The 2022 Community Industry Awards are well under way! We received over 400 nominations for community professionals and organizations that are changing the way the world looks at community building. Check out our nominees and cast your votes before November 19!
The Community Industry Awards are the largest celebration in the community industry, and this season is bigger than ever before. On top of our 400 nominations, 185 nominees, and 12,000+ votes (so far), I’m thrilled to introduce our Judging Committee of incredible community professionals in the industry. We have TEN categories with three to four judges in each.
It’s time to meet them!
Introducing our 2022 Judging Committee!
Judging our Executive Leader of a Community Team category:
Angie Coleman – Director of Community at Operator Collective
Angie builds communities that matter, and because of her successful program development, understanding of business goals, and deep expertise in community strategy, she is one of the most in-demand community leaders in Silicon Valley. From turning generic B2B communities to multi-functioning engagement platforms to curating meaningful events and experiences that connect brilliant people, Angie understands humans and what it takes to bring them together.
Before joining Operator Collective, Angie lead and developed three unique member communities spanning
B2B product spaces and peer social groups at companies such as Snowflake, Lesbians Who Tech, and Zendesk.
Outside of work, Angie supports her local communities with events that allow for deeper networking and personal growth. She’s also an avid nature fan and can be found hiking, kayaking, or overlanding off the grid.
Ankit Shah – Community Product Partnerships / Founder Facebook / Tea With Strangers
Ankit Shah serves community leaders at Facebook, giving them a voice in new product development within the Groups and broader Communities ecosystem. He founded Tea With Strangers, previously built community engagement programs at Airbnb.org, is a serial organizer of neighborhood communities, hiking groups, and friends who should know each other. He’s based in Brooklyn, NY, and in his free time, he writes about how we live and relate to one another and takes pictures of trees.
Chris Catania – Head of Community at Esri
Chris is the head of community at Esri. Prior to Esri, for more than 15 years, he has helped organizations leverage the power and competitive advantage of communities to build meaningful, thriving and valuable relationships with customers and employees. Inspiration and passion for community building and living life always find him when he’s writing, experiencing live music or running on mountain trails.
Judging our Developer Relations Community Professional category:
Mary Thengvall – Director, Developer Relations at Camunda
Mary Thengvall is a connector of people at heart, personally and professionally. She loves digging into the strategy of how to build and foster developer communities and has been doing so for over 10 years. Mary is the Director of Developer Relations at Camunda, an open source process automation platform. She’s the author of The Business Value of Developer Relations (© 2018, Apress).
Elizabeth Kinsey – Manager, Community Slack
Elizabeth Kinsey leads community programs at Slack, creating opportunities for Slack users, admins, and developers to thrive, inspire, give back, and connect with each other. Prior to launching Slack Community, Elizabeth was the Director of Marketing at Branch, where she co-founded the Mobile Growth Community. Elizabeth is passionate about creating lasting community relationships that spark conversations and strong connections online and offline. In her spare time, you can find her behind the mic at karaoke night or hunting for treasure at the local swap meet.
Joshua Rosenfeld – Technical Advocate at Civilized Discourse Construction Kit
For years Joshua has been involved with Discourse forums: first as a moderator of a video game community, next as an administrator for an IT knowledge base and ticket system, and most recently for an educational company. He joined Civilized Discourse Construction Kit at the first opportunity and brings his customer-friendly technical support and writing skills to the team.
Outside of Discourse Joshua serves his local community as a volunteer EMT and rescue diver. In his (little) spare time, he enjoys biking, skiing, musical theater, and scuba diving.
Nilesh Shinde – Associate Consultant at KPMG
I am a Consultant at KPMG and passionate about tech community building. I help developer communities grow and engage more with the right audience. I have been managing communities for last 3 years and contributed to many devloper communities. I worked with Jovian as a Developer Community Evangelist and help them build and grow a global community of Data Science Enthusiasts. Worked with Progate to grow their student community across India. Currently I am working as an Organizer with Elastic User Group Mumbai, as a Facebook Moderator with ElasticSearch India Developer Community, as a Communiteer with CMX, and as a Community Influencer with Google Crowdsource!
Judging our Nonprofit Community Professional category:
Elijah van der Giessen – Community Manager at TechSoup, and CMX Connect Host, Education and Nonprofit Chapter
Eli strives to be a connector – the interstitial tissue that holds the muscle of a community together. He’s been a volunteer manager, an event producer and a digital campaigner. Basically he’ll take any gig that allows him to enable a group of passionate people to create things they love.
Currently Eli works as Community Manager with TechSoup, a nonprofit that supports other nonprofits with technology. The TechSoup Connect chapters host free training to help charities do more good with tech.
