2017 ​Reseller News Women in ICT Awards - and the winners are…

2017 ​Reseller News Women in ICT Awards - and the winners are…

Industry unites to celebrate gender diversity and recognise female excellence across New Zealand.

Winners of the 2017 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Winners of the 2017 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News honoured the leading front runners of the New Zealand channel as the 2017 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) created new memories in Auckland.

Held at a jam-packed Hilton Hotel, over 150 tech leaders combined to celebrate gender diversity and recognise female excellence across the industry.

Reflective of IDG’s continued dedication to the local market, the awards recognise the very best in the channel, celebrating the achievements of a talented crop of standout female figures across the Kiwi technology industry.

Spanning six categories - the second running of the annual awards ceremony honoured the achievements of those who have risen to become influential figures within the New Zealand market, alongside the rising stars who are quickly growing in importance across the country.

Following an overwhelming response, the short-listed finalists were chosen by a panel consisting of Reseller News president and publisher, Susan Searle; Reseller News associate publisher, Cherry Yumul and Reseller News editor, James Henderson, with winners selected by an esteemed list of judges.

Kickstarting proceedings was an opening keynote by Kendra Ross, founder of security-focused distributor Duo.

Ross is a veteran of the Kiwi channel having co-founded Duo in 1996, and used the platform to discuss her career path through the industry, highlighting the importance of turning perceived weaknesses into strengths.

Reseller News congratulates all the winners, highly commended, finalists and nominees, and thanks our esteemed judging panel who gave so generously of their time.

The winners of the 2017 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards are:


This award recognises entrepreneurial thinking in one of two forms. Firstly, the candidate who has turned a bright idea into a successful business. Or secondly, the candidate who has demonstrated a pioneering approach within a small or large organisation.

Either way, both are driven and resilient individuals who achieve success through risk-taking and initiative, disrupting the status quo in the process.

Finalists -

- Jane Melville-Allen - Demand Generator
- Lisa Davis - Spark
- Suzanne Wheeler - HP
- Sarah Bowden - Microsoft
- Vanessa Sorenson - Spark

Winner -

Vanessa Sorenson - Spark

Vanessa wins this award for her role as a change agent within Spark. One of Vanessa’s biggest coups was the retrieval of a $12M account, won back not through a competitive RFP, rather a first of its kind commercial partnership.

This approach has helped Spark win further significant business with other major customers.


The Innovation award recognises the candidate who is a stand-out in implementing big picture ideas and vision, thereby discovering unique opportunities of delivering new value and positive change.

The candidate shows a proven track record of finding new and better ways of doing business, continually pushing the envelope against a changing ICT landscape.

Finalists -

- Joanna Burgess - Exeed
- Jaynean Leaupepe - Arrow ECS ANZ
- Jenny Davis - HP
- Rebecca Nguyen - Kaspersky Lab

Winner - 

Joanna Burgess - Exeed

Joanna wins this award for transforming the way Exeed operates from a marketing perspective, through reducing costs and increasing customer growth.

During the past 12 months, Joanna has helped replace complex B2B e-commerce portals, while also striking an exclusive partnership with Air New Zealand around Airpoints for Business.


The Rising Star award recognises the candidate with a proven desire to reach the next level of professional development.

The candidate - who has been working in the ICT industry for under 10 years - is growing quickly in importance, demonstrating outstanding business acumen and professional integrity.

Finalists -

- Ginny Reynolds - HP
- Lara Pascoe - IntegrationWorks
- Nergis Kandemir - Umbrellar
- Rebecca Nguyen - Kaspersky Lab
- Riya Baby - Microsoft
- Rita Chen - Westcon-Comstor
- Sabrina Jay - The Instillery

Winner - 

Riya Baby - Microsoft

Last year, Riya joined Microsoft as a full-time employee under their MACH graduate program, conducting boot camp trainings for tertiary students while teaching fun coding activities to inspire young women to take on careers in IT.

Riya now looks to leverage the MACH program to grow her impact on transforming businesses through technology, develop her influence in diversity and inclusion initiatives and grow into a leadership role at Microsoft.


In the process of determining finalists, the Reseller News short-list panel came across a nomination that was so exceptional, it merited the launch of a new category – the Shining Star award.

The Shining Star award recognises those with over 10 years experience and who are on a successful career trajectory. The Shining Star candidate will have shown strong achievements and demonstrated success through promotion or successful project and company initiatives.

Winner -

Libby Macgregor - Lenovo

Libby wins this award for achieving success over the last 18 months by acquiring a significant number of new customers for Lenovo, demonstrating tenacity, excellent product knowledge and a great understanding of customer requirements.

Libby has flown through the ranks at Lenovo and is continuing to develop her leadership skills, taking a wider role in the New Zealand organisation, contributing to territory planning, developing go-to-market models and developing broader skills in channel and distribution management.


The Community award recognises the candidate with an outstanding service record, through charitable initiatives.

Specific to this award, the goodwill ambassador will be actively making a difference in the community, or working towards the advancement of women in ICT.

Finalists -

- Anne Taylor - Microsoft
- Kim McKay - HP
- Kendra Ross - Duo
- Victoria Mahan - HP

Winner -

Victoria Mahan - HP

Victoria wins this award for her work in bringing more women into the ICT industry.

As founder of NZ Women in IT, Victoria and her team provide support, mentoring and knowledge sharing within HP New Zealand, alongside student mentorship programs and boot camps.


Given New Zealand’s standing as one of the world’s fastest adopters and embracers of new technologies, the Technical award recognises the candidate who has excelled in ICT and engineering, demonstrating a proven depth of knowledge and abilities.
Kiwis are renowned for their ability to try new things and push the boundaries of technology, with this candidate capable of demonstrating excellence in problem-solving and decision-making skills, with an outstanding level of accomplishment in job performance.

Due to the outstanding nature of this application, the short-list panel did not submit any other nominations to the judging panel for review.

Winner -

Joanne Livingston - Dicker Data

Joanne’s nomination dubbed her the oracle of Microsoft licensing in New Zealand. Her wealth of knowledge, coupled with her trademark approachable demeanour have benefited not only Dicker Data’s partners and customers, but also Microsoft employees as she often is invited to train their own reps on licensing.

Joanne’s expertise and customer-centricity is also behind the success of Dicker Data’s national licensing roadshow.

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