Now Accepting Nominations for the 2015 William Zola Award for Community Excellence

Meghan Gill


Community is core to the success of MongoDB and the people that use it. We created the William Zola Award for Community Excellence last year to honor those whose support contributions make a significant difference to people around the globe.

One of our strongest Community Support advocates was William Zola, who passed away unexpectedly. William, Lead Technical Services engineer, had a passion for creating user success, and helped thousands of users with support problems, much of it on his own time. William was so effective at meeting users in their time of distress that people often asked for him by name on the MongoDB User Forum. Most engineers at MongoDB went through his customer skills training to learn how to create an ideal user experience while maintaining technical integrity. William taught us:

  • How the user feels is every bit as important as solving their technical problem
  • We should work to solve the problem and not just close a case or ticket
  • Every user interaction should drive the case one step closer to resolution
  • It’s all about the user

Over time, William’s advice and philosophy towards user success came to permeate MongoDB’s entire organization and community.

The Award

Last year Nuri Halperin, a 2015 MongoDB Master was nominated and won the first ever Zola.

This year at MongoDB Silicon Valley we will announce the second winner of “The Zola.” We will award to user who has offered exceptional support to our community in line with William’s philosophy. The winner of the Zola will receive a complimentary hotel stay while at MongoDB Silicon Valley to receive the award at the event along with a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

Today we open nominations and begin the search for this year's winner of the Zola. MongoDB users who support others on StackOverflow, at a MongoDB User Group and in person through ad-hoc or structured mentoring are all qualified to receive the award.

Nominations will be accepted until November 1st, 2015 through this form, so please send in names of people who have positively impacted your experience with MongoDB. Individuals will be judged on the impact of their work and their demonstration of William’s values.

William’s extraordinary contributions are remembered in users like you who pass along your knowledge of MongoDB and do it with gusto. Even if you do not qualify for the Zola now, there is always an opportunity for you to contribute to the MongoDB ecosystem by sharing your ideas and experience on StackOverflow, the MongoDB User Forum and in your local communities.

Tell us who you think should receive this year's “Zola”.

Submit your nominations today


  • $1,000 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • Ticket to MongoDB SV
  • Hotel stay during MongoDB SV

How Winners Will Be Selected

MongoDB will pick the winning applicant by November 8th, and will notify the winner via email. The winners will be chosen based on a combination of user votes and contributions made to the community.

For more information see the Zola Award Terms and Service.

About the Author - Meghan Gill

Meghan Gill is Director of Community and Demand Generation at MongoDB. She was the 8th employee and first non-engineering hire at MongoDB, helping to build the developer community behind the fastest-growing big data ecosystem. In 2014 she was recognized by AlleyWatch as a Rising Star in Enterprise Technology.