C5 Fall 2020
C5 Fall 2020 took place as a video conference on November 17-18, 12:00-2:00pm (ET). The event was proudly supported by our Gold Partner, ASAPP (represented by Chris Arnold, VP, Contact Center Strategy) and Silver Partner CallMiner.
Over the two days, up to 24 members participated each day with most C5 companies represented―(Blue Ridge, Charter/Spectrum, Comcast, Cox, GCI, Liberty Global, MCTV, Mediacom, Midco, Rogers, Sparklight, Telecom Argentina) and three industry associations (CableLabs, CTAM, NCTA)―as well as representatives from C5 Partner, ASAPP (Gold). Silver Partner, CallMiner was unable to attend live, due to a conflict with its own annual “Listen” conference, but Brian LaRoche, Director, Outreach Marketing, and Todd Barber, VP North America Enterprise Accounts remained engaged by way of a short video and gifted members some swag items (CallMiner VR headset and notebook).
The event format comprised four panel discussions—each led by a C5 Exec Chair with C5ers as panelists—and an “open mic” session at the end. Each panel allowed for ~30 mins of open discussion and participants actively engaged in these conversations to share best practice and insights on how their respective organizations have responded to COVID-19. The “open mic” session, moderated by Simón Tadeo, Telecom AR, facilitated further conversations around the CX challenges and opportunities that are faced by C5ers.
- Day 1 (120 mins). Panel presentations by:
- Day 2 (120 mins). Presentations by:
PANEL 3: Impacts on Our Industry
What’s happening in the external environment for cable operators….
And, finally, the Senior Fellows would like to acknowledge the ongoing support from The Cable Center (Jana Henthorn, President & CEO, and Diane Christman, SVP and Chief Programs Officer) and our C5 Executive Chairs (Eric Burton, Comcast, Jon Coscia, Mediacom, Suzanne Foy, Cox, Kimberly Gibson, Sparklight, and Simón Tadeo, Telecom AR), as well as all participants who helped make our second virtual conference such a great success.
Managing Director, Client Loyalty
Charles Schwab & Co.
Sean Albertson is the senior Managing Director of the Charles Schwab Client Loyalty team. As a key leader within the Analytics & Business Insights department, Sean and his team provide deep analysis and business recommendations to partners within the Banking, Investor Services, Advisor Services and Digital Support departments. In addition to traditional survey and research, Sean drives Journey Analytics and research strategies across all Schwab’s client touch points, focusing on increasing client loyalty. Sean has directed VOC, Client Experience, Client Service and Retention divisions within the Financial Services, Cable and Internet industries.
Vice President, Contact Center Strategy
Chris works with customers like JetBlue, Dish, Vodafone, and others to implement technology to improve engagement, lower costs and increase agent efficiency. Prior to ASAPP, Chris spent 20 years leading contact center strategy and technology implementation for Verizon and Alltel. He has worked virtually every role within the contact center front line, leading staff operations, and managing desktop automation and augmentation.
Vice President, North America Enterprise Accounts
Todd is the Vice President North America Enterprise Accounts at CallMiner. Todd has held sales, marketing and leadership positions in his over 25 years in telecommunications and technology, in both Fortune 1000 companies, and in start-ups. An adept strategist with keen market sense and proven ability to close multi-million dollar opportunities, Todd has a demonstrated history of delivering and sustaining revenue and profit gains within highly competitive markets and is able to eliminate obstacles through creative and adaptive approaches. He has resolved complex problems, open new markets and achieve record sales, which include: running a $100M P&L, managing team of 60, growing revenue 60% AND improving customer satisfaction 11%; building a $30M business from $0 in 3 years, initially selling, then managing a team, then managing managers; taking a pre-revenue start-up to over $2M in bookings and negotiated 5 major contracts, in less than two years; hand-building two distinct teams in another start-up: one that delivered one-half of the company’s $15M revenues in less than 18 months, another that delivered 20% of the company’s $45M revenues in just two years.
Todd has been responsible for managing accounts with: Alcatel Lucent, AT&T, Bell, Cellular South, Ericsson, France Telecom/Orange, Leap/Cricket, MetroPCS, Nokia Siemens Networks, Rogers, Sprint, Telefonica, TMO-US, USCellular, Verizon, Vodafone, and others. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA in Marketing, Finance, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Rochester.
