Meath Women in Business and Tech meet virtually
On Friday the 15th of October, the Meath Women in Business and Tech network met virtually for the third time this year. The Network is a joint initiative between County Meath Chamber and the Meath Local Enterprise Office and aims to connect and support women in business in the County. The meeting is sponsored by Facebook. Open to all females in business in Meath, the zoom call attracted over 30 participants and was facilitated by Lorraine Murphy from Lorraine Murphy Coaching. The theme for the event was 'How Transferable Skills can drive your career in sports & business'. Speaking at the event was Carina Conyngham of Rock Farm Slane and Slane Castle and Kerrie Leonard, Para Archer with team Ireland at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Two incredibly inspirational women.
The call was opened by a poll that asked all participants how they were feeling right at that moment. A nice way to reach out to our peers and recognise that we can’t all be in good form 100% of the time- even in business. The first speaker of the day was Carina Conyngham and after a brief introduction of what brought her to the Heritage town of Slane, she explained to participants how the tourism offering in Rock Farm came about 11 years ago. Carina mentioned the challenge of opening the site to new markets and how Boyne Valley Tourism, Meath LEO and Meath Partnership helped the family develop their tourism offering.
“At the time we set about promoting Rock Farm, Meath wasn’t a big tourist destination, we had to learn how to develop the market in the area and we trained ourselves along the way. Building a business in hospitality and tourism is all about building a team. We are a member of the Boyne Valley Flavours network and there is a strong team of women on that committee- the main reason I think it has been so successful.”
In the summer of 2020 Carina and her husband Alex also took over the running of Slane Castle and they have focused on opening the castle up to the public with the food truck, courtyard dining, and numerous events. The Púca Festival has taken on the Castle as its latest hub and the Púca Illuminations will run from the 23rd to the 31st of October.
In the first breakout room of the day, participants were asked what their Mantra was- the breakout rooms are a chance for people to network in a smaller group and get to know each other better.
The business spotlight for this meeting was with the Book Market Cáfe in Kells and Jess Olohan. Jess explained the beginnings of the cáfe 7 years ago and how it has grown into a community base. The Cáfe sells 2nd hand and new books to its customers as well as providing a place to meet and connect with local people. Jess and her team also hold many community events with wine and cheese evenings with the latest one happening this Friday the 15th at 8pm in aid of Shane McGeogh.
Kerrie Leonard was the last speaker of the day. Kerrie is from Culmullen in County Meath and she has represented Ireland at the last three World Archery Championships. Kerrie missed out on qualification to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. This didn’t deter Kerrie as she continued to follow her dream of representing Ireland at a Paralympic Games. Kerrie explained to the group that she started to practice mindfulness techniques to help her manage her busy routine of college and training for Tokyo 2020. Kerrie is also a big advocate for Farm safety and attributes a lot of farm accidents in Ireland to complacency. She explained how she gets the message across for farm safety in Ireland- “I am a shock factor to a lot of farmers of what can happen with complacency”. Kerrie is looking forward to making plans for Paris in three years’ time in the new year. A true inspiration to all women that nothing should hold you back in life.
To end the call, Lorraine announced the winner of the spot prize of a €30 Mí Meath Card. Participants were encouraged to sign up to accept the cards in their business where possible by logging onto www.countymeathchamber.ie/mimeath
The next Women in Business and Technology meeting will take place before Christmas. The call is open to all women in business in County Meath and pre-registration is necessary. For more information on this and all County Meath Chamber news visit www.meathcountychamber.ie