Written by on 16th March 2011. Posted in News

A trio of prominent local women have all been acknowledged at the 2011 Welsh Women Mean Business Awards.


Neath-born opera star Rebecca Evans won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the event, which took place on Friday 11 March at the Vale Resort in Hensol with an audience of 300 guests.

Soprano Rebecca, from the village of Pontrhydyfen near Neath, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the same time as Bryn Terfel.

Her strong operatic career has led her from performing regularly at the Welsh National Opera and the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden to singing parts in operas in New York and San Francisco.

Another winner from the evening is the reigning Miss Swansea, Bianca Cridland from Mumbles, who runs Gower Soaps. She won the category for Best Young Female Entrepreneur, sponsored by the University of Glamorgan.

As sole owner of Gower Soaps, Bianca makes the vegan and vegetarian-friendly soaps herself. As well as running her own business and preparing for the Miss Wales final, Bianca is in full-time education studying for her law degree at Gower College.

She said, ‘Winning Miss Swansea gave me the confidence to look for other opportunities. The Welsh Women Mean Business Awards is well thought of and has provided a great opportunity for me to meet and get to know other established businesswomen in Wales.”.Treat founder Melanie wins the Joshua Foundation Award

The third Welsh Women Mean Business award winner from the region is Mel Davies from Neath Port Talbot. She has won The Joshua Foundation Award for Contribution Towards Charity for her work with TREAT Trust Wales.

Mel Davies founded TREAT in 2000, which stands for Treatment, Rehabilitation, Exercise And Therapy. After surviving a motorcycle accident at the age of 15 and breast cancer, Mel Davies set up TREAT Trust Wales as a charitable, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing a world-class centre of excellence for rehabilitation and therapy in Wales. TREAT is aiming to provide a state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre next to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital.

Based on a centre for health and well-being, the trust's facility would seek to offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere not only for sufferers themselves but for family and friends to participate together.

Sarah Cornelius-Price, a former winner of the Welsh Woman of the Year competition, organised the Welsh Women Mean Business Awards.  She said: “Myself and the judges have met some phenomenal women through this process. Rebecca, Bianca, Mel, and the other winners, are hugely inspirational and are great examples of how women make an incredible contribution to the Welsh economy. I applaud them all for their successes.”

The following categories were awarded on the evening:

  1. Best Woman in a Legal Business, sponsored by Hopkins Law, and overall winner of the Welsh Women Mean Business Woman of the Year title – Helen Molyneux from New Law Legal in Cardiff
  2. Best Woman in Beauty, sponsored by Ken Picton– Leigharne Phillips from The Hair Business in Cowbridge
  3. Best Woman in Manufacturing, sponsored by The Hurns Brewery – Karen Dell’Armi, from Karen Dell’Armi Contemporary Jewellery in Cardiff
  4. Best Woman in Property, sponsored by Watkins & Gunn – Jane Boyes from Boyes Rees Architects in Cardiff
  5. Best Female Business Leader, sponsored by Shram Event Management – Emma Powell from Zipporah Ltd in Cardiff
  6. Best Newcomer, sponsored by 4Ward Development – Drew Rogers from Renew Fitness Retreat in Cardiff
  7. Best Woman in Financial Services, sponsored by Source – Leanne Eustace from Accounted For Limited in Cardiff
  8. Best Woman in Tourism / Service Sector – Debra Harris from Ffynnon Boutique Accommodation in Dolgellau
  9. Best Woman in Media / Creative, sponsored by Vibe – Georgina Jones from Sing and Inspire
  10. Best Woman in a Business Investing in the Environment, sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government – Julie Lyddon from EcoDysgu in Bridgend
  11. Best Young Female Entrepreneur, sponsored by the University of Glamorgan – Bianca Cridland from Swansea
  12. The Joshua Foundation Award for Contribution Towards Charity – Mel Davies from TREAT Trust Wales in Neath Port Talbot
  13. The Welsh Women Mean Business Scholarship in conjunction with Glamorgan Business School – Stacey Young from Pontypridd
  14. The Welsh Women Mean Business Outstanding Achievement Award – Rebecca Evans (Welsh opera singer)

For more information visit www.wwmb.co.uk

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