Friday – Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022

Live from Business Woman of the year

Friday – Live from Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022: Network Ireland’s much anticipated National Conference & Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022 is taking place at Galway’s Salthill Hotel, featuring Irish television personality, former newscaster, and writer, Mary Kennedy as MC! We broadcast live from the Salthill Hotel from 12 to 3pm. The Live Wire presenter Ronan Lardner will have a look at the what’s happening on the day.

Conference attendees will enjoy a programme packed full of expert business insight, real-world advice and entertainment. On the day there will be an array of Inspirational Speakers and Panellists covering important topics for the ambitious Irish Businesswoman. The evening awards celebration will include all the excitement that goes along with the Businesswoman of the Year awards each year.

A total of 350 applicants put their names forward for the awards through 14 regional branches of Network Ireland, and a hectic season of selection events across the country in recent months has resulted in the selection of 7i finalists to go forward to Friday evening’s event.

Network Ireland is a non-profit, voluntary organisation, with over 1,000 members and fourteen very dynamic branches. Established in 1983, this is a progressive, dynamic organisation supporting the professional and personal development of women across Ireland. Network Ireland Galway branch was established 32 years ago and currently has over 100 members and growing.

Our membership is made up of a diverse group of women, from budding entrepreneurs, SME owners, professionals and leaders in indigenous and multinational organisations to non-profits, charities, arts and the public sector. Network Ireland Galway has a strong voice and is interested in promoting diversity and equality, entrepreneurship and leadership development; collaborating with like-minded people and organisations.

Network Local Winners at National Finals 

The seven Galway Finalists who will go forward to the National Finals on Friday evening Business Woamn of the Year Awards are as follows:  

Emerging Businesswoman Category  – Adriana Taheny, ZZZANA 

Adriana Taheny founded ZZZANA in 2021 after an ongoing battle with sleep difficulties. ZZZANA is a luxury sleepwear brand made from 100% organic bamboo that are naturally temperature regulating, anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic, sustainable and vegan. The bamboo is also certified organic and fair trade. ZZZANA pyjamas are perfect for those experiencing night sweats which are a common side effect of menopause and medication. 

Inadequate sleep is detrimental to our overall physical and mental health and having experienced the effect of this first-hand Adriana became so passionate about finding a solution. The impact ZZZANA has already had on the lives of people is very significant. There are testimonials expressing their gratitude for giving them the gift of a good night’s sleep. This is especially touching knowing these people are often undergoing serious health problems, in particular cancer. ZZZANA offers a range of luxury pyjamas made from temperature regulating bamboo in sizes 8-22. Checkout the range on or @zzzanaofficial on social platforms. 

Solo Businesswoman Category – Asumpta Gallagher, Best Practice 

Best Practice was established in early 2018 by Asumpta Gallagher in 2018, to help GPs. With over 20 years’ experience working both as a Manager in General Practice and more recently as a Business Consultant and trainer, Asumpta understands the unique challenges associated with running a patient centred business. 

Asumpta has found through her experience of working with over 60 Practices around Ireland that Practice teams can feel very isolated. Training plays a big part in addressing this and in 2022, Asumpta set up the Best Practice Academy. The Academy provides a range of online Training Programmes to GPs & their staff. To date, Asumpta has provided training to over 500 GPs, Practice Managers and their teams. Her mission is to allow GPs more time to be the Doctors they want to be. For further information or to contact Asumpta, you can check out her website on 

Established Businesswoman Category – Orla Connaughton, Aztec Medical Ltd. 

Orla Connaughton, B. Mech Eng., MPM, PMP is a regulatory affairs professional who established Aztec Medical Ltd. in 2015. Aztec Medical provides regulatory, clinical, design assurance and quality management support to the MedTech industry in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, Latin America and Asia. 

Prior to Aztec Medical, Orla held senior management positions for both multi-national and start-up organisations. Through her career, she has held positions in research and development, manufacturing, project management, quality and regulatory. She works with all classes of medical devices, primarily in the following clinical areas; vascular, gastrointestinal, cardiology and general surgery. Orla presents at medical and pharmaceutical conferences on various topics of interest to the MedTech sector. She has also authored a number of learning modules for Masters programmes and is guest lecturer on a number of business and medical device Masters programmes in Irish Universities. 

Orla’s mission is to provide strategic and practical advice to clients to ensure that medical technologies receive regulatory approvals as efficiently as possible to improve the lives of patients and clinicians globally. 

Employee Shining Star Category  –Michelle Ryan, Wood PLC 

Michelle is the Vice President of Growth & Development Services for the Consulting business with Wood Plc, one of the world’s leading consulting and engineering companies operating across Energy and Materials markets. Michelle is an executive leader with over 20 years’ experience across multiple industries in the areas of strategy development, business operations, sales operations, financial reporting, data analysis, project management and client relationship management to name a few. As the VP of Growth & Development Michelle is part of the Consulting Leadership team within Wood Plc with a remit to provide leadership for the Strategy & Development function and its global ecosystem including all tools, systems, and processes in support of Growth & Development. As part of her role Michelle leads functional reporting, OKR implementation and tracking and in particular driving consistent data application and 

reporting across Wood to enable clear understanding of sales performance, future opportunity funnel, BD performance, customer relationships and empowering the leadership team to make efficient and informed decisions. 

STEM Professional Category –Yvonne Comer, Perfici Intelligence 

Yvonne is CEO and co-founder of Perfici Intelligence, a game changing technology that provides automated, real time video analytics for sports. Their mission is to revolutionise video analytics for sports using leading-edge technology to maximise the potential of athletes and teams by working with and amplifying coaching intelligence. 

Their first product RugbySmarts is a complete end-to-end analysis and communications solution for teams. It provides intelligent insights to improve performance by automating the manual process of event tagging for matches and training. The team have won the iTag Award in the Emerging Tech category and Yvonne is a finalist in both the Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Awards and the Diversity in Technology Awards. More information can be found at or contact Yvonne at [email protected] 

Creative Professional Category –Paola Almeida, Gorgeous Design & Co. 

Paola is the Creative Director and founder of Gorgeous Design Co. a design agency focused on branding and digital strategy. Originally from Mexico, she has found in the West of Ireland the inspiration to start her business and unleash her creativity. Just after Winning the Network Ireland Galway award for Creative Professional, Paola started a new chapter as the Creative Lead with EY Ireland where she is excited to bring her knowledge, skills and creativity to this new role. 

Power Within Champion CategoryHazel Curran, Amy’s House 

Hazel is the owner and operator of “Amy’s House” a successful childcare business in Claregalway for 17 years. Hazel comes from a strong family business background, which has enabled her to develop and plan her business for the future. With over 20 years business experience, Hazel has successfully added to her portfolio of services not only offering daycare to families but also a concierge service for new parents called ‘Early Years Concierge’. It is a Bespoke early years service which gives parents the confidence to step into parenthood. One of the most popular concierge services is the “Back to work consultation” which gives parents all the information they need to make that transition back into the workplace a much smoother experience. Hazel is continuing to expand her business by developing more ‘Early Years Concierge’ services while also opening a new “Amy’s House” creche in the coming months. For more information check out or 

Remember join us Friday – Live from Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022