Kate Lester started her own business in 1992, aged just 20. She has extensive knowledge of the courier industry and associated fields. Kate has had interests in businesses as wide-ranging as event management and property development.
Kate’s an entrepreneur who loves to work on turn-around projects, accelerated growth or start-ups of small to medium size enterprises.
Kate was Chairman of the Despatch Association, committee member and National Courier Association Personality of the Year and one of the founding directors of DA Systems and Webforce Logistics.
She has worked in many sectors of the transport and logistics industry, from a Surrey-based 24-hour haulage operation, through to same day courier, internet fulfilment and logistical software provision.
Diamond Logistics provides full logistics management in Surrey, Sussex and Hants with a nationwide network launched in 2013. With 25 sites to date, it aims to have 40 sites by 2016.
In February 2015 Kate became a Fellow of the Institute of Couriers, awarded a the House of Lords in recognition of her services to the industry.
She is the mother of two grown up kids, Chloe and Oscar. She loves nothing better than cooking for friends from her seafront home in Brighton.
Please note – Katelester.com is a non profit exercise to support my fellow entrepreneurs. Be you a start up, established growth business or CEO it can be a lonely place out there and I hope some of my experiences since I started my business in 1992 will help you make your business grow and fulfil all your personal dreams.
Awards and Recognition
First woman with Services to Industry Award from the IOC
The House of Lords – February 2018
Virgin Fast Track 100
Diamond Logistics has reached number 65 in the top 100 fastest growing companies in the UK
Ruban d’honneur Award for Entrepreneurship
European Business Awards – February 2016
Best UK Courier Franchise 2016
Corporate Livewire Innovation and Excellence Awards – January 2016
First Women In Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Real Business and CBI – June 2015
European Business Awards 2015/16
Toast of Surrey Business Award 2015
Trinity Newspaper Group
Business Woman of the Year UK
Acquisitions International Business Excellence Awards 2015
Shortlisted in the City AM Awards 2015 in the ‘Explosive Growth of the Year’ category
City AM’s Link 100 Companies to Watch 2015
Finalist in the ‘New Woman Franchisor of the Year’ category
Encouraging Women into Franchising Awards 2015
Further Awards History
In 2013 Kate won Entrepreneur of the Year and Diamond was runner up in the Toast of Surrey Awards.
In 2011 she was cited as number 11 in the Twenty Most Influential People in Surrey.
Kate was a finalist in the 2008/2009 Surrey Business Awards for Surrey Business Person of the Year, finalist in the Toast of Surrey Awards in 2010 as Business Personality of the Year, and, in 2012, won Entrepreneur of the Year for Guildford with the Entrepreneurs Circle (winning the national awards for December).
Press and Media
Kate is regularly featured in media publications and has also appeared on BBC Radio 4 – click here to find out more.