Introducing the 2024 CMX Community Industry Awards Judging Panel!

By 
Ana Levidze
November 27, 2023
December 4, 2023

The 2024 CMX Community Industry Awards are off to a running start! It's time to celebrate the amazing people and communities that keep our industry thriving.

We've received so many nominations for incredible communities and community professionals who deserve recognition for their contributions. Now, it's your turn to show some love by voting for your favorites!

Voting is officially open today and will run until January 5th. Yes, that might seem like a while away but don't forget, the holidays are just around the corner, so don't put this away! Finalists will be announced on January 10th, 2024.

For this year's fifth annual awards, we've got nine categories to celebrate, and to help us sift through these amazing nominations, we've assembled an incredible judging committee of community professionals. If you're curious about how the whole judging process works, we encourage you to check out this blog post.

Without further ado, let's roll out the red carpet and introduce our amazing judges for the 2024 CMX Community Industry Awards! Drumroll, please...

Meet Our 2024 Judging Committee!

Judging B2B Community Professional Category in this Year's Awards

Margaux Miller - Global Director of Community at Toptal 

Margaux Miller Headshot

As Toptal’s Director of Community, Margaux focuses on connecting a fully remote network of top talent around the world through programming, events, pro bono work, and more. Her background is in the technology industry, and she’s an advocate for diversity in tech, digital literacy, accessibility, and both personal and corporate social responsibility. Margaux is a founding member of the WomenTech Network and the founder of the Start Canada Podcast and the Manitoba Women in Tech group.

Piper Wilson - Community Consultant at Higher Logic 

Piper Wilson headshot

Piper works for Higher Logic | Vanilla as a Community Consultant, providing strategic guidance and moderation services to multiple communities. She loves this stuff! She has an eclectic background (really) and is proudest of her two pointy-headed children. 

Monique van den Berg - Head of Online Community at Atlassian  

Monique van den Berg headshot

Monique has managed, launched, and scaled online communities at both Oracle and Atlassian, specializing in user engagement and gamification. The Atlassian Community was the inaugural CMX Community of the Year winner, and Monique won CMX’s B2B Community Professional category in 2023. 

Judging Best New Community Category in this Year's Awards

Kobie Fuller - General Partner at Upfront

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Kobie has been a General Partner at Upfront since 2016, with a core investing focus on AI, enterprise SaaS, and immersive XR platforms. With over two decades of experience in venture capital, Kobie has held key positions at leading firms, including Accel, OpenView Venture Partners, and Insight Venture Partners, where he made early investments in companies such as Exact Target (which was sold to Salesforce for $2.5B), Usertesting (which had a $1.3B exit), and Oculus (which was sold to Facebook for $2B). His current notable Upfront investments include Cordial, Invoca, Wave, Bevy, Soot, and Endgame.

Kobie's experience extends beyond investing. As the former Chief Marketing Officer at REVOLVE, he played a pivotal role in driving the company's explosive growth. He leveraged his expertise in marketing technology, along with his relationship management skills, to help architect their influencer growth machine from the ground floor up.

Kobie is a graduate of Harvard College, where he captained the track team and won numerous Ivy League sprint titles.

Paul Zimmerman - Manager, Developer Advocacy at Cisco Systems

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Paul Zimmerman leads a Developer Advocacy team for Cisco's DevNet group. Paul has been with Cisco for 25 years, has been involved with collaboration and community for the past 16 years, and has worked in developer programs for the past 10 years. 

Paul is a Silicon Valley native. Outside of the office, Paul enjoys his family, playing music in bands, and enjoying the beach near his home in Santa Cruz.

Nilesh Shinde - Tech Consultant at Deloitte

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As a passionate tech consultant, Nilesh Shinde is dedicated to the dynamic world of technology. His true passion is cultivating and nurturing developer communities, and he brings over 5 years of experience in the Developer Relations (DevRel) space to the table.

