2017 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.

2017 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.

Heather Avery

Heather Avery

Vice President, Aflac

As Vice President of Customer Strategy and Analytics, Heather Avery’s work is critical to the success of Aflac. Ensuring customers are at the center of Aflac’s work has always been the cornerstone of the company, and Heather’s role directly impacts the company’s customer experience goals. She is responsible for determining what those goals actually are and how Aflac can meet them.

The single most important impact that Heather Avery has had on Aflac customers is that the company now has the tools and capabilities to understand their motivations and actions, instead of just reacting to them. For example, when Heather first started at Aflac, the company had quantitative data around cancellation ratios of its clients but did not have enough insight or analysis of why these cancellations were happening or how they could fix specific issues that were impacting clients. When Aflac executives wanted more information, they turned to Heather, who built a Business Analytics team that developed an understanding of account retention issues facing the company, giving executives quantitative data that provided trends and customer insights to accompany the numbers and figures they already had. Using that actionable intelligence, Aflac was able to develop solutions that directly supported and responded to clients and their priorities.

Heather Avery has distinguished herself by treating Aflac’s customers the same way she treats her colleagues, her community and her family: with respect, kindness, understanding and openness.

Heather says: "I am honored to be selected as a winner for this distinguished award – and truly humbled to represent Aflac and our efforts to place the customer at the heart of everything we do! It starts at the top, and we are focused on being a customer-led, insights-driven, connected organization that prides itself in striving to meet our customers’ needs quickly and accurately."

Jami Blake

Jami Blake

Director, Voice of Customer, Tiffany & Co.

Jami Blake's main objective at Tiffany's is to "ensure that customers needs and wants are considered part of our goal, not a hopeful byproduct of it." Her goal is to enrich the relationship, not simply recover unhappy customers or maintain the status quo. To help her colleagues across the company have as much visibility into the company’s customer experience as possible, she and her team have created a Voice of Customer intranet site featuring customer metrics, as well as verbatim comments. 

Jami is a relentless learner, always seeking ways to hone her craft and share her wisdom with others. She’s a member of the Conference Board’s customer experience group and regularly attends meetings, presents and networks with other CX leaders in that group. According to Elisabeth Ames,Vice President, Global Customer and Sales Services at Tiffany & Co., “Jami created and led individual monthly market webinars with global retail leadership, hosted in person meetings with global senior leadership, and has been invited to speak at both internal and external conferences on the topic of improving customer experience both in store and over the phone (contact centers). She has gained high credibility and is a sought after expert within our organization.” Her positive approach of empowering her colleagues with customer-sourced insights is helping build a culture of collaboration and customer-centricity across the company.

Jami says: "I am humbled to have been nominated and selected to receive a 2017 Impact Award. To be recognized within the CX community is a true honor. At Tiffany & Co. the customer has always been valued, and for our Senior Leaders to put a team together to focus on the voice of our customer is a reflection of that value. To lead that team is a privilege and I take on my role with a great sense of responsibility and passion. Our customers care about our brand as much as we care about them. Our voice of customer team has the mission to advocate and ensure that our customer’s voice has a seat at the decision-making tables. Thank you CXPA for bringing like-minded professionals together and for creating a platform that not only allows us to learn from each other, but to be inspired by one another."

Alison Circle

Alison Circle, CCXP

Chief Customer Experience Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library

Alison Circle’s charge has been to put a stake in the ground around CX in the 21st century library, while building a customer-centric culture through a robust, participatory, education-focused curriculum, launched from their new foundational CX philosophy, Customer First. She drove the development, training and evaluation of Customer First, their CX Philosophy. Over the course of several months she involved customers in reality-checking their assumptions about themselves, then launched a next-generation Leadership Class to work through the specifics of their three-pillar program, Customer First: I’m Here for You; I See and Hear You; I’ll Help You. Each of these pillars have behavior-specific expectations that are now included in performance assessments and Mystery Shop scores.

She along with the organization designed and delivered hands-on scenario training that all public-facing staff (700 people) were required to attend. She personally opened each of the 50+ sessions with a half-hour presentation on the “why” behind this effort. As CXO she lead the design and delivery of customer experience in all of their locations. Most notably, with building ten buildings, she has the resources at hand to build a CX vision from the ground up. In 2018, with increasing demand from other libraries stepping into CX and following the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) lead, Alison is launching a CX Institute for Libraries, hosted at CML, to share their best practices with the industry. As Alison says, “Nonprofits can find it hard to translate some of the CX competencies without a guide; I am serving as that guide.”

