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© SOCAP International 2019

625 North Washington Street · Suite 304 · Alexandria, VA · 22314
Telephone: (703) 519–3700 ·
Email: socap@socap.org

©2019 by SOCAP International.

Breakout Sessions


October 20–23, 2019

Tucson, Arizona



11:00 am–Noon TRACK I • Re-Imagining Intersection of Customer Care and Marketing

Strategies for Levering Ratings and Reviews to Scale E-commerce

Session description coming soon.


  • Jim Horey, Founder and CEO, Reviewbox
    Jim Horey is the founder and CEO of Reviewbox. Before founding Reviewbox, he was vice president of data analytics at Cirrus Insight, where he helped form and lead multiple data analytics teams. As a researcher at Oak Ridge National Lab, he helped federal agencies solve "big data" problems. Jim holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of New Mexico. He is a self-avowed data geek and enjoys running long-distance races.


  • Lisa Diehl, Manager, Consumer Advocacy, Blue Diamond Growers
    Lisa Diehl heads consumer advocacy for Blue Diamond Growers in Sacramento, California. She oversees all aspects of the North America Retail Consumer Advocacy Division. Lisa currently manages four consumer-facing agent teams; an in-house team in Sacramento, California; and three outsourced teams (located in Bogota, Colombia; Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada; and New Providence, New Jersey).

    Within Blue Diamond, Lisa is also a member of Blue Diamond’s Corporate Communications Council, along with being a lead member of Blue Diamond’s Crises Management Team.

    Lisa has over 35 years of experience in consumer affairs and has held a variety of managerial positions. Originally from Chicago, Lisa relocated to California in 2016 to join the Blue Diamond Team. Lisa became a member of SOCAP in 2010. She is presently serving on the SOCAP National Board of Directors and SOCAP’s Executive Committee and is the current SOCAP board chair. In addition, Lisa serves as a board member and advisor for the NW Regional Chapter.

11:00 am–Noon • TRACK II • Strategic Leadership

The Science of Storytelling: Winning Commitment Within Your Organization

Are you trapped in an exhausting cycle of trying to demonstrate the value of customer service? Effectively telling your customer service story at scale requires service leaders to understand the science of storytelling. Beyond just visualizing data, mastering these steps will help you get people to open their hearts and tell you what it’s really like to be your customer. More importantly, it will help you package this information in ways that move your teams to action—and commitment.

In this session, you’ll learn the science of stories that stick in our memory and move us emotionally. We’ll show practical examples of powerful techniques used everywhere from the New York Times’ Bestseller List to your favorite Netflix series to consistently win your internal audience.


  1. The definition of storytelling vs. journalism (according to Academy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin) and why it’s critical for you to understand it.

  2. Why Titanic is not just a story about a ship that sinks.

  3. Story curation tools you’ll use to automate storytelling every day in your company.


  • Lisa Oswald, Head of Customer Service, Travelzoo
    Lisa Oswald is senior vice president and global head of customer service in support of Travelzoo’s 28 million members worldwide. Well-versed in travel, previously she was vice president of operations and customer service for Priceline.com, where she led sales and service for the dot com and its affiliate partner network, from startup through more than a decade of transformational change. Lisa is a director of SOCAP International and an advisory board member with Execs In The Know, a global community of customer experience executives.


  • Max Israel, Founder and CEO of Customerville
    Max Israel is founder and CEO of Customerville, the design-driven Voice of the Customer platform. Customerville is dedicated to blending technology, art, and behavioral science to elevate Voice of the Customer—a concept it refers to as “design-driven feedback.”

    In 2003, Customerville registered what was among the first real-time customer feedback surveys on the internet. Today, Max’s company works with brands in over 20 countries and in a wide variety of sectors, including insurance, finance, medicine, hospitality, and retail.

    Max is a passionate advocate for change in how companies measure and use customer experience data. He believes that, too often, companies focus on the dry exercise of collecting data and distributing this information. Design-driven feedback offers us the chance to use technology to curate these stories in ways that make customers feel listened to and employees feel valued.

    Max is the author of the widely read customer experience book Design-driven Feedback. His regular vlog on the subject of customer experience, 40 Billion Reasons, is viewed by over 5,000 people per week.

    Max and his family live in Valencia, Spain, where Customerville has its European headquarters.

