Technology business owner and Managing Director Leanne Bonner-Cooke, who runs software development business Evolve-IT Consulting Ltd at their Ratby head office in Leicestershire, recently discovered her name had been submitted to The Queen in a letter detailing her appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2018 Honours List, by order of The Prime Minister.
Mrs Bonner-Cooke who lives in Mountsorrel with her husband Tom, received the exciting news in November via her parents who were dog-sitting for the couple whilst they were on holiday. Leanne says;
“I got a Whatsapp from my Dad with a picture of the letter which was covered in official stamps and at first I thought it must be a joke! The letter said I was receiving an MBE for Services to Women in Business. I was absolutely thrilled, but with an embargo on the Honours List, I wasn’t allowed to share the news with anyone until the end of December.”
Recognised with Businesswoman of the Year awards in 2017 and 2015, and with an International Business of the Year award 2015 amongst many others, Leanne isn’t unfamiliar with awards and accreditations as she runs a successful software development business celebrating its 11th year in 2018.
However, being awarded an MBE is something Leanne had never dreamt of;
“Tom and I were on holiday in Bali when we got the news, which was a welcome distraction as the volcano there was causing huge problems at the time – we thought we were going to be stuck there for a while. Then my Father send me a message telling me he wanted to cry with joy and pride as I’d had a letter from the Home Office. I had no idea I had been put forward and still don’t know who nominated me for the award, but I couldn’t be more thankful!”
Leanne’s Multi-award winning, Enterprise Grade Software Development Company, Evolve are described as leaders in innovation and technology and provide products and services to blue chip companies both in the UK and internationally.
Leanne has watched Evolve grow year after year in the last decade, watching technology trends come and go and worked with countless customers to improve business processes by introducing an Evolve custom-built solution. Constantly staying ahead of the technology curve is key to the success of official ‘Women-Owned’ Evolve and its Managing Director and her latest official royal recognition.
As a ‘hands-on’ MD always looking for a new challenge, Leanne plans to break away their rebate management software solution, ‘e-Bate’, into a stand-alone business in 2018 and is already looking for investment:
“We’ve done lots of research into the rebate space and we know there is a huge opportunity there. Nearly all large corporations have rebate deals between themselves and their suppliers, but we know there’s billions of pounds not being accounted for or claimed, through poor rebate management. e-Bate is an end-to-end rebate management solution that can recover and save our customers a lot of money. In fact, we believe they will see returns within the first 6 months. We think e-Bate has huge potential not just in our target markets, but far, far wider.”
Leanne, also listed in the 2017 ‘BusinessCloud 101 Female Founders of Tech’ will attend a ceremony where she will be presented with her MBE in the next few months by The Queen, or in the name of Her Majesty. The New Year Honours have been presented to individuals for outstanding service to the community for over 127 years.
As a pioneering woman in a technology business, the MBE title of ‘Services to Women in Business’ is fitting to Leanne’s professional achievements. Regularly attending inspirational talks and presenting to her peers and associates, Leanne has always done her best to give back to the business community and to help her fellow business people wherever she can.
“I am very proud to be receiving an MBE; it feels surreal! I cannot wait to attend the ceremony and hopefully meet Her Majesty the Queen. This is definitely both my career and lifetime highlight.