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The HBW annual awards - celebrating business women in the Highlands

Over and above my day job as a court lawyer based in Inverness, I am fortunate enough to be president of Highland Business Women (HBW): a thriving business networking organisation based in the city.

On Friday we hosted our annual awards, and I hope I can be forgiven for describing this event as a glittering ceremony: after all, I do have the photos to back me up!

The event, which took place in the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness, saw the presentation of seven hotly-contested awards to exceptional business women from across the Highlands. Given recent high profile award mishaps, you will be relieved to hear we managed to give the right honours to all the right people.

Guests also enjoyed a set from the Inverness Military Wives Choir over dinner, followed by keynote speaker, BBC Broadcaster Kirsty Wark.

I was particularly grateful to Kirsty not only for an excellent speech, but for coming to my rescue when a previous guest speaker — no names, but also connected with BBC News — had to pull out at short notice.

In fairness, this was as a direct result of being required for the 24/7 coverage given the prime minister was about to trigger Article 50, but at the time it caused me what I will diplomatically call a degree of excitement.

While I appreciate Brexit is a quite a big deal, this was the HBW awards ceremony in Inverness, after all!

Loch Ness Spirits Ltd — New Business of the Year

Ledingham Chalmers supported the event by sponsoring the New Business of the Year Award, won by Loch Ness Spirits Ltd, the producers of Loch Ness Gin.

It was great to meet founder, Lorien Cameron-Ross, who made some lovely comments on receiving the award. She said: “I was a guest at the Highland Business Women’s awards dinner in 2016 with a head full of ideas. It was inspiring to see ladies, just like me, getting on with it and making things happen.

“It was really lovely to be there 12 months later being recognised for those ideas having been realised. This has been a useful moment to take stock and look at how far we have come in such a short time.

“We feel reinvigorated by the award, and have high hopes and dreams for the coming year.”

Birchwood Highland — award double winners

Ledingham Chalmers took a table at the event, and we were joined by our friends from the brilliant local mental health charity, Birchwood Highland: HBW’s charity of the year for 2017.

We were particularly honoured to be in their illustrious company, as they scooped two awards: Best Third Sector Organisation, and Team of the Year. Well done Birchwood Highland.

The event was genuinely only made possible by the hard work of lots of people. Particular thanks from me to the board of HBW, including my brilliant colleague at Ledingham Chalmers, Sìne Mackay.

Friday night was the culmination of lots of hard work. And, as you’d expect, following a breather over the weekend, preparations are already under way for next year.

We hope to see you there.

Inverness-based Victoria Leslie is a Law Society of Scotland-accredited specialist in personal injury law. She works in the firm’s litigation department, acting regularly for private and public sector clients in civil litigation disputes.

She has recently been promoted from senior associate to partner, and takes up the role from 1 April.

Posted, 23 March 2017 Categories: CSR