Congratulations to our 2016 Founders’ Award Recipients!

October 5, 2016

The Founders’ Award is an annual, global award program where employees are recognized for consistently exemplifying Adobe’s core values (genuine, exceptional, innovative and involved) throughout the year and making a significant contribution/impact on the company.

Our core values emanate from the values of our founders, John Warnock and Charles Geschke, which is why the Founders’ Award is one of the most coveted prizes in our company. This annual, peer-nominated program honors employees who best embody those values while making a significant contribution to the company.

For 2016, 1,248 high-quality nominations were received for employees across 33 sites in 21 countries—a 70% increase in nominations compared to last year! Recipients receive recognition on the Founders’ Award Wall and on Adobe’s intranet site, a Founders’ Award plaque, a $5,000 (USD equivalent) travel certificate, and an invitation to a Founders’ Award dinner with Adobe’s executive team and the founders of Adobe, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke.

Meet our 2016 Founders’ Award Recipients:

foundersjaneJanet Arsenault
Director, Industry Analyst Relations
San Jose
16 Years of Service

“In my new employee orientation, I vividly recall being so inspired and touched by the ‘story of Adobe’ and hopeful that the amazing company culture Chuck and John had envisioned and fostered would not fade. Over the past 16 years, I’ve been thrilled to see how deeply it runs and know it will endure. Becoming a recipient of the Founders’ Award is truly a pinnacle of my career at Adobe!”

Excerpts from Janet’s nominations include:

Janet recognizes that “just doing what we always do” isn’t always enough. The sheer number of leadership placements Adobe has achieved in industry analyst reports is a direct reflection of the high standards Janet holds her team to, the high-caliber and experience of the team she has hired, and the incredible leadership she demonstrates on a daily basis.

After 15 years at Adobe, she continues to bring an attitude, energy and commitment like it’s her first day with the company.

foundersmike Mike Blaylock
Senior Manager, Sales Financial Planning and Analysis
6 Years of Service

“I am constantly inspired by the exceptional people I work with every day.  I am honored to have been nominated by these same individuals and humbled to have been selected as a recipient of the Founder’s Award.  I believe Adobe’s focus on its core values makes it a great place to work, a better partner for our customers, and a more successful company.”

Excerpts from Mike’s nominations include:

Mike is the one of the most cheerful, helpful, and reliable people in the FP&A org. Despite his high impact job, he always takes a moment to ask about your day/life. He is relied upon by so many functional units, from Sales, Business Unit, deal desk, order management and FP&A.

My involvement with Mike would change from project to project, however, the one thing that never changed was the overall commitment to excellence that Mike brought to anything he worked on. He is always looking to add value to every project.

foudnerselaineElaine Chao
Product Manager
San Francisco
10 Years of Service

“While it’s a privilege to have received the Adobe Founders’ Award, I’ve reaped so many rewards as a result of simply living out the Adobe core values. From the relationships with colleagues around the world to serving our local community to engaging with our user community, I’ve been able to gain both personal and professional insight into the creative world we enable as a company. It’s rare to find a company where corporate values align so closely to your own personal values, and I’m so thankful that I’ve had an opportunity to experience that magic here at Adobe.”

Excerpts from Elaine’s nominations include:

Elaine embodies the core values of Adobe in both her work on various product teams and through her volunteer efforts. She is part of the Action SF committee leading many volunteer efforts. She has been very involved in supporting the San Francisco Food Back through coordinating volunteer shifts for the Be Involved months, baking mochi for the annual holiday bake sale benefiting the Food Bank, and helping connect Food Bank employees with other Adobe employees to facilitate grants and other volunteer opportunities.

Elaine has helped launch several 1.0 products from the recently launch Adobe Experience Design to Creative Cloud Extract to Edge Animate. She is always focused on the customer in her work on the products and actively engages with them on social media by posting tips on and replying to customer requests on Twitter.

founderssebastianSebastian Distefano
Principal Strategic Development Manager
Remote, Ontario
17 Years of Service

“I joined Adobe years ago as a complete PostScript and PDF fan and quickly realized the best part of Adobe was all the incredible people that work here. I am surrounded by peers who inspire me every day to do more than just show up for work. I often describe to other people outside of Adobe how lucky I feel to be part of such an amazing company and how the people I work with make Adobe the best place to be inspired and have a career. John and Chuck have not only created an incredible world changing technology company, they have created a culture of integrity, diversity and innovation that is a model for every other company on the planet! It’s an honor and privilege to be nominated for the Founders Award and humbling and grateful to be receiving it.”

