The Donegal Women in Business Network has entered a new era this year, saying a fond farewell to leading members and opening their arms to new faces.
The non-profit peer support group held their AGM on Monday last to elect a new committee. The most bittersweet moments came when they said longstanding committee members, Trish McGinley and Evelyn Mc Marketing, stepped down.
Anyone who has engaged with the network over the past six years would have experienced the welcome and the infectious energy that bounced off Trish and Evelyn. Trish, the ever-calm DWBN Secretary, and Evelyn, the exuberant PRO, are like chalk and cheese, but their contrasting personalities and skills were what made the network work.
In my time at DonegalWoman.ie, I will always be grateful to Trish and Evelyn for believing in me. From our first meeting, when they advised me to get my own business card, to the words of advice uttered at the rare quiet moments during events. They never fail to champion women in business and promote another’s skills, even if that person doesn’t yet see their own strengths.
Despite running their own businesses, the duo volunteered countless hours to the network and always made time to support others, make referrals and ensure we seize every opportunity that comes our way. I’m sure most members can recall an occasion where they secured a new client or made a valuable connection with the encouragement of Trish or Evelyn.
Their hard work and dedication was celebrated at the AGM, where a heartwarming video was premiered by the new Marketing and Public Relations Officer, Meg O’Gara. Watch here:
Network members also said farewell and expressed their gratitude to Janine Sullivan and Martina Rafferty, who also stepped down from the committee. They got to welcome in new members to the committee and saw some current members have a change of roles.
Michelle Gallagher was appointed as Secretary, with Joe Daly staying on as President alongside Vice President Larissa Feeney.
Network Facilitator Caitriona Sinnott said: “In February we put a call out to our members asking people to step forward to help build on the work that has been completed. We were delighted to hear from some fantastic members who are willing to commit their time and energy. We feel that we have found the people with the right skills, the right experience, and most importantly, a high level of enthusiasm. We have elected some new members to the committee who I am sure will be able to build on what came before. I would like to welcome:
- Elaine Lingard, Owner of Emerald Education Centre
- Elaine McInaw, Sales and Marketing Manager at Donegal Hotel Collection
- Kate Hartley, Owner, Kate Hartley Design
- Mary Deeney, RenewYou
- Susan Stevenson, Personal Travel Specialist with Travel Counsellors
- Michelle Gallagher,Business Development Specialist at Customer Service Excellence Ireland
“They will join our existing committee of Jo Daly (President), Larissa Feeney (Vice President), Meg O’Gara (Marketing and Public Relations Officer), Mihaela Iftime (Treasurer), Sheila Russell and Sally Murphy.”