Execs In The Know- A Global Network of Customer Experience Professionals

CRS Charleston – Speaker Bios


Featured Speakers

Michele Watson is Senior Vice President of Client Services at Indeed. In her role, she focuses on delivering a best-in-class customer experience for every job seeker and employer using Indeed.

Before joining Indeed in April 2017, Michele served as the Vice President of Customer Care and Payments & Risk at Walmart.com. She oversaw the online operations for customer support, fraud and payments for the world’s largest retailer. Michele also served as 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.

Scott Emmons is focused on innovation for the Neiman Marcus Group (NMG).  He founded and built the innovation lab (iLab) in 2012.  He has elevated technology innovation to be a core value at the Neiman Marcus Group through his efforts. Scott is responsible for leading NMG in evaluating, designing, testing and piloting cutting-edge technologies and applications for luxury retail. Scott is also working on BYOD initiatives, Wi-Fi/LAN/WAN infrastructure, mobility and digital signage initiatives. Innovation projects include the Memomi Memory Mirror, 4K touch table look books, store associate IOT communicators, intelligent mobile phone charging stations, digital directories and new fitting room technology.

As Senior Vice President of Customer Channels for US Card Customer Experience, Doug is responsible for customer contact operations across Capital One’s US Card business, spanning both Branded Card and Partnership Card (private label and co-brand cards) portfolios. The Customer Channels organization delivers on a full spectrum of customer needs including service, fraud, disputes, collections, and internal recoveries. In addition, the organization provides critical horizontal support functions such as training, knowledge management and workforce management that enable such an extensive network. The Customer Channels operations network spans 20+ sites and 15,000+ agents in five countries, including internal on-shore, offshore captive, third party suppliers and work at home agents.

Specific functions include Branded Card Servicing, High Value Servicing, Small

Business and Partnership Card service, credit, online chat, social media, escalations, along with Specialty Operations.

Growing up in upstate New York, Doug attended SUNY Albany for both his undergraduate and master’s degrees. Currently, he resides in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, Noel and their college-age daughter.

Prior to joining Capital One, Doug held executive roles at both Staples and Citi, leading extensive customer service operations, as well as accountability for the customer experience strategy. Prior leadership positions included roles at
L. L. Bean and Accenture.



Caroline Tuan is the COO of Balsam Brands and oversees the Operations and Branding teams and strategies. Within Operations, Caroline is focused on developing, finding, and optimizing scalable solutions to the business’s highly seasonal shipping, warehousing, fulfillment, and customer service needs.

Caroline has been with Balsam Brands since 2007 and has led innovative (and sometimes scrappy) initiatives to support its growth from a $3MM company to one that is over $100MM in revenue today. Founded in 2006, Balsam Brands designs and sells seasonal home décor products directly to customers. Its flagship brand is Balsam Hill is known for its highly realistic artificial Christmas trees – these items can be challenging to store, ship, and service! Working with the team to solve complex problems with simple solutions is one of her favorite things about her role.

Her professional career has also included strategic planning and marketing roles for leading consumer brands. She also has experience in the non-profit sector at The Bridgespan Group and YouthBuild USA. Caroline has an MBA from Stanford and holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and Systems Applied Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Killick is the Vice President of Care at Grubhub, the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering company dedicated to connecting hungry diners with local takeout restaurants. The company’s online and mobile ordering platforms allow diners to order from 75,000 takeout restaurants in over 1,300 U.S. cities and London.

Responsible for creating, promoting & leading the vision & strategies that strengthen the organization’s commitment to customer-centricity in the face of massive growth, he assumes Leadership for all aspects of Customer Care: delivering unparalleled customer service for 35,000+ interactions daily, 9m diners & 75k restaurants; generating and maintaining customer loyalty, driving profitable revenue & ensuring service levels are met through a proactive assessment of customer’s needs. It is his privilege to lead all aspects of Customer Care at Grubhub which include supporting Diners, Restaurants and Drivers through a multi channel approach including calls, chats, tickets and emails.