11:00 am–Noon • TRACK III • Re-Imagining the Relationship of Interconnected Businesses

How Bayer Consumer Health Kicked Up Communications for Improved Consumer Experience

Bayer Consumer Health (BCH) and E-WRITE will walk attendees through BCH's two-phase communication strategy that improved the consumer experience by using personalized and authentic communication with consumers. We will share examples and best practices in our move away from robotic communication in social media, email, and letter writing. This is a live, ongoing project, and we believe SOCAP attendees will use our “lessons learned” to plan and implement their own projects. BCH and E-WRITE will detail Phase One: Roll-Out (July–October 2019) and Phase Two: Voice of the Brand (January 2020).


  1. Learn how to communicate the importance of authentic, personalized, and meaningful communications to drive consumer satisfaction in a regulated OTC environment.

  2. Learn how Bayer used diplomacy to show internal teams (marketing, communications, legal) how its communication style was outdated and impersonal without causing them to become defensive or resistant.

  3. Learn from Bayer how to implement this communications project: define the strategy, develop a business case, align stakeholders, customize writing training, utilize tools.


  • Colleen Miller, Lead, Consumer Engagement, U.S. Bayer Consumer Health
    Colleen Miller leads the Consumer Engagement team at Bayer Consumer Health, U.S. in Whippany, New Jersey. Colleen has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in various roles throughout her career as well as owned a small graphic design business. Regardless of what she is working on, Colleen always has a passion for the consumer, which is what led her to her current role leading initiatives that ensure that the consumer is at the center of all decision-making. Colleen currently serves as vice president of events for the New York Metro Chapter of SOCAP.


  • 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, social media, and text. She helps contact centers train frontline agents to write well and to measure the quality of their writing. Leslie helps customer care teams rewrite entire libraries 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 an instructor for Lynda.com (LinkedIn Learning) writing courses and the author of Clear, Correct, Concise Email: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents.

11:00 am–Noon • TRACK IV • Applied and Emerging Technologies

How to Leverage the Gig Economy and Deploy Adult Virtual Learning to Improve
the CX

Following the CX2019 Columbus Summit, this session will be a next step in determining how to assess your current training program and transition to a successful virtual learning program. We will walk through a client case study and share best practices on options to build an effective remote agent workforce and strong learning partnerships.


  1. Reinforce why virtual learning is mission critical to the future of your customer service programs.

  2. Walk through a training curriculum framework and case study to help you identify areas of your practice that need transformation to support a remote workforce.

  3. Identify the anticipated challenges and benefits that virtual learning presents and how to measure success.


  • Elaina Biffle, Sr. Project Manager of Learning Delivery, Arise Virtual Solutions
    Elaina Biffle is a senior learning design project manager who works with customer support executives and management to optimize business performance by leading and implementing hybrid training programs focused on virtual solutions. Elaina has led and supported successful training initiatives at Fortune 100 companies and within the higher education realm, in addition to consulting with small and mid-sized businesses looking to virtualize their learning experience. Elaina is a certified project management professional (PMP) and holds a master's degree in adult education from Grand Valley State University. Outside of the virtual classroom, her passions include volunteering for Pelotonia and teaching Pilates.


  • Sara Bahl, Manager, CS Training and Delivery, Dick's Sporting Goods
    Bio coming soon.

2:00 pm–3:00 pm

2:00 pm–3:00 pm • TRACK I • Re-Imagining Intersection of Customer Care and Marketing

Creating the Business Case for CX and Technology Using VOC

CA has faced changes in the labor market, consumer expectations, technology, and Voice of the Customer (VOC). In Strategic Customer Service, 2nd Edition, John Goodman makes the case that the current firefighting mode of business as usual will no longer work. He’ll suggest radical changes in processes based on an analysis of revenue impact rather than cost cutting including:

  •  Reallocating 70% of monitoring and quality resources to a different mix of contacts.

  •  Creating a foundation for continuous employee empowerment, innovation, and recognition.

  •  Encouraging more contacts from unhappy customers and modifying KPIs for outsourcers to focus on contact prevention.

  • Evaluating and pitching technology based on impact on problem prevention, proactive service, empowerment, and engagement rather than only efficiency.

  • Increasing the impact of your VOC using more sources, enhanced analysis, and better packaging.

  •  Winning support from Quality, IT and Customer Insights by advocating for investment in their activities.

  •  Creating governance to eliminate the need to beg for internal information and updates.

