Keynote Speakers

Nikki Baird

Managing Partner | Retail Systems Research

Nikki Baird is Managing Partner at Retail Systems Research, an industry market intelligence firm specializing in the impact of technology on the extended retail industry. She focuses on trends impacting the consumer-retailer relationship, along with their supply chain and marketing implications. She has written research and articles on topics ranging from omni-channel strategies, in-store marketing and technology, store performance management, supply chain and multi-channel fulfillment, retailer-manufacturer collaboration, merchandising, and loyalty and promotions management. She has been quoted as a subject matter expert in The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Huffington Post, and National Public Radio.

David Kepron

VP – Global Design Strategies | Marriott International

David Kepron is the Vice President of Design within the Global Design Strategies department at Marriott International. His focus is on the creation of compelling customer experiences within a unique group of Marriott flags called the “Distinctive Premium Brands” including: Renaissance, Westin, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio and Design Hotels. His multidisciplinary approach to design focuses on understanding consumer behavior and the creation of relevant brand experiences at the intersection of architecture, sociology, neuroscience and emerging digital technologies. In the fall of 2014 STMedia Group International published Kepron’s first book titled: “Retail (r)Evolution: Why Creating Right-Brain Stores Will Shape the Future of Shopping in a Digitally Driven World.”

Jayson Tipp

former SVP Strategy & Chief Development Officer | Papa Murphy’s International

Jayson Tipp is a nationally-recognized and sought-after expert in consumer analytics, market strategy and execution with a reputation for converting insights into strategies that deliver results. Most recently he was Chief Development Officer for Papa Murphy’s International developing and executing growth strategies across franchise sales, real estate, and technology. Jayson also served as SVP, Marketing for PMI while the organization posted 14 consecutive quarters of sales growth. Prior to PMI, Jayson served in analytics and strategy roles for redbox, Potbelly Sandwich Works, and Starbucks. Jayson also has a 25 year career as a semi-professional jazz composer, performer and recording artist with his band Under The Lake.

Additional Presenters

Michael Ahearn

VP, Customer Development & Strategy | Upland Mobile Messaging

As VP of Customer Development & Strategy at Upland Mobile Messaging, Michael Ahearn helps brands, marketing agencies, media companies and enterprises formulate breakthrough mobile messaging strategies and programs. He was a co-founder of iLoop Mobile/Archer, and brings 13+ years experience in mobile marketing. A pioneer for mobile in the US, he has helped Fortune 500 brands and companies across many industries with strategic marketing and business operations in mobile. He is also a past Board of Directors member of the Mobile Marketing Association.

Lee Auerbach

VP of Sales | Chatmeter

Lee Auerbach has almost two decades of experience building and leading sales teams to success. After pivoting half way through his career to the digital sector (Tribune Interactive, Economist, Motivequest, Groupon), he now focuses on Big Data and how to convert analytics into action. The key learning is that 92% (and rising) of consumers vet local options via maps like Google Maps If you can organically rank better, review better, socialize better, and moderate better… Then you will win the vetting race every time for every store. Winning a customer naturally is more powerful than any advertisement.

Callie Blackburn

Social Media Manager | Regal Cinemas

Callie Ivy Blackburn currently resides as head of Social Media for Regal Cinemas, one of the largest theatre chains in the US. Prior to her current role, she coordinated the Regal Cinemas mobile application, fostering increased installs and in-app e-commerce goals. She has an extensive background in digital marketing, graphic design, and the entertainment industry. Ask her about the movies!

Howard Blumenthal

VP, eCommerce | Brookstone

Howard Blumenthal was previously director of product management for e-business at Advance Auto Parts. Howard joined Advance in April 2009 as a founding member of the e-business team and launched Advance’s first B-to-C and B-to-B sites and customer care center — today producing over $1 billion annually. Howard drove the omnichannel road map for the organization, including the integration of mobile, social and marketplace strategies into all areas of the organization. Prior to joining Advance, Howard held senior marketing and development roles at Shop.com, Pfaltzgraff Dinnerware, The Franklin Mint and the Danbury Mint.

Jordan Campbell

Former Digital Marketing Manager | la Madeleine

Jordan is the VP of Marketing for Mooala, a rapidly-growing dairy alternative brand, serving a variety of Organic and Dairy-Free plant-based milks. Previously, Jordan led Digital Marketing for la Madeleine French Bakery and Café, a Fast Casual concept with 80+ units. Jordan oversaw la Madeleine’s Digital Marketing programs, spanning Loyalty, Email, Ecommerce, Paid Digital and Social Media. Jordan specializes in building strategies to strengthen App engagement and retention, delivering relevant and meaningful rewards, and generating traffic-driving initiatives, designed to drive incremental visits. Jordan launched the app’s integrated Order Ahead feature and the planning infrastructure for the brand’s proprietary delivery launch. Before joining la Madeleine, Jordan worked at ad agencies supporting digital programs for clients like Pizza Hut, Borden Dairy Company and Jack Daniel’s.

