Our Insightful & Visionary Speakers

For information on becoming and/or nominating a speaker, please contact Brooke Filson at 212-402-1814, or email her at Brooke.Filson@frost.com

Keynote Speakers From Our Previous Customer Contact East Event

Renee Cacchillo

Renee Cacchillo

Senior Vice President, Customer, Brand and Technology, Safelite Group

Renee Cacchillo is Senior Vice President of Customer, Brand and Technology at Safelite Group, a multifaceted auto glass and claims management service organization based in Columbus, Ohio.

Full Bio

A 20+ year veteran of the retail and consulting industry, Cacchillo joined Safelite in 2011, where she held a variety of leadership roles in operations, data analytics, digital marketing, and advertising. Today, she successfully leverages the company’s core competencies in aligning the customer experience, marketing efforts, and technical enhancements more acutely. She also leads the company’s innovation efforts with Safelite Works—an innovation hub that develops solutions for Safelite’s people, customers, and clients. Cacchillo is responsible for driving performance to further establish Safelite as a world-class service organization.

An influential and seasoned leader, Cacchillo helps achieve the company’s goals by working collaboratively and cross-functionally. She serves as a member of the senior leadership team in positioning Safelite as a People Powered, Customer Driven organization, with a purpose of bringing unexpected happiness to people’s everyday lives.

Throughout her career at Safelite, Cacchillo has helped provide better customer and business insight by identifying new ways to listen to customers, across all business units, on a deeper level—ultimately identifying better ways to meet their needs. Additionally, she has helped lead the brand journey across Safelite to build preference and generate opportunities at both the local and national levels. With her strategic direction of the technology team, Safelite will accelerate efforts to deliver to customers on its brand promise.
Prior to joining Safelite, Cacchillo served in leadership roles in fast-paced, consumer-facing businesses including Bob Evans and Mimi’s Café Restaurants, Bath & Body Works/Limited Brands, Hallmark, and Dillard’s Department Stores. She possesses more than five years of experience at Accenture in leading large-scale system implementations and change management.
She is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, a member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, and serves on the Service Council Advisory Board.

Cacchillo graduated from the University of Kansas where she earned her BS in business administration and an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. She resides in New Albany, Ohio, with her husband and their 16-year-old twin daughters.

What inspires you?

Personally, I am inspired by my family. My husband, Dave, is my best friend and my biggest advocate. Katie and Rachel (my twin 16-year-old daughters) keep me grounded and busy! They are bright and focused young women with an exciting future full of personal dreams and ambitions. To me, family is what matters most. It’s where my most valued contributions are made.

Professionally, I am inspired by my team. The talent within this group amazes me every day. In the last seven years, we have accepted new challenges, embraced change, persevered together to reach greatness, and supported one another through both failure and success. I like to say that we ‘fail forward,” in order to grow and achieve even more. Their can-do attitude makes the possibilities at Safelite endless. And that makes me very proud.

Michael O. "Coop" Cooper

Michael O. "Coop" Cooper

Founder, Innovators + Influencers

Michael O. “Coop” Cooper is an internationally recognized executive coach, advisor, facilitator and trainer who specializes in working with executive teams to develop the leadership skills, alignment and strategies to grow and thrive in a constantly changing environment. Coop has 23 years of experience as a coach, management consultant, strategist and project leader with Fortune 1000 companies and small businesses in over 20 countries.

Full Bio
He has worked with leaders at Accuray, eBay, Genentech, Google, Novell, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Southwest Airlines, TeleNav, Wells Fargo, Yahoo, Yammer and hundreds of other organizations large and small. He co-lead the teams to develop the world’s first wireless web platform for Vodafone and Verizon deployed in 27 countries and developed the specifications for the first custom internet car-ordering system for Honda. He has facilitated global summits for Sony corporation and a conference on managing Millennials for the Northern California Human Resource Association. For the past 12 years, he has coached and advised Eric Rodenbeck, CEO & Creative Director of Stamen Design, named by Fast Company as one of the 50 Top Innovative Companies in America and one of the Top 50 Designers in America. He has also been selected to coach the prestigious TED Fellows.

Coop is a contributor to Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Wired Innovations. He was the founding president of the International Association of Coaching, has served on the faculty of Sony leadership programs, CoachVille, Thomas Leonard School of Coaching and the Graduate School of Coaching. He completed coach training at Coach U, CoachVille and the School of Shadow Coaching. He received an MBA from the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University with a concentration in Information Systems and a special emphasis in Global Strategic Management and degrees in History, Communications Studies and Technology Education at Virginia Tech. He received the (Shop Local / Consulting) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006 from San Francisco where he lives with his partner and dog. He is an active supporter of the arts and Burning Man community.