  • Taking ownership of customer onboarding, education, and key parts of the website.

  • Using the VOC to create a business case for each of the above actions that is acceptable to the CFO and CMO that quantifies the monthly cost of inaction on an issue.


Eliza Lavergne, VP of Project Management, at Navigant Credit Union in Rhode Island will show how the above actions have led to enhanced member and employee satisfaction as well as market share.


  1. A checklist of actions you can take to start moving out of firefighting, creating immediate empowerment in one or two issues, and streamlining your quality monitoring process.

  2.  A template for creating the business case for investment in your department and new technology, and a set of questions to ask your internal partners to gain their support.

  3. Questions to ask every technology vendor about impacts beyond efficiency to see what is real and also to help justify the investment.


  • John Goodman, Vice Chairman, CCMC, Customer Care Measurement & Consulting
    John Goodman is vice chairman of Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC). He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in chemical engineering and earned his MBA from Harvard. The universal adages “It costs five times as much to win a new customer as to keep an existing one” and “Twice as many people hear about a bad experience as a good one” are both based on his research.

    Harper Collins published the second edition of his book Strategic Customer Service in March 2019. He has also published Customer Experience 3.0 with the American Management Association in July 2014. Over the past 40 years, John has managed more than 1,000 separate customer experience studies for 45 of the Fortune 100 companies as well as nonprofit and government entities.


  • Ellen Martz, Senior Director Customer Service/CX, Hughes Network Systems
    Ellen Martz is a senior director and co-leader in the Customer Experience Organization. Her contributions to Hughes over her career include the introduction of customer surveying for the 1.5 million HughesNet consumer base, product design research, customer care data analysis, and problem resolution along with customer escalation management.

    More recently, Ellen has built a direct communications path between integral engineering support organizations within Hughes to the call center agents worldwide, easing the exchange of customer-to-network updates.

2:00 pm–3:00 pm • TRACK II • Strategic Leadership

Claiming Your Seat at the Executive Table

In this talk, Melanie Neumann, a corporate executive with several companies in the food and beverage industry and product safety attorney, along with Marie Shubin, former leader of the Customer Care team with EJ Gallo; Tom Asher, Director Global Support of Twist Bioscience; Carlos Suarez of Nestle; and Heather Cooper of Newell Brands will share how customer care professionals can, at long last, claim their seat at the executive table


Key strategies will be discussed such as leveraging the Three V’s (be Visible, Valuable and Vocal). The discussion will also include ways to turn data into actionable business intelligence, resulting in objective, measurable information to help their organizations ensure regulatory compliance, brand protection, and continued growth.


Seizing a seat at the table often boils down to the right timing. As such the “Three C’s” will also be explained, that is seizing opportunity in times of Calm, Crisis, and Connections.


Attendees will walk away from this session with actionable strategies and tactics to elevate their positions and accelerate gaining a seat at the executive table.



  1. Understand how to change your vocabulary. Learn how to talk "business" and teach your C- Suite how to talk "consumer care."

  2. Learn from examples demonstrating how to be Visible, Valuable, and appropriately Vocal with your senior management team.

  3. Understand strategies for turning consumer care data into actionable business intelligence for your C-Suite.



  • Tom Asher, Director Global Support, Twist Bioscience

  • Heather Cooper, Sr. Manager Consumer Services North America, Newell Brands

  • Melanie Neumann, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Matrix Sciences
    Melanie Neumann, J.D., M.S. is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Matrix Sciences. Matrix Sciences is a growing, multi-disciplinary group of experts focusing on contract laboratory testing, sensory testing, data analytics and food safety advisory services including recall and crisis management planning and response.

    Melanie is the founder of Neumann Risk Services, LLC, (NRS), which was acquired by Matrix Sciences. Melanie leads the Advisory Services business unit and provides legal counsel to the company.  She assists the food and beverage industry with regulatory, operational and brand reputation risk mitigation solutions, helping companies mitigate and manage these various risks in today’s ever-changing regulatory landscape. She focuses on each step of the supply chain, from supplier risk assessments, manufacturing facility risk assessments, FSMA compliance, food fraud and intentional adulteration risk, and risks involved in the transportation, storage, and co-manufacturing of food, to recall/crisis management in conducting health hazard evaluations and advising on recall strategy to best protect consumer health and safety. Melanie also interacts with regulators in response to investigations, enforcement actions and recalls and works with companies proactively to identify strategies to prevent or reduce food safety risks before they arise.

