The votes are in! Meet our latest Brightspot award winners

by The Smartsheet Team

At Smartsheet, we know that achieving greatness is no small feat, and nobody does it alone. We work to create meaningful change together, and our teams are finding new ways to make it happen every single day. 

Every quarter, we take a moment to recognize and appreciate employees who go the extra mile in embodying the qualities that drive our company's success. We call it the Brightspot Award. It's a special honor given to individuals who truly live The Smartsheet Way. All employees have the opportunity to nominate their fellow team members who exemplify our core competencies: drive results, take accountability, value and leverage differences, continuously learn and adapt, and earn trust.

It's time to celebrate the five exceptional winners of this quarter's Brightspot Award! Let's discover more about each winner and what their colleagues have to say about them. 


Drive results, Marcus McKay-Fleisch

With a natural ability to jump in and lead, Markus is known to be kind, humble, and to always go above and beyond. A principal learning experience designer, Markus’s team praises his natural ability to understand the audience and work cross-collaboratively to bring creative learning content to life for our employees to drive results. 

What Markus’s coworkers say

“I worked with Markus during our roll-out of our new learning management system. Every time there was a new roadblock, Markus would always volunteer to follow-up, research, and implement workarounds to help keep the roll-out as smooth as possible.”

“Markus listens first. He focuses on learning every aspect of the problem, he asks insightful questions, and then he communicates potential solutions with amazing clarity."

We asked Markus, what does this award mean to you? 

“It’s easy to put in the effort when you work for a company you believe in. I’m honored to be recognized for the drive results competency. Consistently achieving results starts with a belief that the company you work for will support you. Smartsheet not only supports, but motivates me to be innovative in the learning and development space. I’m thrilled to work with such talented people and that my efforts are appreciated and recognized.”


Take accountability, Sarah Quarton

A public relations manager, Sarah translates complex ideas and topics into relatable stories that media influencers will want to share with their readers, viewers, and listeners. Whether it’s a customer using Smartsheet in cool, unique ways or us talking about our own business growth, Sarah is behind the scenes building the storylines that you read or watch in the press. Called a “quiet PR powerhouse,” Sarah is credited with persistent excellence and a commitment to exceeding expectations. 

What Sarah’s coworkers say

“She is ALWAYS thinking about how to do something bigger and better the next time around.”

“She's earned the confidence and trust of others through her consistency and persistence as she works to drive results, even under challenging circumstances.” 

We asked Sarah, what does this award mean to you? 

“I’m so honored to receive a Brightspot Award this quarter! As part of the communications team, my work often intersects with people across the business, and I’m grateful that I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with so many talented and kind teammates. The people at Smartsheet are truly wonderful and have created an inclusive, supportive culture that I’m proud to be part of.” 


Value and leverage differences, Alexis Barone

Alexis’s team has a slogan: “Fake it until you are Alexis.” She’s a beloved leader that develops and delivers assets like demo environments, presentations, and beyond for customers that represent Smartsheet capabilities in project and portfolio management. She works directly with customers and is recognized for consistently shifting the customers’ perspective. Alexis’s work doesn’t stop there: As a board member for the Black at Smartsheet Employee Resource Group (ERG), she inspires impactful discussions for members that continue to move the needle to create a culture of belonging at Smartsheet.

What Alexis’s coworkers say

“If Alexis is involved in the work, you know it will be successful. She is a true asset to Smartsheet and I am honored to occupy some of the same spaces as her!”

“Alexis provides incredible insight on a daily basis, cares deeply about others, establishes herself as a thought leader every time she speaks up, and is a role model for many individuals at Smartsheet.”

We asked Alexis, what does this award mean to you? 

“I was absolutely stunned to hear my name announced for this award. While recognition from leaders is always appreciated, being nominated by my peers is one of the most rewarding moments of my career. I feel so fortunate to work with such an amazing and talented group of individuals and I look forward to continuing my growth with all of them!”


Continuously learn and adapt, Richard Fukuda

Richard’s our first Smartsheet recruiter in Japan. Passionate about increasing brand awareness and the overall success of Smartsheet in Tokyo, he’s the go-to person for insights and perspective on hiring in Japan. Known for his authenticity, openness, and drive, Richard’s coworkers admire that he’s always willing to help where he can and doesn’t skip a beat before offering to step in to help various areas of the business. 

What Richard’s coworkers say

“No task is too little for Richard to take on. His ability to continuously learn and adapt comes through powerfully, and he does it all with a can-do attitude.”

“His approach to tackling new tasks and responsibilities is amazing and reflects his willingness to try new things, take risks, and learn from both successes and failures.” 

We asked Richard, what does this award mean to you? 

“I'm honored and grateful to have been recognized by my peers for this Brightspot Award. Smartsheet supports my curiosity and empowers me to step outside of my comfort zone to take on new responsibilities. I came into the organization with an open mindset of not just playing the role as a recruiter, but doing what needs to be done, wearing multiple hats, and enjoying it. I look forward to seeing how I can contribute to further building out the business as we continue to grow in the region.”


Earn trust, Donncha O'callaghan

In his role as professional services sales manager, Donncha advises customers on the best services and solution architecture to best fit their wants and needs. He’s noted for making each customer feel comfortable with their current process and explaining complex topics that not only makes it easy for the customer to understand their solution, but get them excited about it.

What Donncha’s coworkers say

“He will always go the last mile to follow through and get things done to the best of his ability.”

“Donncha has been a breath of fresh air since coming onboard last year. He is a calming influence in what can be a stressful sales environment and is regularly on hand to brainstorm, share ideas, solution together, and discuss better ways of working.” 

We asked Donncha, what does this award mean to you? 

"This award is a true reflection of all the great support I've received from my Smartsheet colleagues since I joined the company 12 months ago. The willingness of the people around me, inclusive of peers and management, to give me their time whenever I reach out has accelerated my learning curve beyond what I could have imagined. This award was a great reminder to take a moment to reflect and realise what a truly rewarding and satisfactory first year it has been as a Smartsheet employee."


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