Mark is a passionate leader, customer advocate, strategist, change agent, and communicator with experience and proven success in the areas of Customer Service, Contact Center & Technical Support Management, Quality, Continuous Improvement, Business Process Redesign, Lean, & Six Sigma. He has extensive international exposure which has provided him the ability to assess and understand the needs of businesses & customers from varied cultural viewpoints and engage in productive dialogue that builds consensus and achieves optimal results.

Mark’s tenure with Grubhub began in November 2015; prior to that he spent 3 years at WW Grainger, 15 years at Motorola and 9 years at Siemens. All connected with Customer Service and Quality.

Mark lives in Island Lake, Illinois with his wife, Mary, their dog, Gus, and three horses (Merada, Jewel and John Wayne) which he trains and shows when not working.

Beth Linthicum is a Director for Quality and Analytics for Aetna Health, Inc. With over 25 years of management experience in the health care industry, Beth has demonstrated leadership experience In commercial and individual health care, Government programs (Medicare and Medicaid), and specialty products. She has worked extensively with call center technology and learning management and development systems. In particular, Beth has developed a number of strong operational quality programs for call, claim, and enrollment that focus on the customer experience as well as meeting compliance and regulatory requirements in a highly regulated industry. The customer experience is at the center of all the programs and technology that is in place at Aetna. Using the wealth of data derived from the quality programs, Beth’s team employs Six Sigma and Lean principles to drive continuous improvement across processes, behaviors and policies to move the needle and improve customer satisfaction.

Beth has developed and implemented a number of initiatives during her career including a robust speech and text analytics program, world class quality program, and innovative Customer feedback / Voice of the Customer initiative that delivers a strong return on investment. In particular, her focus is on decreasing return calls and achieving true first call resolution across business segments. Beth has spoken at a number of technology conferences sharing her programs and initiatives including Engage and Speechtek as well as TCMI. The programs developed and implemented by Beth’s team have received numerous accolades within the industry including the PACE CXE (Customer Experience Excellence) award for Innovation for Quality, and been finalists for Temkin and Verint Innovation Awards.

Beth has a MBA from Pfeiffer University as well as a BA from Davidson College. She is currently working towards a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Salena Scardina has spent her career focused on service to customers through innovative and differentiated experience and engagement. She is the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Sweetwater Sound, a high growth company and the nation’s leading retailer of music instruments and pro audio equipment. Driving customer advocacy, she is charged with identifying service opportunities at all levels in the organization to deliver a world-class experience with raving fans.

Prior to Sweetwater, Salena held multiple positions at McDonald’s Corporation over her 15 years under the Golden Arches, including her last role as Director of U.S. Customer Experience & Insights. She also held similar roles at the handbag and accessory company, Vera Bradley. Salena believes in a philosophy of “lift while you climb,” that as you achieve your career aspirations, you should help others along the way achieve theirs.

Salena earned her Bachelors of Liberal Arts from Monmouth College and holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Benedictine University. She currently serves on the national board of SOCAP, The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals as well as the local boards of the Greater Fort Wayne YMCA and Northeast Indiana Public Radio. Fort Wayne, Indiana is home with her husband John, and two children, Albert and Katie.

Amy is Vice President of Customer Experience & Insights for the USA TODAY NETWORK.  In her role, Amy focuses on leading the NETWORK’s customer experience strategy for USA TODAY and 109 local media brands nationwide.  Amy is responsible for leading the company’s Voice of the Customer program, designed to improve customer listening and feedback across all consumer and brand touch points.  She also has responsibility for customer analytics and modeling to help identify key customer segments and engagement propensity.  With a focus on improving enterprise customer satisfaction, the CX team uses journey mapping and key consumer insights to design, track, and measure improvements to customer experience, satisfaction, cost-to-serve, and loyalty.

Prior to joining the USA TODAY NETWORK, Amy served as a Senior CX Strategist at AARP.  In her spare time, Amy enjoys running and training for ultra-marathons, though she considers customer experience her true “endurance” sport.