    Melanie is a graduate of Mitchell-Hamline Law School in St. Paul, MN for her juris doctorate degree, and Michigan State University for her M.S. in Food Safety. She has worked for major multi-national food companies, private law firms focusing on food law and intellectual property law, was instrumental in launching national food safety risk management practices for one of the “Big 4” tax and auditing firms as well as playing pivotal roles in other well-known consulting firms.

    She is an Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University and serves on advisory panels and boards of notable organizations.  Melanie is a frequent speaker on food regulations including FSMA. Outside of her profession, Melanie is an avid triathlete, to date completing 28 marathons and seven Ironman triathlons.

  • Marie Shubin, former leader of Customer Care, EJ Gallo

  • Carlos Suarez, Consumer Engagement Services Manager, Nestle USA

2:00 pm–3:00 pm • TRACK III • Re-Imagining the Relationship of Interconnected Businesses

Across the Organization and Beyond: Involving Internal and External Stakeholders to Create an Enhanced End-to-End Customer Experience


A consumer-centric organization is one with an overarching vision exemplified by senior leaders and modeled throughout the organization. To achieve this level, it’s critical for your organization to pay attention to and understand the full experience of its consumers. Attend this session to learn how you can leverage consumer feedback to empower partners in quality, marketing and R&D to drive action and ultimately improve the consumer experience.



  • Dale Conwell, Vice President,  C3i Solution
    With more than 27 years in consumer care, Dale has been successful to ensure the business partner is fully aligned with its respected clients both deep and wide into its respective organizations.  Dale has been actively involved with the C level suites with his clients so consumer care is aligned with clients’ short and long term strategies.

  • Rama Rengarajan, Head of R&D Technical Services & Consumer Relations, Kraft-Heinz
    Rama has over 25 years’ experience within R&D functions across multiple Food & Beverage CPGs, such as The Kellogg Company, The Coca Cola Company, and Food Ingredient organizations.  Rama’s current role at The Kraft Heinz Company includes the leadership of Consumer Relations and Technical Services.  He is in the position of transforming the consumer experience into actionable insights across Marketing, Quality, and Research & Development.  His strong experience in R&D has enabled him to effectively integrate Consumer Relations into the product design and quality processes.

2:00 pm–3:00 pm • TRACK IV • Applied and Emerging Technologies

Chat Bots and Live Chat: Customer and Brand BFFs

Chat Bots and Contact Center agents are not mutually exclusive concepts; they can and should co- exist together. When combined in the right environment, Brands and consumers benefit. Benefits include: greater service availability, greater probability and response and resolution, placement of consumer problems in the right channel at the right time. This panel will include Brand thought leaders that are currently utilizing Chat Bot/Live agent hybrid strategies as well as Brands that are on the cusp of employing the same, to share case studies and learnings with the audience on how to plan for contextual responses to a myriad of consumer problems.


  1. Live agents and Chat Bots can and should co-exist in a customer care strategy.

  2. There are certain contexts that are appropriate for Chat Bots. There are certain contexts that are appropriate for Live agents. There are scenarios where the consumer can and should elect, there are others where the option does not have to be given to the consumer.

  3. Learning and perspectives from Brands that are in a more beginning stage of planning use/implementation of Bots and what their concerns are in terms of technology, customer experience, metrics, and overall impact.


  • Neal Topf, President, Callzilla
    Bio coming soon.


  • Lisa Diehl, Manager, Consumer Advocacy, Blue Diamond Growers
    Lisa Diehl heads consumer advocacy for Blue Diamond Growers in Sacramento, California. She oversees all aspects of the North America Retail Consumer Advocacy Division. Lisa currently manages four consumer-facing agent teams; an in-house team in Sacramento, California; and three outsourced teams (located in Bogota, Colombia; Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada; and New Providence, New Jersey).

    Within Blue Diamond, Lisa is also a member of Blue Diamond’s Corporate Communications Council, along with being a lead member of Blue Diamond’s Crises Management Team.

    Lisa has over 35 years of experience in consumer affairs and has held a variety of managerial positions. Originally from Chicago, Lisa relocated to California in 2016 to join the Blue Diamond Team.

    Lisa became a member of SOCAP in 2010. She is presently serving on the SOCAP National Board of Directors and SOCAP’s Executive Committee and is the current SOCAP board chair.

