Meet our 2021 Anaplan Award winners
This year, we had the great fortune of having the largest pool of Anaplan Award nominees in which to select our winners. Over 100 people were nominated for just three awards. While having such a competitive pool made the decision process difficult, it is also a wonderful indicator of our growth as a platform of choice across global industries. This year represents a tipping point in the maturity of the ecosystem which seems to be taking on a life of its own.
Just as in 2020, Covid-19 protections meant that our usually dynamic CPX award presentation had to be done virtually again this year, but social distancing did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm with which we celebrated the accomplishments of each Anaplan Award recipient. I’ve included a video link to ceremony here so you can celebrate with us. Now without further ado, I proudly present to you our 2021 Anaplan Award winners.
Master Anaplanner of the Year: Andrea Milillo
Andrea Milillo is the manager of commercial IT for Bacardi-Martini, where he started in 2020 after 7 years in the Anaplan ecosystem as a partner at Accenture. Among his many achievements, Andrea took full control of the Anaplan Center of Excellence (CoE) and removed barriers to growth. He helped the business realize the value of a CoE and quickly expanded the team, establishing an onboarding enablement path for new members.
Andrea has evangelized the Anaplan platform within his organization because of how it has helped him manage the numerous projects he oversees. “I really feel like an ambassador, promoting the benefits of connecting planning and breaking silos in the organization,” said Milillo of his work with Anaplan.
Last year, Andrea successfully led a global expansion of Bacardi-Martini’s commercial planning models into 4 new countries: Canada, France, Portugal, and Spain. He did this after overcoming years of internal roadblocks to expansion. The model optimization Andrea spearheaded has significantly reduced calculation time by upwards to 40%.
Now, Milillo is testing a Sales Initiative Plan for India which could serve as the company’s prototype for all of Europe.
Center of Excellence Leader of the Year: Megan Carrozza
Megan is a Senior Finance Manager at Groupon, they’ve been an Anaplan customer since 2013, but Carrozza joined the ecosystem in 2016. Just two short years later, in 2018, she became a Certified Master Anaplanner and was named as Groupon’s Center of Excellence (CoE) Lead.
Megan’s most notable accomplishment focusses on the established framework to build a CoE within Groupon’s Global Finance function. Megan identified key themes—such as governance, ownership, and enablement—that drove the growth of implementing 30+ use cases by the end of 2020. This rapid expansion was made possible by building a CoE with strong team members who are 100% dedicated to the success of Anaplan at Groupon. Her CoE team fully owns the model management, data integrations, and new use cases. They also created a master data management model that redefined IT’s role within her CoE team.
Megan and her CoE team also created an enablement program to enable over 100 end users and model builders at Groupon to get the most out of their Anaplan implementation and continuously improve their processes. The outcome allowed her CoE team to be dedicated to building new use cases, providing oversight to other finance model builders, and empowering more end users to be champions of the platform.
Student Anaplanner of the Year: Emily Poole
When Emily Poole graduated from of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) last year with a degree in psychology, she found a pandemic at its height and her career prospects at their lowest. It was while struggling to find a job post-graduation, Emily heard about the Anaplan Elevate, a program available to any learner interested in learning Anaplan Model Building skills. The program offers learners worldwide a flexible, virtual, cohort-based program that leads to model builder certification.
Emily soon realized how intuitive the platform was and quickly became a leader within her student group—choosing to help others while continuing her training by reviewing additional courses. When Emily completed her program, she was ready and eager to enter the Anaplan ecosystem. Upon the completion of her program, Emily was hired as a consultant by Anaplan partner, Lionpoint Group. Emily is now a working in their North America Enterprise Performance Management sector and doing very well.
After selecting our award winners, we realized that each had one thing in common, demonstrable career growth which can be directly linked to their connection to Anaplan. Andrea has been in the ecosystem for 8 years and used his knowledge base to become a leader at Bacardi-Martini. Megan has received several promotions in the last few years and is on the fast track to CFO because of Anaplan, and Emily managed to side-step a horrendous job market because of her Anaplan certification.
Additionally, their career success is proof of that our customers realize that they are best served by working with those who know how to leverage Anaplan to achieve the best business outcomes.
I want to personally congratulate Andrea Milillo, Megan Carrozza, and Emily Poole on their awards, and thank them for their ongoing commitment to their companies, to Anaplan, and to the greater Anaplan Community at-large.
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