Right after we announced the next generation of the Microsoft MVP Award about a year ago, the MVP Award Team made a commitment to keep up the constant evolution of the program. In this new "mobile-first, cloud-first" world, it is imperative to be more agile and to make sure we are providing the best experience to our customers and partners.
So, we asked ourselves: "What's next?" We started to gather feedback from MVPs and other community leaders and received comments such as:
"Several former MVPs grew in their careers and today, they are CTOs and decision makers. I have a lot of respect for these peers and I listen when they talk. Their experience is king and I would love to see them get involved with the community again!"
"I am missing the MVP networking and the people.... That energy is unique."
In fact, we have heard from many MVPs over the years who were looking for a way to stay in touch with the program and their peers after their award periods ended.
So, we created a working group - made up of Microsoft employees and current and former MVPs. Just like any other community, we brainstormed, discussed, drafted ideas together, and prioritized features. After a few months, MVP Reconnect was born! This is a new venture designed to keep you connected with Microsoft and with the professional communities you follow.
The idea behind the program can be best described with an analogy from another industry: The Oscars are one of the most well recognized and prestigious awards in the film industry. From the moment someone wins their first Oscar, they become part of a very special community - that of Academy Award Winners - and they belong to this community forever, even if they don't win an award every year.
There is a very similar concept in our MVP community that we are helping to formalize: once an MVP, always part of the MVP community!
We understand the kind of commitment, time, and passion required to be an MVP. We also understand that life and priorities change and that, sometimes, you need to take a break to focus on other responsibilities, professional or personal. We believe that even though some community leaders are not always re-awarded, they still deserve recognition for being a valuable part of the Microsoft ecosystem!
We are very happy to announce MVP Reconnect! The program is available for all former MVPs to join.
Who can join?
The program is open to all former MVPs, regardless of technical expertise or award category, with a minimum of 1 full MVP Award year. Members must be in good standing, meaning that they must have no Code of Conduct or NDA violations.
We believe that having a diverse population will increase the impact of networking and create unique opportunities that were not possible in the past!
Put simply, if you are a former MVP, we'd love for you to join!
Why should I join?
MVP Reconnect will be the official channel for you to stay connected to other community leaders and Microsoft. You will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive networking channel, events, and private discussions, as well as local and global offerings.
If your contributions to the technical community slow down temporarily, staying connected means that you maintain a good position for future recognition as an active MVP. If you have a long history with the MVP program, you'll be able to share your experiences and coach others to take full advantage of all the opportunities that the MVP Award can provide.
This is not a program from Microsoft to the community; this is a program where Microsoft and the community contribute together to have a bigger impact! For this reason, we have decided to have a joint management approach and we are establishing an advisory board. Five to ten members will be part of this board and they will have the responsibility to represent the community and lead the constant evolution of the MVP Reconnect program. They will partner with Microsoft to define new features of the program, consolidate feedback, and evaluate cool new ideas for members. We will have periodic elections to select new board members. As part of a true community, you, through your advisory board representation, will be able to participate in driving new ideas, shaping the community structure, and building this program for the future.
After you are approved in the program, we will send you a small thank you gift to show our appreciation.
How do I join?
The program is open to all former MVPs. You can join the program by filling out the membership request form here. We will follow up soon after with an official registration email. Supplying your MVP ID and the primary email you used during your tenure will help expedite the validation process.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on the social media using #mvpreconnect hashtag!