SAS is excited to announce our inaugural Customer Appreciation Awards. We want to give a big “thank you” and a round of applause to all our SAS customers and partners around the globe who help us change the world through analytics. We want to recognize a few of you for your stand-out contributions over the past year with the awards below.

Kevin Scanlon, Senior Director of Customer Engagement and Kimberly May, Senior Vice President of Global Technical Support present SAS Customer Recognition Awards at SAS Explore.

Regional User Group Award

Awarded to a Regional User Group leader demonstrating a dedicated passion for the success of user group members.

Winner: DeDe Schreiber-Gregory, Independent Consultant, Juxdapoze LLC

Why They Won: DeDe Schreiber-Gregory is the award winner for her fierce loyalty to the Global User Group Program. DeDe has presented as a contributor and invited speaker at over 40 local, regional, national and global SAS User Group conferences since 2011. She is a team player committed to success for ALL groups and their events – not just her own. On a personal note, people often resist change. Yet, as Chris Hemedinger and Kate Ulveling stepped in to spearhead the User Group program, DeDe has given them grace, consistent support and patience as they learned the ropes of best practices and past procedures.

SAS Analytics Explorers Award

Awarded to a SAS customer advocate who is a strong supporter and influencer inside and outside the SAS Analytics Explorers program.

Winner: Jack Liu, Operational Performance & Integration Manager, Bupa Asia Pacific

Why They Won: Jack is passionate about SAS and loves SAS Analytics Explorers. Jack is a team player, sharing with his team what he is achieving in the program by accepting challenges and collecting points. He redeemed his points for rewards he shared with his teammates in hopes they would join SAS Analytics Explorers. He is an active member of the SAS Analytics Explorers Network. He is helping SAS share his story in a SAS blog post in which he described his SAS journey from data citizen to analytics "explorer," sharing his enthusiasm for SAS and SAS Analytics Explorers with other SAS customers. In August, he presented a SAS Webinar to share his expertise with others.

SAS Customer Impact Award – Public Sector

Awarded to a public sector customer who has had the most impact through a willingness to share their analytics journey, successes and lessons learned with others.

Winner: Duval County Public Schools, award accepted by Saul Bloom, Executive Director

Why They Won: Duval County Public Schools is being awarded the Customer Impact Award due to their constant willingness to share information about their analytics journey, successes and lessons learned.

SAS Customer Impact Award – Private Sector

Awarded to a private sector customer who has had the most impact through a willingness to share their analytics journey, successes and lessons learned with others.

Winner: Georgia-Pacific, award accepted by Roshan Shah, VP of CSC Operations

Why They Won: Georgia-Pacific partnered with SAS to create a customer success story with a video highlighting three executives, participated in multiple speaking engagements, calls with other customers and prospects, analyst surveys and highlights in various other marketing assets and publications. Four executives at Georgia-Pacific are actively involved in these activities, which is an accurate indicator of a great customer partnership – Steve Bakalar, Tim Berryman, Sam Coyne and Roshan Shah.

SAS Support Community Hero Award

Awarded to a customer that goes above and beyond helping other users in the SAS Support Community.

Winner: Tom Abernathy, Director of Clinical Data Management, Pfizer Inc.

Why They Won: Tom is a long-standing member of the SAS Support Communities and has served six terms as a community "Super User." He consistently provides help and guidance to community members and is a welcoming presence in the community. SAS users around the world benefit from his knowledge and benevolence. In addition, Tom offers suggestions and feedback on community plans and functionality.

User Feedback Award

Awarded to a customer who provides valuable feedback on SAS products and has been an essential reference for product improvements.

Winner: Kristen Lewald, Ed.D., Statewide Project Director for PDE, Lancaster-Lebanon IU13

Why They Won: Kristen Lewald and her team have reviewed early prototypes and participated in user acceptance testing for new reports that are hosted within the PVAAS web application (the SAS EVAAS solution), such as our value-added and diagnostic reports. Dr. Lewald’s insight into user needs has led to several enhancements of the PVAAS system for districts/schools, such as incorporating roster verification and the Pennsylvania Educator Effectiveness Rating System (PEERS) into the PVAAS web application that is hosted by SAS.

During the 2019-2020 school year, Pennsylvania’s state assessments were canceled due to the pandemic. During the 2020-2021 school year, the administration of state assessments was extended to the next school year to accommodate schools struggling with in-person learning. PVAAS is based on students’ performance on assessments, and it is not possible to measure growth without any assessments. To fill the gap in knowledge, Dr. Lewald and PDE saw an opportunity to measure growth based on local assessments, many of which were administered during the 2019-2020 school year.

With the help of Dr. Lewald, the SAS team and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) were able to develop and implement a plan to use local assessments already in districts so that SAS could measure growth and provide reporting within the PVAAS web application. This opportunity also includes measures of unfinished teaching and learning for districts and schools, which quantifies the pandemic’s impact on student learning for districts and schools. Such information is critical for educators to identify their student needs and plan for their students’ recovery.

Despite the numerous challenges faced by educators this year, in the first year of implementation, approximately 100 districts in the state submitted their local assessment data, and the state submitted additional local assessment data on behalf of 300 districts. Dr. Lewald has been instrumental in reviewing the SAS local assessment reports to ensure that they are accessible to the intended audience. She has provided feedback on language in user guides and reports, which existing web reports should be updated to include local assessment data, and the strategy for communication resources. Her feedback and attention to detail have improved our quality of work and its usefulness to educators and administrators in Pennsylvania during this challenging time.

Innovator of the Year Award

Awarded to a customer that is using SAS in innovative ways.

Winner: Pierre-Majorique Léger, Ph.D., Research Chair in User Experience and Full Professor of IT, HEC Montréal and Jean-François Plante, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Decision Sciences, HEC Montréal

Why They Won: HEC Montréal partnered with SAS to develop the online analytics simulation game Cortex. This game is played with commercial and academic audiences worldwide and is used as an advanced education platform to help develop and advance our users' machine learning skills. Available on SAS Enterprise Miner and SAS Viya, Cortex demonstrates an innovative approach to learning through gamification and simulation.

HEC Montréal has a dedicated team working to promote and develop Cortex. Over the past three years, HEC Montréal has developed three new game scenarios for Cortex. These scenarios are based on real-world data, simulated to fit and optimize the gaming experience. They also developed a new coding version of the game and worked closely with SAS to finalize and offer the game in Viya 4.0. HEC Montréal has been teaching with and using SAS for over two decades. They have two SAS Specializations at the University.

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About Author

Kevin Scanlon

Manically customer focused. High energy global executive. Measurable track record of developing, deploying and managing customer-focused solutions across diverse geographies to position organizations to exceed expectations. Results-oriented with a track record of over-achieving targets. Calculated risk taker. Passion for adventure. Endless in curiosity. Child at heart. Father. Husband.

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