Session Speakers

Marbue Brown

Founder - The Customer Obsession Advantage                                           

Marbue Brown is the author of the book Blueprint for Customer Obsession and founder of The Customer Obsession Advantage (, a firm dedicated to helping companies achieve extraordinary business results through Customer Obsession. He is an accomplished customer experience (CX) executive with a track record of thought leadership and signature business results at some of the most iconic companies on the planet, including JP Morgan Chase,, Microsoft Corporation, and Cisco Systems.

Mark Slatin

CEO & Founder - Empowered CX                                           

Mark is the CEO of Empowered CX, where he empowers his clients to turn indifferent customers into loyal fans. He is a CX thought leader, speaker, writer, and the host of the Delighted Customers Podcast. He has walked the walk, leading a financial services company through two acquisitions and a pandemic - and the first two-time winner of the CX Innovation Award. He currently serves on the CXPA Board of Directors, and is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and was a faculty member at Loyola University Maryland’s MBA program teaching Customer Experience Management. You can connect with Mark at or

Tyler Saxey

Sr. Director Global VOC and OMNI - Foot Locker                                           

Tyler has been in the CX space, both from a practitioner and Direct, for over 10 years. As a practitioner, Tyler advised some of the largest Retail and Hospitality companies globally. At Foot Locker, he is responsible for designing and implementing the full VOC program and ensuring that Foot Locker customers are represented at all levels of the organization. Tyler lives in Florida with his wife Melissa and 4 amazing kids.

Mary Poppen

Professor of Practice - Michigan State University                                           

Mary Poppen is the Chief Business and Customer Officer at and also a Professor of Practice in Michigan State University's Masters of Science in Customer Experence Management (MS-CXM) program, teaching the Employee Engagement course. She has spent her entire career delivering and improving customer and employee experiences and is passionate about the linkage between the two. She also recently published a book entitled "Goodbye, Churn. Hello, Growth!" focused on leveraging Customer Intelligence and AI to help organizations become more people-centric.

Jessica Richards

Senior Marketing Master's Programs Director - Michigan State University                                           

Throughout my career, I have dedicated myself to the success of others and every organization that I have been a part of. For the United States military, I served as a combat war veteran overseas, led defense intelligence units. was a military police officer and recruited soldiers & officers. At home, I managed multiple locations for a fortune 500 company. Providing best-in-class results while leading a diverse team of leaders and front-line staff.

Amber Ross

Process Specialist, Customer Support Centre - British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC)                                           

Amber Ross is the Process Specialist in the Customer Support Centre of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Having cut her teeth as a frontline Agent herself, she is a tireless advocate for ensuring that Agents have the tools and resources they need to be successful in their interactions. She is proud to work for BCLC and is passionate about being a part of the organization’s social purpose journey.

Amber resides in Kamloops, British Columbia, and is a specialist in process development, lean management concepts and design thinking.

Michelle Morris

Sr. Mgr of Business of Transformation - Verizon Connect                                           

Michelle Morris is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and is a CX leader at Verizon Connect. She has led CX for various organizations in her career, creating transformations for customers and employees. She is a former CXPA board member and a board member for a local non-profit childcare provider in Lexington, Kentucky where she resides. Michelle is an active member in the CX community and loves connecting with professionals and can be found on LinkedIn at @morrismichellek

Paige Nunn

Customer Strategic Advisor - Dominion Energy                                          

Paige has been at Dominion Energy for 25 years, holding leadership roles in Digital Communications (Website and social media), Market Research, and Business Intelligence, to name a few. She also spent five years of her career in Human Resources, giving her a great perspective on employee experiences and the connection to improved customer experiences. She is known to push boundaries by challenging the status quo and using customer information to forge new paths. She's incredibly passionate about customer experiences and has poured that into every project and initiative she's participated in.