His current focus is on fostering thriving tech communities in India. He is actively engaged in several exciting initiatives:

  1. Azure Developer Community, Mumbai/Navi Mumbai 
  2. Elastic User Group, Mumbai 
  3. Kong Meetup, Mumbai 
  4. Data Visualization Society(DVS) Mumbai 
  5. MongoDB User Group Mumbai 
  6. DearAzure Community India

Through his consulting and community management efforts, he is on a mission to empower individuals to achieve their business and learning goals. Whether it’s tech innovation, community building, or any of the specific initiatives he is leading, Nilesh is committed to driving positive change in the tech landscape.

Judging Best Customer Support Community Category in this Year's Awards

Diane Yuen - Community Manager at Alation

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For the past two years, Diane has been managing the customer community for Alation, a late-stage startup with an enterprise data intelligence platform solution, but her community-building roots started about a decade ago with the community she fostered through live-streamed video gaming content. 

She formally dove into the professional community management industry when she joined CMX's first cohort of CMX Apprentices. Now, she oversees Alation's customer community, including its online support and discussion forums, community programs, operations, and strategy. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two cats in Colorado.

Jamie Johnston - Program Manager, Community at Spotify

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Jamie has worked in editorial, social media, and customer service roles at various companies like Sky UK, Tesco Bank, and now Spotify where he heads up Community. Based in Scotland he runs CMX Connect meet-ups and otherwise can be found mountain biking or at a gig!

Aaron White - Senior Community Manager at Alkami

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Aaron White is the Senior Community Manager at Alkami. Previously, he has worked to build award-winning programs and communities at Anaplan and WalkMe and has also worked in the non-profit space as a media and content creator. He volunteers as a Communiteer for CMX and as a content curator at the trivia community Sporcle. He lives in Minnesota but isn't completely sure why. 

Judging Developer Relations Community Professional Category in this Year's Awards

Elizabeth Okaome - Developer Relations Community Manager at Interswitch Group

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Elizabeth Okaome is an advocate for women in Tech who is passionate about getting women in tech. She has been a community manager in the tech ecosystem for 7 years with a focus on Developer Communities.

She started by volunteering to organize tech events and also being involved in these communities which led her to being a co-organizer at Google Developers Group Benin, the largest tech community in Benin. 

Founder of Empower Her Community, a community of 2 years with over 6000 women across 75 countries of the world that grooms women in tech skills, mentors, and pairs them with opportunities.

Elizabeth is currently the Developer Relations Community Manager at Interswitch Group where she fosters relationships between external and internal developers at Interswitch and offers technical support to developers integrating the company's various APIs. She also leads programs and partnerships in the community.

Sam Hepburn - Principal Community Manager at Snyk

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Sam has spent the past 10 years in London becoming a well-known face of the developer community scene. Working with a variety of organisations within London and now globally building some of the largest tech communities in the world. Her main aim is to create environments for individuals to feel welcome and for communities to flourish.

She’s currently leading the community team at Snyk.io helping developers adopt security into their development workflows. As well as building the DevSecCon community. She's an advisor for OpenUK advocating for the use and development of Open Technology

and on the steering committee for Devoxx UK, a JVM-focused developer conference.

Elvis Kahoro - Developer Experience Engineer at Warp

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Elvis (he/him/his) works at Warp.dev - a startup rebuilding the terminal to work like a modern app so you and your team can build great software, faster.

Judging Executive Leader of Community Team Category in this Year's Awards

Alex Witkowski - Director of Community and Education Programs at Section

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Alex Witkowski is a former educator who has worked in the community for the past decade in both the non-profit and private sectors. He was a founding member of Course Hero's Educator Community Team, helping to build foundational programs and scale the community from 0 to more than 10,000 college instructors in just three years. 

Currently, Alex is the Director of Community and Education Programs at Section, an ed-tech company founded by Scott Galloway that provides business upskilling to more than 25,000 working professionals around the world. 

Alexis Brown - Senior Manager, Global Community and Social Media at Zoom

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Alexis leads the Global Community and Social Media Customer Support team at Zoom. Focused on enhancing the digital customer support experience, the Zoom Community provides a place for all global Zoom users to openly ask questions, find solutions, and collaborate with peers. 

