Every March, we celebrate Community Manager Appreciation Day by recognizing the hard work of community builders around the world and the movements they’re creating.

Our industry’s holiday was originally conceived by Jeremiah Owyang, who shares, “I had seen that some of our hardest working business folks were struggling to manage the onslaught of communications, maintain the balance of internal and external stakeholders, and deal with the emotional toll of responding to customers days, nights and weekends.”

Owyang had hoped that the day would serve as a rallying cry for an industry whose roles and responsibilities were evolving and expanding every year. We’re thrilled to see his vision continue to shape the industry and to do our part as a sponsor of this year’s CMAD Awards to recognize the talented individuals who continue to contribute their skills to the field of community management.

The list we’ve put together includes the nominees for CMAD’s 2017 Community Manager of the Year, as well as a collection of community managers we’ve compiled over the years based on feedback from the CMX community.

Want to level up your skills so you can join this list? Check out our Training for all the foundational knowledge you need to build a career as a community manager.

2017 Community Manager of the Year Nominees

These community managers have been recognized for their excellence in community building and collaboration with nominations for this year’s CMAD Awards.

1. Suzi Nelson

Community Manager, DigitalMarketer.com


Image Source: LinkedIn

Suzi fosters DigitalMarketer’s community through assistance, support and encouragement. Through her leadership, the company has seen a 92.81% increase in community activity from her strategic approach to relationship building. As winner of the 2017 Community Manager of the Year, Suzi will be honoured on stage at CMX Summit for her excellence in community management, as well as receive an all-expenses paid trip to CMX Summit in LA (sponsored by CMX and Online Community Results)

2. Heather Arkwright

Community Manager, Higher Logic


Image Source: LinkedIn

Part of the community management team at Higher Logic, Heather provides strategies and recommendations for clients building vibrant communities. She also focuses on how to engage and empower members of communities that ultimately impacts businesses.

3. Jane Atkin

Community Manager, Lonely Planet


Image Source: LinkedIn

Jane creates online community strategies for Lonely Planet, and oversees the moderation policy and customer service procedures. She helps Lonely Planet foster passion in the community, in part by encouraging and empowering members to contribute high-quality submissions to the site.

4. Carol Benovic

Senior Content Manager, Kickstarter


Image Source: LinkedIn

Carol empowers campaign creators with advice and tools to help their projects to come to life. She helps internal teams track trends and better understand issues from Kickstarter’s campaign creators, and turns them into resources to better serve the growing community.

5. James Bowden

Community Manager, Nintendo UK


Image Source: LinkedIn

James is a passionate gamer who helps raise Nintendo’s awareness by visiting retail stores to drum up excitement about upcoming titles while improving sales. His goal is to grow community events while making sure groups have fun.

6. Simona Ciampi

Associate Director, Online Member Engagement, American Association for Clinical Chemistry


Image Source: LinkedIn

Simona works to bring people together with a purpose at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. She relies on people skills while tapping into social media outreach and other online engagement strategies to boost membership and retention.

7. Sarah Corley

Marketing Specialist, WSOL


Image Source: LinkedIn

Sarah is a marketing specialist working on inbound marketing and social media strategies to attract and engage audiences. Sarah has also helped clients plan and execute webinars for over 100 attendees for lead generation and re-engagement.

8. Joshua Dahdrai

Community Manager, Capcom


Image Source: LinkedIn

Joshua helps grow and manage online communities for gaming company Capcom. He scours forums, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube to see what the fanbase thinks about the latest titles. He also manages social media and organizes offline gamefest trips.

9. Sarah Hawk

Head of Community, FeverBee


Image Source: LinkedIn

Sarah uses social science principles to build successful communities, and has a passion for technology and helping people coming together in online communities. Her current focus is weaving UX principles into community platforms to attract and engage fans.

10. Holly Elizabeth Herbert

Community Manager, Blackbaud


Image Source: LinkedIn

Holly built her career around her passion for interacting with diverse audiences to build engaged communities with a measurable impact. She manages social personas to connect and engage with clients while advocating for the Blackbaud brand.