VP, Corporate Accounts North America
High-tech executive specializing in innovative technologies to help Fortune 500 Companies deliver superior customer experiences in their contact centers and thru digital engagement.
At Nuance for the past 15 years, Frank has been fortunate to work with a senior team of professionals who engage with industry leading innovators in Telco, Finance, Insurance, Travel, and Utilities. Collectively, they know that customer experience is rapidly changing. People today measure and rate their experience with an enterprise—not against their peers—rather across the best interactions they encounter in their everyday lives, whatever that may be. Innovation helps us raise the bar, it’s fast paced and Frank finds it exciting and fun. Prior to joining Nuance, Frank worked at Genesys Labs and IBM in their contact center sales practices.
Vice President of Artificial Intelligence
Rick is the Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at CallMiner. Rick’s passion for interaction analytics is built upon his background of behavioral economics and operations analytics. He has specialized in optimizing results over his 25-year career in financial services, business process outsourcing, retail, marketing and collections.
With a background in decision science and business analytics, Rick has spent his career optimizing results in human based systems. With a behavioral economics background, using detailed deep analytics to understand behaviors and conversational correlations it was inevitable he would end up leading Artificial Intelligence Research at CallMiner. Call Miner is the industry’s leading interaction analytics solution. Using the power of machines to detect the signals in noisy unstructured data using conversational AI is actually something he is really passionate about. Although there is speculation he is also designing robots to take over the world, oddly by creating robots that talk humans to death assisted with long pointless power point presentations. Along the journey to entropy he also loves microbrewing, and fantasy football.
Senior Solutions Architect
Ryan is Solutions Architect at CallMiner helping organizations understand how to leverage the voice of the customer to improve their business through use of CallMiner’s cloud-based interaction omni channel analytics solution. Prior to Ryan joining CallMiner, he was a customer. In his role at Suddenlink he lead the Customer Insight Team under the Customer Experience organization lead by former C5 Co-Chair, Gibbs Jones, where he leveraged the CallMiner platform to automate the call quality process and evaluate the ever changing customer experience.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Currently working as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for CableLabs, Mickie has enjoyed a 30+ year career being on or leading technical teams in organizations like Hewlett-Packard, Plantronics and Texas Instruments. A long-time champion of user-centered design, Mickie holds four patents for the design of user interfaces associated with media consumption in the home as well as a design innovation award for her contribution developing an award-winning remote control for Hewlett-Packard. She is also an innovation coach for UpRamp, an accelerator designed to connect established start-ups with the cable industry.
Mickie holds a Bachelors degree in Technical Journalism and Computer Science from Colorado State University and is a member of WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications), ACM, SIGChi and IEEE.
Gregory F. Chapados
President and Chief Operating Officer
Greg Chapados is GCI's President and COO. He served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since June 2012. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president since June 2006. Before joining GCI, Greg was a managing director at two boutique investment banks in Dallas, Texas, specializing in the defense and telecommunications industries and served as senior vice president, new business development at Crown Media, a cable system subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Before moving to Dallas, Greg served as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information in the U.S. Department of Commerce during the George H. W. Bush administration and chief of staff to Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK).
SVP, Customer Care & Billing Management
CPO & SVP, Development
The Cable Center
As part of The Cable Center's senior leadership team, Diane is responsible for creating, cultivating, and maintaining strategic relationships and partnerships between The Center and its financial supporters, as well as positioning the organization via marketing and public relations. Diane oversees business development and fundraising strategy, brokers revenue-generating programs, leads the Development Committee in its work with key donors, and oversees The Center's brand and public outreach.
Since she joined The Cable Center in 2006, Diane has been responsible for creation of The Center's $10 million Chairman's Fund endowment campaign (approaching completion); partnerships supporting The Center's Cable Mavericks Lecture Series, Cable Mavericks Masters Forum, and Customer Experience initiatives; increasingly successful Cable Hall of Fame events; and organizational re-branding.
Diane holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Colorado State University.
Group VP, Customer Operations
Jonathan Coscia is the Group Vice President of Customer Service and Field Support Operations at Mediacom Communications Corporation. He is the executive responsible for customer service call center operations, field dispatch and workforce management operations, development of customer self-service channels, and inbound sales and retention operations. Jon is a 19-year veteran in the cable industry joining Mediacom Communications in 2007.