G. Tomas Hult, PhD

Professor - Michigan State University                                           

G. Tomas M. Hult, Ph.D., is a worldwide thought leader in international marketing, marketing strategy, customer satisfaction, supply chain management, and international business. He regularly speaks at high-profile events (e.g., United Nations, World Investment Forum, European Commission), provides corporate keynotes, and publishes influential op-ed articles (e.g., Time, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, World Economic Forum).

His latest book is The Reign of the Customer: Customer-Centric Approaches to Improving Satisfaction, which was co-authored with Claes Fornell, Forrest Morgeson, and David VanAmburg. Leveraging ACSI's billions of annual media impressions, The Reign of the Customer is complemented by multiple versions of executive training programs by the ACSI team (ACSIx) that focuses on ACSI Analytics."

Kevin Budelmann

President - Peopledesign                                          

Kevin Budelmann is president and co-founder of Peopledesign, a professional services firm focused on strategy, brand marketing, and customer experience. In addition to serving as a client advisor, Kevin is an adjunct professor at Northwestern and MSU and the former global president of IxDA. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon and the IIT Institute of Design. Kevin's book, "Brand Identity Essentials," is available in six languages and a second edition..

Nicholas Zeisler

Professor of Practice - Customer Experience Management at Michigan State University                                           

Nicholas (Z) Zeisler is a professor of practice in Michigan State University's Masters of Science in Customer Experience Management (MS-CXM) program, teaching the course in Experience Analytics. Z is a former Fortune 60 Customer Experience executive, Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and Agile Scrum Master. Nicholas has worked in and with companies large and small; public sector and private; from oil and gas to technology and from insurance to civic organizations. He is currently working with clients to get their CX programs up and running, including working as an advisor and Fractional Chief Customer Officer. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force Reserves, Nicholas is also a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the Air Force Academy where he teaches statistics and calculus. Previously, he worked as an Operations Research analyst for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force at the Pentagon in DC and as a Russian linguist.

He lives in Denver, Colorado with his partner and their awesome dog, and enjoys skiing, hiking, bike riding, and Colorado Rockies baseball games.

Rick Denton

Managing Principal - EX4CX - Execution for Customer Experience                                           

Rick believes the best meals are served outside and require a passport.
Helping companies create tangible business value (read...$$$) from their Voice of the Customer programs through a Total VOC approach centers Rick’s mission. A sought-after keynote speaker and CX leader, Rick transforms CX and VOC programs from Survey & Score to Listen and Act.

After a successful corporate career, Rick launched EX4CX - Execution for Customer Experience to bring CX victories to a wide client base. Rick combines these loves by hosting the CX Passport podcast, a weekly talk with guests about customer experience and travel.

Eric Doerr

Director, Student & Corporate Engagement - Michigan State University                                           

Previous experience includes: Sales Representativee for Deluxe Corporation (St. Paul, MN); Recruiter for Northwestern Mutual; Director of Career Planning & Placement at Grove City College; Assisted in the start up of a Career Center at Penn State University / Shenango Campus; Coordinator of Business Career Services at University of Toledo.

Tom DeWitt, Ph.D.

Director - CXM at Michigan State University                                        

Tom DeWitt, Ph.D. is the Director of CXM@MSU, an entity dedicated to the advancement of customer experience management (CXM), and a fixed-term faculty member in the Department of Marketing of the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. As the Director of CXM@MSU, Dr. DeWitt created North America’s first academic program in customer experience management (Masters of Science in Customer Experience Management - MS-CXM) and hosts industry conferences twice each year for organizations to share best practices in CXM.

For nearly two decades Dr. DeWitt has also provided customer experience management (CXM) solutions to organizations and audiences around the world through consulting, workshops, and presentations. Prior to joining academia, Tom enjoyed a career in the hospitality industry, where he served in senior management roles in the USA and Asia.

Mimi Fernandez

Director, Customer Success - Beyond BookSmart                                           

Mimi Fernandez has more than 20 years of experience in large corporations, global agencies, and leading non-profits. Mimi has worked in healthcare, edutech, technology, consumer products, and clean energy industries.

