Community Program Managers (CPMs) for the MVP program at Microsoft act as the first points of contact: overseeing, promoting and encouraging the involvement and accomplishments of our MVPs. Several CPMs explained what they found most rewarding and challenging about working with the MVPs:
“My favorite part of working with MVPs is being able to successfully empower them in their communities,” explains Kari Finn, a CPM in the United States. “My biggest challenge is that I wish I was able to be out in the community more than I am. I can’t attend every MVP event, so sometimes I wish I had more face time with my MVPs. I look forward to Summit specifically for that face-to-face interaction opportunity.”
Canadian CPM Simran Chaudhry adds, “The most rewarding thing about being an CPM for me is being able to soak in the passion of my MVPs. I have learned so much from them, most importantly, selflessness and the sheer drive to help others.”
For most CPMs, the relationship they forge with MVPs is highly rewarding and personal. Dora Chan, US CPM, says: “I love working with industry experts who are able to find the time for community leadership outside of their day jobs. Building these relationships with industry leaders and experts helps me feel like a part of the community.”
When asked to explain what makes the MVP community unique, Lilian Quek, a CPM in Southeast Asia comments, “They are more than ready to share their expertise and passion for Microsoft technologies with the community. It's that 'X-factor' in them that differentiates them from the norm, and this is also why they are being awarded and recognized as the elites in the community.”
Simon Tien, a CPM based in Redmond, Washington, states, “I enjoy the passion of MVPs and their willingness to share knowledge and expertise purely for recognition and not for financial gain. It’s a very authentic community experience.
From CPM to Regional Manager
The role of CPM often leads to greater leadership opportunities within the MVP Award program. After nine years serving as the CPM for Italy and Central and Eastern Europe, Alessandro Teglia has been promoted to the role of Regional Manager for the MVP Award Program in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
“I’ve loved communities and MVPs for many years, being first a CPM for Italy and slowly increasing my responsibilities over Central and Eastern Europe. This gave me the opportunity to walk through and guide the strategy, awareness and engagement of the MVP Award Program with the many local Microsoft team members we have in those countries, including those in the Central and Eastern Europe headquarters located in Munich,” comments Teglia.
He adds, “Leading the EMEA team and being the region’s ‘MVP ambassador’ is truly an honor and a responsibility that gets me so excited and thrilled.”
In order to maximize the experience as an MVP, Teglia advises, “Being a Microsoft MVP is a tremendous opportunity, for you as a person and for your professional life. You can experience some of the things you never thought about, getting engaged in projects and opportunities you never even knew about, seeing places you’ve never reached in your life. It will help you to grow as a person and it’s up to you to decide to get involved or not. My suggestion? Be involved and get ready for a wonderful journey!”
Alessandro encourages for those aspiring to become an MVP, “Start engaging with the local communities, whether it’s an online or an offline community. Gather with other people in user groups, in meet-ups, connect with them and with MVPs and start engaging in technical and social conversations,” he suggests, “I’m sure at some point you will be noticed for your technical skills and your passion to support others!”
CPMs Yulia Belyanina and Cristina Gonzalez Herrero will support Teglia and the EMEA team: Yulia, who is an experienced manager of the Russia and CIS region, will be overseeing CEE as a whole; while Cristina, currently managing Spain and Portugal, will also be responsible for Italy.
Congratulations to Alessandro Teglia and thanks to all the CPMs for your continued hard work!