Nicola Millard

Nicola Millard

Head of Customer Insight & Futures, BT Global Services Innovation Team

Dr. Nicola Millard heads up Customer Insight & Futures in BT’s Global Services Innovation Team. Despite working for a technology company, Nicola isn’t a technologist and combines psychology with futurology to try and anticipate

Full Bio
what might be lying around the corner for both customers and organizations (sadly, her crystal ball is broken). Nicola has worked for BT for 25 years. She has done a number of jobs around the BT business, including user interface design, customer service and business consulting. She was involved with a number of BT “firsts”, including the first application of intelligent systems into BT’s call centers and BT’s initial experimentation with home working.

Speakers From Our Previous Customer Contact East Event

Dar Andrews

Dar Andrews

Senior Director, Service Delivery and Engineering, PayPal

Dar Andrews, Vice President of PayPal Inc. for Service Delivery and Engineering is a 30 year management and technology veteran responsible for PayPal’s Corporate Network supporting 96,000 end-points, Telephony Services supporting 72,000 connections,

Full Bio
Citrix terminal/server services supporting ~12,000 clients, their Genesys routing/out-dial functions, and a broad portfolio of Customer Service applications. His team’s focus is ensuring PayPal’s corporate computing and customer engagement opportunities are as secure, efficient and frictionless as possible.

Dar began his career in the banking sector. He spent a number of years supporting a premier aerospace and personal computing manufacturers in various IT and Finance roles. He led the technology transformation of a division of IDEX Corporation to JDEdwards ERP while holding an operations leadership position. He joined eBay Inc in 2006, when it was still the parent company of PayPal Inc. Prior to the eBay/PayPal separation in 2015, he held numerous IT leadership roles within eBay. At the time of the Separation, Dar was assigned to lead the IT effort to separate the two companies. The team assembled was able to complete the effort within nine months (including establishing two new data centers, a new corporate network, 60 new office locations, and replicating hundreds of applications and datasets).

Dar is an avid outdoorsman, auto racing enthusiast, and enjoys spending time with family, friends, a two horses and a Labrador retriever — living on a farm outside of Omaha, Nebraska.

Kaan Aydulun

Kaan Aydulun

Director and Principal, Mindlift Inc

Kaan is passionate about CX transformation through leading technology solutions. As a consultant at Accenture, he established numerous digitalization programs for Fortune 1,000 companies.

Full Bio

As a director at Avaya, he deployed Avaya’s Contact Center and Unified Communication solutions internally and globally for their newest products and solutions.  But he draws his passion from his humble beginning as a tier 4 tech support engineer/manager at a global travel agency call center in the late 1990’s.

Five years ago, he co-founded MindLift which focuses on CX efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity and customer engagement use cases.  Kaan and his colleagues have been helping their clients with CX platform migrations, generating CX metadata and bringing analytics to life.

Kaan received a BBA in Computer Information Systems from the University of Arkansas. In the not-too-distant past Kaan was a national-caliber swimmer, and continued his involvement with the sport as a swim coach.

Becky Ayotte

Becky Ayotte

Head of Solution Consulting, Tender Management and Project Coordination Americas, DHL

Becky Ayotte is honored to Head the Americas team for Solution Consulting, Tender Management, and Project Coordination within DHL’s Customer Solution and Innovation division. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Becky moved to Peoria, IL to begin her career at Caterpillar.

Full Bio
It was there that Becky discovered a work related wanderlust and art for change management as she traveled the globe on the Caterpillar “start-up circuit”. In order to chase her dream of a career focused in logistics, Becky joined DHL in 2007. In the past 10 years Becky has enjoyed the opportunity to work in numerous different business development and change agent roles with an exciting group of customers… all in the name of supporting her horse habit and family.
Harold Baldauf

Harold Baldauf

Chief Operating Officer, CardWorks

Harold Baldauf is a 30 year veteran of the Transaction processing and credit card servicing businesses. Mr. Baldauf joined the company, now known as CardWorks Inc. in 1987.

Full Bio

Having previously worked for CardWorks’ founder Donald M. Berman for ten years prior, Mr. Baldauf served in many roles during the building and growth of the company. With deep experience in operations, technology and Human Resources, Mr. Baldauf currently serves as the company’s Chief Operation Officer, overseeing more than 1,000 Associates and 4 facilities.

