Chief Brand Officer | Main Event
Sarah Beddoe joins Main Event with an extensive, multi-faceted background in leading national and local store marketing initiatives, and developing and implementing creative, digital, social, and media strategies. Additionally, Sarah brings a significant depth in leveraging consumer insights and analytics to develop impactful brand and marketing strategies that drive traffic and top-line growth. Sarah began her career in retail as a Finance & Marketing Analyst for Neiman Marcus. From there, she moved to Yum! in a financial analyst role supporting the Pizza Hut brand. Sarah then transitioned from finance to marketing as a Brand Manager at Pizza Hut, Vice President of National Marketing at Sonic Drive-In and Chief Marketing Officer at Taco Bueno.
EVP, Customer Experience Officer | Safelite Group
Renee Cacchillo is EVP, Customer Experience Officer at Safelite Group, a multifaceted vehicle glass and claims management service organization, where she is responsible for Customer Experience, Brand, and Safelite Solutions. Renee joined Safelite in 2011 and has held leadership roles in service delivery, brand development, technology and experience design. Today, she successfully leverages the company’s core competencies in aligning the customer experience, marketing efforts, technical enhancements, and sales and claims management. Renee has a BS in business administration and an MBA from the University of Kansas. She resides in New Albany, Ohio, with her husband and their twin daughters.
Client Service Transformation & Platform Executive | Bank of America
Brent Reston is the Client Service Transformation and Platform Executive at Bank of America. His team is responsible for delivering personalized and proactive servicing from digital to chat to our client service representatives. His team listens to client and associate feedback to enhance associate facing solutions, automated telephony, and call analytics platforms, while partnering with our digital team to develop self-service capabilities. Brent previously served as Chief Digital Executive for Retail Banking and Head of Digital Sales and Service. Brent holds a degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.
Consumer & Small Business Client Care Executive | Bank of America
Ashley Ross is the Client Care executive for Bank of America. In this role, she is responsible for the overall client experience strategy across Consumer & Small Business. Her organization manages client feedback from Bank of America’s 65 million clients, shares real-time client feedback with 70,000 users from the front-line to the C-suite, and conducts root cause analysis to drive ongoing client experience improvements. During her 17 years with Bank of America, Ashley has held a variety of executive roles in Consumer & Small Business, across various channels and client segments. Ashley holds a degree in brain and cognitive science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
PANELISTS & MODERATORS
AVP, Digital Experience Strategy | Credit One Bank
Speaker bio coming soon!
Director of Technology | Modern Restaurant Concepts
Brian Anderson has been busy working on several initiatives for Modern Market Eatery, Lemonade and Modern Restaurant Concepts. Current projects have included ghost kitchens for both the Modern Market and Lemonade brands and the launch of our first virtual brand Honest Pizza Co. Brian is a third-generation restaurateur, with his roots in operations. His first job was sorting silverware in his family’s restaurant on Siesta Key, FL. He had 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, enhance and remove friction from the guest experience.
Director of Digital Marketing | Nekter Juice Bar
Speaker bio coming soon!
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.
VP of Events | Networld Media Group
Before joining Networld Media Group as Vice President of Events, Cherryh Cansler spent several years as VP of Editorial managing the company’s nine B2B publications. Throughout her 20-year career as a journalist, she’s written about a variety of topics, ranging from the restaurant industry and technology to health and fitness news. Her byline has appeared in a plethora of newspapers, magazines and websites, including Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine. She also serves as the managing editor for FastCasual.com.
VP of Technology | White Castle
Susan Ann Carroll-Boser started her career with White Castle in 1994 as a systems administrator. She has consistently advanced in the company during her 26-year career and now serves as the vice president of technology. In this position, Susan has the overall responsibility for the company’s technology strategy, leading the tech shared services, IT and information services departments. Her teams are responsible for software development, software implementation, the server/data center, network services and cybersecurity. Susan also serves on White Castle’s restaurant leadership team and leads the company’s technology strategy team. Susan is active with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) serving as chairman of its Cybersecurity Committee.
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.
Senior Statewide Program Manager, Language Access Services | New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts
Paula Couselo-Findikoglu serves as Senior Statewide Program Manager of Language Access Services at the NM Administrative Office of the Courts. The 2016 Justice Index, published by the National Center for Access to Justice, ranked the NM Judiciary #2 among 50 states in the nation for its language access efforts. Paula is a nationally recognized speaker in her field and she has spearheaded numerous initiatives that combine technologies to improve access to justice. She received a UNM-STC Innovative Award from the University of New Mexico in 2012 for the Language Access Specialist Certificate Program, which has trained over 100 bilingual judiciary employees in her state.
