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Trustmarque finalists in the CRN Women and Diversity in Channel awards 2023

31 July 2023 Time to read:  minutes

York, UK – 31 July 2023: We are delighted to announce that five Trustmarque employees are finalists in the 2023 Women and Diversity in Channel Awards.

According to CRN, over 1200 nominations were made for 2023 so it is a huge achievement to be shortlisted for these annual industry awards.

All winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Thursday 12 October at The Brewery in London. But until then, hear about why our five were chosen out of hundreds of nominees.

Meet the Trustmarque finalists:

Donavan Hutchinson, Trustmarque (Diversity Champion of the Year)
Judith Lillis, Trustmarque (Manager of the Year – Reseller/Solution Provider)
Katherine Murphy, Trustmarque (Marketing Employee of the Year – Reseller/Solution Provider)
Nida Ashraf Ali, Trustmarque (Marketing Employee of the Year – Reseller/Solution Provider)
Zoe Dronfield, Trustmarque (Mental Health Champion of the Year)

Donavan Hutchinson, Chief Revenue Officer and Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Leader
Shortlisted for Diversity Champion of the Year

As a global leader in diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) and a PrideLife Global Advocate, Donavan has already made a significant impact across Trustmarque since joining earlier this year, including the Pride sponsorship and being an advocate for the company. For him, as a proud gay man, it goes beyond mere compliance with legal requirements and taps into the transformative power of embracing diversity and fostering an inclusive culture.

Donavan Crn 2023

Tell us how it feels to be nominated…

I feel humbled to be chosen as a finalist not only because of the award itself but more so on the basis I continue to promote DEI regardless of these awards or recognition. To have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards showcases to me that I am doing the right things to help inspire, educate but also raise awareness of the importance of DEI across the industry.

Why do you think the judges chose you?

I’d like to think this is down to me being a prolific LinkedIn user providing educational resources, raising awareness , promoting organisations that provide help and support to marginalised communities and raising funding to give back to the communities who are underrepresented not only within our industry but beyond. My work as a DEI leader, key note speaker, Governor and CRO for Trustmarque allows me to utilise my platform as a registered disabled , middle aged , white, openly gay male , with two beautiful children, a husband and an amazing support network of family and friends to showcase that regardless of which demographic you may be part of that you can achieve great things by leading by example and inspiring others to be the best version of themselves every single day. My commitment to DEI goes beyond the business I work for as I have helped many organisations in my spare time to drive their DEI strategy forward.

What would it mean to win?

For me, these awards are not about me collecting an award but are about raising awareness of the important issues faced by underrepresented groups whilst also celebrating the success of the amazing and diverse talent we have across the industry. The awards are a platform for educating the need to raise awareness and drive the IT channel to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion as a whole.

Whilst I would love to win an award, I mean who doesn’t! I already feel like a winner having inspired others to drive the recognition and celebration of the amazing talent we have within our organisation and across the industry!

Judith Lillis, Head of Finance
Shortlisted for Manager of the Year
Reseller/Solution Provider

Judith started her Trustmarque career in Februrary 2016 as Finance Manager for S3 then part of Capita IT Services, she moved across to Trustmarque in 2018 when S3 became part of Trustmarque. After a successful start, she was then promoted to Head of Finance in November 2020. Judith is the business partner for the entire sales team and many Practice Heads, whilst being responsible for the accounting of the product and managed services part of the business.

Judith Lillis Crn

Tell us how it feels to be nominated…

I was surprised to have been a nominee and totally shocked to have made the shortlist for Manager of The Year.  Having gone through a period of rapid change, it is recognition of the dedication and hard work I have given to my role in Trustmarque. The Finance team has gone through a period of massive change in the last year and I couldn’t have achieved what I have achieved without the support of the entire team – #GoTeamFinance!

Why do you think the judges chose you?

As a manager, part of my role is mentoring and supporting members of my team to achieve their career aspirations, even if this means you lose talented and dedicated people to other teams.  I have led my team through a period of constant change and have supported and mentored members of the wider finance team.

What would it mean to win?

It is an honour to represent Trustmarque for Manager of The Year award.  Winning the award is a recognition of hard work and dedication of the entire Finance team past and present members, I couldn’t have achieved all I have achieved without the support of the entire team.

Katherine Murphy, Head of Marketing, Communications and Brand
Shortlisted for Marketing Employee of the Year


Katherine is a stand-out team leader and someone who guides and supports the Marketing team effortlessly. Since returning to Trustmarque at the start of 2022, she has steered the team through the transition from Capita, a rebrand, the planning and management of an annual event (Fusion), as well as growing the talent in the team.  In 2023, the Marketing, Brand and Communications team, led by Katherine were shortlisted for the ‘Over and Above Award’ at the CRN Sales and Marketing Awards for their off-the-scale marketing output.

Katherine Murphy Crn

Tell us how it feels to be nominated…

I am chuffed to have been shortlisted for the Marketing Employee of the Year, especially in a year in which I led (and put my heart and soul into) the relaunch of the Trustmarque rebrand and our inaugural Trustmarque Fusion event. It feels like such a great acknowledgment of the transformation of marketing at Trustmarque.

Why do you think the judges chose you?

