COMMUNITY: Heather Opdam - VMware
Heather wins this award for shining a spotlight on key social issues, such as mental health awareness and workplace diversity. Heather engineered a partnership with the Black Dog Institute at AWS Summit and vForum this year, alongside leading the A/NZ Diversity and Inclusion Council at VMware.
Highly commended: Elizabeth Meredith - Deloitte
TECHNICAL: Elaiza Benitez - Barhead Solutions
Elaiza wins this award in recognition of becoming a Microsoft Value Professional in Business Applications, the only female in Australasia. Elaiza has joined an exclusive group of 169 MVPs in Business Applications globally, of which 20 MVPs are based in Australia and New Zealand.
Highly commended: Annie Lin - VMware
INNOVATION: Lisa Bouari - OutThought
Lisa wins this award for building an Australian-based artificial intelligence SaaS platform in OutThought. The solution took 12 months to create and passed rigorous government audits and regulations, with the goal of making ‘AI accessible to every organisation’.
ENTREPRENEUR: Tracy Thomson - FinXL
Tracy wins this award for building a multimillion-dollar business from scratch, through the launch of FinXL IT Professional Services in 2003. Fast forward 15 years and the consultancy firm has more than 1000 consultants working on client engagements across Australia and New Zealand, with a revenue run rate of $250 million.
RISING STAR (Vendor): Ila Kulkarni - Veeam
Ila wins this award for designing and implementing the Marketing Concierge Program at Veeam, a scalable marketing engine for resellers and service providers. Partner marketing engagement is now at its highest rate, with exponential growth for key partners such as Probax reaching 725 per cent.
Highly commended: Kathleen Grahame - Sophos
RISING STAR (Distributor): An Nguyen - Dicker Data
An wins this award for rising through the ranks at Dicker Data, growing her combined portfolio of offerings to more than $100 million in four years. An has helped build out new value-added capabilities which resulted in Dicker Data being awarded distribution rights to the Lenovo DCG portfolio.
Highly commended: Asher Tarren - Arrow ECS ANZ & Michelle Hahesy - Tech Data
RISING STAR (Partner): Rebecca Ney - The Missing Link
Rebecca wins this award for driving both external and internal change at The Missing Link, through the implementation of new marketing tools and processes. Rebecca spearheaded the launch of a new cyber security division, while redeveloping the company’s branding strategy and roadmap.
Highly commended: Nika Khodjasteh - DXC Technology
SHINING STAR (Vendor): Claudia McIntosh - Microsoft
Claudia wins this award in recognition of continued service to the Australian channel, driven through innovative thinking and a partner-first philosophy. With more than 25 years experience, Claudia is now leading the channel business at Microsoft, heading up an ecosystem of service providers, resellers, integrators and distributors.
SHINING STARS (Distributors): Kaarena Chapman - Exclusive Networks & Jennifer Lilley - rhipe
Kaarena and Jennifer win this award for demonstrating channel excellence over a sustained period of time in Australia, driving growth through new ideas and approaches. Kaarena continues to record double-digit sales growth, while Jennifer is building out a new ecosystem of ISV partners.
SHINING STAR (Partner): Sarah Harris - Thomas Duryea Logicalis
Sarah wins this award for combining sales and marketing capabilities to drive growth for Thomas Duryea Logicalis. Sarah continues to acquire net new customers through a blend of consultancy skills, technical excellence and business development.
ACHIEVEMENT: Tara Ridley - Cisco
Tara wins this award for building, transforming and leading successful sales teams for three companies in two countries over more than 20 years. Tara continues to drive innovation at Cisco, through growing the channel business by more than 12 per cent across Australia and New Zealand.
Highly commended: Jo Masters - Tquila ANZ
COMMUNITY: Vikki Morris - Cisco
Vikki wins this award for giving back to the industry during a career spanning more than 30 years. Vikki is involved in several female mentoring initiatives, and also spearheads philanthropic initiatives around disabilities awareness.
