Congratulations to the 2020 WIICTA Winners

2020 ARN WIICTA WINNERS

ACHIEVEMENT: 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.

COMMUNITY: Karen Drewitt, The Missing Link

Karen wins this award for work mentoring others in the ICT industry, along with her involvement in a range of initiatives aimed at fostering the next generation of ICT professionals, including the Young IT Explorers competition, the Tech Girls Movement and Microsoft’s Traineeship Program (MTP) Female Mentoring Program.

ENTREPRENEUR: Kath Blackham, VERSA Agency

Just two years ago, Kath’s stated vision for her company, VERSA Agency, was to become Australia’s largest independent digital agency and a global leader in emerging technology. In 2019, VERSA became the world’s largest voice and conversational AI agency after forging partnerships with Amazon Alexa, Google and Microsoft.

INNOVATION: Frederique Dennison, SixPivot [DRAW]

Frederique wins this award for spearheading SixPivot’s rapid development of a solution designed to help Aged Care facilities simplify the process of connecting families over voice and video. The ConnectedFamilies solution, an automated self-service booking system, reduces the manual tasks faced by aged care workers when pairing residents with their families.

INNOVATION: Nikita Dhami, DXC Technology [DRAW]

Nikita wins this award for heading up the development of DXC’s Pandemic Response Robot to reduce exposure to COVID-19, allowing businesses and communities to shift back to normality as restrictions ease. The solution uses robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and design approaches to reduce COVID-19-related risk and anxiety.

RISING STAR - DISTRIBUTOR: 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.

RISING STAR - PARTNER: Jenessa O'Conell, 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: Nikki Saunders, Vocus    

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.

SHINING STAR - DISTRIBUTOR: Kate Davis, Dicker Data         

Senior Business Development Manager 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.

SHINING STAR - PARTNER: 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: Corrie Briscoe, Amazon Web Services    

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 

TECHNICAL: Sara van de Moosdijk, Amazon Web Services 

Sara wins this award for her work leading a team at AWS in the design and implementation of a communication tool for users of sign language and users of spoken language. The first version of the tool, supporting an exchange of phrases between Auslan and English, was demonstrated at AWS re:Invent in 2019, with the code published on GitHub.