11. Michelle Holden

Community Manager, Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC)


Image Source: LinkedIn

Michelle creates content for the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) ranging from marketing collateral to HIROC external publications. She continuously looks for new ideas to help focus communications and improve the subscriber experience.

12. Mathilde Junck

Community Specialist, YouTube/Google Ireland


Image Source: LinkedIn

Mathilde fosters and builds relationships with communities as a YouTube Community Specialist. She represents the voice of consumers while working with Google and their partners to improve their products and policies.

13. Kirsten Laaspere

Community Strategist, Akamai Technologies


Image Source: LinkedIn

As an Enterprise Community Manager for Akamai, Kirsten helped launch Jive cloud to over 6,000 employees with an 89% adoption rate in 3 months. She also partners with IT and Corporate Communications to streamline communications to better serve their online community.

14. Jenine Liszka

Enterprise Knowledge Manager, Billtrust

LinkedIn Profile

Image Source: LinkedIn

Jenine focuses on the implementation and management of knowledgebase systems for Billtrust. She helps execute best practices and strategies for clients to make informed decisions while receiving phenomenal customer service.

15. Steven Rodriguez

Startup Community Manager, Global Entrepreneurship Network


Image Source: LinkedIn

Steven helped build one of the largest communities of entrepreneurial leaders across 165 countries. He also led workshops on building startup communities and ecosystem initiatives at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in South Africa and Colombia.

16. Darcy Smith

Community Manager, League of Geeks


Image Source: Twitter

Darcy is a graduate of Game Design and Production, and applies his stage-comedy experience to lead the fiercely loyal League of Geeks community. He works to bring a voice to League of Geeks through humor to forge meaningful connections with users.

Community-Building Founders

These are founders who build communities around their products or whose products are communities themselves. These founders work day in and day out to build movements, and they’re showing others the way.

17. Alison Michalk

Founder and CEO, Quiip


Image Source: LinkedIn

As the CEO and founder of Quiip, Alison partners with leading organizations to foster online communities and realize social media success. Quiip’s community managers rely on social science and the art of online communications to create compelling content and conversation.

18. Amy Jo Kim

CEO, Shufflebrain



Image source: LinkedIn

Amy Jo works with entrepreneurs and startups to promote faster and smarter innovation, and was named one of the top 10 influential women in games by Fortune. She pioneered the idea of gaming in digital services, and has worked with brands like Rock Band, TheSims and indiegogo, among others.

19. Andrew Hyde

Startup Weekend Founder, Up Global


Image source: Andrewhy.de

Andrew was employee #1 at Techstars, and founded Startup Weekend after developing a passion for startups and creating things people use. Andrew’s first Startup Weekend brought together 70 entrepreneurs trying to create a startup in 54 hours. In 2016, the event spanned 135 countries and involved 210,000 entrepreneurs.

20. Bill Johnston

Chief Community Officer, Structure3C


Image source: LinkedIn

Bill develops large-scale online communities, including the design and launch of TechRepublic.com that grew to two million members. He also launched thriving communities for Autodesk and Dell that connect millions of customers.

21. Charlene Li

Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group



Image source: LinkedIn

Charlene creates business strategies for leadership in emerging technologies, and helps leaders thrive in disruption. As an analyst since 1999, Charlene says she’s seen the business world and society undergo seismic changes, and looks to bring clarity through thought leadership.

22. Chris Heuer

CEO & Chief Product Officer, Alynd


Image source: LinkedIn

Chris focuses on social productivity as a proven mechanism for turning companies around. He concentrates on forming collaborative work cultures through Alynd’s solution, called Will Someone, which enables workers to solicit support help from their communities.

23. Derek Powazek

Co-founder & CEO, Fertile Medium



Image source: LinkedIn

Derek has worked on the web since 1999 and cofounded Fertile Medium to help clients create social products. He authored the book, “Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places” to explore why all successful websites have communities in some form or another.

24. Eric Elkins

CEO, WideFoc.us


Image Source: LinkedIn

As the CEO of social media strategy agency WideFoc.us, Eric uses ePR and social media strategies to create reinforced messaging and enriched brand experiences. His work also helps develop engaged online communities driven by user-generated content.

