The 2023 Community Industry Awards are here, and we couldn’t be more excited!
Over the past month, hundreds of nominations have been submitted for community professionals and organizations whose energy and efforts are making a big impact on our industry.
This is our fourth annual awards ceremony in which we recognize the best of the best in the community industry. We have 15 categories this time around—including best creator community (our favorite category) to CMX’er of the year (also one of our favorites).
Now it’s your turn to help us select the finalists! Check out our nominees and cast your vote before December 2nd. Finalists will be announced on December 13th, 2022—and winners at our annual awards ceremony on January 23rd, 2023!
In the meantime, please join us in welcoming our judging committee. We’re thrilled to have them on board and can’t wait for you all to meet them!
Introducing the Judging Committee for Our 2023 Community Industry Awards
Judging our Executive Leader of a Community Team category:
Erica Kuhl – Strategic Community Consultant at Erica Kuhl Consulting (and former VP of Community, Salesforce)
With more than 20 years of experience, Erica has deep expertise in building enterprise community programs. As the former VP of Community at Salesforce, she built everything from scratch—strategy, programs, and metrics—and understands how to do so on any size budget with the any-sized team. In addition, she saw massive company growth from 176 employees to 49000, allowing her to adapt strategies & deeply understand challenges at all stages. Today, Erica runs her own consultancy to help customers like Slack, HubSpot, Atlassian, Google Cloud, Workday, and Github build robust community strategies and programs of their own.
Corina Gheonea – Director of Global UiPath Community at UiPath
Corina is a global community leader for the UiPath Community. She has been working in community development and entrepreneurial environments for more than ten years. She continues to dedicate herself to community development in the tech space, shaping the future of work and the skills of the future.
Judging our Gaming Community Professional category:
Emma Siu – Community Lead at Electronic Arts
Emma Siu is an award-winning Community Lead with a background in indie games and extensive experience in AAA live service and development. Emma has worked on a number of notable gaming franchises, including The Sims, Need for Speed, Real Racing, and Plants vs. Zombies.
Bo de Vries – Studio Communications Lead at Guerilla
Bo has been Guerrilla’s Studio Communications Lead since 2020, bringing over more than ten years’ worth of communications, PR, and influencer management experience to the role. She is responsible for all communication and community strategies for the studio, the games, and franchise and licensing projects.
Mattie Fairchild – Senior Director, Crypto Marketing & Developer Relations at Manticore Games
Mattie Fairchild is Senior Director of Crypto Marketing & DevRel at Manticore Games. She got her start hosting some of the earliest esports events, and since then has grown online communities for social, mobile, and PC games, including the leading community at TinyCo and as Founder/CEO of venture-backed studio Wavedash Games. In her spare time she leads NFT development for Boys Club, a DAO dedicated to women builders in web3, and also cooks – a lot – while under attack by two very small leopards.
Judging our B2B Community Professional category:
Karolina Linda – Director of Community Management at Dynatrace
As a Director of Community Management at Dynatrace, Karolina leads the Community team of 5 and is responsible for developing and implementing the global community strategy. Passionate about people, she’s been adding a human face to IT for almost 15 years.
Kenneth Refsgaard – Community Strategy Director at Insided (by Gainsight)
Kenneth Refsgaard is the Community Strategy Director at inSided (by Gainsight) where he is responsible for community best practices and thought leadership. Prior to joining inSided Kenneth spent 15 years building and managing community programs for major brands like TomTom and Sonos. With inSided now part of the Gainsight family, Kenneth is particularly fascinated by the intersection of Customer Success and digital engagement via communities.
Alan Aisbitt – Director of Community at Splunk
Driven by a desire to help others, Alan has spent the past decade creating and scaling online communities, programs, and in-person events in both Europe and North America. Alan currently leads the community team at Splunk and is responsible for engaging and growing Splunk’s global community through user groups, online support channels and super-user expert groups.
Judging our Developer Relations Community Professional category:
Cherish Santoshi – Developer Relations Engineer at Orkes
Cherish Santoshi is an award-winning Developer Relations global leader. In his career, which spans nine years, he has built communities for over 5 million developers across the globe.
Nikita Gandhi – Community Manager at Google Developers
Passionate about creating equal learning opportunities for all, Nikita currently contributes to the Google Developer Student Clubs Program in India. She focuses on building and launching campaigns at scale, enabling thousands of developers to learn and build using technology. In the long term, Nikita would like to bring more equality and inclusion in the education space. As an ardent foodie, she wants to explore street food across the world!
