Technology Track Moderator: Amy Bouthilet, Program Director, Alta Resources
Amy Bouthilet is excited to be back at the SOCAP Symposium in the Moderator role. She was fortunate to moderate the Process track in 2015 and enjoyed every minute of it! Amy has been with Alta Resources for over 10 years, serving in various roles, including Trainer, Quality Assurance Manager, and most recently, Program Director. She has over 17 years of organizational development and training experience, with an emphasis on leadership and employee development. In addition, Amy has an extensive quality background and a personal passion to deliver an exceptional consumer experience.
Whether in a corporate support role or in direct management of a consumer care team, Amy has a proven track record of increasing consumer satisfaction scores through the utilization of Six Sigma. Amy facilitates Six Sigma White Belt Training for organizations looking to increase consumer satisfaction through process improvement.
Amy studied Organizational Communication at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She is MBTI® certified and has completed leadership development and customer service training programs through AchieveGlobal.
Process Track Moderator: Sharon Furbur, Senior Director of Organizational Effectiveness, C3i Healthcare Connections, a Division of Telerx
Sharon Furbur’s mission is to help businesses and organizations to help themselves. She is an experienced coach, mentor, training specialist and organizational development professional. Sharon has 25+ years’ experience in a contact center environment, including leadership roles within Operations, Human Resources, Training and Professional Development. The “Furburized” style of leadership development is to understand what motivates leaders, identify personal and professional objectives and use those goals to develop a personalized development program that will take leaders from good to great!
Sharon attended Muhlenberg College with studies focused on Business Psychology and is currently attending Indiana Wesley University pursuing a BS in Business Management. Sharon is a certified facilitator, with an Executive Leadership Certification from Cornell University. She has also received professional training as a certified John Maxwell Coach and Speaker and Dr. Susan Wheelan’s Group Development certification. Through these and other skill-building certifications, Sharon has mentored and coached hundreds of individual students to realize their individual and team potential. Sharon has helped individuals meet their personal goals and groups to be more cohesive, productive and high functioning.
People Track Moderator: Crystalle Ramey, President & CBA (Chief Bulb Architect), The Bulb Effect
Crystalle Ramey is President and CBA (Chief Bulb Architect) of “The Bulb Effect.” The Bulb Effect focuses on building ‘aha!’ moments that enable you or your company to GROW, SHINE and SUCCEED! These ‘aha! Moments’ can come in a variety of shapes and sizes–from scalable learning solutions (Web-based, instructor-led, virtual) to informal Video-Based Learning (VBL) and mobile.
Crystalle has over 20+ years of Corporate Learning & Development experience for companies such as MasterCard International, JPMorgan Chase, Time Warner Cable Business Class and most recently at Kelly Services. Her roots in adult learning began as a Marksmanship Instructor in the United States Marine Corps and served during the Gulf War and the Somalia Relief Effort. Her experience is complemented by her education; having achieved an AS in International Business at Westchester Community College; a BS in Organizational Development at Manhattanville College; and most recently, a M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology at UNC Charlotte.
In her spare time, Crystalle refines her craft as an amateur comedian. Additionally, she served 2 years as the Association for Talent Development (ATD) Charlotte Chapter’s VP of Programming, President Elect in 2015 and is currently honored to serve as the President in 2016.
To connect with her:
Strategy Track Moderator: Barbara Sweat, Senior Manager of Training and Quality, Telerx
Barbara Sweat has 20+ years of experience in contact center environments as a Learning and Development (L & D) professional. She is a dedicated advocate of workplace learning and believes the key to being an effective L & D professional is to always connect learning content to relevant, real life situations. Hundreds of working professionals of financial, not-for- profit, consumer goods, pharmaceutical and direct marketing firms have experienced Barbara’s commitment to blending learning theory with application to make training impactful. Her approach has yielded widespread success measured by the accomplishments of the people she’s taught, coached and mentored.