25. Gina Bianchini

Founder & CEO, Mightybell


Image source: LinkedIn

Gina founded software platform Mightybell and most recently Mighty Networks to help people and companies create their own communities by focusing on networking. Users can meet each other around a shared interest on mobile to engage in and create loyal communities.

26. Janet Fouts

CEO, Tatu Digital Media


Image Source: LinkedIn

Janet works with companies to create workable strategies to make social media outreach successful. She counts her specialities as mindful social business, social media for the real world and influencer outreach, among others.

27. Jenna Woodul

Co-Founder, EVP, Chief Community Officer, LiveWorld Inc


Image source: LinkedIn

Jenna oversees Live World’s moderation, content programming and social strategy. The combination of her leadership and Live World’s proprietary technology has helped to scale the human management of user generated content.

28. Jerry Michalski

Founder, Relationship Economy eXpedition (REX)


28. Jerry Michalski

Image source: LinkedIn

Jerry nurtures a keen interest in the interactions between society, business and technology as the founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition. The invitation-only membership group works as a think-and-do tank to help leaders navigate massive change, with members from Coca-Cola, Deloitte, the American Heart Association and others.

29. Jeff Slobotski

Founder, Router Ventures, Silicon Prairie News


29. Jeff Slobotski

Image source: LinkedIn

Jeff helps connect talented people and impactful projects with global resources through his seed fund venture firm. He also founded Silicon Prairie News to provide a supportive community for entrepreneurs to thrive.

30. Kate Kendall

Founder & CEO, Cloud Peeps



Image source: LinkedIn

Kate empowers freelancers and businesses with CloudPeeps to help people discover and hire quality, independent professionals. She’s also a loyal part of the Freelance Friday community, a coworking community and event series devoted to supporting freelancers.

31. Laura Jane Fitton

Founder, oneforty


31. Laura Jane Fitton

Image source: LinkedIn

Laura was once dubbed the “Queen of Twitter” and founded OneForty.com after recognizing the value in the software built on Twitter’s API. She convinced Guy Kawasaki and tech executives of Twitter’s business value and potential long before the rest of the world seemed to catch on.

32. Rachel Happe

Principal & Co-Founder, The Community Roundtable


Image source: LinkedIn

As the co-founder of the Community Roundtable, Rachel supports business leaders as they develop their community and social strategies. She helps create practical strategies to grow her client’s communities with engaged members.

33. Ryan Hoover

Founder, Product Hunt



Image source: LinkedIn

Ryan founded Product Hunt for community users to share and discover new products. He understands the power of community recommendations, and created a comment and voting system to help find the best products.

34. Scott Gerber

Co-founder, YEC



Image source: LinkedIn

Scott, CEO and co-founder of CommunityCo, builds and manages membership communities for elite professionals. Scott is also the co-founder of YEC, an invitation-only organization of successful, young entrepreneurs that provides community-based support and networking opportunities.

35. Scott Heiferman

Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup



Image source: LinkedIn

Scott helps grow and engage online communities by giving them a platform to organize offline event opportunities with Meetup. Meetup aims to help people be their best by giving them a way to get together and do things that matter to them.

36. Sean Ellis

Founder, Qualaroo & GrowthHackers


Image source: LinkedIn

GrowthHackers rapidly grew into the number one online community for growth hackers. CEO and founder Sean coined the term “growth hacker” in 2010, and used its principles to quickly grow and scale businesses like Dropbox.

37. Sue Feldman

President & Founder, Synthexis


Image source: LinkedIn

Sue focuses on clarity and precision messaging to help the search and content analytics industry. Her consulting firm also tracks trends in information, technology and marketing.

38. Thomas Knoll

Growth Operations, Revelry Labs


Image source: LinkedIn

Thomas has been building online communities for nearly 20 years, and helps executives and entrepreneurs build thriving teams and businesses. His work at Revelry Labs focuses on helping teams establish their key objectives for their business and professional growth within the organization to successfully scale.

