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Cheshire businesswomen join North West Family Business Network Awards judging panel.

Two Cheshire businesswomen, Lucy Powers and Jane Montague have been named as judges for the inaugural North West Family Business Network Awards 2020.

They join a panel of business experts from the North West who will be judging the awards which champion and represent family businesses from all sectors and all sizes based in Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria.


With more than 25-years’ experience in product retail and constructions services, Lucy has been part of a family business for the past 12 years herself and more recently has joined a virtual board of directors in a Chester based business called Bamboo by HM, which is giving her the opportunity to support other family businesses in the region.


Lucy said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to use the skills learned in large corporate blue-chip companies to manage processes that cause SME (small and medium sized enterprise) business owners pain.


“All businesses are organised in a specific way and I find it fascinating to work with their owners to create order out of what they may perceive as chaos, identifying and communicating processes to create a common purpose and alleviate the pain of delivering time-pressured services within SMEs and family businesses.”


Lucy has achieved significant sales increases through product and service range development, taking ideas from concept to successful reality and beyond and, also likes to find the story behind the numbers to accelerate sales, improve performance and find opportunities to streamline processes.


An adept leader of people, Lucy is a champion of leading innovative projects, particularly in the field of research and development and is always on the lookout for new ways to support SMEs and family owned businesses.


Lucy added: “I will be looking for how family members define their individual roles and use their shared history to create successful high performing teams in what, for some, has become an uncertain business landscape.”


Jane Montague is the Client Services Director for Majestic Publications, a business founded by her mother in 1999. The family business work with charities, such as hospices, producing free of charge charity publications.


Over the last 20 years, Jane has help establish the company’s reputation for honesty, integrity and high standards of customer service and quality.


Jane has earned her reputation with the charities for her technical knowledge of legislation that helps protect them, and her commitment to champion their cause – leading Jane to lobby the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator to highlight issues being faced by the Hospice Movement.


Her work with the Charity sector has been recognised in 2017 with the North West IOD Family Business Director of the Year Award and in 2019, the inaugural Outstanding Contribution to the Hospice Movement by the National Association of Hospice Fundraisers.


Jane is clear about what she will be looking for when judging the North West Family Business Awards 2020. She said: “Family businesses are the backbone of commerce and have a reputation for hard work, going the extra mile and really looking after their customers and clients.


“They are also an integral part of the community and I am looking for those companies who have given something back, beyond their normal day to day work, to improve the lot of those around them.”


Co-Director of The Family Business Network, Sue Howorth said: “We are delighted to have Lucy and Jane on the judging panel. Their experience across a wide range of businesses, and both being part of family enterprises makes them the perfect judges for the North West Family Business Awards.


“Lucy and Jane join a strong team of judges, who we would like to thank for their commitment to The Family Business Network.”


Co-Director of The Family Business Network, Dave Clarkson added: “Lucy and Jane have the insight and experience that will be invaluable to the judging panel for the awards.


“Celebrating the successes of family businesses is important to us, to help raise the profile of the sector and champion those individuals involved.


“We were able to do this through the creation and running of the Cumbria Family Business Awards which have taken place annually since 2017. Many of the businesses who took part in the awards have told us how beneficial the process has been to their brand awareness, and business growth through their achievements being recognised.


“In 2020 these awards evolve into our inaugural North West Family Business Awards, which aim to provide an opportunity for North West family firms to share and celebrate their successes.


“Businesses can either be nominated or can enter themselves, however you’ll have to act quickly as the closing date of 16 January 2020 is fast approaching.


“For companies looking to support and associate with the sector or simply be a part of the event, we offer a range of opportunities through partnership and sponsorship of the awards.”


Taking place on Friday 6th March, the awards will take off in true first class style, under the wings of Concorde at The Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park. Entries are open to businesses located in Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire or Cumbria that have at least two family members working within them.

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