Meet our 2017 founders’ award recipients

by Adobe Life Team

Posted on 09-20-2017

Nearly 35 years ago, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke founded Adobe, which you can learn more about on the new Founders’ page on **Since Adobe’s inception, they’ve built the business around four core values: Genuine, Exceptional, Innovative and Involved. These values run through Adobe’s DNA and shine through all that we do.

Every year we recognize twelve employees with the Founders’ Award, an ode to our company’s history and to honor those who consistently live and breathe these values.

We are proud to announce our 2017 Founders’ Award recipients:

Kapil Arora, engineering manager, 14 years with Adobe

“Getting an award or recognition from an organisation one works towards is always exhilarating! This award, however, is different. For me it is more like getting love and appreciation from loved ones and my gratitude towards friends and colleagues at Adobe is immeasurable.

Famous Indian saint Ramkrishna Paramhamsa once said, ‘The tree laden with fruits always bends low. If you wish to be great be low and meek.’

For me Adobe has always been the fruit laden tree that has given me the opportunity to think, create and improvise under its shade, at the same time, providing scope for monkeying around over its branches!”

Excerpt from Kapil’s nominations

“People say with time you tend to get outdated in software industry. Kapil is clearly defying this misconception. With decades of experience already behind him, there is no sign of him slowing down. His key strength has been his knack for solving complex issues. He takes minutes to resolve issues where people struggle for days. Even today when we are working on problems on machine learning, Kapil always has ideas that outwit everyone.”

Katrin Baumann, director, marketing, 20 years with Adobe

Excerpt from Katrin’s nominations

“She has a unique ability to balance the needs of the business with the needs of the customer. Adobe’s shift to the cloud has brought with it many challenges in the German market and Katrin has demonstrated leadership in terms of educating a wide variety of stakeholders. When the pressure is on she is able to stay calm and composed and always shows respect no matter who the audience. She is a key pillar in the German creative community and an inspiration to her team and colleagues.”

Alison Cattelona, senior solutions consultant, retail and healthcare, 6 years with Adobe

“I am deeply touched and incredibly proud to be nominated and chosen for this honor. Teamwork is cornerstone to deliver for the customer, and I’ve had the pleasure to pull that oar on both Digital Media and Digital Marketing. It is truly inspiring to work with such amazing people and at a company that fosters that environment.”

Excerpt from Alison’s nominations

“Alison started at Adobe in Digital Media on my team. When presented with an opportunity to switch from Digital Media to Digital Marketing, she smiled and jumped in with both feet and eyes open. She has become a leader in Cross-Cloud solution visioning and is an expert across all of our Clouds. She volunteers at home and with Girls Who Code. Adobe is fortunate to have Alison as a member of its family, and I am proud to call her colleague, mentor and friend.”

Brandy Ichishita, senior Manager, americas deal desk, 11 years with Adobe

“I am truly honored to join such an esteemed list of colleagues. I try to mirror those around me and fortunately I am blessed to be surrounded by such genuine and authentic people who work hard and embrace our core values. Everything this award encompasses is truly special about Adobe.”

Excerpt from Brandy’s nominations

“Brandy is exceptional. She goes above and beyond in everything she does and strives to make her team and those around her achieve better results. Brandy’s ability to come up with a solution to any problem is one of her greatest strengths. She is highly innovative and develops creative approaches to solve problems. She has the unique ability to pull together various details from multiple sources to produce results. She always has the customer experience in mind and provides a significant impact that moves the business forward.”

Sarah Kong, principal scientist, 21 years with Adobe

“Receiving the Founders’ Award is a huge honor and I’m grateful and humbled by this recognition. This award makes me feel more aware of the fact that at Adobe how we do it is just as important as _what _we do. I believe that team work is the key to success and I share this recognition with my team and colleagues because they inspire me, enable me and make it easy to uphold Adobe’s core values.”

Excerpt from Sarah’s nominations

“Sarah has a warm welcoming style of engineering and management that stresses technical achievement in an honest and open way. Sarah has over 10 patents at Adobe, is a leader on the Photoshop team in innovation and creative thinking and a model engineer with a unique ability to integrate complex research in to Photoshop in a strongly customer focused way. Sarah is exceptionally involved across the company. From being a lead in Women Unlimited to a WESP shadow exec to an advocate for members of the team to being a mentor to women in engineering at Adobe she is a model for young women and new women engineers.”

Takako Kusano, employee experience business partner, 26 years with Adobe

“I’m very proud to be receiving the honorable award. I’ve been with Adobe, the company I love, for 26 years, so being recognized by people I respect so much means the world to me.”