39. Venessa Paech

Co-Founder, Swarm Conference



Image source: Twitter

Venessa founded Australia’s only online community management conference to gather ideas, inspiration and best practices. She also released a new Code of Ethics for professional social media and community managers in Australia, in collaboration with the Australian Community Managers industry group and digital media researchers.

40. Danya Shults

Founder, Arq


Image source: Twitter

Danya is the founder of Arq, a brand and community that helps people connect with Jewish culture in a modern and inclusive way. Previously, Danya worked for Spark Capital, which partners with entrepreneurs looking to build disruptive, world-changing companies. Danya simplified the community building process by identifying what companies had to offer and found the right way to get the word out, and bring them on board.

Startup Community Builders

Building an early-stage startup’s community is hard work. The entire ecosystem, from founders to developers to VCs, must be built and engaged on a regular basis. These are the premier builders in this space.

41. Anja Kundra

VP of Operations, Partender


Image source: LinkedIn

Anja founded Partender to help owners and managers reduce the time it takes to do bar inventory from 24 hours to 15 minutes or less. She consequently helped clients save up to $10,000 a month, and grew her customers’ bottom lines by 6% in less than 3 months.

42. Erik Torenberg

Angel Investor & Founding Team, Product Hunt


Image source: LinkedIn

Erik was employee #1 at Product Hunt, and currently serves as an angel investor with investments in Omni, Ferment Lab, and many more. He also hosts a podcast with Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover where they talk to guests in the startup community, like Arianna Huffington and Donald Rumsfeld.

43. Lucy Brady

Network Construction, Oscar Health


Image source: LinkedIn

Lucy focuses on Network Construction at Oscar Health to help users navigate simple health insurance and smart healthcare. The company builds end-to-end solutions to make it easy to book appointments, see lab results and is even starting their own clinic in Brooklyn.

44. Morgan Brady

Program Director, YEC


Image source: LinkedIn

Morgan helps develop programs that elevate and support entrepreneurs with the resources and social capital needed to succeed. Her work at Forbes Councils is lead by the team behind YEC and is building an invitation-only community to help entrepreneurs succeed.

45. Ryan Paugh

Cofounder & COO, YEC


Image source: LinkedIn

Ryan co-founded YEC and quickly built a community of many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs aged 40 and younger. He focuses on building epic communities and has been called a “cult legend in online community building world” by Mashable.

46. Ash McGregor Dey

Social Media & Community Relations Strategist, Self-Employed


Image source: LinkedIn

Ash specializes in social media and community management and is “obsessed with building and scaling content and creating passionate communities.” Her skills span across online marketing, social media, brand management and digital content creation, and she also co-founded Austin and Bay area fashion and tech networking groups.

47. Katie McCauley


Image source: LinkedIn

Katie is a connector, empath, and has a curiosity for others that never runs out. She loves using all three of these in her work as the CMX Series Coordinator. Previously, Katie spent over two years as the Community Manager for Noonday Collection, a fair trade direct sales jewelry company and passionate community of women. She is a firm believer that we need each other, and finds joy in being a resource to other community builders.

Mentors and Leaders

These are community builders who’ve been at it for years, who are constantly building next-level communities and trying new strategies, and who inspire us on a daily basis. They’ve got experience under their belts, and they often share that experience with others both on and offline. We’re proud to call many of these community builders members of our community.

48. Allison Leahy

Director of Community, Fitbit



Image source: LinkedIn

Allison leads the engaged community at Fitbit and builds community and social support programs. She counts expanding Fitbit’s community support in 8 languages and delivering user support to over 35 global social pages in 7 languages and 5 platforms, as major milestones.

49. David Spinks

Founder & CEO, CMX



Image source: LinkedIn

David created CMX to serve as the hub for the community profession. He helps develop communities, conferences and professional training for community professionals to help shape a more connected and collaborative world.

50. Amy Muller

VP of Customer Care & Community, Automatic


Amy views customer support and communities as strategic values with exponential long-term benefits to businesses. Her work at Automatic takes a cross-functional approach to training, development and team collaboration.

