Michael O. Browning Jr.
CEO | Urban Air Adventure Park
In 2011, Michael Browning founded Urban Air Adventure Parks where he currently holds the title of CEO. Through speed and innovation, Urban Air has become the nation’s premier full-service active family entertainment company offering safe, clean, affordable fun for all ages. As of Q1 2019, Urban Air has over 270 locations ramping to employ over 23,000 young adults and serve 48 million guests annually. Urban Air plans to open 74 new locations in 2019 with another 70 starts which will open in 2020. Michael believes every guest has a story. Urban Air’s mission is to enhance the story through engaging atmospheres that leverage the combination of lighting, sound, attractions and a guest-centric staff.
PANELISTS & MODERATORS
Director of Technology | Modern Restaurant Concepts
With the creation of Modern Restaurant Concepts in 2019, Brian has been working improving the technology of our new brand Lemonade. We have upgraded payment technology and are improving the guest experience with 3rd party platforms. Other initiatives include a new desktop, mobile and app experience with a new loyalty platform and launching our first ghost kitchen. Brian is a third-generation restaurateur, with his roots in operations. He has worked every role in the FOH and BOH before his passion for technology won out. His experience as an operator enhances his ability to translate technology into solutions that improve the guest experience.
Vice President, Emerging Technologies & Innovation | Hilton Grand Vacations
Tara Banks drove the development of Hilton Grand Vacations’ unique and innovative enterprise Sales experience, Envision. She has more than 20 years of brand, guest and marketing experience. She has led both internal and external teams to create a holistic digital journey – ranging from an interactive Sales presentation, In-room guest technology and social media reviews to embedded digital elements within the architecture and space. Tara currently serves the I.T. organization as the Vice President of Emerging Technologies and Innovation for Hilton Grand Vacations. Previously, she was the Corporate Brand Manager for Orlando Health and served the Walt Disney Company in creative roles for more than 10 years.
Director, Mobile & Digital Innovation | Caesars Entertainment
Brenda Barré is the Director of Mobile and Digital Innovation at Caesars Entertainment, the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment provider and the most geographically diverse U.S. casino-entertainment company. Brenda brings a strong knowledge of enhancing the guest experience through mobile technology having successfully launched Ivy, the real-time guest text messaging program, at twenty-two (22) Caesars Entertainment resorts to date comprising over 33,000 rooms. In addition, Brenda led the rollout of mobile food ordering to fifteen (15) Caesars Entertainment resorts across the country. Brenda has been with Caesars Entertainment since 2012 and has served in various roles within the organization.
Chief Experience Officer & VP, Operations | Parkland Hospital
Vishal Bhalla joined Parkland in August 2016 and soon moved into the role of Vice President and Chief Experience Officer (CXO), focusing on the experience of employees, providers, patients and their families. Transitioning to healthcare a few years ago from a successful career in hospitality, Vishal completed his Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) along with a Healthcare Certificate from the joint Harvard-MIT Healthcare Innovation Initiative. Vishal is passionate about leveraging analytics, technology and system sciences, along with his extensive experience in managing large service operations, to add rigor to the art of human interaction; thereby enabling meaningful employee and patient experiences.
Executive Director, Head of IT IHOP and International | Dine Brands Global
Michael Chachula serves as Dine Brands Global Executive Director of IT, where he oversees the IT relationship with all things IHOP. Michael joined Dine Brands in 2016 with over 20 years of leading IT Digital and Operations experience for large and multinational companies in industries such as Finance, Pharmaceutical, Consumer Goods and Consumer Electronics and Hospitality. Michael has a full breadth of experience in creating business and IT solutions that work. Michael holds a BA from DePaul University and an Executive MBA from Northwestern – Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Il. He currently sits on the CX (Customer Experience) Advisory Board of Rutgers University, which looks to understand customer experiences.
Director, Mobile and Digital Innovation | Caesars Entertainment
Terry Chi is the Director of Mobile & Digital Innovation at Caesars Entertainment, where she oversees the development, strategic roadmap, and marketing of the Caesars Rewards mobile app and other enterprise-wide digital initiatives. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, she spent most of her career in the CPG industry in which she launched over 30 products into national retail distribution driving multi-million dollar revenue growth at companies such as M&Ms Mars, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Dunn-Edwards. Terry received her BA from Cornell University and her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Chief Information Technology Officer | Nando’s PERi-PERi USA
Kathleen Chugh is an accomplished CIO SVP of IT with over 30 years’ experience in IT, with the last twenty three years focused in the Restaurant industry. She currently is the North America CTO for Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken, where she is responsible for IT for US and Canada locations. She is focusing on strategy and innovation to move the Nando’s brand forward in the North America market. Prior to Nando’s, she was the SVP of IT for Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, where she was passionate about implementing guest facing technologies and systems for the restaurants. During her tenure, she prepared IT for growth, including focusing on PCI, security and digital initiatives.