There is lots to be proud of over the last year and I hope this shone through my submission. Relaunching Trustmarque as a standalone business has been a phenomenal task as a marketing leader. It meant completely overhauling our entire go to market approach and creating a high performing marketing function in the process. I have been responsible for leading that strategy, working with my colleagues, our customers and partners to achieve greater alignment and a well-defined market presence. I am die-hard dedicated to creating the new era for Trustmarque from a go to market perspective and have been through a rapid journey of upskilling, investment, diversification and team empowerment. I hope this passion for marketing, people and our evolution is what’s garnered me the nomination.

What would it mean to win?

I would be over the moon if I won the award, but I will also be over the moon if my colleague Nida Ashraf-Ali wins. I am so proud of my team for everything they have achieved this year too. We are all empowering each other every day. Personally, I think this would add that further recognition of what is possible with some hard work, commitment, collaboration and lashings of imagination.

Why are these awards important?

The technology sector still has a huge way to go in levelling the playing field for women and for people from minority groups. By shining a light on the amazing achievements of those making a difference, we can hopefully empower more people to step up and achieve more and also attract a more diverse, engaged and inspired future workforce.

Nida Ashraf-Ali, Partner Marketing Manager
Shortlisted for Marketing Employee of the Year


Nida is Trustmarque’s Partner Marketing Manager which sees her coordinating campaigns with some of the world’s top cyber security experts, as well as organising hands-on webinars to drive forward digital innovation in the NHS and wider public sector. In 2022, she was recognised for her outstanding contribution to Proofpoint’s marketing activity and outcomes in the UK by being named their Channel Marketing Champion of the Year.

Nida Ashraf Ali Crn 2023

Tell us how it feels to be nominated…

The recognition itself gives me a sense of achievement in my career and assurance that the challenging decision of going back to work and juggling with two children under two, when I joined Trustmarque in 2021 was worth it. I am genuinely ecstatic and grateful to be among all the wonderful and capable finalists, along with my manager, Katherine Murphy whom I wish all the best.

Why do you think the judges chose you?

It might be due to my bold and innovative ways and approach of marketing. I am a true brand ambassador – always making a conscious effort in raising awareness of the Trustmarque brand and capabilities via successfully creating and delivering a variety of over 25+ muti-tactics campaigns with more than 13+ IT vendors within 12 months. Within this year, I also took the opportunity to pursue one of the lead roles, as events partner manager at Trustmarque’s 2-day Fusion event, which took place on June 2023, and included 500+ employees and 30+ IT partners. This was a huge accomplishment for me and the Marketing team at Trustmarque.

Tell us what it would mean to be named Marketing Employee of the Year?

If I win, I would be extremely overjoyed, and feel privileged. It will certainly boost my creative spirit and energy and encourage me to further broaden my marketing approach and ideas. The win would be a magnificent career milestone for me and personally symbolise the power of working parents of young children, and it would also represent that yes, the struggle is real but achievable and worth IT!

Zoe Dronfield, Healthcare Client Director
Shortlisted for Mental Health Champion of the Year

Zoe is a powerful sales leader, team player, role model, and inspirational woman in IT. She supported our NHS customers throughout the pandemic, running roundtables and initiatives to help IT leaders embrace digital transformation. In addition to managing her full-time sales role, she is a mother, property developer, and passionate campaigner. Having suffered a horrific domestic abuse attack, she has led a national campaign to lobby the Government to change domestic abuse law.

Zoe Dronfield CRN

Tell us how it feels to be nominated…

I am absolutely honoured to have been nominated never mind shortlisted for the award of Mental Health Champion – it means so much as this shows me that the work I do inside and outside of my profession is recognised and makes a difference.  What started out as my own personal battle has become a journey of law change, victim advocacy and constant awareness raising around domestic abuse and stalking.  To be recognised for my work is amazing.

Why do you think the judges chose you?

I expect my story stood out as its quite extreme. I went from being almost murdered and dragged through our UK criminal and family justice system, to now an avid campaigner against domestic violence and stalking, a regular media commentator on this subject, an advocate for other victims, a board member for the national charity Paladin the National Stalking Advocacy Service, I also sit on advisory panels at Tech UK and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to advise how we use technology and data and analytics to improve police response to victims and court reform. And more recently an Author of my self-published book Mind Over Manipulators which is my story of how I overcome adversity and made it through the other side with dignity and pride.

My story shows that you don’t have to be defined by what happened to you and you can come through adversity a stronger better version of yourself.

Tell us what it would mean to be named Mental Health Champion of the Year?

I would be absolutely blown away to win.  It would send a strong message that even if you go through something so extreme and life-changing, you can and will survive if you keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forwards.  I also hope it would influence others not to be defeated and inspire other victim/survivors to never give up.  You can’t fail if you keep going!

About the awards

Now in their 6th year, the awards aim to champion not only women but also wider diversity within the industry.

The challenge of increasing diversity in tech is now firmly on the agenda across the UK, but it is far from a solved problem. These special awards aim to champion, recognise and celebrate women and diversity in the channel.

CRN wants to put firms and individuals in the spotlight that are not only tackling gender issues, but are making diversity, in all senses, a priority within their business.

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