    In addition, Lisa serves as a board member and advisor for the NW Regional Chapter.


  • Michael Callahan
    Bio coming soon.

3:15 pm–4:15 pm

3:15 pm–4:15 pm • TRACK II • Strategic Leadership

Mergers and Company Culture

Session description coming soon.


  • Tara Bischoff, Director of Consumer Care, Freshpet

  • Vicky Cherne, Manager of Consumer Affairs & Customer Concerns for Dairy Division, Land O'Lakes, Inc.
    Vicky Cherne is currently the manager of Consumer Affairs & Customer Concerns for the dairy division of Land O’Lakes, Inc., located in Minnesota. Her team is responsible for handling phone, email, social media, and product review contacts for several brands, including the product most everybody recognizes—LAND O LAKES® Butter. In 2012, Vicky helped to successfully merge the division’s largest company acquisition and in 2018 began working on merging the consumer affairs functions of an artisan company, one where maintaining culture has been key.  

    Vicky’s history in the consumer relations industry began as a kid growing up at her family’s fishing resort in Ely, Minnesota, near the Canadian border. She started waitressing at 12 and, after being inspired by a SOCAP member she met while in college, she continued to pursue a passion for providing great service to consumers, working for Land O’Lakes, The Prudential Life Insurance Company, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. She is currently the SOCAP MN Chapter president and an active member and past chair of the CPG committee.

    When not working, Vicky enjoys downhill skiing, baking, volunteering at her church, and spending lots of time in northern Minnesota with her husband and three kids.

  • Karen DiFabio, Director of Global Consumer Engagement, E. & J. Gallo Winery
    Karen DiFabio is currently the director of Global Consumer Engagement for the largest winery in the world (E. & J. Gallo Winery) supporting over 150 brands. Her experience ranges from being a master trainer and staff development specialist at Fortune 500 companies to leading an IT help desk, a customer service team, and a project management office for a regional grocery chain before joining the Gallo team in 2013.  

    Karen’s passion for consumers and her personal motto of “everyone is your customer” has allowed her to foster relationships across the enterprise, building a “speed of trust” culture. In her current role, she has been a relentless advocate of social community management as another channel of consumer care and has recently expanded her team to take on the responsibility of all community management for the more than 90 Gallo hosted social sites. She is also currently involved in the acquisition and merger of the third largest winery in the world.    

    In her downtime, Karen enjoys mentoring new generations of professionals to become great leaders. On the weekend, you’ll find her kayaking the Stanislaus River with her husband or kicking back by her koi pond and stalking her grown children on Facebook and Instagram.

3:15 pm–4:15 pm • TRACK III • Re-Imagining the Relationship of Interconnected Businesses

Cracking the Code With Your Business Partner

When we consider our outsourcing relationships, we need to overcome the perceived conflicts:

  • Are the intentions and goals of my outsourcer the same as mine?

  • Are my customers and business their priorities?

  • Can they care as much as we do?


In this session, our panel will collaborate with attendees on the keys to a fruitful partnership. We will discuss the importance of communication, transparency, delivery of service and what it really means to support each other. Our four panelists all share the unique experience of having worked for brands and business partners and can provide insight to alleviating some of the stress that can come along with a dysfunctional vendor relationship and how to make the relationship work for both partners.



Andy Begnoche, Director, Operations, HOLDCOM

Kim McMiller, VP, Customer Experience, 24-7 Intouch

Adina Raven-Everett, Account Manager, Stafford Communications Group

Mary Ann Kerr, Director Global Operations - Global Regulatory & Consumer Affairs, Coty Inc.

Shelley Elkins, Client Services, RDI Corporation

3:15 pm–4:15 pm • TRACK IV • Applied and Emerging Technologies

Why AI and Analytics Are the Competitive Differentiators for Reputation Management


Join Reputation Studio, Lamb Weston, and Alta Resources as they discuss the financial impact of R&R on brands and how leveraging AI and analytics creates a huge competitive advantage.

