Livingston entrepreneur Catherine O’Day has been named Business Woman of the Year for West Lothian.
Catherine O’Day was born in Gourock, and attended St Columbus High School in Greenock.
On leaving school she was offered a scholarship by multinational technology firm IBM, which at that time employed so many in Greenock there was a dedicated IBM railway station.
Catherine studied first for an HNC at Glasgow College of Technology, now Glasgow Caledonian University, then three years day-release for professional Chartered Management Accountant (CMA) accreditation. She would spend the rest of the week working in management at IBM’s office, adding a valuable vocational element to her academic studies.
She graduated at 21, the minimum age required for entry as a CMA and her first job as a qualified accountant was with Motherwell Bridge Thermal, which builds storage tanks, heat exchangers and gas-holders.
She married husband Bill in 1981 and moved to Uphall, West Lothian, where they still live.
From 1982 to 1991 Catherine worked in various roles for Wood Mackenzie, a firm dealing in research and analysis for the oil, gas and mining industries. After taking a year’s career break on the birth of her son, she worked as a business consultant for ComputerLand, a chain of personal computer stores.
While working at Springfords chartered accountants in 1992 as a partner, Catherine founded Dundas It, which she sold to Onyx in 2008.
Catherine now runs The Cashroom, which she formed in 2007, an outsourced legal cashier and financial director service for law firms. The Cashroom, and its competitors, aim to offer services previously offered in-house at solicitors’ firms.
She manages a team of legal cashiers working with clients in keeping up-to-date records, and helping promote the highest standards in internal cash-flow.
The company is based in Livingston and has this year already won Scott & Co’s Support Team of the Year award. The Cashroom now employs 30 staff with varied professional backgrounds.
Earlier this month she won the Shona Sibbald award for Business Woman of the Year for West Lothian after being nominated by colleagues. The awards ceremony was held in Uphall and attended by more than 200 guests and business leaders from across West Lothian and beyond.
Catherine will this year move from client-based work to the more strategic role of chairwoman at The Cashroom, giving her more time to spend helping young people succeed in finance and allowing more flexibility in running the newly opened Chorley office in Lancashire.
Outside of business, Catherine – who has three sons and two grandchildren – enjoys playing golf and travelling in Portugal, where she owns a summer residence.