Winners 2023 - Lincoln Recruitment Irish Early Career Awards
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Winners 2023

Winners 2023


The Lincoln Irish Early Career Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements that is being delivered by young professionals in many different sectors throughout the country over the past 12 months. The winners below are recognised for their high standards of excellence. These outstanding young professionals and high achievers are admired across the professional services sectors for the work they have achieved so far. These awards ultimatley reward innovation, best practice and outstanding achievement across a broad range of sectors. The awards night  provides an important opportunity to recognise and showcase young professional stars as they progress on their career journey. 

Big congratulations to all the 2023 winners! Click Here to view the winners photos from the night.

If you would like to request high resolution versions of any of these photos please email Gail Finegan,

HR & Recruitment Professional of the Year 2023

Lauren Churchouse, FINEOS

The judging panel Chair and judge of this award, Pat Casey, Founder and Principal Partner at PKC People had the following words to say about why he selected Lauren as the winner:

On selecting the winner – the judge commented that the winning candidate has truly become the backbone of their organisation’s HR team, demonstrating impressive attention to detail, ability to effectively harness data and systems and overall level of productivity. They have consistently aided better and more effective HR decision making.  They are described as the embodiment of core company values and have become recognised as a Subject Matter expert in the field of HR systems and data analysis. They are a proven high achiever and most definitely high potential HR talent to watch out for in the future.

Sponsored by Fenero

Accountant of the Year 2023

JP Canavan – Datalex

Judging this award was Concepta Cadogan, Director of Accounting and Finance at Lincoln Recruitment who said the following words about JP’s win:

“The winner in this category provided crucial support to the Senior Leadership Team. This is an individual whose skills, technical ability and above all, attitude, allows senior management to focus on growth and business opportunities –  secure in the knowledge that their critical analysis is enabling the business to drive positive change and efficiencies. They are innovative, efficiency oriented, practical and keen to go the extra mile which they demonstrated in abundance to our judge.”

The judge would like to highly commend Tashinga Gora. Tashinga has excelled in his role over the last 12 months, covering vacant positions while recruitment was on-going, supporting external audit reviews and becoming a key player in the implementation of a new ERP system.

Funds & Capital Markets Professional of the Year 2023

Inesa Petrosyan, MUFG Investor Services

Ciara Lambe Director at Irish Funds and Ruth Fairclough, Knowledge Hub Manager also at Irish Funds weren’t joint judges of this category and wrote the following words as to why they selected Inesa as winner:

“Commenting on selecting the winner in this category  – the judges chose a rising talent in the financial sector who has achieved an impressive career trajectory within their firm, progressing from a junior role to a managerial position. Their rapid advancement speaks to her strong work ethic, innate curiosity, and ability to adapt. One noteworthy chapter in their career (and this may give the winner away….) is their role in establishing their firm’s Cyprus office from scratch. Their leadership and innovative thinking played a pivotal role in this endeavour’s success, reflecting their commitment and problem-solving skills.”


Technologist & Data Scientist of the Year 2022

James Miles, Marsh McLennan Innovation Centre

Judge Emmet Ryan, Correspondent and Editor of Business Post Connected said that he selected James as the winner for the following reasons:

“The winner displayed exemplary levels of calm under pressure. They were tasked with doing a truly extraordinary task for their employer during a time of great change and accepted it gladly. While clearly one to naturally downplay their achievements and capabilities, the sheer impact they had on their business is as inescapable as it is invaluable. They are, without doubt, unique among entrants in terms of demeanour but don’t be fooled by a calm and relaxed persona. More haste often means less speed. The winner showed that they have the patience required to succeed at the highest level as well as the work ethic needed to deliver on their potential.”

Business Support Professional of the Year 2023

First joint winner is Lydia O’Neill – Mater Private Network

David Cass of Sia Partners judged this award. David wrote these words as to why he selected Lydia as the winner:

“The first of our winners demonstrated incredible business support acumen. They work with C-suite executives delivering an essential digital transformation programme. Despite their relative youth and the early stage of their career they became a member of an executive delivery forum – punching well above their weight with the capability, operational content and focus they bring to the programme team
This candidate is a future leader in the medical industry – with a clear passion to address both public and private interests in the delivery of quality care outcomes.”