Chief Communications Officer
Anne has a wide array of leadership responsibilities, playing a key role in executing CTAM’s mission to deliver best-in-class consumer experiences through collaboration. Specifically, Anne co-leads MSOs and content providers in extensive Mover Communications and TV Everywhere initiatives, oversees the biannual TV critics tours of the industry’s finest orginal content, guides all CTAM PR and member marketing efforts, and serves as strategic advisor to the CEO, Vicki Lins.
Throughout her more than 20 years in the industry, Anne has remained deeply committed to aligning communications and marketing for greater impact and a stronger collective voice in the marketplace. Her most recent efforts in this area include developing and securing commitments from CTAM leadership to implement a long-term plan to shift consumer perceptions of the industry.
Anne joined CTAM in 1999, after a decade as an executive with a D.C.-based communications agency and eight years as a professor of acting. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University.
SVP, Customer Service & Financial Operations
Tapan Dandniak has 16 years of experience in the cable industry and is Senior Vice President of Customer Service and Financial Operations for Mediacom Communications (MCC), serving over 1.3 million customers. In 2013, he also assumed responsibilities for our centralized field support operations. As a member of the MCC’s senior leadership team he is responsible for broad-based strategic planning, financial analysis and business requirements development for Mediacom’s residential video, high-speed online and landline phone services. Prior to that time, he was MCC’s Group Vice President, Financial Operations since July 2007 and MCC’s Vice President, Financial Operations since May 2005.
Before joining MCC, Tapan served as Director of Corporate Initiatives, Manager of Corporate Finance and as a Financial Analyst for RCN from July 2000 to April 2005. Tapan began his career in India working for Ingersoll-Rand as a Product Engineer where he was first introduced to process and operations. He began his career in cable at RCN Corp in June 2000 where he started in the Corporate Finance department as a financial analyst. In his final role at RCN he reported to the CEO as Director of Corporate initiatives.
Tapan was the recipient of the Chairman’s Leadership and Development Award in 2008, the National Cable & Telecommunication Association’s Vanguard Award for Young Leadership in 2012 and serves on The Cable Center Customer Centric Consortium (C5).
Tapan is a Certified Financial Analyst, earned his MBA with honors from the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia and also holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from L.D. College of Engineering in India.
Chief Digital Officer
Net Serviços Brasil
Rodrigo Modesto Duclos is graduated in Electric Engineering and holds an MBA in Strategy and Marketing where he developed a structural analysis of the Brazilian Cable industry in 1999.
Rodrigo began his career in NET Sul, a cable start-up back in 1994 and worked for different companies in the telecom industry (Claro, Promon, LogicaCMG). Since the early days he has been involved with many innovative projects in telecommunications such as the introduction of broadband in Brazil (Cable Modems), Mobile pre-paid services, SMS, Ring-tones, MMS, Mobile Internet (GPRS/Edge, WAP), Digital TV (DVB), VOD and IP Video among others.
Currently Rodrigo is leading the digital transformation projects in Claro Brasil Group (NET, Embratel and Claro) as the Chief Digital Officer.
CEO and Co-Founder
Ron Duncan is CEO of GCI. He first came to Alaska in 1977 with some Alaska friends he met during graduate school. He moved to North Pole, Alaska in 1978, where he lived while starting a cable television company in Fairbanks. In 1979, Ron moved to Anchorage where he and Bob Walp started GCI. In the 37 ensuing years, GCI has grown to become the largest telecommunications provider in Alaska, with more than 2,200 employees and almost $1 billion in revenues.
In April of 2017, GCI and Liberty Interactive Corporation signed an agreement to combine GCI with certain assets of Liberty Ventures Group to create a new corporation with an enterprise value of $8.4 billion to be called GCI Liberty. The transaction valued GCI at $2.8 billion. Following closing of the proposed transaction, Ron will continue to run GCI.
Ron is a passionate pilot with more than 8,000 hours of flight time in everything from single engine amphibious planes to mid-size jets. He is a board member and past chairman of the National Business Aviation Association. Additionally, he serves on the boards of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and Cable Labs, which is the telecommunications industry’s technology think tank. He is a past chairman of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation and the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation.
Ron has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Harvard.
