Tracy Hamilton, (Director) Mash Direct the award winning vegetable accompaniments farming enterprise won the top accolade at the fifth annual Women in Business Awards held last Thursday at the Culloden Estate and Spa.
Nearly 400 businesswomen attended the glittering awards ceremony which saw Tracy pick up the Award for Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year in recognition of her business acumen, entrepreneurial vision and inspirational work ethic. Tracy was the only non-entry category and selected solely on judges’ discretion,
Tracy said; “Winning this award came as a hugely unexpected but very welcome surprise.
“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of an organisation such as Women in Business for inspiring and empowering women to strive for better. They host a diverse range of events throughout the year meaning that there’s always something for everyone no matter what type or level of business. I also find them incredibly useful as a marketing platform – certainly Mash Direct can attribute a percentage of our business growth in Northern Ireland directly to my membership of Women in Business.
“I am both delighted and honoured to accept this Award.”
Tracy and her husband Martin Hamilton a fifth generation farmer diversified their wholesale farming business in 2004 to add value to their vegetable produce for convenience. Along with Martin, Tracy’s enthusiasm has been pivotal to the company evolving from a cottage style business, to a simple yet innovative idea to create the true taste and texture of homemade cooking. Her drive and determination and has seen Mash Direct grow into a sophisticated world class farming enterprise with a turnover of £14 million employing over 180 staff.
With an unerring attention to detail, she has been in the field, sometime literally, as the company has scooped award after award in recent years and also feature on the winner’ list in the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards, winning 16 accolades to date.
Tracy is also a Visiting Professor at Ulster University, a board member of Northern Ireland Food and Drink and sits on the board of Food NI. Amongst her many interests, Tracy is involved in the gardening world and manages the Historic Demesne on the shores of Strangford Lough where she lives with her husband Martin and two sons – Lance and Jack. She sits on the Committees of the Northern Ireland Heritage Gardens and the Irish Tree Society. She is also a very active volunteer on the Mencap Special Events Committee and has been organising high profile events for them since 1986.
Chief executive Roseann Kelly said; “The Women in Business Awards are a prestigious event in the local business and social calendar when we acknowledge and celebrate the determination, success and contributions of women from the business community across Northern Ireland.
“The Culloden was awash with inspirational women this evening from Madam Justice McBride to each of our very worthy finalists – such fantastic role models not just for females in business but for the business community as a whole.
“Indeed everyone in the room tonight should be proud of the role they play and contribution they make, no matter how big or small, to Northern Ireland’s economy. These awards are all about shining a light on their achievements and encouraging the next generation of female business women to be just as inspired and successful.”