A BUSINESSWOMAN who is set to step up to the role of chief executive of a £72m North Yorkshire vegetable oil company has won a national award.

Jennifer Kerfoot, of The Kerfoot Group, was named UK’s Young Gun of 2012 at the Red Ribbon Awards.

Ms Kerfoot, who is commercial director of packed oils and group people director of independent vegetable oils company and will become chief excutive in April, was presented with the award at a ceremony in London last week.

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The 31-year-old was one of six shortlisted candidates that included nominees from Arora Hotels and Big Issue Foundation.

Anita Brightley-Hodges, Managing Director of Family Business Place, said: “Her amazing ability to head up the UK and European food and technical oils division, combined with working with major clients, managing the needs of the 100 strong workforce and combining all of this with her zest for travel and living life to the full – she is recognised as a role model for the modern next generation of entrepreneur.”

Ms Kerfoot said: “I was thrilled – and surprised – to be announced as the Young Gun winner.

“It’s a wonderful accolade, especially in such austere times, and I’m sure it’ll be a great boost as I move in to my new role.

“My personal and professional goals are unchanged: to continue to develop this company with the tremendous people we have here.”