Press Release

Nominations Now Open For 2021 Incident Commander Awards

BigPanda and Blackrock 3 Partners Host Second Annual Awards Honor IT Professionals Who Set the Bar for IT Incident Response

SAN FRANCISCO, July 21, 2021 — BigPanda, Inc., the leader in Event Correlation and Automation powered by AIOps, and online incident management academy Blackrock 3 Partners, today announced that nominations are open for the 2021 Incident Commander Awards. The second annual awards will honor individuals in support, ITOps, DevOps, SRE or in the NOC who go above and beyond when it comes to IT incident response.

BigPanda and Blackrock 3 Partners launched the Incident Commander awards last year as a community-led program designed to give credit to the unsung heroes working in IT Ops, DevOps, SRE and NOC teams around the world.

“Last year’s Incident Commander Awards program put a spotlight on truly amazing individuals nominated by their bosses, peers and customers,” said Rob Schnepp, founding partner of Blackrock 3 Partners and a former fire department Chief Officer and Incident Commander in the San Francisco Bay Area. “If last year’s nominees are any indication, we expect another tough competition between the best-of-the-best in the IT Ops industry.”

In 2020, the Incident Commander awards were launched. After an open nomination process and a peer-voting cycle, five finalists were awarded the title of 2020 Incident Commanders:

  • Lynn Deppe, Incident Response Manager at Progressive Leasing (Incident Commander)
  • Jackson Hickman, Manager of IT Delivery and Incident Management at Unum (Incident Commander)
  • Eric Norman, Head of Operations at InterContinental Hotels Group (Incident Commander)
  • Sharmila Sogan Kumar, Senior Manager of the Network Operations Center at LogMeIn (Command Officer)
  • David Levinger, Head of Operations at Machinify (Command Officer)

“An Incident Commander has the ability to connect the dots and get a holistic view of things,” said 2020 honoree Sharmila Sogan Kumar. “The experience and knowledge of an Incident Commander help them provide and identify major improvement areas. In the long run, this is extremely useful for product availability, revenue from users, and customer satisfaction.”

About the 2021 Incident Commander Program
To nominate an IT hero who measures personal success by reducing MTTR, visit the Incident Commander nomination page. The nomination process takes just a few minutes.

On Sept. 1, finalist profiles will be posted online, with details about their nomination and brief profiles of their career, philosophies and achievements. Peer voting will be open to the IT Ops community to select the most deserving of this award. Winners will be announced on Sept. 20.

The three lucky Incident Commanders will each receive a $2,500 gift card from Global Giving to donate to the charity of their choice, a Blackrock 3 partners Level 1 Incident Commander training course, a shiny trophy, and BigPanda swag. In addition, those who nominate someone will receive a BigPanda swag pack just for taking a few minutes to recognize someone doing great work in the world. (Note: While there is no limit to nominee submissions, there is only one swag pack per nominator. Swag packs can be shipped to U.S. and Canada addresses only.)

To learn more about the Incident Commander awards program and to meet the 2020 winners, click here.

About Blackrock 3
The Blackrock 3 Partners have trained, evaluated and exercised thousands of Incident Commanders (IC) and Subject Matter Experts (SME) working in Global Command Centers, Emergency Operations Centers, Regional Operations Centers and War Rooms. Those incident responders staff functional teams including Site Reliability, Computer Security Incident Response Teams, Mission Critical Support, Unified Command, Operations and Engineering/Technology (Network, Database, SAN/Storage, Server, Automation, Applications). For more information, visit

Why BigPanda

BigPanda keeps businesses running with AI that transforms IT data into insight and action. With BigPanda, businesses prevent IT outages, improve incident management and deliver incredible customer experiences.

Without BigPanda, IT Ops, NOC, and DevOps teams struggle with manual and reactive incident response capabilities that are badly suited for the scale, complexity and velocity of modern IT environments. This results in painful outages, unhappy customers, growing IT headcount and the inability to focus on innovation.

BigPanda’s platform for Event Correlation and Automation, powered by AIOps, helps Fortune 500 enterprises such as Intel, Cisco, United, Abbott, Marriott and Expedia take a giant step towards Autonomous IT Operations. BigPanda is backed by top-tier investors including Sequoia, Mayfield, Battery, Insight Partners and Greenfield Partners. Visit for more information.


Media contact:
Sammy Totah
BOCA Communications for BigPanda