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Maven News

Hall of Fame Class of 2021

5 min readView all articles
By John Pauler
Jan 25, 2022

We are thrilled to officially welcome the 2021 class into the Maven Hall of Fame!

First, thanks to everyone in the data community who submitted a nomination.

The field of nominees was unbelievably talented, which made the task of narrowing down such a great list of people to just five final inductees extremely difficult.

Everyone who was nominated should feel a great sense of pride. You are an amazing bunch of people, and we are so very impressed by your continued contributions to the data community.

Before we introduce our inductees, let's recap the qualities that earned these individuals their spots.

These standouts represent the characteristics that we most value in our students and in the broader data community.

  1. Maven Hall of Famers are committed to lifelong learning.

  2. They actively participate in the Maven community and broader data community.

  3. They consistently support and encourage others in the Maven community.

  4. They bring a positive energy to their learning and their work.

In short, these are the people that make being a part of Maven such an enjoyable experience for instructors and for the entire student community.

In addition to the glory and our undying admiration, each of the folks being honored today will receive the exclusive Hall of Fame badge, and have also been given free lifetime access to the entire Maven library of courses.

Now, let's introduce the Hall of Fame Class of 2021!

Clay Cooper

In a move that shocks absolutely no one, Clay is being honored for his inspiring journey in 2021. Clay put his transformation from Pharmacist to Data Analyst on display, sharing everything with the data community as he went. We've all gotten to watch him set goals, grow as an Analyst, market himself like a pro, and then land the role of his dreams. Since Clay landed his new job as a BI Analyst, he's been thriving, AND giving back generously to the data community. He's shared his advice for career switchers in video, guest lectured in the Maven bootcamp, and even went on a podcast to discuss his experience and share his advice for folks contemplating a similar transition. All of this has been done with such a humble and positive attitude, and with the motivation to inspire others to follow their dreams. I couldn't think of anyone more worthy of this particular honor. We are proud to induct Clay into the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

Congratulations Clay!

Zoe Douglas

Earlier this year, Zoe secured her place in the Maven record books in 2021 by becoming the first person to ever win 2 different Maven challenges! Zoe has a knack for breaking down these complex data sets, honing in on the key points, and presenting her findings with crystal clarity. She is very active online in the online data community, even hosting a Power BI User Group (check out one of her sessions here). She is quick to share her ideas when she sees an opportunity to help, encourages others, and leads by example with a consistently positive attitude. If you're looking for a great BI Consultant, look no further. She's the total package. We are proud to induct Zoe into the Hall of Fame.

Congratulations Zoe!

Marjolein Opsteegh

Many of you likely know Marjolein from her frequent finalist appearances in the Maven Challenges. As a professional Business Consultant, she knows her way around a dashboard, and is already delivering tons of value to her clients. But that doesn't stop her from continuing to work on her skills. She's been a student on the Maven platform since January 2021. Fun fact: she's been so active, that she was the first person to catch a bug in our Learning Streak badges earlier this year (which was my fault! A bad SQL query calculation was live, in production). She regularly puts herself out there to share her experience and help others. Here's a video where Marjolein talks about a number of her dashboards on Get Responsive, and here's another feature on Marjolein for the Inergy blog. She's also currently competing with Ewa Devaney for longest active learning streak on the Maven platform! We love Marjolein's commitment to lifelong learning, and her consistent voice in the data community. We are proud to induct Marjolein into the Hall of Fame.

Congratulations Marjolein!

Jonathan van der Waard

Jonathan is another person you likely know if you've been active in the data community. He really puts himself out there. You may have seen his impressive dashboarding work, appearing as a Finalist in 5 separate Maven Challenges. Jonathan really brings some amazing talent each time, and he's been one of the most vocal in cheering others on as well. If you've submitted your own entry, you've probably seen Jonathan commenting with praise or thoughtful feedback and questions. Like Marjolein, he's also been a guest speaker on Get Responsive to promote Power BI dashboarding tips. Jonathan is everywhere! He's also clearly demonstrated a commitment to lifelong learning, completing 14 Maven courses (and more on other platforms)...wow! Between the talent, the constant work to improve his already impressive skills, and the effort he puts into encouraging others, Jonathan is a perfect model of a Maven Hall of Famer, and we are proud to induct him in the class of 2021.

Congratulations Jonathan!

Chris Mengel

Last, but certainly not least, is someone who brings a deep passion to the data community. We first met Chris when he was looking for a career change back in 2020. He had been a Program Manager for 18 years before deciding to launch his data career. Chris put in a ton of work toward his goal, kept an amazingly positive attitude through the whole journey, and pulled off his career switch. Today, he's a BI Developer, and is totally thriving. He's even doing some things at work that have made Aaron's eyes light up, and that's no small task! We love the skill, the passion, work ethic, and the gratitude. But even more than those things, what makes Chris Mengel an absolute slam dunk for this list is his ability to inspire others. Check out this video from Chris. We have heard from multiple people who were doubting their ability to follow their dreams because they were "too late" in their career, and then saw this video, got inspired, and kept going. Giving that gift of hope and motivation is one of the best things you could ever do for someone, and it's one of the many reasons we are proud to induct Chris into the Hall of Fame.

Congratulations Chris!

Everyone on the Maven team is deeply proud of this group, and you all deserve an enormous thanks for your contributions to the data community.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to nominate someone. We look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come.

Until then, happy learning!


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John Pauler

John brings over 15 years of business intelligence experience to the Maven team, having worked with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to early stage startups. As a MySQL expert, he has played leadership roles across analytics, marketing, SaaS and product teams.

John brings over 15 years of business intelligence experience to the Maven team, having worked with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to early stage startups. As a MySQL expert, he has played leadership roles across analytics, marketing, SaaS and product teams.

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