from St Anne's

Holly nominated for business award

Congratulations to Holly Wilson, our hard-working and ever smiling Events and Marketing Manager, who is a finalist in the Young Business Woman of the Year Category of the Women in Business Awards NI.

Nearly 50 inspirational individuals and companies have been included on the shortlist for the eighth annual Women in Business Awards, which take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Thursday, November 8th.

The list ranges from the sole-trader operation through to representatives from corporate giants such as BT, Danske Bank and PwC.
More than 500 guests will attend the awards dinner. As an additional benefit, Holly and the other finalists have been invited to an exclusive one-day retreat in Dublin at the Virgin Media Television Studios where they will take part in workshops and networking with special guest Tracey Jane Cassidy, founder and chief executive of Junior Einstein's and winner of Voom 2018.

Holly has been Events and Marketing Manager at Belfast Cathedral since September 2017. Her post was initially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for 18 months, but she has been so successful in the post the Cathedral Board has extended her contract.

A past pupil of Ballyclare Secondary School, Holly graduated from the University of Ulster in Coleraine with a degree in journalism in 2012.

She worked for four years as a business, sales and event planning co-ordinator with Titanic Belfast, a major tourist attraction which draws up to 5,000 visitors a day, before leaving to travel to Australia.

On her return to Northern Ireland, Holly worked with French Village Catering and then in business development with HMC Global.

Since her arrival in St Anne’s, she has organised major events which have brought the public and major business players into the Cathedral.
These events include Digital DNA and the Belfast Business Awards, a visit by 500 cruise ship guests for a reception and concert with Brain Kennedy, concerts by numerous travelling choirs and orchestras, and most recently a dinner event for 150 travel bloggers/influencers arranged by Visit Britain and Tourism NI.

Holly said: "I am delighted to be nominated. The Women in Business Awards is a key awards event in the NI awards calendar year and I am delighted that the Cathedral will be mentioned in the evening of the event."

“It is through the efforts and commitment from all members of the team that we have had a successful year and I am continually grateful to everyone for their efforts to assist with the events that take place at the Cathedral."

“Regardless of the outcome I am delighted and incredibly proud to be flying the Cathedral flag in the evening of the event.”

The Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, commented: “Holly has brought drive and vision to the position of Events Manager at Belfast Cathedral. Through her hard work and infectious personality she has established contacts across the business and events sector and brought some of Belfast’s most high profile events to the spectacular setting of Belfast Cathedral."

“At the same time she works enthusiastically as a key leader of the Cathedral team. On any day she may have set up and managed the smooth running of a corporate dinner or awards evening for up to 500 guests only to ensure that by the next morning the Cathedral it set and ready for a major service."

“Holly’s nomination is richly deserved and we wish her success at as a Woman in Business finalist. This will be one events evening Holly won’t have to organise herself!”

The finalists were selected by a panel chaired by Women in Business chief executive Roseann Kelly. The panel included Seamus McCorry, head of sales and pre-sales Northern Ireland at Virgin Media; Irish News business editor Gary McDonald; Ellvena Graham, president of the NI Chamber of Commerce; Nicola McCleery, head of marketing at Danske Bank; Judith Totten, managing director of Upstream Positive Working Capital; Shirley-Ann Hazlett, senior lecturer at Queen's University; and Nial Borthistle, business development manager for Glandore.

"It was a daunting task, given that we had an all-time high entry representing more companies than ever before," Ms Kelly said.

"But we believe our jury has come up with a quite exceptional short-list which will acknowledge Northern Ireland's most successful business women and recognise the valuable economic contribution they make."