Ryan Craver

SVP Emerging Brands, Licenses & Digital Strategy | Lamour Group

Ryan’s natural fascination with the intersection of retail and technology has led to a career of inspiring and leading retailers to be on the forefront of the evolving “connected retail” environment. Ryan enjoys tackling changing consumer dynamics and defining how retail organizations can leverage technology to strengthen their competitive position. Most recently, Ryan was in charge of the core department store strategy at Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay Company. Prior to joining Hudson’s Bay Company, Ryan was a senior leader at Accenture, driving growth and profit improvement across multiple clients, including Virgin Media, FedEx and Best Buy.

David Drain

SVP, Events | Networld Media Group

David Drain has more than 20 years of experience in association management, event planning, writing and speaking. He has served as executive director of the Digital Signage Association (a group he co-founded), the Self-Service & Kiosk Association and the merged organization, Digital Screenmedia Association. Previously he was EVP for the Foodservice Consultants Society International. He currently oversees five summits for Networld Media Group ranging from mobile, interactive customer experience, bank CX, restaurant franchising and fast casual restaurants.

Paul Epperley

Director, Consumer Technology Portfolios | Sodexo

Paul Epperley is an accomplished hospitality and retail professional, with decades of experience in international, regional and local environments. Specializing in consumer technology, Paul defines the technology and platforms to transform the consumer journey into an interactive and agile experience. Career highlights include streamlining operations and creating shopper experiences at Brinker International, Cracker Barrel, and Hooters.  With Sodexo for the past 9 1/2 years, Paul’s current focus is bringing consumer technology solutions to the foodservice industry.

Michelle Evans

Digital Consumer Manager | Euromonitor International

In her current role as head of digital consumer research, Michelle Evans follows the technological advances that are forever altering the way that consumers research, shop and pay for products and services. Her expertise spans topics like mobile pay, mobile apps, e-commerce, m-commerce, mobile marketing, digital marketing and social media marketing. From her research, she produces opinion pieces, in-depth reports, multimedia content and general analysis to help clients make informed, long-term strategic business decisions as it relates to this emerging connected consumer. Michelle is a recognized expert in this fast-changing industry and was named to Innotribe’s Power Women in FinTech Index in 2015.

Melissa Gallagher

VP Marketing | Freshii

Melissa Gallagher joined Freshii as the Vice President of Marketing in October 2016. Prior to joining Freshii, Melissa was a Partner and Vice President at Karo Group, where she oversaw the Subway restaurants marketing strategy and execution from May 2014 to October 2016. Previously, Melissa held a number of positions at Torsub & Centron Services (Subway Development), including Business Consultant and Local Store Marketing Director from January 2007 to September 2009, before leaving to lead the advertising for the Ontario Subway Franchise group at Cundari from Sept 2009 through January 2014. Melissa was awarded the Marketing Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 award in 2014.

Christopher Hall

Managing Director | ICX Association

Christopher Hall is Managing Director of ICX Association. Prior to this position he was managing editor of content for B2B publisher Networld Media Group, and the editor of DigitalSignageToday.com, the leading news portal for the digital signage industry, covering digital out of-home advertising, digital billboards, experiential digital branding and digital signage hardware, software and displays. An award-winning former newspaper reporter and magazine writer, Christopher is a seven year veteran of the digital signage and kiosk industries who has consulted for and spoken on the digital signage industry sector-wide.

Will Hernandez

Editor | Mobile Payments Today

Will Hernandez has more than 15 years of experience ranging from newspapers to wire services and trade publications. Before becoming Editor of Mobile Payments Today, he spent two years as the content manager for PaymentsJournal.com, a leading payments industry news aggregator and information hub published by Mercator Advisory Group. He spent four years covering the payments industry as an associate editor for multiple publications in SourceMedia’s Payments Group based in Chicago including ATM&Debit News, CardLine, PaymentsSource.com, ISO&Agent Weekly and American Banker.

