The Community award recognises the candidate with exemplary service within the ICT industry, through initiatives and efforts to foster positive diversity outcomes. This candidate will be actively making a difference by working towards the advancement of gender and general diversity within technology, going above and beyond to give back to the community.
Winner: Joanna Welch, Arrow ECS ANZ
A Pacific Islander, Joanna has a deep understanding of the IT skills and diversity gaps that exist within her culture. As a tech industry professional, she wanted to give back to her community by helping to bridge these gaps, so she formed the Pasifika in IT Charitable Trust, spearheading the Pasifika Advocates for Students in IT (PASI) Mentoring Programme.
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 is recognised as a leader in the industry, and may also act as a role model/mentor to other aspiring female managers.
Winner: Pip Simeon, Microsoft
A latecomer to the ICT industry, Pip’s ascent has been rapid, with Microsoft One Commercial Partner Global VP Gavriella Schuster in 2018 awarding her a global Spotlight Award from for the creation and delivery of a new ‘Partner Pitch’ programme, which was identified as global best practice and was implemented in 2019 across APAC, China and Japan.
The Rising Star awards recognise candidates with less than eight years experience within the ICT industry, who demonstrate commitment to continuous career advancement with a proven desire to reach the next level of professional development. This candidate is fast growing in importance within the industry, through demonstrating outstanding business acumen and professional integrity.
RISING STAR - PARTNER
Winner: Hilary Walton, Kordia
Although Hilary began her career as an organisational psychologist with the Royal New Zealand Airforce, an ICT operations leadership role at Airways NZ saw her step on a pathway to the ICT industry at large, eventually becoming Kordia Group CISO in 2019 – the first full-time CISO for the company, and one of the few female CISOs in the industry.
RISING STAR - VENDOR
Winner: Samantha Borg, Datto
Winner: Saba Samiei, Microsoft
Despite not having a background in ICT or selling to the channel prior to joining Datto, Samantha has quickly grasped the concept of both, developing a wide partner base of over 100 organisations. As well as being promoted to Senior Channel Sales Manager, Samantha has exceeded her Q1 sales quota this year by 150 per cent.
Saba has come a long way since arriving from a completely different part of the world as a 22-year-old. She started her ICT career at IBM NZ in 2013 as a project coordinator, became technology transformation director at Westpac and, in 2018, joined Microsoft — while also researching the ethics of artificial intelligence, completing a Master’s in the topic.
RISING STAR - DISTRIBUTOR
Winner: Melissa Nguyen
Starting her career at Vodafone in 2015 as a Wholesale Account Support Consultant, Melissa went on to excel in providing exceptional partner onboarding, sales development and customer service as Inside Sales Specialist at Westcon-Comstor, where she led the creation of individualised cloud usage dashboards for partners.
Reseller News congratulates all winners and finalists, and thanks all organisations and individuals for taking the time to submit nominations. Reseller News also thanks the industry leaders comprising this year’s WIICTA judging panel.