Deborah is the Program Director for Employee Experience at USAA. She leads a diverse team, across a multitude of disciplines and methodologies, to develop beautiful end to end Employee Experiences. Deborah and her team utilize employee feedback and user-centered design methodologies to help shape project efforts and collaborate across USAA. She partners closely with stakeholders at all levels across the enterprise to ensure employees have the opportunity to be at their best, for each other, for their families and, ultimately, for USAA members. This includes work across multiple employee areas such as Career Development, Rewards & Benefits, Feedback & Coaching, Flexibility, and Systems & Tools.
During Deborah’s fifteen years experience in Financial Services, she has worked on a wide variety of efforts, ranging from Operations and Product Management, to Diversity & Inclusion, as well as Program/Project Management. She also has extensive expertise in Strategic Business Transformations, leading cross-functional teams to the development and execution of strategic roadmaps requiring integration across multiple lines of business and staff agencies. In 2015, she launched USAA’s first gender diversity business group, Elevate, designed to create inclusive opportunities and improve business results through enhanced diversity of thought.
Deborah holds a B.S. in Business Administration, as well as an M.B.A. from University of Phoenix. She is an avid world traveler and takes off from San Antonio, TX where she resides with her family.
With over 15 years of digital marketing experience, Heather has worked for Fortune 500 companies to small non-profit organizations. With expertise in web analytics, she excels at using analytic data to create strategic objectives and follow up with testing and measuring the outcomes of those objectives. Heather believes in breaking down silos by bridging the gap between what marketing needs and what IT needs, while always keeping the customer front and center. Like in construction: measure twice, cut once.
Stacey Collins leads BECU’s Experience Design and Implementation team comprised of member experience project management professionals and experience training coaches providing focus, prioritization, execution and accountability for addressing the largest/most impactful experience gaps in an effort to further elevate the value of membership at BECU, the largest Credit Union in Washington State. Working within the boundaries of a heavily regulated industry, Stacey and her team are responsible for driving an “outside-in” mentality and ensuring all programs to address member experiences are aligned and executed successfully to support the delivery of BECU’s brand promise and strategic initiatives across all contact and delivery channels. This includes engaging employees in the CX process using methodology that supports a virtuous cycle of ideation and innovation - incubation, crowdsourcing, assessment and resolution. This idea-stream platform continues to elevate ideas that result in iterative improvements to the things that matter most to our membership. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) – and is a proud 12th Man of the Seattle Seahawks.
Lea Ammerman serves as the Executive Vice President of Member Services at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU). Ammerman has worked in the financial industry since 1989, with experience as a teller, loan officer, branch manager, and as an executive. She began at MSUFCU in 2002 and currently oversees the member-facing areas of the Credit Union, including branches, call center, eServices, and specialty and support services. Ammerman is extremely active in the Greater Lansing and Michigan State University (MSU) communities. She recently served on the MSU Executive MBA Alumni Association Board of Directors, where she spoke to women’s groups about career development, and currently serves on the Junior Achievement of Mid-Michigan Board of Directors as the Volunteer Chairperson. Additionally, Ammerman actively volunteers by mentoring MSU students and speaking to student groups, among other community initiatives.
Ammerman received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Northwood University and a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University.
MSUFCU has an asset size of over $3.41 billion, over 232,000 members worldwide, and more than 730 employees. It is the largest universitybased credit union in the world. In 2016, MSUFCU was recognized as one of Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for New College Grads, as well as the #1 Top Workplace in the large employer category on the Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces list. Also in 2016, MSUFCU was selected as one of the nation’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® and Best and Brightest in Wellness™ by the National Association for Business Resources. Additionally, MSUFCU was recognized as fifth in the nation for its financial education program by the National Youth Involvement Board, and received the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Regional Growth Award in 2016. MSUFCU has a national reputation for excellence, winning the 2014 National Association of Federal Credit Unions National Credit Union of the Year award.