Prerona Sanyal – Community Manager at SquadStack, and CMX Communiteer
People Success and Culture Builder at SquadStack. Ex-91springboard, ex-Udacity Community Manager. Founding Team Member of Project Umeed Welfare Foundation that has provided food and medical support to over 1 MN people across India since Covid first struck the country.
Michael Hunte – Community Director at DFINITY Foundation
An advocate for all things community, Michael currently supports a diverse ecosystem of developers, providers and blockchain enthusiasts at the DFINITY Foundation, creators of the Internet Computer. He got his start in community building with the Los Angeles Times, supporting the greater food & wine industry. Among entrepreneurial endeavors of his own, he’s spent the last few years supporting the global startup community through organization such as Facebook and StartupGrind.
Serena Snoad – Online Community Manager at Alzheimer’s Society UK
I’ve been building and managing online communities for health non-profits for 12 years. In my main role, I oversee three teams that work together to support people affected by dementia in a peer support community. I’ve created strategy to align with organisational objectives, secured funding streams and buy-in to grow the team, and developed specialist policy, training and escalation systems to support vulnerable people. Outside of my main role, I run events and offer coaching and advice to community professionals. In 2020 I was a finalist in the CMX Community Industry Awards in the Executive Lead category.
Judging our Gaming Community Professional category:
Erin Wayne – Global Head of Player Community at Riot Games, and 2020 Gaming Community Professional of the Year
Erin “Aureylian” Wayne joined Riot Games as its first Global Head of Player Community in August 2021. She oversees community engagement across all of Riot’s titles, developing community strategies and programming for Riot’s interactions with players across the globe, including direct to community, social, editorial, and influencer relations.
Prior to Riot, Erin spent seven years at Twitch, where she created and led their Community Marketing team, focused on engaging, exciting, and educating Twitch’s users. She also oversaw Creator Marketing, Influencer Marketing, and internal business partners across Twitch and its parent company Amazon.
Jenny Windom – Producer & Community Developer at Soft Not Weak; Community at Kowloon Nights Soft Not Weak & Kowloon Nights
Jenny (Kimchica) is passionate about indie games, their communities, and advocating for representation across all levels of the industry. A middle school teacher turned content creator and game dev, her current work includes Lead Producer & Community Developer of Soft Not Weak (Spirit Swap), Community for Kowloon Nights, and Organizer/Host of the Wholesome Games. Previously, she was Communications Manager for Rose City Games (The World Next Door, Floppy Knights, Garden Story). When she’s not making games, she’s playing them on her Twitch stream, focusing on titles with intriguing worlds and mechanics, and facilitating a space where folks can watch exciting games, discuss how they affect us, and learn a bit about what it’s like to make them.
Chris Norris – Director of Community Management, Positive Play at Electronic Arts
Chris is Director of Community Management on the Positive Play team at Electronic Arts. His particular passion is amplifying opportunities for meaningful connections to minimize disruption as you play games. Prior to EA, he worked at Oculus, developing community frameworks and programs across the VR ecosystem, including in social VR (Horizon). Chris has a long history in the gaming space, having lead Community teams at Ubisoft, as well as leading strategic PR/Communications initiatives at various publishers.
Judging our Education Community Professional category:
Matt Pearsall – Community and Social Media Manager at Committee for Children, and CMX Connect Host Education and Nonprofit Chapter
As the Community Manager at Committee for Children, Matt strives to support the important work of social-emotional learning educators, advocates, and thought leaders by fostering the development strong, sustainable communities of practice. Previously, Matt developed research-based SEL curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students, taught language arts and social studies, and (in the distant past) appeared on stage at many schools throughout the Chicagoland area dressed in chain mail and wielding a very large sword. In his spare time, he chases two small children and. . . well, that’s about it.
Samer Rabadi – Online Community Engagement Manager at George Lucas Educational Foundation
It’s my job to make sure Edutopia supports and empowers educators in their efforts to create an education system that works for kids and their communities. I’m passionate about helping all children reach their full potential. We can make it happen if we work together.
Formerly with Care2 and Amnesty International USA.
Jennifer Serrat – Community Marketing Manager at myGwork
For Jennifer, the human experience is fundamental to anything she does – whether it be by creating inclusive and collaborative initiatives, sharing a piece of her cultures through food, or singing at karaoke. She is someone who cherishes and values her relationships, has a love for martial arts, a knack for turning everything into a song, and will always have a soft spot for South Korea where she lived lived for a year – so it may come as no surprise that she is currently binge watching Squid Games. She currently is in Berlin, Germany where she contributes to build community ties within a network of LQBTQ-friendly companies, and create D&I programs between them and community members.