Excerpt from Takako’s nominations

“Takako is employee 007 in Japan! She supported the growth of the office from a handful of employees to nearly 400. Takako worked with global acquisition teams for successful onboarding for Aldus, Macromedia, Accelio, Omniture, Fotolia and TubeMogul. Takako goes above & beyond to ensure smooth transition through the acquisition process and in welcoming employees joining Adobe. She is a trusted adviser for employees and managers and a superb listener, committed to supporting our employees to ensure that they have a great experience at Adobe.”

Genevieve Laroche, senior computer scientist, 14 years with Adobe

“I am so honored and touched to be one of the recipients of this prestigious award. It means so much to be recognized this way by my peers and it does feel surreal to be one of the recipients among incredible people. The Adobe family is full of amazing and inspiring people and I feel privileged to be part of it.”

Excerpt from Genevieve’s nominations

“Gen is one of those rare people who combines truly exceptional technical ability with solid genuineness of character. She is eminently approachable and willing to help anyone. When faced with adversity Gen’s background in team sports shows through in her ability to lead and get others involved in solving problems creatively and with enthusiasm. Her innovative spirit has also led to numerous product features and enhancements that have helped drive Acrobat and Document Cloud to new heights.”

James Lockman, manager, consulting, 6 years with Adobe

“Being part of the Adobe family is incredibly rewarding, and every time I badge in to an office, I think, ‘holy smokes, I can just walk in here! How amazing is that?’. I can’t believe I’m being recognized in this rarified group, because each and every one of them inspires me every day and in every way.”

Excerpt from James’ nominations

“He brings passion, energy and a sense of fun to work every day. His knowledge is vast, across Creative and Experience technologies. He actively looks for how our solutions can drive the best innovative value for our customers. James is a great team member and looks out for those he works with. An example would be making sure internal and external communications are accessible to his coworkers with visual impairments so that everyone feels included and successful. James also gives back to his community actively judging robot and design contests to create the next group of innovative folks and imbues upon them his irrepressible energy and passion. Adobe is better with James.”

Ryoko Nishizuka, chief type designer, 20 years with Adobe

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Typekit team, to my family, and to others involved, because I couldn’t have received this honor without their help. I want to continue to design great typefaces that represent important assets for Adobe.”

Excerpt from Ryoko’s nominations

“Over the last 20 years, Ryoko has contributed to Adobe’s business by designing various original typefaces with passion. The typefaces she designed have a quality of aesthetic beauty and fit any digital and non digital devices since there were designed with technologies in mind. This is exceptional and one of the very few designers in Japan, who are able to design high-quality typefaces that can be used not only for advertising, commercial printing and web page designs, but also for high-end book typography.”

John Penn II, senior solution architect, 19 years with Adobe

“It’s incredible to have the opportunity to work someplace that has such impact and every day I look forward to doing something to make a difference in the world with that opportunity. It’s such an honor to be recognized in an organization so full of creative, driven people.”

Excerpt from John’s nominations

“I don’t know John personally nor have I worked with him, but after listening to his talk at Tech Summit this year, I can’t imagine a person who deserves this award more. John spoke about approaching an officer after a meetup who was looking for Photoshop training to help build cases against people sexually abusing children. Not only did John take the exceptional action to help the officer but, he also built a mission within Adobe to partner with law enforcement and advocacy groups to help catalog material and aid in finding and prosecuting offenders. I can’t see how any person at Adobe could exemplify why I am I proud to work here more than John.”

David Weinstein, director, software development, 6 years with Adobe

“As someone who joined Adobe via the acquisition of a small start-up, I’ve appreciated that the spirit of innovation and risk-taking is still nurtured in this big, established 30-year old software company. I’m proud that my team has been a part of driving continuous product innovation at Adobe and that this Founders Award will encourage more people to model these behaviors.”

Excerpt from Dave’s nominations

“Dave is a visionary and a true leader. He understands the complex world of Digital Marketing like no one that I have ever met and because of this, he positions his team and Adobe on a constant path to success. He is someone that personally inspires me to be the best version of myself whilst staying true to my values. It has been an immense pleasure and privilege for me to be part of his team and to learn from his extraordinary leadership.”

Asa Whillock, director, product management, 11 years with Adobe

“At 16 years of working here, Adobe is my family. That family writes ‘innovate’ on the wall every day with your passion, belief, and grit. I’m exceptionally blessed to receive this on award on their behalf – you made my mother cry. Go Adobe!”

Excerpt from Asa’s nominations

“Asa guided the creation, development and implementation of the Industry-leading, innovative Adobe Device Co-op. The Co-op enables Adobe to leverage customer data already flowing through the Experience Cloud Solutions to achieve an industry holy grail: enabling advertisers to understand people holistically across all of their connected devices (phones, tablets, etc) instead of treating each device separately. Asa did this with insight, dedication, humor, calm in the face of mind-bending crises, eloquence, a deep understanding of our customers, and a laser-like focus on the big picture. I can think of no candidate more worthy of the Founder’s Award.”

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

Topics: Adobe Life, Adobe Culture, Brand