Barbara is recognized as a forward-thinking training professional who creates enlightening and action-oriented learning environments. Her goal is unyielding: to inspire superior service, exceptional leadership and measurable results. Her favorite training topics include Change Management, Customer Service Excellence, and Conflict Resolution. Barbara holds certifications in Crucial Conversations, Influencer and Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation from VitalSmarts and Kirkpatrick Partners, respectively. She has an A.A.S. degree in Human Resource Management and is pursuing a B.S. in Management from the University of Phoenix.
Lorraine Avery, Senior Vice President/Strategic Director of Bank Operations, Associated Bank
Lorraine Avery is Senior Vice President, Strategic Director Bank Operations at Associated Bank. Lorraine serves as the senior officer for customer service, call centers and bank assistance for all bank products, assets and liabilities for the entire Associated Bank Holding Company. Her responsibilities include support across all business lines including retail, business banking and wealth/trust assistance service and sales, telephone and mobile banking, customer service delivery and specialized customer care. Lorraine co-chairs Associated Bank’s Customer Experience Council. She served as a Director on the SOCAP National Board through 2014.
Bob Azman, Chief Experience Officer, Avtex Consulting Solutions, LLC
Bob Azman, Chief Experience Officer, consults with companies in a variety of industries on developing and implementing strategies to improve their overall customer experience and service operations. Twenty of his 35 years in business are in service operations leadership roles that have prepared him well for his role at Avtex. As a thought leader, practitioner and business partner in customer experience design and execution, he provides a unique perspective on helping companies become easy to do business with.
Bob also brings a wealth of diverse, general operations and business background as an executive at large corporations such as Thomson Reuters, Ceridian and Deluxe Corporation. He has managed global customer service and technical support organizations as well as software implementation and training and development functions in the US, the Philippines, India, South America, Australia, Japan and Europe.
Bob earned both his MBA and bachelor’s degrees from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He is an Adjunct Professor in the University Of Minnesota Carlson School Of Management’s Supply Chain and Operations Management department teaching Global and Service Operations Strategy and Management at the undergraduate and MBA levels. He is also a guest lecturer in the MBA program at the University Of St. Thomas Opus School Of Business. Bob is a frequent speaker on the subject of developing effective customer experience and service strategies at industry forums and conferences where he receives top ratings on his interactive approach and unique ability to combine academic principles with real life experiences.
Carla Barker, Senior Account Manager, CX Solutions
Carla Barker is a Senior Account Manager at CX Solutions (formerly TARP Worldwide) located in Arlington, Virginia. She is responsible for developing and delivering custom training and communication programs for customer facing employees which are designed to improve the overall customer experience. Carla has over 20 years of progressive experience in the areas of customer experience, training development and delivery, corporate and employee communications, customer retention, call center management and operations, product development, business process improvement and change management. She has a BA in Marketing from the University of New Mexico.
Andy Begnoche, Director of Operations, Holdcom
Andy is the Director of Operations at HOLDCOM, an audio marketing company which helps organizations elevate their customer experience and promote their brand with affordable professional voice and video production. He has helped spearhead a blended Customer Service approach which brings together team members from Marketing, Scripts, and Tech Support. As a member of the SOCAP Board and the Executive Committee, Andy works closely with Member Services Committee helping generate new valuable content for SOCAP’s website and learning portal. Andy is also actively involved in the Business Partners Advisory Committee (BPAC) and is currently serving on SOCAP's Database Taskforce.
Tara Bischoff, Senior Manager of Consumer Relations, Pinnacle Foods, Inc.
Tara Bischoff is the Senior Manager of Consumer Relations at Pinnacle Foods, Inc. She has over 15 years of experience working in the CPG industry with such companies as Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Bayer HealthCare and Pinnacle Foods. Throughout the years, Tara has held various roles in Consumer Relations including System Administrator and Operations Manager. In her current role, she oversees data management and provides trend analysis to Pinnacle’s senior leaders for such brands as Duncan Hines, Vlasic and Wish-Bone.
Tara is a Board Member of SOCAP’s NY Metro Chapter, as well as a member of SOCAP National’s Education Committee. In her spare time, Tara is a group fitness instructor where she is able to share her passion for health and wellness in her local community.
