Hats off to our latest Brightspot Award winners

by The Smartsheet Team

January 16, 2024

At Smartsheet, we know that greatness doesn't happen in a vacuum, and we're all about coming up with new ways to make real change happen every day — and honoring our colleagues that do just that.

Every few months, we like to recognize the teammates who embody what we call The Smartsheet Way. That's where the Brightspot Award comes in. This special honor is when employees nominate their peers who exemplify our five core competencies: take accountability, value and leverage differences, drive results, continuously learn and adapt, and earn trust.

Let's give a big shout out to the five stellar winners of this quarter's Brightspot Award! Check out what makes them so great and read what their colleagues have to say about them.

Steven has been working on Brandfolder as a software engineer since its beginning — and no challenge is too big for him. Steven brings serious domain know-how to the table, but what really sets him apart is his dedication to excellence and ownership. He is all about sharing knowledge with team members, even going as far as hosting his own office hours to make sure everyone’s in the loop. Working with him is a breeze; he’s that “wicked smart” colleague that keeps it light and never takes himself too seriously. 

What Steven’s coworkers say:

“Takes accountability might be an understatement when it comes to Steven. He is the go-to person for just about anything and everything related to the Brandfolder product. Whether it's leading the technical design of a new project, helping a colleague find an updated dashboard, or helping customer experience (CX) answer a customer question, Steven goes out of his way to make sure everyone has an excellent experience and gets the support they need.”

“When Steven is involved, decisions and forward progress are made. He doesn't shy away from difficult questions when solving complex problems, and instead offers pragmatic solutions that make the tough calls easier to make for everyone working with and around him.”

“Steven is one of a kind — truly. He takes on an incredible amount of ownership and responsibility for our product as a whole. He is always willing to help and steps in to share his perspective and knowledge. I don't know how he does it all and is able to take on as much as he does.”

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

“Smartsheet engineering culture entrusts a distinct sense of ownership, which results in an intrinsic sense of accountability. Deeply connecting with projects alongside talented teammates has elevated my connection to this craft, and I'm grateful to be in an environment where I'm able to grow with this platform.”


Allegra isn’t just a team player as the senior marketing manager for generative artificial intelligence (AI) — she’s the ultimate champion, sounding board, and trusted advisor for the team. Jugging a hectic schedule, she still manages to make time for her teammates. Allegra is not just a thought leader on integrating AI into our platform; she’s an advocate for customers and the brains behind defining and creating our company principles and policies around AI.

What Allegra’s coworkers say:

“Allegra has proven that she is, in fact, Super Woman.”

“Whether it's making sure some of the quieter participants in a meeting have the opportunity to voice their opinions or speaking up for those that don’t feel comfortable advocating for themselves, she actively seeks out different viewpoints and perspectives and incorporates these learnings into her work.”

“Allegra reminds us that how work gets done is just as important as what we accomplish.”

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

“Winning this award shows that my teammates notice more than just whether I hit deadlines, they also see my effort to be inclusive and foster collaborative environments. It's very rewarding to work with people who notice and go out of their way to recognize you.”


Svenja is the force behind aligning People and Culture strategies with business objectives, from managing employee relations and overseeing talent to contributing to organizational development. She’s a key player in steering organizational success through top-notch strategies in collaboration with leaders. Svenja is noted for making a massive impact during her tenure here at Smartsheet, as she excels at building trust and strong relationships, both internally and externally.

What Svenja’s coworkers say:

“Svenja has been a pillar of support to EMEA commercial business. Her input, expertise, and sincerity shine through in every conversation.”

“Svenja is incredibly hard-working, energized, committed and manages to show up daily with a smile on her face. She is a joy to partner with — adding levity, perspective, and support in difficult situations.”

“I have really appreciated how Svenja delivers what she says she will when she says she will whilst keeping the entire team on track for deliverables, driving the business forward.”  

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

“I was so surprised to receive the Brightspot Award this quarter. A huge ‘thank you' to all my wonderful colleagues! My time at Smartsheet has been incredible, with no day being the same. I have learned, grown, and been challenged in so many different ways. This award truly shows me that I am making an impact which is being recognized and appreciated. My colleagues at Smartsheet make me feel that I have a place where I belong and am valued. This is something that I have been working towards for some time and am eternally grateful for.”


Melina Sandoval Hernandez, collections manager, isn’t just about the numbers — she leads DE&I efforts in our Costa Rica office, championing and creating an inclusive environment. She’s the mastermind behind various events, from a Pride March to a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. She consistently achieves Key Performance Indicators while adapting to ever-changing business needs, and her direct reports sing her praises for going above and beyond every day.

What Melina’s coworkers say:

“With Melina's leadership, she has created a ‘template’ for success within Costa Rica. She was one of our first employees/managers in the country — and her policies, processes, and efforts have become a blueprint to replicate across the region.”

“Melina is known for making things happen. She’s not only an asset to the financial operations team in Costa Rica, but the entire global organization!” 

“Melina is an excellent manager, who is always there for her team, offering help in our day to day even when she is already full.”

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

“I'm honored and grateful to have been recognized by my peers for this Brightspot Award. This award represents all the work and effort that we put in on a daily basis to improve processes and make our lives better, balanced, and more flexible. The support received from our Costa Rica site leaders, my manager, peers, and reportees for new ideas and projects makes me feel that we can continuously learn and adapt our lives and work. This award is a great reminder to take a moment to reflect and realize what a truly rewarding and satisfactory year it has been supporting our growth as a company.”


Jonathan is the maestro behind the execution of strategic initiatives in the Strategic Transformation Office. As a program manager, he’s the go-to person for steering the ship within the objective and key result (OKR) program, making sure key strategies are executed. His team raves about not just the tools and processes he’s built to help them get their work done, but the motivating spirit he brings to their calls. 

What Jonathan’s coworkers say:

“He always goes above and beyond in everything he does with integrity, straightforwardness, and consistency.”

“Since I joined this team in February, Jonathan has been a pillar of support, helping me navigate the challenges and changes that came my way and helping to set me up for success as I took over management of multiple programs.”

“To say I've learned a lot from Jonathan is a massive understatement. He's a shining example of leading with a strong foundation of empathy and emotional intelligence, and he sets the tone for all of us working collaboratively with zero ego or self-centered career focus.”  

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

"I'm genuinely honored to receive the Brightspot Award for earning trust. The culture of trust and mutual respect that we've built here at Smartsheet is something I value immensely, and it's heartening to feel that I am making a positive impact. The award will be a meaningful reminder of the value of those connections, and I am truly looking forward to doing great things with this amazing team in 2024!"