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Picture of Natalie Cooke smiling, holding her framed certificate - Branch winner in the Network Ireland Solo Businesswoman onf the Year Awards 2022

Natalie Garland-Cooke is the winner of the Solo Businesswoman Network Ireland Waterford Branch Businesswoman of the Year Award 2022!

On Friday, May 27th, I had the absolute pleasure of spending time in a room full of amazing women in business, to celebrate the Network Ireland Waterford Branch Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022 at the truly spectacular Waterford Castle.

And this year it was extra special.

After two long years of making the best of things – attending events and networking virtually – we were finally back together, in *real life*!

I was also playing an active role in the celebrations this time around, as a finalist in the Solo Businesswoman category.

I’ve been an enthusiastic member of Network Ireland for many years. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a non-profit, voluntary organisation, with over 1,000 members and fourteen very dynamic branches spread out across the country. Established in 1983, it’s a progressive, dynamic organisation supporting the professional and personal development of women.

For me, it’s been an invaluable source of support. A chance to come together with like-minded women with the common goal of building our businesses and helping each other along the way. In the past, I’ve been a volunteer mentor for their Mentoring for Success initiative, offering advice on all things CRM (surprise, surprise!).

It was such a thrill to be a finalist in the Solo Businesswoman category and I was humbled to be counted amongst fellow-finalists Victoria Wilmott of Victoria’s Incredible Edibles and Samantha Kelly, the Tweeting Goddess. If you know me, you’ll be able to imagine my absolute shock and delight when they called my name as the 2022 branch winner!

Despite the slight wobbly feeling that accompanied having to walk the length of the room to accept my award in front of a group of people that I very much respect and admire, I did allow myself the time to take a breath and enjoy the moment. I work hard on my business and for my clients’ businesses. I know you do too. And to be recognised with an award such as this was very special.

What’s next? Well, following on from the win at branch level, August will see me meeting with the National Judging panel for my interview for the National Finals.

I’ll then join business people from all over the country (members, non-members, finalists & non-finalists), including the Waterford winners in all categories (we’re going to have fun), in Galway on October 7th at the National Conference and Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022. Win or not in October, it’s guaranteed to be an amazing and inspiring event.

I can’t wait!

(Wish me luck…)

Natalie Garland-Cooke
ncco (NC Consulting & Co)

A Process Improvement, Digital Transformation & Business Development Consultancy

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