Excerpts from Sebastian’s nominations include:

Seb’s passion for what he’s doing is unmatched. He genuinely wants to enable the customers in the education space to best possibly prepare the next generations for a digital future. When it comes to education, Seb has a fire in his belly!

Year after year Sebastian comes up with new ways of enabling both his co-workers and customers to be successful. Take his work with pulling together top universities from across North America to share best practices around digital literacy. Universities effectively competing for the same students, sharing their knowledge under Seb’s leadership. This kind of Industry thought leadership and the execution is truly innovative.

foundersmanuManu B. Gopinath
Quality Manager
8 Years of Service

“I feel amazed, honored and delighted to receive this award and more importantly I am so excited for the recognition that this brings to my team. It is indeed a great feeling to be nominated by my peers and the core values that it represents. The people that I work with are highly talented, amazing, passionate and dedicated and this inspires me every day to go back to work. It is truly fantastic to hear from my peers that my work is recognized for being consistent with company’s core values.”

Excerpts from Manu’s nominations include:

Manu creates an atmosphere wherein everybody can freely express their thought process without having any inhibitions. He sees problems as opportunities rather than obstacles and this approach really motivates and inspires all the team members working with him.

He is a very caring and nurturing manager who truly listens to the team and never tries to force his idea’s to his co-workers.

Manu was the driving force for the highly complex RSM to Janus migration project and made sure that the system worked fine when integrated.

foundersmichaelMichael Jordan
Accessibility Engineering Lead
5 Years of Service

“It is certainly an honor and a bit of a shock to learn that I have been nominated to receive the Founders’ Award. In my role on the Accessibility team, I’m fortunate to work alongside so many brilliant and talented people across different product teams in our efforts to make it easy for people of all levels of ability to use the tools we make. I take great pride and inspiration knowing that the work we do to improve accessibility will allow more people with disabilities to express themselves, share their stories, communicate and collaborate using our tools.”

Excerpts from Michael’s nominations include:

Michael is a hero who goes above and beyond in helping to make Adobe products better for accessibility. He embodies the model of an exceptional developer as an agent of change for accessibility.

Michael is singlehandedly responsible for recruiting engineers and PMs from across the company to support accessible software development processes. In his 5 years at the company, he has contributed to at least four products (Flex, OSMF, Connect, Primetime) to enable captioning support on videos and other live content. This has enabled millions of Adobe customers to view captioned content, including live and on-demand content distributed worldwide.

foundersandreaAndrea Lepley
Senior Customer Briefing Manager
San Jose
10 Years of Service

“I’ve been fortunate to see Adobe’s growth over the last decade and excited to be a part of our transformation from a primarily digital media company to an equally impressive digital marketing company. As a Customer Briefing Manager I enjoy working with the Field Organization, the BU’s, Industry Strategy team and the Adobe@Adobe team to understand our customers’ needs and challenges that drive revenue.

I am incredibly honored to be a recipient, and will continue to embrace Adobe’s Core Values.”

Excerpts from Andrea’s nominations include:

Andrea is exceptional at building relationships across Adobe which are rooted in trust and consistency. Her honesty with regard to what can (or can’t) be done is absolute. She will never under-deliver or conversely, over-promise.

Andrea is above and beyond the biggest factor in driving success of customer experience visits to Adobe’s CEC in San Jose. She uses her genuine relationships with executives, subject matter experts, sales teams, and other presenters to craft well-oiled agendas for customers that visit the CEC. In addition to knowing the right fit for the customer, Andrea offers great feedback and insight to presenters and sales teams that visit the CEC.

founderscraigCraig Mathis
Senior Research Scientist
8 Years of Service“I love working for Adobe and am extremely honored to be a recipient of the Founders’ Award. I enjoy being able to interact with great coworkers who share a passion for innovation and solving difficult problems using current technology. Adobe has provided me with countless opportunities for professional growth, some of which have become highlights of my career. I look forward to my future at Adobe and the challenges and opportunities it’s sure to create. GO ADOBE!!!”
Excerpts from Craig’s nominations include:

Craig has consistently pushed the boundaries of our products. He has been involved in multiple sneaks at Summit. I have invited him to join at several customer meetings where deep technical competency was demanded and he has consistently impressed customers.I have worked for Adobe for nearly 12 years and I can tell you that nobody exemplifies the core values of Adobe better than Craig. I also doubt if there are any individual contributors that have had as profound an impact on the success and direction of our products and department as a whole.

