Tipperary woman shortlisted for prestigious Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur award 2019

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Emma Lacy meeting with minister Heather Humphreys on her recent visit to Horan Automation in Tipperary

Emma Lacy of Horan Automation & Consulting has been shortlisted for the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award 2019. According to the organisers this award celebrates women who are trailblazers in business and paving the way for the next generation of entrepreneurial businesswomen. There is a rapidly increasing trend of women having a much greater role on the world of business in Ireland and throughout the globe. In America female led businesses have increased a whopping 58 percent from 2007 to 2018. This growth is due to the influence of entrepreneurial, intelligent women which is what this award celebrates and there is no doubt that Emma Lacy is a more than deserving nominee.

Emma currently operates as Commercial Director with Horan Automation & Consulting, a company located in the village of Drangan in south Tipperary. They specialise in providing customised automation services to factories all over Ireland and beyond. Emma only began working for Horan Automation in March of 2017 as a Sales and Marketing Manager but her rise to Commercial Director and Partner within 2 years has been down to the exponential growth shown under her guidance.

The organisation continues to go from strength to strength and Managing Director, Gerry Horan says “Since Emma joined us here a few years back her enthusiasm has rubbed off on all of us and she has become an invaluable asset to the organisation. Her interpersonal skills are second to none, she has a great way with our customers and also manages our staff fantastically making Horan Automation & Consulting a great place to work. In my opinion what really sets Emma apart from others is her strategic planning, she always has the ability to see the bigger picture and can think outside the box in order to achieve objectives. When Emma arrived here she came with a vision of what we could become and to from that day she has worked tirelessly in order to try and get us there”.

Emma is a graduate of Waterford Institute of Technology where she spent four years obtaining her Bachelor of Business degree, specialising in marketing. Upon graduating Emma took a role as a Marketing Executive with Atlantic Homecare where she spent one year and four months, from there she went on to forge a successful career as a marketing manager in different organisations such as i-to-i. In 2006 Emma took a break from full time employment and was self employed for that time operating on contract marketing. Emma returned to full time employment in 2017 with Horan Automation and Consulting, on this decision she says “I decided to go back to full time work in 2017 after being self-employed for 11 years.  At this time I was married with 4 children.  I had the option to stay at home but I felt I needed to work to reignite a passion in myself for what drives me.  In 2009 my father became estranged from my mother and siblings which was a very difficult time.” 

“Following this, my mother passed away in 2013 from a very quick diagnosis of cancer, in three months.  This rocked me to the core and made me really understand at a rock bottom level that we need to live life with no regrets.  I had to look inside and accept that what I wanted was to go back to work.  Now, my work life balance is amazing.  I get to be a great mother who brings my 4 children to their various sports and spends quality time with them.  I am a better mother because I am a happier.  What is great about achieving something in my career too is to see my children’s eyes light up with pride when they see me on TV/newspaper, hear me on the radio or see that I win an award.  I think it’s a great role model for my children to chase my dreams and especially for young women.  I have given numerous talks to young female students to encourage and inspire them to work hard towards their dreams”.

Since joining Horan Automation and Consulting in March 2017, Emma has flourished and in turn so has the organisation. Since then Horan Automation’s sales have quadrupled and profits have more than quadrupled, their staff has doubled, they are now exporting into Europe, they’ve gained support from Enterprise Ireland and also have gained a Chinese supply partner. Emma brought a more structured strategic business plan for continuous growth which continues to be achieved. In order to be successful in career many believe you have to love what you do and Emma has loved the business since she walked in the door for the first time, she has developed strong friendships with Gerry and Kathleen Horan and she has also grown to love the industry and the service we provide.

To many it comes without surprise that Emma is one of 7 women in the country to be nominated for this award, as her work more than entitles her to the national recognition. Last year in 2018 Emma was shortlisted in the category of Best Management Consultant for the Irish Image Business Woman of the Year Awards. Horan Automation and Consulting have won numerous awards since Emma joined in 2018 they were winners of the Best Start Up Or Emerging Business Award 2018, they also received a business All Star Accreditation in 2019, were also named winners of Micro Manufacturing Company of the Year in 2019 and were winners of SFA Outstanding Small Business Award this year also. Emma also has had the role of Vice President of the Tipperary Chamber of Commerce since November last year, this is a voluntary role in an organisation that helps business all around the county, an area which she has a tremendous amount of experience in holding an IITD certificate in training and development and spending lots of time while self employed helping grow businesses, a trait she has again showed in Horan Automation & Consulting.

Speaking on her nomination Emma Lacy says “It is an absolute honour to be shortlisted for the award among the top 7 women in Ireland.  I am overwhelmed.  It feels great to stop and take stock of how far I have come in my career and to celebrate that.” The awards take place in The Shelbourne Hotel on Monday September 30th, 2019.

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