About CardWorks:

  • Founded in 1987 to provide servicing, operational support, and portfolio management to North American credit card issuers and acquirers
  • Now the largest privately held provider of end-to-end outsourcing support services for bankcard-related products in North America
  • Nationally recognized, leading servicer of Branded VISA® /MasterCard® cards, private label credit cards, secured cards and other unique card products, as well as secured and unsecured installment loans
  • Recovery services provided through affiliate Carson Smithfield, LLC
  • Approximately 1,200 employees in our operational service centers in Woodbury, NY and Pittsburgh, PA, Lake Mary FL and Technology Development operations in Horsham, PA
David Bancroft

David Bancroft

Client Service Division Manager, Treasury Management Client Services, Wells Fargo

David is the Treasury Management Client Service Program manager responsible for New York state clients. David manages a dedicated client service team that serves as the SME’s provides TM product support. David and his team provide client services to the internal partners and clients from implementations to production delivery. The team provides TM client support for all aspects of the relationship. David joined Wells Fargo in 2014 and has over 20 years of client service management, operational and lockbox processing experience.

Stacey Barker

Stacey Barker

Director of Digital, H&R Block

Stacey Barker is the Director of H&R Block’s Digital Tax Client Service Organization. She leads client support initiatives for the company’s growing do-it yourself digital tax business, supporting more than 7 million clients. Additionally, she oversees the Social Media team focused on support for Facebook and Twitter.

Full Bio

Stacey joined H&R Block in 1999.  Prior to leading the DIY client support organization, she was Program Director of Vendor Management where she led global outsourcing efforts.

Stacey holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Missouri and completed UMKC’s Bloch School of Business Leadership Development Program.

Terry Blankenship

Terry Blankenship

Associate Vice President, Contact Center Solutions, The General

An alumnus of Accenture and GE, Terry has been involved in contact center leadership for almost 10 years. Using a Lean Six Sigma approach, Terry focuses on tangible improvement in 2 areas – increasing customer satisfaction while decreasing cost per contact.

Full Bio

Over Customer Engagement Technology solutions at American Family Direct of which The General Auto Insurance Company is a part, he has provided thought leadership in shaping the chatbot / AI roadmap, the first instance going live in January of this year. Embracing omnichannel opportunities, he seeks to firmly plant American Family Direct at the forefront of the customer engagement technology revolution.

Prior to American Family Direct, Terry led contact center operations for Simplex Healthcare, at that time the third largest diabetic testing supplier in the US.

Julian Chu

Julian Chu

Director, Technical Services, Google

Julian Chu is currently director of technical services for Google, responsible for digital advertiser engagement and learning, including content, user experience, e-learning, and social and communities efforts. His objective is to help advertisers maximize their business results via Google advertising products. He also previously led efforts in digital commerce including payments and shopping. He started his tenure with Google in leading their sales operations effort aiming at maximizing revenue growth of the company.

Full Bio

Prior to joining Google in 2010, Julian held multiple leadership roles in companies including Enova Financial, Discover Financial Services, GE, and McKinsey & Company. Julian spent his early career days in financial risk management for Ford Credit, and product engineering for Ford Motor Company. Julian is a board member of Alliant Credit Union, a seventh largest credit union by asset in the United States. He serves on their asset and liability management committee, and compensation & talent committee. He has been instrumental in leading their digital transformation effort in driving mobile first, branchless expansion, in repositioning Alliant to be the premiere financial institute for digitally inclined customers. He is also vice chair of NOVA, a federally funded employment and training agency addressing workforce needs of Silicon Valley.

Julian earned an MBA and a master’s in aerospace science from the University of Michigan. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Hong Kong University.

Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng

Head of Customer Success - Caviar, Square

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by difficult challenges. I am always rooting for people who take on the hard things because most people in life take the easy path. It is thrilling to see others overcome adversity and barriers through tenacity, grit and determination.

Seeing others succeed inspires me to also continue going after the hard things. Our best work is often a result of challenging ourselves and others to solve really hard problems.

Full Bio

Chris Cheng is the Head of Customer Support for Caviar, a premium food delivery and pickup app. Caviar is one of many Square services which helps businesses grow. His team supports diners and restaurants via email, SMS, phone, and in-app channels. The team consists of many millennials who are passionate about supporting Caviar’s aggressive growth.

Prior to Square, Chris worked full time in the firearms industry as a brand ambassador, journalist and professional marksman. He built his own consultancy and is a strong force for diversity and inclusion in the outdoor industry. He continues his consultancy work on a part-time basis.

Chris began his career at Google as a technical support agent. He joined the team in 2007 at the start of the enterprise cloud computing revolution. He is a formally trained program manager, facilitator and trainer who created a global new hire onboarding program for a six office, 120 person team.