Alison says: “As with any award, this represents the collective work of a passionate team – our library staff is dedicated to meeting customer needs. CX gives us a rallying cry around which we focus that passion. This award shows the world that libraries are competitive in the field of CX and that nonprofits have the same runway of CX opportunities of the profit world. I’m humbled by this recognition and honored to represent the work of this incredible institution -- Columbus Metropolitan Library -- to the world. ”

Adam Elster

Adam Elster

President, CA Technologies

As President of Global Field Operations at CA, Adam Elster is responsible for the company’s Sales, Partner, Services and Education organizations. He leads high-performance teams of experts who help customers – from fast-growing, emerging markets to some of the world’s most powerful and innovative companies – leverage cutting-edge software to solve critical business challenges, adapt to changing IT demands, develop new business models and create new market opportunities. Four years ago, Adam recognized that companies would increasingly compete based on the experiences they offered their customers. It was his vision as a champion of customer experience to establish and serve as the executive sponsor for Customer Always, CA’s customer experience transformation. Since then, Adam has been an active member of CA’s Executive and CX Strategy Council made up of the company’s highest-level executives, showing time and time again his commitment to building and expanding programs to improve the customer experience. Changing the mindset of 11,000 employees is no easy task. Adam recognized that a significant retraining had to occur to change employee focus from inward to outward – to focus on the customer. This necessitated a change in culture that would need to address expected employee behaviors.

Two years ago, Adam became a key proponent in the launch of CA’s Mission, which is “to eliminate the barriers between ideas and outcomes for our customers.” To achieve this, behaviors that exemplify CA at its best became our “DNA.” Those behaviors are being agile, authentic, collaborative, creative, customer-centric, resilient, results-oriented, self-aware, socially-aware, as well as displaying uncompromising integrity. This culture change led CA to improve the customer experience in the most meaningful way of all -- by developing expertise, understanding and empathy to help customers achieve their desired outcomes with CA’s software solutions. In Adam’s words, “Technology is changing everything. It’s our job to help companies deal with the impact and work with them to remove barriers to their transformation so that they’re not just surviving – but leading the digital revolution.” Customers have noticed the change at CA, and this is apparent through our Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and recent fiscal results. NPS is a key metric in measuring the impact of our CX transformation that Adam has helped drive. Our NPS improved each year for the past four years, with the latest survey wave showing the highest NPS increase ever and more customers seeing CA as a strategic partner. .

Adam says: “At CA, we like to say that customer experience is a team sport. To be recognized for something I’m so passionate about is an absolute honor. I accept this award on behalf of our team of 11,000 employees who live and breathe our mission and DNA to drive customer success on a daily basis. They are devoted to removing barriers between ideas and outcomes, knowing that we will succeed when our customers succeed. We are proud to join in CXPA’s efforts to raise the bar on customer experience.”

Lupe Gonzalez

Lupe Gonzalez

Vice President, Customer Experience, Headspace, Inc.

As the VP of Customer Experience, Lupe Gonzalez has always had Headspace's 17 million users in mind - how the team supports them better, how they can educate better, and how they can work with Design and Product to improve the user experience. With that came the challenges of maintaining the highest customer support possible for our users WHILE owning and leading innovation for our users. Innovation required the support of all of the departments that help create the user experience and so supporting them in being customer-centric and customer-focused was the biggest challenge most days. Lupe's team has always been able to successfully maneuver this most times by being thoughtful, open-minded and data-focused. Data and hard facts move the needle. Lupe implemented a self-service tool, which is plugged into the Help Center, which provides users with answers straight from our Help Center when they're typing out their question for our Support Team. She created a 37% daily deflection rate - meaning 37% of folks each day, on average, find the answer to their question in our Help Center without having to submit a Help Request. That's a value add for our users, and helps minimize volume to CX... allowing the team to focus on higher priority issues.

Lupe has built a team at Headspace that is constantly focused on avoiding and minimizing fires. She prides herself in teaching them everything she knows and for that reason, they feel fulfilled in their roles. Headspace has great customer satisfaction, as a result - happy employees create happy/great experiences.

Lupe says: “It's such an honor to be recognized. There are so many amazing people in the CX industry, some that I’ve been lucky enough to learn from. But, as much as I appreciate this recognition, the greatest reward I’ve ever been given is the opportunity to work with my team at Headspace. Day in and day out, I’m amazed at how incredibly talented they are. I couldn’t do what I do without them, so this award goes to them.”

