LEAD Award

Leadership, Involvement, Mentoring, and Integrity

Women in the Channel’s LEAD Award is presented annually to exceptional female leaders in the technology channel. It celebrates women who are courageous, creative, collaborative, connected and confident in advancing channel careers. It also seeks to inspire other channel women to follow their lead.


The inaugural 2017 LEAD Awards will be presented at WICCONNECT Austin, 5-8 p.m., September 25, 2017, at Channel Partners Evolution.


Nominations are accepted via application through August 31, 2017. Nominees do not have to be members of the Women in the Channel but we encourage them to learn more about our organization and to join our growing group of female channel pros.


Finalists will be selected from among the nominees by a vote of the WiC Board of Directors no later than September 7, 2017.


Winners will be determined by the WiC Membership via online ballot no later than Sept. 15, 2017. Due to the volume of applications, only winners will be notified. Winners must be present at the ceremony.


Winners of the prestigious LEAD award will receive

  • Recognition at the WiCCONNECT Austin event
  • A commemorative crystal award
  • A commemorative photo of the award presentation
  • A winner logo for use in their signatures or social media profiles
  • A press release template for use in their own media programs
  • Mention in a joint announcement on the WiC website and newsletter
  • A winner profile on the WiC Web blog and newsletter
  • Promotion via WiC social media channels

About our 2015 LEAD Award Winner, Deborah Ward

Deb Ward

Deb Ward, 2015 LEAD Award Recipient

This year’s winner, Deborah Ward, is a seasoned and respected telecom industry veteran. Since the early 1980s, Ward has been providing leadership and strategic direction to various companies and is well versed in all aspects of the business — from sales and marketing to network and product development. In 1999, she founded TSI, a facilities-based VoIP and TDM carrier providing long distance, international and toll-free services to carriers, resellers, agents and retail end users.

Ward is a regular contributor to groups devoted to the promotion of females in executive leadership positions. She also holds the distinction of being the first woman to be chosen as chairwoman for COMPTEL, the leading industry association representing competitive communications service providers and their supplier partners in Washington DC. She was unanimously re-elected as chairwoman based on her results during the first term.

“Deborah Ward is an inspiration to women in telecom/IT and business,” said WIC Past President & Cofounder Nancy Ridge, Vice President of Telecom Brokers. “Not only is she one of the few female CEOs in the male-dominated and highly competitive telecom industry, she is a respected leader among her peers. Deb epitomizes the values held by Women in the Channel. She is a loving mother, a community leader, a hard-working ranch owner and the brave wife of a bull-riding cowboy! As one of Deb’s longtime friends and admirers, I couldn’t be more pleased to name her our LEAD Award winner for 2015.”

Ward is the second annual LEAD Award winner. In 2014, WiC presented its first LEAD Award to Bita Milanian, SVP Global Marketing at GENBAND, a developer of multimedia and cloud communications solutions. Milanian is a founding member and current board member for WiC.