Jennifer Rutherford is new chair of NZ Hi-Tech Trust

Building on the record success of this year’s Hi-Tech Awards,the 2018 Awards programme is readying for further growth in 2018 with a new chairperson, new categories and an increased focus on diversity, reports the NZ Hi-Tech Trust.

Jennifer Rutherford has been appointed as the new chair of the Hi-Tech Trust, replacing Wayne Norrie, who announced in May he would be stepping down after 10 years in the role.

Rutherford, who is a Hi-Tech trustee, will be supported by fellow trustee Vaughan Rowsell, founder of Vend, who has been appointed to the newly established role of deputy chair.

“After 10 years it is time to hand the reigns over,” says Norrie, in a statement. “Having overseen the establishment of the Hi-Tech Trust, the redevelopment of the Awards programme and its consolidation as the premier event for the New Zealand tech industry, it’s time for fresh blood to take it to the next level.”

Wayne Norrie - Chair, NZ Hi-Tech Trust

Rutherford has had a long and successful career in the ICT sector including senior roles at Hewlett Packard and Cisco. Before taking up her current role at Spark, she was director – member and government relations at NZ Tech.

“Celebrating, showcasing and bringing a spotlight to the New Zealand tech sector is an opportunity that I am honoured to be involved in,” says Rutherford.

Vaughan Rowsell, meanwhile, says the Trust has been very busy over the last 12 months “bringing diversity into focus”.

“Keep an eye out for a new and positive celebration of diversity at the 2018 Awards! It's going to be awesome," he states.

Vend CEO Vaughan Rowsell.

Rutherford says the 2018 Hi-Tech Awards will open for entries and nomination in late November, culminating in the Gala Awards Dinner in Christchurch on the 25th of May.

She says the Hi-Tech Awards Gala Dinner will also provide a fitting climax to Techweek 2018.

The Trust says 2018 Awards will introduce several new categories that will replace some of the existing categories to reflect the continuing evolution of the tech sector.

Specific questions will also be introduced across relevant categories around diversity and sustainability. The full line-up of categories will be announced next month, it adds.

Pushpay is the big winner at the 2017 Hi-Tech Awards in Auckland, claiming the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year category and the IBM Innovative Company award.

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