Reputation Studio Summary:
Research shows that 70% of customers leaving negative reviews hope to receive a response, while just 38% receive one. Manual processes and siloed data across various review channels have made it difficult for brands to keep up with the heavy review volume—and it is only getting worse. In fact, review volume has tripled in the past year, and 44% of enterprise brands do not currently use technology to help manage their massive inflow of customer reviews. Attendees will learn how brands like Lamb Weston and BPOs like Alta Resources have employed automated solutions and advanced analytics into their review management process, and it has been game changing! They are now cutting response times in half and are able to easily track

KPIs to ensure customers are not only being heard but are receiving a timely response. Since they have doubled their agent productivity and tripled reply output, they have been able to expand their management of 4 and 5-star reviews.


  1. The financial impacts of poor reputation management.

  2. How to best approach your reputation management goals.

  3. Ways you can leverage AI and advanced analytics to boost ratings and reviews.


  • Christian Gennerman, Vice President of Customer Success, Reputation Studio
    Christian Gennerman is the vice president of customer success at Reputation Studio. He has been working directly with Reputation Studio’s global customers, including JnJ, GSK, Hormel, Mars, and Reckitt Benckiser in sales, planning, onboarding, success, and expansion.

    Christian has worked in the ecommerce space for over 20 years, starting as the first employee/co-owner of Backcountry.com in 1998 and defining its customer service strategy. Backcountry.com was acquired in 2007 for $200 million. He has also worked with retailers and brands to define their multi-channel initiatives and specifically their Amazon and eCommerce strategies. This background enables him to understand the impact each channel brings to a company and the importance of allowing your customers to choose how and where they interact with you.


  • Amy Bouthilet, Vice President of the Care Service Line, Alta Resources
    Amy Bouthilet is the vice president of the Care Service Line for Alta Resources, a leading provider of customer-related business process outsourcing for top brands in a variety of industries, including automotive, consumer-packaged goods, health insurance, and entertainment. With 15 years of consumer care experience, Amy has a proven track record of increasing employee engagement and consumer satisfaction scores while serving in a variety of roles, including trainer, team leader, quality assurance manager, program director, and group operations director. Whether in a corporate support role or in direct management of a consumer care team, Amy has a personal passion to deliver results.


  • Candice Nooy, Manager of the Customer and Consumer Affairs team, Lamb Weston
    Candice Nooy has managed the Customer and Consumer Affairs team at Lamb Weston for three years, ever since the company divested from ConAgra Foods. Lamb Weston is the #1 frozen potato supplier in the United States, with an annual revenue of $4 billion. The company produces all your favorite restaurant fries as well as some rising stars in the retail world. Candice has built the program out at Lamb Weston from the ground up, partnering with its contact center to develop robust procedures and workflows to incorporate both B2C and B2B operations, keeping the customer as the focus. Her recent concentration has been in streamlining some of the outlying channels of communication while working with internal stakeholders to set expectations within a common space. Over the last year, Candice has been working with a key Lamb Weston team across sales, marketing, IT, and customer service within customer experience. She has recently been nominated for the SOCAP Board of Directors and is excited to be part of such a tremendous group of consumer affairs leaders. Before her work with Lamb Weston and customer service, Candice was pursuing her master’s degree in marine biology, taking on abundant travels and scuba diving adventures. She now lives in the high desert of the Pacific Northwest in the middle of all the potato action with her husband and two young daughters.

3:15 pm–4:15 pm • TRACK V • Special Topic

California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA): Your Questions Answered

You may know what CCPA is, but what does it mean for you and your customer care operations? Engage with a legal expert and your peers in a Q&A session on compliance, including the handling of consumer requests. Come prepared with your questions.



Dan Podair, Associate, Steptoe & Johnson, LLC.


Dan Podair represents clients in complex civil disputes and advises on matters related to cybersecurity and data privacy. He has focused his practice on white-collar criminal defense and government and internal investigations. Dan has significant experience representing clients in investigations and associated inquiries with government regulators, including the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, relating to securities, antitrust, and anti-corruption issues.


2:00 pm–3:00 pm

2:00 pm–3:00 pm TRACK I • Re-Imagining Intersection of Customer Care and Marketing

Creating and Executing Effective Customer Experience Strategies for Any Business—A Workshop

Being a customer-centric company isn’t just about having the best customer service people; it’s also about ensuring that every function in the organization is aligned to this goal. And in our fast-paced world of tweets and texts, keeping all functions aligned to that goal is necessary, and challenging at the same time. In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll talk about:

  • Customer experience strategies—what they are and why they matter.

  • Whether you are you easy to do business with.

  • Customer touch points and journey mapping—who are your customers and how do they interact with us?

