Raé Kirton – “Being a woman in business is a balancing act of maintaining a stable home and being accomplished in your work environment.”
The South African Council for Business Women presented Raé Kirton, owner of Dynamic Vision Optometrists in White River, with the prestigious 2015 Business Woman of the Year award at their annual gala. This national award is a tremendous honour, and it’s thrilling that a business woman from White River topped the log against stiff competition from cities and towns across South Africa. Wow!
Business Woman of the Year is a competition organised by the South African Council for Business Women. Entrants submit a portfolio with a business plan to the judges. Then a round of regional interviews are followed by national interviews in Pretoria. Judging is in three categories: corporate, entrepreneur and professional (Raé won the professional category), and the winners are revealed at an awards dinner.
“The judging was fair and not nearly as intimidating as I expected. The best advice I was given was that the judging is not about ‘catching you out’, but to see how well you understand and run your business. I am very passionate about my practice, so enjoyed explaining what we do and how we do it!” Raé remarks.
Moving to White River with her family nine years ago from Johannesburg, seeking quality of life, Raé is confident that they’ve found it here, in a small town with no traffic woes, community conscious, friendly people and surrounded by beautiful landscapes. She has over 20 years of industry experience and has worked in private practice and in a clinic. She also lectured to the Optometry students from the Technikon Witwatersrand and University of Johannesburg for seven years. White River suits her – she believes in supporting the community and is involved in Rotary and her child’s school parents association. That’s the civic spirit We Are White River encourages!
Striving for excellence, Raé is a perfectionist, setting high goals for herself and working diligently to achieve them. Her family is of utmost importance to her, however, and Raé feels that she wouldn’t be where she is today without their support and understanding.
The biggest lesson the competition taught Raé was learning to operate outside her comfort zone, but winning gives recognition for her hard work and reassurance that what they do has meaning and is worth it. She hopes the exposure will bring new patients into her practice, enabling Dynamic Vision to grow even stronger.
She has some advice for other women determined to achieve business success and awards – to be honest, ethical, passionate, keep up to date with the latest trends and attend seminars. Get involved in charity and your community, and remember success requires an awesome family and incredible, hardworking staff.
Raé Kirton, for your magnificent national achievement on behalf of White River and business women, we award you a White River Star!