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Lesley Keets, the Chief Operating Officer of multi-award winning NMEA specialists Actisense, has won a top regional Business Woman of the Year award.

Actisense COO Lesley Keets has won the Businesswoman of the Year Award at a prestigious ceremony celebrating the best businesses from across the South of the UK, in the counties of Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. Based in Poole, Dorset, Lesley was presented with the accolade in recognition of her personal contribution to the success of the multi-award-winning, specialist marine electronics company, which continues to grow and enter new markets around the world.

Joining Actisense 11 years ago, Lesley worked her way up from Sales & Marketing Manager to being appointed Chief Operating Officer in April 2015. This was a considerable achievement as she had no previous experience of the marine industry nor any formal STEM qualifications.

In the predominantly male-dominated maritime industry where only 2% of the workforce are female, Lesley has developed an in-depth knowledge of Actisense products, increased sales, improved productivity and established relationships with international marine electronics organisations. Actisense now distributes to all major maritime regions, including countries such as the USA, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, UAE, India and all of mainland Europe.

Lesley Keets, said: "It was a huge honour to receive the Blackmore Vale Business Woman of the Year Award. I hope that my success will inspire other women to show an interest in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing careers, plus realise the many opportunities available in the marine electronics sector."

Phil Whitehurst, CEO of Active Research Ltd, comments: “Lesley has been a vital and passionate contributor to the success of Actisense for over a decade now, helping us achieve ever increasing sales and turnover targets. She’s also generated numerous new business opportunities at home and overseas. In our opinion, there is no one more deserving of this award. We are immensely proud of our COO and this latest accolade.”

Alongside Lesley’s Business Women of the Year Award win, Actisense were finalists in two other award categories at the Blackmore Vale Business Awards. This included the Large Company of the Year and Exporter of the Year category.

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