As Vice President of Customer Experience and Trust, Jerry is responsible for OfferUp’s trust, safety, and customer experience teams, as well as all aspects of security, customer service, risk, and site moderation. Prior to joining OfferUp, Jerry was the head of North America customer experience at Airbnb responsible for growing a team of CX specialists by 700% while acting as the North American site director leading all aspects of internal and external operations teams. Jerry also spearheaded  the expansion of the company’s support channels from a single channel system via email to an omni-channel platform that include live chat, phone, and community, significantly improving their Service Level Agreements (SLA), Productivity, and Net Promoter Scores (NPS). Jerry’s contribution to building culture at Airbnb were honored with a Cannes Lion Award for the new-era care center concept of “Belong Anywhere.” Prior to that, Jerry was the Director of Global Threat Response at McAfee Labs where he led a global security incident response team focused on improving critical incident response and reducing cost across both consumer and corporate lines of business. Jerry’s early career included two successful digital display technology start-ups with InFocus and Pixelworks, both resulting in successful public offerings. Jerry has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the customer experience, support, and services business.

Chelsie Rae Lee is the Senior Vice President of Customer Strategy at SnackNation where her team inspires millions of people to make more conscious food choices. For the past 15 years, she has driven CX transformation for Fortune 500s, high-growth start ups and everything in between. Her life’s mission is to ignite measurable growth…for the organizations she serves, and most importantly, for the people she leads.

As VP, Customer Experience for TeamSnap, Amy is responsible for delivering an effortless experience for TeamSnap’s ~20m users worldwide. Driving support and customer implementation & onboarding for TeamSnap’s B2B and B2C customer base, she prioritizes speed, failing fast, and experimentation to remain competitive in the industry. Amy works closely with product development, sales & marketing and other key functions to drive a compelling set of product offerings delivered through an unparalleled customer engagement model.

Amy’s 15-year tenure in the tech space, coupled with her leadership passion for constantly improving the customer experience, has resulted in outcomes that have tangibly driven client retention, accelerated growth, and increased profitability.

The bulk of Amy’s career thus far was spent at Rackspace (12 years), serving in a variety of leadership roles in operations, support & services, sales, and enterprise account relationships. Prior to Rackspace, Amy worked in the non-profit sector as a Campaign Manager for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. After helping ordinary people run marathons while simultaneously raising thousands of dollars for blood cancer research, she moved into the private sector to fulfill her passion for customer service, having realized the strong correlation between the spirit of volunteerism and delivering happiness to clients.

Amy holds an Executive MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.

When not working, Amy enjoys living in Boulder, Colorado, adventuring with her husband and two young children, doing things like skiing, snowshoeing, camping, hiking and paddling. She and her family are also travel enthusiasts who find joy in experiencing new cultures.

Jackie Craver is the Director of Nintendo of America’s multi-center, multi-language Consumer Service Teams. She oversees the Training, Quality, Process Improvement and Operational groups. Her role is to ‘create smiles’ for her employees so they can ‘create smiles’ for fans who contact Nintendo via phone, email, chat, SMS, and even snail-mail.

A core strength to Jackie’s leadership style is creating high-performing teams. She’s done so throughout her career and in multiple contact centers. Prior to Nintendo, she held various leadership positions at Safeco/Liberty Mutual, JPMorgan Chase and Key Bank. She also spent time in the not-for-profit sector as the VP of Customer Service at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Jackie currently serves as a Board Member of The WAVE Foundation. She is an avid cyclist, who competes on the road and at the velodrome, and is the captain of the Union Bay Cycling Women’s Development Team.

Shivi runs Product, Program, Engineering and Operations for Amazon’s Alexa, Device and Digital entertainment products support worldwide. He is an experienced General Manager, who has led field operations teams, corporate Product/Program Management teams, as well as Software Engineering teams. Shivi has worked across Amazon operations, including stints in Fulfillment, Transportation, Customer Returns, and Customer Service over the last 13 years. Prior to this, he worked for several years in the software industry.