Currently she is Customer Success Director for Beyond BookSmart and WorkSmart Coaching. The company’s mission is to empower students and adults to improve their executive function skills by providing tools, strategies, and mentoring that lead to a lifetime of success, be more fulfilled, and contribute to a better world.

Mimi spent most of her career in New York City and now lives in Austin, TX.

Karl Sharicz

Owner & Principal - HorizonCX 

Karl brings over thirty years of skills and experiences gained in high-tech research and manufacturing B2B environments along with proven business acumen. Throughout his career he has served a broad range of roles within marketing, sales, training, and training management—developing internal and external customer relationship skills and building a decided customer-centric focus along the way. As the Founder and CEO of HorizonCX, Karl offers professional services to organizations in two general categories.- basic CX training and cerertification for those individuals and organizations newer to the CX discipline and services to medium sized businesses aiming to advance their customer experience strategy to a next higher level.

Tron Smith

Director, Diversity Insights - Suzy 

Tron leads new partnerships working with a diverse group of teams in organizations like, BET, OWN, ECO Style, & Door Dash. She has an extensive background working in the tech vertical with over 15 years of new partnerships experience and has created some of the successful partnerships at Suzy!

Sandra Thompson

Founding Director - Ei Evolution 

Sandra Thompson is the first Goleman Emotional Intelligence (EI) coach in the UK and she's been a customer (CX) and employee experience (EX) consultant for the last 14 years. She’s blended EI with CX & EX to achieve some great results for clients.

Sandra's not an academic, but she loves theories and models from the world of psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. Sandra believes that understanding how the brain works helps us create stronger emotional connections with customers and colleagues.

Lou Carbone

Founder & CEO - Experience Engineering

Lou(Lewis) Carbone was recently appointed to the Marketing Faculty at The Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, teaching in the first Master of Science Degree in Customer Experience Management.

Lou is a globally recognized Pioneer, Keynote Speaker, Expert, Innovator, Influencer, and Thought Leader in Experience Management and Design. Lou originated the concept of Emotional and Unconscious Clue Based Experience Design and Total Experience Management® and a robust proprietary methodology and perspective called Experience Engineering®. He wrote the book “Clued In: How to keep customers coming back, again and again, published by FT Prentice Hall, which won Fast Company’s Reader’s Choice Award.

The founder and CEO of Experience Engineering®, Inc., an experienced management consulting firm, the very first of its kind three decades ago, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, working with the customer, employee, patient, and family experience management systems.

Shelly Chandler

Founder and Principal Strategist - SMC Group

Shelly Chandler has worked in Customer Experience since it became a discrete profession in the late 90s. She has worked in very large companies like top 10 banks, automotive services and hospitality companies, and served as a CX consultant for 10 years supporting the CX programs at major brands across the US and globally.

Keith Ferguson

Faculty - Michigan State University

Dr. Ferguson or "Ferg" is a marketing professor at both Michigan State and Florida State Universities. He has taught in five master's programs, including his current assignment at Michigan State in both the MS-CXM and MS-MSL programs. His background include being a serial entrepreneur since 1988 and authoring two textbooks, journal articles on consumer behavior, and presenting at conferences around the world. He has also won College of Business and University-wide teaching awards for his work with students.

John Gusiff

Managing Partner - Customer Centric Solutions LLC

John Gusiff is the Managing Partner for Customer Centric Solutions LLC. He founded the company in 2002 after spending 15 years helping leading brands across B2C, B2B, and B2B2C industries, design and implement customer acquisition, engagement, service and retention strategies.

He has worked directly with executives in marketing, sales, product development, customer service and support functions to help them rethink how they better service their customers and implement the processes, organization, and technology to support it.

Clients have included: American Honda, Canada Goose, Citibank, ecobee, G Adventures, Gympass, Humana, Porch, lululemon, Royal Ambulance, Shaklee, and TransAlta.