VP, Client Experience
Scott Fairchild is VP - Client Experience for Spectrum Enterprise. In his current role, Scott leads a team that works across the Spectrum Enterprise organization to support delivery of a premier client experience. The team gathers client feedback then facilitates changes to the business that are designed with a client-centered mindset. As part of this, his team also designs, develops and supports Spectrum Enterprise portals, using continuous client feedback to shape the online experience. Scott’s career has spanned nearly 25 years in cable - leading teams in product development, strategy, marketing and customer experience.
VP, Customer Care Partner Management
Strategy and Cox Business Support
Leading Cox customer care outsource partner management, strategy, program management and Cox business customer support. Previous roles include customer support, billing and payment experiences across call center and online channels, customer-focused process standardization, user-focused knowledge management, communications and agent education.
Katherine Gessner is President of MCTV, a family-owned Internet, TV and Phone provider serving 50,000 customers across eight counties in Northeast Ohio. Katherine represents the third generation of local family leadership at MCTV, following in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. Katherine joined the MCTV team in 2013 as the sales and marketing manager and has held several roles at MCTV — most recently vice president of strategic planning and policy — before being named president in 2019.
Katherine earned her Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Marietta College (OH) in 2005 and her MBA from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver in 2011.
Similar to her father and grandfather, Katherine is deeply rooted in, and values the importance of supporting the local communities that MCTV serves. Katherine serves on the boards for several area organizations including the Massillon Public Library, Stark State College Foundation, and the Massillon WestStark Chamber of Commerce. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, cooking, and playing with her two dogs.
SVP, Sales & Business Services
Snr. Director Customer Operations
Kimberly Gibson is the Senior Director of Customer Operations. As a key member of the Customer Operations Team, she is responsible for aligning strategy with company goals and objectives, testing and implementation of solutions and best practices to improve the customer experience across Cable ONE’s 42 systems and three inbound call centers. Kim has responsibilities for over 300 Cable ONE associates.
She joined Cable ONE in 2004 as Office Manager of Cable ONE’s technical Solution Center. In 2005, she was promoted to General Manager, assuming full responsibility for the day-to-day activities of the 150-seat center currently averaging 88,000 calls a month. Kim was promoted in August 2005 to the General Manager of Cable ONE’s national inbound Customer Care call center and was responsible for all aspects of the center’s daily operation, including but not limited to, strategy planning, leadership coaching and metric achievement. In January 2008, Kim was promoted to Director of Virtual Operations responsible for the operations of the Virtual Call centers in Cable ONE’s local markets.
Prior to joining the Cable ONE leadership team, Kim gained vast experience in the communications industry where she began her career with Qwest Communications in 1991. After advancing to a Network Operations Supervisor position in 1997, her quality focus resulted in a promotion to Network Operations Manager for Qwest’s Arizona dispatch centers.
Kimberly graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a B.S. in Hospitality Management and earned an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix.
President & CEO
The Cable Center
Industry veteran, Jana Henthorn, took the helm of The Cable Center as President and CEO on January 1, 2016. She has been part of The Center’s leadership team since 2004. Jana brings more than 30 years of experience from all corners of the industry to her position. Prior to The Cable Center, she managed the network sales team for 16 states and two regional offices as Vice President of Affiliate Sales for A&E Television Networks. She also served as Vice President of Operations and Service Fulfillment for Jones Intercable, one of the top 10 cable distributors until its acquisition by Comcast in 1999. While at Jones, she managed local cable operations in Wisconsin and Florida.
A nationally recognized advocate for customer experience, Jana led The Center’s Customer Experience Central initiatives, including the Cable Center Customer Centric Consortium (C5). The C5 consortium of executives from the largest operators in North America and Europe focuses on expanding industry knowledge and leading new approaches to customer care. Jana directed the industry’s first customer care metrics study, and also reinvigorated The Cable Center’s valuable Oral History Program.
Jana graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and completed her MBA at the University of Denver.
VP, Customer Experience
Cory Limberg is the Vice President of Customer Experience for Midcontinent Communications.
Cory Limberg joined Midco as the Vice President of Customer Experience. Cory is responsible for leading Midco’s strategy to optimize the customer experience in all interactions – to deliver an exceptional customer experience while maintaining a highly engaged workforce. He is an industry leader with a 29-year career centered around the Customer Experience in the E-Commerce and Telecommunications space. Currently Cory enjoys the privilege of working with an incredible group of innovators who are passionate about delivering on the promise of a best in class customer experience organization.
