Creating Magic Through a Personalized, Friction-Free User Experience

In 2017, Fast Company recognized Carnival Corporation as being among the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” in both the design and travel categories. Fast Company specifically recognized Carnival for its work in developing the Ocean Medallion, a high-tech wearable device that enables the world’s first interactive guest experience platform capable of transforming vacation travel into a highly personalized and elevated level of customized service.

John Padgett, one of the integral members of Disney’s MagicBand and MyMagic+ project, brought his expertise to Carnival and will share with attendees what it took to bring these big ideas to fruition.


John Padgett | Chief Experience & Innovation Officer | Carnival Cruise Lines

John Padgett joined Carnival Corporation in 2014 as the chief experience & innovation officer spanning the company’s 10 global cruise line brands with a holistic focus on creating exceptional guest experiences. Leading a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional experience and innovation team, John is responsible for guest experience innovation, development, creation and operations integration across creative, digital, technical and operational functions. Prior to Carnival Corporation, John had an 18-year career with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he and his team led the company’s shift to guest experiences grounded in personalization, customization, simplicity and connectivity as the vice president of game changer experience development.

Paula Suarez | VP of IT and Development | Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants

Paula Suarez is Vice President of Information Technology and Development for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurant, Inc. Suarez leads the companywide implementation of technology projects and oversees in-house software development efforts. Her focus is on streamlining business processes using advanced technology options. Prior to joining Dickey’s Barbecue in 2011, Suarez served as Division Business Systems Analyst for RealPage, a software development company for major property management companies. Suarez’s experience also includes over a decade working within the area of business systems analysis, software development and technical training. Past career achievements include the development and launching of the first military housing technical training program for Lincoln Military Housing.

Ashish Tajpuria | SVP, Head of Emerging Payments & Commerce Partnerships | Bank of America

Ashish Tajpuria is the Emerging Payments Executive at Bank of America, responsible for managing third-party partnerships across the entire payments and commerce ecosystem for the consumer bank. Ashish’s current areas of focus include: digital wallets, card networks, loyalty, artificial intelligence (A.I.) & Internet of Things (IoT). Ashish is also responsible for managing various strategic emerging payment projects. Prior to joining Bank of America, Ashish was a member of the Chase Pay product team where his responsibilities included product strategy, roadmap development, third-party partnerships and merchant acceptance. He has a proven track record as a product manager creating new digital products across a wide range of industries from financial services, retail / eCommerce to travel and high-tech.


Ken Hosac | VP, Business Development | Cradlepoint

Ken has 25 years of experience in marketing, sales, R&D and manufacturing. At Cradlepoint, Ken is responsible for driving strategic industry partnerships to accelerate the company’s market growth and leadership. As part of the leadership team since 2009, Ken has helped drive Cradlepoint’s growth and development through roles in strategic planning, product management, solution strategy and thought leadership. Ken frequently represents the company at industry conferences and events, and served on the original Advisory Board for the IoT/M2M Evolution Magazine. Ken holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. degree in Manufacturing Engineering, both from Stanford University.

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