2018 Judges

Annabel Berry

Chief Executive Office


Appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sapphire in 2015, with a career spanning over 20 years in the
cyber security industry, Annabel has recently been recognised by CRN as one of the most influential
women in the UK IT channel and included in their 2018 A-List. Annabel's expertise lies in the
development and implementation of new strategies and identifying emerging technologies. As a
member of, Annabel takes an active involvement in encouraging more women into
the cyber security industry and is proud to have recently been invited to become a Leadership Fellow
at St. George's House, Windsor Castle.

Denise Bryant

Distribution Director

Mitel EMEA

With a 30+ year track record of success in sales and management, Denise is now the Distribution Director for Mitel EMEA.

Denise is also a Non Exec Director of The Association of Professional Sales where she was formerly the Group Managing Director.

Prior to that, as Arrow UK Sales Director, Denise managed circa £1bn p.a. of sales into partners and SI's.

Within the IT Channel, the efficacy and capability of a vendor or partner's salesforce and technical staff are key differentiators and therefore Denise has long been a passionate advocate of celebrating top talent - especially women.

Denise is married with two sons and lives in Nottinghamshire.

Gina Hough

Marketing Communications Consultant

MCC International

Gina founded her first agency MCC International in her early 20s and grew it to be one of the UK's largest regional consultancies, before moving on to set up a successful PR division at WLM.Digital where she was co-owner and Communications Director for 7 years.

Now back into consultancy, she's working with a great team of freelancers and global partner agencies, offering a wider range of services to clients and drawing on the knowledge she's built up over the past 30 years. Gina spends a lot of time mentoring and training and her hands on, tell it how it is approach to managing clients' expectations has never changed. Journalists know what to expect from her and she's built up some great contacts during her career. Humour and an abhorrence of pretentiousness have always stood her in good stead and she's currently enjoying her third time round the working wheel.


Gail Jones

Co-founder and Managing Director


Co-founder and managing director of UKFast, Gail Jones has been instrumental in the firm's continuous growth since 1999. Playing a key role in the research and development division and the automation driving a consistent increase in customer satisfaction levels, Gail has seen UKFast's client base grow to more than 5,000 and turnover reach more than £40million.

Raising four daughters alongside their business responsibilities, Gail and Lawrence champion Manchester as one of the world's leading tech cities.

Ian Kilpatrick

Executive Vice President, Cyber Security


Miriam Murphy

Senior Vice President Advanced and Specialised Solutions business

Tech Data

Miriam Murphy serves as Senior Vice President Advanced and Specialised Solutions business across Techdata in EMEA.

In this role, Miriam holds regional responsibility for Tech Data's Advanced Solutions go-to-market strategy, which includes products and services for datacenter and next-generation technologies including cloud, internet of things, analytics, security and associated services. She also holds regional responsibility for the specialised solutions businesses Maverick AV Solutions and Datech Solutions. Murphy reports to Patrick Zammit, president, Europe, and serves as a member of the company's European Executive Board.

She assumed this position on February 1st 2018 having spent the previous 12 months leading the Techdata business operations across Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Prior to joining Techdata through the acquisition of Technology Solutions from Avnet in 2017, she had spent 18 years with Avnet, latterly as Senior Vice President North Region, leading their Technology Solutions business across North Europe (including the United Kingdom, Ireland, BeNeLux and Nordics) for 3 years. In the previous years she held several EMEA board level positions leading various disciplines including Vendor Management, Marketing and Operations for Avnet Technology Solutions. During her tenure in Technology Solutions, she was twice awarded the prestigious Chairman's Award recognizing her leadership and positive impact on the performance of the organization.

Miriam originally joined Avnet's Electronics Marketing operating group in 1999 having spent her career to that point in various sales, marketing and business development roles the semiconductor distribution business. She led the group's EMEA High End Product group until she transferred to Technology Solutions in 2003.

An Irish native, with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from University College Dublin, Miriam has been based in five European countries through her career, relishing in the learning experience of immersing oneself in different cultures throughout that time. She regards herself as a true citizen of Europe unless Ireland is playing rugby when her allegiance is left in no doubt. An avid cook and art lover, she regularly combines those passions with her love of travel. She is currently based in Brussels, Belgium.