The second Joint Winner is: James Cawley, Irish Centre for Diversity

David Cass wrote these words as to why he selected James as the winner:

“This candidate demonstrated great ambition and has developed a role and space for themselves within a dynamic, fast moving organisation. Bringing their own inherent understanding of the importance of inclusive workplaces – they have taken on a key business development role – delivering fantastic performance and impact within their first year. They have also represented their employer at EU parliament. From a first career in teaching through to lecturing, then to disability inclusion advocacy and now business development – the judges said they were excited to see how this winner’s stellar career will develop.”

The judges would like to highly commend Jack McDonald, TransferMate. Jack has demonstrated curiosity, ambition and an entrepreneurial spirit. He identified a bottleneck issue that was holding sales back and developed an AI solution. This initiative was so successful that it was adopted at group level and expanded to other geographies

This award was sponsored by Sia Partners

Best Emerging Leader Development Programme 2023

The winner is RSA Insurance Ireland &

The judge of this category, Pat Casey, had the following words to say about his selected winner:

“In selecting a winner the judge chose a programme that has been highly rated by all participants and is level 7 certified utilising the best of internal mentoring and external resources in conjunction with University College Cork. The judges believed that the manager leading the internal career development and mentorship programme played a key role in its success. They not only lead and drive the programme , but they are also fantastic advocate for it and role model within the Company. A true recipient of this award and a shining star within leadership development.”

The judges would like to announce a Highly Commended in this category – Abbvie. Their programme championed by Louise Clarke is a wonderful example of a progressive, people centred development plan that puts their Graduate Intern programme, followed by an Early Career Development Programme at the heart of talent development continuum.

This category is Sponsored by Primeline Group

Sales & Marketing Professional of the Year 2023

The winner is Evie Whelehan, Applegreen

The judge of this category, Doug Farrell, Group Head of Digital Strategy at DMG Media had the following words to say about his selected winner:

“This was a tough category to assess with some exceptional stories shared by finalists. In the end, the judge favoured a nominee that demonstrated a unique approach to their role – beyond a single campaign. This finalist took it upon themself to learn a new skill to enhance their role and effectively build the career they wanted while adding real value to the business. By developing creative skills in conjunction with their marketing role, they streamlined the whole marketing communications funnel and created a singular brand message across multiple touchpoints.”

Compliance & Risk Professional of the Year 2023

The winner is Julie McMahon – MUFG Investor Services

The Compliance Institute judged this category, they shared their thoughts as to why Julie was their selected winner:

“This was a strong and varied category. In selecting a winner – we chose an individual who is recognised as someone who drives innovations within the team. They are currently leading the IAF implementation initiative having successfully applied for investment sign-off. In addition to their professional development, they are also committed to building their knowledge in the area of Compliance and hold the LCOI, having completed the Professional Certificate and Diploma in Compliance. They have progressed quickly through their career to date, having previously worked in the areas of Compliance and Ethics and the judges are excited to see where their career takes them in the future.”

Best Mentorship Programme 2023

The winner is MongoDB

The judges had the following to say about their selected winner:

“This company commits to creating a culture of belonging, where people of different origins, backgrounds and experiences feel valued and heard. They recognize that a diverse workforce is the best way to broaden perspectives, foster innovation and position them as an employer of choice. They put excellent mentorship at the heart of the programme and ensure it is sponsored within the organisation at C suite level. It is one of the most sought after programmes in the organisation with impressive growth in participation year on year. Participants openly credit it with helping them achieve their career goals”

Project Management, Advisory & Consulting Professional of the Year 2022

The first joint winner is Conall O’hAiniféin of Unio Financial Services

Luke Deasy, Managing Director, Copper Coast Renewables and previous Early Career Award winner judged this category and had the following comments to make as to why Conall was his chosen winner:

“The first of our joint winners is a very high calibre consultant having worked in Liability, Investments and having founded the Risk Management division in their organisation. They also manned the front desk in times of crisis during Covid 19! Being nominated by their peers, they reiterated this winner’s dedication to their team and work colleagues and their ability to go the extra mile for clients. Recently they were responsible for increasing the Risk Management division from 0 to 150 new clients in 2 years and they believe their success is down to learning from previous leaders they have come across both on the GAA field and in work. They have a get things done, never say never attitude which has serves them immensely when paired with their “take a breath and analyse the bigger picture” attitude and we look forward to seeing much more from him in the years to come.”

