MongoDB Announces 2023 William Zola Award for Community Excellence Recipient

Veronica Cooley-Perry

We are thrilled to announce that MongoDB community member Chris Dellaway is the 2023 recipient of MongoDB's prestigious William Zola Award for Community Excellence.

Each year, the William Zola Award for Community Excellence recognizes an outstanding community contributor who embodies the legacy of William Zola, a lead technical services engineer at MongoDB who passed away unexpectedly in 2014. Zola had an unwavering commitment to user success, believing deeply in understanding and catering to users' emotions while resolving their technical problems. His philosophy is a guiding force for MongoDB's community to this day.

Chris Dellaway has been a cornerstone of our vibrant community for years, having joined our community forum as a founding member in 2020 and quickly becoming a Forum Elder that year and a Community Champion in 2021. With his certifications as a MongoDB Associate DBA and Developer, Chris has become a trusted resource and mentor for countless community members.

In 2023, Chris continued to go above and beyond, demonstrating unmatched engagement and support for the MongoDB community. His exceptional expertise has been a valuable resource for countless members, helping them accelerate their growth and knowledge of MongoDB's technology. With 485 insightful responses to community forum questions, he provided support to 414,000 users. In fact, his contributions were so well-received that he garnered 300 likes and had 50 of his posts marked as valuable solutions for other developers. Chris not only shares his wealth of knowledge, but he also supports his fellow forum members by reviewing their responses and providing constant encouragement. In 2023 alone, Chris gave over 320 uplifting likes to different community posts.

There are many examples of Chris’s extraordinary support in the community. Here are some highlights:

Chris's dedication to the community doesn't stop there. He also took it upon himself to launch and lead the Toronto MongoDB User Group (MUG), bringing his community support to a local level. Thanks to his leadership, the Toronto MUG has flourished and formed an in-person community. It's clear that Chris's commitment to fostering a thriving community extends beyond the virtual realm, making him a truly exceptional leader. Chris embodies the spirit of community and we are honored to have him as a member.

What better way to celebrate Chris’s incredible influence than by sharing insights from his own peers within the community?

“Whenever I see a reply from Chris I jump right there to read it. I know that most of the time I will learn something. Often the concise replies link to supporting documentation. Always a joy to read, even when he corrects me.” - Steeve Juneau

"Chris exemplifies the champion spirit in that he comes forward graciously with rad tech chops to guide the perplexed and further posts his heart-emoji of approval on correct answers posted by other forum Contributors." - Jack Woehr

"Chris is a powerhouse in the MongoDB community, and his dedication to championing MongoDB is evident. His deep knowledge and expertise in MongoDB have been instrumental in driving key initiatives and organizing workshops and events at the Toronto MUG. Chris's enlightening personality and positive attitude make everyone feel welcome, regardless of their level of experience with MongoDB." - Grace Gong

“Chris embodies what community excellence is all about. He shares his deep MongoDB knowledge and experience to help other people in the community solve their issues and learn more. It's this kind of generosity backed by excellence that makes his contributions so impactful to so many” - Nuri Halperin

To learn more about the MongoDB Community, please visit the MongoDB Community homepage.