Most recently, Cory was the Senior Director of Customer Care within the West Division of Comcast in St. Paul, MN. While there, he managed a 600-seat Center of Excellence. He was a key contributor in the development and deployment of several major initiatives, including serving as the pilot for a Net Promoter System – later adopted by more than 100,000 employees across the organization. Prior to joining Comcast, Cory was the Senior Director of Global Outsourcing at Yahoo. Along with his technology experience, Cory spent a number of years at Charter Communications and AT&T Broadband.
VP, Customer Experience Liberty Global Operations
Mel has been in the care industry for over 20 years. She has worked on both sides of the fence, outsourced and in house operations, considering herself fortunate to have worked with some of the biggest brands in various industries. As part of the ACT (Architecture and Change Team) for one of the fortune 5oo, Mel was involved in the creation and mapping of the customer journey, piloting different approaches to enable the best for customers.
Director, Customer Care
Ann Montgomery had held a variety of senior operations positions in the cable television and telecommunications industry for over 20 years. She served on the Board of Trustees (for 6 years) as the Chair for Women in Cable and Telecommunications (WICT) Foundation, and is a valued contributor to multiple industry associations and legislative committees directing customer service standards for the industry and telecommunications providers. She is currently the Director of Customer Care for Liberty Global based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Within this role, she also oversees a transformational Future Customer Contact Center integration within the Liberty Global footprint.
Her last US cable position was as Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. In this role, she was responsible for the Southwest Region, where she led the company’s cable operations for Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California representing over 1.4 million cable customers. Prior to joining Comcast in 2002, Ann worked for Adelphia Communications Corporation, where she served for two years as Senior Vice President of Operations.
For over a decade, Ann served as Executive Vice President of Fulfillment Services and Operations for AT&T Broadband, in Denver, and its predecessor company, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI), where she oversaw all customer care and field operations. She formally served as Senior Vice President of Customer Operations and Vice President of Customer Billing Systems with TCI. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she began her cable career as a conversion consultant for American Express Cable Service Group. Joining TCI as Office Manager for TCI in Boulder, Colorado, she developed experience in customer service and care, leading to positions in customer service, training and call center management for the company’s Denver region.
Ann holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She has attended the University of Denver where she continues to seek higher education to stay current in the broadband industry.
Ann is a recipient of several industry awards and honors, including her selection to WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute program in 1994 and her recognition as the organization’s 1999 Accolade, “Woman to Watch” award. Ms Montgomery also received the 2001 Cablevision Magazine/WICT “Wonder Woman” honor for her achievements in the industry. Her pinnacle of career and industry success was achieved in May 2004, where she was awarded the coveted “Vanguard Award for Cable Operations Management”.
Chief Customer Experience Officer
In her current position, Maureen is responsible for the overall customer experience strategy of GCI. With more than 20 years of telecom experience, she previously served as Vice President of Consumer Services, with marketing and operations responsibility for GCI’s consumer products, including wireless, Internet, cable TV, and wireline services. She also served on the Alaska Broadband Task Force from 2011-2014 which produced a plan for accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband technology across Alaska. She graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Business Administration, double majoring in Finance and Management. Maureen is currently based out of Anchorage, Alaska.
Vice President, Service Assurance, Technical Operations, Connected Home
Rob Paradis is an executive based in Toronto with over 24 years Telecommunications experience, all with Rogers Communications. He began his career with Rogers as a frontline technical support agent and held progressive leadership roles in operations, project management and strategy before returning to contact centre operations. He recently accepted a new challenge leading field operations, where he has found rich opportunities in applying his workforce management experience towards improving the customer experience in a new environment. He’s passionate about motivating teams through a clear vision, aligned incentives and transparent communication, and consistently bests best-in-class employee engagement results in large operating teams.
