Ermine Amies, managing director of The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Europe, has been named European Woman of Achievement in the Entrepreneur category for 2005.
Elaine Robinson, Chairman of the Awards said: "Ermine has made a great contribution in her field. Like all our award winners, she possesses the determination to succeed, belief in her abilities, the courage to overcome obstacles and the willpower to make it happen. She is also an inspiration to others who wish to contribute to the health, welfare and prosperity of their respective communities. By their actions, all our award winners reinforce what is good in our society and what is possible."
Now in its 15th year, the European Women of Achievement Awards (EWAA) has a stellar list of 71 previous celebrated winners - among them Rachel Heyhoe Flint MBE DL (2004); Fiona Thornewill (2004); Paula Radcliffe MBE (2003); Frances Cairn-Cross (2002); Angela
Rippon OBE (2002); Dame Ellen MacArthur MBE (2001); Kate Mosse (2000); Mary Baker MBE (2000); Dame Felicity Lott CBE (1999); Dame Vera Lynn (1994); and Ann Gloag OBE (1992).
Since the launch of the Awards in 1991, an estimated 300 women have been nominated. These unique awards highlight women who are making an outstanding contribution in their field, which has a significant European dimension, and provide a wonderful opportunity to
recognise and applaud women who are helping to reshape Europe for the better.
Ermine was nominated by Dr Yvonne Court, Partner & Head of Retail Research & Consultancy who is a founding member and past Chair of ICSC's European Research Group.
Ermine moved to become Chief Operating Office at ICSC Europe in 2002, and was made Managing Director just six months later. She moved to this European role after creating the UK's largest business advisory service, Business Link for London, in her role as chief executive.
Ermine's enthusiasm and hard work has been the key to her success. She has re- established The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Europe, a pan- European trade association for retail property investors, developers and managers and allied professionals including architects, engineers and surveyors. When she started at the ICSC, the challenge was to turn it around or close the office.
She has established a new industry board, and built buy-in amongst senior managers across Europe, doubling membership to 900 members. Ermine has created retail property summer schools to develop the knowledge and skills of young professionals in management and marketing. She has also advised three new trade association style councils in Russia, Poland and Ukraine, and works with members based in developing markets to develop their national activities.
Amies commented: "The provision of further education in any sector should be a top priority, because it's through education that we can continue to support the development and regeneration of Europe into a cohesive and mutually supportive environment where individuals from every European country have access to similar opportunities. The shopping centre industry encompasses a wide range of specialisms including development and investment, and often finds itself at the vanguard of change - especially now in Central and Eastern Europe where it's thanks in part to the significant financial investment of ICSC Europe members that countries such as Poland, Hungary and The Czech Republic are now developing a new infrastructure which also contributes to each country's regeneration. I'm absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award."
The European Women of Achievement awards were announced at The Grosvenor House Hotel in a special lunch attended by over 600 people.