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Leading ladies of Surrey - 2017

PUBLISHED: 10:41 07 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:41 07 April 2017

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto


Surrey women mean business! Here, we turn the spotlight on some of our county’s most successful – and discover what it is that makes them tick

Nikki Berryman, Portmore Dental Practice

Portmore is an exclusive, multi-disciplinary private dental practice that creates beautiful, natural smiles irrespective of age.

What is the secret of your success? - Any success that I have achieved has been in most part due to the people I have worked with. I am lucky enough to work alongside an exceptional team and without their support, I wouldn’t be able to run the business in the way that I do. That, and obsessive list writing!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I think work/life balance is difficult for every working woman. Responsibilities at work, managing a home and family whilst trying to maintain a social life is a juggling act for all females. However, recent studies show that people are much less productive if they do not take care of their wellbeing, and so the ability to switch off and put yourself first is so important. Also prioritising workload and being confident enough to say ‘no’ sometimes helps! Exercise and eating well are really important to me. Saying that, I love pizza and a glass of red wine just as much as the next girl!

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - I love the way that local businesses recommend clients to each other. Considering Surrey and its population is so vast, it really does have a genuine ‘community feel’ which is lovely.

Roadway House, 35 Monument Hill, Weybridge KT13 8RN; 01932 855011;

Dr Amanda Potter, Zircon Management Consulting Ltd

As business psychologists, Zircon helps organisations, teams and individuals realise their talent potential and succeed by identifying strengths and aspirations.

What’s the secret of your success? - The secret to our success is building long-lasting relationships with clients, understanding their needs and culture and then helping them to be great. We are motivated to help organisations and individuals to succeed and maximise their potential. We believe everyone has potential, we just need to help people unlock this potential.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Running Zircon within a mile of my home and working with fantastic clients in local areas helps. We offer a flexible working policy, which means we recruit and retain highly effective individuals who need the flexibility that often isn’t offered in larger organisations.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - Surrey is a fantastic location, with easy connections to London and neighbouring counties. Although we have worldwide clients, we particularly enjoy working and investing our expertise with local companies to also invest in the local community. We speak at local events and work with local CEOs and entrepreneurs to help maximise their success.

4 Breakfield Mews, 30 Breakfield, Ullswater Business Park, Coulsdon CR5 2HS; 020 8645 0222;

Katie Purkiss, Freeland Properties

Freeland Properties is a contemporary property, investment, development and management company.

What’s the secret of your success? - Managing operations for a diverse organisation comes with challenges and rewards. Property is a constantly changing industry and keeping up is priority. I’m determined, and whilst I still have much to learn, my focus is to build an incredibly strong dependable relationship both within the business and the market as a whole.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Working in an organisation that recognises the importance of family was so important to me. Being a mum whilst juggling the twists and turns of a complex business with specific client needs isn’t easy, but with a ‘family feel’ to my job, a good work-life balance comes naturally.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - A fantastically diverse environment, balancing both beautiful countryside and a thriving property and estate management industry. Being close to the city but with the freedom to work with clients across the country allows me to really appreciate the very best of living in this fantastic place. To work in an organisation that continually promotes Surrey is a constant reminder of how lucky I am to live here.

Queens Drive, Oxshot, Surrey; 01372 844337;

Louise Rose-Innes, Author

Louise Rose-Innes is a Surrey-based author who writes women’s “ction books.

What’s the secret of your success? - I love what I do, so it’s not hard to beself-motivated and disciplined.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I write in the mornings when my brain is fresh and I’m most creative. The afternoons, I dedicate to the business side of writing, mostly marketing and PR. Then I do the school run, and evenings are family time, so I don’t sit down at my computer again until the next morning - unless of course I’ve got a deadline, in which case everything else comes to a standstill!

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - As a writer, I find Surrey inspirational. I enjoy sitting on Richmond Hill, gazing out over the Thames as I ponder a plot point or develop a character, followed by a warm drink in The Roebuck or The Marlborough. Everyone is very supportive and friendly, even when I’m interviewing them with my ‘writer’s hat’ on. In fact, my current contemporary romance series is set in Surrey. The first book in the series, Floria, will be released on Tuesday March 7, but is available from Amazon forpre-order now.

