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New event celebrates inspirational business leaders ahead of International Women’s Day

The current national Business Woman of the Year – and British Masters Swimming champion – from south Warwickshire, has got behind a brand new event celebrating inspirational female achievers across the Midlands.

Suzanne Linton, co-founder of Freestyle digital innovation agency in Ashorne, is sponsoring a limited number of free tickets to the new Ladies First Networking & Personal Branding Development Day on March 1st.

The event, the first of its kind in the region, is also being sponsored by Pertemps and hosted by local networking leader, Tracey McAtamney from Balsall Common.

Suzanne Linton was last year named Woman of the Year for Business at the 40th WOTY national awards ceremony in Birmingham.

Ladies First Network, Tracey McAtamney, Suzanne Linton
Suzanne with the women’s swimming team from Kenilworth Masters Swimming Club

An accomplished swimmer, she has won the 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley as well as silver and bronze for her age group and is now in training for the World Masters Swimming Championships in Japan in August.

She said: “I’m proud to be supporting this Ladies First event. It is important to support women to achieve their potential and to share experiences to promote each other and help lift everyone to be seen, to be their best.”

The Personal Branding Development Day is also raising money for local hospital equipment, as part of a long-running fundraising campaign by Sue Cressman, a two-time cancer survivor from Dorridge.

The 63-year-old, who underwent a mastectomy ten years ago, has been continuing to give back by donating £250k worth of life-saving medical equipment to local hospitals. Charity proceeds from the day will also be used to fund another piece of equipment. (READ SUE’S STORY HERE)

Sue Cressman presents Breast Cancer Consultant Alan Jewkes with-his Hilotherapy Machine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

On the day there will be the chance to hear from Sue and other speakers, as well as get involved in speed networking, sample local services and products and take part in a question and answer session with a panel of local business leaders, including Nicola Smyth, from Nicola Smyth Hair Salon in Warwick on ‘Why Impressions Matter,’ fashion brand consultant Raquel Garcia Garrido, from Leamington, on ‘Letting Your Clothes Speak For You,’ and Jayne McIntosh from Air Aesthetics in Henley-in-Arden, on ‘Loving The Skin You’re In.’

Elite health coach Julie Dalton, from Coventry, will also be leading a Wake Up, Stretch & Breathe session for those networkers who wish to take part.

The event, at Nailcote Hall in Berkswell, is being overseen by compere, TV and radio presenter and singer-songwriter Sandra Godley, from Coventry, and includes a host of VIP guests, including nurse, May Parsons, who made history when she administered the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine on December 8th 2020, in Coventry

May Parsons, Ladies First
Nurse May Parsons

May Parsons said: “It’s such an honour to be celebrating International Women’s Day with a group of inspirational women who continually support, champion and uplift female trailblazers in their own fields and serve as outstanding inspiration and amazing role models to little girls everywhere.”

Sandra Godley said: “There’s a real buzz around this event. I really want every woman to consider taking a day out of her schedule to come and hang out with us, for what will be a fun and important day. We aim to equip you with the essential skills needed to run your race. The joy of networking means that you get to meet other women who are just like you and this forms a strong union. We’re simply stronger together.”

Anyone who wishes to apply for a free ticket is invited to contact Ladies First Director Tracey McAtamney at: Otherwise tickets, which cost £49, including a two-course lunch, prosecco and goodie bags, can be booked here

Carmen Watson, Chair of Pertemps Network Group, said: “As a keen sponsor of Ladies First, it’s my pleasure to be supporting their celebration of International Women’s Day.

“With this year’s theme being on Resilience and Diversity, organisations like Ladies First are so critical as we all need to support and embrace equity, so we can all forge positive change and empower everyone to have a sense of belonging.”

Tracey said: “Our ‘not to be missed’, new event brings together a wealth of experience from this amazing community. In celebration of International Women’s Day we will be covering health and wellbeing, why first impressions count and how to dress to impress, being confident in conducting a one-minute pitch and understanding that you are your brand.

Tracey McAtamney, Ladies First
Tracey McAtamney

“We will have our business panel taking questions and offering advice on the new financial year and we will definitely have some fun moments throughout the day.

“This is an event which will be bringing together women in business groups and networks from across the West Midlands and Warwickshire Region in celebration and collaboration with a view to showcasing the excellent women in business community we have locally!”