to help the clients achieve more as the world and industry is constantly evolving. The firm also develops new and advanced techniques in data science and technology that keeps the clients safer and better informed of the progress made by AIG.

Additionally, Pamela is highly skilled in reinsurance, insurance and litigation management; a glowing profile which highlights her growing role in the company and its incredible success globally. Looking to the future, AIG and Pamela are looking forward to building on further success within the industry, adding to their awards and providing a strong base for future achievements. Specifically, in the Asia Pacific Region at AIG, the firm can be proud of its achievements within this department. In March 2011, an earthquake

off the coast of Japan triggered a tidal wave that devastated the Sendai region. In the aftermath of the tsunami, AIG was able to help coastal Japanese communities by using innovative technology (such as iPads, iPhones, and Google Maps) to shorten claims times, and provide financial support and emergency supplies. AIG colleagues around the world, especially in Japan, stepped forward to help each other and their communities recover. Overall, the future looks bright for both AIG and Pamela, as both seek to build upon their current successes and support a wider range of clients over the coming months and years, providing them with the same high quality solutions which the organisation has come to pride itself on.

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Best Woman-Owned Jewellery Designer & Most Inspirational Woman in Jewellery Design - UAE Company: 55FIFTY7 Contact: Maryam Hassani Contact Email: Address: D3, Building 8, Unit 402, Dubai, 118740 UAE. Phone: 00971 4277 1555

55FIFTY7 55FIFTY7, a unique, first of its kind diamond studio located in Dubai Design District. We invited Co-Founder Maryam Hassani to tell us more. 5FIFTY7, a unique, first of its kind diamond studio founded in 2015 by Dr. Harshad Mehta, Founder and Chairman of 7Cs Group and Maryam Hassani, graduate Gemologist and Interior Designer.


The concept behind 55FIFTY7 is to inspire guests to passionately create their own designs and translate them into signature jewellery using state-of-the-art technology and with the help of the 55FIFTY7 design team can bring any concept to life. Maryam discuss her involvement in the development of the firm and the passion which drives her to excellence. “Personally, I am the Co-founder and Principal Designer at 55FIFTY7. I realized my endless love affair with the arts early on in life and sought to nurture it at the Design Institute of San Diego and GIA. My flair for jewellery coupled with an undeniable desire to foster creativity led me down the inevitable path as Co-founder and Principal Designer of 55FIFTY7, where I’m now inspiring others to realise the artist within themselves.

“Considering the future, I see a lot of Emirati women positioning their design skills and businesses internationally and I would also like to see more Emirati students taking up jewellery design and enhancing their creativity.” When I first began my career, I was an interior designer in California – and while I was there, I chose to study Gemology at GIA, as I was always fascinated with diamonds and jewellery-making and design. I have always been drawn to the beauty of other precious gemstones but the diamond is my birthstone, so has always had a particular relevance for me. I realised that I was always designing jewellery for myself and was a true passion - so I thought to myself why not start a business with diamonds and jewellery to inspire others to realise the artist within themselves.

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“Throughout my career I have always loved jewellery and jewellery designing and am an avid collector of jewellery myself. I had been doing interior designing for over 15 years and also loved Jewellery designing and am GIA alumni. I felt the need to do something different and decided to pursue my passion with jewellery. I felt the need to have a design studio for jewellery where clients could come and have the design experience like no other jewellery retail shop or format would offer. Also when I got talking to my business partner who has been in the diamond business for over 40 years, we felt the need to give our clients a very special experience. No one in the market is or was doing what we do today. “We decided to have our core business as customized jewellery designing with supporting features of events/workshops and an incubator which is the first of its kind ever in the MENA region. We wanted to project and support the diamond industry as a whole thus making the entire jewellery business more sustainable.” Looking ahead, Maryam wants to see more open mindedness in her market and greater awareness of women’s role in the jewellery industry. “Considering the future, I see a lot of Emirati women positioning their design skills and businesses internationally and I would also like to see more Emirati students taking up jewellery design and enhancing their creativity. Often we restrict our children and encourage them to get into “practical” jobs or businesses yet I believe a career in creative design should be acknowledged as well.”



Company: Construction Project Safety Ltd Contact: Victoria Godberford Contact Email: Address: Unit 2, St Ives Way, Sandycroft, Chester, CH5 2QS. Phone: 01244 780033 Website:

Company: Stevens Exhibits & Displays, Inc. Contact: Julie McKernin Contact Email: JulieMcKernin@ Address: 3900 S Union Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60609, USA Phone: 001 773 523 3900

Most Influential Woman in Construction H&S - UK

Construction Project Safety Ltd (CPS) Construction Project Safety Ltd (CPS) is a team of construction health and safety consultants operating throughout the UK. Director Victoria Godberford tells us more. Established in 2006, CPS work for commercial and domestic clients, including government bodies such as county councils, supporting them with a wide range of health and safety services, which Victoria outlines. “At CPS, we predominately act as Principal Designers, whereby we work with architects at concept stage to assess the practicality of the design. We advise on designer risk assessments and hazard identification at design stage, the health and safety management during the construction phase, through to the end usability and maintenance of the building for client purposes at practical completion. “Specifically, we have a specialist department for heritage conservation projects where clients include, Cadw, English Heritage and The National Trust. We also have clients within the manufacturing industry, controlling contractor’s health and safety management on site when a facility is going through a period of transformation.”

her to the success she enjoys today. “Since inception I have organically grown the company, with new business being gained from ‘word of mouth’ and referrals. I believe strongly in working with contractors in the construction industry to help them to continuously improve their own company’s health and safety management. “Initially, as a woman in the construction industry, it was a battle to be heard. However, I have since built up an excellent reputation for being the ‘go to’ person for advice. I find that being approachable and creating management systems for companies, enabling them to gain efficiency, rather than burden contractors and clients with unnecessary paperwork helps.” Looking to the future, Victoria is keen to build upon her firm’s current success and move into exciting new sectors.