Nate Brown, Manager of Customer Support, Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
Nate Brown has had an outstanding day when he is able to help customers. As the Manager of Customer Support for UL, Nate’s ambition is to create outstanding service interactions through creativity, knowledge and professionalism. He is an HDI certified Support Center Manager, VP of Membership for the HDI Music City Chapter and a Speaker in the Southeast region. Nate is also the founder and primary author for the service blog CustomerCentricSupport.com.
Kathy Browning, Director of Mission Growth, Education at Work
Kathy has 25+ years of experience in the business process outsourcing industry including global business development and large scale operations. Kathy has worked for one of the world’s largest BPO providers (Convergys) managing relationships in many industries and across the globe. Kathy’s experience in the industry includes sales, operations, and account management. Her background makes her especially adept at developing solutions for new programs and/or re-designing processes to drive a better customer experience. Kathy leads the business development effort at Education at Work, matching clients with campus-driven solutions aimed at helping students graduate college with as little debt as possible. Not only does Kathy value the benefit of her own college education, but she has first-hand knowledge of the expense associated with sending three sons to college.
Vicky Cherne, Manager of Consumer Affairs & Customer Concerns, Land O'Lakes
Vicky has a lifelong passion for customer service, fueled early on by growing up on a family-owned fishing resort and restaurant in northeastern Minnesota. She leads the Dairy Foods Consumer Affairs and Customer Concerns team at Land O’Lakes, Inc. and has been with company for 10 years. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, she served in a variety of consumer relations roles at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and The Prudential Life Insurance Company. Vicky has a B.A. in Foods and Nutrition from St. Olaf College. She and her husband are the proud parents of three children and in her spare time she enjoys downhill skiing, reading and volunteering for a variety of organizations including SOCAP where is currently the MN Chapter VP of Membership and a past chapter president.
Jon Cox, Consumer Affairs Manager, WellPet
Jon Cox is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College (B.S.) and Marshall University (M.S.). During the his 12 years at WellPet he has honed pet food skills by working on the Operations & Product Development teams in various roles. In his current role, which he transitioned to in early 2011, he reshaped the Consumer Affairs team into five full-time positions based at WellPet's home office in Tewksbury, MA. His team has helped bring traditional PR Agency responsibilities (social media coverage & tracking) in-house, helped make WellPet the first natural pet food company to offer chat and is currently working on making WellPet txt enabled and Next Caller functional.
Shadley Davidson, Senior Manager of Customer Experience, 24-7 Intouch
As a Senior Customer Experience Manager, Shadley is responsible for supporting strategic customer relationships, including implementation and transforming voice of the agent information into actionable customer insights. He has worked with strategic business partners to incorporate technology and enhance the company’s product and service offerings.
Prior to joining 24-7 Intouch, Shadley held management roles in Software Configuration, Implementation, Project Management and Sales. He also holds a BSc. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba.
Lisa Diehl, Manager of Customer Relations, Orbitz Worldwide
Lisa Diehl has over 30 years of experience in the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Industry and has held a variety of supervisory and managerial positions. For the past 14 years, she has been a member of Orbitz Worldwide’s Global Customer Experience Team, based in Chicago.
Lisa is currently responsible for managing the day- to-day operations of the Customer Relations team, including customer engagement on social media for Orbitz’ brands in the Americas, which is comprised of the flagship brand of Orbitz and its sister brand, CheapTickets.
Lisa is presently serving on the SOCAP Board of Directors, and is also the 2016 Board Advisor for the SOCAP Education Committee. In addition, Lisa served on the Editorial Board of Directors for CustomerCare News
magazine for several years.
Sam Espinosa, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Next Caller
Sam Espinosa hails from Austin, Texas, and received a bachelor degree from Yale University. An entrepreneur for the past decade, Sam's experience places him at the forefront of applied behavioral science, technology, and strategic marketing. As SVP of Sales & Marketing, Sam's expertise guides business and product development for Next Caller, leveraging emerging trends in technology and big data. His work has been profiled in TIME Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New Yorker, Forbes, Fortune, and The Economist.
