July 7th saw another win for Westward Ho! businesswoman, Kathy Murdoch at last week’s Venus Awards finals. Known as the “working woman’s Oscars”, the Venus Awards recognise the passion, talent and contributions of women who work to improve their local communities.
After winning Business of the Year at the Regional Awards in November 2015, Kathy was automatically put through to the National Awards where, although no stranger to success, she was astounded to be announced National Award Winner for two of her businesses, the exclusive wedding venue Ocean Kave and its complementary selection of 13 luxury holiday cottages at Westward Living.
When asked about her inspiration, Kathy was quite clear on the driving force behind her success: “I am a mother first and foremost. I love Devon and adore bringing my boys up in this wonderful part of the country. However, in order to achieve excellence, I had to move away, because North Devon had so little to offer an ambitious entrepreneur. I want to make my sons and other people in the area understand that they can always improve themselves, they can always strive for excellence and that nothing can stop them, except their own limitations. I love giving back to the community, I am passionate about encouraging excellence and providing opportunities for those who work hard for them. My rewards have been watching my incredible staff rise to the challenges presented to them and introducing a new demographic of tourists to North Devon to help bolster the economy. I have so much respect for every woman who, like me, has worked hard to overcome obstacles and prejudices and it is with great joy and humility that I accept the fantastic honour of being named Business of the Year.”
Kathy’s tenacious spirit has paid off; despite many setbacks, from refused planning permission to the challenges of being a working mother, she and her team have transformed the face of Westward Ho!, improving the Village green with their prestigious Latitude 51 development, which includes shops, a restaurant and the opulent Seahorse Apartments, as well as creating Ocean Kave and Westward Living.
With their track record, excellent eye for opportunity and passion for their local community, the Murdochs certainly are an unstoppable force. Not prone to rest on her laurels, Kathy and her husband, Chris, have ambitious plans for new ventures that will build on their current standards of excellence and continue to improve the prospects of people living in North Devon.