Gregory Derwart

Gregory Derwart

Managing Director, Administration and Customer Experience, Maryland Department of Commerce

Greg Derwart is a senior operations executive with over 25 years of professional experience in the private sector, government and nonprofit arenas. He serves as Managing Director for the Maryland Department of Commerce. In addition to heading up the Department’s Administration and Technology team, he is also taking a leadership role in corporate culture and customer experience, including Governor Hogan’s statewide customer service initiative.

Full Bio

A native Marylander, Greg is active in the greater Baltimore business and nonprofit communities, serving on the boards of the Maryland Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Al Cesky Scholarship Fund, and the University of Baltimore Foundation. Greg is also a member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA), and the Chesapeake Human Resources Association (CHRA).

Greg is a graduate of the 2006 Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) Leadership program, was a 2011 recipient of the Maryland Daily Record’s VIP List Successful by 40 Award, was named by the Chesapeake Human Resources Foundation (CHRF) as a 2011 Fellow, and was awarded the SmartCEO Executive Management Award in 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree from the University of Baltimore.

What inspires you? (Personally, professionally… )

Life is awesome! Happiness abounds as I remain enthusiastic and focused on the task at hand; as I pay attention to the splendors that surround me; as I appreciate the many blessings that stem from my family and friends; and as I live my life as the servant God expects me to be. Let’s play ball!

Gavin Donovan

Gavin Donovan

Head of Digital Media, McAfee

Gavin Donovan leads Digital Media for McAfee. He has spoken across the country on topics such as digital media, social media strategy, social selling, and digital customer experience. Prior to joining McAfee, Gavin led digital and social media strategy at Mission Foods, Trend Micro, Regus, and Fonality.

Michael DeSalles

Michael DeSalles

Principal Analyst, Digital Transformation, Frost & Sullivan

12 years of research and analytical expertise in contact center and customer experience. Expertise in:
-Emerging trends, convergence, collapse and disruptive technologies in the contact center industry
-Insight into site management, supervision and agent development
-Outsourcer vendor selection for end users

Full Bio

Industry Expertise
Experience covering broad range of sectors, leveraging long-standing working relationships with leading industry participants and Senior Executives:
-Customer care outsourcing
-Skills based routing
-BPO Near shore deployment
-Home based agents

What I bring to the Team
Insight into end-user perspectives
Over 25 years of contact center operational experience
Sales and business development acumen
Communications, editing and writing skills
Often quoted and interviewed in local and international publications

Career Highlights
Extensive experience in contact center supervision, training, competitive sales and network routing experience (Cisco ICM) with AT&T Business & Consumer Services
Since joining Frost & Sullivan, DeSalles has completed several strategic consulting projects with industry leaders including Teleperformance, Sitel, Siemens, SAP, Alorica, Sutherland, Qualfon, Firstsource, Genesys, and Interactive Intelligence.

DeSalles has also worked on numerous research reports, client videos,written several industry white papers and is a frequent speaker at domestic and international industry events

Education
• B.A. in Economics from University of California at Santa Barbara

John Gibney

John Gibney

Senior Customer Service Manager, Jarden Consumer Solutions

Adrian Guenther

Adrian Guenther

Vice President, Individual Annuity Customer Service, ‎Lincoln Financial Group

Adrian Guenther joined Lincoln Financial Group in 2005 in the Defined Contribution Contact Center.  During his time at Lincoln, he has managed in both New Business and the Contact Center.

Full Bio

Adrian is responsible for a 100 seat Contact Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana servicing a deep portfolio of Fixed, Indexed and Variable Annuity products.  He also leads a Continuous Improvement team, a NIGO resolution unit and a Distribution Relationship Management team.  Prior to Lincoln, he spent over a decade in Fort Wayne television, in roles spanning from on-air talent and commercial production to Promotion Management.

Adrian serves on the board of various local not-for-profit organizations and enjoys sharing best practices with colleagues at various conferences throughout the country.  He stays busy in his free time with a wife, 4 kids, 4 pets and a pool table in the basement.

Adrian has a BSBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, is a FINRA Series 26 Registered Principal, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and LOMA- FLMI, PCS, AAPA, AIAA, ARA and AIRC.

Lisa Lavin

Lisa Lavin

Director of Customer Experience, Orvis

Lisa has worked with Orvis since October, 2011 as the Director of Customer Experience and has been running call center operations for nearly 20 years. Lisa managed Spiegel Brands call centers in 4 locations with up to 1000 employees – where she oversaw sales and customer service for Spiegel, Newport News & Eddie Bauer. She moved to the US, with her husband, Enrique, from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she has 4 children and 1 granddaughter.