Alexis is passionate about community engagement, scaling global digital support, and driving successful online interactions. With over ten years of experience in community management, Alexis is a seasoned professional in online collaboration and digital support forums. 

Araminta Robertson - Founder and Managing Director at Mint Studios

Araminta Robertson headshot

Araminta is the Founder and Managing Director at Mint Studios, a content marketing agency that helps fintech companies turn their website blog into a customer acquisition channel. The Mint Studios team has helped fintech companies including Modulr, Zai, Confused.com, and Jeeves use content to bring in customers.

She also co-manages the 1,500+ person Fintech Marketing Slack group and conference and is the host of the Market Like a Fintech podcast and Edinburgh's Fintech Mixer events. She talks regularly at events hosted by Finovate Europe, Fintech Talents, and BrightonSEO.

Judging Gaming Community Professional Category in this Year's Awards

Dror Haberman - Community Team Lead at Overwolf

Dror Haberman headshot

Leading gaming communities online since 2012, Dror has a real passion for gaming and people. While starting as a simple desire to find people to play together with, he found his real calling in community building. From crafting communities with a deep culture based on specific titles, forming into tight and exclusive clans, up to global gaming communities that accept all and are focused on creating friendships with the games we all love.

Finding his place in Overwolf - the guild of In-Game Creators - as a community manager for game app developers, Dror quickly rose to form the company's community team, leading communities for gamers and creators alike.

Sam Gee - Senior Community Manager at Riyo Games

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GDC 2023 speaker and award-winning Senior Community Manager Sam Gee has worked in the games industry since 2015. She has vast experience in marketing, content creation, and building safe and wholesome communities for whatever player base she manages. 

She's currently working on the upcoming RPG Threads of Time at Canadian indie studio Riyo Games but has also contributed to the development of titles such as YoWorld, Video Horror Society, and Warframe. 

In her spare time, you can find her crocheting hats and stuffies or at the gym deadlifting.

Judging Growth Marketing Community Category in this Year's Awards

Barry McDonald - VP of Community at CodeBase

Barry McDonald headshot

A seasoned community builder who is passionate about building and supporting tech startup communities, connecting people, and facilitating collaborative projects across the Scottish tech ecosystem. A former journalist and business owner, Barry is responsible for building a supportive, diverse, and inclusive startup community across Scotland.

Codebase is the UK’s largest Tech Incubator with a focus on building culture, community, and

education that promotes and supports tech innovation. Codebase works with startups,

scaleups, corporates, governments, academia, and the third sector to help support innovation ecosystems, using worldwide startup best practices and tailoring them to local realities.

Todd Nilson - Community Strategist and Consultant at Clocktower Advisors

Todd Nilson headshot

Todd Nilson, a Community Strategist and Consultant at Clocktower Advisors, specializes in helping organizations establish thriving online communities and digital workplaces. With expertise in digital strategy, online community management, remote work collaboration, and marketing, Todd caters to a diverse clientele, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies on a global scale.

Todd is a seasoned tabletop gamer with a particular affinity for RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. If you share this interest, he's open to striking up a conversation! Academically, Todd holds a BA from Penn State, an MA from Duquesne University, and a Ph.D. candidate (abd) at the University of Kentucky.

Proudly based in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, USA, Todd's background includes an unexpected twist – he is trained as a dancer in tap, jazz, modern, and ballet. An active Rotarian, Todd adheres to the Rotary 4-Way Test in both his personal and professional life.

Judging Nonprofit Community Professional Category in this Year's Awards

Emily Harden - Executive Director at Techlahoma Foundation

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Emily Harden is the Executive Director of the Techlahoma Foundation. She previously served as Techlahoma's first Community Manager, and prior to that worked in the property management industry. Besides Techlahoma, Emily actively participates in OKWIT, TYPROS Tech Crew, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

If she isn’t out representing Techlahoma and Json the Bson, she can be found playing board games, video games, traveling, or hanging out with her husband and two dogs.