Tanya Gantzer, Senior Vice President of Client, University & Marketing Development, Education at Work
Tanya has 25+ years of experience in the customer care industry including call center, CRM and billing solutions and customer experience research. Her tenure in the business includes the birth of call center outsourcing, from onshore to offshore to right shore. Tanya’s past roles include working for one of the world’s largest BPO providers (Convergys) as well as a mid-tier, mission driven BPO. Her responsibilities have included sales and sales management, account management, software delivery and service, and customer experience research. As the head of client, university and market development, Tanya’s role is to market, build, sustain and grow the client-base for Education at Work. She is responsible for building strong relationships with existing client-partners, while seeking new partners who want to leverage the power of our students to fulfill their overall customer service mission. Tanya also is responsible for creating and maintaining partnerships with universities so that the mission can expand onto campuses nationwide.
Ryan Gooley, Recall Consultant, Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS
Ryan Gooley is a Recall Consultant for Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, where he has played a vital role in the execution of nearly 1,000 recalls, withdrawals, and market corrections for some of the highest profile food and beverage, consumer product, and pharmaceutical companies. Throughout his 10 years in the recall management industry, Ryan has managed a wide range of crisis situations, leading clients through every step of the recall process. Having worked with many global clients over the course of his career, Ryan’s efforts have contributed to the successful resolution of hundreds of international product recalls.
Prior to joining Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, Ryan held multiple management and operation positions. He attended North Central College in Naperville, Illinois where he earned a Master’s of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, with minors in International Studies and Professional Conflict Resolution.
Cynthia Grimm, Chief Customer Experience Officer, CX Solutions
Cynthia J. Grimm is Chief Customer Experience Officer for CX Solutions (formerly CX Act). Cynthia has worked in customer experience measurement and improvement as a practitioner, researcher and consultant for more than 30 years. In her work with CX Solutions, she has assisted hundreds of companies with quantification of the value and ROI of customer experience improvement, enhancing the Voice of the Customer process, and developing balanced approaches to measurement that drives action within an organization. She has a BS degree in Management and Consumer Science from the University of Maryland and a MBA from George Mason University.
Linda Grover, Consumer Affairs Supervisor, McCormick Canada
Linda (AKA "Spice Girl") has handled Consumer Care for McCormick Canada since 2004. Servicing the Canadian consumer market offers challenges that are bound by relative size, geography and language. Linda has driven changes in the McCormick consumer care from a one desk model, to a small in-house team to exclusively outsourced contact center team. The team currently handles traditional channels as well as "light duty" consumer care in Social Media.
She believes that companies owe their consumers an honest, caring relationship that begins with each agent having a sincere belief, strong confidence and true delight in the products that they support. The agent's sense of pride and belonging to the McCormick family is a priority and a passion.
Linda's consumer care experience ranges from years as a phone agent (juggling 20+ unique automotive brand accounts), specialty member services, managing reference resources, coaching, training, membership administration and managing the consumer care programme for McCormick. Having joined SOCAP in 2006, Linda has served as Chair of the Canada Community, and has participated in the Education Committee for 3 years.
Jon Hockman, Principal, The d3 Group
Jon Hockman has more than 20 years’ experience working with organization leaders to build strategic efficiency, expand productivity, and increase satisfaction. Since 2002, he has been the principal of The d3 Group, a Washington, DC based firm specializing in facilitation, strategy development, and executive coaching. Points of entry for the firms’ work include: strategy and vision, organization change, leadership development, and team assessment and development. Clients are national or international organizations primarily from the association/nonprofit, and Federal government sectors. Prior to launching The d3 Group, Jon served as the chief executive of Delta Sigma Phi, a 100,000 member leadership development organization; and as a fundraiser for both the Children’s Defense Fund and The American University. Based on a belief that you get what you give, Jon offers his time and experience as a volunteer for several community and professional associations. A resident of Washington, DC, Jon does some of his best thinking while training for marathons and triathlons.
