Adobe’s 2021 Founders’ Award recipients share their proudest career moments
Portraits by Kay Lam and Devin Watlington.
John Warnock and Chuck Geschke founded Adobe on our four core values: Genuine, Exceptional, Innovative and Involved. They established the Adobe Founders’ Award to enable everyone to recognize the people, all over the world, who help make Adobe not just a great company, but a great place to work.
Once a year, the Founders’ Award Nomination Team reviews employee nominations and recommends up to twelve recipients of the Founders’ Award.
This year’s recipients share their proudest career moments.
“Apart from this award, it would have to be putting together an awesome team of individuals who not only care passionately about our customer experience, but about Adobe’s success and the wellbeing of one another. They motivate me to be a better leader and I learn from them each day. I once had a mentor advise me to hire people smarter than me and I can say that I have! They all complement one another in so many ways, which makes us stronger as a team overall.”
Alison Lutjemeier, Group Manager, Customer Feedback Programs, 12 years with Adobe
“There are many magical moments that still feel like a dream … but becoming a Photoshop product manager would top the list.”
Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Director, Product Management, 21 years with Adobe
“That is so hard… I think it may be Adobe’s 35th anniversary celebration; that was a pretty great moment.”
Eric Kline, Director, Program Management, 20 years with Adobe
“The first is the day I received the email from Gloria informing me I was one of the recipients of the Founders’ Award and next will be the chance to meet our founder and operations staff. Other highlights are leading and preparing the customer support team for the successful Creative Suite to Creative Cloud transition and product launch, and, most recently, being awarded the “Customer Champion” annual award for the remarkable performance and contribution of my team in FY2021.”
Gaurav Prince, Director, Digital Media Enterprise Customer Care, 12 years with Adobe
“I worked as a developer on the Workspace Store and as the video creator on the Workspace Store video, shared across Adobe. It was my first video animation project, and the love we received on the video made it all the more special. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to grow as an engineer and a creative through this project. Another big moment was during last year’s Adobe For All Week when I shared my insights and learnings on Building a Personal Brand with the Women at Adobe India employee network, inspiring my community to build theirs and bring their authentic selves in everything they do.”
Kalpana Sharma, Member of Technical Staff II, 4 years with Adobe
“My proudest career moment was in 2019 when a little experiment I helped shape to promote Adobe Create called Creative Types went viral and millions of people took the quiz to see which creative personality they were. It was even recognized by the Webby and One Show Awards! My second proudest moment was when Adobe MAX went digital, and Adobe made it free of charge – a true “Creativity for All” moment.”
Kashka Pregowska-Czerw, Senior Creative Director, 16 years with Adobe
“I have lots of great memories from over the years, especially from all the fantastic Dublin social events, but one of my proudest achievements was being promoted to Director while I was on maternity leave. That still impresses me about Adobe. I’m also proud of the Dublin site, which celebrated 20 years in 2021. Being voted the No. 1 Great Places to Work in Ireland this year was a proud moment for everyone who has made it what it is, and I was delighted to be part of that.”
Laura Sweeney, Director, International Tax, 14 years with Adobe
“Aside from this? Overhearing people on my team describe to candidates how much they love the collaborative culture we've built together. I strive to convey that everyone has an opportunity to be a leader, and I believe it's intertwined in all the ways we teach, learn from, and respect one another.”
Lily Chiu-Watson, Director, SC Experts, Data & Insights, 9 years with Adobe
“Receiving this honor is the pinnacle of my career at Adobe because it honors our founders and their values.”
Lisa Niday, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Document Cloud, 22 years with Adobe
“Adobe Legal has the motto that ‘Yes starts here. Except when it's a definite no.’ This culture has enabled me to be included in the development process for many innovative Adobe products and features and to celebrate the success of a product launch along with the rest of the product team. It is so empowering to say I am woman in tech who has a voice at the table. I genuinely love my job and all the opportunities I am given at Adobe to make a difference.”
Louise Innocenti, Senior Legal Specialist, Digital Marketing, 5 years with Adobe
“Definitely “The Founders’ Award” and being myself every day at Adobe. And seeing many employees live the values that keep the company honest. Most of my career I have chosen whom not to be, whereas at Adobe there are many I want to be like, hence my journey of seeking my better self continues.”
Ransford M. Hyman Jr., Manager, Sensei OnDevice Framework, 2 years with Adobe
“Seeing the work of my teams featured on stage during the Adobe MAX keynote was one of the most powerful and proudest moments since I joined the Adobe family. It’s incredibly energizing to see a customer’s eyes light up while uncovering the results of months of hard work. Multiply that by tens of thousands of customers watching the amazing results of my exceptional colleagues live – it is such a unique feeling that will definitely stay with me for a lifetime.”
Roxana-Teodora Moldovan, Group Program Manager, 6 years with Adobe
“I can’t honestly pick one as I‘ve been proud of being part of the Adobe family from day one and proud of what we’ve achieved all the way, every day. We’ve navigated through many changes and challenging times, from standalone apps to Creative Suite, and then to Creative Cloud. It wasn't always easy, but I have never stopped believing in what we do.”
Rufus Deuchler, Director, Worldwide Creative Cloud Evangelism, 10 years with Adobe