Emma de Sousa

Senior Vice President UK & Marketing EMEA


Emma de Sousa was appointed as Managing Director of Insight UK in 2009, bringing 15 years of leadership experience and over 10 years of industry expertise to her role leading the global IT solution provider's UK and Ireland business.

With over 800 staff, covering three UK offices and a distribution centre, Emma is responsible for implementing growth strategies, managing costs and improving the profitability of the business. In the last financial year Emma and her team were successful in generating the UK business's biggest revenue figure, as well as accelerating strategic revenue streams in cloud and services.

Since joining Insight in 2003 Emma has worked across EMEA in a number of senior roles, covering both Sales and Operations. This breadth of experience gives Emma a unique position in being able to continue to grow Insight's profitable market share and improve stakeholder relationships including clients, partners and teammates.

Prior to joining Insight, Emma served as Regional Manager at Aldi GmbH and Japanese & Central Asia Revenue Manager at British Airways. She graduated with a BA Hons degree in European Marketing and French from Humberside University.


Darren Spence

Managing Director

Boost Technology

Neil Sawyer

Commercial Channel, SMB & Education Director

HP UK & Ireland

Neil is responsible for the UK&I Channel & Education/SMB sales organization at HP, which focuses on all aspects of HP's Printing, Personal Systems, Mobility and Software Solutions portfolio. Over the last 15 years, he has worked in a number of roles from an Operations, Strategy, Marketing and Sales perspective for HP, Samsung and Vodafone.

Sarah Shields

Vice President and GM

Dell EMC UK/Ireland Channel

Since starting her career in IT, Sarah has worked for some of the top technology brands in the market and has covered sales and marketing in a variety of different roles. Sarah has been at Dell EMC since 2008 and has traversed through the company's consumer, retail, small business and now channel units. Sarah has been the GM of UK sales since February 2015 and became vice-president in December 2016. In her current role, Sarah is responsible for overseeing Dell EMC's channel strategy across the UK and Ireland as well as developing opportunities for Dell EMC's channel partners to deliver a range of innovative solutions to its customers. Sarah is one of the leading female business women in the UK having been voted as PCR Woman of the Year in 2014 and been recognised as one of the top 500 Women in IT Globally - one of only a handful in EMEA. Sarah is a huge advocate for women in technology and is passionate about encouraging girls to reach their full potential.

Helen Slinger


BT Business Direct

Helen Slinger is Director of BT's Product Supply Business - the IT arm of BT's Enterprise organisation. She leads a team of over 220 people providing BT's business customers with end-to-end IT solutions.

Helen has over 25 years' experience in the IT industry, starting out aged 21 at IT reseller, Crown Computers. Since then she's had roles in both distribution and resellers, working across lots of different disciplines including customer service, sales, product management and marketing.

Helen was part of the team that took Dabs Direct online - securing its place as the UK's first online IT reseller. She played a key role in helping it grow to become one of the UK's largest and most successful internet retailers and an attractive acquisition for BT.

Helen is chair of BT's regional board in the North West; a trustee of the Greater Manchester Academies Trust and represents BT on the North West Business Leadership Team.

She is a well known name in the UK IT industry and has a number of accolades to her name. She was named as the IODs North West Young Director of the year in 2016 and in 2017 she was a finalist in their Director of the Year large Company category. She was also named by CRN as one of the Top 50 most influential women in the IT channel.

On a personal note Helen grew up on the family farm in Lancashire. She is mum to Thom, a rugby mad nine year old and lives with him in Lancashire.


Hayley Roberts



Following a 20+ year career with blue chip enterprise businesses in retail, recruitment and technology, Hayley has spent the last 8 years in IT Security businesses and the last 3 years setting up and running Distology, a value added distributor. Hayley has been recognised in the A list for CRN 2018 and Distology is gaining much recognition as a serious VAD in the UK and now the Benelux. The leadership and entrepreneurial skills Hayley possesses transmit throughout the organisation to nurture a vibrant, highly professional and hard-working culture

Jennifer Norman

Head of Infrastructure Transformation


Angela Whitty

Managing Director

UKI Partner Organisation at Cisco

Apay Obang

Director - Cloud & Software

Ingram Micro UK

Apay Obang-Oyway has for over 10 years worked in the IT industry, within the channel and large corporate enterprise resellers. Today, Apay is Director - Cloud & Software at Ingram Micro UK. Over the past two years Apay, has been instrumental in developing the UK Cloud strategy for Ingram Micro and building the value business strategy across software, telecommunications and Cloud. The "Partner" is Apay's focus and understanding and addressing their needs is key to delivering valuable partnerships.