David Hewitt

Group VP, Consumer Experience | SapientRazorfish

David serves as VP of consumer experiences and global mobility lead for SapientNitro and brings more than 20 years of experience in design, technology, and mobile. He drives innovation for clients by helping them place the right strategic bets, design around the needs of the customer, and take advantage of emerging technologies to best connect brands and customers. He is a founder of SapientNitro’s Mobile Center of Excellence, a full service team dedicated to designing and developing mobile experiences across the mobile web, native, and messaging platforms. As global mobility strategy lead, David helps brands take a mobile-first approach to transforming their business around tomorrow’s customer for the retail, hospitality, and financial services industries. David also helps shape Publicis.Sapient’s innovation lab efforts and connect emerging technologies to new client opportunities.

Rich Hope

Chief Marketing Officer | Jersey Mike’s Subs

Rich is the CMO for Jersey Mike’s Subs, a fast casual franchise restaurant chain with over 750 stores open and under development in 33 states. Before joining Jersey Mike’s, Rich was president and co-founder of Sirius Advertising, Inc., a full-service advertising agency. As CMO of Jersey Mike’s, Rich oversees all brand management, as well as national and local marketing activities. He has sat on the board of directors of The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Academy Charter High School Board of Trustees and the Lake Como Board of Planning and Zoning.

Donna Josephson

Chief Marketing Officer | Fazoli’s

As CMO for Fazoli’s, Donna Josephson is responsible for all brand marketing, advertising, new product development, menu strategy, pricing, public relations, communications, field marketing and franchise support. In 2015, she was recruited and charged with spearheading strategic marketing initiatives for the brand and its aggressive growth strategy. Prior to joining Fazoli’s, Josephson served as the VP of marketing for McAlister’s Deli where she led the executive team in redefining the brand positioning. Josephson received her bachelor’s degree in Business from Ball State University where she graduated with honors. She holds an MBA in Marketing and Management from her alma mater.

Prakash Karamchandani

Co-Founder & CEO | Balance Grille

Prakash Karamchandani is one of two co-founders of Balance Pan-Asian Grille: a fast casual chain of Asian-fusion restaurants located in Northwest Ohio. Balance is somewhere between a restaurant and a tech Company. iPad-based employee management software, future-forecasted inventory for daily prep lists, cloud-based employee communication, and replacing managers with data analysts are just some of the ways Balance is on the cutting edge. Recently ranked on FastCasual.com’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, Prakash is looking to position his brand for nationwide growth. Prakash also serves on the board for Food for Thought, a non-profit focused on eliminating food insecurity.

Gary Kazmer

General Manager of Global e-Commerce | Crayola

Gary Kazmer has over 25 years’ experience in Digital B2C and B2B omnichannel revenue sales and operations. He is currently the GM of Global e-Commerce for Crayola where he is responsible for developing the Direct to Consumer global business by transforming Crayola.com into an inspirational brand store on-line. Previously, he was a Digital and Operational e-commerce consultant collaborating with CEO’s to create a strategy for growth through new business plans, refinement of the value proposition, competitive positioning, branding assignments, product development as well as detailed analysis of all electronic customer contact strategies down through funnel analysis and SEO / SEM strategies.

Kevin Keith

Chief Brand Officer | OrangeTheory Fitness

Kevin Keith has spent nearly 25 years shepherding game changing marketing for some of the most iconic brands in the world, including Citibank, Mercedes-Benz, UPS, Coca-Cola. With both Client and Agencyside experience, he is most known for his passion in bridging the two worlds together to develop bold, Cannes-award winning innovative ideas that enhance brand equity and drive business results. As Chief Brand Officer for Orangetheory, Kevin is focused on positioning the brand as a global leader of group-based High Intensity Interval Training, with exceptional science and technology to deliver proven results for members.

Kira McCabe

Associate Director, Digital Media | Tropical Smoothie Café

Kira McCabe is not a Georgia native but has felt right at home in Atlanta over the last three years. Kira currently supports Tropical Smoothie Cafe brand as the Associate Director of Digital Media. Most recently with Church’s Chicken, Kira has been growing her career and passions around the philosophy of a digital ‘ecosystem’ to help integrate and revamp a brand’s digital approach. As the industry pivots towards digital, Kira is focused on ensuring key digital pillars are established to adopt, optimize and scale new strategies. Highlighted by her recent recognition of the 2016 Rising Marketing Star Award from the Association of National Advertisers.

Krista McLay

Brand and Communications Manager | Nando’s Canada

Krista Mclay is the Manager of Brand Communications and Strategy at Nando’s which is known for their flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken in over 24 countries around the world. During her 10-year Marketing career she has worked on innovative brands in varying stages of development and evolution. Her experience ranges from working with global brands, building insight driven communication strategies, generating traffic building initiatives, rebranding, project management from ideation to execution. Krista has received the Top 30 under 30 award for the OHI.