Eric Jenkins, COO, ConsumerAffairs
Eric oversees operations at ConsumerAffairs, allowing ConsumerAffairs to scale rapidly as an organization while maintaining company culture across all departments. As an Executive and Entrepreneur, Eric has 20+ years of experience in designing, funding, building and growing companies. He has been the Founder, Co-Founder or Executive with nine different companies in various industries.
Eric is a two time INC 500 recipient, Entrepreneurial Excellence award recipient, three time UTAH 100 recipient, and member leader of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Paul Johns, Chief Marketing Officer, Conversocial
With over 17 years of experience as a senior marketing executive, Paul Johns is an established thought leader in global brand strategy, content marketing, demand generation, product marketing, analyst and investor relations. He currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of Conversocial, a leading provider of cloud-based social customer service solutions. Previously, Paul was Global Head of Marketing & Communications at Thomson Reuters. Prior to that, Paul held various senior marketing positions at successful companies, including Genesys Lab, Orchestria, Axiom Systems and Broadbase Software (now Kana).
Kris Lomax, Consumer Affairs Social Media Manager, Crayola
Kris Lomax is the Consumer Affairs Social Media Manager at Crayola, a Hallmark subsidiary based in Easton, Pennsylvania. In this role, Kris is responsible for managing the consistent and strategic response for Crayola’s social media and online communication channels. Prior to rejoining Crayola after 12 years in Southern California, she held various call center management, project management and leadership positions.
Kris loves the colorful consumer connections the Crayola brand creates and believes the success of Crayola’s multi-channel, written communication is effective, engaging, and personal response that fosters the emotional connection a consumer expects from the brand.
Kris lives in Easton with her husband and enjoys helping her 13-year-old son diagram sentences. She is the self-proclaimed grammar queen of the household.
Peggy Lundquist, Director of Consumer Connections, WhiteWave Foods
Peggy Lundquist is Director Consumer Connections with WhiteWave Foods and has 19 years consumer affairs experience in Consumer Package Goods. Peggy is responsible for aligning the organization on the consumer connections strategy and works with her team to grow consumer advocates, deliver consumer insights, and leverage best practices in WhiteWave’s consumer program. WhiteWave’s brands include plant-based foods and beverages from Silk® and So Delicious®; premium dairy foods and beverages from Horizon Organic® and Wallaby Yogurt; and coffee creamers and beverages from International Delight® and Land O Lakes® creamers. Peggy is a 19-year active SOCAP member, serving in 2016 as a Board Member and Board Liaison to the CPG Steering Committee.
Alton Martin, Co-Founder, Trusource Labs
Alton is a globally recognized expert in applying performance standards and metrics in service operations. In 1996, he co-founded COPC Inc., a globally recognized performance model and associated metrics targeted for contact centers and business process outsourcing organizations. For seven years he ran COPC’s international operations in UK, India, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and Argentina. He served as the CEO until June 2009 when he founded a consultancy focused on applying Vested OutsourcingTM techniques in outsourced service operations.
Alton has worked with scores of leading organizations, including Accenture, American Express, Apple, CapitalOne, Canon, Convergys, Chase Bank, Convergys, Datacom, Department of Information Resources (state of Texas), Dell, DirecTV, Sitel, Sykes, Teleperformance, Maximus, Microsoft and Macquarie and many others in over 40 countries.
In November 2009, Alton was appointed to the Program Faculty, University of Tennessee’s Center for Executive Education where he is the subject matter expert on Vested OutsourcingTM for contact centers and business process outsourcing organizations.
In July 2013 Alton co-founded Trusource Labs LLC, a third-party contact center supporting services and products that are complex, risky, or both. He developed Trusourcing as the business framework, which features complete operational and financial transparency with clients. Trusource now employs over 525 staff from three locations in Austin TX supporting Nest, Dropcam, Dropbox, Philips, Canary, Plum, Sengled, Curb, and other leading edge firms.
