Meet Nextdoor’s Q4 2023 Values Award Winners

Written by Nicole Atkins

At Nextdoor, we proudly uphold a cherished tradition that occurs twice a year, recognizing individuals who embody our core values by awarding them with Nextdoor’s Values Awards. This esteemed occasion has now become an integral part of our company culture, representing the values we hold dear and the unwavering commitment our employees have towards our purpose of cultivating a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on.

To honor each award recipient’s accomplishments, we extend our gratitude with personalized postcards including the nominations submitted by their peers. The big reveal takes place during our All Hands, a company-wide event that’s filled with excitement and reinforces a strong sense of unity among our team members.

During the awards ceremony, team leaders celebrate the amazing contributions made by each Values Award winner, emphasizing their embodiment of the selected core value. As winners are announced, colleagues celebrate and extend their heartfelt congratulations for their teammates. Additionally, as a meaningful gesture to honor all individuals nominated throughout the company, our team sends personalized postcards that include the nominations written by their coworkers.

Each Values Award ceremony stands as a resounding testament to the exceptional work carried out by our team. Winners from the past and present have their names displayed on our Values Award wall at Nextdoor HQ in San Francisco, which serves as a great reminder of this long-standing tradition. We look forward to honoring employees in celebrations to come.

Let’s get to know our Q4 2023 winners!

Earn trust every day

Winner: Valerie Wilson – Software Engineer

“Since I’ve been part of Nextdoor and had the privilege of working alongside Valerie, I’ve consistently witnessed her handling and leading multiple projects simultaneously. Her ability to multitask is truly remarkable. Throughout the day, she seamlessly switches between these projects without any signs of confusion or distraction. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many talented and productive developers, but Valerie takes it to the  next level. She not only efficiently delivers on her multiple projects but also plays a pivotal role in unblocking other team members, ensuring that the entire team reaches the finish line on time. Valerie’s talent is matched by her humility. She’s always there to uplift her teammates, offering kind and honest compliments, boosting morale, and exemplifying what it means to be a true team player!” 

Invest in community

Winner: Bian Jiang – Software Engineer

“Bian works on our Developer Experience team and is an excellent example of our Invest in Community value. Over the past four years, he has continuously demonstrated a deep interest and dedication to improving our technical community by actively listening to our teams’ feedback and building empathy for those he serves. His work’s impact is felt daily by the technical community. Bian was instrumental in our migration to the new M1 Mac laptops and our Javascript front end to TypeScript in record time, rearchitected our Deployment system to a more modern and scalable solution, Konductor, and helped the Ads, Android teams, and more recently L1Ranker to start using this shared service. This allowed the NAM team to perform more than thousands of deployments in the last six months, unlocking massive velocity for that team. Bian’s investment in our community goes beyond his technical contributions and listening to our teams on how to improve our tools. He was also the champion and leader who spearheaded our Engineering Mentoring Program (EMP), focusing on pairing our engineers with mentors on myriad topics and helping the community grow by helping each other.”

Customer obsessed

Winner: Richard Huang – Machine Learning Engineer

“A striking aspect of 2023 was observing Richard’s evolution into a leader, for instance, while pushing forward the Feature Migration project and mentoring many new hires in CoreML. He efficiently scoped his task while concurrently handling the project migration and other organization-wide initiatives, such as the OpenAI onboarding. Richard did an excellent job mentoring various new team members and has maintained a strong collaborative culture within CoreML. He also decided to institute the #ml-help channel to centralize all help requests, standardize them, and ensure they were public and correctly directed to the on-call person. Before #ml-help, Richard was already doing an impressive job supporting machine learning engineers by himself. The new system improved efficiency, visibility, and directed all requests to the appropriate support channels.”

Think big

Winner: Sravya Madipalli – Data Science Lead

“Sravya suggested a strategic move during challenging times that proved instrumental despite initial skepticism. Her team’s valuable insights contributed significantly to achieving Growth at Nextdoor. She demonstrated exceptional problem-solving skills, not only overcoming the initial hurdle but also showcasing her leadership, professionalism, and dedication to her team’s success throughout the process. Sravya’s ability to navigate challenges goes beyond finding solutions; she consistently creates innovative paths to success and truly exemplifies the Think Big value.”

Experiment and learn quickly

Winner: Julia Abelsky – Product Manager

“Julia embodies this value: not just because she’s the quickest Slack reply in the company, but because she marries that urgency with deep thoughtfulness, creativity and curiosity. She proposes solutions, moves with confidence and ensures that every team member has a voice/role in the product development process. She quickly interprets data and shares her ‘take,’ not just relying on others to do so. Products get better and teams get smarter when Julia is involved.”

Act like an owner

Winner: Mengyuan Li – Growth and Engagement Lead

“Mengyuan has added so much value in so many areas of the business! Not only does she stay on top of and understand what people are working on across all areas of the business, but she takes time to leverage that knowledge to identify areas of opportunity for how we can grow and improve the product experience. She’s always ready to help out with an ad hoc analysis, brainstorm, or opportunity sizing, and the product has benefited from her creative & analytical thinking!”

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