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People Leader of the Year Awards 2020

Last year we launched the inaugural People Leader of the Year Awards to recognize three exceptional leaders from across the three major business areas of the company. The winners of the award were chosen based on the results of our manager effectiveness scores, quarterly team engagement surveys, and the leader’s ability to help their team achieve their goals. They’re leaders who cared first and foremost about the people they lead. They focused on their wellness, helped boost their engagement, and guided their teams to succeed despite any challenges.

Now, in the second year of the award, we were excited to see how the awards might evolve, and evolve they did. 2020 was a year unlike any other. The Covid-19 pandemic brought new challenges and required teams to adjust to new working conditions at a moment’s notice. We were only able to navigate the challenges as well as we have, because of the incredible people leaders here at Qualtrics. Our leaders stepped up and helped their teams adjust to a new work-from-home dynamic, while still reaching goals and focusing on personal wellness.

We had so many leaders do exceptional work in 2020 that the awards were expanded from three to eight winners. The focus shifted from a set number of business area-based winners to simply exceptional leaders. The eight winners were announced during a company-wide all-hands meeting held via Zoom. Shortly after, we began interviewing each of them, so that we could share their stories and leadership insights with you.

The interviews will be published over the coming weeks so be sure to check back each week and read all 8! You can find the links to each interview in the brief profiles of the winners below.

2020 Winners


Mary Kynaston joined Qualtrics in July of 2019 and is Sales Development Team Lead for North America. Want to get to know Mary and her leadership style better? You can find her interview with Qualtrics life here. Be sure to check out Mary's Why Qualtrics story as well. 


Alexia Newgord has been with Qualtrics since Jun of 2015. She is an Associate Manager in Software Engineering in Seattle. Alexia sat down with us to talk more about what it means to win this award. Check out her interview with Qualtrics Life here


Thomas Karthaus is a Sales Manager in our Toronto office and joined Qualtrics in April of 2016. We'll be publishing his interview soon!


Austin Nilsson has been at Qualtrics for thirteen years, joining in Jan of 2009. He currently works as a Senior Manager for EX Technology Consulting in North America. Check back to find his interview in the coming weeks. In the meantime, learn even more about Austin by reading his Why Qualtrics story.


Michael Page is a Senior Manager in Software Engineering in our Provo office. He has been with Qualtrics for 11 years, joining in November of 2010. Check out his interview here and learn more about what how he measures his success as a leader in the Engineering department. 


Jason Matthews has been with Qualtrics since March of 2015 and is a Senior Manager in Solutions Engineering in Sydney, Australia. You can read his interview here to learn more about his journey in leadership.


Shellene McKendrick joined Qualtrics in May of 2015 and is a Corporate Business Applications Manager in our Provo office. Shellene shared some great information about her non-traditional path into leadership. Read more about it here


Stephen Kelly is a Manager in Research Services Operations in our Dublin office. He has been with Qualtrics for three years, joining us in September of 2018. Check out his interview with Qualtrics Life to learn more about how he leads with empathy. 



Qualtrics is growing, and if you're ready to find your "why" at a place like this, you can explore our open opportunities at any time by visiting our career page or by joining our talent community.

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Qualtrics Life

Qualtrics Life is nothing more or less than a collection of the stories, experiences, and voices of the people of Qualtrics.

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