Two hospitality sector representatives came up trumps at last night's annual Shine Awards, which recognise women's achievements in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector.
Shirley Edwards, director proprietor of contract caterer Edwards & Blake, scooped the title of Shine Business Owner of the Year.
She picked up the award at the ceremony - held at the Italian Cultural Institute in London - after judges praised her drive and desire to put her heart and soul into everything she does.
Edwards said her consistent belief in herself at even the toughest of times had helped her achieve her goals.
"My intention was to set up something small, friendly and to offer a highly personal service," she said. "A little bit of TLC in an otherwise cut throat industry. And it's paid off."
The Shine Young Achiever of the Year award went to Leigh Jenkins, general manager at Von Essen's New Park Manor hotel and spa in Brockenhurst in the New Forest.
The award, which honours women in the industry under the age of 30, was handed to 28-year old Jenkins for her ability to focus and achieve results as well as overseeing sales, marketing and yield management.
"To have been nominated for this prestigious award is a reward in itself," she said. "I am overwhelmed with the encouragement and support that has been given to me by the Von Essen Group."
By Kerstin Kühn