We constantly use and depend on technology to improve, entertain, manage, and simplify our lives both personally and professionally. As an executive with a proven track record of driving process improvement and impactful positive change, it is my passion and commitment to ensure that the processes and technologies we all depend on every day work flawlessly. We can claim success if the products, services, processes and technologies we deploy, manage, and sustain make the people and processes inside and outside our companies more productive and effective.

As an IT and business executive, I have been involved in a broad range of experiences including Business Relationship Management, Product & Service Management, Enterprise Application Deployments (SAP & Oracle), Operations Management, Product & Application Development, Mergers and Acquisitions, Cyber Security, Globalization, DC migrations and Cloud computing.  I have led organizational transformations that have moved teams to act more like an IT service provider (ITaaS), constantly delivering value vs. acting like a traditional corporate G&A organization.

A top-performing leader with over 25 years of experience delivering value that far exceeds expectations. Have built award-winning global teams and have led design, implementation, and support functions for mission-critical business processes and systems in global environments in partnership with leading vendors and systems integrators using the latest delivery and operational techniques such as Lean Six Sigma, Agile Scrum, and DevOps. Successfully led all aspects of large global teams, including budgets, schedules, technologies, and customer and partner relationships. Have an expertise in finding additional revenue opportunities and cutting operational costs by driving productivity, and negotiating contracts.  Achieved a consistent record of promotion, increased responsibility and stellar recommendations from teams and top management. Have built Global teams with dramatically lower than average attrition rates and high team member satisfaction grades.

Achieved a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering degree from Villanova University and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Boston College with honors.  Have also been awarded several certifications including Integrated Resource Management from APICS, Lean Six Sigma, ITIL, and Engineer in Training (EIT).

Gina Maiden is Managing Director of the Business Technology Solutions department within FedEx Services.  Her teams are responsible for:

  • Planning and Analysis for FedEx.com Help Desk,
  • Requirements, Testing and Desktop Support for Customer Service
  • Business ownership and support of OneIVR (800GoFedEx), Outbound Notifications and the Global Virtual Assistant
  • com Administration support for Global Customer Service

Gina has been with FedEx for 34 years, with experience on the business side as well as IT.  She began her leadership role as a Manager in IT in 1996 where she was responsible for systems development and requirements for key revenue systems.  Promoted to her current position of Managing Director in October 2007, Gina continues to focus on providing outstanding customer experience regardless of the customer’s channel of choice.

Gina earned her B.S. from the University of Tennessee Martin.

Gina and her husband of 27 years, George (Chip) Maiden, have two daughters, Sarah and Mary Grace (Gracie) and a grandson, Rowen.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading and vacationing in sunny destinations with her family.

Case Study

As Head of Customer Experience, Matt is responsible for leading the strategy and execution across all our client relationships and their customer’s journey. He is committed to delivering innovative, experience-driven solutions to allow for best practice adoption across multiple verticals.

Matt has been with 24-7 Intouch since 2010, holding multiple roles in business development and social media management. He has helped form strategic business partnerships in order to enhance the company’s product and service offerings. Prior to joining 24-7 Intouch, Matt held senior management roles in customer service, operations, sales and marketing. He holds a degree in Computer Engineering and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Manitoba. Matt is also a professional Engineer registered with A.P.E.G.M.

Perry is a father, taco connoisseur, and Boston Red Sox fan who also works as a vendor manager at Airbnb (roles listed in order of importance). Perry studied social work and professional counseling, and spent 10 years working in the fascinating world of mental health before transitioning to a new career with Airbnb in 2013. Perry is passionate about creating a space where communication, collaboration, and problem solving can thrive within the client/vendor relationship.