Shantae Porteous - Community Manager at Solidarity Yaad International

Shantae Porteous headshot

Shantae is a Community Manager and Wellness Practitioner, with experience in advocacy for women’s and girl’s rights and LGBTQI+ issues. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in criminology and is currently pursuing a Masters in Women, Gender, Spirituality, and Social Justice. During her professional career, she has practiced program development for youth through leadership development and social justice advocacy for women, girls, and LGBTQI+ folks. 

Her portfolio of strategies and community interventions are informed by best practices from various schools of thought, the realities of the community she serves and represents, as well as the influence of ancestral practices of healing and wellness. She hopes to merge these practices to best respond to the needs of the LGBTQ community while navigating the policies that exist and simultaneously informing the creation of better practices for the community. 

Shantae is challenging the traditional messaging surrounding health that prioritizes the sustenance of axes of oppression over individual and community wellness at all levels. 

Jen Durkee - Senior Community Manager at Coursera 

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Jen Durkee, an accomplished EdTech community leader, stands recognized for outstanding contributions and has been awarded for excellence. Fueled by a fervent passion for crafting exceptional experiences and cultivating growth within global communities, Jen's expertise lies in harnessing strategic thinking, robust communication skills, and a customer-first mindset to propel engagement, foster learning, and stimulate collaboration.

Nada Zohdy - Global Network Lead at The Obama Foundation 

Nada Zohdy headshot

Nada Zohdy is a dedicated nonprofit leader, social entrepreneur, and network builder, with a decade of experience as a democracy advocate and 15+ years of experience as a community builder. Nada is currently the first Global Network Lead at the Obama Foundation, where she is creating and implementing the first strategy to connect 1,000+ alumni of the Foundation’s leadership programs in 100+ countries who are working on diverse social change issues, to support each other and work together. She was previously Director of the Open Gov Hub in Washington, D.C. Nada has worked with 150+ nonprofits (one-to-one and through networks) to build capacity and collaborations and has mentored many early-stage social enterprises.

Judging User Group Program Category in this Year's Awards

Elsa Mayer - Community Team Lead at Snowflake

Elsa Mayer headshot

Elsa Mayer heads the Community team at Snowflake and has supported community programs for the past 7 years at leading tech companies including AWS and VMware. She joined Snowflake in 2020 to launch and scale a global user group program, which now operates 75 global user group chapters and runs hundreds of events annually. 

Elsa lives in San Francisco with her husband and two dogs, and enjoys running (slowly), skiing (also slowly), and film photography.  

Meredith Woolard - Senior Community Manager at Tessitura Network

Meredith Woolard headshot

Meredith Woolard (she/her) oversees the Tessitura community program which was recognized as the 2023 User Group Program of the Year by CMX. In her role, she supports 70+ regional, topical, and affinity groups, in addition to online forums and events.

Before joining Tessitura in 2015, Meredith worked in the event industry and has a background in theatre, non-profits, universities, and tech start-ups. Meredith lives in Atlanta and is a proud mom to a 5-year-old son. Favorite interests include attending live performances, baking cakes, spending time in nature, and traveling.

Suzanne Shaw - Community Programs Manager at Automation Anywhere

Suzanne Shaw headshot

Suzanne Shaw, with more than 15 years in EdTech and Healthcare sales, took a bold leap by stepping into a role overseeing the launch of User Groups in the Automation Anywhere community. In a landscape dominated by automation, AI, Chatbots, and auto-replies to enhance access and productivity, Suzanne's Pathfinder Community uniquely values the humanity of business users.

She finds joy in empowering users, creating a space for connection, fostering an environment for mutual learning, and offering access to valuable resources. Outside of work, Suzanne can often be found in the mountains, enjoying time with her family, dogs, and goats.

Show Your Support: Cast Your Vote Today!

And now, for the most important part: voting! Don't forget to cast your votes for your favorite communities and community professionals before December 31st! Your votes will help to recognize the incredible work being done in our industry.

Vote Today

Ana Levidze
Community Content Manager
November 27, 2023
December 4, 2023

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