Advisory Board

15th Anniversary Customer Contact West Executive Mindxchange Advisory Board

An Event Shaped by a Community of Your Peers!

Frost & Sullivan extends its appreciation to the following Advisory Board Members for their expertise and valuable support in ensuring the agenda delivers relevant and valuable content.

Vice President, Customer Service, ezCater

Ed Ariel

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Ed brings more than 20 years of experience building, implementing and managing comprehensive customer service and business process improvement programs and teams. Ed has an award winning record of simultaneously boosting customer satisfaction and company profitability by building and directing great teams and equipping them with top-notch technology.

In addition to Ed’s current role at ezCater as the VP of Service Operations, Ed has held leadership roles in customer service, operations and risk management at Fidelity Investment Systems Company, TNCI Operating Company and AT&T. Ed holds an MBA from Bentley University and a BA from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

Contact Center Director, Clark Pest Control

Matt Beckwith

Session: Socializing CX Across the Organization

Matt Beckwith is proud to be a Contact Center Geek. Since putting on the headset for the first time as a directory assistance operator nearly 25 years ago, he has spent his career leading customer service and sales call centers in many different industries.

His passion for customer experience, technology, leadership, and professional development has led him to his current role leading customer contact operations for Clark Pest Control, one of the largest and most successful pest control companies in the US, headquartered in Lodi, California. In 2018, Matt was named an ICMI featured contributor and served as a judge for the ICMI Global Contact Center Awards. Matt also serves as a steering committee member for the Northern California Contact Center Association.

Manager, Operations, Mayo Clinic

Sue Cloutier

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

I have over 25 years of experience in contact centers and I continue to provide consulting to hospitals and performing laboratories around the world on how to set-up a successful call center.

I have the following certifications and continue to take classes to learn and grow in my career: Call Center Management – Benchmark Portal, Workforce Management Certificate – Benchmark Portal, Silver Mayo Quality Fellow, Contact Center Best Practices, Advanced Performance Management, Performance Management Basic, Bronze Mayo, Quality, Project Management, Quality System Essentials – QSE, Crucial Conversations, Leading Change, Purdue University – Center for Customer – Driven Quality, Banking and Finance COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP: Frost & Sullivan Executive Leadership Council Member, IMPT Committee, Appeals Committee, Quality Improvement Team, Safety Committee, MayoACCESS Oversight Committee, Marines Performance Management, Midwest Contact Center Association, MRS Sales and Operations NE Regional Team, MRS & CTS Operational Committee.

Assistant Vice President, Support Services, Nationwide Financial

Claudia Comtois

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Claudia Comtois is Associate Vice President of Support Services in Internal Sales and Service at Nationwide Financial. She started her career at Nationwide Financial in 1996 in an entry level position in the Licensing and Commissions Department. Claudia entered management in 1998 and from there she progressed through various roles of increasing responsibility until reaching her current position.

Claudia is responsible for a variety of functions that support the Internal Sales and Service organization including Change Management, Problem Resolution, Training and Sales Support. She is highly regarded as a customer advocate and proactive change leader for the organization. Formerly a small business owner and veteran of the United States Air Force, Claudia holds the FINRA Series 6 and 26 licenses.

Vice President, Operational Strategy and Performance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

Robert Gofourth

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Robert has more than 20 years of operations and risk management experience across a variety of industries including insurance, mortgage banking, government enterprise, and outsourcing.

In 2014, Robert accepted the position of Vice President of Operational Strategy and Performance at BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Robert is responsible for the overall Quality, Compliance, Analytics, Process, and Informatics programs.

Robert has been a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt since 1999. After earning his M.B.A., he applied a combination of process improvement and operational knowledge to drive quality, reduce cost and improve efficiency to the benefit of several companies. Prior to joining BCBSNC, he was with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a government entity acting as the insurer of last resort for the State of Florida. Robert first held the position of Vice President of Operations, improving performance levels which could compete with private enterprise. His final position at Citizens was Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management. As the corporate officer in charge of risk, he utilized his knowledge of process improvement and operations to develop and deploy the company’s risk program which ultimately helped the company in achieving its mission and strategic goals.

Leader, Customer Experience Analytics, Vanguard

Mike Epstein

Bio is forthcoming.

Principal Program Manager, Microsoft

Matt Hayes

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

An experienced senior executive with over 20 years of Technology experience. Experience includes P&L responsibility for 911 telecom products where I increased profitability by 50% while at the same time ensuring the successful call routing and delivery of 911 traffic throughout North America. Responsible for the migration of Microsoft’s call center technology transformation moving all call services to a cloud-based centralized solution.

Director of Call Center/Customer Care Operations, Allegiant Air Inc.

Regan Heckethorn

Bio is forthcoming.

Vice President, Kaiser Permanente

Chris Helzerman

Bio is forthcoming.

