We are extremely delighted to have 2 members of staff as finalists at the Venus Awards this year.

  • Suzette Smith, in the category of Manager of the Year and Genene Bulpitt in the category of Customer Service Award.
  • Suzette is Microlink’s Chief of Staff and Assistant to Dr. Nasser Siabi OBE / Vee Ganjavian and Genene is a Key Relationship Manager dealing with our Corporate clients.

The finalists were announced in an event on Thursday 11th February and with over 1,200 nominations this year, our ladies were very delighted to reach the final 3 in their categories respectively.

The final results will be announced at a prestigious event on April 15. Microlink couldn’t be prouder.

Congratulations Suzette and Genene!

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See below for official Press Release.

More than Tea for Two at the Southampton Venus Awards 2016 Finalists Announcement!

 It was more than tea for two at the Finalists Announcement of this year’s Southampton Venus Awards in association with Peter Cooper Motor Group at Botleigh Grange Hotel and Spa.

The Southampton Venus Awards in association with Peter Cooper Motor Group celebrated with sponsors, Semi-Finalists and over 70 guests the announcement of this year’s Finalists at an afternoon tea at Botleigh Grange Hotel and Spa on Thursday 11th February 2016.

Competition has been fierce in the region this year with 1,291 nominations and applications received in one or more of the 15 categories – two of which are voted for by the general public.

The Awards in Southampton were launched in September 2015 and candidates have been whittled down to the Finalists stage through a combination of public and sponsored judging. Sponsors and candidates have attended a variety of events over five months to reach this point.

Associate Sponsor Peter Cooper Motor Group has continued their support of the Awards into a fourth consecutive year, and is also sponsoring the Influential Woman of the Year category.

The Southern Daily Echo is sponsoring the ever-popular public vote category of Business Mother of the Year Award.

NatWest are this year’s sponsor of the Inspirational Woman Award and Mairead Taylor, Director, Corporate and Commercial Banking, said of their support of the Venus Awards,

“NatWest is delighted to be supporting the Venus Awards in recognising successful and inspirational business women from our local communities. Events such as these are extremely important – not only in terms of celebrating great achievements, but also in encouraging more and more women to enter the business world.”

“As a company we continue to play an integral role in actively supporting women in businesses across the UK, providing dedicated relationship managers that work in partnership with customers as their companies develop and grow.”

Sandler Training is this year’s Sponsor of the Manager of the Year Award. Benjamin Dennehy, Britain’s #2 Motivational Sales Speaker and Sandler Trainer, said,

“The Finalists event was full of amazing women, great food, and plenty of energy. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience.”

Pam Bates, Fundraising and PR Manager for the Countess Mountbatten Hospice who are this year’s Charity Sponsor of the Southampton Venus Awards, said,

“As Lead Ambassador for Venus Awards Southampton I am privileged to be part of the Venus family. There is so much positivity and camaraderie between the Finalists that makes it something very special!”

The Venus journey will culminate in a glamorous Ceremony and Gala Dinner to be held at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl on Friday 15th April 2016 at the Hilton Ageas Bowl. Book your ticket or tickets now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/venus-awards-ceremony-southampton-2016-tickets-21078884511

The Finalists are:

Dutton Gregory Business of the Year
Caroline Payne – Maraka Jacks Ltd
Freya Smith – British Nannies
Sally Pickles – Vanilla Catering and Events

Shirlaws Digital Media and Online Business Award
Adele John – Big Paw Animation
Sarah Sibley – Bake with Sarah
Freya Smith – British Nannies

Southern Daily Echo Business Mother of the Year
Laura Bowyer – Employment Matters
Caroline Payne – Maraka Jacks Ltd
Verity Evans – Southampton Pamper Parties and The Pink Room

BAT Entrepreneur of the Year
Melissa Edmunds – Zinch Designs
Sarah Quirk – Sarah Quirke Wealth Associates
Fiona Birnie – Sugarflick

Rubicon Recruitment Employer of the Year
Denplan Ltd
Old Mutual Wealth
Prysmian Group

Peter Cooper Motor Group Influential Woman Award
Priya Tew – Pilates with Priya and Dietician UK
Dr Roxana Carare – University of Southampton
Aycin Wateridge – B Organic Ltd

NatWest Inspirational Woman Award
Michelle Goodyear – Curves Eastleigh
Alarna Harris – Jurys Inn Hotels
Marie-Claire Prettyman – The Movement Specialist

Heart FM Employee of the Year
Liz Clarke – Evolution5 Ltd
Rachel Denham – Grand Harbour Hotel
Jo Richardson – Newsquest (Southern Daily Echo)

bandv Marketing and PR Award
Jan Halliday – Southampton International Airport
Mo Morgan – Lakesmere
Helen Freeston – Paris Smith LLP

Interlink Express Customer Service Award
Htec – Melissa Lane-Gilhespy
Genene Bulpitt – Microlink PC (UK) Ltd
Sally Rose – Old Mutual Wealth

SMART Small Business of the Year
Teresa Francis – Feminine Wear
Melissa Edmunds – Zinch Designs
Kerry Herdman – Urban Eden Beauty Ltd

Enhanced Director of the Year
Sue Copling – Ageas (UK) Ltd
Gail Thomas – TW Metals
Amanda Davison-Young – Newsquest

Sandler Training Manager of the Year
Sarah Susan-Powell – Wessex Cleaning Equipment & Janitorial Supplies
Suzette Smith – Microlink PC (UK) Ltd
Rosy Velikova – ProcessFlows (UK) Ltd 

Silk Bow Bookkeeping Lifetime Achievement Award
Gill Farnsworth – Countess Mountbatten Hospice
Jo Richardson – Newsquest Southern Daily Echo
Lesley Powell – Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd

Rothmans LLP New Business of the Year
Katy Handley-Quint – Olive’s Larder
Kate Underwood – Kate Underwood HR and Training
Samantha Kingston – Virtual Umbrella


The Venus Awards were set up in Dorset in 2009 by Tara Howard to recognise the hard work, effort and skill it takes women to successfully juggle business with other commitments. The Awards have since been expanded to Southampton, Brighton, Devon, Oxford, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Isle of Wight and Bristol. Distributed on behalf of Venus Awards – www.venusawards.co.uk