Senior Fellow & Cox Chair
The Cable Center
Charles (Chuck) is the James M. Cox Professor of Customer Experience Management and Senior Fellow at The Cable Center and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Denver and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Professor Patti has deep international experience through consulting and academic appointments throughout Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia, with extensive experience in building, delivering, and evaluating curriculum in a wide range of settings, including doctoral seminars, MBA and other specialized postgraduate courses, undergraduate programs, and professional and corporate learning. He has special expertise in case method learning and has coordinated several case learning workshops, including a Harvard Business School case workshop. He was an early adopter of online teaching and learning technologies and developed several firsts in learning technology, including the first video case, the C-DIE format (interactive case learning), the online MBA (Otis Elevator Company), and most recently, the Virtual Grocery Environment for interactive learning.
Much of his teaching draws from his business and consulting experience, which includes clients in the higher education sector (The Cultural Precinct, University Libraries, Bureau of Publications, Athletic Departments, Colleges of Business, Law, and Arts, and the Australian Vice Chancellors’ Committee) and in the business sector (American Newspaper Publishers Association, American Telephone Advertising, Inc., Chubb Electronic Security, Gannett, Inc., McDonald’s Corp., New Zealand Telecom, and Sunsuper, Pty. Ltd.) He has built and delivered major learning programs with consulting clients that have included Aetna Insurance, British American Tobacco, Otis Elevator, Queensland State Department of Development, Siemens, Texas Instruments, and Philip Morris. His research covers marketing communication and CE management and his work includes journal articles, book chapters, and eight books on various aspects of marketing. Recently, Dr. Patti has been conducting research on the Customer Experience (CE) Maturity Curve, CE ROI, and CE metrics. He is a past winner of the Marketing Educator of the Year Award and is recipient of the James Hershner Free Enterprise Award.
Dr. Patti holds a A.B. (history and literature), an M.S. (advertising) and a Ph.D., all from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
VP, Customer Service, Planning & Delivery
As Vice-President of Rogers Customer Care, Andrés leads the Customer Care organization for the consumer segment. He leads 5500 employees and partners in multiple sites coast to coast across Canada, servicing Rogers customers across voice and digitally assisted channels. In his previous role at Rogers, as Vice-President of End-to-End Customer Operations, he has led portfolios that simplify complex operating environments, streamline go-to-market activities, billing and payment portfolios, and improve the customer experience.
Prior to Rogers, Andrés worked in management consulting, specializing in field operations, performance management and deployment of large billing, CRM and provisioning systems throughout North America and Europe. Andrés is also the founder of a hi-tech venture focused on leveraging 3D gaming technologies to deliver immersive learning experiences to large workforces.
SVP, Marketing & Customer Experience
The Cable Center
Ron is a Professor of Finance at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and holds The Ron Rizzuto Chair for Excellence in International Executive Education. The endowed chair that was established in his name supports Dr. Rizzuto’s ongoing work with the Chinese Executive Media Management Program (CEMMP), which equips Chinese mid-career executives and government officials with the business skills to ensure a more successful future for China's media industry. He has been involved with the cable industry for 30 years and is one of the leading authorities on the economics of U.S. municipal telecommunication overbuilds. Ron was inducted into Cable TV Pioneers in 2016 for his service to the cable industry. He is an honorary lifetime member of Women in Telecommunications (WICT) and received WICT’s Special Accolade Award in 1988 and 1991. Dr. Rizzuto’s teaching and research areas include: capital expenditure analysis, mergers and acquisitions, corporate financial planning, corporate restructuring, telecommunication finance and customer experience management (CEM). He has published numerous articles and regularly delivers seminars in his specialty areas. Dr. Rizzuto has received several teaching awards including the University of Denver’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the College of Business’s Cecil Puckett Teaching Award and the Daniels Institute Leadership Award from the Institute for Executive and Professional Development. Consulting clients include: KPMG, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Time Warner Cable, First Data Corporation, CableLabs, Liberty Global, Adelphia Communications, and Cox Communications.
Professor Rizzuto has extensive media expertise and has been quoted by local, regional and national press, including broadcast news and the New York Times. He is particularly adept at explaining complex financial situations of specific companies to a broader audience.
Dr. Rizzuto holds a BS (finance and marketing), University of Colorado, an MBA (management) and a Ph.D., from New York University.
Marilyn F. Romano
Regional Vice President
In 2011, Marilyn Romano joined Alaska Airlines as its Regional Vice-President, Alaska. Marilyn oversees public affairs, corporate giving, sales and marketing, internal and external communications, and governmental affairs in Alaska, in addition to interacting with over 1,800 employees throughout the state. In 2016, Marilyn added the great state of Hawaii to her area of responsibility.