51. Caty Kobe

Head of Scalable Support, Square



Image source: LinkedIn

As a “fearless customer advocate,” Caty focuses on the human elements of business, including online community and customer education. She’s been working on building and supporting online communities since 2008, and trains community managers on social science techniques that drive online engagement.

52. Chelsea Rustrum

Sharing Economy Consultant, Sharers.co



Image source: LinkedIn

Chelsea advises early- to mid-stage startups on building their communities and increasing visibility. She consults with startups on their marketing strategies and helps set up community building strategies focused around user acquisition and retention.

53. Cindy Au

Former VP of Community, Kickstarter



Image source: LinkedIn

Cindy joined Kickstarter as employee #9 and helped build the early community team at the crowdfunding platform. She now serves as the VP of Community, where she builds scalable outreach strategies across content, local events, live streams and partnerships.

54. Danyelle Ludwig

Internal Comms & Events Lead, Lyft


Image source: LinkedIn

Danyelle is a communications guru helping plan and produce events, promotions and creative materials for Lyft. She also creates story pitches and fundraising campaigns, and has her hand in events throughout San Francisco.

55. David DeWald

Community Manager, Carbon Black



Image source: LinkedIn

David has been building web community spaces since 1996 and focuses on building and managing online communities. He brings his strategic experience in community development to Carbon Black to help users looking for endpoint security platforms to defend from modern-day attacks.

56. David Rust

Director, Operations Strategy, Lyft


Image source: LinkedIn

David was employee #25 at Lyft and helped the company build its marketing playbook to launch across the U.S. He also lead Lyft through a partnership with General Motors and Hertz to deploy Lyft’s first vehicle rental program.

57. Dawn Lacallade

VP Account Services, LiveWorld


Image source: LinkedIn

Dawn helps healthcare companies transform their position in the marketplace with innovative marketing programs. She creates campaigns to help build and engage compassionate communities and conversational experiences.

58. Elana Leoni

Founder, Leoni Consulting Group


Image source: LinkedIn

Elana has over 10 years of experience building and leading online marketing strategies. She consults startups, educational institutions and nonprofits through results-oriented social media.

59. Emery Lees

Senior Consultant, ROI Communication


Image source: LinkedIn

Emery is fascinated by the intersection between community and technology. She develops social media and collaborative programs to help organizations develop their communities and reach their full potential.

60. Erica McGillivray



Image source: LinkedIn

Erica is a community manager, events manager, author and currently works as the Director of Events for CMX, focusing on CMX Summit and other offline community gatherings. Previously, Erica wrangled an online marketing and SEO-focused community of 600,000 at Moz. She’s also a founder of GeekGirlCon, an all-volunteer nonprofit.

61. Erica Kuhl

VP of Community, Salesforce


Image source: LinkedIn

Erica oversees the Success Community at Salesforce with over 2.5 million members, and 53,000 new members added monthly. She also created and managed Salesforce advocacy programs with 230 MVPs and 430 global user groups.

62. Holly (Goldin) Firestone

Director, Community, Salesforce


Image source: LinkedIn

Holly helps manage the Salesforce MVP and user group programs. She also creates content for her groups, including posts that further engage the community by honoring the MVPs and trailblazers for their exceptional contributions.

63. Jenn Pedde

Global Manager, Alumni & Community, Oliver Wyman



Image source: LinkedIn

As the Global Manager for Alumni and Community for Oliver Wyman, Jenn got her start building communities between expats and locals with social media tools while living in South Korea. She brought that knowledge and love of education as a community building consultant, and eventually oversaw Oprah Winfrey’s online community for engagement and customer service.

64. Jeska Dzwigalski

Social Media & Community Consultant, theBoardlist


Image source: LinkedIn

Jeska works at the intersection of customer engagement, social media, marketing, support and community development. As a social media consultant, she specializes in building and engaging online communities, social strategy and a wide range of marketing knowledge including serving startups and women in technology.