DeMario Bell – Head of Community at Mentor Collective
DeMario Bell works at Mentor Collective which is a startup EdTech company that partners with higher education institutions to close the opportunity gap through mentorship. Particularly, DeMario is responsible for leading community and partner engagement initiatives. He enjoys building community and fostering positive relationships. DeMario comes to the EdTech space after spending time in higher education. Previously, he was the Mentorship Program Manager for Alumni Engagement at the University of Michigan. In this role, DeMario was responsible for developing and implementing a high-impact mentorship program for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. His passion lies at the intersection of mentorship and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Judging our B2B Community Professional category:
Jill Ross – B2B Community Strategist
Jill is a community leader and practitioner with over 15 years of community building experience within marketing, customer success, and global learning teams. She has built B2B customer communities for Digital River, Hitachi, and RollWorks, and has consulted companies like DIRECTV, TaylorMade-adidas, and Qualcomm on internal and external community launches. She is seeking her next role after an extended maternity leave for her twin girls.
Brittni Cocchiara – Senior Community Manager Ex Webflower, Ex Mironeer
Brittni is a strategic and solutions-oriented professional with a proven career track record of cultivating diverse and inclusive communities that have resulted in increased trust, psychological safety, and engagement. She has brought her talents to Miro and Webflow and after stepping into her most impressive role, mother, she’s looking for her next big challenge.
She lives in Austin, TX with her family and waits for the day Beyonce will ask her to join her on tour.
Lauren Gross – Managing Director, The Mesa at I.G. Advisors
Lauren Gross is the Managing Director at The Mesa and a CMX Connect London Host. The Mesa is a platform with a purpose: to drive thoughtful and informed action within communities of philanthropists, inheritors and changemakers online. We serve philanthropic intermediaries who are looking to build stronger connections, collaboration and learning experiences amongst their members via philanthropic content and trusted community – all in one fully branded digital space.
Outside of work, Lauren is a Global Shaper, a founding member of Impact 100 and the Acacia Circle at Pathfinder International, and a development committee member for Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.
Judging our Customer Success Community category:
Cassie Perez – Community Manager at NewsBreak, and CMX Connect Host Denver Chapter
Cassie has been building communities of all shapes and sizes for over seven years, first at Yelp and currently at NewsBreak. A graduate of University of Miami’s School of Communication, she’s a passionate storyteller who loves to use the written word to connect with people. Prior to joining the community world, she worked in media relations for Sandals and Beaches Resorts, and freelanced for a variety of lifestyle and food outlets including the Miami New Times and NBC’s The Feast. She spent a year abroad teaching English in Madrid, Spain, and loves to travel whenever she can.
Kevin Lau – Global Head of Customer Advocacy at Adobe
As the Global Head of Customer Advocacy at Adobe, Kevin is responsible for all aspects of driving customer advocacy, community, loyalty, and customer retention for Adobe’s Digital Experience business. His team has received numerous awards for developing innovative and best-in-class programs that have been modeled across the Customer Marketing industry. Previously, Kevin worked for organizations including Google, YouTube, AOL and NetBase.
Mitch Howe – Customer Success Manager at Hivebrite
By day I’m a Customer Success Manager at Hivebrite, working with communities big and small to help them drive engagement and define their ROI. Prior to Hivebrite I worked as a college basketball coach, got an MBA from TCU (Go Frogs), and learned how much I hated sales during two years at IBM before I discovered the joys of Customer Success.
By night you can find me in the kitchen whipping up delicious meals for my girlfriend, in the stands singing for 90 minutes at an FC Dallas soccer match, or writing impassioned LinkedIn posts about remote work and employee empowerment.
Nicole Saunders – Director, Communities at Zendesk
Nicole heads the community team at Zendesk. With 12+ years of industry experience, she’s helped to build communities of all sorts from forums to social media to IRL, now specializing in B2B SaaS communities. When she’s not spinning up strategy or sending out swag, you can find Nicole playing her guitar, teaching dance classes, or hiking or skiing in the woods.
Judging our Growth Marketing Community category:
Logan Johnston – Community Manager, Community & Impact Partnerships at Facebook
Community Manager for the Facebook Community Management Certification Program, Facebook Community Accelerator and the Facebook Communities Summit, I am a former Growth Marketing lead who now brings data-driven growth playbooks to community programs that support mission-driven organizations across the Facebook Partnership organization.
Connie Chang – Director of Community Engagement at Wish
Connie is the Director of Community Engagement at Wish. She leads the global community, social media and influencer marketing teams and is responsible for driving strategy across social media publishing, influencer marketing campaigns, social listening and insights and community building. Prior to joining Wish, she built and managed communities of brand advocates at Facebook from 2013-2017, Gogobot (now Skyscanner) from 2011-2013 and Yelp from 2007-2010.
