Demand Gen Report Announces Winners of 2020 B2B Innovator Awards

31 Executives Spotlighted As ‘B2B Innovators’

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J., Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Demand Gen Report has announced the winners of its fourth annual B2B Innovator Awards, which recognize some of the most progressive marketing and sales practitioners who are pushing the envelope to effectively engage prospective customers and meet buyer needs.

Garnering more than 100 nominations from B2B executives across verticals, the Demand Gen Report team selected 31 final winners in 13 categories. These winners were acknowledged for thinking outside of the box and for helping to develop and foster innovative concepts and strategies for their organizations and the B2B industry at large.

All 31 winners were recognized during a special ceremony at the B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange Online Experience on Oct. 26, 2020.

“The B2B Innovator Awards — now in its fourth year — allow Demand Gen Report to shine a light on some of the brightest and most inspiring professionals in the B2B space,” said Klaudia Tirico, Editor of Demand Gen Report, and coordinator of the B2B Innovator Awards. “The team and I were so inspired by how these 31 individuals rose to the top during such a difficult time to better reach and resonate with their audiences, and we were excited to honor them during a virtual ceremony at #B2BSMX. These Innovators proved how resilient, agile and creative B2B marketers are—even when the going gets tough.”

New to the 2020 awards was the Powerful Partners category, which was added this year to spotlight marketing executives who have excelled at equipping their partner networks with the tools they need to efficiently drive sales.

“Since channel and partner marketing has become a growing topic of coverage for Demand Gen Report and its sister publication Channel Marketer Report, we found it was time to spotlight individuals in the channel space with a new category for our B2B Innovator Awards,” said Tirico. “Now that Channel Marketing has its own track during our B2B Marketing Exchange and B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange, honoring leaders in channel and partner marketing was a no-brainer.”

In addition to the 13 categories, Demand Gen Report gave the B2B community an opportunity to vote for an “Innovator Of The Year,” and received more than 2,200 overall votes for this additional category. This special award category was also renamed this year to honor Kristen Wendel, a member of the B2B marketing community who lost her battle with cancer in 2019.

“Last year, the B2B community lost one of its innovators — Kristen Wendel — to pancreatic cancer,” said Tirico. “Many in our B2B marketing community knew Kristen. She was a long-time subscriber to Demand Gen Report and has spoken at our events in the past. Kristen was also a #SiriusDecisions ABM program of the year winner, #FlipMyFunnel ABMie award winner, and one of the Top 50 Women to Know in Revenue from Engagio. Kristen was a true inspiration to us all. So, it was only fitting for us to continue to honor her legacy by naming our Innovator of the Year Award after her.”

The three winners with the most votes were:

  • Melissa Doerksen, Hitachi Vantara  
  • Jorge Granada, SAP  
  • Chelsey Axline, PFL  

The winner of the Kristen Wendel B2B Innovator of the Year Award this year was Melissa Doerksen of Hitachi Vantara, who received 293 unique votes!

The complete list of B2B Innovator Award winners includes:

Sales Drivers

  • Michael Phelan, Go-to-Market Pros
  • Beth McCluskey, RAIN Group

SMB Maestros

  • Kevin Sides, ShipMonk
  • Sunniya Saleem, Quick Base

C-Suite Strategy

  • Christopher Willis, Acrolix
  • Brian Finnerty, Demandbase

Content, Creative & Execution

  • Lisa Maxwell, Mastercard 
  • Carmen Simon, Corporate Visions
  • Kristin Oelke, Ignite Technologies  

Account Targeting & Strategy

  • Amanda DePaul, Conversica  
  • Tessa Barron, ON24
  • Lisa Christiansen, Poly 

Data Scientists & Operations Optimizers

  • Ben Staley, Rackspace Technology 
  • Dustin Dewberry, LiveRamp B2B 
  • Melissa Doerksen, Hitachi Vantara 

Marketing Mentors

  • Brandee Sanders, Appetize Technologies 
  • Madeline Maguire, Grubhub
  • Harry Battu, Procore Technologies

Gen Z Trailblazers

  • Jennifer Fields, Plex Systems  
  • Chelsey Axline, PFL 
  • Breezy Beaumont, Alation 

B2B Technologists

  • Vanessa Porter, VMware
  • Hilary Headlee, Zoom Video Communications

Powerful Partners

  • Kirsten Boileau, SAP  
  • Tina O’Dell, Juniper Networks

Buyer-Focused Marketers

  • Kirsten Markson, LeadMD 
  • Jorge Granada, SAP


  • Deanna Ransom, Televerde  
  • Katie Kelley, Udemy  

Vertical Virtuosos

  • Rachel Cain, Eastman
  • Vat Tann, Papa & Barkley

More on each winner can be found in the complete 2020 B2B Innovator Awards special report, publishing on Demand Gen Report on November 11, 2020.  

About Demand Gen Report
Demand Gen Report, a G3 Communications brand, is a targeted online publication that uncovers the strategies and solutions that help companies better align their sales and marketing organizations, and ultimately, drive growth. A key component of the publication’s editorial coverage focuses on the sales and marketing automation tools that enable companies to better measure and manage their multi-channel demand generation efforts.

About B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange
Hosted by Demand Gen Report and ABM In Action in partnership with Terminus and The Pedowitz Group, the B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange (#B2BSMX) is an educational event that unites FlipMyFunnel, REVTalks™ and the Demand Gen Summit—three successful programs targeting transformational approaches to customer engagement and revenue creation for B2B organizations—under one roof. This year’s event was an online experience that took place on October 26-29, 2020.

About G3 Communications
G3 Communications is a digital media firm specializing in B2B marketing. With an expertise in publishing content across traditional and emerging channels, G3’s brands include Demand Gen ReportABM In Action, Channel Marketer Report, Retail TouchPoints and Content4Demand. G3 Communications is also the producer of the annual B2B Marketing Exchange (#B2BMX), which is hosted by Demand Gen ReportABM In Action and Channel Marketer Report.

Sheri Butts
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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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