The Belfast Telegraph Women of the Year Awards, in association with The Outlet Village, Banbridge, were held at the five-star Culloden Hotel in Holywood.
Emma Spence shared the Inspirational Women of the Year accolade with Clodagh Dunlop at the gala event, which celebrates women from all walks of life.
Emma faced tragedy when her family was engulfed by one of Northern Ireland's worst ever farming accidents.
Her father, Noel, and brothers Graham and Nevin, a gifted Ulster Rugby player, died after they tried to rescue their pet dog and subsequently each other from a slurry tank on their farm near Hillsborough in September 2012.
Emma almost died after she battled to save them and had to be rushed to hospital when she too was overcome by the poisonous fumes.
The talented artist turned to her paints and earlier this year she launched an exhibition of 31 oils on canvas, entitled Their Fields, a powerful evocations of their family farm.