Nilesh Shinde – Associate Consultant at KPMG
As a Consultant at KPMG and passionate about tech community building, Nilesh has been solving data problems in the banking domain as a Tech consultant and building developer communities for over the last four years.
Judging our Education & Nonprofit Community Professional category:
Shadab Ashraf – Director of Global Support & Customer Experience at Udacity
Shadab Ashraf is an Award winning global operations leader with several years of experience in serving high-performing community & CX team/s for ITSM, EdTech, SAAS, and Opensource companies. He geeks out on Digital Transformation, Service Innovation, and Customer Experience Management.
Linda Porter – Owner & Trainer at Certified Community Manager Study Group
Currently, Linda Porter is pursuing a dual academic path at both Harvard and Northwestern University. She has been a life-long advocate for educational equity.
Haneefah Abdurrahman Lekki – Community Manager at Ingressive for Good
Haneefah is an award-winning community manager who loves communicating and meeting people. She is currently the programs and community manager at Ingressive for Good, an ed-tech non-profit on a mission to train 1,000,000 African Youths and place 5000 of them in jobs. She won the community manager of the year award at CMX and is building a community for community managers in Africa.
Maureen Hitipeuw – Founder & Community Builder at Single Moms Indonesia
Maureen Hitipeuw is the founder of the Single Moms Indonesia community. Single Moms Indonesia is a non-profit organization that supports single mothers in Indonesia in their personal and professional development. Maureen has been involved with community building for many years and is now an experienced and Meta Certified Community Manager.
Medina McKinney – Board President, Board of Directors at Black Parents Association of the San Mateo Union High School District
Medina is a Community Leader who creates authentic, meaningful, and long-term connections within underserved and highly impacted communities through her roles with the BlackParents Association, BrandGOV, and EyeSpy Marketing. She creates sustainable and impactful programs that meet community groups where they are in order to provide these groups with the resources that they need most.
Judging our Best New Community category:
Jeff Harling – Head of Digital Support at Zoom
Jeff Harling is the Head of Digital Support for Zoom. In this role, he leads the self-service support strategy for Zoom’s support web experience, including chatbot, AI, search engine optimization, content and knowledge management, as well as the Zoom customer support community. Jeff has spent the past two decades leading the transformation of digital customer support experiences.
Rob Fawkes – Head of Client Partnerships & Marketing at Standing on Giants
Rob is Head of Client Partnerships & Marketing at Standing on Giants, where he has the pleasure of working with many household name brands including Airbnb, Lenovo Legion, O2, and Heineken. Not from a traditional sales and marketing background, Rob started his career in musical theatre, before falling in love with the world of social media and community. He built one of the largest communities in the alcohol industry at Sipsmith Gin, before entering the agency world and ending up at Standing on Giants. He can still (just about) carry a tune, and enjoys time with his wife and son, sports, and trying to figure out how to use Discord.
Judging our Creator Community category:
Alexandra Brown – Director of Social & Community at Omaze
Alex Brown is an LA native with over eight years of experience leading social & digital strategy at companies like E! News, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Popsugar. Currently, she’s the Director of Community at the fundraising platform, Omaze, leading their presence across the community landscape. In her downtime, she’s focused on building her own health and wellness 501(c)(3) nonprofit that will support underserved communities across LA.
Monica Khan – EVP, Head of Creator Community at Spotter
Monica Khan has spent the last decade empowering and supporting a wide spectrum of creators to turn their passions into sustainable businesses and livelihoods via major digital platforms. Monica is the Head of Creator Community at Spotter, the company fueling the creator economy on YouTube, where she is building and leading a creator success team to drive strategic partnerships, creator economy education, and events and programs. Prior to joining Spotter, Monica spent two years at Meta leading teams to develop monetization product solutions for Facebook Groups and nearly six years at YouTube managing strategic partnerships with traditional media companies and independent producers to help them expand their presence on the platform to reach millions of viewers around the world. Based in San Francisco, Monica earned her B.A. in economics from Barnard College of Columbia University and her MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Judging our Customer Success Community category:
Derek Vink – Global Community Manager at Sage
Derek Vink has been the Global Online Community Manager for Sage City since 2013 and is better known as “the Sage City Mayor.” He has overseen a support community that has grown to over 125,000 members, with almost 17,000 posts and 35,000 replies in 2021. Derek lives and works remotely in the suburbs of Vancouver, BC. In his spare time, he enjoys walking 10,000 steps a day and then enjoying a glass of wine and great food with his friends.