Justin McNally

Chief Technology Officer | Chowly

Justin McNally is a tech innovator pursuing excellence in technology and product through his dual roles as CPO and head of technology at Chowly. He is currently leading the charge in creating ubiquity between customers and restaurants through point of sale integration. Often referred to as ‘Scrappy’, he sees it as not just label but a way of living and building excellence out of nothing. Justin’s drive comes from a belief that restaurants should be able to benefit from technology without having it disrupt the flow of their kitchen.

Jeff Michaud

VP of Sales | 3Cinteractive

Jeff Michaud is VP of Sales at 3C. He has over a decade of experience in mobile and is a seasoned industry executive. In his role, Jeff leverages his experience and deep expertise in mobile strategy and technology to create results-driven, customer-intimate, mobile engagement that delivers substantial value for some of the world’s best brands and retailers. Jeff has a passion for helping marketers figure out how to insert mobile into the customer journey in a way that will deliver greater than expected ROI. Working side by side with brands, Jeff crafts strategies to keep them ahead of always evolving trends and technologies.

Bill Morris

General Manager | Aware Software

Bill Morris is the General Manager of Aware Software, an Atlanta-based startup born from the founders of AirWatch and Manhattan Associates, leaders in mobile security and supply chain management. Former Senior Director of hardware systems at Manhattan Associates, Morris and his team specialized in the design and deployment of mobile, wireless, voice recognition, wearable and RFID technologies for supply chains in omnichannel, e-commerce and retail environments. He now oversees all departments at Aware, bringing experience from Manhattan and insight from serving on a variety of technology manufacture and industry group advisory boards. With a hand in research and development as well as sales at Aware, Morris brings a unique perspective of how technologies are developing to improve customer experience and how industry leaders are leveraging these new technologies. An emerging leader in wireless management and IoT visibility, Aware Software serves industries including hospitality, retail, restaurant, healthcare, travel and enterprise.

Ken Moy

Former VP of Digital | Subway

Ken Moy was recently the Vice President of Digital at Subway restaurants where he led the company’s omni-channel, innovation and partnership priorities. Prior to this role, Ken was Co-Head of Subway Digital where he led the formation of the Subway Digital business unit and the execution of the restaurant’s web, mobile app, loyalty, and payment efforts around the world. Prior to Subway, Ken served as Senior Vice President at MasterCard where he led the firm’s advanced technology and partnership efforts to drive digital commerce. Ken also held a range of senior management roles in finance, product development, and innovation with Citibank and JP Morgan Chase. Ken holds a BA in Sociology & Psychology, and a MS in Business Management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Vishal Naik

Director of Product Marketing | MomentFeed

As Director of Product Marketing for MomentFeed, Vishal helps marketers understand mobile and consumer trends and how they impact the needs of multi-location brands.

Corey O’Donnell

SVP of Marketing | Mobivity

Corey has more than 20 years experience in marketing, sales, and product innovation for enterprise-focused software and technology solutions. As Senior Vice President of Marketing for Mobivity, Corey is responsible for all aspects of the strategy, positioning and communications of the Mobivity platform, which is designed to provide Intelligent & Personalized Marketing in the Real World. Prior to joining Mobivity, Corey served as the Vice President of Marketing for Yodle, and spearheaded the creation and strategy of their Centermark platform. Centermark’s success helping network businesses unify, scale and optimize their marketing performance ultimately drove Yodle’s acquisition by Web.com in 2016.

Keith Peterson

VP of Marketing | VERTS Mediterranean Grill

In his current role of VP of Marketing for VERTS Mediterranean Grill, Keith Peterson is primarily responsible for growing the VERTS brand as it emerges as a national chain and accelerating marketing programming to scale the company to 200 locations by 2020. Prior to joining VERTS, Keith worked for Red Bull for eight years in field marketing, consumer collecting and brand management. He led strategic direction for Red Bull’s direct-to-consumer marketing programs in the Southeast United States in 2011. In his role of Red Bull Global Brand Integration Manager from 2012-2015, he oversaw international integrated marketing for the branded record label Red Bull Records and its artists.

