15+ years of experience in product design ranges from hands-on role to putting in place and optimizing a UX practice (hiring, coaching and establishing processes). Danny has built and managed various sizes of teams (up to 17 people) and worked with established brands like The Economist, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, as well as, startups like Contently and GeoCV.
Ghada Ijam is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), in Washington, DC.
During her tenure at Amtrak Ghada is the technology Leader for Amtrak's transformational programs: Customer Experience/ Digital ($70M), Operations Foundation ($200M), and Human Capital Transformation ($20M). She is driving the transformation of Amtrak IT resulting in a full restructuring and re-alignment of teams, people and functions. She leads the strategic planning and executive governance of $200M annual technology investment portfolio across Amtrak (2009-present).
From 2006-2009 Ghada was the Business Systems Director at Freddie Mac, where she led the implementation of the Debt & Derivatives Accounting System, which strengthened financial controls and SOX compliance ($40M Budget).
Ghada was with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ) for 12 years (1994-2006), serving a variety of roles. As the SAP program manager, she led global implementations of accounting and finance systems. She served as the director of strategy and operations for the eBusiness group during the dotcom era and was a director of Intel’s professional services arm. Ghada managed and directed global teams and was selected by the CFO to participate in Intel’s leadership development and succession planning program.
Ghada was a Quality Assurance Lead at US Bank Corp (now Bank of America (NYSE)) (1993-1994), and a Senior Programmer/Analyst at Fannie Mae (NYSE) (1991/1993).
With more than two decades of professional experience, Ghada has honed her expertise in information technology leadership, global team management, strategic planning, and organizational change management. She excels in building strategic alliances with customers, focusing on delivery of business results, motivating people and managing technology portfolios.
She holds a Bachelor in Civil Engineering from Kuwait University (1983-1988), and MBA in Financial Management from Virginia Tech (1988- 1991) graduated Beta Gamma Sigma. Ghada is attending Wharton School of Business (2014-present) to earn an Executive Education Certificate.
Ghada is currently a member of Women in Technology (WIT), Society of Information Management and the Project Management Institute (PMI).
In 2015, Karen Sweeney joined Bethpage Federal Credit Union as Vice President of Member Experience. She is pioneering a team of professionals focused on differentiating Bethpage as a leader in member experience within the financial services industry. She leads the alignment of Bethpage’s member experience vision with the organization’s product and service delivery and ensures Bethpage members are a top priority as the organization seeks opportunities to adapt to changes in the financial industry such as increased member service expectations and advancements in technology.
Bringing over 20 years of extensive customer experience management knowledge, Karen previously held an 11 year career at American Express, where she focused on the digital customer experience for American Express Travel and Membership Rewards. She was awarded the 2008 Chairman’s’ Award at American Express for her work in seamlessly transitioning a core operations unit without disrupting Amex’s exponential growth during those years.
Karen is a graduate of Teacher’s College, Columbia University with a Masters in Communications and Education. She is an active community resident, serving on the board for the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County. She resides in Port Washington with her three children and husband.
Michael Marino is the SVP of Loyalty & Digital at Caesars Entertainment.
Michael oversees the Total Rewards Loyalty program, which consists of customers from Caesars’ gaming, hospitality, and online businesses. Michael also oversees the Caesars.com e-commerce business, digital media, and Play by Total Rewards, Caesars’ mobile app. Michael’s previous roles within Caesars include Vice President and Executive Associate to the Chairman, President and CEO and Director of Marketing Analytics. Prior to joining Caesars, Michael worked at Bain & Company and Capital One Financial.
Michael holds a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Virginia.
Since joining in January 2010, Dennis has been responsible for overseeing Domino’s digital programs including both digital marketing and experience teams which manage all user experience development for Domino’s U.S. ordering platforms, as well as all emerging digital innovation projects. He has led the introduction of several innovative new digital marketing capabilities, including the development of the iPhone, Android and iPad ordering applications, the development and launch of voice ordering, and most recently, the launch of the AnyWare suite of ordering technologies, including Emoji Ordering, Amazon Echo ordering and the Zero Click ordering application. He is also responsible for Domino’s Piece of the Pie Rewards program as well as teams focused on optimizing the retail digital experience and the use of digital ordering internationally. Maloney has been instrumental in growing Domino’s online sales more than threefold, to more than half of total U.S. sales, which accounts for more than $2B annually.
Eric Buchegger is a digital strategist focused on improving customer experiences through social media enablement and digital transformation within organizations. Eric currently leads social media for Allstate Canada where, through integrated efforts with vendors and internal partners, he has activated over one hundred sales agents and agencies on social platforms – shepherding change management and the adoption of social selling.
