Gabriella Somerville, the founding managing director of London based business aviation charter and sales company ConnectJets, is to be presented with the Honorary Global Exemplary Award for Entrepreneurship 2015 by the EU-WIIN (European Union – Women Inventors & Innovators Network).
The award, originally launched five years ago, to celebrate the achievements of women working in traditionally male dominated fields, recognises Gabriella’s inspirational and exemplary achievement within the aviation industry.
Gabriella will receive her accolade at the EU-WIIN International Conference & Awards Ceremony which takes place at The British Library, London, on 14 October 2015.
Gabriella launched ConnectJets, initially with an all-female team, to provide charter, lease and aircraft sales opportunities to clients across the world. Currently based in Mayfair London, ConnectJets has recently secured fresh investment to expand both the charter and sales division.
Testament to Gabriella Somerville’s sales and marketing prowess in the sector, in 2014 she secured a contract with Piaggio Aerospace to be the company’s exclusive Sales Agent for their distinctive business turboprop in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland. Gabriella became the first business woman to be appointed sales agent for the company.
Virgin Startup business mentor
Just recently, Gabriella was selected as a mentor for Richard Branson’s Entrepreneurial Programme, Virgin StartUp. Virgin StartUp, is a not-for-profit organisation, which gives entrepreneurs the funding, information and support they need to get their business ideas off the ground. Gabriella embarked on her aviation career at Virgin Atlantic and credits her success to her formative years under the leadership of Richard Branson and the Virgin Atlantic team.
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder said:
“Congratulations to Gabriella. She is doing stellar work in the aviation sector and I’m proud she started her career with Virgin Atlantic. I’m delighted she has agreed to support our Virgin StartUp scheme for aspiring entrepreneurs and I’m sure she will be an inspiration to anyone who has the courage to launch their own business.”
“I am delighted to be nominated for this award and hope it will encourage more women to take up leadership roles within the vibrant business aviation sector. There has been a glass ceiling within this industry and now we are beginning to see the ceiling lift – thanks to EBAA, BBGA and other industry bodies who are rightly beginning to challenge the status quo.
Gabriella Somerville started her aviation career with Virgin Atlantic in 1988 as Cabin Crew. She moved to British Airways in 1995 working in a variety of senior customer service roles before launching a boutique events management start up, creating bespoke events for private jet and concierge agencies. In 2007 Gabriella joined Bombardier Skyjet International as Client Relationship Manager where she introduced a new customer relations strategy to develop future business growth opportunities throughout EMEA. Later as Vice President Programme Sales for VistaJet, Gabriella helped to establish VistaJet Programmes in London and Southern UK markets, developing significant alliances with key luxury partners. In 2009 Gabriella started ConnectJets Limited – serving as a conduit for arranging business aircraft charter, lease and latterly aircraft sales opportunities to clients across the world. She continues to manage the company based out of London.
The EUWIN event serves as a catalyst and capacity building initiative for the introduction of new products, processes and services with a special focus on women. Following the successful EUWIN Conference and award programmes held in Berlin, Germany in 2007; Helsinki, Finland in 2009; Reykjavik, Iceland in 2011 and Stockholm, Sweden in 2013, EUWIN has evolved into a far reaching initiative of life changing experiences for many creative, inventive and innovative women.
The aim is to explore effective ways of providing relevant support, assistance, tools, advice and information to assist women in achieving significant economic and social growth with their inventions and enterprises.
For more information on ConnectJets please visit www.connectjets.com
For more information on EU-WIIN please visit www.euwiininternational.eu
For more information on Virgin StartUp visit: www.virginstartup.org