Managing Director, National Contact Center, TIAA

Eileen Lash

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Favorite Quote: People may forget what you said or did but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Eileen Lash serves as Managing Director, National Contact Center and NCC Institutional Support Center of Excellence in Dallas. She joined TIAA in January, 2016. In this role, she is responsible for a staff of nearly 300 consultants and managers in Dallas and 200 consultants in Denver delivering service and financial solutions for more than 5 million retirement plan participants. Eileen is also responsible for the team handling NCC Sales and Service RFP’s, NCC readiness for Institution transitions/onboarding and ongoing Institutional service maintenance. Eileen has more than 28 years of experience in large-scale financial services Contact Centers and back-office processing. Before joining TIAA, Eileen worked for JPMorgan Chase where she most recently led six large retail Banking Servicing Contact Center sites nationwide. She was responsible for delivering Best-In-Class Customer Service to three business lines: Retail Banking, Online Banking, and Small Business Banking. Additionally, she had served as interim Market Leader for 5,000 employees in two large Chase facilities in San Antonio, TX. She executed on business continuity, employee engagement and local market volunteer activities. Eileen holds an M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University School of Business and Entrepreneurship and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana. She is Series 7 and 24 licensed. Eileen currently lives in Flower Mound, TX with her husband and their two rescue dogs. She enjoys tennis, golf, reading and going to the movies.

Areas of expertise: Customer Contact Strategy & Operations, Customer Interaction and Customer Experience, Agent Engagement, Outsourcing

Additional area expertise: Diversity and Inclusion, Multi-Lingual, offshoring, TCPA

Most recent customer contact/customer experience initiatives: Voice Bio, IVR redesign, live chat, co-browse, chatbot/ virtual assistant, starting to code bots for easy transactions.

Global Program Director, Digital Transformation Practice, Frost & Sullivan

Stephen Loynd

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Functional Expertise
• Twelve years of research and analytical as well as sales and marketing expertise in the contact center BPO market. Particular expertise in:
– Emerging trends and market dynamics in the BPO industry
– Go-to-market BPO strategies relative to specific vertical markets
– The competitive landscape of outsourcing vendors in the realm of customer contact

Industry Expertise
Experience base covering a broad range of sectors, leveraging long-standing working relationships with leading industry participants’ Senior Executives
– Customer care/CRM/customer contact
– Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
– Global sourcing (from the US, to offshore, nearshore and homeshore)

What I bring to the Team
Particular skills in writing, analysis and presentation
Insight from the perspective of the end-user
Experience and skills in sales and marketing
A global outlook
Career Highlights
Extensive expertise in the evolving customer contact landscape
Twelve years of experience at several relevant organizations:
– Stream Global Services
– Sakon, LLC
– MassTrade

• M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.
• B.A. from Colby College, Waterville, ME

Vice President of Operations, Elevate

April Sealy

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

April Sealy is a contact center expert and 11-year veteran at Elevate.  Elevate is committed to providing solutions for non-prime customers today, and helping them on their way to a better financial future – “Good Today, Better Tomorrow.”  As the Vice President of Operations, April is responsible for delivering a great customer experience through contact center customer support and operational readiness.

She leads Customer Solutions, Quality, Training, Documentation, Workforce Management, and back office functions supporting the customer experience. She is focused on delivering a great customer experience and continuing the tradition of high employee engagement and satisfaction that has lead Elevate to be certified as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® for three years now.  April is a passionate coach, mentor, and expert on building a compelling engaged workforce and culture.  April previously held leadership positions at Citi and HSBC as well as having spent almost 16 years at Sprint.

Executive Director, Service Operations, Aetna Health Plans

Steve Schneider

Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Steve is an Executive Director in Service Operations and has been with Aetna since 1986. He is currently responsible for the Business Transaction Services (BTS) organization, a shared services group supporting a diverse set of enterprise capabilities. BTS supports over 2 billion constituent-facing and internal touchpoints annually.

The group has business operational responsibilities for all post-enrollment transactional print, including Id Cards, provider real-time Electronic Data Interchanges , Provider Portal and electronic claim intake, IVR, Member Web, Inbound/Outbound Email, mobile messaging, and the Contact Center CRM desktop solutions. The group is also responsible for Aetna’s contract drafting functions, Summary of Benefit/Coverage production, Member and Provider payments, Explanation of Benefits Statements and the company’s paper suppression strategies. In addition, the group has responsibility for the Member and Plan Books of Record as well as over a dozen high volume business developed applications hosted externally. The organization plays a leadership role in various CAQH and WEDI work groups.

Prior to serving as the Head of BTS, Steve was the technology investment Portfolio Manager for National Customer Operations responsible for prioritizing and governance over $300m-$400m in annual IT investments.

Steve started his career in Aetna’s IT organization and spent 18 years in various roles including a software/application developer, project and program manager and eventually having responsibility for the development, delivery and operations for all of Aetna’s constituent facing web assets. He is hoping there isn’t any code that still has his name on it.

Steve has a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Connecticut and is currently based out of Aetna’s home office in Hartford, CT.