The 2019 Awards will be judged by a panel of industry experts from the world of tech and digital, each of whom has been hand-picked for their cutting-edge insight and expertise in all things digital.

In 2018, our Judging panel covered a wide cross section of different sectors in Northern Ireland, taking consideration to each company’s individual story and process through their awards submission. The process of judging is completely independent of the Digital DNA team and we are just as excited as you are to see who wins on the night.



Tony McManus |
Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Data, Bloomberg LP New York

Tony McManus is the Chief Information Officer for Bloomberg’s Enterprise Data business, which provides financial data, technology and services for the enterprise applications and infrastructure of financial institutions. Based in New York, Mr. McManus oversees the product development roadmap and implementation of Bloomberg’s real-time data delivery and distribution management solutions, including Bloomberg’s consolidated market data feed, B-PIPE.

Mr. McManus joined Bloomberg in 2012, bringing with him more than 15 years of experience in software engineering, solutions delivery and technology business management within the financial markets sector. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Mr. McManus was the Global Head of Enterprise Software at NYSE Technologies where he was responsible for full suite of low latency electronic trading technology as well as for the professional services and consulting businesses. He also had general management and operational responsibility for the NYSE Euronext Technology Centre of Excellence in Ireland.

Prior to that Mr. McManus held a variety of technology roles at both sell-side banks and software providers, developing and architecting electronic trading systems across a diverse range of capital markets business areas. Mr. McManus is a graduate of Queens University Belfast and has a Masters in Information Systems from the University of Portsmouth.


Paula Kennedy Garcia |
VP EMEA Markets, CEU at Concentrix

Global Digital and CX Leader, with over 20 years experience in the Global BPO space, creating technology-enabled customer solutions to disrupt and rethink customer management. A 2018 Stevie Award for international leadership heads a number of industry Awards this year for excellence in CX and leadership, Paula also serves as a seasoned industry awards judge for digital transformation and innovation globally. Integrated to her international business responsibilities, Paula is a champion and advocate for diversity, leading a global Lean In programme for Concentrix, and gives back to the local community as a female business mentor and Non Executive director for the Board is Brain Injury Matters Ni.

Jeremy Biggerstaff

Jeremy Biggerstaff  |
Managing Director of Flint Studios

Jeremy is responsible for the strategy and commercial management of Flint Studios in terms of business planning across the entire business.  He has gained Non Executive experience in a number of other roles. Jeremy has worked in a broad range of commercial and business development roles over the last 20 years. For eight years and up until June 2012 he was Managing Director of UTV New Media and had direct responsibility for the P&L and performance of the entire division. In 2017, Jeremy became a Chartered Director and a fellow of the IOD. In 2014, he was awarded IOD SME Director of the Year in Northern Ireland and in 2015 was Highly Commended as IOD SME National Director of the Year.


Lisa Bailie |
Eco System Manager at Eagle Lab Belfast

Lisa is responsible for heading up Barclays Eagle Lab at the Ormeau Baths and is passionate in connecting the UK’s entrepreneurial community. Having worked for Barclays for over 15 years, she has taken up residence at the Eagle Lab to use her extensive experience to help individuals, businesses and corporates to innovate and grow across a broad range of different sectors and at different stages of their business. Eagle Labs aim to cultivate a community of likeminded entrepreneurs and provide them access to a collaborative environment, peer networks, and opportunities to maximise growth.


Andi Jarvis |
Strategy Director of Eximo Marketing

Andi Jarvis is the Strategy Director of Eximo Marketing. He is a marketing strategist, trainer and keynote speaker with almost 20 years’ experience. In recent years he has worked with clients such as Hallmark Cards, Electric Ireland, Expedia, Budweiser, Corona and Yellow Tail on their marketing and social media. Andi holds an MSc in Marketing, is a regular conference speaker and a guest lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. Additionally, he has provided training to organisations like, the European Union and the NSPCC. He has also launched a fundraising project called Wifi Refugees to help SMEs with marketing advice while raising money for refugee charities.


Victoria Shanks |
VP Business Development at First Derivatives

Victoria joined First Derivatives in 1998 and has grown with the company over the last two decades. As Executive Director and Global Head of Kx Services, she plays a vital role in drawing out the company’s strategy and driving the growth of the Company’s Kx technology. She holds both an Engineering degree and an MBA from Queen’s University Belfast.