Stephanie Linville

Stephanie Linville, CCXP

Director of Market Intelligence, Quality & Training, Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines

Stephanie Linville, CCXP, is the Director of Market Intelligence, Quality and Training at Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines and leads the customer experience initiatives within the company. Her team gathers customer feedback, formally and informally, using various qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including relationship, transactional and competitive surveys, to better understand customer needs and expectations. She has raised the awareness and focus on the customer experience across the enterprise by regularly presenting key findings from research, as well as resulting action from training programs, at numerous Wheaton | Bekins conferences. She had led cross-functional teams to map the customer journey, identify performance gaps, and orchestrate process improvements.

One of Stephanie’s biggest projects this year has been to partner with members of IT leadership to create a completely custom and proprietary dashboard within the Wheaton | Bekins intranet displaying VOC survey data alongside other financial and operational KPIs of the business. Not only does this dashboard aggregate and visualize customer feedback for corporate staff and agents in a new and easy to understand way, but it has enabled agents to effectively use the information to drive business success and improve customer relationships.

Stephanie says: “I am honored to be selected for the CX Impact Award. At Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines, we are literally and figuratively moving the lives of our customers and turning their stressful life experiences into memorable ones through our efforts to improve the moving experience. I have the privilege of working with a dynamic and talented group of individuals who share my passion for being the voice of our customers and making a positive impact in their lives. I truly enjoy the work I do.”

Andrea Rosenbaum

Andrea Rosenbaum

Director of Advancement, YMCA of Northwest Florida

Andrea is using her CX program and VOC platform to literally make the world a better place. She does this by supporting her community and making the YMCA a very “personal experience” that is open to all. She supports the overall mission of the YMCA to grow membership revenue, program revenue, and the amount of money donated for low income efforts. Andrea uses her VOC platform as an extension of “getting to know everyone by name.” Her VOC program goes well beyond NPS benchmarking but it used as a way to have an open dialogue on how the YMCA can build programs that serve the community.

Through this highly personal and positively focused program, the YMCA has been able to grow their membership 2.5 times and has given over half a million dollars back to the local community. The YMCA Northwest Florida is in the top 10% of all YMCA USA indicators. They use the program to make people aware of their mission and financial assistance program so that they can extend the reach and get funds into the hands of those most needy. They also use this program as a way to celebrate their huge part time staff who may go unrewarded and recognized without a tool to capture this information. Everything is focused on building personal connections and community which would be a noble aspiration of any CX program!

Lastly, Andrea is a brilliant story teller. She has a VOC platform so that she "reduces myth, rumor, and legend" but at the same time knows that the way to really motivate people is to make it personal and she does this by telling stories that employees, leaders and customers can relate to and appreciate.

Andrea says: “It’s been exciting to work with the Customerville team to open up real-time dialogue with our members. Member service is the top priority of every Y staff member’s job. This work has enabled us to successfully bring that priority to life.”

Allison Windon

Allison Windon

Global Director of Customer Experience, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

As Global Director of Customer Experience, Allison Windon leads the True Customer Centricity program at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS). This program has transformed how the business thinks about its customers and is driving real change. AGCS has seen year-on-year increases in NPS, journey improvements and the launch of new solutions across the globe in response to the insights gathered. Her work has enabled the organization to see where they benchmark in relation to competitors on a county by county basis, with broad access to insights to put the customer experience at the center of every employee’s thinking. Allison ensured their program could be tied back to concrete customer and business metrics, and has demonstrated the positive impact of putting the customer first.

Allison has engaged a global cross functional community of over 40 ambassadors throughout the world who embed customer centricity throughout the organization and turn insights into actions for the business. Allison developed a globally consistent strategy, oversaw implementation, and rolled out a technology platform for this new program covering 22 countries and 16 languages. She is a certified Allianz Customer Excellence (CE) Master and also recently established a roundtable of cross-industry global thought leaders to explore the topics that are unique to the B2B space.

Allison says: “I am humbled to be recognized by the premier global organization dedicated to the advancement and cultivation of the Customer Experience profession. It has been a phenomenal opportunity to build and shape a global program from the ground up, in an industry that is rapidly recognizing the importance of customer experience. I am proud to work for an organization that puts the customer at the heart of everything we do. And I am committed to working with my peers to advance the body of knowledge in the B2B space. Many thanks to the AGCS team for bringing this program to life, to Qualtrics for their partnership, and to the CXPA for this honor.”