TECHNICAL: Alana Reynard - The Missing Link
Alana wins this award in recognition of over 13 years’ experience working for managed service providers in both Australia and the UK, providing pre-sales and support services to clients varying from 50 to 1000 users and across a range of different industries. Alana holds over 19 vendor specific certifications, some of which are very specialised and difficult to attain.
INNOVATION: Stacey Tomasoni - Datacom
Stacey wins this award for continually looking “behind” the technology, bringing service design and customer centricity into every conversation. Stacey has used this insight to develop creative and innovative solutions that continue to deliver distinguished customer experience across the market.
ENTREPRENEUR: Victoria Kluth - Araza
Victoria wins this award in recognition of continued success as an entrepreneur and technology executive. After starting out as a coder, Victoria has started three new businesses in the past two years, and is now managing director of Araza, a leading technology company that specialises in implementation of highly complex solutions including cloud based applications and robotics.
RISING STAR: Vaishali Vijay - Capgemini
Vaishali wins this award for quickly rising through the ranks, leveraging solid technical expertise with strong business acumen. At 30, Vaishali joined Capgemini as one of the company’s youngest directors, leading data analytics and visualisations capabilities across A/NZ.
SHINING STAR: Andrea O'Halloran - HP
Andrea wins this award for consistently demonstrating outstanding leadership skills during the past 11 years, including managing a diverse customer base across a wide range of industry sectors. Andrea’s key achievements during her time at HP include helping others achieve their goals, reaching revenue goals and delivering technology that transforms people’s lives.
ACHIEVEMENT: Kerrie-Anne Turner - VMware
Kerrie-Anne wins this award for achieving a range of firsts and exemplary results across the Asia Pacific region during a 25 year technology career. One of Kerrie-Anne’s most notable achievements was establishing Symantec’s Southeast Asian presence and building up its Indian operation at the age of 27, continuing her track record of driving business growth in her current role at VMware.
COMMUNITY: Angela Chan - APC by Schneider Electric
Angela won the Community Award for significantly contributing to shaping communities on the edge of the ICT industry, through her ongoing voluntary work across Australia. Angela founded Hackathons Australia and also works closely with Leaders In Heels and supports Coder Factory Academy.
TECHNICAL: Rebecca Callan - MNF Group
Rebecca won the Technical Award for her work in developing a proof of concept for one of the world’s most advanced toll fraud migration platforms, TollShield. In leading a team of developers, Rebecca helped shape a SaaS solution that has been honoured across the country for its award-winning technical innovation.
Highly commended: Charlotte Wang - IBM
INNOVATION: Isabel Boniface - Microsoft
Isabel won the Innovation Award through her ongoing drive for excellence, outlined through her role as a change agent within the industry. With a natural instinct to solve business problems, Isabel combats the challenge of business with natural creativity and over 20 years of experience.
ENTREPRENEUR: Faith Rees - SixPivot
Faith won the Entrepreneur Award following her success in co-founding SixPivot, an emerging cloud first innovator across Australia. After also taking home the Start-up of the Year Award at the 2016 ARN ICT Industry Awards, Faith is a strong advocate for women in technology, serving as a mentor and committee member for a number of associations.
RISING STAR: Holly Melrose - eNerds
Holly won the Rising Star Award for her transformation at eNerds. After starting out as a receptionist, Holly progressed into a proven leader as general manager of Client Services, now responsible for eight direct reports within the business. Holly achieved this in just five years.
SHINING STAR: Lisa Stockwell - Arrow ECS A/NZ
Lisa won the Shining Star Award for her instrumental role in growing the Distribution Central business, which now forms part of Arrow ECS A/NZ. As a well-respected figure within the channel, Lisa has been widely credited for her work in securing distribution rights with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft during 2016.
Highly commended: Lizelle Hughes - Amazon Web Services
ACHIEVEMENT: Belinda Jurisic - Citrix
Belinda won the Achievement Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership during a career spanning 24 years. Having developed and executed on several partner strategies, Belinda continues to demonstrate an ongoing passion for the channel in Australia.
