Reseller News Women in ICT Awards 2021: and the winners are...

Reseller News Women in ICT Awards 2021: and the winners are...

More than 310 attendees came together under the Reseller News roof to set the industry benchmark for female excellence in Auckland #WIICTA

Credit: Reseller News / IDG


This award recognises excellence in the form of technical and engineering expertise, honouring deep domain knowledge in relation to technology products, solutions and services. This candidate has provided business value through specialised skills and competence, spanning technical, pre-sales and support roles.

-- presented by Heather Graham - CEO, CCL



  • Cecille Coetzee - Datacom
  • Marlou Sacdalan - Flintfox
  • Celia Voysey - Intergen
  • Paula Riano - Spark
  • Elaiza Benitez - Theta
  • Nicole Treloar - Vodafone

Highly Commended: Elaiza Benitez - Theta

Winner: Celia Voysey - Intergen

Celia wins this award for pioneering and defining cloud best practice for customers through the continuous creation of centres of excellence and knowledge hubs to enhance up-skilling and optimisation levels. Backed by strong Microsoft expertise, Celia is leading the cloud charge in a significant program of work for the New Zealand Government, currently managing and orchestrating three platforms, 55 Dynamics instances, 65 Azure resource groups, 487 internal users, two public-facing portals and more than 20 integration points across multiple environments.



  • Elyse Selitskiy - Cisco
  • Kavitha Stephen - Ingram Micro
  • Myra Ma - Microsoft
  • Sana Oshika - Parallo, a Rhipe company
  • Mandi Buswell - Red Hat
  • Rachael Gilliland - Telegistics 
  • Tessa Davis - VMware

Highly Commended: Sana Oshika - Parallo, a Rhipe company

Winner: Mandi Buswell - Red Hat

Mandi wins this award for personally influencing or leading every major transformational project Red Hat has delivered during the past four years in New Zealand. Armed with deep-rooted technical knowledge, Mandi has helped large-scale customers embrace open source technology at speed and scale, in addition to excelling in Kubernetes, Containers and Data Science among other disciplines.


This award recognises an enterprising candidate with a risk-taking mentality, honouring excellence in launching new ventures, products or services. This individual has a proven background in building innovation from the ground up, evident through converting market-leading ideas into viable business offerings.


  • Bianca Andrada - Cinch + Strike
  • Lyndsay Davenport - Datacom
  • Shabana Khan - Ingram Micro
  • Carol Brown - Microsoft
  • Ankita Dhakar - Security Lit
  • Sharyn Catt - Virtual Blue

Highly Commended: Carol Brown - Microsoft

Winner: Sharyn Catt - Virtual Blue

Sharyn wins this award for adopting an outside-of-the-box approach to robotic process automation (RPA) adoption, founding Virtual Blue to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities from the outset to drive digital transformation agendas. Under the entrepreneurial direction of Sharyn, Virtual Blue combines deep technical proficiency with strong business acumen, serving customers across intelligent automation, design thinking and change management.


This award recognises a standout graduate candidate who has leveraged apprenticeship programs to start a career within the ICT industry. Open to all roles and responsibilities, this individual has made an immediate and positive impact on the business through providing a fresh perspective and high levels of professionalism.

-- presented by Misti Landtroop - Managing Director, Palo Alto Networks


  • Hazel Erickson - Computer Concepts Limited (CCL)
  • Sara Bahr - Company-X
  • Ari Luecker - Datacom
  • Aimee Jones - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Jadzia Michna-Konigstorfer - HP
  • Courtney Thwaites - Intergen
  • Anusha Ahluwalia - Microsoft
  • Renée Ng - Parallo, a Rhipe company
  • Emily Fischer - Vodafone

Highly Commended: Emily Fischer - Vodafone

Winner: Hazel Erickson - Computer Concepts Limited (CCL)

Hazel wins this award for excelling at learning complex technologies and development methods designed to shape future services and ways of working via the CCL Innovation Practice. With a razor-sharp mind, Hazel has leveraged AWS Sagemaker to enhance machine learning building, training and deployment training models, helping Fulton Hogan revolutionise the way roads are inspected and maintained.