2017 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.

Shelly Chandler

Shelly M. Chandler, CCXP

Vice President, Customer Experience Consulting, Americas, Confirmit

Shelly Chandler knows the value of not only integrating technical solutions to support a complete CX program, but also having guidance in acting upon those insights gained from the program. In her current role, she advises clients on how to connect their customer insights to higher-level business goals and help ensure their CX programs support both operational goals as well as financial goals. Shelly founded a team that provides consulting services to her customers in a manner that competitors do not. This allows the team to be mission-driven, with the ultimate goal to support Confirmit customers to make the most of their insights programs and use those insights to propel their customer experience maturity.

With a recent client, Shelly was able to help them incorporate the customer journey and key moments of truth within their strategic planning process, an activity previously not connected. The client was able to see that many of their initiatives such as system upgrades and marketing campaigns were wholly internal and not focused around the customers’ most important interactions with them, but rather on resources and internal processes. Shelly’s mission was to shift the focus to make everything point back to the customer. Two large components of the success of this partnership were creating a communications plan to inform the company about anything customer experience-related, and educating employees on what they are supposed to do differently based on that information. By being prescriptive and establishing proper boundaries (rather than just pointing to examples of success), business leaders will lead their staffs to repeatable, intentional behavior, instead of frustration, confusion or accidental behavior.

Shelly says: “Customer experience is reaching its zenith—we’ve learned much and achieved much, yet have significant room to grow. Those with successes need to share their methods to inform others’ strategies. Executives take note: a long-term investment in customer experience will produce results: support transformational change and trust your customers!”

Nancy Porte

Nancy Porte, CCXP

Vice President, Global Customer Experience, Verint

Nancy Porte, vice president of global customer experience (CX), has been instrumental in leading the formalization of Verint’s own CX program by seeking direct customer feedback and putting voice of the customer intelligence into action. Verint’s Customer Experience Program made a tremendous impact on its customer base during the launch of Nancy’s brainchild—the onsite “CX Zone” at the company’s annual user conference, Engage™. It was Nancy’s vision to invite customer attendees into the zone to provide an opportunity to interact in-person with Verint’s customer experience professionals and its customer journey map. As part of the CX Zone, Nancy orchestrated the opportunity for multiple feedback collection options which included scripted questions on notepads to place on the walls, survey kiosks placed on tables throughout the room and flip charts that included sentences for customers to complete that answered questions such as, “I wish my experience included…” or, “You didn’t ask, but…” and so on. The response was astounding and Verint was pleased to see that customers provided honest and productive feedback on what could be done better and customers were honored to be asked for their valuable input. With the feedback captured and transcribed, Nancy has been responsible for comparing it with existing customer journey maps and creating plans to close gaps between actual and intended experiences. The CX Zone doubles in size each year and has inspired many other customer-centric engagement efforts, one being the “Product Innovation Zone” that Verint launched at this year’s Engage conference, sitting directly across the hall from the CX Zone.

Nancy says: “I’m honored to be recognized by CXPA, an organization that is vital to my growth as a CX professional. And I want to thank my Verint colleagues, who have been instrumental in building and executing on our vision for the Verint CX Program—helping to extend it across the globe—and, of course, the customers who participate in our CX Zone to share their insights and help us in our quest for continuing excellence. Most of all, I want to thank my company’s executive team. They give all of us the freedom to try new ideas and encourage innovative approaches in everything we do. This award would not be possible without that spirit.”

Claudia Vale

Claudia Vale, CCXP


Claudia Vale has launched two companies in Brazil in an effort to bring customer experience to organizations in South America. She is involved in every step of the process with her clients, and through her work she is able to educate individuals and companies on important CX topics. A recent client asked Claudia to help them develop a customer-centric culture. She helped the client create a unit within the company to map the client journey and established a series of initiatives focused on the innovation of this journey. They were able to create a customer room and started to monitor customer satisfaction. These actions have resulted in measured customer improvement to date. Through her speaking, workshops and client consulting, Claudia is rapidly building customer experience adoption across Brazil and educating thousands of professionals each year.

Claudia says: "Receiving this recognition only reinforces our commitment to leverage the theme of Customer Experience in Latin America. Helping businesses to have a culture more focused on their customers is our great purpose. All the challenges and achievements throughout this first year of work were important to show us how much we can add value to our customers, partners and professionals of Customer Experience in Latin America. I thank CXPA who continually contributes to my professional development in Customer Experience and link me with an amazing CX professionals network around the world!"

