Sarah Smits of independent high street broker Ashbourne Insurance has beaten off stiff competition to win a prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year 2012” award.
Sarah, who is the Finance Director of Hertfordshire-based Ashbourne Insurance, won the coveted title at the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2012 last Thursday. Organised by the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry the awards are designed to “celebrate success and achievement and boost business confidence in Hertfordshire”.
Sarah was presented with her award by the University of Hertfordshire in front of more than 300 guests at a gala dinner held at the Porsche Centre in Hatfield. Speaking after the event she said: “I am so delighted to have won this award. It means so much to me and I couldn’t have done it without the great team I work with at Ashbourne.”
Explaining their decision the judges commented: “Sarah Smits won this award because in an outstanding field she has risen to the top. Having in 2008 taken over an already successful business, Sarah determined to set about securing its future in an increasingly challenging environment. She has achieved this by increasing profits and turnover whilst at the same time retaining the human touch. She has not only added to the success of Ashbourne Insurance but has also found time to support a number of charities.”
Ashbourne Insurance, which has served the residents and businesses of Hertfordshire and Essex for over 30 years, also reached the final at the same event in three further categories; Business of the Year, Excellence in Customer Service and Excellence in People Development.
The company is now eagerly awaiting the results of theFederation of Small Businesses (FSB) Hertfordshire Awards 2012 in which it has been shortlisted for three awards; Business Person of the Year – Sarah Smits, Service Excellence and Training and Development. Winners will be announced on June 21st.
The family-run firm has also been nominated for five Red Ribbon Family Awards – a national award scheme designed to champion family run firms. Ashbourne has been shortlisted in five categories; Small Family Business of the Year, Innovation, Customer First and a nomination each for Managing Director Peter Smits and Finance Director Sarah Smits in the Best Family Business Ambassador category. Winners will be announced on Nov 23rd in London.
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