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Business Women of The Year


PyronixMore good news for the security industry this week as Julie Kenny, Chairman and Chief Executive of PSI Premier award-winning Pyronix was crowned the 2013 Businesswoman of the Year at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. Julie overcame six candidates from a range of other industries including leisure, law and events to become the 31st winner of the award which celebrates women’s achievements. 

Having obtained a grant from the local authority to be able to finish her education, Julie became a junior secretary in a solicitor’s practice in Cornwall where her boss identified her flair for law. She qualified as a litigation lawyer and practiced in local authorities and private law firms until giving it up in 1986 to work full-time for Pyronix after she had built-up the business in her spare time by using £28,500 equity from the sale of her home. 

Last year the company had a turnover of over £16 million and exported 50 per cent of its annual turnover to 70 countries. Julie, who carried out over 300 engagements during her term as High Sheriff of South Yorkshire which finished in April, has also been awarded a CBE and an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in recognition of her ‘outstanding contribution to industry and to life in the region’. 

The mum-of-three has also won the First Women Awards 2012 – Engineering and Manufacturing category and was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) for her 25-year commitment to the organisation and wider security industry. 

She said: “I have a saying – if I can do it so can they! That has been my philosophy throughout my career and I am a firm believer that if you give 100 per cent, you will be rewarded. Winning this award will give me the chance to create more opportunities and generate better outcomes for people, whether it is through mentoring or encouraging people from all walks of life to work hard to achieve their dreams. 

“I could never have imagined I would start a business which would one day be among the top companies in its sector in the country but it has also meant I have been able to support local communities and volunteer towards regeneration in South Yorkshire.”