Brennan Wilkie

Brennan Wilkie

SVP, Customer Experience Strategy & Country Manager, Canada, InMoment

Brennan Wilkie, SVP of customer experience strategy at InMoment, works closely with clients from conception, through the design, implementation and evolution of their programs. Brennan has provided CX design and consulting guidance to hundreds of companies in the industries of retail, food service, hospitality, financial services, and utilities. One recent example of his impact on an organization was in the complete redesign of CX measurement and analytics for a top three (in terms of revenues and locations) North American hospitality brand that was going through a reinvention of its market image and product offering. Despite having a CX measurement program in place for many years, they had previously been unable to quantify the link between CX improvement and business performance.

Additionally, Brennan and his team created the CX Personality Assessment to evaluate an organization on the dimensions of CX Performance and CX Readiness. Organizations are then classified into one of nine potential “personalities” that reveals how its internal stakeholders truly view the brand’s relationship with its customers. The results are then used to identify priorities for alignment across business functions and roles in order to drive CX accountability and governance. The assessment result provides a common foundation for members of an executive team to rally around and with which to identify. Brennan has demonstrated keen skills and continues to work with clients to translate scores and CX learnings into behavioral outcomes.

Brennan says: “The CXPA does important work to educate, empower, and unite CX professionals and practitioners. With such a proud and capable member-base I am honored and humbled to be recognized with the CX Impact Award. I congratulate my peers in this category and respect the meaningful work they do to advance the value of CX. I would like to thank the entire InMoment team. Their commitment and passion for customer experience, our clients, and our people truly inspires me every day!”

Congratulations To Our 2017 Finalists

2017 CX Impact Award Finalists - Practitioner

Heather Avery, Vice President, Customer Strategy & Analytics - Aflac
Chad Bailey, Project Lead - Premera
Jami Blake, Director, Voice of Customer - Tiffany & Co.
Alison Circle, CCXP, Chief Customer Experience Officer - Columbus Metropolitan Library
Dan DeSimone, Director of Returns and Allowances - Dorel Juvenile
Dr. Himanshu Dutt, Head CRM, Customer Experience - Bajaj Capital
Adam Elster, President, Global Field Operations - CA Technologies
Jason Franklin, Sr. Learning Experience Designer - Adobe
Lupe Gonzalez, Vice President, Customer Experience - Headspace, Inc.
Musa Hanhan, Senior Director, Global Customer Experience & NPS - Genesys
David Hentz, Customer Advocacy Leader - NCR
Edward Hobart, CCXP, Customer Support Experience Manager - Zoetis
Tanner Hopkins, Customer Experience Manager -Thumbtack
Stephanie Linville, CCXP, Director of Market Intelligence, Quality & Training - Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines
Frank Mona III, Senior Director Client Partner Services - Sutherland Global Services, Inc.
Kelly Ohaver, Customer Experience Manager - City of Centennial
Sarah Park, Associate Manager, Customer & Market Insights - Salesforce
Andrea Rosenbaum, Director of Advancement - YMCA
Joseph Wilson, Customer Retention Leader - Equifax
Allison Windon, Global Director of Customer Experience - Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty

2017 CX Impact Award Finalists - Provider

Shelly Chandler, CCXP, Vice President of Customer Experience Consulting - Confirmit
Michelle Freeman, Customer Experience Lead - Sparks Grove (North Highland)
Laurent Ghio, CCXP, Product Marketing Manager - Quadient
Paul Herdman, VP, Customer Experience - inContact
Nancy Porte, CCXP, Vice President Global Customer Experience - Verint
Claudia Vale, CCXP, Managing Partner - FLWOW!
Brennan Wilkie, SVP Customer Experience Strategy - InMoment

2017 CX Impact Awards Judging Panel

Natalie Schneider, CCXP

Natalie Schneider, CCXP
Vice President, Customer Experience
Anthem, Inc.

Carlos Pimenta

Carlos Pimenta
Macquarium, Inc.

Neil Sharp, CCXP

Neil Sharp, CCXP

Chantel Botha, CCXP

Chantel Botha, CCXP
Customer Experience Strategist

Stephanie Thum, CCXP

Stephanie Thum, CCXP
Practice Director,
Customer Experience Strategy and Analytics
 Capitol Management Consulting

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?