WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — On Tuesday, January 14, during the XBIZ 2020 trade show, leading luminaries of the adult online industry gathered at the Rooftop Panorama Ballroom of the Andaz hotel on the Sunset Strip to celebrate the winners of the XBIZ Exec Awards and select categories from the flagship XBIZ Awards show in a new gala event named the XBIZ Honors.
The show was hosted by adult performer and entrepreneur Romi Rain and XBIZ Managing Editor Alejandro Freixes, who revealed that Rain recently celebrated her birthday and prompted the crowd to embark on an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”
Freixes then revealed heretofore hidden vocal prowess by regaling the brunette star, adorned in a demolishing, cleavage-revealing black gown, with a tuneful rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song.”
“Co-hosting the 2020 XBIZ Honors with the radiant and spellbinding Romi Rain, surrounded by the best and brightest execs in the community, was an absolute privilege,” Freixes told XBIZ. “I hope my impromptu rendition of ‘Your Song’ didn’t shatter any eardrums!”
Rain echoed his enthusiasm.
“I had so much fun co-hosting the XBIZ Honors awards,” she confirmed. “There were some great people in attendance deserving of praise, plus fabulous energy — and who can resist a couple of a cappella song breaks?”
The awards cultivated a jovial atmosphere to honor the leadership ability, business acumen and positive community influence of the industry’s top execs. Nominees and sponsors enjoyed a well-stocked open bar and a curated menu.
The first trophy of the evening, Account Exec of the Year, was presented by Kenny B of YourPaysitePartner to Epoch’s Andy Davis.
Pineapple Support’s Leya Tanit followed them to present the award for Business Development Exec of the Year to MrSkin’s Austin Fiascone. Sporting long tresses and a beard, the exuberant Mr. Fiascone commented on his relative youth in a room of older execs.
“You should think about hiring someone young!” he exclaimed.
VR specialists Anna Lee and Ela Darling introduced the winners for Web Services Company of the Year, which went to YourPaysitePartner, and Progressive Web Brand of the Year, awarded to JustFor.fans.
Before Wasteland’s Colin Rowntree presented the award for Brand Ambassador of the Year, he serenaded the audience with a rendition of the 1949 neo-spiritual “That Lucky Old Sun” in his distinctively profound, almost Robesonian voice.
The award went to the dapper Gunner Taylor of Cams.com.
“It was an honor to accept the award and I truly mean that,” Taylor told XBIZ. “Cams.com is an incredible brand with an outstanding team of people behind it. I am so grateful for this recognition.”
Modelhub’s Natalia Kaplan was crowned Marketing Exec of the Year which she received while wearing one of the evening’s notable outfits, a shiny, curve-hugging creation that complemented her signature green hair.
Dominic Ford, owner of JustFor.fans, and Grooby’s Kristel Penn announced Payment Services Company of the Year winners SegPay (IPSP), NETBilling (Merchant Services) and Paxum (Alternative).
“We are so thankful for all the industry support and recognition,” SegPay’s Cathy Beardsley told XBIZ. “It is such an honor to be chosen as Payment Services Company of the Year. We are proud of our accomplishments and excited about the new services, solutions and innovations to come in 2020.”
One of the most anticipated awards of the evening, for Community Figure of the Year, went to an ebullient Brad Mitchell of MojoHost.
Beardsley presented Paysite Affiliate Program of the Year to PaperStreetCash, while MrSkinCash was named Specialty Affiliate Program of the Year and the Traffic Services Company of the Year awards recipient was JuicyAds.
Kink.com’s Alison Boden presented the Progressive Leadership Award to AEBN’s Bishop Wages, while Senior Leadership Award went to JuicyAds’ Rainey Stricklin.
Playboy Plus’ Holly Ruprecht, wearing an elegant rainbow tie, presented the Cam Affiliate Program of the Year award to Streamate. Flirt4Free was named Cam Company of the Year and VOD Company of the Year went to AEBN.
Pornhub’s Natalia Kaplan returned to the stage to receive Modelhub’s award for Clip Company of the Year.
Dating Company of the Year went to Adult FriendFinder and Gay Web Brand of the Year to Chaturbate.
Stokes is “especially thrilled” for NMG Management’s recognition.
“I could honestly not accomplish all we do for so many fabulous content creators without the amazing team of passionate people I get to surround myself with daily,” she enthused.
The final award of the evening, presented by Women in Adult leader Shirley Lara from Chaturbate, went to Pineapple Support’s Leya Tanit, for her crucial work helping adult performers connect with stigma-free mental health services.
The top exec awards were handed out at the end of the evening. Chief Exec of the Year went to Friend Finder Network’s Jon Buckheit. Businessman of the Year was YourPaysitePartner’s Kenny B and Businesswoman of the Year was NMG Management’s Megan Stokes.
“To say I am honored and so proud to win businesswoman of the year is an understatement!” enthused Stokes. “As cliche as it is to say it, I was genuinely thrilled to even be included on that list of absolute powerhouse women I admire.”
“This award is more meaningful to me than you know, and such a surprise,” Tanit told XBIZ. “Each of the women in this category is so impressive that I was honored to even be considered among them. This award goes to the incredible women who power this industry, and the countless people who have made Pineapple Support a success — the therapists, the performers, the volunteers and the funders.”
“It’s been a wild ride, and I’ve loved every second of it,” Tanit — a vision in resplendent yellow — told the crowd from the XBIZ Honors podium.
Find the full list of Exec Awards online industry winners here.