Apay has a keen interest in geopolitics, hockey and skiing. He holds an MBA from the University of Liverpool, which has augmented his passion for delivering ITC solutions that address business challenges for today and tomorrow. His interest in the ICT industry has been driven by his keen interest on geopolitics and how technology plays a major role in the sustainable socio-economic development from low income to high income economies.

Alex Tatham

Managing Director

Westcoast Limited

Alex has been in the UK IT Distribution channel for over 25 years. With a degree from Durham University in Zoology, Alex qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young in 1991. Alex joined newly listed Ideal Hardware in 1995 and served time as Head of the Ideal Institute (training), Head of European Sales, Commercial Director and UK Managing Director before joining Westcoast as Sales & Marketing Director in 2008. He was promoted to Managing Director in 2014.

Theale based Westcoast were a £700m business in 2008 and now boast sales of £2.2bn (y/e 31 Dec 2017). The business is the UK's largest distributor of HPI, HPE, Microsoft, Apple, Lexmark, Lenovo as well as printer supplies and spares. This year (2018) the business will do close to £2.7bn and is leading the way in Cloud services. Westcoast is the current Thames Valley Business of the Year and is 26th on the Sunday Times Top Track list of the 100 largest UK privately owned companies.

Alex is always lively, unafraid to express an opinion, has a strong media profile and has been voted IT Channel Personality of the Year and is the current holder of CRN's Channel Achievement Award.

"Accountancy is a particularly useful skill in IT distribution when you are dealing with vast numbers, oodles of data and tight margins," says Alex. "However, there is also no better place to hone your sales skills, in an industry that has defined the past 30 years and will define the next 30! Taking cost from the supply chain and enabling vendors and resellers to transact efficiently with resellers and retailers is Westcoast's core focus, as well as providing appropriate finance facilities for a wide range of customers. Westcoast currently provide over £5bn of credit for the IT channel and with ever increasing growth, access to finance is business critical."

Hadas Hughes

Group Director, Marketing & Communications

Exclusive Networks

Hadas oversees all marketing and communications activity for the Exclusive Group, including developing a highly successful corporate brand strategy and working with key vendors on global go-to-market programmes that contribute significantly to the company's €1.75bn annual revenues.

Since joining the team in 2015, Hadas has been instrumental in increasing the global profile of Exclusive Group and unifying the global endeavour of marketing personnel across the organisation. Among her achievements is the distillation of the unique ‘L'Esprit Exclusive' corporate ethos and the production of an annual all-staff ‘kick-off' event programme, held in both EMEA and APAC, for over 1,000 Exclusive Group participants.

Hadas has 25 years' experience in senior marketing roles in both the enterprise technology and financial services industries. Her previous roles include heading up international channel marketing at a major wireless networking vendor, several years consultancy for a UK-based tech marketing practice, and positions at two of Europe's largest retail banks.

Jamie Brothwell

General Manager


Working as part of the senior leadership team at technology distributor Exertis, Jamie is charged with the strategic vision and implementation of business strategy for the Print division overseeing sales, marketing and product management.

During Jamie's tenure at Exertis, Jamie has led the successful introduction of the value-added print specialist team and defined Exertis' B2B and Retail print business strategy. The team delivered record sales and revenue growth in FY17/18, well above the industry average, as well as winning the Exertis group business unit of the year award in 2017. Having worked in the channel for 16 years, previously at Samsung and the Midwich Group in head of sales and sales management roles, Jamie has extensive experience and knowledge of the channel and has built up key relationships with vendors and customers.

Outside of work, Jamie is a motor car enthusiast and social media blogger.
Jamie is an advocate for gender equality and is currently working as part of Exertis diversity project to drive new initiatives within the Exertis Group