Head of Innovation | Tandem Theory
David Coulson is the Head of Innovation for Tandem Theory, an integrated, data sciences based agency in Addison, TX. A huge analytics and loyalty marketing geek, he has built best in class loyalty programs for some of the world’s top brands as well as the platforms, apps or engagements rooted in personalization that continue to increase their lifetime value with fans. Some of his past and present clients include Starbuck’s, Panera, Rent A Center, Domino’s, MGRMI, American Express, and PepsiCo. He’s an influential, creative, make-it-happen marketing leader with deep consumer and technology experience that truly loves helping brands exceed their consumer’s expectations while growing their digital footprint.
Laura Rea Dickey
CEO | Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants
Laura Rea Dickey currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Laura has been with the brand since 2009 and most recently served as Chief Information Officer before transitioning to CEO in 2017. As CIO, she implemented a new technology infrastructure for the brand bringing parity and integration to data reporting, information security and all digital sales channels. In her time as CEO, Laura has continued the brands expansion by overseeing the development of the first international locations with restaurants in the UAE and the brand’s first major menu addition in four years debuting six new signature sauces and adding pit-smoked chicken wings to the core menu in 2019.
Director of In-store & Experiential Marketing, North America | Under Armour
Christiana DiMattesa oversees Under Armour’s North America direct-to-consumer retail marketing team inclusive of marketing strategy, operations, in-store experience, and event activations. Christiana has spent 20 years working within the retail space and has a passion to utilize technology to change the interactive landscape of the retail environment. She has been with Under Armour since August 2014 and previously held marketing roles with Ann Inc. and Foot Locker.
Director of Customer Engagement | Pacers Sports & Entertainment
Alana Galardo is an innovative marketing technology leader in the forefront of digital transformation and marketing automation. She has expertise in the areas of email marketing, implementation, process change, and enterprise project management in a variety of sectors. In her current role as Director of Customer Engagement for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Alana is setting the bar for how NBA and WNBA teams create the ultimate fan experience globally. Aside from professionally, Alana recently launched MomInTheCloud.com to be a resource for all women and mothers from all walks of life to find inspiration and career advice to land jobs in tech. Her greatest inspiration is her husband and two daughters.
Lead Storyteller & Experience Designer | Mall of America
As Lead Story Teller & Experience Designer for Mall of America, the Nation’s largest retail and entertainment center, Chris Grap is responsible for working across all teams to collaboratively design and build unique experiences for the 40 million guests that visit the Mall each year. Throughout his 7 years with Mall of America and Nickelodeon Universe, he has collaborated on projects such as the Paw Patrol Adventure Bay attraction, spearheading the impactful decision for Mall of America to remain closed on Thanksgiving in an effort to bring back the excitement and tradition of Black Friday, redesigning the Holiday Experience and creating the Webby Award winning holiday experience known as #Twizzard.
Vice President, Guest Technology | Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants
Christopher Gumprecht leads guest technology innovations for Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants across 60+ brands, representing 120 locations nationally. With 15+ years in the organization, Christopher is the business owner for all website design and development, road mapping for the LettuceEats mobile app, and delivering insight for additional marketing channels like loyalty, SMS, gift card and email. He provides a unique perspective combining his years of experience to drive customer acquisition and engagement. He is continually exploring new ways to integrate technology seamlessly into the customer experience with an emphasis on user experience, content generation, mobile engagement, and valuable data insights.
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 five-year veteran of the digital signage and kiosk industries who has consulted for and spoken on the digital signage industry sector-wide.
Senior Director, IT | Taco Bell
Speaker bio coming soon!
Sr. Director, Digital | TGI Fridays
Chris Hansen is Sr. Director of Digital at TGI Fridays overseeing the complete digital technology experience including eCommerce, site and app development, build-out, and maintenance. His mission is to deliver an innovative end-to-end frictionless guest user experience to all guests of Fridays. Prior to TGI Fridays, Chris spent 18 years in a variety of industry and UX positions, focused on digital design, performance analytics, strategy & implementation, to drive consumer engagement and conversion. As an additional outlet for his passion on design thinking, Chris founded www.jeepmodreview.com, an online marketplace for product reviews & news about Jeep Wranglers.
Consultant to IHG & AT&T | BlueFire Marketing.
Curt Johnson has spent the last 8 years on digital marketing, analytics and customer experience. In 2012, Curt founded BlueFire Marketing, working with BMW Dealerships Experiences, then later AT&T Entertainment Group helping them drive retail to online behavior and recently with InterContinetal and IHG.com’s luxury hotel brands. Curt believes that future technology will help better humanize the customer experience, something that is clearly lacking in today’s customer experience marketplace. Curt lives in Atlanta with his wife, daughter, two dogs and a horse.
Co-Founder | Balance Pan-Asian Grille
Prakash Karamchandani is a self-proclaimed foodie and technology junkie who co-founded Balance Pan-Asian Grille, a nationally-acclaimed fast-casual Asian fusion multi-unit concept based in Ohio. Since starting the venture in 2010, Prakash has been recognized as a Top 24 Fast Casual Executive and a 20 Under 40 recipient. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and met his company’s co-founder. Prakash is a proud husband and father of two.
