2020 saw Network Ireland Wicklow overcome many challenges from moving all operations and events online, running their first-ever Facebook live, and, most recently, a silent auction to raise vital funds for Sunbeam House Services.
On Friday 4th December the AGM took place online, where the 2020 committee were officially elected and the 2020 president Dawn Leane handed over her role to incoming 2021 President Jean Evans.
Reflecting on her year as 2020 president, Dawn Leane said: “2020 has been a year like no other and our members, like all businesspeople, have faced very difficult decisions. The network provided an invaluable source of support, information and advice to us all during these challenging times. But with challenge comes opportunity and relationships deepened among our members as they shared knowledge, made valuable introductions and collaborated on projects.
“New members joined, as women in business recognised the value of belonging to an organisation such as Network Ireland Wicklow. There is an incredible dynamic within the group and a palpable energy and excitement for the year ahead.
“I was privileged to hold the office of President this year, and I thank all our members, the committee, sponsors and partners for their support. The partnership with Jean Evans, Vice President 2020, made everything possible and I wish her continued success as President 2021.”
Newly appointed President, Jean Evans continued: “I’m truly honoured to follow in Dawn Leane’s footsteps to take on the Presidency of Network Ireland Wicklow. I’ve watched and learned from a true leader, and I look forward to bringing our amazing tribe forward, to help them both survive and thrive in 2021. I want to thank Dawn for her trojan work throughout 2020, for her ambition, for her vision and strength in keeping us going, month on month, even when times have been tough.
“With that in mind, my theme for 2021 is #DreamBig. 2020 has been a difficult year; the year that kept on giving. I hope that, together, we will face 2021 with hope, clarity, ambition and aspiration. I hope that we will close this year out with gratitude for what we have achieved, be it pivoting a business or keeping our businesses going, despite the extremely challenging times.
“Our resilience has been tested time and time again this year when childcare was no longer an option when we had to move our offices to our kitchen tables or to makeshift home offices. When we couldn’t connect with our friends and family due to lockdowns and travel restrictions…but we got through it with the help of our tribe and the immense support and goodwill that is out there to help lift each other up, each and every day. I am so thankful to be a part of this amazing group.
“I would urge any female business owner, ambitious professional, a woman running a side hustle alongside a day job, or the woman who has been made redundant and doesn’t know what the future holds. I say to you, come connect with us. Come join us and let us rally round to support you and help you #DreamBig. We are better together. As the African proverb says: If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”