Celebrating International Women’s Day: 5 Empowering Females We Admire

It’s International Women’s Day, so we thought we’d celebrate by profiling a few impressive females who inspire us daily. Read on to learn more about these 5 amazing women!

Penelope Barton, Chief People Officer at Vend

Prior to joining Vend in early 2016, Pene honed her talents working at Xero, BNZ, Save the Children, and Chorus. Since taking on this Executive position, Pene has been responsible for — as her title suggests — the people! She works tirelessly day-in and day-out to grow and nurture the incredible community of talent we have here at Vend and to ensure that we’re all living the Vend values in everything we do.

And as if that’s not enough? Pene also co-owns the über-popular Auckland joint Burger Geek with her husband Peter and is about to open her second eatery.

Amanda Armstrong, Chief Revenue Officer at Vend

Amanda joined Vend as Chief Revenue Officer in early September 2016 after a couple of years as Global Head of Sales Development at Xero. She brings her enthusiasm, energy, and depth of experience to work everyday, inspiring her teams and bringing people together to achieve amazing results.

On top of all this, Amanda also dedicates her time to pro-bono coaching, helping to steer and shape people’s careers and lives. In a world where just 1 in 5 top sales leaders are women, we’re so pleased to have her on our Executive team, working to grow the company alongside our other inspiring leaders.  

Kelly Barker, Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer at PREP Cosmetics

Kelly gave up her job at JPMorgan Chase to develop a unique, dermatologist-approved skincare line for girls — the fulfillment of a dream close to her heart: teaching teens the importance of sun protection and taking ownership of their skin. Originally run out of her home, Kelly’s skincare range now has a flagship store in Frisco, Texas and is stocked in seven other stores across Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

Kelly also strives to give back to her community by running workshops, an ambassador program for teen girls, and twice-yearly mother-daughter retreats and empowering local teenagers by featuring them in all PREP’s advertising. She’s a true retail rockstar.

Zoe Neuner, Founder and Owner of Look Charmed and Southern Charm

Zoe Neuner began her business career at the intrepid age of 20 and now runs two fashion and accessories retail locations: Look Charmed in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and Southern Charm in Asheville, North Carolina. A self-proclaimed “classic example in the power of empowerment,” Zoe’s hard work and dedication have earned her loyal followings in both the communities where her stores are located.

She’s a true testament to the importance of positivity and determination, and we’re so happy to have her as part of the Vend retailer family!

Hayley King, Artist and Owner at Haus of Flox

Graffiti artist Hayley King, the name behind Flox, has been running her own business centered on her popular artwork for over a decade. She credits her background as a world-class squash player for her business drive and mental discipline — two things that certainly helped when she first created her brand, as Hayley initially took care of everything from accounts to promotion to ensure her success.

Now, her Auckland-based showroom Haus of Flox serves as the physical hub for selling the “vibrant depictions of the natural world” that Hayley’s become known for. She’s garnered global attention thanks to her custom pieces and street art, and she’s provided commissions for major city projects, businesses, and musicians around the country.

About Nikki Michaels

Nikki is Vend's content and copy wizard. American-born and Auckland-based, she's into reading (a lot), writing (obviously), and travelling (always).