In a year where many businesses around Australia were forced to close during the COVID-19 lockdown Karen Meiring De Gonzalez has become a national voice who has helped bring about change and diversity in her industry.
On Friday she was named 2020 Illawarra Business Woman of the Year and took out the Customer Focus Award at the Illawarra Women in Business Awards for the way she leads from the front with her own business Skin Correctives in Wollongong and Shellharbour.
The judges were impressed with how when the the business was forced to close she home delivered products to her customers herself.
Mrs Meiring De Gonzalez is no stranger to business and industry recognition including being named IWIB Champion Networker at the IWIB awards in 2019.
But she was still blown away about being named Business Women of the Year in the region she is so passionate about at an event run by a networking body she said does so much for keeping business women connected.
She is also a proactive member of the community and not long after migrating from South Africa and establishing Skin Correctives founded a charity called Care & Share that helps families and carers of children with autism.
2020 has also been about caring for others. When she appeared on national television during the coronavirus lockdown it was to express concerns about how many small businesses in the industry were going under or on the cusp of not surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.
And talk about the importance of the new Professional Aesthetic Industry Register (PAIR Australia) which was formed to advocate for the aesthetic industry. As well as provide guidance material and resources on good practice and safety standards as well as maintain a registry of businesses that meet minimum standards of training and education.
Mrs Meiring de Gonzalez said with so many businesses doing so many different things in the sector it was a fairly fragmented industry and PAIR was a way to bring everyone together, get them talking and help the industry survive COVID-19.
Illawarra Business Woman of Year – Winner – Karen Meiring De Gonzalez of Skin Correctives
Customer Focus – Winner – Karen Meiring De Gonzalez/Skin Correctives
Executive PA, Secretary – Highly Commended – Nicky Millbank of Skin Correctives
This article has been shortened. It was originally published by Greg Ellis in Illawarra Mercury, 31st July 2020