Gill Riley the managing director of UK based crane and glass handling specialist GGR was named Woman of the Year at the Everywoman Awards in London last night.
There are eight awards in total, the Woman of the year award, plus seven sub sponsored awards for women running companies of various years in business. Riley was only person from the equipment sector, the rest tended to be drawn from healthcare, spas or baby products.
Unlike some of the less reputable award programmes, the Everywoman Award is free to enter or to nominate others and is open to any woman who manages a successful company, whether they operate as a limited company, sole trader, or in partnership with others.
The organisers said: “This special Award is set apart from the category Awards as it honours not just a businesswoman who has achieved significant success, but also one who has broken down barriers and overcome tremendous challenges. It seeks to highlight a woman entrepreneur who is not only a great role model to other women trying to start and grow their businesses, but who has also set an example as a successful businesswoman within her community or industry.”
It was patently clear the award came as a surprise, when accepting the award, virtually in tears she said: “It’s been quite an emotional year. I’d like to thank my family, my mother and all my friends, the fabulous team who work in my company and the amazing women who are here today. I’m absolutely overwhelmed.”
Gill Riley and brother Graeme started GGR around 27 years ago and have built it into the largest glass handling equipment and mini crane sales and rental company in the UK. Around 20 years ago they introduced the Unic spider crane product to the European market after having pushed the Japanese manufacturer to allow them to organise the CE certification and become the Master distributor for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.