Eric has over fifteen years of experience in marketing with roots in traditional marketing and brand strategy. He’s worked for diverse companies including a digital agency and a tech startup, and he previously helped develop Intuit Canada’s social media strategy.
Originally from Vancouver, Eric now lives in Toronto, although he’s still a West Coaster at heart. Eric really enjoys the outdoors and is an avid runner, skier and cyclist. He completed the 2013 Chicago Marathon and is planning to run this third marathon this fall.
Melissa leads the team responsible for the installation of new features into the Discover card Website and App. Through requirements, journey mapping, design, usability testing, and iteration, the team installs functionality to give cardmembers ease of use in online account navigation and define the optimal customer experience. Previously Melissa was responsible for the UI / UX of Web and Systems within collections.
Martin Gurth is Sr. Manager of Customer Experience at Travelocity.com, part of the Expedia Inc. family of Brands, the world's leading online travel company. Martin oversees Travelocity’s Customer Experience Program including Feedback Management Platforms, Integration of Customer 1st Guarantee (C1G) across the Travelocity Site and management of the C1G Feedback Management Program. Prior to Travelocity, Martin was Sr. Manager of Customer Experience with Brand Expedia holding the similar responsibilities and spent 14 years in various roles throughout Expedia including roles within the Expedia Global Customer Service Organization.
Hiram Barber is Global Director, Digital Customer Experience for Schneider Electric, global specialist in energy management and automation. Hiram’s 20+ years experience includes business leadership, information architecture, and large-scale program management. In his current role, he is responsible for molding the key business processes – sales, marketing, customer service - while guiding the integration of the digital ecosystem to meet the needs of a global, large-scale, strategic transformation.
Tema Frank is a customer experience, digital marketing, and usability testing pioneer who put up her first website in 1995. She hosts the weekly Frank Reactions podcast on customer experience (http://bit.ly/FRitunes). Tema’s clients have included the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of America, the Government of Alberta, Cruise Ship Centres, ING Direct and other financial, travel, retail & government organizations.
A highly rated international speaker and best-selling author, she has also taught digital marketing and customer experience courses at universities in Canada and France. She will soon be releasing her second book, People Shock: The Path to Profits When Customers Rule.
Tema Frank can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @temafrank, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/temafrank, on Facebook’s Frank Reactions page, or toll-free at 1-866-544-9262.
(For those who wonder, Tema rhymes with Emma. It was her grandmother’s name.)
Ben Gray is an Digital Experience Analyst with Applause. He advises clients on their digital strategies to deliver delightful customer experiences. Prior to joining Applause, Ben served as a Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, where he spent more than a decade advising Fortune 500 companies on their IT strategies and was regularly quoted in top publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and InformationWeek.
Kavitha Krishnan aka lifelong champion for UX is a passionate UX professional who enjoys solving problems, organizing information and designing interactions. Currently, she is a Senior UX Consultant with CUNA MUTUAL Group at Madison, WI after working for companies like EMC Corporation, Dell, SmartBear and American Family Insurance.
Kavitha has a Masters in Computer Applications from India and worked as a software programmer before entering the magical world of UX. She also has a masters in Engineering Management from Tufts University and is currently pursing a masters in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. Recently, Kavitha formed a local chapter for Ladies that UX in Madison, WI.
A long-time digital marketer, MaryBeth is obsessed with helping businesses leverage innovative technologies to realize their strategic imperatives. Her experience in strategic planning, content marketing, cutting-edge technology, UI/UX, and data analysis combine to produce measurable outcomes for major cross-channel brand and lead generation initiatives.
She has spent the last 10 years working in the professional services world, most recently for Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and technology firms in the United States. As the Digital Director, she leads all digital practices, including Web, digital content strategy, social media, marketing automation, e-communications, digital advertising, and SEO.
Prior to joining Crowe, MaryBeth was a senior digital strategist for Giroux and Associates and for Siegel + Gale, a global brand strategy, design, and experience firm. She led engagement for clients that include Microsoft, Pennzoil Quaker State, Mentor Corporation, CBRE, Skoll Foundation, Rockwell, and the Capital Group.
Michelle is the Associate Director of Client Experience at Crowe Horwath LLP with more than 8 years of customer experience background and 20 years of professional experience. Michelle joined Crowe in late 2012. Previously she was employed by Lexmark International for 20 years where she spent 15 years in various engineering leadership roles and the balance of time she was creating and leading the Customer Experience program in the B2B part of the business. Today, she leads a small team of Customer Experience professionals whose goal is to create a culture where people come to work every day motivated to provide clients with an exceptional experience in every interaction.
