The managing director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal has said she was “overwhelmed” to win the Vitalise Business Woman of the Year Award.
Judges reached a unanimous decision to recognise Jacqueline O’Donovan for her business success, passion and drive to improve her industry and “the inspiration she has provided to others”.
The 35th Vitalise Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards was held in Birmingham, and also awarded Hillsborough Family Support Group chair Margaret Aspinall (pictured above left) as its Woman of Achievement.
O’Donovan (pictured above right) told MRW the award took her by surprise and she was “very honoured”.
“I’m absolutely overwhelmed. They asked me to make a speech and I was speechless.
“I was sitting on the table of finalists and one was an OBE. Another lady had put in security systems for the IT of the Government, including the Home Office and NHS.
“I didn’t think for one iota of a minute that I was going to win the award. But apparently it was a unanimous decision of the judges.”
Judy Groves, awards chair, said: “Jacqueline is an inspiration for women looking to make their mark in business and to fulfil their potential.
“The work Jacqueline has been involved in to improve safety standards and stimulate innovation in the waste disposal industry is fantastic – truly inspiring.”
Previous winners of the award include TV stars Karren Brady and Hilary Devey.
Since becoming managing director of the firm at the age of 19, O’Donovan has grown the company to a turnover of more than £19m, with 160 staff and a fleet of 85 HGVs.
Earlier this year, the company opened a MRF in Alperton, Wembley.
O’Donovan has won three other awards this year: the Outstanding Woman in Construction at the Women in Construction Awards in March, Achiever of the Year at the Constructing Excellence Awards in July and Outstanding Commitment to Innovation Award from the British Irish Trading Alliance in September.