Michelle Buretta leads the Housing Finance Agencies (HFA) segment for Genworth Mortgage Insurance. Since 2012, Michelle has held various positions in Servicing, Operations, and most currently as the Market Research and Segmentation Manager on the Customer Experience Team. Prior to Genworth, Michelle worked at North Carolina State University as an Academic Advisor, Instructor, and Researcher.
Michelle has an extensive background in Customer Experience, particularly in the developing effective customer research programs. As both a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and Net Promoter Score II (NPS) Certified Professional, she has refined her ability gather customer feedback, identify needs, create effective solutions, and measure impact. She has presented her original research at conferences and roundtables within the mortgage and financial services industries. Specifically, comprehensively studying the Millennial First-Time Homebuyer populations as well as generational differences in web user experiences technology adoption. She has spent the last five years under the mentorship of experienced Genworth alumni, exposing her to the mortgage industry and Housing Finance Agencies, and she is excited to now be working with the same HFA leaders that enabled her parents to purchase their first home through the assistance of a HFA.
Her formal education includes a Master of Sociology and a Master of Education, both from North Carolina State University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and is a decorated United States Army Veteran. In her free time, Michelle teaches early-morning Group Fitness classes and enjoys the outdoors with her husband, Kevin, and her two pugs, Oscar and Pugsly. She resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
John Stillman is part of BECU’s Experience Design Team, comprised of Design professionals and Insights Analysts focused on listening to member feedback and advocating changes that enhance member experiences. John (a.k.a. #JohnBECU) is responsible for monitoring and responding to all incoming comments and questions on BECU’s social community, and over the past few years, has become the face and ‘voice’ of social response for BECU members and across the largest Credit Union in Washington State.
As the “Social Media Guy”, John partners daily with business units in the organization to ensure that accurate information is shared to the community and reports back to business units so the Credit Union is aware of key trends.
John originally hails from the Golden State of California, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art and currently lives in Spokane Washington.
Anne Witherspoon is a Senior Vice President and the Director of Client Onboarding and Service Delivery at Texas Capital Bank. She was given the opportunity to begin a formal Client Experience program in 2015 and has been successful in building the foundation and creating momentum to evolve and expand the program in just two short years. Anne has an MBA from Texas A&M International University and a BBA from Texas Tech University. She holds several professional certifications including Certified Client Experience Professional (CCXP), Certified Treasury Professional (CTP), Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) and Project Management Professional (PMP). She serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of ePayAdvisors and as the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Fine Arts Chamber Players. She is very active in the Dallas CXPA networking group where she served as both a host and speaker at the November 2016 meeting.
Ben Hoffman is currently the lead of the User Experience function at Hanover Insurance. His 29 years in user and customer experience have provided him the opportunity to work on a broad variety of initiatives and industries - from auto insurance quoting to health care to railroad yard management. He has extensive experience in starting and leading user/customer experience functions, customer/usability research methods and consulting.
Previously, Ben has worked for Cigna, Travelers Insurance, The Hartford, Dell Computer and IBM. He holds a BA in Psychology from Moravian College and a Masters in Statistics and Measurement from Rutgers University.
Bill Schimikowski is the Director of Customer Experience and Architecture at Fidelity Investments. He graduated from Bryant University with dual degrees in Marketing and a Finance. In 1998, he joined Fidelity’s Workplace Investing division and held multiple positions in Product Management and Development. He also spent 5+ years in the online space managing parts of Fidelity.com and managing large cross-company strategic initiatives. In 2012, he joined the Customer Experience team so he could apply his passion for creating flawless experiences to various channels within Fidelity. In his current role, he focuses on developing CX infrastructure and culture to deliver on Fidelity’s vision of providing the best customer experience in the industry.
Valeska O'Leary is a self-identified behaviorist bona fide and User Experience leader who wears many hats: strategist, designer, researcher, developer and mentor. After her humble beginnings as an entrepreneur, Valeska shifted her focus to product and design, ultimately innovating, designing, and managing products for countless companies large and small, including John Hancock, Fidelity, State Street, PayPal, Wolters Kluwer UpToDate, and IDG to name a few. At Sallie Mae, she brings her vast experience in Human-Computer Interaction and Human Factors to craft solutions that radically transform its customers’ experience. A leader and mentor at heart, she is frequently seen at conferences and is very active in the UX community of practice.