Full Bio
What inspires you? (Personally, professionally… )
Lisa is a passionate champion of the customer experience; enjoys building outstanding, performing teams and continually seeks out and capitalizes on new business opportunities to support the growth and development of an organization. When Lisa isn’t working, she enjoys interior decorating, cooking and anything creative.
Chris Lah

Chris Lah

Senior Director, Customer Service and Financial Resources, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Chris Lah is currently the Senior Director of Revenue Cycle Customer Service at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). He has over twenty (20) years’ experience in health care operations, revenue cycle strategy, and customer engagement. Over this period time, he has been with other remarkable companies such as the Mayfield Clinic, Anthem (Wellpoint), and TEDxOnBoard.

Full Bio

While he has extensive experience in both clinical and health care business operations, his passion is customer service delivery and patient experience. He focuses on researching and implementing best practices across the entire healthcare industry and ultimately feels this will create the best service for patients and families. Additionally, it provides a natural pathway to corporate responsibility which Chris feels should be part of every company’s strategic objective. Chris has also partnered with both TedxOnBoard and FutureXi to help promote customer engagement and best practices.

Chris has built service focused teams that have won national awards for excellence – including J D Power certification seven (7) consecutive years. Additionally, he has had three different staff members win national “agent of the year” awards during his tenure over Children’s Hospital Customer Service and takes great pride in developing young talent. Chris’ feels his greatest accomplishment was creating the first comprehensive charitable fund that helps families with their out of pocket medical expenses. Well over a million dollars has been raised to help families in the United States with large deductibles and patients who benefitted from the fund. Outside of the United States, it has also helped families as far away as China, Peru, and the Ukraine.

He was recently named as the Board Chairman for Hear the Hope. He also has served on the boards of the Clovernook Association, Experian Healthcare, and the Call Center Coach Community (CCTR).

Fred Lee

Fred Lee

Chief Technology Officer, Gamut, a Grainger company

Fred Lee is CTO at Gamut, a Grainger company. Previously, Fred was the CTO at Belly, and CIO/CTO of Enova International. Prior to Enova, Fred served as the Director of Web Strategy at Vail Systems. From 2006 to May 2007, Fred served as the Digital Development Manager for The Indianapolis Star. Fred received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Edder Ivan Plascencia Lopez

Edder Ivan Plascencia Lopez

Deputy Director of Planning and Control of Operations, IZZI Telecom

I have developed a genuine client-centered profile throughout my 16 years of experience in roles from performing to planning and controlling customer service operations within different industries.

Full Bio

Nowadays I am responsible for tracking izzi’s contact center key indicators by gathering and analyzing strong data, forecasting inbound demand, telemarketing sales, back-office activities, social media interactions and collections campaigns and also sizing staff including the performance evaluation of more than 5k employees. I’m also in charge of controlling izzi’s customer experience budget (OPEX & CAPEX), designing IVR strategy and call routing as well as managing projects focused on implementing new innovative technologies to deliver a better experience to our subscribers.

Stephen Loynd

Stephen Loynd

Global Program Director, Digital Experience, Frost & Sullivan

Functional Expertise
• Twelve years of research and analytical as well as sales and marketing expertise in the contact center BPO market. Particular expertise in:
– Emerging trends and market dynamics in the BPO industry
– Go-to-market BPO strategies relative to specific vertical markets
– The competitive landscape of outsourcing vendors in the realm of customer contact

Full Bio

Industry Expertise
Experience base covering broad range of sectors, leveraging long-standing working relationships with leading industry participants’ Senior Executives
– Customer care/CRM/customer contact
– Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
– Global sourcing (from the US, to offshore, nearshore and homeshore)

What I bring to the Team
Particular skills in writing, analysis and presentation
Insight from the perspective of the end-user
Experience and skills in sales and marketing
A global outlook

Career Highlights
Extensive expertise in the evolving customer contact landscape
Twelve years experience at several relevant organizations:
– Stream Global Services
– IDC
– Sakon, LLC
– MassTrade

Education
• M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.
• B.A. from Colby College, Waterville, ME

Stephanie Lyon

Stephanie Lyon

Principal Data Engineer, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

Stephanie is a Principal Data Engineer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, specializing
in the design, development and implementation of Business Intelligence solutions.

Full Bio
Bridging the gap between business and technology, she routinely creates and
deploys applications that unify business requirements, user goals, and technical capabilities.
With over 25 years of experience in information technology, she is known for her
innovative solutions to customer problems. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Nabil Malouli

Nabil Malouli

Vice President, Customer Solutions & Innovation, DHL

Nabil Malouli is the Vice President for DHL’s Customer Solutions & Innovation. Based out of Florida, Nabil leads the development of innovative logistics projects to support fortune 500 companies doing business globally.

