With all the excitement surrounding the Community Industry Awards 2022 we wanted to follow up with last years Community Professional of the Year.Last year, Diana Morgan, Head of Community at Copy.ai, was competing for Community Professional of the Year. After being announced as the winner, her community career transcended to an entirely new level. During our virtual conversation, she shared her insights on participating in the voting process as well as the strategy she used to build her support system:What stage of your community journey were you at before winning the Community Industry Awards ?I was in a mid-level role at a late-stage startup. I was on a team of 3 other community managers while working at UiPath. When I was hired, we went from 400K community members to 1.4 million in 2.5 years. I had managed communities professionally for 4 years at this point.Why is validation important for community professionals?It’s important because it validates the industry as well as the seniority needed across community roles. There is a difference between a community manager just starting out with 1-2 years of experience to 8-10 years of experience of leading a team. Sometimes, the title is the same across the Community Industry, and showing awards and validation also increase the likelihood of promotion, getting a new job, and creating a timestamp of superior performance during a stage of your career.Do you have any strategies or tips to share for this year's Nominees?The first thing I did was share my nomination with the community I managed. There were nominations for myself, the community I managed, and my other team members. The community wanted to vote for themselves, but also wanted to support the people that had engaged with us as Community Managers throughout the years. It was a small, but necessary, token of appreciation. I posted it on my LinkedIn, and got almost 400 likes (hopefully converted into votes), which sent great waves in impressions. The last great support I had was from the Chief Marketing Officer at UiPath that shared our nominations internally and encourage people to vote for us.What benefits did winning the Community Industry Awards provide for you?As much as you do professional branding and communication for your job, do it for yourself as well. After I won the award, I made and actively used Twitter and Clubhouse, which became the channels in which I got a new job at a pre-seed startup, a side crypto project, and adviser role at another startup all over the period of 6 months. It would not have been possible if I did not advocate for my award on my personal social media accounts.As a winner do you feel a new level of credibility or confidence? Why or Why not?I definitely have new credibility and confidence! I was fortunate to virtually meet some community professional veterans that had heard of my work and knew who I was. It was great to learn from them as I transitioned into a new role and understand the foundation of what I’ve been able to achieve today.Do you have any advice for the Community Professionals who aspire to become community industry award winners?I would say look into how communities are built today compared to a few years ago. Many of the communities nominated required years and years of hard work to be put together. Today, many communities are being built that may be award-winning in 2-3 years. This means there are many opportunities for innovation in the space. Currently I am building the best ways to create a community in web3, NFT, and DAO communities - I hope to see these be award-winning communities created by professional Community Managers within the next 1-2 years.