When you have 12 accomplished product leaders presenting and showcasing the best and most worthy product management tools and services, you’ve got something greater than simply a dozen. You’ve got one amazing Awards Advisory Board, guaranteed to elevate the Product Awards to its greatest heights yet.
The Products That Count 2023 Product Awards will be taking place from March 8-12, 2023. The Awards Advisory Board is the group of independent product leaders in charge of the process. That includes determining verticals, interviewing industry leaders, and choosing the winners.
In the paragraphs below, meet the twelve members of the Awards Advisory Board. Learn more about each one of these product leaders to watch. Read about their specific product specialties, their Products That Count publications, and their dedicated product verticals.
The Awards Advisory Board and Their Verticals
Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Nikki Ahmadi, Ready VP of Product
In Nikki’s Own Words: “The success and failure of a company boils down to its product offerings, whether it be a service, hardware or software product. Thus, the role of the product folks cannot be emphasized enough. They are the visionaries, the thinkers, and the doers.”
Awards Vertical: Internet of Things
About Nikki: Nikki is a cloud and software product Director who works with a global team of talented engineers and architects in designing and implementing innovative solutions from product inception to production. After spending over a decade working in product engineering and management for multi-million dollar technology and start-up companies, Nikki believes what truly drives innovation is not only a commitment to technological breakthroughs but also people’s passion in improving everyday lives by building products that leave a lasting impact, disrupt the industry, and are vehicles of change, while providing the best user experience.
More From Nikki:
Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Kristopher Drey, Fmr Groupon Head of Product
In Kris’s Own Words: “I’m a tinkerer, always looking for ways to simplify, improve, or change things to make them more efficient. This is where I find my passion in product management which provides me with opportunities to build innovative products that improve workforce productivity, increase ease of use, or otherwise solve an end user need.”
Awards Vertical: PropTech
About Kristopher: Kristopher is a career Product Manager with over 20 years of experience in digital technology, product development, marketing technology, and business strategy. In the past 10 years he’s focused on Property Technology (PropTech) for Commercial Real Estate, helping large C/RE companies blend the physical and digital worlds for multifamily, retail, office, hospitality, and residential.
More from Kristopher:
Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Zac Fleming, TimelyMD Head of Product
In Zac’s Own Words: “Health & well-being has never been worse across the globe. Products have the opportunity to better people’s lives but it must be done right or it can make the problem worse. This impacts all of us and is a problem that we will all need to come together to solve.”
Awards Vertical: Life Sciences
About Zac: Zac is a growth driver with a passion to create innovation within healthcare. With over a decade on the leading edge of digital health, he brings his experience across start-ups to Fortune 30 corporations to help companies transform to make healthcare the way we all wish it would be. He casts bold visions that are grounded in proven strategies to help product-led companies exceed their growth, EBITDA and experience goals.
More from Zac:
Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Ryan House, Pulse PEMF Director of Product
In Ryan’s Own Words: “Product management and Life Sciences are solving problems and building products that have a large impact on people’s lives. In many cases in this space, the problems are related to the user’s health and there is no better feeling than creating a product that helps solve customer problems and improves well-being.”
Awards Vertical: Life Sciences
About Ryan: Ryan is a Product professional who has spent the last 4+ years in the HealthTech and Life Sciences industry. He specializes in hardware, mobile and web application product development. He is inspired to continue mentoring and leading his product team to build solutions for the ever growing PEMF technology in the Life Sciences & HealthTech space.
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Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Michael Krafft, TrueML VP of Product
In Michael’s Own Words: “Build the right product, and build the product right…right? Doing product well helps organizations deliver value to users faster.”
Awards Vertical: FinTech
About Michael: A growth-oriented, hands-on product leader who motivates high-achieving global teams to develop and scale tech that drives user well-being and revenue to organizations. Currently, Michael is VP of Product at TrueML, a mission-driven financial software company that aims to create better customer experiences for distressed borrowers. Prior to TrueML, he led digital product at Alight through the company’s 2021 IPO including pivoting GTM strategy and messaging and building the new engagement platform that was the centerpiece of the IPO. In 10 years at American Express, Michael led numerous product orgs and most notably re-envisioned the global Amex “Card Shop” and org to deliver tens of millions of dollars of net income.
More from Michael:
Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Bharat Manglani, ZEFR Senior Product Manager
In Bharat’s Own Words: “I have always had a passion for building technology products whether it be for entertainment, automation or facilitation of difficult tasks. Furthermore, products can provide a great channel to help people by equipping them with tools that improve their lives in some meaningful way. I especially enjoy this aspect of product management and am delighted to see products I work on make positive impacts (e.g., disrupting the economics of cybercrime).”
Awards Vertical: AdTech
About Bharat: Bharat is a Senior PM at ZEFR, and prior to that was a Product Manager at White Ops, a cybersecurity company focused on verifying the humanity of transactions over the Internet and disrupting the economics of cyber-crime. He started his career with 10 years as a technology strategy consultant and then pivoted into the technology sector to pursue his passion for managing the end-to-end product lifecycle.
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Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Alisher “Ali” Rakhimov, Macy’s Sr. Product Manager
In Ali’s Own Words: “It’s one thing to provide hardware. It’s one thing to provide software, even bandwidth. But for product managers, data is our ammunition. You can have the best weapon, but if you don’t have ammunition, it’s useless.”
Awards Vertical: Telecom
About Alisher: Ali is a “make it happen” entrepreneur, showing the qualities you would want in a business leader: industry knowledge and unrelenting resourcefulness. He has that essential rare combination of vision and ability to execute that is required by any serious entrepreneurial endeavor. His main product areas are telecom, payments, PayFac, FinTech, IoT & EdTech.