Mike has extensive experience launching and incubating strategic capabilities. After playing a key role in establishing Northwestern Mutual's cx strategy, his current challenge is to introduce design thinking to his organization. Prior to this role, he led the lean/agile transformation of Northwestern Mutual's software development practice.
Tim Hong is the Chief Marketing Officer at MoneyLion. Before joining MoneyLion, Tim was a member of the founding team at Tsumobi Inc, a peer-to-peer messaging software company. Prior to that Tim was SVP, Product Development & Analytics at EmSense, a global market research firm applying neuroscience and machine learning techniques for Fortune 500 clients. He holds a master's degree from Stanford University as well as Bachelor of Science degrees in Materials Science & Engineering and Physics from MIT.
Ted Chen is President of Maru/edr North America. Ted is a 16-year customer experience research veteran and has focused his career on helping companies turn customer intelligence and analyses into actionable recommendations while also utilizing technology platforms to drive dissemination and usage of results. He has partnered with firms across virtually every industry and looks to bring best practices to each new engagement. His clients have included Farmers Insurance, Capital One, Moody’s and Morgan Stanley.
Prior to joining the Maru/edr team, Ted served as a senior member of the US Customer Strategies Solution team at ORC International. He was also the head of the Customer Experience Practice at Vision Critical, and led the US research, operations and technology development teams at Ipsos Loyalty.
Ted received his MBA in Strategy and Finance from Yale University and his BA in Economics from Northwestern University.
Jonathan Podolsky leads the successful experience strategy department for the nationally recognized consultancy, Mad*Pow. Jonathan has in-depth understanding of human centric methodologies to improve complex customer, patient and user experiences. As a thought leader in service design, Jonathan advocates for both end-customers and the systems, operations and staff needed to develop achievable strategies. Jonathan coined the phrase “innovation achievable” as a credence to practical, implementable strategic direction that looks good on paper and can be achieved in reality.
Michael is part of the leadership team at the Mad*Pow, a Boston-based design agency and is responsible for building and steering key relationships. Mike lends his experience to ensure strong, transformational solutions for clients. In his 2 years at Mad*Pow, he has contributed strategic direction and leadership to a variety of experience design initiatives across the account base. Michael heads up Mad*Pow’s burgeoning Financial Wellness practice, designed to make an impact on the lives of the financially underserved and driving for financial inclusion.
Michael is a former designer & developer leading the conception and delivery of everything from microsites to enterprise-critical software. Early in his career, Michael built out the web presence for Hasbro, Inc. and drove their achievement as a top 50 web property. Since then, and over the past 20 years Michael has held leadership positions in the agency, management consulting and financial services industries.
Michael has worked with a variety of clients, including: Prudential (Insurance, Annuities and Retirement service lines), State Street Global Advisors, Blue Cross/Blue Shield (Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Northeast PA, FEP), Emerson Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, Genzyme/Sanofi, and USAA.
As an Event Director at Worldwide Business Research, Elizabeth oversees the organization of four business conferences per year. Conference organization includes conducting extensive phone research with 60+ industry experts per event, using call notes to compile a three day conference program that encapsulates top research takeaways, confirming a roster of 40-50 industry leading speakers for each program, working with our marketing team to write effective copy for all outbound marketing messages, coordinating with sales and logistics teams to ensure the best possible onsite experience and prepping for and running the live event. Most recently, she has taken over conference production for WBR’s customer experience vertical, which includes planning and executing the flagship event Next Generation Customer Experience- a cross industry event that attracts 400 CX practitioners yearly. Prior to serving as event director, Elizabeth was assisting the events department with industry research and planning and executing industry webinars for WBR Digital. She currently lives in New York City.