The cream of female entrepreneurial talent turned out in force to celebrate the achievements of the North East’s top women business leaders.
The 14th Annual North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards brought together high-flying women from a variety of sectors across the North East.
Sales and marketing specialist Jacqui Miller, of global engineering group Miller, headquartered in Cramlington, Northumberland, took the title of North East Best Woman in International Business 2013.
Judges this year shortlisted women who excelled at providing focused, clear leadership abilities in running or playing a key role in business. The standard of entries eclipsed previous years with numbers of applications reaching a record high.
Speaking from Australia, where she was working to secure more orders for the newly-formed Miller Australia operations, Miller said: “Considering the calibre of the business women who were nominated in these awards I am both humbled and honoured to win the award.
“As a company we have worked very hard for more than 35 years to make the business the success it is today.
“Anyone who succeeds in business cannot do so without having made substantial sacrifices and I have been no different, spending countless weeks attending exhibitions and visiting customers in new markets all in the pursuit of developing and growing Miller to be the international brand it is today.
“This has meant lots of time away from my husband and two children who have been a magnificent support throughout my journey.
“I was taught from a young age that whatever you put into something is exactly what you will get back out of it, applying this has paid off being recognised in the 2013 New Year’s honours list for my services to Industry and International Trade and ending the year by winning this award is testament that hard work, determination and never taking no for an answer really is a winning formula.
“I have been blessed to work with my two older brothers throughout my entire career and be surrounded by a truly tremendous team at Miller, I could not have won this award without their hard work and support, and for everyone in the company I accept this on their behalf as well as my own.”
Event organiser Nickie Gott, chairwoman of the North East Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Advisory Board and founder of events management company She’s Gott It!, added: “I’d like to congratulate all the winners who made judging this year’s event so difficult. It is a cliché to say it gets harder every year, but the calibre of entries this year was phenomenal.”
This latest accolade for Miller UK came just days after it was named Medium-Sized Company of the Year for the second year running in training awards competition.
The company, which manufactures buckets and couplers for companies such as Hitachi, Volvo and Komatsu, won at the TDR Training Annual Awards 2013, organised by TDR, a group which brings together engineering and manufacturing companies in the North East.
Miller UK Ltd, which employs more than 200 people, has always supported the apprenticeship programme and invested heavily in the development of young people, with many reaching senior positions.