Lisa and Rosaleen Fly the Island Flag at Awards

As weeks go, Rosaleen Higgins has just had one to remember. From Friday to Friday is was a case of all go for the young Castleisland business woman behind the increasingly popular cafe and shop, Nana Bea’s.

On Friday week she was at An Riocht for a crack-of-dawn appointment with children from her former school, Gaelscoil Aogáin. They met there for a fund-raiser in her honour and in support of her volunteering efforts at next month’s Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

The Maine Valley Post covered the Gaelscoil fundraiser and relayed the story of Rosaleen’s efforts to raise enough funds to take her to LA – and back.

The piece and pictures were seen by Antoinette Butler of the Castleisland based and, lo and behold, she responded to Rosaleen’s act of altruism with one of her own.

Antoinette made out and presented a cheque for a very generous €300 to Rosaleen on Tuesday morning.

“I just think that what she’s doing incredible. I read about her Special Olympics plans in The Maine Valley Post and I’m impressed by her and what she’s doing and I’m glad to be in a position to help out with the fund,” said Antoinette at the presentation.

Rosaleen was awestruck at Antoinette’s generosity: “I couldn’t believe it. It would take me so long to raise that amount of money in the normal way of fund-raising and Antoinette just arrived on with a cheque for €300 just like that.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that her week couldn’t get any better. However, there was more good news in store for Rosaleen on Friday night at the Connect Kerry Women in Business Awards at the Ballyroe Heights Hotel.

There, Rosaleen won the Young Entrpreneur of the Year Award after being shortlisted to the finals a few weeks ago. Nana Bea’s has been up and running since October and is named after Rosaleen’s nan, the late, Bea O’Connell-Breen.

“I am simply over the moon. I couldn’t be more delighted. There was a party of 15 of us at the awards ceremony and to win the category is just the icing on the cake and the perfect end to a great week for me,” said Rosaleen.

Castleisland came away with two awards from Friday night’s event: Lisa Geaney of Crag Cave also won an award in the Business of Retail category.

“It’s a lovely honour to win an award in your own county and there were so many of the people here involved in it. We all had a great night and it was all so well done by the organisers. It’s a great way for all the women in business in Kerry to get together and it isn’t often we get the opportunity to do that,” said Lisa.

A reminder that Rosaleen’s fundraising page can be accessed by clicking here:

Celebrating and Connecting Kerry Women in Business Connect Kerry Lee Strand Women in Business Awards 2015

By: Margaret Brick.

The inaugural Connect Kerry Lee Strand Women in Business Awards took place at a Black Tie Gala Ceremony on Friday night in Ballyroe Heights Hotel, Tralee. Organized by Margaret Brick, publisher and editor of Kerry’s only monthly lifestyle glossy publication, Connect Magazine, the Awards celebrated and recognized the enormous entrepreneurial talent and success of women who both own and manage businesses in Kerry. There were 12 Overall award categories and the winners of these categories were:

1. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Business of Fashion Award, SANDRA RUSK WEARDROBE; 2. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Business of Beauty Award, MARY O DONOGUE SANCTUARY SPA; 3. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Business of Retail Award, LISA GEANEY CRAG CAVE, Castleisland; 4. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Business of Health and Fitness Award, AINE FITZGERALD, A FIT BODY GYM KILORGLIN; 5. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Business of Education and Childcare Award, MAIREAD MORIARTY, ASHMORE LEARNING SOLUTIONS; 6. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Food Manufacturing Award, HELEN O’ SULLIVAN OF O’SULLIVAN’S BAKERY KILORGLIN, 7. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Women in Technology Award, TESSA DENNISON, DENNISON DESIGN KENMARE; 8. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Retail Manager Award DEBBIE O HALLORAN SPAR OAKPARK 9. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Hospitality Award, HELEN HEATON, CASTLEWOOD HOUSE, DINGLE; 10. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Services Award, MARY B TEAHAN, IRISH DRAIN SERVICES; 11. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Craft and Design Award, MARY J LEEN, STAINED GLASS; 12. The Lee Strand Connect Kerry Start Up Business Award, LISA HUTCHINSON, JUST FOR YOU GIFTS DINGLE. There was also a number of special awards on the night to recognize women who have excelled in business: The Lee Strand Contribution to Women in business Liz Maher KBN; The Ballyroe Heights International Woman of the year, Catriona O Callaghan O Callaghan coach tours; The Editor’s Choice Award, Valerie Kerins, Rose of Tralee International Festival; The Connect Kerry Lee Strand one to Watch, Majella Duignan Curves; The connect Kerry Lee Strand Media Support to Women in Business, Fiona Stack, Radio Kerry; The Connect Kerry Lee Strand Business Development, Susan Quirke Crowley; The Connect Kerry Lee Strand Young Female Entrepreneur award, Rosaleen Higgins, Nana Bea’s, Castleisland; The Connect Kerry Lee Strand Family Business of the Year, Dowling’s Shoes, Tralee; The Connect Kerry Lee Strand Lifetime Achievement Award, Bernie Falvey Ballyseedy Garden Centre.

“The Connect Kerry Lee Strand Women in Business Awards was a vision we had to honour all ladies who have established a business or who may be running a business in a managerial role. We were delighted to put this event together. It was a great night to celebrate such a wonderful county of hard working ladies and all in the room were winners really. We would like to congratulate the winners on the night and we look forward to working with you all to grow your business in the coming months,” said a spokesperson for the organisers.

The judging panel represents successful Kerry business women including: Caroline McEnery HR Suite; Dr. Mary McCaffrey, Scotia Clinic; Breda O’ Dwyer, manager Ceed at IT Tralee; Teresa Higgins Walker, representing Lee Strand.