INSPIRATIONAL achievers from Solihull have been named among the finalists in the fifth Ladies First Network Business and Inspirational Women Awards.
They have been selected from nearly 300 nominations by a panel of judges from across the UK.
The finalists will now be invited to an independent judging day before the glittering awards ceremony hosted by radio and TV presenter Sandra Godley at Coombe Abbey in Coventry in March.
Tracey McAtamney, from Balsall Common, who forms the Ladies First leadership team with Sandra, said: “This is our fifth awards and it always amazes me the incredible amount of talented, inspirational women out there. At Ladies First we take pride in celebrating all women, whether working from home or chief executive of a major company.”
Jess McLish from Balsall Common is shortlisted for two categories, Businesswoman of the Year and Woman of Achievement as the founder of the hyper-local Coventry Rocks website.
The other finalists in the Achieves In Business (Employee) category are Victoria Hicks, of Wadsworth Solicitors in Solihull and Lauren Kelly, of Mosaic Pub and Dining.
Flying the flag for the area in Service Provider of the Year are Esther Broomhall of Esther Broomhall and Partners in Knowle and Angela Reasbeck of Travel Counsellors in Solihull.
Jemma Patterson, from Solihull is shortlisted for two categories, Achieves For Community and Empowering Women categories.
Jemma established Nurture Parenting Collective C.I.C/Happy Mamas in 2020 as a peer support group for new mums aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of new mothers and reducing isolation.
Her work with Nuture4Work also helps employers support their employees to return to work after maternity, paternity and adoptive leave.
Finalists in the Empowering Women category include: Melissa Keskinkilinc, of Melissa Melting Pot, in Knowle; Hazel Carter, fundraiser for MND Association, from Solihull; Karen Jones, of The Giles Trust, from Balsall Common; Maxine Round, of Pure Nails and Beauty, from Balsall Common; Marcia Lewinson for WAITS and Adam Kennedy, from Berkswell.
Adam Kennedy and his wife Amy Davies, gave up their corporate jobs during lockdown to open Store and Stove in Berkswell.
As well as running the café by day – and being a dad to five – Adam also supports Amy’s beauty business in Balsall Common.
Gaynor Matthews, of myNexus in Knowle is lined up for two awards – Excellence In STEM and Entrepreneur of the Year.
The Awards will also raise money for two West Midlands charities, The Memory Box Foundation and Coventry Foodbank.
The new Memory Box Foundation, being launched in March, provides free Memory Boxes for children and young adults coping with bereavement and supports pop-up Bereavement Cafes across Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire.
Coventry Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks and was established in January 2011 and is one of the largest foodbanks in the UK.