A DIRECTOR of a West Lothian courier firm has been named Business Woman of the Year at awards designed to recognise talented women across Scotland.

Fiona Deas, co-director of Bathgate-based Eagle Couriers, one of Scotland’s leading courier firms, claimed the title at The Scottish Women’s Awards 2018.

The awards, held in Glasgow, acknowledged the achievements of women entrepreneurs, business women, professionals, civil servants, women in uniform, charity workers and all those who help to make Scotland a better place.

Others nominated included Susan Ireland of Hickory Foods, Tracey Hogarth of Freedom Brands, Carol Thomson of BDD and Frances Rus of Duncan & Todd. Deas, who has been with the company for 21 years, was “shocked but delighted” to win.

“I am over the moon to have been crowned Business Woman of the Year,” she said. “In a very male-orientated industry it is nice to know that a woman can be recognised for her work.

“I want to say a massive congratulations to all the other women who were shortlisted – it’s amazing to see so many successful women being acknowledged.

“Also, I want to say a big thank you to the whole team at Eagle Couriers too for the support and for the hard work they put in day in and day out. Without them we wouldn’t be the success that we are.”

Other big-name winners on the night included Naomi McAuliffe from Amnesty International and Hazel Moffat from DLA Piper, highlighting the calibre and diversity of talent present at the awards.

Before joining Eagle Couriers in 1997 as finance manager, Deas, who lives in Edinburgh, worked at an accountancy practice, in manufacturing and in healthcare.

Following the company’s management buyout in 2006, she became a director and shareholder.

Deas added: “I’ve worked in a lot of different roles over the years, but I wouldn’t be doing what I do now if I didn’t love my job.

“No two days are ever the same and they can be long. However, when you see the company achieve great things, such as the THS Couriers takeover earlier this year, that’s when you know the hard work has paid off.”

Eagle Couriers strengthened its presence south of the Border after agreeing a deal to buy baggage repatriation specialist THS Couriers.

The firm acquired 100% of Paisley-based THS Couriers for an undisclosed sum.

Formed in 2010, THS specialises in providing baggage recovery for major airlines throughout the UK, including British Airways, Emirates, Jet2 and Virgin Atlantic. It handles more than 100,000 bags each year across 16 airports, from London Heathrow in the south to Inverness in the north.

Deas, who said she was surprised even to be nominated for the awards, said: “I admire anyone in business who puts in the effort to improve themselves. If you do it with your own hard work it means so much more than sitting on the coat tails of someone else.”