LOS ANGELES — Last week, the online industry edition of XBIZ Honors, presented by Chaturbate, pivoted to an exclusive virtual broadcast on XBIZ.net for the first time and brought a traditionally private gala to a worldwide audience. Winners and presenters beamed in from across the globe as the best-and-brightest from the adult business community enjoyed their well-earned moment in the spotlight.
Blonde bombshell Charlotte Stokely, adorned in a slinky, sparkly two-piece ensemble, and XBIZ Managing Editor of Digital Media Alejandro Freixes, dashingly suited-up, steered the brisk, convivial ceremony with genial good humor.
Before the first awards were announced, however, Freixes had a surprise in store as he broke into a special rendition of “Be Our Guest” from the Disney musical “Beauty & the Beast,” with lyrics tweaked for the occasion:
Following another verse, Freixes and Stokely introduced a nattily attired Andy Wullmer of Traffic Partner, who presented the nominees for Affiliate Network of the Year. The recipient was CrakRevenue.
“Yes, yes, yes!” exclaimed Axel Vézina, who also praised his partners at Streamate. “Thank you, thank you, XBIZ! Thank you, from Quebec City!”
Wullmer then introduced the nominees for Paysite Affiliate Program of the Year, which went to exuberantly cheering reps for PaperStreetCash.
Holly Ruprecht of Playboy presented the nominees for Account Exec of the Year, which was awarded to Ryan Wayne of Adult Empire.
“Oh, my gosh! I’m very excited and very honored,” Wayne exclaimed, and paid tribute to his coworkers and colleagues, including “Colin and everyone at Adult Empire. Most of all, I have to thank Dan Chura. He taught me pretty much everything and I definitely wouldn’t be here without him… I’ve worked with so many awesome people over the last 15 years. This means so much to me.”
Ruprecht also introduced the nominees for Marketing Exec of the Year, which went to a startled and pleased Christoph Peyras from Streamate.
“Wow! Thank you so much! Thank you [to] all the crazy people that voted for me,” he said. “This is a team effort. Thank you, all the people who are sending me messages right now.”
Austin Fiascone of Mr. Skin introduced the nominees for Traffic Services Company of the Year, which was received by JuicyAds, whose reps paid tribute to their team as congratulatory messages chimed in the background.
Fiascone then presented the nominees for Web Services Company of the Year and MojoHost was the recipient. “Wow! Wow, that’s so exciting,” Brad Mitchell exclaimed and offered gratitude for the company’s “amazing clients… And, really, I work with just the most amazing team in the world. It’s really just the hard-working technical team at MojoHost that makes everything possible. Thank you so much, everybody, for your support and your friendship. I’m looking forward to a wonderful 2021 with all of you. Cheers!”
FanCentro’s Kat Revenga introduced the nominees for Brand Ambassador of the Year, which went to Vanessa Eve of Streamate.
“I’m shocked! Thank you so much,” she exclaimed.
Eve thanked her fellow nominees. “I’m honored to even be included in this group that I respect and admire so much,” said Eve. “Thank you to my team at Streamate for always being so supportive of everything over the years… Thank you for always seeing me as a person and always being so supportive and solid. And ePlay, thank you, as well, for empowering performers and allowing me to be a part of that process. Most importantly, thank you to all of the performers that I’ve ever worked with… you are the driver of what I do. I’m so appreciative. Thank you so much.”
Revenga also announced the nominees for the Progressive Leadership award, which was received by a delighted Shirley Lara from Chaturbate, who laughingly cut her acceptance speech short (“I gotta go! Thank you! Bye!”) when her young daughter suddenly called to her from another room.
Kenny B of YourPaySitePartner revealed the nominees for two Payment Services Company of the Year categories. The IPSP winner was SegPay.
“It’s an honor to be recognized in this category,” said Cathy Beardsley. “I want to thank all of the merchants that have supported us over the years and, most importantly, to thank the Segpay team. Thank you very much.”
Kenny B then announced the Merchant Services nominees, whose recipient was MobiusPay.
“2020 was super-wild and difficult and we made it through,” said company reps Jonathan Corona and Matt Mund. “This means a lot. Thanks to everyone who voted for us. You guys are amazing and we love you… We love our merchants. Thank you, everybody.”
Rainey Stricklin of JuicyAds presented the nominees for Business Development Exec of the Year, which was awarded to Mr. Skin’s Austin Fiascone, who introduced his adorable dog as he offered his gratitude — and joked that he was more sober than he was at last year’s XBIZ Exec Awards.
“Thanks to XBIZ, thanks to Sam Rakowski for taking a chance on a young kid,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll see each other soon at a show — live!”
Stricklin also introduced Community Figure of the Year, which went to a deeply moved and astonished Kristel Penn, the longtime Creative and Editorial Director for Grooby.
“What?! I just want to say ‘thank you’ to XBIZ and everybody who voted for me,” Penn said. “This award, in particular, is very important to me because when I was a kid — I was the weird kid, then I was a closeted gay weird kid. And now, working in the adult industry for the last 12 years at Grooby, I’ve gotten to be exactly who I am and I get to help other folks do similiar things and be out and proud and visible… This is a great honor.”