Colleen Miller, Senior Manager of Consumer Relations, Bayer Consumer Health
Colleen Miller is the Senior Manager of Consumer Relations at Bayer Consumer Health in Whippany, NJ. She leads an internal team of brand insights and operations professionals and oversees an external contact center. Colleen was one of the beta testers of the Customer Engagement Framework assessment and her team completed the assessment in December of 2015. Prior to leading the Consumer Relations team, Colleen held a variety of operational and design roles in a number of Fortune 500 companies and owned her own design studio. Colleen holds a BA in Journalism and a MA in Educational Public Relations, both from Glassboro State College in New Jersey and is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.
Leslie O'Flahavan, Principal, E-WRITE
Leslie O'Flahavan has helped thousands of people learn to write well for online readers. She has delivered customized writing courses for customer service agents, social media managers, and support desk staff. She is a problem-solver for all the writing-related challenges faced by contact centers: e-mail, chat, and social media. She helps contact centers train agents to write excellent e-mail, measure the quality of their e-mails to customers, and rewrite and maintain their entire library of canned answers. Recently, she completed a complete overhaul of customer service writing for a global airline’s domestic and international contact centers. Leslie is the co-author of Clear, Correct, Concise E-Mail: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents.
Frank Pettinato, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Telerx
Frank Pettinato is a seasoned leader and has held C-level leadership positions in the consumer packaged goods, business services and technology industries. His particular areas of expertise include operations, technology, sales and marketing.
Currently, Frank is the SVP and General Manager, of Telerx Marketing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck, a leading provider of omni-channel contact center services for blue-chip companies in branded consumer products categories, in particular the food and beverage, soft/hard goods and retail industries. Frank has full P&L responsibility and oversees all aspects of Telerx, including the development and execution of the Company’s strategic plan, all aspects of business operations, sales, account management and marketing.
Prior to joining Telerx, Frank was the President and CEO of Corporate Call Center, Inc., a multi-channel contact services company specializing in sales campaigns, membership enrollments, and retention and member services for the highly regulated health insurance industry. He served as the driving force behind the turnaround and restructuring of the company into a leader in inbound and outbound call center services amid changing insurance market driven by the health care reform in 2010.
Frank also served as SVP of Sales and Marketing at Pro Phase Laboratories, COO/EVP of Global Operations & Technology at Ascendia Brands, and VP of Operations and Chief Technology Officer at Visalign LLC.
Frank started his carrier in research and development, advanced manufacturing and technical sales with the AT&T Bell Laboratories, Lucent and GE information Systems.
In addition to his executive career, Frank has served in a consulting role for a number startup companies, helping them to analyze markets, launch new products and expand existing offering and products.
Frank holds a Masters of Business Administration in International Business from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University.
Amy Philpott, Vice President of Crisis Services, Watson Green LLC
Amy Philpott is vice president of crisis services at Watson Green LLC, a Washington, DC-based public relations firm where she specializes in crisis communication and reputation management. For more than a decade, she has helped companies and associations develop crisis management and communication plans, and use strategic communication to protect their brands, reputations and business relationships during crises.
Amy holds bachelor and master degrees from California State University, Fresno, and a Master of Arts in public communication from American University in Washington, DC. She is a co-contributor to the International Food Information Council’s 2015 Food Safety: A Communicator’s Guide to Improving Understanding
. In 2013-2014, Amy served on a 12-person joint United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with developing a global guide for food safety risk communication. Amy is fully accredited in public relations (APR).
Jeff Radecki, Customer Experience Design Manager, Best Buy
Jeff as spent over 14 years at Best Buy as a proven strategic leader and visionary with a focus on designing business strategies that translate into highly efficient and cost-effective business services. In his current role, Jeff provides operational management support for Best Buy’s private label brands, product safety/ recall, account maintenance, billing renewal and part store sales programs. He oversees the customer support provided by multiple large contact centers (450+ employees), including those based outside of the United States.
A couple of Jeff’s key achievements include design and launch of Best Buy’s customer contact support team for its $2 billion dollar private label line of business. He also successfully designed and launched Best Buy’s contact center strategy and support for its product safety/recall programs.