Laura Reese

Senior Director, Media/Digital/PR | Church’s Chicken

As the Senior Director of Media, Digital and PR for Church’s Chicken, Laura is responsible for leading all domestic media efforts for the brand, both digital and traditional. She works collaboratively with agency partners to develop and deploy strategy, utilizing archetypes and personas to gain in-depth understanding of brand needs. Laura and team have activated a rich digital ecosystem for Church’s, designed to engage online guests, deepening their loyalty, and creating meaningful relationships that are as tangible as they are measurable. In addition, Laura leads the brand’s internal cultural evolution, reinforcing a positive and communicative work culture that is committed to the brand purpose and vision, with steady and authentic passion. Laura’s work on the “Church’s Loves Community” campaign, a series of short films/videos, is her most fulfilling work to date, sending the message that through hard work, unity, progressive and resilient attitudes, amazing things can happen.

Dennis Schleicher

Senior Manager of Customer Experience | Kohl’s

Dennis Schleicher is Senior Manager Customer Experience Design at Kohl’s where his team focuses on the experiences for buy online pickup in store, the Yes2You Loyalty program, and the private label Kohl’s credit card. His customer centered approach centers on understanding and designing inside of retail ecologies for families using his background in business and industrial anthropology. He has worked with Sears/Kmart both customer and associate facing experience, Ford.com and the My Ford Loyalty program, Chrysler, General Motors, Comcast, Dominos, and various non-profits.

Richard Schneider

COO, Sportservice | Delaware North

As COO of Delaware North Sportservice, Richard Schneider oversees the food service and retail operations at stadiums, ballparks, arenas and other venues across the United States. Richard develops and implements strategic plans for growth and profitability, develops the location and corporate management teams and works to enhance client relationships. Previously, Richard served as COO of Delaware North’s travel business and as vice president of hospitality services for Delaware North’s gaming business. Prior to joining Delaware North, Richard’s career included such positions as vice president of food and beverage at Midwest Gaming and Entertainment; vice president of hospitality/general manager at Caesars Entertainment; and vice president of food, beverage and entertainment at MGM Grand Detroit.

Jim Steinberg

SVP of Enterprise Partnerships | LoyaltyPlant

Jim Sternberg leverages his vast experience in pairing leading brands with winning mobile and digital initiatives to head the Enterprise Partnerships team at LoyaltyPlant. He comes from a solid marketing and business development background which focuses on e-commerce, search marketing, user experience and conversion and campaign optimization. Jim is passionate about transforming the face of mobile marketing for restaurant chains using the disruptive force of the LoyaltyPlant platform. Prior to joining LoyaltyPlant, Jim was the Director of Sales for AppFlyer and the VP Digital Specialist at Equifax. He holds an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, NYU.

Lauren Thigpen

Digital Experience, Marketing | Chick-fil-A

Lauren is a Senior Consultant on the Digital Experience team at Chick-fil-A, Inc., where she leads Digital Ordering. Lauren began her career at Chick-fil-A as a marketing director in a restaurant while in graduate school. There she fell in love with the brand and joined the Chick-fil-A Support Center staff after finishing her degree. Prior to her current role, Lauren has worked in several roles within Chick-fil-A, including field operations, sponsorships and event marketing and catering. She has a bachelor’s degree from Furman University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University.

Kimberly Turman

Digital Marketing Manager | Pie Five

As the original member of the Circle of Crust, Kimberly Turman brings over a decade of restaurant experience to her role as Digital Marketing Manager at Pie Five Pizza Co. The most crustworthy of the bunch, Turman directs the digital content strategy for the leading fast casual pizza brand including email and digital campaigns, web content and manages all social media channels. In addition, she is a geo-targeting ninja and specializes in creating a hyperlocal presence for franchise and corporate locations. Under Turman’s direction, Pie Five utilizes its 300,000 members of the Circle of Crust program to survey members on promotions, flavor profiles and consumer data that allows Pie Five to consistently WOW customers.

MJ Worsham

Corporate IT Manager | Roy Rogers Restaurants

MJ Worsham is the Corporate IT Manager for Roy Rogers Restaurants, a quick-service restaurant chain with over 50 stores spanning the Mid-Atlantic market. MJ oversees all aspects of technology for the company ranging from internal networks to PCI compliance to POS management, including the recent integration of the Roy’s Rewards loyalty app. MJ is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with previously held roles as a Project Manager for NCR and Implementation Specialist/Account Manager for Oracle/micros.

Devon Wright

GM, Yelp WiFi | Yelp

Devon Wright is the GM of Yelp WiFi, Yelp’s newest acquisition in the hospitality technology space, furthering their commitment to connect people with great local businesses. Devon previously co-founded Turnstyle Solutions, one of the world’s first WiFi marketing platforms. Since its founding in 2012, he grew the business into one of the largest mobile marketing platforms of its kind. Devon is a regular speaker on topics related to mobile marketing, innovation, privacy and entrepreneurship, and has been featured in major publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wharton Business Radio and BNN.