Full Bio

Jointly with his team, he is managing and growing relationships with these companies to develop high growth initiative related to E-commerce, digitalization, big data, drones, autonomous vehicles, automation & robotics.

Nabil is specialized in the field of Ecommerce & Logistics. Prior to his current position, he served as Director Latin America & Asia Pacific overseeing teams across the regions and around the world, developing customer commercial strategies to grow their business in the region.

Nabil is passionate by innovation & entrepreneurship and also serves as advisor & board member of high growth startups.

As a speaker, Malouli has deep experience on topics related to E-commerce, Corporate Innovation, Omni-channel, Sales and Customer relationships. As well as the use of disruptive technologies in Logistics & Supply Chain.

His conferences are entertaining, interactive & engaging. He focuses on sharing real life business cases & experiences through is decade of work with Fortune 500 companies across the globe.

Nabil received multiple awards through his careers and was DHL employee of the year 2014, Leader of the Best Team award in 2017 & received customer’s awards such as Delphi Pinnacle Award in 2016.

Born in France, Nabil has worked and studied in various countries, including China, Brazil, England, France, Mexico and the United States. He is very active also in social activities across the region.
He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in International Trade from the University of Montpellier in France, and a Master’s degree from the “Universidad Autónoma” de Nuevo Leon in Mexico.

Gabriele Masili

Gabriele Masili

General Manager, Windows and Devices Group Support Business Unit, Microsoft

Gabriele Masili is a General Manager in Microsoft’s Customer Service & Support division, leading the Windows & Devices Support Business Unit with close to 10,000 support agents and engineers. He has end-to-end accountability for both the customer support experience and worldwide technical support delivery across Microsoft Windows, Xbox and Surface products and services.

Full Bio
Gabriele brings over 20 years of experience in customer service, technical support and e-commerce, along with a proven track record in designing and delivering world-class customer experiences around the globe. Prior to Microsoft, he built Amazon’s Customer Support organization for Italy, Spain and The Netherlands before moving to the U.S. to run Amazon’s Worldwide Customer Service and Technical Support business for devices and digital services, overseeing support for all of Amazon’s devices including Kindle e-readers, Amazon Echo, Amazon Dash, Fire tablets, and TVs, and digital devices, like Alexa, Amazon Video, and Prime Music.

Throughout his career, Gabriele has been an innovator and change agent, focusing on continuously improving customer satisfaction and digitally transforming the customer experience. He has a deep understanding of AI, voice, mobile and web technologies and experience leading global B2B and B2C support and engineering teams across a variety of verticals. He is a passionate technology leader and has designed and built customer-facing products serving millions of customers in more than 200 countries. Gabriele has also grown and managed customer service and technical support organizations with large-scale, globally distributed teams of thousands, across 40 geographies and 20 languages.

Gabriele grew up in Cagliari, the capital of the beautiful island of Sardinia, Italy. He considers himself a global citizen, having lived in London, Rome, Budapest, Berlin, Szczecin, Milan, Cairo, Luxembourg and, since 2015, Seattle. He also speaks three languages and understands three more.

Jeff Nordvold

Jeff Nordvold

Director of Operations, C.H. Robinson

Jeff Nordvold is Director of Operations for the Robinson Fresh Division of C.H. Robinson, located in Eden Prairie, MN. Founded in 1905, C.H. Robinson Worldwide is one of the world’s largest third party logistic providers—delivering innovative supply chain solutions to more than 113,000 customers across the world.

Full Bio
The Robinson Fresh division provides a full line of high-quality fruits and vegetables, while also providing fresh produce supply chain solutions–from customer insights and marketing support, to category, inventory and cold chain management—to help retailers, restaurants, growers, and foodservice companies meet consumers’ demand for fresh.

During Jeff’s 18 years with C.H. Robinson, he has held a variety of leadership roles, including acting as a Strategic Account Manager for a major retail chain and most recently as a Regional Finance Manager. Currently, Jeff is leading the division’s operational team which supports our carrier partners, customers and our internal sales teams with a focus on providing exceptional customer service and supply chain innovation.

Jeff currently resides in the Twin Cities area with his wife and four children, and in his spare time he can be found coaching and cheering on his kids while also serving on the Board of Directors for a local Youth Football Association.

James Pendergast

James Pendergast

Senior Vice President, AARP Experience, AARP

Jim Pendergast is AARP’s Senior Vice President of AARP Experience, where he’s responsible for the implementation and oversight of the member experience ecosystem which will amplify the voice of our membership and consumers across the organization to drive relevance, value, and the growth of our membership. Jim has been focused on customer experience and success for enterprise software companies for the past 15 years.

