Amanda Chalmers, from Warwick, and Vicki Bravington, from Stratford, are among five women from across the UK competing in this year’s Woman Who Achieves Awards – Media and Marketing categories.
Amanda, who launched Chalmers News PR four years ago following a 30-year career in newspapers, is up against Kim Rowell, executive producer and news editor at BBC Three and BBC News; Lisa-Marie Tonelli, founder and fellow director of The North East International Film Festival ; Natalie Adele Edwards, head of careers at Screen and Film School in Birmingham and Emma Wheeler, a professional voice over artist from Hereford.
Vicki, who runs Atherstone-on-Stour-based media planning and buying company Shakespeare Media, is named among fellow finalists: Jo Burton, of Project B Marketing, in Rugby; Louise Welsby, of Buy-From Creative Agency in Shropshire; Colette Bratton, of Small Business Equaliser, in Lichfield and Tejal Prajapati of TP Creative, in Coventry.
It marks the seventh year of The Woman Who Achieves Awards, run by Sandra Garlick MBE, recognising and celebrating the achievements of women in business.
The winners from all 12 categories will be revealed at an awards lunch at Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry on July 1.
Both women are mums of two who spent most of their careers in local media – Amanda as a journalist and Vicki in sales, formerly sales director for Quidem, which owned seven radio stations.
Amanda worked as a journalist at newspapers in and around Warwickshire, including The Rugby Advertiser, Daventry Express and, more recently, editor of The Stratford Herald.
Now, through her PR and copywriting business, she works with a portfolio of clients across a wide variety of sectors.
She said: “I have loved spending the past four years championing so many wonderful small businesses in and around Warwickshire – even supporting a few local awards campaigns with their PR – and this year the tables were turned and I was encouraged by clients to enter myself, but never imagining I’d even get this far.
“That devil on the shoulder of all entrepreneurs – imposter syndrome – does its best to hold us back, but when I look at the company I’m keeping in my category, I feel like I’m already a winner.
Vicki established media planning and independent buying agency Shakespeare Media in 2014 working with local and national brands such as the RSC, Warwickshire College Group, The Jockey Club including the Cheltenham Festival and Randox Grand National, Bell Court Shopping Centre and Michelin Star restaurants.
Vicki, who recently won a Ladies First Professional Development Award for Excellence In Marketing, said: “I’m delighted and proud to be yet again among such inspirational women in my category.
“It’s also fitting that Shakespeare Media should now been working with Chalmers News PR as our official new PR partner. It’s so good for us to be flying the flag for female entrepreneurs in Warwickshire.”
‘Media’ and ‘Marketing’ are two of the new categories introduced by Sandra Garlick MBE as part of her Woman Who Awards this year.