Past Winners

Reseller News congratulates all the nominees, finalists and winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards.



Dalia Raphael, Delta Insights

A migrant from the Middle East, Dalia began her ICT career in 1999 after graduating from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Over two decades, she has built her career as a thought leader, people-leader, mentor and technologist, becoming responsible for 300 staff and large enterprise customers.


Jennifer Shadbolt, Datacom

Jennifer wins this award for founding Datacom’s physical security division, bringing intelligent video and other digital-based physical security products to market to address some of the key security, health & safety and optimisation issues businesses and the community are facing.


Amelia Reinecke, Dicker Data [DRAW]

Amelia wins this award for driving the Microsoft Dynamics Development Programme within Dicker Data and for her efforts as a key part of the Microsoft Dynamics community in NZ over the past eight years, along with her role heading up countrywide training programmes for reseller resources and potential partners.


Elisapeta Selesele, Vocus [DRAW]

Elisapeta wins this award for her role as a key lead on a multi-year rapid network transformation integrating two large networks into one, along with her contribution to telco industry working groups on emergency incident response and business continuity planning and helping to manage increased internet network availability demand through COVID-19.


Sue Bridger, Umbrellar

Sue began her ICT career over 20 years ago at Telecom in Queenstown, where she is credited with helping to develop the most highly adopted internet and shared services voice platform in NZ. Since then, she has worked with almost every blue chip company in the country, including Fonterra and Microsoft, and today claims a leadership role at umbrellar.


Rebecca Lennon, Vocus

Rebecca has worked in the ICT Industry for more than 15 years, kicking off her professional trajectory at Telecom (now Spark), within the corporate team. Rebecca’s subsequent progression through the industry has been underpinned by a results-driven ethos which never fails to serve the company she works for and her customers.


Sandra Jackson, Westcon-Comstor

Sandra began her career as a marketing support representative with Southmark in Wellington. She has since gone from strength to strength, progressing her way through the industry to becoming Comstor Director, NZ, a role that has seen her build a team of more than 30 people and a business of over $100 million today.


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.


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.


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.


Samantha Borg, Datto [DRAW]

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 Samiei, Microsoft [DRAW]

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.


Melissa Nguyen, Westcon-Comstor

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.



Laura Bell, SafeStack

Laura has launched several companies, published Agile Application Security and is a renowned blogger. She founded SafeStack in 2014 with just $300 in the bank which is now a leading provider of security products and services in seven countries. The company is currently exploring reseller agreements and marketing channels. She has also launched SafeStack on Demand, and Varelis providing cyber security equipment to frequent flyers.


Tessa Davis, VMware

Tessa wins this award in recognition of her high level of competency across multiple technologies and her collaborative work ethic. Tessa was invited to become an Ambassador for VMware’s Office of the CTO and has played a key role in developing the Mars Rover IoT which was successfully demonstrated at vForum A/NZ.


Cherie Roache, CCL and Leanne Buer, Cisco

Since joining CCL in 2012, Cherie has been the driving force in keeping the staff engaged and motivated during the company's period of hyper growth. Cherie is renowned for her dynamic and powerful leadership style. She has led the merger projects of Spark and Appserv into CCL and successfully integrated them into its client focused ethos.

Leanne has led the New Zealand channel and her team at Cisco to deliver eight consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth. She works strategically with partners and has spearheaded strategies for recurring revenues and cloud base services. She is a coach and mentor to her team and believes leadership is about finding strengths and building on them.

Rising Stars (under 8 years in ICT)

Pip Simeon, Microsoft and Shavvah Aldred, Umbrellar

Pip has made significant impact within her team since starting at Microsoft two years ago. She is flagged as a ‘leader to watch’ with her go-to-market team delivering stellar results during FY18.

Shavvah is recognised for her passion, leadership and results focused attitude, which has driven Umbrellar to achieve 26 per cent growth. She has implemented agile working practices, quickly becoming a role model as a marketing authority.

Shining Star (8 or more years in ICT)

Angela Cunneen, Dell Technologies

With a 27 year history in the IT industry, Angela is a sales powerhouse. Over her 12 years at Dell and EMC she has won numerous sales and achievement awards. She has developed a strong network of coaches, mentors and colleagues throughout it.

Highly Commended: Callie Fell, Veeam


Sandra Jackson, Westcon-Comstor

Sandra works in conjunction with Cisco and the Life Education Trust in building their well-being initiative designed to help children deal with anxiety, build resilience and empathy. The initiative was first launched in schools and will be rolled out nationally. She is also actively involved in mentoring and coaching emerging talent and supporting ambitious women within the IT industry.