Full Bio
Jim’s goal is to understand and improve every member’s touch point, provide an effortless experience, and deliver greater value to our members and employees in line with our AARP brand promises. He has a long history of relentlessly working across organizations, bringing teams together, and driving significant improvements resulting in financial success, customer and employee loyalty, and upward retention key metrics.

Previously, Jim held customer experience and operational leadership positions at Yahoo, IBM, General Electric, Openwave Systems, and most recently Sage Software. He regularly speaks at professional customer experience events, and was recently the recipient of the 2014 Consortium for Service Innovation (CSI) “Innovation Award” for his contributions to CSI.

Janet Poklemba

Janet Poklemba

Customer Support Manager & Site Leader, Bosch Heating and Cooling North America

Bob Simmonds

Bob Simmonds

Vice President, Worldwide Travel Operations, Disney

Bob is currently the Vice President, Travel Operations Walt Disney World® for Disney Destinations, LLC. His responsibilities include operation of the Disney Reservation Center (DRC) in Orlando and Tampa. These teams interact with Guests and Travel Agents who are planning vacations to the Walt Disney World Resort and they also support English-language reservations for Disneyland Paris. The two contact centers support Consumer Direct, Travel Trade, Wholesale, Live Chat, Group Reservations and Help Desk for Disneyworld.com, Guest Information, Ticket Sales, Disney Planning Centers, Sports Travel, WDTC-United Kingdom, and Product Development for the Walt Disney Travel Company, Inc.

Full Bio
Prior to joining Disney in January of 2005, Bob was the Director of Call Center Operations and General Manager of the Telesales line of business for Expedia.com. He managed Expedia’s company-owned call centers in Las Vegas and Tacoma as well as managing various outsourcing relationships that supported the Telesales business. As the General Manager of Telesales, he grew the business from proof-of-concept to close to $750 million per year in bookings within three years. The success of this initiative was to identify which customer contacts and purchases were best suited for the website and which were best suited for human interaction. It also served as a model for combining insourcing versus outsourcing and onshore versus offshore design.

Bob spent most of the 1990’s working for Rosenbluth International, one of the world’s largest travel management companies, as Director of Global Operations. While at Rosenbluth, he built their IntelliCenter network from one contact center in North Dakota to 12 centers linked through advanced technology, serving Rosenbluth customers worldwide. One of his most memorable experiences was opening a Pan-European IntelliCenter in Killarney, Ireland. This operation took calls from the U.K, France and Germany. The centers supported calls, emails and online booking engines in multiple languages.

Working at Disney now puts Bob in the position of being able to see how combining great technology, great people and a great product into Magical experiences for people from all cultures around the world.

Bob is also involved in several non-profit organizations focused on working with disadvantaged children. He is very active in Boy Scouts of America, where he has served in a number of positions. He also rides with Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) and is a State Executive Board Member and is the Chapter Public Relations Officer.

Alpa Shah

Alpa Shah

Vice President, Digital Transformation, Frost & Sullivan

Functional Expertise

28 years of Business & Management experience. Expertise in:
–  Management                                    –  Website Design/Management
–  Marketing & Communications           –  Incentive and HR accounting
–  Process Improvement                       –  Employee Growth & Development
–  Business Planning                            –  Corporate Strategy  Development

Full Bio

Industry Expertise

Experience in IT, Communications, and Vertical Market Analysis
–  Unified Communications                   –  Healthcare
–  Digital Transformation                      –  Retail
–  Customer Contact                            –  Finance
–  Mobile & Wireless                             –  Government and Education
–  Internet of Things                             –  Manufacturing

What I bring to the Team

–  Analytical skills                                  –  Customer research proficiency
–  Marketing expertise                           –  Event planning
–  Consulting experience                       –  Project management
–  Global knowledge                              –  Sales support

Career Highlights

–  Human Resources Accounting – Smith Barney; Financial Planning – Edward Jones
–  Distinguished Fellow & Certified Growth Consultant at Frost & Sullivan
–  GLOW (Growth and Leadership of Women) – Communications Lead
–  Board – PTA (Elementary School) and PAMP (Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents Club – 3000 members)

Education
 BS from New York University and MBA from Hofstra University

This May marked my 22nd year with Frost & Sullivan. Being part of a fast-growing company, a dynamic industry, an entrepreneurial culture, and a fun environment is invigorating and worth every moment. 

