One of the region’s most successful businesswomen of the last two decades has died at the age of just 59.
June Reynolds-Lacey, executive chairman and owner of Coleshill-based Box Telematics, passed away following a short battle with cancer.
Her husband David, a director, said he had pledged to carry on the business in the way that Mrs Reynolds-Lacey would have wished.
Mrs Reynolds-Lacey was a well known entrepreneur, who founded NSH Techlogistics (then called UK Mobile Phones) in 1989 with the help of a loan of £60,000, using her Jensen sports car as collateral.
The company became the UK’s first service provider for the Orange Network ten years later, allowing it to offer SMS and data services worldwide.
The business, subsequently renamed NSH (National Service Hub) was a service provider to Nokia. The business was so successful that it was listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track awards and Mrs Reynolds-Lacey was the Midlands region winner in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2001.
Business colleagues said Mrs Reynolds-Lacey was one of the first to realise that mobile phones would one day become a disposable item. She responded by setting up Box Telematics 12 years ago to provide systems for collecting data and monitoring assets.
The business, which has sales of £10 million and 90 employees, has won a number of awards for technology, including the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Rising Star award in 2004 and being named in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
David Reynolds-Lacey said: “At this sad time, it is difficult to know what to say but I would like to thank all our colleagues, customers and suppliers, for there has already been an outpouring of sympathy, support and commitment.
“We will be driving our business forward as a tribute to June’s fantastic achievement in building it up and we intend to remain independent and to grow our business as a mark of respect to June’s memory.”
Prior to founding the business, Mrs Reynolds-Lacey worked as a hotel chef, a profession for which she trained but had to give up due to suffering a bad back.
She then became a chauffeur to a merchant banker, who encouraged her to set up her own business.