Fabio Serafini, Senior Director of Customer Service, Fandango
As Senior Director of Customer Service, Fabio oversees the internal and outsourced customer care teams for Fandango.com, FandangoNow, Flixtster and Rotten Tomatoes.
Prior to joining Fandango, Fabio spent the better part of a decade working in Film, Television and Commercials. He then transitioned to the world of customer service and worked for several BPOs before beginning his career with Fandango as the Customer Service Manager. Fabio was born in Italy and raised in England and Germany, and holds a Masters Degree from the University of Illinois.
Marie Shubin, Senior Director of Consumer Relations & Sensory Operations, E&J Gallo Winery
Marie Shubin is the Sr. Director, Consumer Relations and Sensory Operations at E&J Gallo Winery. Marie’s long career has blended her formal education as a teacher, extensive experience working in both supermarkets, technology, healthcare and consumer products manufacturing with a passion for service excellence. She has developed customer care curriculums and trained thousands of individuals in face to face and contact center programs for B2B and B2C environments. She advocates deploying technology to improve operational effectiveness in the contact center while maintaining the human interaction and personalized service. Marie has been active in SOCAP since 1993 as a Chapter Officer and Board member. She led the launch of the CPG Industry Community and the Data Reporting Workshop and was the 2015 Chairman of the SOCAP Board.
Deborah Sommers, Manager of Consumer Advocacy, Blue Diamond Growers
Born and raised in New England, Deborah’s professional career has been largely devoted to some aspect of Customer Service and spent a number of years in Inside Sales Eng’g for the plastics industry in the Chicago area.
Deborah relocated to northern CA in 2002, started with Blue Diamond in 2006 as the Consumer Advocate and manages a staff of four full-time agents (whom she affectionately refers to as her ‘First Responders’).
Deborah has been an active SOCAP member since 2012. She is one of SOCAP's first Customer Engagement Framework ‘Trailblazers’ and serves as the current NW Chapter President, as well as the Vice Chair of the CPG Community Steering Committee. Deborah is also the Chair of the 2016 Data Reporting Workshop Planning Committee.
John Stieger, Chief Marketing Officer, Wilke Global
John Stieger is CMO of Wilke Global, the leading consumer affairs software provider to CPG manufacturers. Previously he held executive roles in consumer relations, social media, brand, and IT with P&G and Gillette. His experience also includes management consulting, tending bar, selling shoes, and bagging groceries. John holds a MBA from Cornell University and a BA from Colgate University.
Douglas Stolls, Manager of Guest Relations/Central Baggage/Station Compliance, Virgin America
An airline industry veteran with 20 years’ experience, having helped launch Virgin America eight years ago, opening up the airline’s Las Vegas and Orlando stations. He has also worked in the company’s Operations Control Center and currently has oversight of Guest relations, Central baggage and Continuous Improvement at corporate headquarters in San Francisco.
Priscilla Sutherland, Director of Consumer Affairs, Butterball
Priscilla Sutherland is the Director of Consumer Affairs at Butterball LLC. In addition to owning the year-round call center experience for Butterball consumers, this role also manages the ever-popular Butterball Turkey Talk-Line ® which provides holiday meal expertise in November and December each year. Prior to joining Butterball LLC in 2013, Priscilla performed a variety of roles in her 33 years at Kellogg Company. In addition to her Consumer Affairs experience (10 years), her Kellogg career included roles in manufacturing, distribution, human resource and finance.
Neal Topf, President and Co-Founder, Callzilla
Neal Topf is the President and Co-Founder of Callzilla, an outsourced customer-experience focused ommi-channel contact center. Neal leads Callzilla's operations and sales and marketing efforts as Callzilla has evolved into a quality and training-first, full service, onmi-channel solutions provider that helps US companies acquire and care for their English and Spanish speaking customers. Neal has lived, worked, and studied in multiple countries and diverse cultural environments and hopes to bring that wealth of experience, languages, and cultures to the Callzilla service portfolio. Neal resides in south Florida with his beautiful wife and 3 year old son which are his true passions.
