Magazine publisher Norah Casey tonight scooped the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year for 2007.
A trained nurse and journalist, Ms Casey is the chief executive of Ireland’s biggest publishers, Harmonia Ltd.
The biennial Veuve Clicquot award, which was established in 1972, is named after the French champagne entrepreneur, Nicole-Barbe Clicquot.
It recognises and rewards innovation and leadership displayed by businesswomen around the world.
Ms Casey was presented with the award at an event in Dublin which was compered RTE personality Grainne Seoige.
The winner is chosen by a judging panel of business journalists.
Harmonia Ltd, which bought Smurfit Communications in August 2004, owns and publishes a range of titles including Irish Tatler, Woman’s Way, U Magazine, Food and Wine and Your New Baby.
It also runs Aer Lingus’ Cara magazine as well as in-house publications for O2, An Post, the Health Service Executive, Unilever, the K Club and Dundrum Town Centre.
Cecile Bonnefond, Veuve Clicquot president, said: “Norah has shown determination and acumen in the development of her hugely successful business but has also balanced this success with respect and responsibility – she is a thoroughly deserving winner and will be a wonderful ambassador for Veuve Clicquot.”
Ms Casey said: “Nicole-Barbe Clicquot was an incredible woman who excelled in a male-dominated business.
“She was a great entrepreneur who blazed a trail for women internationally. It is a tremendous privilege to receive an award that commemorates such a great pioneer. ”Harmonia exists in a different space and time but I share her belief on the need to focus on what you’re good at and make it world class – for us it’s all about creating great magazines that hold their own internationally.“
Ms Casey spent most of her career in London where she completed journalism training and qualifications in television production and radio journalism.
She studied at Ashridge Management College specialising in strategic management and in recent years undertook a European high-fliers programme.
A qualified nurse and journalist, she has worked is every facet of publishing.
In 2002 she moved back to Ireland and commuted between Dublin and London in her twin roles as CEO of Smurfit Communications and Smurfit Media UK.
She is currently the chair of the Mayor of London’s St Patrick’s Day Festival Advisory Forum, a board member of Dublin City University Educational Trust, the Angel’s Quest charity and is a founding member of the Women’s Irish Network London.