Andy Haas

Managing Director - Deloitte Consulting

Andy is a leader in Deloitte's Customer Service and Contact Center practice helping his clients navigate the future of service across strategy, operations, talent, and enabling technology. Currently, Andy is leading Deloitte's efforts around building assets and accelerators to help expedite the path to value.

Marjorie Hook

Vice President - People and Culture

Marjorie leads the People and Culture team at Openly where she is focused on the employee lifecycle and sustaining a world-class remote culture. Prior to joining openly in 2022, Marjorie spent over 15 years leading people functions for both large tech and high-growth technology start-ups. She also has extensive consulting experience leading global organizations through business transformations.

Marjorie holds a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and is a University of Texas alumni. She lives in Frisco, Colorado with her partner and 2 family dogs, and is an avid tennis player and winter sports enthusiast.

Mike Kuenne

Owner and Principal - Kuenne Advisory

Mike is the owner and Principal of Kuenne Advisory LLC and has 25 years of experience in industry and consulting across B2B and B2C channels. He brings a unique perspective by leveraging his diverse background across multiple organizational disciplines helping to create truly comprehensive strategies. Organizational leaders and Executive teams benefit from his broad experience in Technology, Corporate & Site Operations, Procurement / Sourcing Strategy, Administration, and Brand and Customer Experience. He enjoys sharing his passion for Customer Experience and has been featured on numerous podcasts and in various industry publications. He's worked with many fortune 500 clients in consulting roles with PwC and North Highland, and held multiple industry leadership roles, most recently as Chief Customer Officer at Extended Stay America.

Alex Mead

Global Customer Service Experience Director - Customer Service Experience Leadership & Transformation

Mr. Alex Mead is a UK National, globally mobile, currently based out of the Middle East. He specializes in identifying performance improvements across Customer Contact, Call Centres, Customer Service, Customer Experience & Customer Operations. His primary areas of concentration are contact center modernization, digital transformation, customer experience innovation, CRM implementation and design, and operations improvement.

Sue Hamre-Smith

Director of OCC Customer Experience- Delta Air Lines

Sue Hamre-Smith is a Director for Delta Air Lines in the Operations and Customer Center (OCC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The OCC seeks to provide seamless customer experiences by balancing the planned schedule with operational constraints and disruptions. It is comprised of over 30 departments focused on safety and operational reliability. Sue’s focus is on ensuring the customer experience is kept front and center of decisions that are made during irregular operations.

Sue is now a proud Spartan and is in the first cohort of the Customer Experience Management program at MSU. She is looking forward to her graduation in May 2024!

Valerie Choniuk

National Director of Patient Experience - Agilon Health

Valerie is a Patient Experience Executive who specializes in human-centered design and organizational transformation. She leads enterprise-wide Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Surveys and Health Outcomes Survey performance and Value-Based Care efforts for Global and Professional Direct Contracting and Medicare Advantage lines of business at Agilon Health. Valerie’s 20 years of experience combine shaping guest, customer, member, employee, provider, and patient experiences from corporate hospitality to across the healthcare continuum. She has a Master's of Public Administration and Healthcare Administration Management, a Certified Patient Experience Professional through the Patient Experience Institute and a Founding Member of The PX Community.

Brigid Colver

Community Manager & Content Writer - Freelance

Brigid is a long-time Community Manager and Content Writer for B2B companies with a unique perspective on what it means to empower customers to be self-sufficient. She lives in Michigan and adores its woods, coasts, and the Great Lakes!

Jerry Seufert

CEO - Fresh Air

Jerry Seufert is an executive advisor, coach, and small group organizer based in Alpharetta. Jerry is an accomplished customer experience visionary, executive counselor, product management advisor, change management expert, critical thinker, writer, and facilitator. Jerry’s ‘first home’ was in the health industries where he led more than 100 projects for hospitals, health systems, provider groups, federal and state health agencies, and solutions vendors, and now serves clients across a number of product and service sectors. Jerry has a B.S. in Biology, and M.S. in Industrial Engineering, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.