Meet the winners of Nextdoor’s first ever Values Awards!

Written by Nicole Atkins

With companies facing the growing challenge of operating as a fully remote workforce, employees have had to say goodbye to the little things that were often taken for granted in the office. The days of serendipitous encounters while going to and from meetings, catching up with colleagues while making coffee, and team offsites have been put on hold. Companies all over the world are faced with the challenge of being inventive when it comes to connecting virtually and creating organic opportunities for teams to interact. 

Despite the new challenges presented, one constant has remained true at Nextdoor: our employees’ work ethic and unwavering dedication to our mission has never been stronger. This has given us the opportunity to approach the way we work and communicate from a new perspective. Inspiration took flight when our team created awards to recognize employees, or neighbors as we say internally, who exemplify our values and what it means to be a good neighbor.

Our six values guide how we work and where we focus our time, all of which are essential aspects of who we are today and who we aspire to be. Each of our employees exhibit them and we wanted to take a moment to honor the people who we see as true standard-bearers of our values.

Nextdoor’s six values.

Program Overview

Nextdoor’s Values Awards winners and nominees were selected by employees, through a semi-annual voting process. Every single nomination was reviewed by the Values Award committee, made up of a group of teammates across the company, who then partnered with our leadership team to select the winner for each value.

Values Award Winners

And now, introducing our winners…

Earn Trust Everyday

Winner: Shandi Ortiz, People Team

Shandi goes above and beyond to ensure her team has all the tools they need to succeed. She embodies “does what she says she will do” and is always timely with her responses. Shandi proves time and time again that she is someone you can count on when you need help.

From the words of her colleagues: “Shandi helps the Technical Recruiters and Recruiting Coordinators on a daily basis. Her response time is incredibly fast and consistent. In addition, she has great answers to our questions, based on her industry knowledge and personal experience… As a team, we can trust that she will lead us in the right direction now matter how the job market is at the time. Not to mention she always supports us in a positive way which contributes to the trust we have in her as a leader.”

Customer Obsessed

Winner: Drew Brennan, Sales Team

You can describe Drew in two words: customer obsessed. He genuinely cares about clients — their concerns, challenges, and overall needs. Drew takes a very personable approach to his work, which is one of the many reasons he is looked up to by many.

From the words of his colleagues: “Drew goes above and beyond to make sure his clients are heard and their needs are met. During COVID and beyond, he puts his customers first, always reaching out to make sure they have the latest information about Nextdoor, and is always checking in to make sure they have every question answered and all their needs met. His Customer Obsession can be seen across all clients.”

Invest in Community

Winner: Neek Zanfack, Design Team

Neek is someone who constantly embodies the value, “Invest in Community.” He goes out of his way to ensure that members and customers feel cared for and welcome. At the onset of COVID-19, he worked to help minority-owned small businesses and continues to be a trusted ally for all. 

From the words of his colleagues: “Neek not only keeps the B@ND (Black at Nextdoor employee resource group) community focused and together, but he is also looking to find ways of helping to bring money into local businesses/restaurants of color impacted by COVID and the mandate to shelter in place. Focusing on that in addition to his day-to-day workload, it’s nice to see someone who genuinely cares and gets joy from going above and beyond.” 

Act like an Owner

Winner: Emma Mondolino, Marketing Team

No task is too big or too small for Emma. If something needs to be done, whether it falls under sales marketing or not, she takes it on with contagious energy, managing from start to finish and thinking of every detail possible to ensure the end result has impact for our customers and company. 

From the words of her colleagues: “Emma is the definition of Act Like An Owner. No task is too big or too small, she is ALWAYS there to help any member of the company and always keeps our clients and their needs in mind. Emma goes the extra mile to help both internally and externally. From spearheading the Nextdoor Insights Report to everyday conversations, pitches, and proposals, she gives every task 110%.”

Experiment and Learn Quickly

Winner: Luiz Fernando Scheidegger, Engineering Team

Luiz can be defined as a self-starter. From identifying existing gaps, experimenting, and proactively seeking out solutions, Luiz has had a significant impact on Engineering as a whole. 

From the words of his colleagues: “Since Luiz came on board a year ago, he has created and managed the SEV process and communicated the status of SEVs at the engineering all hands meetings, cleaned up thousands of old feature configs, instituted bug tracking for employees, created sitevars and a UI for us to work with, been a stakeholder in code yellows, and probably a whole lot more that I take for granted in my development work. From the get-go, he’s identified gaps in our processes and has taken it on himself to take each one on, try them out, and iterate.”

Think Big

Winner: Rodney Folz, Engineering Team

Rodney is known for improving the quality and delivery speed of our product while making significant contributions to improve Nextdoor’s Web build and deployment process. He asks thought-provoking questions in a variety of settings, which pushes the team to represent the company as leaders.

From the words of his colleagues: “Rodney is a big reason why we have our design systems and blocks initiative today. His passion to rethink the way we design and build at Nextdoor led him to be the first engineer working on design systems and the founding engineering member of our design systems co-op. His work on design systems allows us to move faster, ship more consistent work and improve the overall quality of user experience.”

In addition to the six employees we honored, we had an outstanding number of neighbors nominated overall for our Values Awards. Please join us in congratulating our nominees and winners!

As we continue to work from home throughout the rest of the year, our values continue to guide our work ethic and commitment to cultivating a kinder world. We are immensely proud of our employees and their contributions throughout their time at Nextdoor, and are looking forward to continuing this new tradition of celebrating the great accomplishments of our employees! 

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