American-born Debra Drew won the the Diamond Jubilee Woman of the Year Award last night at The Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo’s Women in Business Awards in association with Coutts.
Debra, who moved to the UK from North Carolina 12 years ago, is director and co-owner of Brockworth-based Fabric Architecture Ltd which specialises in the manufacture and installation of tensile fabric structures for applications such as performance areas and canopies.
Debra was described as a great leader who has tremendous expertise in taking bespoke designs and packaging into production and despite the recession Fabric Architecture has grown with offices in North America and the Middle East and over 5,000 installations throughout the world.
She was presented with her Women of the Year Award at the glittering Women in Business Awards presentation dinner at The Centaur at Cheltenham racecourse last night attended by more than 270 of Gloucestershire’s leading businesswomen.
After being presented with her award by Charlie Ellison of award sponsors Coutts, Debra said: “I am delighted. It is recognition from other women in the county which is so powerful.
“We (the company) really encourage entrepreneural thought from everyone. It is a very driven company and we are all very passionate about design and new cultures. We love going to new countries.”
There were eight awards presented at the event which was hosted by Gloucestershire Media’s managing director Sarah Pullen who praised the spirit of the county’s businesswomen.
“We are now in our third year of recognising hard working women in business in the county,” she said. “This is down to you and you alone for your tremendous support to us in our quest to support and highlight women in business.
“At a time when there is so much doom and gloom in the national press about the economy, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate our local success stories.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the enormous energy, talent and innovation of our finalists. The entries were really outstanding. We have so much talent in Gloucestershire you should all be proud. And our newspapers are proud to support the Women in Business awards.”
She also thanked the sponsors, Coutts who were title sponsors, Cheltenhan Racecourse Conference and Events, Gloucestershire Chamber of Commerce, Gloucester Quays and Harrison Clark.
Mentor of the Year: Angie Petkovic, APT Marketing and PR, Cheltenham
Rising Star of the Year Award: Olivia Hutchins, Green Car Depollution, Tewkesbury
New Business of the Year Award: Green Car Depollution
Women in the Workplace Award: Claire Stringer, Gooseberry Bush Day Nursery, Kemble
Contribution to the Community Award: Denise Leighton, Merry Den Care, Cinderford
Award for Innovation: Kate Green, National Star Centre, Ullenwood, Cheltenham
Business of the Year: Aeolus Power (Wind-Energy) Ltd, Pilning
The Diamond Jubilee Award-Woman of the Year: Debra Drew, Fabric Architecture Ltd, Brockworth