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Company-X’s Jes Elliott wins Reseller News Women in ICT Rising Star Award

Company-X software quality assurance tester Jes Elliott won the Reseller News Women in ICT Rising Star Award.

Elliott received the award at a celebration lunch at the Hilton Auckland on July 8.

Elliott was one of a trio of outstanding Company-X team members who were finalists in the Awards. She was a finalist alongside senior software architect Rachel Primrose and software developer Sara Bahr.

“Such awesome recognition of the talent in our Company-X women,” said Company-X co-founder and director David Hallett, “A fantastic win for the rising star Jes!”

“Looking at the impressive women and companies who were finalists in these awards, I am thrilled that Jes, Rachel and Sara from Company-X were recognised alongside them,” said Company-X co-founder and director Jeremy Hughes.

“As a company we go to high schools promoting IT careers for women, so it is fantastic to receive this recognition for our own women and to show girls across New Zealand that they can succeed in IT careers and will be recognised for their exceptional talent.”

Reseller News Women in ICT Award winner: Company-X software quality assurance tester Jes Elliott

Jes Elliott won the Rising Star Award.

This award recognises a standout candidate rising 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.

Elliott has demonstrated innovation, professionalism, and leadership qualities in her two years at Company-X, going quickly from an intern on the Company-X Graduate Developer Program to a software quality assurance tester on a Company-X team working with a US-based multinational.

“Jes did a great job on the support desk,” said Company-X professional services manager Michael Hamid.

Elliott became an integral part of a Company-X team developing e-learning modules for world-leading dairy solutions provider DeLaval and was involved in the production of modules in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Mandarin.

She was then asked to become a software quality assurance tester.

“Jes is doing really well in this role,” Hamid said.

Elliott’s team leader Nicola Brock said, “Jes is a client focussed team member who prides herself on the presentation of her work, consistency, and clear communication. She is a tenacious individual with an analytical mind and an eagerness to learn and contribute.”

“I would firstly like to say thank you,” Elliott told the awards crowd in an emotional speech.

“It’s an honour to be sharing a room with such passionate and driven women, so thank you for your achievements, I appreciate it. To the Reseller News team who have spent their time preparing and organising this beautiful event, thank you too, and to the judges, thank you for spending and taking time considering us and over 140 nominations,” Elliott said.

“My achievements today would not have been possible without the equal support from my team at Company-X, my new team at Cisco, and to the organisations that have allowed me to volunteer and especially to the people I have mentored over the years. It is my hope that we all continue to build our confidence enough, to provide opportunities and bridge the gaps where needed, for not only those who identify as female, but for our youth in particular. There is no hierarchy in teaching and learning. Thank you for helping me to help you to help others.”

Reseller News Women in ICT Awards finalist: Company-X senior software architect Rachel Primrose

Rachel Primrose was a finalist in the Shining Star Award.

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.

Primrose joined Company-X in 2018 in a key technical leadership position.

She is an integral part of ensuring the software specialist’s systems and processes keep up with growth while delivering x-factor projects.

Primrose embodies the three core Company-X values of giving clients choices, doing what she said she would do and making clients look good. She is interested in the use of technology for delivering strategic goals, complementary to efficient operations, particularly in start-ups. Her aim in growing companies is to steer IT in a direction that results in increased revenue without the cost curve increasing at the same rate whilst managing risk in a pragmatic way.

She is involved in the mentoring and training of software developers at all levels in support and infrastructure skills, and best practice.

Reseller News Women in ICT Awards finalist: Company-X software developer Sara Bahr

Sara Bahr was a finalist in the Graduate Award.

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.

Bahr is participating in the Company-X Developer Graduate Program, offering the University of Waikato computer science graduate a structured software development internship.

For Sara, 2021 was the third consecutive year that she was invited to join the Golden Key Honour Society, the world’s largest collegiate honour society for students at the top 15 per cent of their class.

In 2019 and 2020 she received a Dean’s Award at the University of Waikato Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Science recognising excellence in the faculty’s top 10 students.

Bahr interned at global healthcare platform builder Orion Health in the summer of 2019 and 2020 where she was chosen to be the face of the company in an online video celebrating its ranking number 29 in the GradNewZealand 2020 list of top 100 graduate employers.

In 2020 Bahr was awarded the $3000 Dr Murray Pearson and Lightwire Undergraduate Scholarship in Computer Science for second year students who have achieved at least an A- Grade Point Average (GPA) in their first year of study, and a $2,000 Torutek Software Engineering Scholarship, but she declined a job offer.

Bahr also accepted a Research and Enterprise Study Award in 2020 in the Ahuora Project as a software developer where she interacted with industry professionals, including chemical engineers, as she researched digital twin technology to reduce New Zealand carbon emissions. The project expanded Bahr’s knowledge of adaptive technology and control theory and she was offered a PhD to continue working on the project next year which has exciting potential to apply to the New Zealand industry. The project was detailed by the University of Waikato and picked up by Stuff. Sara has exceeded expectations since joining the Company-X Developer Graduate Program.

Bahr has proved to be software savvy beyond her years of experience, according to senior software developer and team leader Arno van Niekerk.

“Sara is a fast learner, quick at becoming adept in new technologies, and thorough in her approach, showing a particular aptitude in learning and embracing the very latest in modern cloud infrastructure,” he said.

"As a grad, I'm privileged to be given such an amazing opportunity at Company-X which allows me to be an award finalist," Bahr said.

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