The second joint winner is Elise Reiter, SIA Partners

Luke Deasy had the following comments to make as to why Elise was his chosen winner:

“This second winner is also thoroughly deserving of this award. They are admired by their team – a fact that shone through in their nomination by multiple co- workers.  Having come from PWC as top of their graduate class, they have now ingrained themselves at every level with their new employer –  from call centres right through to senior Project Management. To say they are an asset would be an understatement. They have been responsible for bringing in an impressive number of new clients.  The final feather in their cap is that she is heading up their organisation’s graduate program, educating the next wave of Project Managers with her open, hard working and well communicated leadership style.”

Engineering & Construction Professional of the Year

The Winner is Katie Kelly, Enerpower

This category was judged by Cormac Bradley, Construction Manager, RPS Group.

The judge praised the winner for articulating the tangible improvement that they made to their employer’s operations – namely developing a systematic procurement process, web-based, that construction personnel on projects could access via an App. They also instilled the idea that take-off quantities should be measured before the project went to site. These two improvements led to greater efficiency, clear cost savings at purchase stage and potentially greater profit on individual sites.

This early career responsibility and success means they are poised to establish themselves as a future leader in the renewable energy sector in Ireland.

Insurance Professional of the Year 2023

The winner is Lyndsey Mooney, RSA Insurance Ireland

This award was judged by Dermot Murray, CEO,  Insurance Institute of Ireland who had the following to say about Lyndsey:

“What stood out for the winner is their communication skills. They have a sparkling personality and it’s obvious that they bring great energy and enthusiasm to their role. They describe their work in the Commercial Underwriting Team with real passion and commitment. They are bringing all their learnings from the Broker Market to their new role in an Insurance Company and really understand the support that broker’s need. When asked about their communication style, they talk about “picking up the phone”. Whether it’s brokers or policyholders, they are at her best when they are talking to customers and the judges have no doubt that they will use those people skills as they move into a leadership role In the Insurance Industry.”

Entrepreneur of the Year 2023

The winner is Stephen Lawless – Bingo Loco

This category was judged by Gareth Hickey, Founder NOA.

The judge loved hearing the fascinating entrepreneurial journey of this winner. Covid was a massive shock to their sector, but they’ve come out swinging, which shows resilience. It’s an innovative and bold push into a competitive entertainment sector, but they identified the importance of localisation, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs. Very clever! Operationally, they’ve built a business that can move from town to town efficiently, which is a competitive advantage. Perhaps in the future, they’ll pivot to other shows and events, as the judges believe there’s good room for growth beyond this first great idea!

Young Professional of the Year 2023

The winner is Inesa Petrosyan, MUFG Investor Services

What distinguishes this winner is their straightforward and transparent managerial approach, which aligns well with their firm’s culture. They recognise that understanding the diversity within their team is necessary to bring about the best performance – fostering a culture of collaboration and trust.

In an industry characterized by constant change, they have demonstrated remarkable adaptability and resilience. Their journey serves as an inspiration, showing that dedication, determination, and a commitment to excellence can lead to career growth.

Sponsored by Lincoln Recruitment Specialists

This year our judges also identified individuals to watch out for in their early career, professionals who are currently delivering impact in terms of organisation performance and culture aka The Rising Stars:

In HR & Recruitment, Keefe Teeling, Bus Eireann and Liz Barry, MongoDB

In Funds and Capital Markets, Arkapratim Roy, Davy Group

In Technology & Data Science, Bianca Claudette Palileo, PayPal

In Business Support, Keith Deniel, Mr Price Branded Bargains

In Marketing, Sarah Greene, Kelloggs

In Insurance – Thais Vargas

Congratulations to all the Rising Stars of 2023!