Jo Marshall finalist for Business Woman award
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Jo Marshall finalist for Business Woman award

By Fiona Jukes, PR and Communications Manager

Jo Marshall

YPO is delighted to announce its executive director Jo Marshall has been named as one of the four finalists for the prestigious accolade of Business Woman of the Year 2018.


The award celebrates and highlights the accomplishments of exceptional women across the UK, in both the world of business and personal achievement.


The annual awards, now into their 36th successive year, promote positive female role models in business circles and society, encourage women to showcase their talents to a nationwide audience, and raise funds for nominated charities, which this year will be Revitalise who support disabled people and their carers, and The Prince’s Trust - Women Supporting Women initiative.


The 2018 finalists are:


  • Fiona Allan - Artistic Director & Chief Executive - Birmingham Hippodrome - an independent not-for-profit cultural charity that reinvests its surpluses into building a better future through arts and culture for the region.


  • Emma Heathcote-James - Founder & CEO of The Little Soap Company - a multi award-winning producer of a range of 100% organic, vegan, cruelty free, and all-natural soap and beauty products.


  • Joanne Marshall - Executive Director, YPO – a public sector organisation supplying education, local authorities and the wider public sector with products and services ranging from pencils through to helicopter fuel.


  • Sally Preston - MD & Founder - The Kids Food Co/Kiddylicious - a global award-winning snacks and meals brand for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, sold in every major UK supermarket. 


Jo Marshall joined YPO in 2010 from her previous position as Head of Public Sector at Samsung Electronics and has been working with the public sector for over 20 years. Jo leads the organisation’s commercial and trading functions including sales and marketing with a strong focus and passion for customer service, as vice president at the Institute of Customer Service.


Jo said “I’m honoured and proud to make this shortlist amongst some amazingly talented and inspirational women. I’m looking forward to meeting them all and representing YPO, Wakefield and public sector.”


From a host of nominations, the finalists were chosen by the Women of the Year selection panel made up of past winners of the Business Woman of the Year Award, Emma Elston MBE, of UK Container Maintenance, Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, of Twycross Zoo and the current winner of the award Fleur Sexton DL, CEO of PET XI Training.


Earlier this year another former winner of the award Jenny Campbell, now a panellist on Dragons’ Den, joined the Board of Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards along with Baroness Helen Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales.


“We are delighted to announce such a strong list of incredibly talented and inspirational women for this year’s accolade,” said Jenny Campbell.


“Previous winners have been women of huge talent and skill, determined to further raise the profile of their peers to a wider audience, and this year is no different.


Each of these women would make a very worthy winner.”


The 2018 winner will be announced at this year’s Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards, at Hilton Birmingham Metropole, on Friday October 12. A glittering occasion, the event attracts over 500 men and women including many high-profile guests.  Host for the event is TV presenter and author Arti Halai


Guests are also given the opportunity to network and shop in a select number of boutique stores, followed by a luxury three-course luncheon, and an inspirational talk from keynote speaker Dr Helen Pankhurst, great grand-daughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.


The event is supported by a range of sponsors including, HSBC, Freeths Solicitors, Pertemps and Global Radio. This year new sponsors Jaguar, Diageo and Aston University have added their support to the event.


“This year’s awards ceremony is sure to be as deeply meaningful and inspirational as ever,” added Zalena Vandrewala, Chair of Women of the Year. “We cannot wait to once again celebrate the wonderful achievements of women across our society.”