The Community Roundtable Recognizes Excellence in Community Management with TheCR Awards 2017

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American Express, Autodesk, Electronic Arts among global organizations celebrated as leaders in community management.

Luke Sinclair, Director at American Express accepts TheCR Award for Best Community Design Element

“I am consistently amazed by the innovative community work we see on a daily basis in TheCR Network,” said Rachel Happe, Co-Founder and Principal at The Community Roundtable. “Leaders in community management are showing the world what the future of work and the future of leadership looks like."

The winners of the second annual TheCR Awards were announced Monday, October 2nd, including innovative community leaders from SAP, McGraw-Hill Education, and City Year. The Community Roundtable, the leading global resource for the community management industry, presented the awards at their annual conference in Boston, TheCR Connect. As the recognized leader in community management research, training and thought leadership, The Community Roundtable is uniquely qualified to evaluate and reward individual and organizational contributions to the industry.

TheCR Awards recognize excellence in community management across four categories including, Outstanding ROI, Best Community Design Element, Winning Welcome Wagon, and Best Recognition & Reward Program. Members of TheCR Network –the world's premier resource for community professionals - were recognized in five categories. One additional award, Community MVP was awarded based on peer nominations.

“I am consistently amazed by the innovative community work we see on a daily basis in TheCR Network,” said Rachel Happe, Co-Founder and Principal at The Community Roundtable. “Leaders in community management are showing the world what the future of work and the future of leadership looks like."

The winners of TheCR Awards 2017 are:

TheCR Network Detective: Cassandra Chin, Impact Analytics Operations & Community Specialist, City Year

“TheCR Network Detective” awards the member who helps source group knowledge and expertise by regularly asking thoughtful and meaningful questions in TheCR Network.

Cassandra Chin drives valuable discussions and resources inside TheCR Network by asking valuable and thoughtful questions weekly. Her inquisitive nature encourages participation and supports others work.

TheCR Network Journaler: Patty McEnaney, Director of Knowledge Management & Social, Envestnet Asset Management

“TheCR Network Journaler” awards the member who works out loud the most regularly and with the most depth.

Patty McEnaney is an active member of TheCR Network who regularly shares back her work with members of the Network, providing support, behavior-modeling and guidance to her peers. Patty’s commitment to working out loud has made a lasting impact in the Network.

TheCR Network Explorer: Heather Ausmus, Director of Community, Ciena

“TheCR Network Explorer” awards the member who charts new territory in the community management industry. They take best practices, research, and community models to experiment and advance the industry.

Heather Ausmus uses TheCR’s models, including the Community Maturity Model and the ROI model, to build and adapt her community programs, providing actionable examples for other members.

TheCR Network Pack Leader: Ted Hopton, Director of Social Business,
McGraw-Hill Education

“TheCR Network Pack Leader” awards the member who consistently leads the most discussions, online, in-person, and on virtual calls, and shows leadership around a topic or initiative in TheCR Network.

Ted Hopton is a leader in TheCR Network around a variety of topics, and is being specifically recognized this year for his outstanding work planning, managing and ensuring the success of the Enterprise Platform Review Working Group.

TheCR Network Power User: Lori Harrison-Smith, Enterprise Community Manager, Steelcase

“TheCR Network Power User” awards the most active member in TheCR Network who contributes on a regular basis in a wide variety of ways, from sharing their expertise to supporting and encouraging other members.

Lori Harrison-Smith is an active member in TheCR Network, contributing and collaborating in a wide variety of programs. Her participation supports the success of countless members, and makes TheCR Network a more valuable resource for many community professionals.

Outstanding Community ROI: Carbon Black

The “Outstanding Community ROI” award recognizes the community that best demonstrates significant ROI for their organization/business unit through innovative community management practices. Carbon Black’s community-based social support provides outstanding ROI for their organization.

Winning Welcome Wagon: Autodesk

The “Winning Welcome Wagon” award recognizes a new member welcome/onboarding program that increases participation, encourages enthusiasm and incorporates innovative community management ideas. Autodesk provides necessary information to new members following their registration in the community via a series of three concise, visually-appealing, informative and marketing-free welcome emails.

Best Community Design Element: American Express

The “Best Community Design Element” award recognizes a community program that shows the most impressive and engaging UI or design element. These submissions should show how the element encourages participation, increases engagement and/or contributes to overall community success. American Express’s mobile-responsive community homepage provides their employees with the information they need at their fingertips, connecting them with their colleagues around the world, and enabling them to access the tool on any device, wherever their day may take them.

Best Recognition + Reward Program: Electronic Arts

The “Best Recognition + Reward Program” award recognizes outstanding community recognition, reward, and gamification programs that increase engagement, drive participation and contribute to the overall positive health of your community. Electronic Arts hosts a gaming network that is home to millions of players, with Answers HQ right in the middle. Answers HQ allows players to be recognized for their efforts by turning community participation into a game. Each action a user takes in the community is validated through a variety of recognition rewards.

Community MVP: Jerry Janda, Manager, Community Communications, SAP

The “Community MVP” award recognizes excellence in community management – including outstanding efforts, willingness to share with peers, achievements and excellent community results. Although Jerry has only been with the SAP team for a year, he has quickly gained acceptance from even their most vocal critics. Their respect for him is evident in their responses to him, where they thank him for his swift, informative replies and show appreciation for his sense of humor!

His contributions include:

  • A steady stream of blog posts and conversations written to engage and educate community members.
  • A sense of humor that can turn negative feedback into a fun conversation which leads to positive change.
  • "Member of the Month" profiles that earn high praise from the community, helping to build morale and improve overall sentiment.

About The Community Roundtable: The Community Roundtable is the leading, global resource for the community management industry. The Community Roundtable helps organizations from Fortune 500s to start-ups and associations, recognize, define and leverage the power of their communities. Through the industry’s only comprehensive community management research, The Community Roundtable provides training, events, and consulting to help companies recognize real ROI from their community programs. TheCR Network – the world's premier resource for community professionals, connects hundreds of community practitioners worldwide for networking, professional development and support. Learn more at

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Shannon Abram