The Achievement award recognises the candidate showing outstanding commitment to the ICT industry through continuous career development and professional achievements. The candidate will have risen to a senior ICT role, earned a reputation as an esteemed thought-leader and recognised as a leader in the industry, and may also act as a role model/mentor to other aspiring female managers.
Winner: Nicki Bowers, Arinco
After starting her career in electrical engineering in the early 90’s, Nicki went on to work for the likes of Compaq, Dimension Data and Microsoft before co-founding Kloud Solutions in 2010, with the company subsequently acquired by Telstra six years later. In 2019, Nicki co-founded another start-up, Arinco, and stepped into a director role at Cevo Australia.
The Rising Star awards recognise the candidate with a commitment to continuous career advancement and a proven desire to reach the next level of professional development. The candidate — who has been working in the ICT industry for less than eight years — is growing quickly in importance in the ICT field, demonstrating outstanding business acumen and professional integrity.
RISING STAR - PARTNER
Winner: Jenessa O’Connell, KPMG Australia
Jenessa began her ICT career straight out of high school, working with Fujitsu Australia on the Defence ICT Service Desk. Within a few short years, she quickly rose through the ranks, in the process managing technical engineers across four government clients and five technical streams until becoming a Senior Consultant at KPMG in 2020.
RISING STAR - VENDOR
Winner: Nikki Saunders, Vocus
Highly commended: Sarah Vodicka, CrowdStrike
Nikki first leapt into the ICT industry via a channel marketing contract at IBM. Since joining Vocus in 2017 as a channel marketing manager, she has continued to excel, ultimately being offered the opportunity to take ownership of leading the Vocus Wholesale and Strategic Alliance Marketing Programs in addition to the Enterprise Channel Marketing Program.
RISING STAR - DISTRIBUTOR
Winner: Gabe Marzano, NEXTGEN
Since joining NEXTGEN in 2019 to build, grow and lead the company’s Cyber Security business and go-to-market, Gabe has played an instrumental role in growing the Cyber Security business and achieving 594 per cent revenue growth over the past 18 months while onboarding next-generation cyber security vendors for a complementary solution portfolio.
Due to an overwhelming number of strong female contenders in the Rising Star category, a new category was created to recognise great performers with more than eight years in ICT. The successful candidate will have shown noted achievements in the ICT industry, demonstrated areas of success (either through promotion or successful project/company initiatives), and highlighted noted achievements in the ICT industry.
SHINING STAR - PARTNER
Winner: Deirdre Stankard, Blackbook.ai
Graduating with a major in software engineering in Ireland, Deidre joined software developer OpenJaw Technologies. Moving to Australia, she took a role with Thiess and then with Shortcuts Software. Before long she joined Blackbook.ai, where in two short years she has delivered over 300 automation projects for some of the most iconic brands in Australia.
SHINING STAR - VENDOR
Winner: Corrie Briscoe, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Highly commended: Aggie Grom, Veeam Software
Corrie got her start in the ICT industry in 1996 with Sybase Australia, moving on to Vignette, and then Cisco Systems. In 2020, she was appointed Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Head of Partner Success in Asia Pacific and Japan, leading the partner sales organisation through the COVID-19 pandemic and driving organisational change focused on customer obsession.
SHINING STAR - DISTRIBUTOR
Winner: Kate Davis, Dicker Data
Kate started out in the ICT industry with Hartech Distribution in the late 90’s. Since then, she’s gone from strength to strength, joining Ingram Micro in 1999 and stepping over to Dicker Data in 2007 as NSW Business Development Manager. Today, Kate carries an annual revenue target of more than $200 million, delivering double digit growth on her targets.
ARN congratulates all winners, highly commended individuals and finalists, and thanks all organisations and individuals for taking the time to submit nominations. ARN also thanks the industry leaders comprising this year’s WIICTA judging panel.