This blog is the fourth in a series profiling the August 2018 Living Our Values (LOV) winners and honorable mentions. The LOV Awards are the highest honor that NetApp bestows on its employees. Each winner is brought to Sunnyvale for the company All Hands meeting where they are thanked by the CEO and featured as part of the meeting and live stream. In addition to other recognition, NetApp gives a donation of $5,000 in their name to the charity of their choice. Previous  blogs in the series highlighted Americas LOV Winner Arvind Venigalla, APAC Winner Jessie Zhang and EMEA Winner Markus Christmann.


Katie Andres, Marketing Events Manager – Americas LOV Honorable Mention


Managing NetApp’s presence at tradeshows and events requires the ability to juggle and keep track of many different balls at the same time, all of which are in different places and at various stages of development. Based in Sunnyvale, Marketing Events Manager Katie Andres has been recognized by her peers for her ability to keep all the balls required to make a tradeshows run smoothly on a consistent basis afloat.


In particular, Katie was recognized for her work preparing NetApp to appear this year at HIMSS, the premiere healthcare IT conference. Katie helped the team exceed numerous goals for the show, including the number of customer and prospect meetings at the conference and the attendees for both a VIP Reception and Social Hour held by NetApp at the show.


Katie’s nominators had the following to say about her work:


“Katie took the reins. She quickly identified opportunities to expand our presence and brought the full resources of her team to bear laying a solid foundation for success. This was the first opportunity our team had to work with Katie, and she immediately inspired confidence with her professionalism, attention to detail, collaboration and ingenuity.”


“Katie is a born collaborator. Our success at HIMSS required her to quickly learn and adapt to the requirements of our vertical, which she did seemingly effortlessly. Of equal importance, she connected healthcare sales and marketing representatives to key product and marketing experts from the corporate team, enabling both teams to share and expand knowledge. A trade show of this size and complexity requires the efforts of many and Katie expertly led the charge. She effectively delegated to the appropriate resources, while making sure that we worked together wo achieve gestalt. She recognized the skills and expertise represented and leveraged those expertly. She communicated, connected and inspired true teamwork, which shows in what we were able to collectively achieve.”


“You can’t pick your co-workers, but if you could, I would put Katie at the top of my list.”


Below we hear from Katie about what it means to her to be recognized by her peers and receive an LOV Honorable Mention:


How long have you been at NetApp and what is your day to day role here?

It will be five years at the end of this month. My day to day role at NetApp is as a manager on the Global Event Marketing team. I am responsible for operations, which includes managing event budgets, metrics, and processes in alignment with the Business Units (BUs). I also manage our sponsorships at anywhere from 3-8 major events during the year, which is an extremely small portion of the overall number of events we execute, in addition to supporting Insight.


What did it feel like to hear that you’d received an LOV Honorable Mention?

I felt extremely honored to hear that I had received an LOV Honorable Mention. For me, it’s not the recognition but more that someone took the time out of their day to complete the nomination form—that the work I did, the interaction we had, and the relationship we built was of such value that they wanted that to be shared with others. I am truly humbled by the nomination.


How do you try to live the NetApp values on a daily basis?

I always want to feel good about the work I do—not just the outcome, but also the process it takes to get there. I strive to be viewed as a trusted leader in my field and as a knowledgeable resource in regard to events and daily operations. Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of planning and executing an event. Putting in 12+ weeks of work and getting onsite to see the finished product is deeply satisfying, and it shows the results of countless people putting in longer hours to make something successful.


How does it feel to be recognized by your peers for what you do?

It’s very gratifying and keeps me motivated and striving to do more.


What’s your favorite thing about NetApp’s culture?

The people. I love my team and the people I work with on a daily basis, but I also love the exposure and the people I get to meet outside of marketing. Working on events gives a unique perspective and glimpse into many groups within the company and has allowed me to meet and work with so many smart and talented people, which is something I am very thankful for.


Jacques van der Himst, Sr. Escalation Engineer Performance –  EMEA LOV Honorable Mention


LOV nominations are often submitted by an entire team in support of an individual. In Jacques Van der Himst’s case, the entire EMEA Performance Team—as well as colleagues from across all NetApp geos—was part of submitting and supporting his LOV nomination. “Many people see the greatness in Jacques and easily recognize the NetApp Values being lived and role-modeled by him consistently,” said one nominator.

A Senior Escalation Performance Engineer in Amsterdam, Jacques’ work is admired by colleagues near and far. As one put it, “We feel humbled seeing the multitude and variety of colleagues joining this nomination and their enthusiasm on this. We realize this itself is proof of Jacques’ leadership through helping others achieve more and deliver superior solutions for our customers.”


Jacques was recognized for being not only one of the architects of the Performance team, but for his ongoing leadership. Working across multiple geos worldwide, he is praised for his ability to build trust digitally across borders; his knowledge when it comes to performance issues; his ability to collaborate with customers sensitively and respectfully; an ability to explain difficult technical issues in a simple and understandable way; and for always being reliable, trustworthy and honest.