Mark Obee – Director of Community at ServiceNow
Mark has been in the community industry for the past 12 years leading B2B and B2C community experiences across multiple Enterprise companies, including Intuit and Dell. He currently works as Director of the ServiceNow Community, where he has been building out the community practice and testing new ways of engaging both Customers and Partners.
Judging our User Group Program Community category:
Karissa Wood – Sr.Community Program Manager at Amazon Web Services
Karissa is a passionate community builder, and her diverse background, coupled with 15+ years of experience in project & program management, has enabled her to build communities from the ground up and at scale. Today, Karissa leads the Amazon Web Services User Group program. She is passionate about building meaningful relationships with AWS community leaders and providing them with the tools and resources necessary to grow and scale their groups. Karissa’s work resulted in AWS User Groups being named the 2022 CMX User Group of the Year. When not at work, you can find her surfing, sailing, riding her motorcycle, and traveling around the world.
Dawn Gartin – Manager of Dynamic Engagement at Workday
Dawn Gartin leads the Dynamic Engagement team at Workday. The foundational principle of the Dynamic Engagement model is to put the right resources at the point in the customer’s journey that delivers the best possible experience in the most cost-effective manner. It’s about improving customer lifecycle and meaningful efficiencies, both passions for Dawn. She is a Miata top-down driving gal that loves her work, her play, and her rescue pup! She’s usually found playing tennis, planning for travel, or thrifting. She’s addicted to pink hair, happy hours with friends, selfies, and anything that involves pimento cheese.
Judging our Web3 Community category:
Charles Adkins – Global VP of Strategy at LandVault
Charles is the Global VP of Strategy at Landvault, which is the center of excellence and the “go-to” resource for creativity, imagination, and building quality for brands wanting to enter the metaverse. For over 20 years, Charles has thrived as a trailblazing and innovative Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Communications Executive with international and domestic experience in the private & public sectors, both with Fortune 500 brands and venture-backed startups. More recently, he has been working side-by-side with technologically progressive companies like Land Vault, Admix, GMW3, Polygon, Dapper Labs, Cardano, Chainlink, Outlier Ventures, FileCoin, Polkadot, and Cointelegraph.
Diana Morgan – Founder & CEO of DQM Strategy
Diana Qian Morgan is currently the CEO & Founder of DQM Strategy – a consulting practice working with leading founders, founding teams, and start-ups to build the best community strategies for internal and external efforts. She has worked at start-ups from pre-seed to IPO and is passionate about bringing communities to life at any company. She most recently has won the 2021 CMX Professional of the Year Award, sold 10K NFTs & started a DAO, & is working towards solidifying better community practices for Web 3.
Kalah Haley – CEO of Saint Rock Media
Kalah Haley is the Founder and CEO of Saint Rock Media, a global event production and web3 venture studio serving clients like ConsenSys, Stanford and L’Oréal. Kalah speaks about emerging community economies at Web3 industry events like NFT.NYC, CMX Summit and AfroTech.
Judging our Best Growth Marketing Community category:
Maxwell Lyons – Community Manager at Course Hero
Maxwell is a Community Manager for Course Hero, an Ed Tech platform designed to help students graduate confident and prepared. The growth in their community of Campus Representatives allowed them to win the Best Growth Marketing Community of 2022!
Andreea Tomescu – Senior Community Manager at UiPath
Since 2018, Andrea has been growing communities in the tech world at UiPath, building and expanding the UiPath Community to over 2,500,000 members around the world. With an experience of over 8 years in growing and nurturing communities, from education to UX design, she love imagining ways to creating great community experiences that forge a sense of belonging, collaboration and learning.
How Does Judging Work?
The public voting period is currently open now through December 2nd, which will determine the top 3 finalists for each category. Be sure to join our Year End Celebration to find out who the finalists will be!
Each judge has been assigned a category and will read through the nominations for the finalists in that category. They will score each nomination out of ten—with ten being the highest score possible. The assessment will be based on the criteria set forth in their nomination form.
- Evidence of the nominee’s qualifications 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 its efforts have helped 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 will be 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.
Our expert judges will then score each finalist’s nomination out of ten, with ten being the highest score (criteria: thoughtful response in the application, clear examples shared that show measurable growth/success, etc.). The finalist in each category with the highest average score will determine the winner of their category.
In the event of a tie in the final score, the nominee with the higher vote from the judges is the winner. In the event the vote from the judges is also a tie, the nominee with more public votes is the winner. Extra points are awarded to nominees who received 10/10 from judges, as well as if they received 10/10 from all judges.
If you haven’t already, RSVP now to attend the Live Community Industry Awards Ceremony on January 23, 2023.