And the winners are ...
The 2014 ARN Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) were presented at a gala luncheon at the Ivy ballroom in Sydney with more than 285 channel leaders in attendance.
The third year of Awards drew massive interest and nominations hit a significant high, so much so that an additional category - Shining Star - was created as a result of the overwhelming number of strong nominations in the Rising Star category.
Shining Star recognises nominees with more than 10 years in ICT.
The ARN Women in ICT Awards recognise and celebrate female excellence in the ICT channel, and reward professional achievements and outstanding results in the industry.
The crowd listened intently to addresses by channel legend, Peter Masters, who after 17 years at Express Data left in December 2013 to begin his own company, Master Class Coaching, and 2014 ARN Hall of Fame inductee and Intel A/NZ managing director, Kate Burleigh.
MC for the day was ARN president and publisher, Susan Searle.
Now, drum roll please, the winners for 2014 are:
ACHIEVEMENT: Allyson Corcoran, Cisco
Allyson Corcoran won the Achievement award for her strong financial and business acumen, which is deeply respected within the company and the ICT industry at large. She has worked in the IT industry for more than 22 years – 14 of which have been spent at Cisco. She has made several important contributions to the ICT industry including designing courses for senior managers and directors within Cisco Technical services, which has become a learning and development module rolled out across all business units within the region.
INNOVATION: Megan Hastie, Brisbane School of Distance Education
Megan Hastie took out the Innovation award for her outstanding work with robotics in a bid to change the way schools teach ICT. Megan is leading a Robots project that uses an emerging digital technology to meet the urgent need to skill Australian students in digital technologies. Early in her career, while teaching in Far North Queensland in remote communities on Cape York Peninsula, she saw firsthand that geography and distance were significant barriers to accessing basic public services and exercising the rights and duties of citizenship in Australia.
COMMUNITY: Kelly Davis, UXC Connect
Kelly Davis won the Community award for her range of philanthropic efforts including her work as a volunteer for Mentor for Raise, the Youth Mentoring Foundation where she is able to take her ICT experience and knowledge and teach children who are interested in the industry. Kelly is also a volunteer for Lou’s Place which is a daytime refuge for women. Her list of community volunteering also includes: volunteer for Sydney Homeless Connect; foster carer for Animal Welfare League NSW; pyjama angel volunteer for the Pyjama Foundation; volunteer for Breast Cancer Network Australia, among others. She is also heavily involved in coordinating and running all ‘women in IT’events at the company, which is above and beyond her job function.
RISING STAR: Aggie Szemplinska of Veeam Software
Aggie Szemplinska wins in this category for her top performing results in the Northern region and her ongoing channel leadership. She is widely recognised as a trusted advisor to senior management and principals within the key channel partners. Starting out 10 years ago in Europe, she has steadily achieved top results across a number of ICT roles. At Veeam, she was awarded Top Field Rep of the Quarter across APAC for both Q1 and Q2 of this year, and she is on track to win presidents club honours, which puts her amongst Veeam’s global elite.
ENTREPRENEUR: Nicki Page, Breeze
IT veteran, Nicki Page of Breeze, took out the Entrepreneur award for her courage to leave a secure job with Microsoft to pivot and transform the business model of Breeze ( a Microsoft training partner run by her husband at the time) and get it ‘back on track’. Within two years, Nicki had the system integrator business growing again from a start-up phase to recognising 30-40 per cent year-on-year growth. She also identified the need to innovate and create new business revenue streams and therefore led the Breeze team through a Cloud business transformation.
TECHNICAL: Katrina Read, IBM
Katrina Read was recognised in this category for her proven ability to “problem solve” and her rare mix of technology and business acumen. While at Oracle, she played a pivotal role in building the world’s first 8-node and 32-node clustered databases. With IBM for the past seven years, she has achieved top results and was promoted to a senior architect role within the Business Analytics team in A/NZ. She was awarded the Worldwide Business Analytics Architect of the Year award in 2012, and recently promoted to the role of Big Data and Analytics Technical Leader for IBM Asia-Pacific. She is also a closet Apple developer and been asked to take a leadership role on the strategic partnership between IBM and Apple.
SHINING STAR: Melanie Duca, Intel Security
Melanie Duca won the Shining Star award for her proven leadership skills and work ethic that recognises her as the youngest of the company directors to lead the consumer team globally. She heads the entire consumer marketing team across the Asia-Pacific region, which supports almost 45 per cent of the revenues and 80 per cent of the profitability. She has been involved in major company projects including the Tweens and Teens research, which she helped to spearhead in Asia. The research has helped to shape the company’s cyber education program.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Fiona Dicker, Dicker Data
Fiona Dicker's Lifetime Achievement award recgnises her outstanding leadership in steering Dicker Data's success. In the mid-80s David Dicker and Fiona started an R&D arm of the family business to manufacture PCs, before moving exclusively to distribution. Fiona established a strong reputation for excellent customer service with both vendors and resellers. Over her 22 years at the helm, Fiona was respected for her level business head and her good old-fashioned belief that honesty and hard work lead to success. Fiona was also a pioneer in providing a work environment which could attract and retain female employees. As she juggled motherhood and business, she set up an in house creche designed to offer a work-life balance for parents on the Dicker staff. Since leaving the management of Dicker in 2004, she has remained a director and shareholder and was intricately involved in the integration of Express Data into Dicker Data.
ARN congratulates all the nominees, finalists and winners of the 2014 ARN Women in ICT Awards.
The 2015 ARN Women in ICT Awards will be held on November 19. See you then.
- Mike Gee, Editorial Director, and Jennifer O'Brien, Associate Editor.