Travel boss is up for a top award

Dona Williams
Dona Williams
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LYTHAM-based travel agent Dona Williams is celebrating after she has made it to the final of the 2011 Enterprise Vision Awards.

After being nominated by a client, Dona has beaten hundreds of applicants and is among only five finalists in the Retailer of the Year category.

The Enterprise Vision Awards have been created by Pink Link Ladies to specifically recognise women in Lancashire and Cumbria who are inspiring others by successfully running their own businesses.

EVA celebrates the women who our championing entrepreneurial growth in the region and recognises the efforts they have made to start and develop businesses whilst facing challenges along the way.

Dona runs her own business as part of leading independent travel company Travel Counsellors, and is one of more than 1,200 professional Travel Counsellors working from home throughout the UK and overseas.

Dona said: “I am delighted that I have been nominated for this prestigious award, and I’m so proud to be part of such an innovative, customer-focused company.”

The company, which now operates across six countries and is the largest home-based travel company in the world, provides Dona with support and award-winning technology, enabling her to tailor-make travel arrangements for her customers. Because Dona works from home, she is available to her customers at a time convenient to them, including evening and weekends - one of the reasons she has been given a 99 per cent score in customer satisfaction.

The awards were launched by Blackpool-based duo Coral Horn and Rae Stephenson, following the withdrawal of funding from the North West Development Agency which would have funded similar events in the past.

Coral said: “Raising the aspirations of women into business would benefit the UK economy tremendously and EVA will promote the entrepreneurial message in our area.”

The winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony at Ribby Hall on September 30.

Kirsty Henshaw from Preston, who successfully pitched on BBC’s Dragon Den last year and received investment from Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne, will be the master of ceremonies for the event.