65. Joe Cothrel

Chief Community Officer, Lithium


Image source: LinkedIn

Joe says it best when he writes he’s “responsible for thought leadership, research and innovations that drive the next generation of successful enterprise customer communities.” His work at Lithium has helped over 300 companies on four continents create successful programs with his advice.

66. Julie Hamel

Sr. Manager, Community & Social, Alteryx


Image source: LinkedIn

Julie oversees the strategic and tactical operations of the Alteryx Community and its social channels. She has nearly a decade of experience working with Fortune 500 companies building vibrant online communities.

67. Lauren Cucinotta

Director of Marketing + Community, Maven Clinic



Image source: LinkedIn

Lauren builds communities around big ideas at Maven Clinic, the first telemedicine company focused on women. She runs the Brand Ambassador community and program to empower the community, and runs user acquisition partnerships.

68. Linda Carlson

Director of Community Relations, Trion Worlds, Inc.


Image source: LinkedIn

Linda specializes in community management and building at Trion Worlds. She’s a veteran of the online gaming industry, and has a passion for the support and evolution of communities where players bring game worlds to life.

69. Maria Ogneva

Head of Community, LinkedIn

Social Silk


Image source: LinkedIn

Maria believes in making work and play better with technology, and helps employees and customers work better together. She focuses on building communities that generate buzz and build advocacy.

70. Mark Yolton

Head of Digital & Interactive, Salesforce


Image source: LinkedIn

Mark was an early adapter of the internet as a tool for building communities. He counts himself lucky to work at “the center of the storm” in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he helped transform and optimize global brands from Peoplesoft to Oracle.

71. Phoebe Shin Venkat

Global Lead, Help & Engagement Communities, Facebook


Image source: LinkedIn

As the Global Lead of Help and Engagement Communities at Facebook, Phoebe has over 10 years of experience in community management and enterprise collaboration. She provides mentorship to a team of community moderators around the world to ultimately empower the Facebook community.

72. Rebecca Newton

Head of Trust & Community, SuperAwesome



Image source: LinkedIn

Rebecca heads the online community and safety at SuperAwesome. She specializes in child safety, regulatory compliance, and public policy, among other issues in technology and online communities.

73. Regina Walton

Marketing Manager & Event Producer, SFTech4Good


Image source: LinkedIn

Regina manages and scales the Salesforce Developer Community with over 3 million members and 180 worldwide groups. She also focuses on nurturing the Salesforce Developer Champions program with over 800 members to build an empowered community.

74. Samer Rabadi

Online Community Engagement Manager, Edutopia


Image source: LinkedIn

Samer leads online community engagement at George Lucas’ Educational Foundation, Edutopia. The foundation shares evidence and practitioner-based learning strategies for educators to improve K-12 education.

75. Sanya Weathers

Director of Community, Undead Labs


Image source: LinkedIn

Sanya has 16 years of experience in community building for the MMO industry. She specializes in developing full-fledged community programs with limited or nonexistent budgets, and possesses a wide range of expertise, from community tool design to incentives and communication.

76. Sherrie Rohde

Community Manager, Magento



Image source: LinkedIn

Sherrie connects people and resources at Magento. As a developer for a merchant, she was an active Magento community member and forum moderator before becoming the Community Manager. She’s obsessed with innovation and specializes in online and offline community building, management and strategy.

77. Carrie Jones

Founding Partner & COO, CMX Media



Image source: LinkedIn

As the Founding Partner and COO of CMX, Carrie is passionate about helping community professionals build confidence and gain power in their roles. She manages CMX’s operations and builds strategy to ensure that the CMX team can strengthen the community industry.

78. Sue John

Project Manager, The Social Element



Image source: Twitter

Sue brings over 17 years of online community management experience to The Social Element. She provides frontline, high-quality deployment and management for the operational aspects of client service. Sue looks for new ways to create efficient processes to improve the service delivery.

79. Susan Tenby

Director of Social Media, Community & Strategic Partnerships, Caravan Studios



Image source: LinkedIn

Susan focuses on building supportive communities for app developers and nonprofits to create tech solutions for real-world problems. She runs the social media channels at Caravan Studios, and identifies and engages influencers and curates relevant content.