VP of Marketing + Growth | Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe
Rachel Layton is the Vice President of Marketing + Growth for Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, building sustainable growth strategies that drive sales for the company’s 90+ locations nationwide. Rachel oversees the management of the Taziki’s brand, including digital and local store marketing and was a critical force behind the launch of the company’s email marketing program, in addition to their loyalty program, TAZ Rewards. These initiatives drove an 11% increase in system same store sales. She built initiatives that increased online ordering by 80% and led a 15% increase in same store catering sales by coaching local markets in growth techniques. Additionally, Rachel manages the Taziki’s off-premise dining program which includes catering and delivery.
Director of Franchise Operations | BurgerFi International
Steve Leasure is a foodservice industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. In his current role as Director of Franchise Operations at BurgerFi International, Steve has the opportunity to work with a growing brand that is at the forefront of consumer trends and tastes. Steve has extensive experience in all facets of restaurant operations, having served in various roles across the QSR and Fast Casual segments. He started his career operating high volume restaurants in Manhattan and has worked with franchise owners throughout the United States and around the globe over the years. Steve currently resides in Orlando, Florida.
Editor | Kiosk Marketplace & Food Truck Operator
Elliot Maras is editor of Kiosk Marketplace and Food Truck Operator. He is a former board member of the International Foodservice Editorial Council, a recipient of the Office Refreshment Development Foundation’s Award For Journalism, and a graduate of the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s Executive Development Program at Michigan State University.
Senior Director, Retail Systems | Sodexo
John Moffatt is the Senior Director of Retail Systems for Sodexo North America. Sodexo is one of the world’s largest multinational corporations, with 420,000 employees that represent 130 nationalities and are present on 34,000 sites in 80 countries. John works to provide Sodexo’s North American market with enterprise solutions, systems, vendors, and process for customer facing technology in retail locations. John’s team provides customer focused solutions for the majority of Sodexo’s service segments like healthcare, universities, government, corporate services, and schools. It is his belief that technology with no thought to the customer journey is just noise and will never satisfy the customer.
Editor | Retail Customer Experience
Retail Customer Experience Editor Judy Mottl is an award-winning experienced senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger who has worked for top media outlets, technology companies and publications including AOL, InformationWeek, CNET, Information Security Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, InternetNews and Tech Times as corporate marketing divisions within IBM and HP. She’s written everything from breaking news on business and technology to in-depth articles on tech trends to profiles on top business leaders.
VP Marketing | la Madeleine
Jacqueline O’Reilly has a contagious passion to grow the la Madeleine brand. Her passion carries through to her team and marketing partners through teamwork and creativity. Prior to joining la Madeleine, she ran account teams at TracyLocke for Pizza Hut, Hewlett-Packard and Sonic Drive-In. Her love for the intense restaurant business formed during years on Pizza Hut where her team owned below the line brand, calendar, promotion and test work. In her free time, you can find Jacqueline creating memories with her fun-loving husband, 5 and 2-year old daughters. Ask Jacqueline how Texas Longhorns + Wienermobiles + Croissants fit together.
Director of Technology | Piada Italian Street Food
Jason Profitt is the Director of Technology for The Piada Group, overseeing and executing technology solutions inside the restaurants and through their digital spaces. Jason joined Piada in 2017 where he has been responsible for the continued growth of online, mobile, and third-party ordering, as well as the development of customized internal solutions for the brand. Before becoming part of Piada, he spent 10+ years in software engineering, where he worked with several other restaurant brands on custom online and mobile ordering solutions, and brings with him extensive knowledge in digital user experience and engagement.
Director, Visual Retail | Intel Corporation
Christie Rice is the segment director responsible for Intel’s digital signage and interactive kiosk business worldwide in the Internet of Things Group at Intel. In her role she works to ensure that Intel technology meets the ever changing digital signage needs. She also works closely with the ecosystem to promote solutions that provide the immersive and interactive experience that our customers demand. Before assuming her current role, Christie’s 20 years at Intel included various technical, product, business development, and marketing management positions across a broad range of products and segments including memory, PCs, storage, networking, and IOT.
Product Manager | User Experience Manager | Great Wolf Resorts
Michelle Stauffer is the Product Manager of the Digital Guest Experience at Great Wolf Resorts, the largest indoor waterpark resort group in the U.S with 17 properties and 2 opening soon. Michelle is driving a digital transformation on the website, mobile app and conversational interface on phone and chat. Michelle joined Great Wolf about a year ago and brings along passion and experience in digital user experience, digital marketing and brand advertising from Discover.
SVP, Strategy and Solutions Development | NEC Display Solutions of America
Richard Ventura is the Senior Vice President of Strategy for NEC Display Solutions of America’s, overseeing all strategy related activities for the organization. Focusing on leading the development and communications of strategies aimed at evolving the business and driving it forward, while working with the Executive Team to define the vision and direction for the company and establish strategic initiatives that disrupt current and future markets, explore alternative solutions, and result in short and long-term gains. Richard has spent 17+ years within the NEC sales and marketing organizations focusing on display solutions, display technologies, projectors and direct-view LED.
Global Director, Digital Experience | Össur
Speaker bio coming soon!
Senior VP of Events | Networld Media Group
David Drain leads the events team for Networld Media Group and 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.