founderstimothyTimothy Plumer Jr.
Manager, Solutions Consulting
Remote, Maine
13 Years of Service“Working at Adobe has shown me what working for a great company should be. I only hope to continue that tradition and help others to feel the same way. As a Founders’ Award recipient, I am honored to know that people think I can do so and in any way associate me with John Warnock and Chuck Geschke.”Excerpts from Timothy’s nominations include:

Tim is one of the most honest and direct people. There are no hidden agendas, and he speaks what he really feels. As a leader, Tim embodies this by setting a high bar for his team. He wants them to perform at their best, and not just be the ‘demo folks’ for the sales team they support. He wants them to be true sales partners.He is actively involved with the product teams to provide feedback, and he challenges his team to expand their abilities and look at new ways we can solve problems with Adobe solutions. Tim not only works for Adobe’s education team, but he passionately believes in helping future generations.

foundersanjaAnja Salinger-Carsley
EMEA Enterprise Support Manager
16 Years of Service“I have been walking on clouds since having received the phone call to let me know that I am one of the Founders Awards recipients. To receive such a prestigious award – especially knowing that I was nominated by my colleagues worldwide, colleagues that I hold in the highest esteem – is beyond my wildest dreams.  I feel incredibly privileged to have been working for a company like Adobe for 16 years – a company that is incredibly successful, continuously innovative and always true to its core values. I am sincerely honored, thank you, thank you, thank you!”Excerpts from Anja’s nominations include:

She understands what makes people tick and has managed to create an environment where we are motivated and give our best, providing the ideal climate for delighting our customers and growing the business.Anja implemented ‘queue-bash’ meetings, where team members discuss difficult cases and work towards a resolution together. This ensure a speedier resolution, but also spreads knowledge between everyone on the team.Her impact can’t be over emphasized. She is the rock and the pillar of our team. Her approach exemplifies perfectly the core values of Adobe, where her impact and contribution greatly improve Adobe’s customer and employee experiences.

foundersmaninderManinder Sawhney
Director, Business Analytics & Operations, Consumer & Business Sales
San Jose
6 Years of Service“I am humbled and honored with this nomination and feel extremely fortunate for the opportunity to work at Adobe. It is a privilege to be surrounded with such amazing people, who exemplify every day how to be a great employee and more importantly a good human being. The fact that Adobe believes in and sponsors these core values and people take the time and effort to recognize them, is a testament on why Adobe is truly a great place to be.”Excerpts from Maninder’s nominations include:

Maninder is the prototype of who Chuck and John had in mind when they conceived the Adobe Founders’ Award. He is an incredibly talented, smart, kind person who has a material impact on Adobe’s business every single day.Maninder embodies what it means to be genuine. In his role as a business operations leader he must partner with a large number of folks across Sales, Marketing, the BU, Finance, IT, etc. to drive complex, sometimes controversial initiatives. He does so with incredible sincerity, honesty and integrity.

foundersarchana Archana Subramoney
Senior Manager, AMO Consulting
7 Years of Service“I feel absolutely proud and overwhelmed as a Founder’s Award recipient this year! In my 7 years, Adobe has given me many opportunities to work in multiple roles and push the envelope and surprise me with the strengths that surfaced. As one of the early leaders in AGS India, I have always made an attempt to onboard my teams on ADOBE’s vision and key values, while trying to lead by example for them. People, challenging and interesting work and the culture at Adobe inspire me to give my best at work. I am speechless yet enjoying every moment of this recognition. Thanks Adobe!”Excerpts from Archana’s nominations include:

Archana displays all of Adobe’s core values in leading and executing the Women’s Executive Shadow Program (WESP) at Adobe India. She runs a big team with demanding stakeholders and customers. Yet, her dedicated involvement for the cause she believed in is a true display of leadership.She has established three different teams from scratch with her vision and innovative mindset –  CC Support, CC Retention, and Noida Consulting. Archana has been a genuine guide and mentor for numerous employees regardless of reporting structure, so they can excel within the organization. We are lucky to have a leader like her.

Are you genuine, exceptional, innovative and involved? Then join Adobe today and apply on our careers site.

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1 Comment

There are many people you come into contact with in the software industry, but there are very few who touch a cord that goes beyond the customer client relationship. Tim Plumber is one of those people, it’s great to see a company recognize this and it’s even better when he is given the opportunity to be a shining example of what customer service should look like and train up his team in the same values. Well Done Adobe! Well done Tim, it’s an honor and privilege to be both your friend and partner.