More from Alisher:
Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Ganesh Rajan, A10 Networks VP, Product Line Management
In Ganesh’s Own Words: “I am passionate about customer focus. Engagements with users, getting clarity into their workflow, understanding their pain points and requirements, and discovering how my teams can contribute to making their jobs easier—these create my own ‘Aha!’ moments.”
Awards Vertical: B2B Tech
About Ganesh: As an accomplished, creative (multiple patents) and entrepreneurial (multiple startups) product leader, with 25+ years’ technical & product experience, championing digital transformations, Ganesh has spearheaded technical innovations, directing product development and product management at startups and in established companies. Throughout, he’s led/contributed to building market-leading products with cross-functional geo teams, steeped in a customer-focused culture, delivering game-changing solutions, delighting customers.
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Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Nand Shivkumar, Vertafore VP Product Development
In Nand’s Own Words: “Product management is a key function for every product and service based company. Its is an art and also a science which helps focus the business in the right direction and direct engineering and operations team to deliver maximum value to the customers.”
Awards Vertical: B2B Tech
About Nand: Nand is a Technology Business Leader with over 25 years of experience in Enterprise Software and Information Technology. He has worked in Fortune 100 companies and also has co-founded a EdTech startup and has a deep understanding of the technology sector and the believes technology is a great tool to solve many of the modern challenges. He has deep expertise in developing B2B and B2C solutions for enterprises and has led global teams in delivering Saas, Paas and On premise offerings embedded with Analytics, AI/ML and rich UX for superior user experience. Nand lives in Denver, CO with his family and is a keen outdoor enthusiast and actively hikes, skis and bikes with family and friends.
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Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Aditya Subramaniam, Oscar Health Director of Product Management
In Aditya’s Own Words: “In B2B you have so many different regulatory environments. From a legal standpoint, compliance standpoint, privacy standpoint. You have to deal with different business verticals, and regulatory pieces that might be different across different businesses and verticals. Being able to think of solutions to problems that meet for your market in a creative way is something that excites me a lot.”
Awards Vertical: B2B Tech
About Aditya: Striving for excellence in business leadership roles in the technology sector with a focus on building user-friendly, scalable & secure products for the enterprise & consumer markets. Aditya has worked in product for more than a decade, primarily at B2B startups. This includes work across different industries. He started his career in IT security, then spent a lot of time in EdTech, then HealthTech, and back in IT. Now Aditya is back in HealthTech as the Director of Product Management at Oscar Health.
More from Aditya:
Rosa Gonzalez Welton
Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Rosa Welton, Intuit Director of Product
In Rosa’s Own Words: “Product management is all about the combination of solving problems to meet customer needs. And I love the cross-functional nature of the work.”
Awards Vertical: B2B Tech
About Rosa: Rosa Welton is a seasoned product leader with a keen interest in using technology to create economic opportunity. She enjoys connecting customer insights with data to drive experiences that help real people live better lives. At TrueCar she connected car shoppers to car dealers, bringing price transparency and a commitment to streamline what can be a stressful purchase. Rosa spent 7 years at eBay, leading the Feedback and Seller Performance platforms that were the foundation to trusted transactions. This included building the tools sellers used to successfully create and sell listings. Rosa was recently Director of Product Management at ServiceNow. There, her team created a post-sales Customer Success portal and was responsible for driving digital acquisition.
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Awards Advisory Board Member Name: Alex Westner, Fidelity Investments VP of Product Management
In Alex’s Own Words: “I was drawn to the b2b tech vertical because of my experience as a startup founder with Xander. I’ve become especially obsessed with this concept of maybe call it software-and-a service. I might consume a software platform for tools that helped me run the business. And now the software providers are also providing subject matter experts to go with the software. As a small business owner with a lean team and no money, it’s really appealing to be able to add on a real person on a team to help me do the job that I hired the software to do. Now you’re actually hiring the software and the person to do that to do that job.”
Awards Vertical: B2B Tech
About Alex: Alex has spent 20+ years leading product strategy at iZotope, Gibson, and Fidelity. He began his career in engineering, researching microphone arrays and the “cocktail party problem” at the MIT Media Lab—getting computers to pick out individual voices in a room. He continued to spend 18 years as a product leader in audio and music technology companies. He shipped successful products that try to analyze and understand sound, including an Engineering Emmy Award winner. As a product leader at Fidelity Labs, he’s led a team to build and launch a software platform for financial advisors to introduce sustainable investing practices for their clients. Most recently, he’s immersed himself in the most profound human problem related to audio — people who have trouble hearing altogether. He co-founded Xander, setting its vision on providing relief for the 1.5 billion people around the world who struggle with the effects of hearing loss.
More from Alex:
Stay tuned for a closer look at the categories and their related superpowers, as well as individual profiles of board members. In the meantime, send in your nominations for the 2023 Product Awards via email at [email protected]. Or visit productsthatcount.com/product-awards. The Awards Advisory Board is ready to review your submissions!
About the speaker
Products that Count is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that helps everyone build great products. It celebrates product excellence through coveted Awards that inspire 500,000+ product managers and honor great products and the professionals responsible for their success. It accelerates the career and rise to the C-suite of >30% of all Product Managers globally by providing exceptional programming – including award-winning podcasts and popular newsletters – for free. It acts as a trusted advisor to all CPOs at Fortune 1000, and publishes key insights from innovative companies, like Capgemini, SoFi, and Amplitude, that turn product success into business success.