“Currently, at CPS we have two health and safety consultants based full time at two UTC Aerospace Ltd facilities in Wolverhampton. We are looking to expand this area of Victoria, who founded the firm, is the business which will provide us keen to emphasise her dedication to with many great opportunities going excellence and how this has driven forward.”

Most Innovative Businesswoman in Trade Show Exhibits - Illinois

Stevens Exhibits & Displays, Inc. Established in 1966, Stevens Exhibits & Displays, Inc. is a full service custom exhibit designer and producer offering solutions for purchase, lease, or one-time use, as well as graphics, field service coordination, traffic management, warehousing, installation and dismantling services. Vice President of Marketing Julie McKernin talks us through the firm and how it aims to provide clients with the very best service possible. Drawing on over 50 years of experience in the industry, Stevens Exhibits prides itself on being a family run business dedicated to providing the very highest standards of service and support to its valued clients. Julie’s father Thomas McKernin, CEO whom founded the firm, her siblings Chuck McKernin, President, Lisa McKernin, VP of Creative, and herself, offers a combined 170 years’ experience in trade show industry, explains the firm’s client focused mission and how it collaborates with them to achieve this. “Here at Stevens Exhibits, our mission is to build a long term, mutually beneficial relationship with you and your team by fulfilling your goals and objectives. We will achieve this through designing and constructing innovative and economical exhibit programs, imminent to maximizing a return on your investment. It is only through a true team effort that this can be accomplished, and as such, we combine our team and the clients’ in partnership to ensure excellence.” “Operating in such a competitive market, it is important that the firm stays at the forefront of the latest

market developments”, as Julie emphasises. “To ensure that we are always offering our clients cutting edge solutions that meet their needs, our designers continually keep up with the latest trends, designing software, and materials to portray your company image. Our graphic design and production staff will create images and copy that express your story, your brand, using the most up to date technology and equipment. Most importantly, we listen carefully to our clients; their involvement is essential throughout all aspects of development and design to ensure total satisfaction.” Ultimately, Stevens Exhibits & Displays, Inc. creates unique, memorable events, supported by a professional, knowledgeable, responsive team. Dedicated to putting the clients’ needs first and collaborating with them to produce the outcome they need. Looking ahead, the firm will continue to provide these high standards of support and service at it looks forward to 50 more years of excellence.

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Company: Focus7 International Ltd Contact: Leona Barr-Jones Contact Email: Address: Meadow Barn Fairclough Hall Farm, Weston, Halls Green, SG4 7DP, UK Phone: 01462 262020 Web Address:

Business Growth Advisory Specialist of the Year 2017

Focus7 Multi-award winning Focus7 International is a business growth and marketing agency, specialising in a unique end-to-end approach to driving profitability: ‘Think, Create, Deliver’. We profile the firm and explore how Founder Leona Barr-Jones has helped to drive it to the success it enjoys today.

s founding Operations Director since Focus7 was established in June 2015, Leona’s role is to build and deliver the organisational structure for the business and to lead the strategic planning and business growth advisory arm which represents the “think” part of the business to guide client’s change and transformation, business, brand and marketing planning. The firm has grown significantly since inception and now works with clients across a number of industries, from health, beauty, leisure and tourism, through to technology and business services, with clients and partners based across the globe, including in the USA, the Caribbean, France, Spain, South Africa and Australia.


“Leona uses this experience to support others, and continues to coach and mentor other business owners...and is a strong believer in supporting women in business.” Focus7’s mission is “To be a catalyst for growth through our creative people, innovative platforms and dynamic services”. Their collaborative attitude and genuine passion for what they do enables them to exude enthusiasm and creativity throughout all of their managed projects, as Leona emphasises. “We have built up a fantastic team, combining highly regarded, experienced industry professionals

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and bright, creative tech savvy millennials, to ensure that Focus7 really helps our clients to get focus, create leads, win customers and grow their business.” Leona is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and has had extensive training in leadership, management and direction, business management and finance during her 21-year career as an Army Officer. With experience driving successful strategic and operational planning, change management and stakeholder engagement reinforced by spells at the Defence Academy and Manchester Business School. With a varied military career, Leona has led teams on operations and ran training from basic recruits to Defence Attachés, spending five years at the Ministry of Deference Head Office on Whitehall. She still hasn’t quite hung up her boots, joining the Army Reserve, and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel still working on Army Projects. Overall, as an award winning business growth advisor, Leona uses this experience to support others, and continues to coach and mentor other business owners and she is regularly asked to be a Key Note speaker on Women in Leadership and Business Growth Programmes and is a strong believer in supporting women in business. This remains her passion and focus as she looks towards a bright and exciting future.

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