In November 2021, Cisco’s Global Advocacy team hosted the first ever Cisco Global Advocate Awards event. We celebrated the top-performing customer and partner marketing advocates in Cisco’s advocacy communities across ten categories—putting the spotlight on the amazing work they continue to do for Cisco. We’re excited to bring you a special Gateway Triangle podcast series, where we get to know our Global Advocate Award winners and hear their stories!

Next up in our Triangle Advocate Award Winner series is Peter McKenzie, Cisco Instructor at Chisholm Institute. Peter won our Everyday Hero of the Year category. This category was open to Cisco customers in the public sector, including healthcare, education, and/or government industries. The award recognizes customers who used Cisco solutions or services to make a difference amidst the challenges of the pandemic. Peter earned this award because of the education he provides to the next generation of technology professionals. Peter has been teaching students at Chisholm Institute since 2005 and was pleased to receive the award, noting:

“I didn’t realize that Cisco’s awards was worldwide. Then when I attended the virtual celebration, I saw people joining from all around the world. I was surprised when I won! I’ve shared it with my family, and at work they’ve put it on the Chisholm website. I’d say it enhanced my reputation as the Cisco leader at Chisholm. It’s so rewarding to be recognized.”


Empowering the next generation of technology professionals

Peter joked with us on the podcast that he didn’t get any additional money or time off from his company for winning the award. Maybe next time, Peter!

We also talked about numerous educational programs that he has taught. Peter himself has sat for countless exams and certifications with Cisco, and he offers a wide array of options to his students. He advises our listeners to brush up on CyberOps and DevOps because that’s what’s needed today! My colleague Dionne asked Peter what motivates him to teach year after year.

“One great thing about Cisco is Women Rock-IT,” Peter answered. “Networking and cybersecurity are still predominantly male-oriented fields. However, a couple of years ago I had three female students who were mentored at Cisco’s office in Melbourne. Those students let me know that they got jobs as a result, and they thanked me for pushing them to complete the Cisco program. It gave them confidence to get out into the job force.”

Sitting down with our customer and partner advocates is one of my favorite parts of my job. I really enjoyed learning about Peter’s role and how he leverages Cisco technology to make a difference in his students’ lives. Tune in next time for more from our Cisco Global Advocate Award winners!


Watch more advocate interviews

You might enjoy this interview with our partner advocate, Dave Hughes.


Join us!

For those Cisco customers who haven’t yet joined our advocacy community, consider doing so. You’ll be able to:

  • Connect with peers in a gamified, online community
  • Have an opportunity to meet with Cisco’s executives
  • Share your feedback, questions, and best practices
  • Get access to ‘insider’ content and resources
  • Grow your professional and personal brand
  • Amplify your company’s success story with Cisco technology

Ready to get started? Head over to the community and say hello!


Nicholas D'Amato

Marketing Coordinator, Global Community Host

Global Advocacy Team