KERRY businesswoman Sharon O'Donoghue has been named as Network Ireland's Business Woman of the Year at the Network National Conference Awards in Cork.
Sharon, a Ballymacelligott native and graduate of IT Tralee, is sales director with Cork-based firm Brook Catering and has worked in the hospitality sector for 14 years, including two years as marketing director for the Rose of Tralee festival.
In 2006 Sharon and business partners Liam Murphy and Kieran Callinan set up Brook Catering and in the seven years since the company's foundation it has grown to become one of Ireland's most successful event catering companies.
The company has catered for hundreds of events throughout Ireland, including the Rose Ball in Tralee and the Waterford Tall Ships Race.
Sharon said she was delighted and honoured to have won the prestigious title last week. "It was completely overwhelming," she said.
"I entered the completion because of the encouragement of other Network members but it was a shock when my name was called out. The warmth from the other women in Network and the amount of phone calls I got was amazing, from friends and business partners. It was very humbling," she said.
"I got a lot of encouragement from everyone to enter and when I looked at the criteria I thought 'why not do it?' Nothing wrong with entering to see how you get on. However, when my name was called out, I thought 'is this for real?" she added.