This award recognises a standout candidate rising up through the ranks within the ICT industry, acknowledging significant advancement during the early stages of her technology career. This individual is growing in stature and importance through demonstrating outstanding business acumen, deep market expertise and high levels of professional integrity. This award is open to candidates with eight years or less experience within the ICT industry.

-- presented by Leanne Buer (Country Leader, Cisco) and Dave Rosenberg (Managing Director, Westcon-Comstor)



  • Jessica Elliott - Company-X
  • Samantha Mellor - Connect NZ
  • Pavani Vangala - DXC Technology
  • Debbie Tan - Flintfox
  • Vicky McIndoe - Fujitsu
  • Emily McConnachie - Intergen
  • Caitlin Boorman - Kambium
  • Lauren Nobbs - Lucidity Cloud Services
  • Rachel Bird - Tribe

Highly Commended: Emily McConnachie - Intergen

Winner: Jessica Elliott - Company-X

Jessica wins this award for progressing from a Company-X developer graduate to a software quality assurance tester working at a customer level with Cisco, demonstrating standout innovation, professionalism and leadership qualities. Jessica is now lead support analyst on the world-leading One Network Road Classification Performance Measures Reporting Tool, built for the Road. Jessica also built a hugging robot and robot dinosaur to use as a visual teaching aid. 



  • Amy Cross - 2talk
  • Devinder Kaur - Cello Communications
  • Stacie Morgan - Orcon
  • Liezanne Ferguson - Teltrac Communications
  • Ellard Clout - Vocus
  • Emily Ng - Vodafone

Winner: Emily Ng - Vodafone

Emily wins this award for assuming lead roles in high-profile initiatives such as the virtual Evolved Packet Core (EPC) deployment, which allowed Vodafone to migrate services from legacy platforms to fully virtualised solutions. Skilled in VMware, OpenStack and routing technologies, Emily also spearheaded the successful launch of 5G NSA to provide enhanced services for Vodafone customers and network resiliency programs.



  • Taylor Leonard - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Stacey Laird - Lenovo
  • Megan Magon - Microsoft
  • Maria Alcantara - Nintex

Winner: Maria Alcantara - Nintex

Maria wins this award for adapting to new technology stacks at pace to enhance testing suites, automation frameworks and software development life cycles. Leading from the front to “shift testing left”, Maria has revolutionised how Nintex operates both internally and externally through a commitment to technical speed, efficiency and performance.



  • Zaralea Pooley - Dicker Data 
  • Pritika Kaur - Duo, a division of Sektor
  • Caitlin Liao - Exeed
  • Caitlin Bennett - Westcon-Comstor

Winner: Caitlin Bennett - Westcon-Comstor

Caitlin wins this award for rising up through the ranks at Westcon-Comstor, transitioning from sales support to leading an operations team responsible for managing an expanding portfolio of vendors. As the only team member located outside of Auckland, Wellington-based Caitlin continues to deliver positive outcomes for partners and vendors through an ability to assume ownership and display calmness during pressurised situations.


This award recognises an established candidate with a strong record of achievement, acknowledging excellence in spearheading company initiatives and driving strategic change. This individual is a consistent high performer who regularly achieves standout business results and continues to assume increased levels of seniority within the organisation. This award is open to candidates with eight years or more experience within the ICT industry.



  • Jenny Botton - Computer Concepts Limited (CCL)
  • Rachel Primrose - Company-X
  • Meccedes Rasmussen - Datacom
  • Leticia Paula - Flintfox
  • Rachael Lattimore - Insight
  • Kate Phillips - Intergen
  • Priscila Bernardes - Lancom Technologies 
  • Nikki Paul - Leaven
  • Natalie Whitmore - NTT
  • Amanda Watson - Servian
  • Grace Lopez - Service Dynamics
  • Zabeen Hussain - TIMG

Winner: Priscila Bernardes - Lancom Technologies 

Priscila wins this award for super-charging start-up innovation to promote Kiwi technological expertise across the world, leading the ISV engagement program charge via Lancom. In driving a new sales motion and program, Priscila pioneered efforts to assist 45 ISV engagements while adding 30 per cent growth to the wider business during COVID-19.