NMG’s Megan Stokes presented the nominees for Cam Affiliate Program of the Year, which went to Flirt4Free, whose rep Brad Estes also acknowledged the turmoil of 2020. “Our affiliate team worked very hard to make the best of it,” Estes said. “Thank you to all of our affiliates and partners that helped us be successful. We appreciate it.”
Stokes also introduced Premium Cam Site of the Year, which was awarded to Streamate, picking up its third trophy of the night. “We’re so honored! Oh, my goodness! Thank you so much,” Vanessa Eve exclaimed. “Thank you to our performer community. You are the people that make us great. You’re putting in the work. We appreciate everything that you guys do for Streamate.”
Leya Tanit, founder of Pineapple Support, beamed in from Ibiza, Spain to present the Senior Leadership nominees. “This award recognizes those individuals with the outstanding ability to motivate, inspire and build solidarity among all levels of personnel,” she said.
CrakRevenue’s Axel Vézina, picking up his second trophy of the night, was this year’s recipient. “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” he exclaimed. “Oh, thank you! I’ve been [with CrakRevenue] for 12 years [and] this is my first personal award, so thank you very much. I want to say ‘hi’ to all the staff in Quebec City — 135 people!” He offered additional thanks in French and cracked open a beer. “Yes! Woo-hoo!”
Tanit also introduced the nominees for Chief Exec of the Year, which was received by a startled, pleased Clement of Bang!
“Oh, wow. I was completely unprepared,” he said, and regrouped quickly to praise his “amazing team” and his “twin brother [Thomas], who does most of the work… Thanks, XBIZ.”
Gunner Taylor of Cams.com appeared swathed in shadows from the wilds of the San Fernando Valley as he presented the nominees for Clip Company of the Year, which went to ManyVids.
“Thank you so much! This is so amazing!” exclaimed Bella French as she paid tribute to her fellow nominees.
“I don’t get the chance to say this often enough, but I’m nothing without my team,” she continued. “This truly belongs to them. It’s a dream for me to get the chance to lead such an amazing group of people. And honestly, this [also] goes to our MV Stars. Everything we do is for them.”
“I also want to take a little bit of time to address the state of the industry,” French added. “There is a lot going on right now. And I think this is a really beautiful opportunity for all of us to come together and try to spread a little bit more respect and love within the industry. So I’m really looking forward [to] all of us coming together and [making] real change. Thank you, XBIZ; thank you, everyone that voted… it’s a true honor to receive ‘Clip Company of the Year.’ Thank you.”
ImLive.com’s Shay, appearing from “beautiful Tel Aviv,” presented the nominees for Businesswoman of the Year, awarded to a beaming Salima Sawani of Paper Street Media, the company’s second award of the evening.
“Thank you, everybody! Thank you so much, XBIZ,” she said. “Thank you to all of the nominees. I want to say that many of you… have been mentors to me and, more than mentors, have been friends to me. I’m so lucky to be part of the village that we call Paper Street… Thank you, everyone, and God bless.”
Shay also introduced the nominees for Businessman of the Year, received happily by Karl Bernard of Gamma Entertainment.
“Thank you, thank you very much,” he said. “I’m very flattered and proud to receive this honor. This is really a team effort. I wouldn’t be where I am without the Gamma team, so ‘thank you’ to each one of the 190 employeees and ‘thank you’ to everybody that we work with in the industry. We love you; thank you.”
A cheerful Alex Lecomte of 7Veils presented the category nominees for Gay Cam Site of the Year, which went to CAM4.
“Hello, everybody! What an honor!” exclaimed the platform’s Ellisa Kamula. “Our team works so, so hard to promote inside of the gay market and I know that everyone… is going to be absolutely thrilled. Thank you so much, we really appreciate it.”
Lecomte also announced the nominees for Cam Company of the Year.
“Oh, yeah, give me some tokens,” Charlotte Stokely purred before she announced the winner, then quipped, “Oh, we’re live!”
The honor was received by Chaturbate’s Shirley Lara.
“Yay! Thank you so much to everyone for recognizing our hard work,” she exclaimed. “We’re really trying to stay up on top of our game. Thank you for the recognition. Thank you, XBIZ!”
Leah Mahi, XBIZ Director of Marketing & Advertising for Digital Media, presented the final award of the night: WIA’s Woman of the Year.
“This [recipient] is amazing,” Mahi teased. “She is a trailblazer. She is a master at her craft. And her energy is contagious. I’m honored to present [the award] to Anna Lee of 2049 Entertainment. Congratulations, Anna! Air hugs for now until I get to see you in person!”
“Wow!” exclaimed Lee. “I was not expecting this at all. Oh, my god. Wow. Thank you guys so much. Thank you, XBIZ; thank you to my industry. This has been a crazy year for everybody. Wow. Thank you!”
Freixes closed out the night’s festivities with a final huzzah. “You are all truly amazing,” he said.
“Congratulations you hardworking, beautiful people!” Stokely exclaimed.