Meet the 2023 Taxonomy Practitioner of the Year!
Fran Alexander, Taxonomist at the Expedia Group

Taxonomy Boot Camp's Taxonomy Practitioner of the Year Award is designed to highlight the very best practitioners working with taxonomies today, and is given to someone who’s gone the extra mile to support their organisation with taxonomies. 

About Fran
According to colleagues, “Fran has pulled up the 20,000+ technology employees at Expedia Group by the bootstraps to create from scratch a managed knowledge systems graph that did not previously exist at the company”.

Fran's role spans building taxonomies, educating others on what a taxonomy is, formulating a practice around leveraging taxonomies, and supporting a Knowledge Systems team within the Content Platform organisation.

She runs countless training meetings, supporting teams to use the company’s self-service taxonomy tools, and provides consultancy to engineers, designers, product owners, and business operations specialists advocating for the use of semantic technologies and the development of taxonomy knowledge as an essential engineering skill. Of particular note is the governance model that Fran built herself to coordinate different teams and taxonomy owners to review and close gaps in the knowledge system.

Fran has grown a taxonomy community of practice at Expedia to connect people in different parts of the organisation by sharing conversations and resources, and hosting regular get-togethers and special sessions with external and in-house speakers on hot topics.

Fran also gives back to the larger taxonomy and technology communities, participating in student outreach events to inspire them to careers in STEM.

A popular colleague, she has earned various nicknames, including "The Queen of Taxonomy", and a fanbase of designers and engineers called "Fans of Fran". 

Special mention is given to the 4 other taxonomists who made it onto this year’s shortlist. They are: Manisha Sanghavi of Sage Publishing, Jo Chapman of RWS, Jack Bruce of Access Innovations, and Bree Mahlum from Expedia.

Our judging panel
Thanks to our judging panel, recognised experts in the fields of taxonomies and information architecture, who have given their time to evaluate the 2023 nominations and select this year's winner.

Chantal Schweizer 
The winner of last year's Taxonomy Practitioner of the Year Award, Chantal Schweizer is the Practice Director of Data Services at Pivotree where she helps a wide variety of clients optimise their product information for successful UX and data management. Chantal has been working in the product data management industry for 18 years, including designing cross platform information architectures, ontologies, testing navigation, and UX, as well as training and socialising data management tools and best practices. 

Adrian de Luca
Adrian is Head of Digital Information Management at Condé Nast. An experienced information architecture and knowledge management professional, his skills include: user experience and user centric design; process & business modelling; metrics development & data analysis; and governance and stakeholder management. Adrian has wide-ranging experience in legal, professional services, public and third sector organisations.

Marc Stephenson
Marc has over twenty years experience in technical and information management roles, encompassing post-graduate research, software engineering, programme management, business analysis, information architecture and usability, and across a number of market sectors including, finance, health, not-for-profit, publishing, new media, and information consultancy. Marc's specialities include SharePoint, Office 365, information interoperability, information architecture and information management, and Blockchain.