Highly commended: Nicolette Moore - Optus Business
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Wendy O’Keeffe
Wendy won the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of nearly 30 years of service to the channel. Since starting out in 1988, Wendy has risen through the ranks to lead the Asia Pacific business of Westcon-Comstor, spanning 13 countries including Australia and New Zealand. Both highly regarded and well respected, Wendy is seen as an Asia growth expert within the channel, having led the start-up of new business in nine countries across North and South East Asia. Wendy - an ARN Hall of Fame inductee - recently announced her intention to step down as Westcon-Comstor executive vice president of Asia Pacific, and will take a break before returning to the industry in the future.
ACHIEVEMENT: Sue Armstrong of Fujitsu
Sue Armstrong of Fujitsu wins the Community award for her commitment to supporting women in ICT. She has coached and mentored 50 women across IBM, Capgemini, Fujitsu and externally to help them progress in their careers and support their development. She is the epitome of a goodwill ambassador, a true champion for promoting gender diversity.
TECHNICAL: Shanna of FireEye
Shanna of FireEye wins the Technical award for her string of achievements since 2001 in her IT security specialist role. A noted technical contribution to the ICT industry was working with Australian federal law enforcement on a string of cyber data breaches linked to international incidents.
INNOVATION: Gandhi Sivakumar, IBM Australia
Gandhi of IBM wins the Innovation award for her stellar journey in the ICT industry, from graduate engineer to becoming a chief architect. Working in multiple technologies, industries and clients, she has become a thought-leader and developed successful implementations of very complex first of a kind solutions.
ENTREPRENEUR: Nicki Bowers, Kloud Solutions
Nicki Bowers wins the Entrepreneur award for her vision and achievements in starting a specialised local Cloud systems integrator, providing one-stop-shop service to large corporations, at a time when there was no comparable service on the market. From a young age, she knew she wanted to run her own business, and her decisions throughout her early career were based on working towards that goal.
RISING STAR: Simran Kaur of Webroot and Sandhya Vaishnav of rhipe
Simran has advanced her career very quickly, having stepped up to guide the sales team at Webroot through a management transition. She has proven people management and business skills and is on track to lead Webroot’s marketing efforts through the wider APAC region.
Sandhya has demonstrated proven results at the distribution level, working for Express Data, as well as working as a channel sales manager for PIVOD Technologies and for Synnex Australia. Over the last 12 months at rhipe, she has signed 50 net new partners and delivered 40-50 per cent growth in cross-selling solutions to partners.The Innovation award recognises the candidate who is a stand-out in delivering ‘big picture’ ideas and vision in the ICT industry, thereby responding to change and discovering unique and challenging business opportunities. The candidate will show a proven track record of finding new and better ways of doing business, continually pushing the envelope in the ICT industry.
SHINING STAR: Kellie Hackney, Kaseya
Kellie Hackney of Kaseya wins the Shining Star award for her proven depth of experience in leading change, influencing business outcomes, leading teams and helping organisations succeed. In the ICT industry over 18 years, she started at the ground level as a receptionist and has progressed to running APJ for Kaseya. She has a particular interest in encouraging young women, who are still in school, into an ICT orientated career.
ACHIEVEMENT: Karen Drewitt, The Missing Link
Karen Drewitt wins the Achievement award for her leadership and long list of achievements as part owner and general manager of The Missing Link. Under her guidance, the company has grown staff by 700 per cent and revenue by 1200 per cent. She mentors staff, is a voice in the wider ICT community and an advocate for all women in the industry.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Maree Lowe, ASI Solutions
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.
ACHIEVEMENT: Sara Watts, 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.
TECHNICAL: Linette Voller, 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.
COMMUNITY: Gabrielle Dracopoulos, VMware
Gabrielle 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.
ENTREPRENEUR: Sharon Whitehand, 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.
INNOVATION AWARD: Angela Coronica, 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.
RISING STAR: Lisa Youlden, 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.