  • The ROI for CX investments, including LTV.

  • Keeping customers who are satisfied AND loyal—understanding the metrics and measurements of CX.


  1. Understand how to develop an effective CX strategy and implement it effectively.

  2. Assess whether your own companies are “easy to do business with” across multiple- channels.

  3. Learn about various techniques for mapping the customer lifecycle.

  4. Derive actionable initiatives that can align the service strategy across all channels and business units within your organization.


  • Bob Azman, Chairman, CXPA Board of Directors, Customer Experience Professional Association
    Bob Azman is founder and CXO of Innovative CX Solutions, LLC. Innovative CX Solutions, LLC is a customer experience consulting firm specializing in CX design and execution, sales and service experience design, and talent development. He is currently the chairman of the board of the Customer Experience Professional Association (CXPA.org).

    He is the former vice president of Traveler Experience, Americas and Global, responsible for all customer operations in Canada, the United States, and Latin America as well as global sites located in Poland, Manila, Bogota, and Costa Rica. In this role, Bob transformed the customer experience for clients and travelers of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). Prior to joining CWT, Bob was chief experience officer at Avtex Consulting Solutions, LLC. In that role, he consulted with companies in a variety of industries on developing and implementing strategies to improve their overall customer experience and service operations. The last 25 years in business are in service operations leadership roles that have prepared him well for his role at CWT. As a thought leader, practitioner, and business partner in customer experience design and execution, he provides a unique perspective on creating companies that are easy to do business with.

    Bob also brings a wealth of diverse general operations and business experience 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 United States, 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, Minnesota. 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. Bob also teaches at the Rutgers University School of Business in the Customer Experience Management and Supply Chain Operations Executive Education programs. He is also a guest lecturer in the MBA program at the University of St. Thomas Opus School of Business. He is a frequent speaker at industry forums and conferences, presenting on developing effective customer experience and service strategies, and he receives top ratings on his interactive approach and unique ability to combine academic principles with real life experiences.


  • Ted Itschert, Director of Customer Experience, Sportsman's Guide
    Ted Itschert is director of Customer Experience at the Sportsman’s Guide, where he has worked since 1994. Through his 25 years there, he has held many job titles and been through many changes in technology and customer expectations. He prides himself on making modifications through the company [LA1] and is always looking for new ways to improve effectiveness and efficiencies. 
    Recently, Ted has worked hard to implement a foundational format on how associates engage with customers, as well as to measure the customer experience each associate provides. He helped facilitate sales and service to create a universal agent model.  
    Ted resides with his family in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

  • Robert Weis, Vice President Customer Service, Wiley

2:00 pm–3:00 pm • TRACK II • Strategic Leadership

Customer Voice Data: Building the Bridge Between Customer and Product


The Customer Voice role has transformed over time to where they are now responsible for advocating on behalf of the customer to the rest of the company. At Pinterest, the Customer Voice team is called the Product Specialist team and they are the bridge between customer, Product, and/or Marketing. In this talk, Shashank Bharath (ads product strategics, Pinterest) will cover how Pinterest was able to use intelligent categorization of feedback at scale to turn Customer Ops data into actionable feedback for their Product team. It will contain a few tips CS/CX professionals can follow to get their data ready to have meaningful meetings with these other stakeholders in their companies.



  • Chris Martinez, Founder, Idiomatic

  • Shashank Bharath, Ads Product Strategist, Pinterest

2:00 pm–3:00 pm • TRACK IV • Applied and Emerging Technologies

Meet Customers Where They Are: How Vera Bradley Uses Technology to Stay Up to Speed


Very Bradley works to stay up to speed with their  customers by meeting them where they are.  Additions of chat, SMS conversion to chat from the IVR, and a new bot on their website’s customer service page support ease of interaction, and Vera Bradley continues to review new platforms such as visual IVR to ensure that they are meeting customer needs. Hear how Vera Bradley Customer Care partners with the marketing and web teams and learn about their ongoing efforts, successes, and lessons learned along the way.



Jennifer Holzhauser, Customer Service Manager, Vera Bradley

2:00 pm–3:00 pm • TRACK IV • Applied and Emerging Technologies

CCPA—Where Do We Go From Here? (Roundtable Discussion)


This session will be an open forum where you can network with other customer care professionals who will share their questions and challenges as well as information on how their company is preparing for CCPA.