Sonia Sansom, E2E Events

E2E Events plan, organise and deliver events, aiming to ensure that all guests and clients have a momentous occasion.

What’s the secret of your success? - Keeping a sense of humour while taking work seriously. To succeed in events, knowing how to have a good time is “fun”damental.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - By setting aside time for family, and by appreciating how lucky I am to have a job that involves going to wonderful places and helping people enjoy themselves.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - As an event organiser, I love the fantastic venues we have in Surrey and the country house feel we can so easily find. Some of my favourites are Pennyhill Park for luxury, Mercedes-Benz World for meetings, launches and unforgettable team-building, and Wentworth for golf, conferences and dinners.

Addlestone, Surrey; 07956 505451;

Caroline Townend, Caroline Grace Jewellers

Using the best quality materials, Caroline Grace work with customers to design and manufacture jewellery to their requirements.

What’s the secret of your success? - Our success is built on the relationship with our customers. Everyone is treated as an individual and each item is made to their specification. There is always a lot of emotion invested in personal jewellery and it is a privilege to be involved in creating something special.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Keeping a work/life balance is always difficult for modern working women that juggle advancing careers with families. There will be always be an overlap that can’t be helped, especially when running your own business, but keeping the two as separate as possible works best. Work is work and family is family.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - Being based in Surrey is not only a prime location for London suppliers but also gives access to some of the UK’s best towns and villages. Surrey offers a diverse population creating good business opportunities for small businesses like mine.

83 High Street, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3RB; 01276 61504;

Cathy Trundle, Reigate St Mary’s

Reigate St Mary’s aims to create a caring, family-like environment for children to learn well, have fun and prepare for life after school.

What’s the secret of your success? - I love being a school leader because it means I can help children and then they achieve great things. It is as simple as that, children will not care what you know until they know that you care. This goes for my colleagues too, mentoring future teachers and trained teachers through promotions, helping them reach their potential, makes me smile every day.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - By prioritising. It is essential I do. I talk about the importance of mental good health and therefore must model this to the children and staff.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - This part of Surrey is home. I went to school in Walton-on-the-Hill and have lived around here most of my life. I love working in a local school serving the community I call my own.

Chart Lane, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RN; 01737 244880;

Kathy Brown, Discovery Games Ltd

Discovery Games devise themed treasure hunt games for team building, school trips, parties and communities in London, Surrey and around the UK.

What’s the secret of your success? - Exceeding customer expectations and offering a personal, friendly service. Our games work on many levels they are not just fun, they create lasting memories.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - It’s difficult to switch off when there’s always something absorbing to work on in the business. I enjoy dog-walking and running, and my husband and I are heavily involved with our local parkrun, both as runners and volunteers. That gives us both plenty of reasons to put work aside. Trail-running is the best therapy!

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - Location-wise it’s the best of all worlds with great access to London and the rest of the south-east. On a local level, I have access to the wonderful Farnham Hub which provides business learning, networking and support. And with the stunning Surrey countryside on the doorstep, a breath of fresh air is always there when you need it.

Farnham, Surrey; 01483 869527;

Laura Dowd, Signature Rosebery Manor

Rosebery Manor Nursing Home aims to deliver peace of mind to the generation that made us who and what we are.

What’s the secret of your success? - Communication and collaboration. Knowledge is power and if your staff at all levels are feeling empowered they will use their initiative and have the confidence to do their job well. Also if you have the right people from the start then most things will fall into place. The difficulty is finding them and we are very selective when we are recruiting: I won’t just hire anybody.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I don’t! I make sure I liaise with my management team and when we have important events we cover for one another. Again, it’s about collaboration.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - I like the friendliness and approachability of other businesses in the area. Believe it or not we work closely with our competitors particularly around staff education and client referrals. It works both ways.