Panel Moderators

As an industry leader and speaker, Stephanie has spent her career driving the contact center customer engagement experience for regional and global brands.  Her impact has been across multiple verticals including healthcare, telco, technology, retail, insurance, and banking.  With a background in new program launches for well respected established brands to disruptors, her dynamic experience supports call center customer care solutions in maximizing revenue, catering to exceptional customer interactions, product development and project deployment.  Stephanie provides assistance to clients from start to finish identifying the right locations and industry leaders to successfully implement the right strategy to achieve the vision.  She currently serves as Vice President for Teleperformance with responsibility for Customer Strategy and Solutions.

Judi Brenstein offers 20 years as a management professional and consultant with an impressive range of expertise. As a COPC Inc. Vice President of Client Solutions, Judi specializes in the areas of performance improvement, operational management, change management, quality, training and development, recruiting and project management.

Judi consults with clients to provide solutions for outcome-based performance improvement results, benchmark reviews of current performance, provide Six Sigma-based contact center project expertise, and strategic planning. She is well-known and sought after by COPC clients who are looking for the specific expertise to come in, diagnose the high-impact, low-effort opportunities, determine ROI and recommended actions, and then oversee the ability of internal teams to make those improvements. Judi is also known for her sought-after presentations at industry events.

Prior to working with COPC Inc. Judi co-founded Customer Synergy Solutions, LLC in Houston, Texas. In addition to contact center operational management talents, Judi has a wealth of practical knowledge and hands-on experience gained from working with blue-chip organizations, such as Microsoft, Scholastic, Hyatt Hotels, CISCO, United HealthCare, Hewlett Packard, Beachbody, T-Mobile, United Airlines, Anheuser-Busch, Shell, Sprint, Groupon, Bright House Networks, PODS and Vectren Energy.

Judi’s previous led the COPC training practice area, overseeing the content curriculum, creating the COPC Training Center, an online training platform, as well as being a COPC Certified Facilitator for classroom programs, such as COPC High Performance Management Techniques, COPC Lean Six Sigma for Contact Centers Yellow Belt & Green Belt programs, COPC People Workshop, and COPC Quality training.

Judi holds an MBA in International Business from Houston Baptist University and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Oral Roberts University. Judi is a Registered Coordinator to both the COPC CSP Standard and the COPC VMO Standard. She is also a COPC Certified Professional Manager, and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (LSSMBB).

Jenni Palocsik is Senior Director, Content Marketing, for Verint® Systems. In her role, she applies her knowledge of today’s technology trends and business challenges into thought leadership to help organizations transform their approach to customer engagement across the contact center, back office operations, branch network, and across digital channels. She provides marketing strategy, messaging and content for a wide range of solutions from workforce management and desktop and process analytics to quality management, performance management and robotic process automation. She is passionate about the use of automation to drive the future of work, and about how a focus on
employee engagement can deliver significant and lasting improvements in customer experience as well as workforce retention and satisfaction.

Professional History

Jenni has approximately 20 years of experience in strategic marketing for B2B and B2C companies, with an expertise in financial services and eBusiness for both technology providers and leading retail financial institutions. Before Verint, Jenni managed retail payments and online banking marketing for ACI Worldwide and S1 Corporation; prior to that she worked for SouthTrust Bank and then SunTrust Bank, where she successfully delivered projects and managed teams focused on online banking, web site development and other technology initiatives.
Education and Credentials

An active blogger and social media advocate, Jenni graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in English and holds an M.S. from Emory University. She is a frequent speaker and moderator at industry events and webinars, and the author of bylines in a wide variety of publications. Follow Jenni on Twitter: @jpalocsik

Marc Hutchinson is Master Solution Engineer at Salesforce, where he leads Solution Engineering activities for Salesforce’s most strategic accounts. In his role, he directs strategy for Service Cloud and Einstein for Service. With 20 years of experience focused on customer service technology, Marc is a passionate innovator, technologist and customer experience thought leader. His most recent projects span the industry in areas such as new Digital Engagement Channels, predicting customer intents, Machine Learning, Natural Language Chatbots, and AI-driven customer insights.