Almost €100,000 raised at TWIG 2024 networking lunch

Sonya Lennon at the Todays Women in Grocery networking event, Defining You, which was held in Dublin Royal Convention Centre. Pic: Kieran Harnett

With an attendance of 624 it was the largest – and arguably most successful – TWIG event to date



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8 May 2024

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A sum of approximately €100,000 was raised at this year’s TWIG (Today’s Women in Grocery) networking lunch, which took place at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre on Friday, 3 May.

With an attendance of 624 it was the largest – and arguably most successful – TWIG event to date.

‘Defining You’

Those present also heard an insightful and inspiring panel discussion – with the theme of ‘Defining You’ – which featured Michelle Vance, chief executive officer, Lily O’Brien’s; Charlene Flanagan, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Ella & Jo Cosmetics; Maeve McCleane, chief people officer, Lidl Ireland & Lidl Northern Ireland;  Sinead Crowther of Soothing Solutions and Brendan Courtney, presenter, entrepreneur & co-founder Lennon Courtney.

From pivotal decisions to impactful relationships, the panel offered vivid insights into the experiences and attitudes that shaped their careers.

Sonya Lennon did a superb job as MC of the event and invited the panel to share their journey to success in the industry, diving into the experiences and decisions that contributed to their personal growth and professional success.

‘Must attend’ calendar event

Mary McBride, head of Retail at Bewley’s Coffee and chair of TWIG said she was proud to be standing in a huge room of attendees and remembered back to the first event that started with 160 guests, reflecting on how successful and popular the fundraiser had become:

“We are all very lucky to be here today; there are many less fortunate than us and it is through the initiatives and fundraising of TWIG and the IGBF, that we strive to help and assist those who need it most.

“It’s fantastic to see the TWIG annual networking lunch go from strength to strength each year and become a ‘must attend’ calendar event for the grocery, food and retail sector.”

TWIG Person of the Year

McBride also announced Estelle Johnston from Diageo as the TWIG Person of the Year winner for 2024.

Sponsored by CPM and in its second year, the award looks to recognise the unsung heroes of our industry, who are instrumental in delivering success behind the scenes but whose contributions may not always be visible to the wider industry.

Shortlisted from five finalists, Johnston – who juggles lots of challenges in her quality operations role – was called out amongst her peers for “the amazing support she gives to others and her unwavering passion for progress, delivery and people”, according to the judges.

Johnston will now benefit from a year-long coaching and mentoring program to the value of €2,000.

Musgrave, Diageo, CPM, and Suntory Beverage and Food Ireland kindly sponsored this year’s lunch.

Since its inception, TWIG has consistently been a key part of the fundraising efforts of the Irish Grocers Benevolent Fund (IGBF) charity, which helps those in the sector going through testing times.

Read more: TWIG reveals line-up for networking fundraiser, names new chair



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