458 Reigate Road, Epsom, Surrey KT18 5XA; 01737 364600;

Janet Gunner, MMRI Research

MMRI is an innovative full service market research agency, providing clients with a clear vision to make better decisions.

What’s the secret of your success? - Seize upon every opportunity that presents itself and surround yourself with positive people. We are always open to new ideas and this has opened up some fantastic opportunities, such as our work with Klood Ltd, where we have combined skills to develop our own technology, supporting the market research sector in today’s digital world.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Primarily by locating the Head Office in West Byfleet; I am close to home and my children’s schools, but I also have amazing support from my husband and wider family. With four children it is a constant juggle, but it works.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - The sense of community; I have built up a great network of peers and associates. I enjoy being invited to talk to school leavers, inspiring them to follow their dreams. We recruit locally and are rapidly growing a passionate, diverse team of people. With genuine opportunities to learn; it is exciting to be nurturing the careers of future leaders; as we realise our global ambitions, our roots will always be in Surrey.

Rosemount House, Rosemount Avenue, West Byfleet, Surrey KT14 6LB; 0800 023 6268;

Rachel Lummis, Xpress Mortgages

Xpress Mortgages is a mortgage and protection brokerage, searching the whole of the market; they source protection and loan solutions for their clients residential and buy to let requirements.

What’s the secret of your success? - Hard work and a consistent approach. Every client matters equally to us and everyone’s needs are different; we strive to find the most suitable solutions available. We then deal with the process from start to finish in a timely manner. This instils confidence in us that encourages referral to colleagues, family and friends often seeing our clients coming back to us time and time again.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Like most people, this is often tested! Enjoying work and being alongside the people I work with helps greatly. That said, some times are always reserved for ‘Life’ and that ensures some balance.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - Surrey has as much variety in its property as it does in its landscape. The contrast between old and new and town and country makes our job both interesting and enjoyable. Our clients within this county also have a wide variety of financial needs to attain their aims. We understand many of our clients have limited time and we take pride in understanding how the county ticks.

13 High Road, Byfleet, Surrey KT14 7QH; 01932 350641;

Michelle Mcdonald, Hyde & Rowe Ltd

Hyde & Rowe is a proactive and market leading estate agency in Croydon, offering a personalised approach to sales, lettings and property management.

What’s the secret of your success? - Believing there is not limitation to success, and aspiring to be at the forefront of the property market, along with training my staff to excel and be world class. I have a fantastic team of staff consisting of Property Managers, Lettings and Sales negotiators to a Branch Manager all aspiring to be the very best at their given careers in property. Staff are your biggest asset therefore you need to engage and develop them constantly.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Having a fantastic unit from husband to children. The biggest award goes to my mother for fully supporting my goals and career whilst raising a young family. Her support has been outstanding for me to have now created two strong companies.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - Surrey offers outstanding prospects for the future and beyond, with Westfield and Hammerson around the corner this offers strength and prosperity to the area - not to mention the numerous property and job opportunities that will created from this.

14 Selsdon Road, South Croydon, London CR2 6PA; 020 8686 1799;

Caroline Morrone, De Vere Wotton House

Wotton House is one of Surrey’s premier country house mansion hotels, with grade II listed gardens, popular for conferences, weddings, private functions, as well as leisure stays and dining.

What’s the secret of your success? - Ultimately, my dedication and passion for the hospitality industry, as I care about my team and guests. Creativity which plays to my strengths of thinking outside the box. I also love mentoring people and watching them develop and grow.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - With hospitality being a 24-hour, 365 day a year operation, my very understanding husband has helped build a balanced work/life environment. I have also built a great team that I trust entirely and their expertise enables me to relax and enjoy my time off. Having recently moved to Effingham, my family and I feel like we are permanently on holiday as there is so much to do, which really helps with switching off.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Surrey? - The best thing is that there is a diverse customer base, from pure leisure visitors to wedding and corporate. Surrey has amazing transportation infrastructure from motorways to airports and trains, as well as offering stunning countryside and historical landmarks.

Wotton House, Guildford Rd, Wotton, Dorking RH5 6HS; 01306 737490

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