The winners of this year's Illawarra Woman in Business Awards showcased that there is no one way to run a business, and in fact, doing things differently is the way to succeed.
Across 12 categories, each of the 2022 winners had their own stories of success and challenges, and many thanked those who enabled them to be on the stage at Villa D'Oro on Friday.
COVID and lockdowns presented challenges for all, but in the premier categories of Business of the Year, Businesswoman of the Year and Young Business Woman of the Year, it was their successes that shined through.
Winning Business of the Year, Karena Nicholls of Coutts Lawyers said she hoped to be inspiring young women in her field.
"I started out as a lawyer 20 years ago and worked in a traditional firm," she said. "I wanted to make a change, be different and be friendly and I've moved away from traditional ways of being a lawyer and connecting with my community.
"It's all about connecting with people, our values, we stick by those and I'm so honoured to receive this award."
Young Business Woman of the Year, Elly Manoe from Coutts Lawyers was acknowledged for her work inside and outside of the law firm.
Presenting the award, Amanda Tay of IMB Bank said Ms Manoe had not only helped the legal practice grow its client base, but volunteered her time to community organisations and initiatives.
For the prestigious Business Woman of the Year, presenter Adam Zarth of Business Illawarra said the winner was a standout in an exceptional field.
Arunima Gupta, owner and founder of Wollongong Diagnostics, was recognised for the growth of the business and for bringing the best in care to its clients in the Illawarra.
"Aru is passionate about contributing to the Illawarra and continues to lobby hard so the best technology is available to all patients across the business," Mr Zarth said.
The Illawarra Mercury newsroom is funded by our readers. You can subscribe to support our journalism here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.