Michelle is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) as well as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB). Her unique set of experience serves her well in balancing strategy with practical tactics. Michelle was awarded with the esteemed CX Impact Award – Outstanding Practitioner by the Customer Experience Practitioners Association in October, 2014. In addition, Michelle received the Innovation award on behalf of Crowe Horwath for their unique work titled, Pay It Forward – Improvements in CX through Employee Engagement. Michelle has been named a CX Superhero and you can read more about her super powers here.
Kevin O’Brien is the Product Owner of Digital Acquisition for Zions Bancorporation. For the past 10 years, Kevin has worked in the Financial Services Industry focusing on product design, development and management. His experience also includes program development, strategic marketing, pricing, partnership development/management, and customer experience design. Kevin joined Zions Bancorporation in 2013 to help create and transform digital experiences and capabilities for customers.
Lynn led company-wide customer experience transformation for many years at Applied Materials and Sonoco Products. As CEO of ClearAction customer experience consulting and its sister company, Marketing Operations Partners marketing efficiency and effectiveness consulting, Lynn helps you center your business on customers for continual ROI. She is past president of SVAMA, taught university courses for 5 years, and is a Professional Certified Marketer, Certified Quality Manager, Certified MBTI Practitioner, and Certified Customer Experience Professional. Lynn was first to receive CXPA’s Authorized Resource & Training designation for her Customer Experience Excellence course. She is co-founder of the Marketing Future Forum, #1 author of 2015 on CustomerThink.com, and has 4 Kindle titles, including Innovating Superior Customer Experience.
Simon Dermer is the co-founder and Managing Director of eSSENTIAL Accessibility, which enhances the customer experience for people with disabilities through the integration of assistive technology with digital accessibility compliance.
eSSENTIAL Accessibility inaugurated the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Multi-national Excellence Award in the People with Disabilities category. Winners to date are Duracell for ‘Trust Your Power’ (2014) and Kimberly Clark’s Kleenex for ‘Unlikely Best Friends’ (2015).
Simon is an electrical engineering dropout-com-economics graduate from Queens University and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. A BJJ enthusiast and follower of the Grateful Dead who holds a black belt in the latter, he is a member of the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels and administrator of the Air Canada Super Elite Group on LinkedIn.
Ryan is a Marketing & Digital Performance Director at Dynatrace. He has been working in the IT and Telecommunications industries for over 10 years with experience in all forms of data communications. In his 6+ years at Dynatrace, he has spent considerable time experimenting with digital technologies and social media. Ryan also enjoys cynicism, soccer, basketball, video games and making a fool of himself with laser eyes.
Dave Dyson is a Senior Customer Service Evangelist at Zendesk's headquarters in San Francisco. He's been at Zendesk for four and a half years, previously serving as a Customer Advocate, Support Manager and Senior Support Manager. Having lived the support experience from the inside, he’s now working as part of the Zendesk Relate team to help bring the best-practice lessons he’s learned to the wider world.
Nicholas Michel is a Research & Customer Experience Senior Analyst at Precision Dialogue. In this role he is responsible for the execution of research and user experience projects that create unique UX plans for clients to address their goals and advocate for their customers.
At Precision Dialogue, Nicholas has led over 150 projects for global brands such as Este Lauder, GM, Four Seasons and more, across industries including retail, financial services, healthcare and utilities. In this role Nick has facilitated hundreds of usability testing sessions, led interaction design projects for Fortune 100 companies and led all research activities for major site redesigns for multiple Fortune 1000 companies. These efforts have led to online conversion increases of greater than 25% and ROI increases up to 185% for specific engagements. He is also the foremost expert at PD in eye tracking and emotional testing (using EEG technology).
Nicholas graduated Summa Cum Laude Kent State University with an Advanced Bachelors of Business in Managerial Marketing, is a member of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) and is certified in User Experience by the Nielsen Norman Group.
Peter believes that “customers and employees simply want transparency…especially when things go wrong. Excellence awaits the few, brave companies who pledge never to hide.” Peter is also an expert in CX and has been a recognized thought leader in the market by Forrester and CXPA. Prior to leading Touchpoint Dashboard, Peter spent 15 years across two F500 executive roles as a CX practitioner, consultant, research director, and coach. Peter lives in Colorado with his young family.
Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change.
Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim.