Mike Vandenbos, Entrepreneur in Residence, Zipwhip
When you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. Since jumping onboard the Zipwhip rocket in 2013, Mike has strapped onto what he believes is the hottest, fasted growing technology in customer engagement since web chat. Mike was responsible for closing the first customer by going to his dental office and asking them, “What happens when a customer sends a text message to your main number”? Before becoming Entrepreneur in Residence at Zipwhip, Mike was instrumental in building out the sales team and opened up key industry verticals, including the CPG space helping innovative BPO’s pioneer the SMS/MMS medium for their clients.
Coca Cola and JP Morgan killed voice mail, Zipwhip’s mission is to bring new life to all existing Landline & Toll Free numbers adding texting capability without having to port carriers. Zipwhip’s industrial grade, cloud texting platform supports bi-directional SMS/MMS utilizing carrier native text messaging so there are no mobile apps to download. Zipwhip empowers BPO’s to add text messaging to their brands existing Toll Free numbers opening up the high priority, asynchronous medium to better serve the voice of the customer.
Mike has been active in the High Tech industry since 2009 helping start over 50 seed stage startups through Founder Institute of Seattle. After graduating college he managed Seattle Mens Shoes for Nordstrom where he learned the customer is not always right, but they need to feel that their experience is central to the transaction. “Nothing happens until a sale is made” is the quote that hung in his Nordstrom office and is what drives Mike to be results driven, connecting ideas to execution.
Michele Watson, Vice President of Customer Care and Payments & Risk, Walmart.com
As Vice President of Customer Care and Payments & Risk at Walmart.com, Michele Watson oversees the online operations for customer support, fraud, and payments for the world’s largest retailer.
Michele joined Walmart.com in 2014 to create a customer-centric Care operation and to ensure the core values of Walmart are embodied in the service delivery. Prior to joining Walmart.com, Michele was the SVP of Global Customer Care at Match.com. She has over 30 years of customer service experience in a variety of industries and has always been viewed as a significant change-agent in her organizations.
Michele received a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science from Texas State University.
Walmart.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., headquartered in Bentonville, Ark. Walmart.com’s offices are located in San Bruno, California.
Richard Wegener, Counsel, Faegre Baker Daniels
Richard Wegener is a resident in the Minneapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels, an international law firm with offices in the US, Europe and China. He counsels clients on antitrust and trade regulation, FDA and regulatory law matters, particularly in the food and agriculture industry. Recognizing how a company reacts during the first 24 hours of a crisis can determine its reputation for years to come, he provides crisis management counsel to clients under investigation, the target of a lawsuit, or facing media, consumer or regulatory scrutiny, often in connection with a product recall. Earlier in his career, Dick served as Division Counsel to the U.S. Foods Group at The Pillsbury Company. He also has had significant sales and legal responsibilities for The Haagen-Dazs Company.
Jennnifer White, Senior Contact Center Manager, Nautilus
Jennifer White is currently the Senior Contact Center Manager for Nautilus, Inc., which includes Bowflex, Schwinn and Universal brands based out of Vancouver, Washington. As a leader with over 25 years experience, Jennifer has worked in both sales and customer serivce for companies such as Airgas, Inc., Direct Supply and Waste Management. Over her three years with Nautilus, Jennifer’s focus has been on creating department efficiencies within a 60 person contact center. This not only included process improvements, training and employee development, but also developing a leadership team to support the direction of improving the customer’s overall experience with Nautilus.
Beth Ziff, Vice President of Operations, Premiere Response
Beth Ziff has handled millions of contacts across multiple industries (including CPG, food, consumer electronics, and healthcare) over the years. Strategically, she strives to deliver optimal service to clients and their customers. Her teams are best-in-class when it comes to replicating culture, building loyalty and delivering on brand promises. She loves a good crisis and has helped swells of companies manage through high volume events. Traditionally, Beth is Vice President of Operations and Client Services at Premiere Response, a division of American Customer Care. In a past life, she was Board Chair of SOCAP International and a past President of the SOCAP NY Metro Chapter.