What a year, what a #CMAD.
Congrats to EVERY SINGLE nominee and finalist. All you you are amazing…seriously. Below is a list of all the winners so you can send them your favorite high-five GIF.
The Force is Strong With This One
Best New Community Manager
Drew Reynolds @NYDrewReynolds
Drew is incredibly proactive and positive about everything he does. He was the first employee on the Lynxsy team and continues to be one of the top contributors.
Drew Reynolds is always talking about what is new and exciting at his job. It is hard to find people who are passionate about what they do and are so ready and willing to share with others. Drew comes up with great ideas to bring people together and is obviously the perfect candidate for winning this award!
Drew is an amazing community manager with a passion for bringing people together.
Follows processes and quickly routes issues to the correct department
David “DeeJ” Dague @DeeJ_BNG
Destiny was a cluster f***. They needed more help from the player base and Deej has done a great job of being a “speaker” for the masses.
David handles the public facing front of Bungie, Inc. He’s able to assign general troubleshooting, PR issues, and engineering problems to the correct people tens of times throughout the day. Also, he takes a lot of the public heat.
Handles all interactions with tact and grace
Sarah Hawk @ilovethehawk
Sarah has overseen the ambitious move of the Sitepoint forums from Vbulletin to Discourse with great tact and grace over a difficult past 6 months. Her answers to the hundreds of queries (no one really likes change) have all been professional and answered with full honesty. Her commitment to get the forums up and running quickly are in themselves a testament to her perseverance.
Managed SitePoint’s transition from VBulletin to Discourse with great aplomb. When the move was announced, there were many dissenting voices within the community, plus various long-standing members were resistant to change. Sarah handled the upgrade with a firm, but fair hand. She ensured that everyone had a voice and was listened to, but showed great leadership and sense of vision, steering the SitePoint community towards a livelier and more vibrant platform. Several months after the transition, the SitePoint community is experiencing considerably more engagement than before the move.
— Sarah Hawk (@ILOVETHEHAWK) August 27, 2015
The People’s Champion
Takes time to acknowledge brand advocates and community standouts
Bethany Lister @Betalister
A huge part of our mission is elevating the voices of our community. I know few people as truly focused on this aspect of community management as much as Bethany.
Bethany manages a heck of a lot of NTEN communities of practice and other forums. I’m always impressed by how often she responds to messages, especially when nobody else is responding – she makes sure that people get the answers they need. She’s also really good at connecting people; she will tell you who to talk to if she doesn’t know an answer herself. And she’s super friendly, online and in person. I feel like Bethany cares about me personally, even though we’ve only been in the same room twice, and I bet a lot of other NTEN members do as well.
Bethany has brought a breath of fresh air to the Nonprofit Technology Network. Her commitment to the organization and its members is evident in her attention to detail, outreach and coordination within the community, and constant enthusiasm. As a long-time NTEN member, I’ve come to appreciate her new perspectives and ideas for the organization, and been pleased to have shared both conference and online time with her steady organizing and community management.
—Tracy Kronzak, Co-Founder/CEO, BrightStep Partners
Bethany is a tireless, charming and skilled community manager who contributes incalculable value not only to her organization (nonprofit tech membership) but to the sector at large.
Bethany not only wrangles cats, she becomes a cat champion. Or, in more professional parlance, Bethany knows how to make the members of her community feel valued and, just as important, graciously helps members find ways to integrate into larger communities of practice work which rewards all the participants as well as the hosting institution(s). There are few people like her and therefore it’s important to recognize and celebrate her skills & contributions.
Bethany has a knack for making people feel appreciated both on and offline. As the Community Program Coordinator for NTEN and a long-time organizer of Portland’s PDXTech4Good MeetUp, Bethany is constantly identifying and recognizing key community advocates and engaging new ones. She takes the time to acknowledge the efforts of our supporters, whether it’s through a thoughtful tweet or a kind email complete with a fun picture or even sending a thoughtful, personalized thank you card in the mail. I’m lucky to have such a terrific community ambassador that I know is always looking to applaud and champion the efforts of our community.
Quickest Response Time
Matt Kelly @CrowdedWorlds
Matt Kelly is honestly, really quick with responding to questions and issues. If it is during business hours, his response is usually under 5 min.
— Matt Kelly (@crowdedworlds) September 9, 2015
Funniest Community Manager
Brooke Haney @TheBrookeHaney
It’s easy to be funny when you’re a brand like Taco Bell. It’s much harder when you’re working with a client that isn’t traditionally sexy. Brooke may not always have the most glamorous clients, but she always finds a way to make her messages smart, funny and engaging. That’s not always easy to do in the agriculture industry. She deserves all the +1s and upvotes for her recent work with Smithfield.