Dave Vincent |
Chief Digital Officer at Tourism NI

He is responsible for accelerating a ‘Digital First’ ambition to deliver organisational change, while also providing strategic digital leadership to the tourism industry to enhance the visitor experience. With over 20 years’ experience in the IT, telecommunications, utilities, financial services and public sectors, Dave’s combination of entrepreneurial drive and business-management skills empower him to translate complex business issues and requirements into commercially and technically compelling propositions. He has an inherent love of all things technical and a passion for the role that technology can play in facilitating and delivering real business change.


Lisa Donaldson|
Co-Founder at Tech Education Network

Lisa is the former GM with Ormeau Baths and is currently the co-founder of the Tech Education Network initiative. Working at the Baths, Lisa saw first hand how the Tech community is growing and thriving in Northern Ireland. She couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago that she’d come this far but joining the Bath’s community meant she got to support some of their finest resident digital companies, as well as their wider community through hosting hundreds of tech, creative and educational events.

As a former City Lead of Women Who Code & Executive with Women In Tech (Lean In) to actively encourage females to pursue digital careers. This is really important to  Lisa and she has made cherished friends among the tech community in Belfast, right across genders, through their joint efforts in Inclusion. As the founder of the Tech Education Network and a STEM Ambassador, she supports a whole bunch of coding, design & tech projects which collectively demonstrate how tech is for everyone.


How Do I Enter?

Please follow these steps to enter: (it doesn’t take long we promise).

  • Browse the categories to decide which ones suits you best. Remember you can enter as many as you like but they will be treated as separate entries.
  • Click – “Submit Nomination” beside the category of your choice
  • Take time to think about the content included in your entry as this is what the Jury will judge you on.
  • Once you’ve submitted and see the green tick, your entry has been received.
  • Once this process is complete your entry will go forward for judging with our jury panel.

Why Should I Enter?

Here are just a few reasons to enter the Digital DNA awards:

  • To prove you know how to produce effective digital campaigns and strategies
  • To prove your skills to your own company, your clients and your peers
  • To have your work judged by our esteemed jury panel
  • To stand out from your competitors as an award winning company
  • Showing clients, you the best brand for the job
  • To gain fantastic PR opportunities
  • To boost morale throughout your company and to reward your hardworking teams or individuals

Is there a Fee to Enter?

There is NO charge to enter the awards categories.

All nominees are welcome to purchase a single ticket for a brand representative to attend on the evening or alternatively make it a company night out to boost morale & take extra seats or a table of 10.

  • Single Ticket: £100+ VAT
  • Table of 10: £1000+ VAT


Your Digital DNA entry must adhere to the rules below:

  • All submissions must be made online via the website
  • Multiple entries can be made across the categories. A reminder that they will be treated as separate entries.
  • Entries must be received by no later than 17:00 Thursday 22nd March.
  • Entries are open to all sectors
  • The jury reserves the right to re-allocate entries that in their view are entered in an incorrect category.
  • The jury’s’ decision is final.
  • Any entries containing offensive material will be disqualified.

How Will My Entry Be Judged?

After the entry deadline the jury panel will be given access to read your submission. The jury panel will be looking for evidence of:

  • Clear strategic thinking
  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Tangible results

After the panel have carried out their pre judging they will meet in later in May to discuss the entries and decide on the finalists, and award winners.

What Criteria will be Considered by the Jury in the Selection Process?

The Jury will evaluate the applications on the following criteria:

Strategy: The Jury will assess the strategic approach of each entry and the fit between the chosen strategy and the development of the project, as well as the integration of the various communication tools.

Innovation/ Creativity: The Jury will assess the question of whether new technical or strategic methods were pursued and evaluate the creativity of the project both in concept and implementation.

Implementation: The Jury will assess continuity and quality of communication or dialogue with the target group’s) / individual as well as the management and internal organization of the project.

Results: The Jury will consider the results of a project in relation to the stated targets, as well as the resources used towards achieving the results.

Are My Details and Data Confidential?

All material will remain confidential to the jury. Judges are not allowed to judge any entries submitted on behalf of their company. In case you are shortlisted, we will only publish the short general description as indicated in your application form.

How Will The Shortlist Be Announced?

All entrants will be notified when the announcement has been made and those shortlisted will receive an email.


Things to Include within your application

Background to Project/Campaign

Brief description of project/campaign including the brief and the reason why it was undertaken.

Budget (if applicable)

Provide details of the budget and how this was adhered or if it went over.


Brief and objectives, including any targets set (e.g. cost reductions, income, increasing brand awareness).


Strategy for achieving your objectives (including details of any marketing, PR etc).


Results including evidence of effectiveness prior and post campaign (e.g. increase in opportunities, sales & revenue)

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