  • Jody Paddy - Orcon
  • Misty Downie - Spark
  • Anna Phillips - Vocus
  • Megan Martin - Vodafone

Winner: Misty Downie - Spark

Misty wins this award for bringing a new level of confidence, tenacity and consistency to Spark’s commercial efforts, cited as instrumental in helping the Sourcing division achieve year-on-year growth during the past 10 years. Shaped by a customer-first focus, Misty proved an invaluable asset to Fire and Emergency New Zealand during COVID-19, leveraging strong supplier expertise to allow the organisation to continue delivering life-saving services at the height of the pandemic.



  • Aruna Jeram - Cisco
  • Bridget Batchelar - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Casey Taylor - Microsoft

Winner: Aruna Jeram - Cisco

Aruna wins this award for displaying an unwavering commitment to channel growth in New Zealand, helping Vodafone record annual double-digit growth with Cisco during the past three years. As a core member of the partner ecosystem team, Aruna was also instrumental in helping Kordia become certified as a Cisco Webex calling service provider in a first for the Kiwi market.



  • Helen Toomey - Dicker Data 
  • Jo Haanstra - Duo, a division of Sektor
  • Victoria Atkins - Exclusive Networks
  • Fiona Pervan - Exeed
  • Rhea Lyn Chua - Ingram Micro
  • Jessica Crane - Synnex
  • Victoria Mahan - Telegistics

Highly Commended: Victoria Mahan - Telegistics

Winner: Jo Haanstra - Duo, a division of Sektor

Jo Haanstra wins this award for rising through the ranks to assume leadership, co-founder and shareholder roles within the wider Duo business, recognised as a standout performer consistently delivering double-digit growth. Highly regarded as an influential figure within cyber security, Jo continues to champion community groups 1st Tuesday, in addition to co-founding Project Wednesday as a meet up for people new to the industry.


This award recognises a standout candidate who has delivered an unrivalled contribution to the ICT industry, evident through outstanding professional and personal achievements. This individual has earned a reputation as an esteemed thought leader following a distinguished career as both a business leader and role model for aspiring executives. This award is open to candidates with 25 years or more experience within the ICT industry.


  • Libby Macgregor - Lenovo
  • Irene Naidu - PB Tech
  • Melany Knight - SecureCom
  • Angela Cunneen - VMware

Winner: Angela Cunneen - VMware

Angela wins this award for redefining VMware from a software vendor to business transformation partner in New Zealand, underpinned by achieving year-on-year growth at a local level. Angela also restructured the local business to build a more empathetic, supportive and transparent team, a move justified by the securing of the company’s largest ever deal in the Kiwi market.

D&I CHAMPION – Company

This award recognises the standout company in driving D&I across all aspects of the business, spanning employees, customers and key stakeholders. This organisation has gone beyond a surface-level commitment through the introduction of policies and programs to meet D&I goals, evident through targeted initiatives, strong leadership and clearly defined deliverables.

-- presented by Stuart Speers - National Managing Partner, Servian


  • Acquire
  • Datacom
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • IBM
  • Microsoft

Winner: Microsoft

Microsoft wins this award for rolling out the One Microsoft D&I Plan in New Zealand, centred around cultural transformation, people empowerment, inclusive hiring and customer delight. Spearheaded by Vanessa Sorenson as Managing Director, each pillar has nominated senior leadership ownership to ensure strategic goals are met both internally and externally. The approach has resulted in employees recognising this as a workplace which allows people to be successful while retain their own personality and style (95 per cent), in addition to freely expressing thoughts and feelings (91 per cent).

D&I CHAMPION – Individual

This award recognises an influential individual who actively drives D&I initiatives beyond their current job responsibilities through mentoring and thought leadership across the ICT industry. This candidate acts as a role model for aspiring executives, cultivating diverse teams to drive change both internally and externally.


  • Teresa Pollard - Datacom
  • Sachinie Wanasinghe - Fujitsu
  • Leanne Hardie - HP
  • Hilary Walton - Kordia
  • Samar Alrayyes - Microsoft
  • Laura Lesley-Pryor - Westcon-Comstor

Winner: Hilary Walton - Kordia

Hilary wins this award for using her voice and market standing to nurture female talent in technology, sharing guidance via online channels, directly mentoring women in the industry and inspiring schoolgirls through workplace shadow programs. As a leading member of the Diversity Steering Group at Kordia, Hilary’s message to women in the industry is to be “gutsy”, inspiring the sector through education, support and facilitating strategic connections.

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