— brooke haney (@theBrookeHaney) August 20, 2015
Lets Take This Offline
Best at activating in-person events
Alex Shebar @AlexShebar
As a Gold Yelp Elite, I’ve seen London through a few community managers in the past 5 years. Alex is the first one I’ve bothered getting to know, and he is the first I consider a friend. But before you judge this to be a biased review, I only met Alex through his role as community manager. He has gotten REAL London, both foreign and locally born, coming together in real life at real events, truly creating a new community, basically from scratch, of people who evangelise yelp and care about the brand in a way that was unseen by his three predecessors. It is the real life interaction (and real friendships) that make yelp different from other review websites. Alex helps facilitate the community that really owns the heart and soul of the company.
Alex always threw the best events as the Cincinnati community manager. They were frequent enough to keep his group of yelpers engaged but also thoughtfully executed. Three events really stick out in my mind – the Circus event he held in Covington KY one year. It was complete with mini circus food, jugglers, belly dancers, fire breathers, great live music and amazing vendors from around the city. I found about a few new restaurants that I still go to today. Another event was a burgers and snacks night at a video arcade. Alex had burgers from this really creative burger joint, delicious cupcakes and soda brought in to Arcade Legacy. It was a total riot to be able to play these old school video games and taste the delicious burgers. I have taken many friends to arcade legacy because of that event. I know through keeping up with him and following him on yelp.com that he has kept up his streak of unique and engaging events. The London yelpers always seem to be having the best time. Alex always picked the most unique places and ways to get the community invoked which is why he exemplifies the “Let’s take this offline” category.
Fun fun fun! I have attended Alex’s vents in Cincinnati and London and always have fun. The events are people centered—with lots of opportunities to meet new people. He sets them up in a way to encourage engaging with others. I wish I lived closer, or he lived closer, so I could attend more. Always always a good time!
I attended 6 of the Yelp events Alex threw in London over the course of Fall-Winter 2012. If anyone knows how to throw a killer event, it’s Alex. His events were creative (halloween party in the Grant Museum of Zoology—ie. skeletons galore), well run, and always a blast. He had a personal relationship with the community members- when we had Unofficial Yelp Events Alex always attended. One could say Alex always brought something to the table. I wish I still lived in London so I could go to more of Alex’s events!
Alex runs THE best Yelp events! You learn about great new products and businesses, meet awesome new friends aaaand have something to post that will e) make you the envy of all your social media buddies. Smiles all round!
Alex started his Yelp journey in my hometown here in Cincinnati, OH. This town wasn’t the same after he took the reigns. (Of course you realize this because you sent him to London to do the same thing.) The Yelp parties in Cincinnati were a “Are you on the list” type of events. People filled the streets waiting to get in. Yelp events were the buzz of the city because they were put together so well. There was something for everyone. The party was always the thing everyone was talking about all month … till the next event. Alex deserves every award you guys have. But … be careful. Don’t let him get too big of a head. He’ll take over your headquarters in San Fran too.
There are no other nominees for this catagory, there can be only one! All hail Alex Shebar, Community Manager of Yelp London. Alex is a one man party machine and throws the most incredible events for his community. Be it all you can eat chocolate events to wine tasting or rib eating competitions, if there’s a party to be had, you know Alex will be throwing it. Not only does he host spectacular events but he introduces more London Yelp newbies to the community than any CM before him. Alex became famous for throwing an event a week in London, ensuring that Yelp newbies and old-schoolers alike got together to mingle and make friends. We’ve drank champagne for free and eaten oysters like the kings and queens of London – all thanks to CM Alex. He’s revolutionised the London Yelp community and I’m sure many newcomers to the city will be forever grateful for his event hosting skills that allowed them to meet and make new friends in the city.
—Linzi Mc Glennon
Alex has put on every event you could think of. From intimate pizza parties to posh breakfasts to theatre performances to all out 1000-person Rock nights and elegant affairs, there’s nothing he can’t do. He’s known by everyone proving he has a real offline presence to go with his strong online one, he always takes the effort to speak to everyone and he always manages to fix any teething problems and keep vendors and sponsors happy as well as the guests. I think Alex should win this award because he’s dedicated to Yelp, to introducing great new spots to people and he works his butt off to do at least an event a week if not more. Yelpers have had so many fun unique exciting experiences and it’s all down to him.
CMGR Choice Award
A lifetime achievement award for the person nominated the most by fellow community managers
Rebecca Newton @RebeccaNewton
When I think about a lifetime achievement award for community, my mind shifts to those who have been in this space for 10+ years. People who have put the time in and really moved us forward. Rebecca Newton is a veteran of our profession, having worked in community since 1994. Following 6 years at AOL, where she led the Community Leader program, Rebecca has held community posts at HowStuffWorks.com, Sulake and Mind Candy, where she is currently the chief community and safety officer. She is the long time caretaker of the e-mint listserv, which countless community professionals have benefited from. She also founded Virtual Community Summit, which was an excellent community management conference for the two years she was at the helm. Through efforts like these, she has helped countless people further their career in this space. Rebecca is the type of person who comes to mind for me, when I think “lifetime achievement award.” She has had a wonderful career, she has helped us grow as an industry and so many professionals in our space have benefited from her wisdom and support.
Congrats winners! I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the awards sponsors and the awards committee. You all rock and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future!
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