My professional and volunteer experience includes business and strategy planning, product and vertical market analysis, growth consulting, event planning and execution, sales and marketing, web design, and most importantly, creating and inspiring teams to be best in class. Consulting projects have ranged from strategy development to white papers to end user analyses. 

My current focus is to develop content that guides visionary CXOs and IT leaders through the next era of digital transformation with the help of IT experts and vertical industry analysts as well as extensive IT end user surveys.

Prior to joining Frost and Sullivan, I worked for Smith Barney for 5 years in its accounting division handling incentive compensation plans. Thereafter, I worked as an account executive at Edward Jones for approximately one year. In these positions, I learned much about the operations of a financial company, financial instruments, and sales techniques.

In my personal and professional life, I have served as the VP of Communications on the boards of PAMP (Parent’s club of 2,000 plus members) and the PTA, as well as within Frost & Sullivan’s GLOW (Growth & Leadership of Women) team.

Kumaran Shanmuhan

Kumaran Shanmuhan

Vice President of Solutions, Jacada

Kumaran heads up solution marketing and solution consulting at Jacada to influence product innovation and go-to-market strategy for Jacada’s pioneering solutions.

Full Bio

Previously, he held senior leadership positions in pre-sales, sales operations, professional services and product management at Jacada. Besides taking on customer experience challenges, Kumaran enjoys advising non-profits on using technology to drive cause marketing and helping technology start-ups develop compelling go-to-market strategies. Before joining Jacada, Kumaran worked as a Consultant at TATA Consultancy Services where he led application development and support operations for mission critical banking systems at one of the largest banks in the US. Kumaran holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, India, and an MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Brent Sparks

Brent Sparks

Senior Director, Self Service, Enterprise Services Platforms, PayPal

Brent is currently a Sr. Director with Enterprise Services at PayPal, Inc. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid in more than 200 markets around the globe.

Full Bio
Leading a team of Product Owners focused on Self-Service, Brent oversees the operational aspects of platforms including a global IVR network, proactive notifications, secure messaging, and callbacks. The Self-Service team strives to create customer experiences that rely on known data and prior interactions to proactively serve up content and manage the contact handling. Understanding where the customer is in their journey and what their specific objectives are, is key to providing a successful experience. Working with partners across PayPal, the teams focuses on carrying context across channels, ensuring that each step in the experience builds upon actions already taken, and customers are given appropriate levels of self-service. Most recently, Brent led the restructuring of the PayPal Help Center platform, including the launch of Chat and a new approach to customer topic identification. The improved UI and underlying technology provides dynamic content and contact channel offerings driven by customer input and automated recommendations.

Prior to joining PayPal, Brent worked in both the banking and brokerage industries, holding a variety of roles across business operations and technology in the contact center environment. Working in both hosted and on-premise environments, he has designed and built several Speech IVRs, contact routing platforms, and desktop applications with an eye towards proactive customer care.
Brent is based in Charlotte, NC.

Ann Szymanowski

Ann Szymanowski

Global Director, Customer Service, Dow Chemical

Adam Weatherman

Adam Weatherman

Informatics Analyst, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

My professional career began in sales after coming out of college. I quickly learned that I was horrific at selling cars or strolling door to door selling lawn maintenance packages. After the quick reality check I moved into the business area that I’ve become extremely passionate about, operations.

Full Bio
I started out on the phones working through customer issues with their 401k and then fielding outage tickets for business internet. These experiences gave me a true perspective on consumer experience and the importance of treating customers with respect and doing everything humanly possible to resolve their issues. Luckily, I was able to pair my operations passion with my love for numbers and I moved into data analytics. I’ve been involved in data analytics since 2012 in a couple of different roles. I’ve put in my time as a data analyst for over 5 years and within the last year moved into a role that allows me to run analytics projects and initiatives. I enjoy the problem solving aspect of data analytics and the ever evolving “challenges” faced in the operations space.

My real career and true passion is at home where I am a husband, a father of two humans (ages 4 and 3), a father of 2 dogs and 1 cat, coach, teacher, cook, handyman, comic (dad jokes only), etc. etc.

Jane Zdrojewski

Jane Zdrojewski

customer experience program within integrated supply chain, DowDuPont

Jane Zdrojewski leads Dow’s customer experience program within integrated supply chain, which includes groups across the globe responsible for customer service, supply & demand planning, scheduling and logistics.

Full Bio
She also serves as a Commercial Partner on Dow’s digital supply chain innovation team. In her 30-years in the chemical industry, she has gained broad end-to-end business and process experience including roles in finance, customer service, supply & demand planning, sales, purchasing, supply chain improvement, channel strategy & optimization, marketing, asset management, commercial excellence and most recently customer experience and digital technology.
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