2016 CX Impact Awards

View the archive of past winners: 20192018, 201720162015, 2014, 2013

CX Impact Awards

The CX Impact Awards recognize individuals that exemplify excellent customer experience and make a profound impact on their organization and its customers. From front-line employees to senior leaders, these awards showcase professionals from all backgrounds and industries who have successfully led or supported customer experience, voice of customer, or other initiatives in pursuit of specific customer experience goals within his or her organization on behalf of clients.

We are delighted to have seen so many nominations come through from various clients, companies, members, and customers, all recognizing talented and passionate CX professionals. We want to extend our sincerest congratulations to all those who were nominated; your impact on customer experience is thoroughly appreciated and humbly applauded.

2016 CX Impact Award Winners: Outstanding Practitioners

This award is aimed at individuals who practice excellence in CX within their organization or the CX industry and consistently lead or drive outstanding CX related efforts within their organization or the CX industry. Winners inspire excellence in all aspects of the CX disciplines and elevate everyone involved to a new level.

Cary Cusmano

Cary Cusumano

Manager, Verizon Enterprise Solutions 

Cary Cusumano is part of a team responsible for documenting and improving the customer journey for Verizon’s B2B segment, Verizon Enterprise Solutions (VES). He is known within the organization for turning CX Thought Leadership into CX Doing Leadership. He put that leadership into action when he created a new practice called Customer Experience Investigation (CXI). Starting with recorded calls into VES billing service centers, he built a method for reconstructing the entire actual customer journey – sales quotes, installation orders, service outages, billing issues – sometimes over a period of months. This innovative practice shed new light on customer pain points that were not manifested so clearly in post-call transactional surveys and added a new element of customer emotion and corresponding empathy that had not existed before. It’s been a game-changer in VES and a vital element in VES’s customer-centric transformation.

Cary says: “In just five short years, the CXPA has established itself as a highly respected community of professionals dedicated to sharing knowledge and best practices among CX practitioners who are passionate about delivering exceptional customer experiences. To be selected for this recognition by such a community is a genuine honor – one which is properly shared with a surrounding core team of equally passionate professionals whose persistence in placing customers at the center of everything we do is transforming Verizon Enterprise Solutions into a truly customer-centric culture.”

Barbie Fink

Barbie Fink, CCXP

Director of Customer Experience, Adobe

Barbie Fink works at Adobe in North America as Director of Customer Experience. Barbie designs global programs across Adobe which focus on Customer Experience and delight. She has been a key stake holder in designing and executing Customer Experience Programs in Adobe. Barbie has designed the Product Experience-athon for Adobe and runs this program across Adobe campuses in collaboration with other teams. Barbie has also designed and run the Experience review sessions in the past for products just before the release to ensure that all the main issues are identified and resolved. Barbie has been instrumental in bridging the gap between building the right product for the customer and identifying the customer pain points and getting them resolved.

Barbie says: “I am honored and humbled to be nominated and selected for the CX Impact Award. My earliest childhood memories of what I wanted to do when I grew up were less about the profession I would choose and more about wanting to make a difference in the world and for people. I am so fortunate to have found this profession that inspires me every day and enables me to live up to those early childhood aspirations. And I am grateful to have found my place in the world with my company, our customers, the amazing and talented people I work with every day, and this community of Customer Experience Professionals.”

Aaron Fox

Aaron Fox, CCXP

Chief Experience Officer, Matagorda County Hospital District

Aaron Fox is the Chief Experience Officer for the Matagorda County Hospital District. Aaron played a key role in the modernization of the hospital billing procedure which reduced errors and clarified customer expectations. This resulted in a significant reduction in billing errors, a measurable increase in customer satisfaction, and a documented reduction in calls coming into the hospital business office. The CFO estimates the cost savings to average $25,000 per month because of Aaron’s help. Aaron has distinguished himself in the organization through his level of knowledge of customer and patient experience operations and by his ability to communicate with stakeholders at all levels of the organization. This is evidenced by Aaron’s ability to lead a hospital board of managers, a medical group executive committee, and an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) steering committee to adopt and support a common platform and operating language for customer and patient experience initiatives across the enterprise.

Aaron says: “The integration of service, market engagement, and quality in a way that is demonstrably customer-centric is a monumental task in healthcare. In my opinion, it simply cannot be done without the strong and continuous support of the entire executive team. As we continue our journey toward delivering effective and sustainable customer experience solutions, I’m proud to accept this award as evidence of all that our medical and administrative teams have accomplished over the past two years.”

Brian Gnatt

Brian Gnatt, CCXP

Associate VP, Customer Experience, UMUC

Brian Gnatt is Associate Vice President of Customer Experience at University of Maryland University College. At UMUC, Brian has built the CX program from nothing by constantly challenging the institution to live up to the ‘students first’ credo and championing the student experience. Brian has led improvements in technical issues, student self-service, mobile accessibility for students, and business process issues and communications issues. Brian works to make the student’s experience excellent at every touchpoint – from the website to contacting customer support to the classroom and the back-end applications. Brian noted students were often calling to reset their passwords, and worked with IT and the web teams to help make this process clearer so students wouldn’t have to call so often. Brian worked with leadership to create a Customer Experience team, which isn’t something many higher education institutions have. He had to explain and present to everyone what CX is and it is clear he is passionate about his work, and about his students.

Brian says: “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized with a CX Impact Award for me and for my talented colleagues who work tirelessly to deliver an exceptional experience for UMUC’s students. I am grateful to work for an organization that is dedicated to understanding its customers’ needs and identifying opportunities to help position them for success. Thank you to the CXPA for its valuable work to spotlight the success of customer experience professionals everywhere and congratulations to all of the Impact Award nominees!”

Smriti Mehra

Smriti Mehra

Quality Engineering Manager, Adobe

Smriti Mehra works as a Quality Engineering Manager for Adobe in the Asia-Pacific region. She has led several Customer Experience and Engagement initiatives for various Adobe Products. Smriti has been driving the Voice of Customer Initiative for the Mobile Products and focuses on deriving Customer Insights hence charting the path from Reactive -> Proactive -> Predictive Customer Experience. She also drives the Experience-athon sessions for Adobe India, which helps the employees to understand and experience the Customer Journeys hence motivating them to drive Enhancements and Customer delight in every workflow they build for the Customers. Her vision is to lead the Customer Experience transformation within Adobe and drive Engagement and Improvements for the various touchpoints, which the customers have with Adobe Products.

Smriti says: “It is an honor to be selected as CX Impact Winner! Customer Advocacy is a value I cherish and have been passionate about throughout my career. With ~15 years of experience in Software Quality Domain my role in Adobe as a Quality Engineering leader has enabled me to pursue my passion for exemplary Customer Experience and Delight. Customer Satisfaction has always been at the heart of everything we do at Adobe. Customers’ loyalty and satisfaction drives and motivates us to go beyond and create Products which form the core of their Creative Expression. I have the privilege of working with the most versatile and talented group of Leaders and Individuals who share the same passion and Thought Leadership and have helped me in this journey. Thank you Adobe! Thank you CXPA!”

Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore

Customer Experience Director, Leader of Culture Transformation, Humana, Inc.

Lisa Moore is a Customer Experience Director, Leader of Culture Transformation for Humana where she has worked for only a year and accomplished so much already. Before Humana, Lisa led the consumer experience charge at a number of large companies; and since coming to Humana Lisa has been asked to consult across the organization on all matters Consumer Experience. Lisa was brought to Humana to unite a team of people to transform consumer-centric culture in the organization. Lisa unified her team and the organization and helped them grow so they could better succeed; and it worked. Lisa co-created PeopleFirst, which is a culture transformation process tailored to every group of consumers/users to meet their business and people needs. Within only six months of this launching, over 16,000 associates are taking part in the change effort on their way to various levels of certification in Humana’s 5-level model.

Lisa says: “With each interaction, we have the opportunity to make a positive difference in our consumers’ lives. When we intentionally show care and value, we build the trust needed to create the experience of a lifetime.”

Karen Myers

Karen Myers

Member Experience Manager, Community Choice Credit Union

Karen Myers is the Member Experience Manager at Community Choice Credit Union. Karen is tasked with managing CCCU’s new member experience program where she re-engineers dated processes and policies to be member-focused. Karen established a program that allows the company to approach service improvements in a consistent and organized fashion. This program has driven more than 15 processes and product improvements this year. Karen led a Journey Mapping Workshop at CXFS to work toward her CCXP and is trying to become an expert in this field. She is working toward her Change Management Professional certification from Prosci. Karen loves to teach others about all she knows.

Karen says: “It’s really a feel-good job. I get to advocate for the voices of our members (customers) and drive an even better experience at an organization that is already highly customer-focused. I proudly accept this CX Impact Award on behalf of the entire Community Choice team.”

Kevin O'Came

Kevin O'Came

Vice President, Global Customer Success, CA Technologies

Kevin O’Came is the Vice President of Global Customer Success at CA Technologies. He is an architect of many of the customer experience initiatives in the company. He leads a team of Customer Success Advocates that orchestrates an integrated customer experience designed to deliver successful business outcomes to CA customers and partners. At CA, customer experience is measured through a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, which also captures the voice of the customer through product, transactional and annual relationship surveys managed by Kevin’s team. To build broad customer empathy across the company, Kevin developed the Customer Engagement Program. This program offers typically non-customer facing employees the opportunity to engage with and help customers as well as develop a deeper understanding of their needs.

Kevin says: “It’s an honor to receive this award, which reflects the focus and commitment that CA employees around the world have made to Customer Experience. Celebrating the award on CX Day is just another way to demonstrate that we’re moving the needle forward on our goal of creating a superior customer experience and placing our customers at the center of all that we do.”

Natalie Schneider

Natalie Schneider, CCXP

Vice President Consumer Experience, Anthem

Natalie Schneider is Vice President of Consumer Experience at Anthem. Natalie created an internal quarterly e-magazine, which is now in its third quarter and sent out to 53,000 associates. This magazine helps celebrate the success of teams who are improving the consumer experience, and also validates Anthem’s commitment to become consumer centric. All of Natalie’s different efforts to help Anthem become consumer centric have also helped improve the economics of the business. Natalie has successfully navigated the funding and budgeting process, and assembled cross-functional teams to research, design, prototype and pilot experiences; all while fostering a consumer-first culture.

Natalie says: “It’s an honor to accept this award on behalf of all my colleagues at Anthem that are so committed to our audacious goal of creating a better, more connected health care experience for our consumers.”

Stephanie Thum

Stephanie Thum, CCXP

Vice President of Customer Experience, The Export-Import Bank of the United States

Stephanie Thum, CCXP, is the former Vice President of Customer Experience at The Export-Import Bank of the United States, a U.S. Federal government agency, in Washington, DC. Stephanie served a four-year term appointment in this role from August 2012-August 2016. Stephanie advised the agency’s Chairman and senior staff on strategies, governance practices, performance measurements, and customer data monitoring protocols that helped the agency understand and respond to customers. While at EXIM Bank, Stephanie led the development of a cross-divisional, systematic framework for setting service time standards, then for measuring, regularly monitoring, and reporting publicly the agency’s performance to its customer service standards and goals. This required her to collaborate with agency executives and front-line employees to understand and address systemic issues impacting customers’ experiences with the agency. Stephanie also led a project to stand up a multi-channel contact center so that customer e-mails were no longer unmonitored and phones were no longer being answered by an automated system. Stephanie was one of the U.S. Federal government’s first agency-level CX leaders. She is known as an in-the-trenches CX expert, and continues to be an outspoken, well-known advocate for CX as a management discipline within the Federal government.

Stephanie says: “I am humbled to receive the CX Impact Award. The people and resources of CXPA, globally and in the Washington D.C. area, have been a beacon to me since CXPA’s founding. But this award is much bigger than me. It’s about people like EXIM Chairman Fred Hochberg, who brings an unstoppable customer focus to government leadership. It is also about the growing cadre of CX professionals within agencies. There is still a lot of work to be done to recognize and embrace CX as a management discipline within government. For our citizens, the work is worth pursuing, and I expect to see continued forward momentum.”

Kate Woodcock

Kate Woodcock

Senior Director, Customer Advocacy, VMWare

Kate Woodcock is the Senior Director for Customer Advocacy for VMware. Kate has done pioneering work to blaze the trail for the use of pop-up communities in customer experience to inform current decisions. Kate is pulling the customer’s voice out of the rear-view mirror and putting it in the heads-up navigation console. VMware is looking to displace surveys as their primary VoC tool because Kate has moved past that to providing the business with agile answers to current questions.

Kate says: “I’m honored to be recognized by a community where so many are driving meaningful change for customers. This award is a reflection of the focus VMware has on customer experience and is a testament to the exceptional efforts of the VMware Customer Advocacy team to bring innovative approaches to driving customer centricity. #vmwarelistens“

2016 CX Impact Award Winners: Outstanding Providers

This award is aimed at individuals who are consultants or vendors dedicated to developing the CX industry through innovative approaches, trained expertise, and patient instruction. Winners inspire excellence in all aspects of the CX disciplines and elevate everyone involved to a new level.

Mohammed Almokhem

Mohammed Almokhem

CEO and Founder, CX Shift

Mohammed Almokhem is the CEO and Founder of Customer Experience Shift (CX Shift). This company aims to improve and innovate businesses, products and services that will make people’s lives better through business development, product/service improvement, marketing, web/app design, and entrepreneurship mentoring and programs. Almokhem started his dedication to customer experience and innovation before founding his business, CX Shift, by earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Service Leadership and Innovation along with other certifications, such as Marketing. Mohammed’s business specializes with startups and small businesses because they face more challenges and have more room for improvement and innovation. Mohammed works with his clients to implement CX into their businesses. Mohammed mentors and advices clients and entrepreneurs about CX and how important it is for their business in different sets, such as, events, one on one, universities and online.

Mohammed says: “I’ve founded my business, CX Shift, to shift businesses to be a customer centric business and place the customer experience in the heart of their business and across all touchpoints with customers (internal customers: employees and external customers: products/services buyers). I’m honored to be selected as a winner of the CX Impact Award of 2016 and glad that my education and career dedication for customer experience is recognized by an amazing organization, CXPA, that is aiming to influence the business world with the customer experience concept as it is aligned with my mission which is to improve and innovate businesses, products and services that will make people’ lives better with customer centricity through business development, product/service improvement and innovation, marketing, web/app design and entrepreneurship advising!”

Raghunath VG

Raghunath VG

Principal Technical Support Engineer, NICE

Raghunath Veerapandi Govindarajalu is a Principal Technical Support Engineer at NICE in the Asia-Pacific region. Raghu is a master at maintaining NICE Support that is driven by CSAT. He supports an entire region himself with a number of large and high-pressure customers. He also supports sales, presales, professional services, and engineering in the region. Raghu’s work as saved millions of dollars in the region with his tireless efforts to coordinate client, client IT, engineering and services resources. Raghu doesn’t only solve the problems, but takes the time to document and explain in great detail the reasons for the failure and why the solution solved it. Raghu is NICE’s global top performer every year in every single objective measured.

Raghunath says: “I am extremely honored to be a recipient of CX Impact Award. Thanks to my Manager Chris who have shown immense confidence in me through this nomination. Supporting Customers brings me great joy and I am flattered to get recognized for this reason.”

Cari Schinagle

Cari Schinagle

Product Owner, MaritzCX

Cari Schinagle is Product Owner at MaritzCX. Cari owns a significant project for a large customer that is transitioning from one CX software product to another, both of which are in active development. She deals with the client’s representatives from seven different regions around the globe. Cari is the interface between the client and the scrum team, which makes her responsible for maintaining communications across that particular boundary. It is clear Cari cares deeply about the customer’s success, and is unabashedly direct in dealing with the thorniest of issues in a smart and sophisticated fashion.

Cari says: “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire MaritzCX team. For me personally, the best part of working in the ever-evolving CX industry is that I am challenged and inspired to learn, grow, and adapt on a daily basis. This is a testament to the many passionate and brilliant professionals who have dedicated their careers to driving positive customer experiences and I am proud to be among you!”

Frank Pettinato

Frank Pettinato

GM Multi-Channel Business, Telerx

Frank Pettinato is the General Manager of Multi-Channel Business at Telerx. Frank oversees all aspects of Telerx’s consumer connections organization, ensuring superior service for consumer clients. Frank and his team are constantly seeking innovative ways to better support client questions and requests, either through social media, emails, calls, etc. Frank’s focus on multichannel communications led him to research stating that many consumers would rather use texting over voice as a service channel. Given these statistics, Frank found that only one of the top 25 consumer products companies was offering texting as an option for a number of their brands. This was crucial information for Frank to find. Frank then developed the 1-800 Texting Solution. He understood that a shift in consumer expectations demanded a shift in support. With Frank’s new texting solution, Telerx is currently supporting several clients and leading brands in the food and beverage industry, and is currently fielding complaints, inquiries, and comments via SMS. This new solution is helping companies figure out ways to best implement and leverage the call or text capabilities at the point-of-sale. Implementing new projects seamlessly makes Frank stand out among others in the industry and the new SMS solution provided the perfect platform for him to excel at listening to customers.

Frank says: “The best way to reach your customers is right in the palm of their hands with pervasive sms/mms technology from Telerx. As SVP/GM of Consumer ConneXions at Telerx, it is my pleasure to accept the CX Impact Award. Thank you for the recognition!”

Congratulations To Our 2016 Finalists

Debbie Akwara, Customer Experience Director, Bridge International Academies
Mohammed Almokhem, CEO and Founder, CX Shift
Peggy Carrieres, CCXP, Director, Global Customer Experience, Avnet, Inc.
Cary Cusumano, Manager, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Tomas Duarte, CEO, Tracksale
Barbie Fink, CCXP, Director of Customer Experience, Adobe
Aaron Fox, CCXP, Chief Patient Experience Officer, Matagorda County Hospital District
Brian Gnatt, CCXP, Associate VP, Customer Experience, UMUC
Raghunath VG, Principal Technical Support Engineer, NICE
David Hentz, Customer Advocacy Leader, Telecom & Technology Division, NCR Corporation
Brock McKeel, Sr. Director Customer Experience, Walmart Stores, Inc.
Smriti Mehra, Quality Engineering Manager, Adobe
Alida Minnie, Senior Specialist, Customer Experience, Telkom SA
Lisa Moore, Customer Experience Director, Leader of Culture Transformation, Humana, Inc.
Karen Myers, Member Experience Manager, Community Choice Credit Union
Kevin O’Came, Vice President, Global Customer Success, CA Technologies
Janne Ohtonen, Head of Customer Engagement, Avios Group Limited (part of International Airline Group)
Frank Pettinato, GM Multi-Channel Business, Telerx
Cari Schinagle, Product Owner, MaritzCX
Natalie Schneider, CCXP, Vice President Consumer Experience, Anthem
Janine Scott, Regional Customer Experience Manager, Wolters Kluwer
Julian Sheriff, CX Specialist, Lumo Energy
Rohit Singh, Tech Lead Technical Support Analyst, NICE
Stephanie Thum, Vice President of Customer Experience, The Export-Import Bank of the United States
Kate Woodcock, Senior Director, Customer Advocacy, VMWare

2016 CX Impact Awards Judging Panel

Bruce Temkin, Managing Partner, Temkin Group
Jennifer Maldonado, Sr. Business Analyst, Customer Service Insights, Activision Blizzard
Matt Inman, Senior Director, CX Strategy & Design Consulting, MaritzCX
Parrish Arturi, SVP, Customer Experience, Fidelity Investments
Tema Frank, Chief Instigator, Frank Reactions

What Distinguishes a CX Impact Award Winner?


What achievements or contributions has the nominee made to the business, customers and/or the CX Industry?

Measurable Impact

What measurable impact has the nominee made on the team or organization in the past?


How does the nominee stand out from the crowd? Be sure to include any in-house or customer recognition.

CX Industry Knowledge

What steps has the nominee taken to develop their knowledge and application of the CX competencies?