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.
Director, Digital Innovation | Taco Bell
Rishi Gupta joined Taco Bell in 2017 and made an immediate impact by leading the kiosk rollout at Taco Bell. In addition to that Rishi supported all on premise digital solutions and customer engagements prior to transitioning to his current role leading all software engineering effort. Prior to joining Taco Bell, Rishi spent over 10 years of leading IT Digital and Operations transformations large and multinational companies in industries such as finance, automotive, media, and telecommunications. Rishi holds a BS in Computer Science and BA in Economics from UCLA and an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
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.
Vice President, IT | Taco Bell
Rafik Hanna is the digital technology leader for all Taco Bell customer-facing platforms (including: Web, Mobile Apps, Kiosks, On Demand Delivery, Digital Menu Boards and Loyalty). Since joining Taco Bell in 2015, Rafik has led numerous large initiatives to modernize the guest and restaurant experience. Some of Rafik’s notable programs include the re-launch of Taco Bell’s mobile apps, introduction of digital menu boards (interior and drive-thru) and the nationwide roll-out of self order kiosks.
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, Marketing & Global Growth | Taco Bell
Speaker bio coming soon!
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.
Former Director of Franchise Operations | BurgerFi International
Steve Leasure is a foodservice industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. In his 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.
CEO | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
John Lowe took the leap from General Electric Company to the then four-shop ice cream company based on his belief that Jeni Britton Bauer was a generational talent making the World’s finest ice creams. He and Jeni had been long-time friends, and they decided that their talents were a perfect yin and yang. The Company has grown to 38 scoop shops, from LA to DC, and has “gone national” with its pints on the freezer shelves of more than 3,000 of America’s finest retailers, while developing the nation’s largest direct-to-consumer ice cream business.
Editor | Kiosk Marketplace & Vending Times
Elliot Maras is editor of Kiosk Marketplace and Vending Times. Elliot brings a background covering the retail, foodservice and payments industries, having served as the editor of Automatic Merchandiser Magazine for 20 years and as the founding editor of VendingMarketWatch.com. He is a graduate of the National Automatic Merchandising Association/Michigan State University Executive Development Program, a former board member of the International Foodservice Editors Council, and a winner of the Journalism Award of the Office Refreshment Development Foundation.
Sr. Director, Retail Strategy & Design | Rogers Communications
Speaker bio coming soon!
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, Retail Ecosystem Development, Internet of Things Group | 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, Technology | g2o
Ben Stormer joined g2o in 2019 as Senior Vice President of their Technology business line. He leads a team of strategists, architects, developers, and system engineers focused on delivering innovative digital experiences and solutions for their clients. Prior to g2o, Ben was Vice President, Specialty Products at CoverMyMeds, where he focused on solving complex customer problems in healthcare. Early in his career, he served in a number of leadership roles at Cardinal Health, including overseeing product innovation, technical product management and infrastructure architecture and platforms.
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.
Senior Director of Marketing | Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe
Julie Wade is the Senior Director of Marketing for Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe and is currently leading the brand to effectively reach guests now that buying habits of the chain’s customers in 90+ locations have changed. Using an omnichannel approach, Julie is spearheading an app and online ordering update, digital advertising efforts, third party delivery promotions, and new social media channels to interact with guests in ways not thought possible previously, while dissecting every possible guest interaction. With over 15 years of experience in retail and restaurants, Julie brings experience from operations, development, and franchising to Taziki’s. She consistently challenges the status quo and never takes, “This is how we’ve always done it,” as an acceptable answer.
Global Director, Digital Experience | Össur
Brad Wilson leads the global strategy for digital transformation at Össur, leading provider in Prosthetic and Bracing & Support products. He specializes in disruptive innovation and making long-term visions tangible in today’s business. Lead in marketing automation, Brad’s collaborative approach, dedication to cross-functional leadership and customer-centric design have led to trailblazing firsts like mobile ordering in QSR or commerce and loyalty in health and life science. Brad is an MBA alumna of University of California, Irvine in Strategic Innovation.
Visual Designer | H-E-B
Speaker bio coming soon!
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