As some of his numerous nominators said:


“His dedication to assist and add value in any sensitive support case is more than just solving problems, it’s about enjoying the work we are doing with him. I could mention hundreds of cases where Jacques showed his knowledge and passion for working on customer issues, but it is not only about that. Jacques is much more—he is a pillar of the team and mirror for every one of us.”


“It is a real talent, in my opinion, to have kindness and calmness in the middle of a crisis, when everyone is stressed and under pressure, that will be embraced slowly by your coworkers and your customer and will make them all follow your lead due to the confidence and trust you diffuse and inspire in others.”


Above all, Jacques is recognized for how he works with and impacts others.


“Jacques is without a doubt an essential part in creating a Model Company both through his direct contributions and through the impact he has on others. From all the metrics available, we chose as the guiding line for Jacques’ story one: the People.”


Jacques had the following to say about his LOV Honorable Mention:


How long have you been at NetApp and what is your day to day role here?

I joined “Network Appliance” in February 2000 and have been working in the support center since day one. I try to help customers and colleagues the best I can, that is the essence of it.


What did it feel like to hear that you’d received an LOV Honorable Mention?

It was a big surprise. I read it while I was in Bangalore to provide training to my peers over there and didn’t know this was going on behind my back.


How do you try to live the NetApp values on a daily basis?

I don’t know that I do a special effort; we just happen to be a good match.


How does it feel to be recognized by your peers for what you do?

It feels special. There are so many great people working in the support center alone that do awesome jobs every day. And everybody helps everybody. There is no way I could do what I do without all these colleagues.


What’s your favorite thing about NetApp’s culture?

I think number one is everybody’s willingness to help one another. The One Team feeling.

Mathew Zele, National Enterprise Partner Manager – APAC LOV Honorable Mention

Based in NetApp’s Melbourne office, Mathew Zele works with our partners in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). Navigating the Channel and understanding the needs of various partners and alliances “can be confusing for even the most skilled Channel person,” notes one LOV nominator.


Mathew was singled out for his ability to forge strong relationships with local sales and pre-sales teams and being an exemplar of the One Team spirit. He has worked closely with the Cisco Alliance team to grow the FlexPod business in his regions, holding customer roundtable events and quarterly EBC meetings to increase rep engagement. His strong relationships with Cisco leadership in ANZ earned him an invitation to Cisco’s Global Partner Summit in Dallas last September, as well as an opportunity to meet with key Cisco executives at an event there that was primarily targeted to C-level individuals from key Cisco global customers and partners. A nominator credits “two successive years of growth under Mathew’s watch” for helping the FlexPod business in ANZ. His mentorship of fellow employees and readiness to help them were also cited as examples of how Mathew lives the NetApp values:


“Working in a channel and alliances team is not easy. There are a lot of programs coming from different parts of the organization and different requirements for different cases…Mathew takes these requirements on board and happily works with the team in many different capacities to help get to the destination. You always hear ‘Do you need some help with that? I’ll link you to the right person.’ He’s a team player, and it’s a pleasure working with him.”


“Mathew is an individual who is always thinking of the wider team and understands that the activities he does will not impact his results, but those of his customers, partners and teammates.”


Here’s what Mathew had to say about his LOV Honorable Mention:


How long have you been at NetApp and what is your day to day role here?

I’ve been at NetApp for 13 years, starting off as a Professional Services Consultant. I am now the Cisco Alliance Manager & ANZ Channel Manager covering the Victoria and New Zealand channel partners. I spend my time helping partners understand our strategy, go-to-market and how they can develop solutions and services to build their own practices around NetApp. With my Alliance hat on, I spend a fair amount of time working with Cisco across the region to drive awareness of NetApp and FlexPod. Getting people talking and excited about our solutions is pretty much my role here.


What did it feel like to hear that you’d received an LOV Honorable Mention?

I was quite proud when I found out. It wasn’t something that I had expected, so it’s quite an honor to have been nominated by my peers. 


How do you try to live the NetApp values on a daily basis?

We work in a team, we’ve all got a common goal—to make our customers successful with our technology and solutions. That makes it easy to live the NetApp values on a daily basis. Whether it be with interactions with team members, partners or customers, it’s ensuring that we’re doing the right thing. It’s second nature.


How does it feel to be recognized by your peers for what you do?

It feels great to receive feedback from peers for doing your job. It’s not something you expect, so it’s great to receive it.


What’s your favorite thing about NetApp’s culture?

People are empowered to do the right thing, to speak up when they think something is wrong, to go above and beyond and to be successful. NetApp is a great place to work.


Lisa Melsted

Lisa Melsted develops culture strategies and content for NetApp’s Employee Engagement team. A tech industry veteran with more than 15 years’ experience in various communications and marketing roles, she holds Master’s degrees in Creative Non-Fiction from Emerson College and English from the University of Iowa. She has also written articles about technology for publications such as Forbes BrandVoice and TechPageOne.

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