Anuj Adhiya – Growth Advisor at Globalwork
Anuj Adhiya is the author of ‘Growth Hacking for Dummies’
In the last couple of years he has worked with early stage startups as the first growth hire to align their processes and teams.
He mentors startups at Harvard Innovation Labs, Seedstars and First Round First Track to help uncover their best growth opportunities and solve early challenges.
Before that he was the Category Growth Lead at The Predictive Index where he owned the site that successfully launched the talent optimization category. He was also the Director of Engagement & Analytics at GrowthHackers where he grew the world’s largest growth community.
Judging our User Group Program category:
Jamie Johnston – Program Manager, Community at Spotify, and CMX Connect Host Book Club Chapter
Jamie Johnston has a background in newspapers, editorial and digital content with experience at Sky UK, Tesco, and now leads the Community team at Spotify. Previously a CMX Connect host for Scotland he now runs the CMX Book Club.
Andreia Tulcidás – Community Advocacy Lead OutSystems, and CMX Connect Host Portugal Chapter
Andreia Tulcidás lives and breathes the golden rule, “by the community, for the community” when it comes to managing programs for the developer community at OutSystems. She’s a “people person” through and through and loves to connect and engage, always with a smile! When not building communities, you can find her jamming in a karaoke bar or being an amateur cook for her friends.
Phin Mpofu – Director, Success & Community at Startup Grind, and 2021 Independent Community Professional of the Year
Phin Mpofu is a globally connected startup ecosystem evangelist passionate about connecting the dots. He leads Startup Grind’s Partnership Success team, delivering successful outcomes for their global partners and community of amazing startup teams. His commitment to helping startup communities was recognised in 2020 winning the CMX Award for for best Community Professional of an Independent Community. He is also listed on The Maserati 100, the UK’s annual list which recognises entrepreneurs who are generously giving their time and resources to support the next generation of young entrepreneurs.
Judging our Best New Community category:
Diana Morgan – Head of Community at Copy.ai, and 2021 Community Professional of the Year
After winning 2021 CMX Community Professional of the Year, Diana is now Head of Community at an AI copywriting startup at Copy.ai whose community is ramping up. In her free time, she manages a community in the web3 space of an NFT-led DAO. Previously, she managed a 1.4 million developer community at UiPath.
Tirza Austin – Senior Manager, Online Community at ASCE, CMX Communiteer and CMX Connect Host Washington DC Chapter
Tirza Austin is an online community builder for the American Society of Civil Engineers. She enjoys studying member engagement and supporting ASCE members through their participation with other engineers.
Travis King – Founder at TAKEN
Travis deconstructs communities and revenue growth for businesses with their people. He’s worked with Fortune 100, high-growth venture capital-backed technology startups, community builders, challenger brands, colleges, universities, k-12 schools, and entrepreneurs. Travis is an advocate for bringing people, thoughts, ideas, and emotions together. He’s an advocate of the truth and a champion of change. He’s currently producing music, coaching entrepreneurs, artists, and young professionals to develop their skills, abilities, and crafts to achieve the life they deserve.
Pixie Cigar – Director of Online Communities at Teach For All
Pixie is a community builder who is passionate about developing people and their ideas. She has built multiple successful communities in youth development, education, startups, legal tech, and eCommerce (with Alibaba), impacting over 150K people in the past 9 years. She prioritizes in scalability, being member-first, and data centric. Today, she is the Director of Online Community at Teach For All, growing the network of partners & education advocates.
How does Judging work?
Each judge has been assigned to one category and has been tasked with reading through the nominations in the category to which they are assigned. They will score each nomination out of ten, with ten being the highest score. The criteria they will use is based on the requirements from the nomination form.
- Evidence of why the nominee meets the criteria for the specific award category (For example: if a community was nominated for the Customer Success Community award, the nomination needs to include information about how they are helping their users and customers)
- Clear examples that show measurable growth and success (Some examples: a community grew from 1000-2500 members through 2021, NPS or customer satisfaction score increased by 25% in 2021, the community saw 30% more posts in 2021, individual members posted/commented 18% more in 2021)
In an attempt to keep the voting process as unbiased as possible, the nominations have been made anonymous, meaning the names of people and companies have been changed and removed. If a judge figures out who the nomination is for, they do not submit a vote for this nomination. They are also not allowed to vote in the public voting phase.
To tally the final score, the public vote rank will be added to the average of the judges scores.In the event of a tie in the final score, the nominee with the higher vote from the judges is the winner.
In this example, the nominee received the most public votes (at 103), there were 15 nominees in this category, and the average score from the judges was 9. We add the ranking (15), to the average score from our judges (9), and receive the final score (24). The final score is how we determine the winner: