The award is based on contributions to the community during the previous year. As a Microsoft® MVP, in addition to interacting among our peers, we also have the opportunity to interact with Microsoft Product Groups. (Additional information on the MVP Program is available here.)
The MVP Program is represented by over 2,600 MVPs in 81 countries and around 90 competencies. There are about 120 or so worldwide Windows Security MVPs. It is quite amazing to think that I have been included among such a small, select group.
Special thanks to MVP Lead, Melissa Travers, for her continued support and communication to her "charges". Sean O'Driscoll is Senior Director, Customer Service and Support, Community and MVP. It is a fancy title for a person who devotes an incredible amount of not just time but his heart and soul to the MVP Program. Sean is joined by Candice Pedersen, who is the Lead Program Manager, Worldwide MVP Program. Melissa, Sean, Candice and the rest of the MVP Program Leadership Team are indeed the pillars that support the program.
With the New Year and the excitement of the award, I cannot help but reflect the path that led to the award. Many people involved in the security community started giving back to the community after receiving help cleaning an infection from their computer. My start was different. I've never had a problem with virus, trojan, or browser hijack on my computer.
Seven years ago I discovered Freedomlist, at that time a list for free ISPs. The site quickly evolved to include computer help of all types. Someone going by the nickname "Techie" was my first "mentor" at Freedomlist, always willing to answer my questions and provide encouragement.
Thanks to my many long-time friends and the community at "FL" .
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From Freedomlist, I spread my wings and soon discovered other communities where I learned from the masters. Mitch provided the initial "push" to help with Ad-Aware. Winchester73 and Canuk were my mentors and role models, Aaron and Patrick/Webhelper willing teachers, "IAMSKINZ" the glue and hero.
We now have our own special home at LandzDown, led by the "Jedi Master", SpyDie and hosted by a very special friend. Close friends from all around the world have stayed close and continue to meet at "LzD".
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Thank you for the help and support to each of my friends at Freedomlist, LandzDown, Scots Newsletter Forum, Malware Removal, Subratam's Kill Spyware, SpyWareBeWare, Gladiator Security Forum, Castle Cops, Security Cadets . . . the list goes on.