ACHIEVEMENT: Sara Adams, Cisco Systems Australia
Sara won the award for her proven leadership skills and outstanding commitment to the Australian reseller channel. She was named Cisco’s Managing Director of the Partner Business Group in 2012, a leadership role that sees her implementing the strategy for the company’s largest portfolio of business within the region. She is the only person in the Cisco A/NZ business to be given the ‘managing director’ title, as a reflection of the level of responsibility she holds in the business. Her global experience in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, her proven results and career advancements at Cisco over the past 13 years, and her ongoing efforts as a role model and mentor to other career women, are some of the key reasons why Sara is being recognised today.
RISING STAR: Rhody Burton, VMware
Rhody won the award for her dedication and passion to career advancement and her tireless commitment to the Australian reseller channel. She started her career in 1997 at Seagate Software, where she developed a love for the channel. Through hard work and guidance she landed some key promotions, one of which was managing VARs and distribution partners. By the time she was 26, Rhody was managing an entire team, a role that made her one of the youngest managers globally. At VMware, Rhody has demonstrated thought leadership and innovation and was asked to be the ‘Acting Channels Director’ while a replacement was found. As part of her “growth path,” in the next 12 months Rhody will be managing a different division of the partner team in order to gain new skills and to further develop her channels career.
ENTREPRENEUR: Dawn Edmonds, NewLease
Dawn won the award for her proven leadership skills, entrepreneurial successes and in-depth IT knowledge. She was integral in establishing NewLease as one of the first SPLA distributors globally – and in clinching some top accolades including the Microsoft Australian Distributor of the Year Award 2011. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Dawn has developed operational and reporting processes and procedures that have been recognised as World’s best practice by Microsoft. Prior to starting NewLease, Dawn was instrumental in building two successful start-up businesses, in two very different industries: temporary labour hire and IT outsourcing. She has also held managerial positions in a diverse range of companies within both the public and private sector.
INNOVATION: EMMA SCOTT, Express Data
Emma won the award for her creative and innovative work on various projects and in various positions in product management, licencing and marketing over her 13-year career at the company. Her proven success in leading the implementation of a challenging, yet pivotal marketing intelligence project within the marketing department is well recognised and received by the organisation – and a prime example of her innovation and forward thinking efforts. This project involved compiling a comprehensive database of end-user information based on the registration of the resellers’ customer information. Despite the myriad risks and challenges, Emma managed to integrate the new tools into the business in order to create a useful service for many areas of the business beyond marketing.
TECHNICAL: Vanessa Sulikowski, Cisco Systems Australia
Vanessa won the award for her noted technical contribution to the ICT Industry. She has the ability to take complex business requirements and design and then architect solutions and strategy that improve the overall direction of the business. During the past 10 years, Vanessa has moved from a Customer Sales Engineering role to a Consulting Systems Engineer and now to a Senior Technical Solutions Architect. Recognised for her advanced technical skills, Vanessa was awarded the Cisco “Chairman’s Club Award” for her technical excellence in 2011. As a senior member of Cisco’s Asia-Pacific unified Communications and Collaboration Architecture team, she has built a reputation as a “go-to” person for complex technical queries and is a key contributor in the training and enablement of other engineers across Cisco and its resale partners. She also leads various global technical working groups inside Cisco, and is a regular speaker at industry events.
COMMUNITY: Amy Christopher, Symantec
Amy won the award for her ongoing dedication and commitment to promoting the environment, ensuring corporate responsibility and developing opportunities for women in IT. In addition to her role as the channel marketing manager for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Amy volunteers her time to act as the Chair of the Symantec Community Relations Committee (CRC). The committee focuses on four key areas: environmental responsibility; diversity and inclusion; online safety; and career development for women in the areas of Science Technology Education and Maths. As the chair of the CRC, Amy has spearheaded several community outreach programs such as the annual Symanteclaus Appeal in conjunction with the Salvation Army. In her 15 years in the IT industry, Amy is well recognised as a strong champion for women in IT, and is a goodwill ambassador for Symantec and the wider community.