Pauline Stewart, who works at Ingram De Havilland in Shefford, did not know that her co-director Mike Smith had nominated her until she heard her name read out at the Bedfordshire Businesswomen networking group’s annual awards lunch.

In a heartfelt nomination, he voiced his profound gratitude to Pauline for her pivotal role in ensuring that IDH was flourishing. “It is not just what she does but also the way she does it,” Mr Smith said. “She’s like sunshine.”

He highlighted the inspiration and support Pauline had given to her colleagues, associates and all the delegates who attend the company’s leadership and development courses.

A shocked Pauline said: “I’m so grateful to Mike, who has mentored me for a number of years and has helped me get to such a rewarding place in my life. This award is a really important milestone in my own personal development.”

She also received a hand-made necklace from Christin van Geuze. The piece, specially created for this year’s awards, featured citrine, rose quartz and carnelian.

The awards, which attracted a record number of entries, took place at Woburn Abbey’s Sculpture Gallery. BBW president Rebecca Caird praised the “invaluable contribution that women make to the local business community.”

She added: “I’m delighted that our winner so obviously deserves this title and also was nominated by her co-director. I hope that this will encourage more managers and CEOs to put forward the name of their most valued female colleague or employee next year.”

She also thanked the awards’ major sponsors: Barclays and the Bedford Development Agency, as well as Christin van Geuze Jewellery, Hilliers HRW, Castle Promotions and Wright Connections for their support.

The event’s raffle raised more than £180 for the Bedfordshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group.
Bedfordshire Businesswomen’s next meeting is the group’s Christmas lunch, at Moore Place Hotel, Aspley Guise on December 14. To book, visit


New Starter
Winner: Binky Nixon
Binky Nixon Photography, Clophill.
Runner Up: Yvonne Wiseman
HBS Ltd, Luton.

Own Business
Winner: Bev Taylor-Baker
Results Financial, Shefford
Runner Up Sue O’Keefe
2 Digital, Potton.

Within A Business Organisation
Winner: Pauline Stewart
Ingram De Havilland, Shefford.
Runner Up: Julie Hutchins
Enterprise Personnel, Biggleswade

Bedfordshire Business Woman of the Year 2006
Pauline Stewart

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