Kate is passionate about customer insights. She has 20 years of experience understanding shopper’s needs and shopping behavior at General Mills and Best Buy. She started her career developing food products by understanding customer insights behind why they buy, working as a market researcher in Food Service, Big G cereals, New Products and New Business all leading up to her current role heading up Digital Customer Experience Research at Best Buy.
In 2011, Kate Kompelien joined Best Buy as Research Manager of New Business. She brought an immediate customer focus and new methodologies to help retail understand their customer’s shopping behavior within their newly remodeled Connected Stores. In 2012, she led the first of a series of Customer Experience Shopping Journey research projects for Best Buy that was the springboard to the focus they have on the customer today.
In 2014 she brought Journey Mapping to life which created a collaborative environment across all channels and businesses to ideate and collaborate around the best experiences that specifically address known need states, barriers and emotional triggers for our customers shopping at Best Buy today. Now, Kate leads the Customer Experience Research team across all digital properties including A/B testing, Design Research, Journey Mapping and Customer Insights with a tight partnership with Customer Experience Strategy.
Kate is a graduate of St. Thomas University with a MBA in Marketing, a graduate from Kansas State University with a MS in Grain Science and a graduate from University of MN with a BS in Food Science. She resides in Golden Valley, MN with her three children and husband.
Vicki Jones is Senior Vice President of AT&T Entertainment Group and Consumer Mobility Support, AT&T Services, Inc. She is responsible for end-to-end Customer Experience strategy and investment, DIRECTV merger synergies, delivery of FCC merger conditions, Entertainment Group and Consumer Mobility compliance and business unit support functions. This business delivers more than $85 billion in annualized revenue and supports tens of millions of customers.
Prior to this role, she was responsible for partnering with the business units to develop an Omni-Channel strategy to improve the customer experience and drive integrated solutions and investment. Vicki led the DIRECTV merger planning efforts for centers and retail, credit, billing and digital. In this role, she was responsible for delivering unified support for AT&T’s first-ever national Mobility and TV integrated offer.
Vicki previously led U-verse Sales and Service with a team of 23,000 people responsible for growing sales, service and retention for AT&T’s consumer products and services. Her team led the largest contribution to AT&T’s IP transformation and revenue growth for Home Solutions.
Over a career of 30+ years, Vicki has held several positions including Senior Vice President for National Customer Support, where she was responsible for customer care, advanced technical support, provisioning, and assurance for U-verse, DSL, Access Line repair, Messaging and AT&T Video Services. Vicki led business sales and service as Senior Vice President of AT&T Business Communications Services in the Midwest. And she was responsible for the Product Management and Product Development for consumer and business customers. She also served as Vice President of Strategy for AT&T. Her responsibilities included corporate strategy, pricing, alliance management, business development, channel strategy, eChannel strategy and adoption, and customer analytics and research.
Vicki is a member of the Frost Bank Advisory Board. She received her MBA in Electronic Commerce from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. She lives in Plano, Texas with her husband, Tim Hutton.
Mandeep Kwatra (@MK_HGS) is Vice President of Global Solutions & Capabilities and CX Strategy for HGS. He is an experienced CX professional and has consulted many companies on CX strategy, transformation, digital channel and digital experience design. Mandeep has over 14 years of experience in managing CX and outsourcing projects, hands-on experience in operations delivery, outsourcing strategy, solution design, transitions, end-to-end sourcing project management and change management. He has worked on several digital technologies and has helped many clients across different industry areas with their digital strategies since early 2000.
Frank has fused his customer service and contact center expertise (drawing on past lives at inContact and Broadview Networks) with his skills as a trainer, facilitator and teacher (an educator for almost 10 years before entering the for-profit world.) The result: an extremely potent customer experience innovation partner for our Fortune 500 clients, including some of the world’s leading brands in banking, telco, insurance, healthcare and leisure. His passion for smart, seamless customer journeys – whether on web, mobile or voice – is contagious, and no one advocates for keeping it simple for our clients and our clients’ customers like Frank.
Frank graduated from Villanova and earned fellowships at U. Penn, UTSA, and Georgetown. He loves all things ‘90s hip-hop, helping his wife raise three daughters, and coaching basketball (go Wildcats!) in his spare time.
Marissa Pippen is a product leader on the Business Innovations team within IHG, where she is responsible for managing and creating self-service channels. With over 16 years of experience working with large conglomerates like: GEICO, AT&T, T-Mobile/Metro PCS & now IHG. Her background is stacked with expertise in contact center operations, telecom engineering, product development, and project/program management. She has managed and worked with some amazing team(s) to develop uniquely awesome and clever solutions.