Thursday, March 15, 2018

News: Special award for leading Rotherham business figure

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One of the most respected self-made businesswomen in the Sheffield city region has been honoured in unique style at the Northern Power Women Awards.

In an unprecedented step, Julie Kenny CBE, founder of world-leading security system manufacturer Pyronix in Rotherham, and chair of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, was awarded a special recognition judges' award for outstanding entrepreneurship.

The Northern Power Women Awards showcase role models and celebrate women and men working to create gender balance in organisations across the Northern Powerhouse.

The third annual event, staged on March 6 in Manchester, attracted almost 1,000 entries across 12 categories.

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Julie, who was awarded her CBE in 2002 for her services to industry in Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "I was honoured to receive this accolade from the judges and proud to be a role model for women coming to prominence. I was proud to be flying the flag for South Yorkshire at the awards and urge women from my region to put themselves forward next year."

Leaving her Sheffield home at 18, Julie travelled to the opposite end of the country and found a job as a junior secretary in a Cornish law firm. Ten years of part time study led to the second career as a lawyer.

Returning to South Yorkshire with a belief in a new security system, Julie set up Pyronix with her husband in 1986. Despite becoming a single mother of three on the break-up of her marriage, she grew Pyronix into an award-winning organisation supplying 65 countries. When she sold the company in 2016 its turnover was £25m.

Kenny is currently a commissioner at Rotherham Council, on the private sector board of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnsership and involved with the preservation of Wentworth Woodhouse and a host of other local charities. She is a former Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year and PwC Private Businesswoman of the Year.

Simone Roche, founder of Northern Power Women, said: "The scope of Julie's current involvement in business, charity and government appointments is vast. She currently holds 20 positions.

"She has raised the aspirations and ambitions of women in manufacturing and continually engages with the wider business community and local charities to build success and lasting results."

Northern Power Women website

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