Introducing the 2022 Pragmatic Alumni Community Winners
The path to product management and product marketing is anything but linear. It’s a rewarding career that attracts professionals from countless backgrounds: software development, marketing, journalism, sales, nursing—you name it.
So, in May 2020, we were thrilled to launch the first community built specifically for product managers to discuss challenges, celebrate successes and trade ideas. This diversity of backgrounds makes the conversations in the Pragmatic Alumni Community so engaging and full of innovation.
Two years later—and more than 20,000 members later—we’re celebrating this unique community with the inaugural 2022 Pragmatic Alumni Community Awards.
“The goal was to celebrate the anniversary by celebrating its greatest strength: its members,” said Georgina Donahue, director of community, “The awards highlight just a few of the many who make this community wonderful.”
Some of the winners are new to Pragmatic Institute—having completed their first course within the last year or so after the Pragmatic Alumni Community launch.
And others are long-time Pragmatic students who’ve completed many courses over many years.
For some who have an established product management career, they found value in Pragmatic Institute courses because the training gave them a framework to teach others in their organization. Many even decide to send their newest hires and product novices to training too.
Alicia Fontaine says her experience at Pragmatic was similar. She found both validation for the work she already does and a common language that improved her communication strategy with her colleagues.
The Pragmatic Alumni Community was built to serve these students so they could stay in touch, expand their knowledge, share their experience and network with professionals in their field.
Ellen Grogan director of product marketing media at Brightcove said, “I remember the first class I attended. We pass around a clipboard with a form on it after just to write your name and email address on there to see if you wanted to stay in touch with all these people. I think that was an earnest effort that Pragmatic took on our behalf to keep us all in touch with our cohort, but there just was no formalized way to do it. So what it brought was that ability to not only reconnect on the shared experience that we had for those two days but also to keep expanding that group. And we all had that shared experience, just wasn’t on the same day with that same trainer.”
Ellen also found the community to be a great place to find new tools. Specifically, she says the product marketing canvas vastly improved her workflow.
Dominique Lalisse, a founder of the community said that it brought the training to life in a more engaging way.
Kerry Brooks, global product manager at Project Management Insitute said the community takes students beyond the courses.
“Since the community came along it gives you that go-to place where people are going to convene and interact,” she said. “And the thing I think that’s really helped is that it’s more than the courses. The community spans a lot more topics. It’s a lot broader, and there are great areas for those of us that are in certain niches or have certain challenges that we can dive deeper into knowing that there are other folks out there that may have expertise or questions or challenges. And I think it’s just a more cohesive, fun, engaging experience that we have now.”
And, Pieter Gillegot-Vergauwen said he found the community full of product professionals taking on the day-to-day challenge of the work.
Finally, the community isn’t just about students who can take but also what they give. Vijay Seshadri, logs on to help his fellow peers who are facing difficulties in areas where he specializes.
Meet All The 2022 Pragmatic Alumni Community Winners
Community-Choice Award winners:
These folks leverage their experiences to drive the industry forward, from answering questions to leading working groups and inspiring fellow product pros around the globe.
? Pieter Gillegot-Vergauwen, VP of R&D at Barco
? Jennifer Romanowski, Sr. Product Manager at FordDirect
? Jean-Sebastien Tasse, Head of Product, Residential Offering at Hilo
The Proven Insight Award winners:
This award goes to the ones you can always count on. If a peer has a question, betcha they have an answer.
? Leon Stigter, Sr. Technical Product Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS)
? Andrew Dempsey, VP of Product at Madison Logic
? Alicia Fontaine, Senior Director, Product Marketing at Mentor Collective
The Actionable Knowledge Award winners:
These award winners are the most generous among us. They’ve been there, tried that and are ready to help those around them get a head start with a helpful example, doc or anecdote.
? Dominique Lalisse, Pricinpal, Product Management at CoreLogic
? Kerry Brooks, Global Product Manager at Project Management Institute
? Shannan Reishus, Ed.D, Director of Product Management at Waterford.org
The Peer Advisor Award winners:
The community members who offer peer support to all who ask. They are our cheerleaders and our mentors – those who will commiserate on shared challenges and celebrate the big wins.
? Melanie Cipher, Product Manager at RepairPal
? Ellen Grogan, Director, Product Marketing – Media at Brightcove
? Vijay Seshadri, Director – Salesforce Practice at Infosys
The Curious Minds Award winners:
The explorers among us. These members pose valuable questions for the community to rally around and never stop seeking answers!
? Scott Duerk, Product Manager at Diversified Medical Healthcare
? Paul Meresanu, Director of Product Management at Dynatrace
? Seema K., Senior Product Marketing Manager at Cisco
The Community-Minded Company Award winners:
Always a friendly face in the community, these winners are groups who show a dedication to exploration, continued learning and knowledge exchange.