Jackie Hatchwell, PS Duo

Jackie wins this award for spearheading PS Duo, a security focused distributor. Jackie has worked with a range of partners across the country, who are struggling to find the appropriate skills to design and implement security solutions in New Zealand.


Catherine Blinkhorn, Microsoft

Catherine wins this award for outstanding work at SAP, which culminated in a move to Microsoft. Catherine leveraged global capabilities to bring one CEO and their entire team on a technology journey, which resulted in SAP winning a large multimillion-dollar contract.


Julia Gardiner, Westcon-Comstor

Julia wins this award in recognition of her deep technical expertise on critical electronic data interchange (EDI) projects across New Zealand and Asia Pacific. Julia has spearheaded a number of significant projects across Asia Pacific, including a recent regional SAP rollout.


Jo Healey, IBM

Jo wins this award in recognition of a career spanning more than 25 years. Since starting out at Computerland, Jo has risen through the ranks to lead vendor and partner organisations across New Zealand - while maintaining the values of respect and integrity.

Rising Stars (under 10 years in ICT)

Siva Sankari Yuvaraj, IntegrationWorks & Zabeen Hussain, Datacom

Siva wins this award in recognition of her role as a future leader within IntegrationWorks, leveraging strong development skills in the process. Siva’s long-term goal is to become a top-level technical leader, such as a CTO. Meanwhile, Zabeen wins this award for a strong first year at Datacom, delivering $3M worth of revenue across the mid-market sector in New Zealand. Looking ahead, Zabeen’s team of two already has a pipeline of over $15M for the coming year.

Shining Star (more than 10 years in ICT)

Delia Gill, IT Engine

Delia wins this award in recognition of more than two decades service to the technology industry in New Zealand. Even though Delia has no technical background, she currently runs a team of eight IT engineers, as managing director of IT Engine - a business she has been involved in for more than 20 years.


Lynn Xu, Vodafone & Zoe Fitz-Gerald, Spark

Zoe wins this award for assembling a team to leverage some of Spark’s greatest assets for the benefit of others. Zoe helps make a difference for children waiting to be seen by doctors, through offering free Wi-Fi, TVs, tablets and access to Lightbox. Meanwhile, Lynn wins this award for being an active driver of the Vodafone New Zealand Women in Technology (WIT) initiatives, which inspire women into joining and growing technology careers. Lynn is also actively involved in #CodelikeaGirl, helping high school girls to learn coding skills and build their own website during a four day program.


Rising Star

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.


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.


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.


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.


Winner: Victoria Mahan - HP New Zealand

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.

Shining Star

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.



Winner: Deborah Maud - Enghouse Interactive

Deborah wins this technical award for playing an integral role between business and customer needs, ensuring that product development meets the requirements of both sides.

Under Deborah’s guidance, Enghouse Interactive now supply Communications Centre technology to almost 40 percent of Local Government contact centres, with other prominent customers including Southern Cross, Jucy and Co-operative Bank.


Winner: Diane Knowles - Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Diane wins the Community award for her work in driving global discussions around how to foster the growth and support of women within ICT.

Diane is also executive sponsor of ELEVATE in New Zealand, a women’s networking and leadership group designed to unite all Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees regardless of role, business area or background.

Rising Star

Winner: Emma Krouglova - The Instillery

Emma wins the Rising Star award for her top performing results at The Instillery. Just three months into the role, Emma has helped the company expanded into new territories, specifically the USA which now represents 40 percent of The Instillery’s revenues.

Despite her young age, there is no doubt that Emma will achieve her lofty goal of being the CEO of her own company and a SaaS expert by the age of 30.


Winners: Jackie Hatchwell and Kendra Ross - Duo

Jackie and Kendra win the Entrepreneur award for building a distribution business in Duo, which the pair founded in 1998.

As a value-added distributor of security solutions, Duo is experiencing 30 percent growth in revenue year-on-year for the last three years, and recently opened a second office in Auckland in March of this year.


Winner: Rebecca Laracy - Spark Digital

Rebecca wins the Innovation award for her work in assisting the rollout of the N4L (Network For Learning) Managed Network, a high-profile project that operates a managed network of fast safe internet connections for 700 schools.

To meet the public sector customer’s needs, Rebecca changed the internal Spark Digital business model entirely, delivering service to 90 percent of all schools a year ahead of target.