Monday, October 14, 2013

News: Julie Kenny named Business Woman of the Year


Julie Kenny, chair and chief executive of Rotherham-based Pyronix Limited, has been named as the Vitalise Business Woman of the Year 2013.

Based in Hellaby, the award-winning manufacturer has an extensive range of electronic security equipment for intruder alarms.

The 31st Vitalise Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards took place at a gala award ceremony in Birmingham last week to celebrate the achievements of women nationwide. The Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievement in the sphere of business and provides positive role models to encourage other women to enter the business arena.

Julie overcame six strong candidates from a range of other industries including leisure, law and events.

Having obtained a grant from the local authority to be able to finish her education, she became a junior secretary at a solicitors in Cornwall where her boss identified her flair for law.

Julie qualified as a litigation lawyer and practiced in local authorities and private law firms until giving it up in 1986 to work full-time for Pyronix after she had built-up the business in her spare time by using £28,500 equity from the sale of her home.

Last year the company – which manufactures a wide range of electronic security equipment – had a turnover of over £16m and exported 50 per cent of its annual turnover to 70 countries.

Julie has taken on many other roles including appointment by the Secretary of State as an Intervention Commissioner with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, UK Commission of Employment and Skills, the board of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and her appointment to the Office of High Sheriff of South Yorkshire for 2012/13.

The 56-year-old, who carried out over 300 engagements during her term as High Sheriff of South Yorkshire which finished in April, has been awarded a CBE and an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in recognition of her "outstanding contribution to industry and to life in the region."

The mum-of-three has also won the First Women Awards 2012 – Engineering and Manufacturing category and was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) for her 25-year commitment to the organisation and wider security industry.

Julie Kenny, Vitalise Business Woman of the Year 2013, said: "I have a saying – if I can do it so can they! That has been my philosophy throughout my career and I am a firm believer that if you give 100 per cent, you will be rewarded.

"Winning this award will give me the chance to create more opportunities and generate better outcomes for people, whether it is through mentoring or encouraging people from all walks of life to work hard to achieve their dreams.

"I could never have imagined I would start a business which would one day be among the top companies in its sector in the country but it has also meant I have been able to support local communities and volunteer towards regeneration in South Yorkshire."

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Vitalise, Alzheimers Research UK and the Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer.

Pyronix website

Images: Vitalise Women of the Year Awards


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