At the recent Hunter Business Excellence Awards former local woman Jessica Rodgers won Entrepreneur of the Year for her business Explore and Soar.
Jessica was a finalist in four categories including Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Customer Service Individual, while the business was a finalist in New Start and Health Services Categories.
Jessica celebrated with staff, her very proud mother Simone Kerrison and sister Claire Rodgers.
"To win Young Entrepreneur of the Year is such an honour, its been a wonderful journey over the last 18 months and to sit and reflect on what I have achieved is simply amazing," she said.
"Along with my team, it's the clients that have shaped how the business has grown and without them I could not have come so far so quickly.
"I thank my staff and every family we have met along the way."
Jessica attended Lithgow High School where she graduated year 12 in 2008 and then furthered her education through studying Occupational Therapy (OT) at CSU Albury. After graduating Jessica worked in various locations including Young, Richmond and Penrith where her passion grew within the paediatric sector.
Jessica now resides in the Hunter region while her family still resides in Lithgow, where her mother, Simone Kerrison is the Agency Principal at GIO Lithgow.
With her determination and skill base Jessica created her own business in early 2018. Within six months Jessica evolved her business from a sole practitioner to a company where Jessica became the Director and Senior OT of Occupational Therapists Explore and Soar.
Her aim was to fill the gaps in service across the Hunter Region and provide a much needed mobile service for children and their families from zero to 18 years.
With the help of her team they enabled skills and strategies for overcoming a whole array of challenges, from identifiable learning and behavioural issues to the more subtle difficulties.
Explore and Soar works with families in their own surroundings enabling parents, children and teens to take accountability and apply strategies with increasing efficiency and ease than if they were to attend a clinic or external facility.