80. Tim Falls

VP of Community, Keen IO



Image source: LinkedIn

Tim has worked with communities since 2010, where he started by launching SendGrid’s marketing strategy and establishing their community outreach program. Tim now collaborates on building community-oriented strategies in the realm of startups, technology and for-profit businesses. His real passion lies in developing projects that create positive impacts on society and environment.

81. Toby Metcalf

Community and Online Projects Manager, PTC


Image source: LinkedIn

Toby oversees content, social media promotion and the aesthetics of customer experience for PTC. The platform helps users unlock the value of the Internet of Things by providing solutions that transform how products are created and serviced.

82. Evan Hamilton

Community Consultant



Image source: LinkedIn

Evan founded Community Manager Breakfast to give leaders the opportunity to learn from each other. He helps businesses build communities by identifying the value in engaging their audience and supercharging engagement.

83. Patrick O’Keefe

Founder, iFroggy Network



Image source: LinkedIn

Patrick has been growing and scaling online communities for over 17 years, and his methods have been used by companies like FedEX and Cisco. He’s built his career as a community veteran around fostering meaningful online conversations.

84. Brian Oblinger

VP Community & Support, Alteryx


Image source: LinkedIn

Brian oversees the strategy, execution and measurement of community and customer support for Alteryx. His community building expertise was honed at companies like eBay and Sony PlayStation, where he created unique and engaging social communities and experiences.

85. Ellen Petry Leanse

Advisor, Work in Progress



Image source: LinkedIn

Ellen focuses on people-oriented strategies to help tech products and companies realize success. She works as a consultant and counts Facebook, Apple and Google as happy clients, and currently invests in and advises startups across areas like product vision and team building.

86. Etienne Wenger-Trayner

Independent Management Consulting, Wenger-Trayner


Image source: LinkedIn

Etienne is known for his work on communities of practice with a focus on social learning theories and systems. He works to understand the connection between knowledge, community, learning and identity, with the idea that human knowledge is a social act.

87. F. Randall Farmer

Social Media Product Strategy Consultant, Rosenfeld Media


Image source: LinkedIn

  1. Randall is an American game developer and the co-creator of one of the first graphic online games, Habitat, that debuted in 1985. He has over 30 years of experience designing and building multi-user community software.

88. Ligaya Tichy

Angel Investor, 38 Angels + By/Association



Image source: LinkedIn

Ligaya looks to galvanize change through collaboration and invests in early-stage companies with projects that impact people’s lives for the better. She was employee #10 at Yelp and launched markets during a rapid growth stage. She also led Airbnb’s marketing efforts.

89. Martin Reed

Community Builder & Consultant, CommunitySpark


Image source: Twitter

Martin was an early adopter of the internet and building web pages. He built Just Chat, the UK’s most popular online community with 600 simultaneous chat rooms. He also created the community building blog Community Spark, to share tips and advice for managing successful online communities so companies can get an edge over the competition.

90. Ray Eisenberg

Community Development Consultant, RME Consulting



Image source: LinkedIn

Ray specializes in online and in-person communities of practice and international communities. He currently develops and implements the community strategy for World Bank Group that helps eradicate extreme poverty.

91. Sarah Judd Welch

CEO, Loyal



Image source: LinkedIn

Sarah is a community designer and strategist serving as the CEO and head of Community Design for Loyal that helps leverage communities online. She partners with companies to create deeper customer relationships and improve retention to impact bottom lines.

92. Scott Moore

Online Community Manager, Digital Promise Global


Image source: Twitter

Scott brings 20 years of experience initiating and maintaining online communities, and currently works with Digital Promise to accelerate innovation in education. He’s also worked with Answers.com as the Director of Community Development, overseeing approximately 100,000 monthly contributors and 50 million site visitors.

93. Sean O’Driscoll

Chief Strategy & Insights Officer, Cision


Image source: LinkedIn

Sean brought his experience from PwC and Microsoft to Cision as their Chief Strategy and Insights Officer. He works to build a vision for creating the next-generation communication platform to help clients innovate.

Carrie Melissa Jones

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