These awards -a little informal and quirky- recognize the valuable work from the community.


BOSTON — On the final day of the Boston Summit, the Community Contributor Awards gave a special tip of the hat to those who might not know how much they are valued.

These awards are a little informal and quirky but still recognize the extremely valuable work that everyone does to make OpenStack excel. These behind-the-scenes heroes were nominated by other community members. OpenStack community manager Tom Fifield handed out the honors after the Summit feedback session.

There are three main categories: those who might not be aware that they are valued, those who are the active glue that binds the community together and those who share their knowledge with others.

The Duct Tape Medal- Mehdi Abaakouk

  • He is arguably one of the most talented cloud developer/administrator/architects. if you need a solution fast and right, then it’s best to reach out to him. i don’t think he would accept this award but let’s see.
  • He’s one of the smartest, most modest, individuals working in OpenStack while also supporting common libraries that OpenStack leverages for it’s basic functionality. OpenStack would be worse if he didn’t exist. And he’s doing this all while managing a newborn

The Key to Stack City – Melvin Hillsman

  • Hillsman joined a meeting remotely, first by phone from home at 3 a.m.. Then stayed connected on a second day as he was flying over the Atlantic.
  • Hillsman has been ensuring involvement and representation from OpenStack operators by helping to plan/execute operators meet-ups and, more recently, as a member of the User Committee. I have seen him ask “how do we drive alignment between our devs and users” in almost every single conversation which shows that keeping the community together and facilitating cross-communication across our community members is a central belief for  him.

The Nathaniel Perez Award for behind-the-scenes efforts Emmet Hikory

  • Persia hides in the shadows. He dwells where no others dare venture, and is an international man of mystery. He spends time mentoring new community members, is a great conversationalist, and a valuable voice. His opinion is valued amongst thought leaders in and around OpenStack.
  • Donated money out of his own pocket to the Travel Support Program.

Bonsai Caretaker – Alex Settle

  • Taking on the project which is supposed to document all the other projects is arguably the hardest PTL role there is to play.  Settle taking on this role and diving into the work of getting agreement by all other PTLs on how better to curate docs (via tags) from the code bases of each project is an invaluable activity which can easily be overlooked.  It takes bravery and an empathetic mind to listen and be heard.

The Most Reasonable Man in the World – Rob Cresswell

Intel’s Nicole Huesman shows off her medal.

Cresswell was skeptical, like many people, of the new PTG / Forum format, but he kept an open mind and rallied behind the change after experiencing the first PTG. Not only, that, he proactively took to twitter to encourage others to consider the new format. For this, I nominate him for “reasonable dev!”

Mentor of Mentors –  Nicole Huesman

  • Huesman has been a big help on the Women of OpenStack mentoring team. She’s working really hard to make sure mentors get their due (and their bling!). I think of her in terms of three “Always”: Always prepared, always quick to respond, always full of creative ideas. She is a joy to work with on speed mentoring and we are lucky to have her!

The Giving Tree – James Page

  • Page has been the lead within the company who is working across the board internally and externally to promote, develop, and evangelized Openstack. He is currently the PTL for the charms project and has work with multiple groups in other Openstack projects in order to increase the adoption of Openstack.

Hero of the People – Amy Marrich

  • Marrich has been very active in the Women of OpenStack, she has been running WOO meetings weekly. She is also actively organizing training at OpenStack summits to make sure new comers to the community can get up to speed on git and gerritt. She is always very helpful whenever anyone needs help and is ready to do work whenever anything needs to be done. She is really awesome!

The Don’t Stop Believin’ Cup – Karim Benzidane

  • He was my teacher for a cloud computing course at an engineering school in Morocco. He introduced us to OpenStack and even got us to deploy it mainstream, getting us to understand each and every component and every line of configuration. And from what he told us, he has given this course at other universities and schools. This nomination is the only a way for me to say “thank you” to him.

The ‘When Do You Sleep?’ Award – Ian Choi

  • Very active and eager, he’s organizing the i18N team and he’s also helping out with the upstream training and running local training sessions in his native Korea.

Smiling in the Face of Adversity Cup – Alessandro Pilotti

  • Pilotti develops with his company the integration for all Microsoft base products (Hyper-V, SDN, Windows Image, etc.) and evangelizes OpenStack in the Microsoft Universe.

In a first, Fifield was surprised with his own award given by the OpenStack User Committee, called “I fight for the users.”

“As the OpenStack community manager Tom works tirelessly, there may be actually two of him, crossing the globe, sending out emails, answering requests, attending meetings, being available for questions and concerns, organizing and galvanizing other leaders, helping local user groups flourish around the world, and so much more.

As the User Committee we just want to say that Tom is deserving of the thanks and appreciation of all of us within and outside of OpenStack. He has been a vital player in enabling the User Committee and also helped us greatly with onboarding the newly elected members as well.  If we can take a moment or two or ten to show Tom how grateful we are to have him let us do so without pause. We would like to see him be given an award maybe on the stage of the Summit in Boston or maybe we can have a unofficial Tom Fifield day or something, who knows, but appreciation is in order.”