The winners of the second annual ARN Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) have been named at a glittering luncheon in Sydney.
Over two hundred people packed the Ivy Ballroom to celebrate female excellence in the ICT channel, rewarding professional achievements and outstanding results in the industry.
This year's Awards were hosted by respected author, playwright, journalist and TV presenter, Indira Naidoo.
Westcon executive vice-president, Wendy O'Keeffe, presented an enthralling keynote address that took her listeners on an emotional roller coaster ride, as she described her tumultuous early years breaking into the fledgling IT industry, her tough grind up the ranks and eventual triumph.
ARN president and publisher also addressed the gathering and delivered one key message to the women in the audience: make the team.
So to the six awards which recognise the very best in the channel, celebrating the achievements of a talented crop of female front runners who have made it through to become influential figures in Australia’s ICT industry.
There were a record number of entries this year; a real testament to the growing support from the ICT community and the many worthy contenders that submitted a nomination and that were ultimately selected as a 2013 finalist.
ARN would like to congratulate this year’s award recipients. The winners are:
The ACHIEVEMENT AWARD went to SARA WATTS of IBM. Sara won the award for her proven leadership skills and commitment to the Australian channel throughout her 20 years of service at IBM.Sara’s distinguished career is littered with milestones, peaking with her appointment as IBM’s CFO in 2008. She has been a key figure in the company’s back office transformation and business process improvement, and is recognised as an authority on finance transformation, data analytics, social business and the impact of technology on finance teams and business models. She is a mentor to both IBM staff and the next generation of future business leaders, both in Australia and worldwide.
The TECHNICAL AWARD was won by LINETTE VOLLER of Symantec. Linette’s high profile technical contributions to the ICT Industry, including one of Symantec’s key products, Netbackup, are at the core of her win. An advisor to governments, banks, ICT consultants, universities and telcos on data protection and recovery, she is the person tech support calls for its tech support. Linette’s dedication to customer service has seen her recognised within Symantec on several occasions and she is a winner of the ‘Standing Ovation’ award, one of the highest awards available in the company. Linette makes the complex understandable and solves problems that have stumped IT departments the world over while remaining calm in crisis situations.
The COMMUNITY AWARD was presented to GABRIELLE DRACOPOULOS of VMware. Grabrielle has gone above and beyond in her efforts to mentor and support women both in and out of the company, supporting them in education and on building their career paths. She manages the VMWare Foundation for ANZ and the Foundation Citizen Council helping women build new skills. Gabrielle also actively finds volunteering opportunities for VMware staff and helps them give back something to the community. She also plays a major role in the community outside of work as volunteer with children’s charity Variety, and as an active member of an Autism support group. Her inspiring and influential work also saw here write a series of blogs for VMware on International Women’s Day.
The ENTREPRENEUR AWARD was taken out by SHARON WHITEHAND of WhiteGold Solutions. Over a decade ago, Sharon founded ultra-successful, WhiteGold Solutions, with husband, Dominic, and their business partner, Jonathan Odria. The company now boasts a growth trajectory of 60 per cent year-on-year and has also been the ARN IT Industry Solutions Distributor of the Year Award holder three times in the last four years. There’s no question Sharon keeps WhiteGold’s operational aspects ticking along smoothly. Her reputation for innovation, risk-taking and hard work has seen her construct and manage WhiteGold’s trail-blazing ventures, product and services.
The INNOVATION AWARD was clinched by ANGELA CORONICA of Cisco. Over 21 years in the IT industry, Angela has developed a stellar reputation for challenging the status quo, and for developing new ways to solve problems for clients while driving growth and revenue. Her proven success in leading the implementation of Cisco’s marketing is pivotal in the success of the Cisco/VMware partnership. It has helped the company identify market gaps, acquire new business opportunities and work better with its partners. Angela has now managed to integrate these new tools into the business in order to create a useful service for the business beyond simple marketing.
The RISING STAR award went to LISA YOULDEN of Nextgen Distribution. Lisa has been recognised for her innovative approach to building solutions in a career spanning 16 years. Lisa started out at IT giant, Tech Pacific, in 1997, and within two years of joining, she was running the SMB sales ream, with 25 staff and the largest single quota in the company. By the time she turned 30 she was running the IBM Business Unit at Tech Pacific, achieving 60 per cent growth in revenues within a year. Since then she has held key roles at Ingram Micro and Microsoft before joining start-up Nextgen Distribution as its General Manager in 2012. A measure of her success can be seen in the fact that Nextgen’s business has gone from zero to $60 million in two years.