Currently, Marilyn chairs the board of directors of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, is a board member of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Alaska Foundation board of trustees. She is also a member of the American Heart Association statewide board, and chaired the Go Red for Women event in Anchorage in 2014, and co-chaired the event in Fairbanks. .
Head of Customer Experience
Cole’s passion is in creating refreshingly delightful service experiences for customers. He is Head of Customer Experience at Gusto, a company that provides payroll, benefits, and HR to modern companies. In this role, Cole is responsible for blending innovative tools and talented people to make traditionally complex activities feel easy for small/medium business operators. He empowers the Customer Care, Fulfillment, Risk/Compliance, and Learning & Development teams. He’s based in Denver and has been with Gusto since March, 2017.
Prior to Gusto, Cole spent 12 years with Charles Schwab as V.P. of Client Service & Support. He helped create a culture of industry-leading investor satisfaction while leading the Active Trader, High Net Worth, Options, Escalations, and Customer Care teams among others. He also served as SROP (Senior Registered Options Principal) for the firm and led the CX integration efforts for acquisitions and key product launches. Cole has also led CX functions at Merrill Lynch, Virgin Mobile, Sony, and ICT Group. He has a B.A. from University of Colorado and an MBA from WP Carey/ Arizona State University.
Senior Net Promoter Program Manager
Amanda Schotzko joined Midco in 2014 and currently serves as Sr. Net Promoter Program Manager. She and her team are leading the efforts to bring the voice of the customer and voice of employees into every conversation at Midco. Her passion has always been in helping people and delivering an unforgettable customer experience.
Director, Performance Analysis & Insights
Chris Simmonds is Director Performance Analysis & Insights working at Liberty Global’s central office in Amsterdam. He’s part of the Central Business Analysis team which is overseeing all Technology and Innovation reporting, Insights and best practices sharing. With this Chris has built up extensive knowledge and insights across Liberty Global Operating companies focussing on CEX, Customer Ops, Product and Network.
Before Central Business Analysis team he worked for Supply Chain within Liberty Global responsible for E2E performance reporting across OpCo’s. And prior to that as Operational Improvement consultant thereby optimizing manufacturing companies.
SVP, Consumer Marketing & Insights
Mark has been a marketer in the communications and broadband industry for 22 years with experience in marketing strategy, consumer insights, analytics, digital marketing and traditional media marketing. Mark is currently Senior Vice President & General Manager of Consumer Marketing & Insights for CTAM, the Cable Industry’s marketing association. In this role, he leads the MSO Marketing Cooperative, a consortium of the largest cable companies in the United States, Canada, and Europe, with a team focused on consumer marketing, analytics and consumer research. The team leads a number of councils focused on industry best practices and manages the National Mover Marketing Program for its U.S. members.
Prior to CTAM, Mark was VP of Marketing Strategy & Analytics for Swire, a Los Angeles-based boutique advertising agency. Before Swire, Mark was with Cox Communications for eight years, where he held roles of increasing responsibility in marketing. Before joining the Cable Industry, Mark spent seven years in the wireless industry with GTE Wireless, now a part of Verizon.
Mark holds a B.A. degree cum laude in Music History, Theory and Composition from the College of Charleston and an M.B.A. with honors from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
SVP, Industry & Association Affairs
Rob Stoddard is Senior Vice President, Industry & Association Affairs, for NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. He oversees the association’s public affairs efforts, member relations, industry events, and other special projects. Prior to assuming the Industry & Association Affairs role, Stoddard led NCTA Communications & Public Affairs for 15 years, managing media relations, public affairs, social responsibility initiatives, and promotion and publicity for NCTA events and activities. Before joining NCTA, Stoddard served as chief communications officer for major cable companies, including AT&T Broadband, MediaOne, and Continental Cablevision. He has worked as a press secretary for a U.S. Senator, and journalist for radio stations, trade publications, and a news wire service. Stoddard serves on the boards of the National Press Club Journalism Institute and several cable industry associations. A graduate of The American University in Washington, DC, he is a career-long diversity advocate, PR Week “DC Influencer,” member of the Cable TV Pioneers, and Hall-of-Famer for PR News and the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association.
Customer Experience Director
Simón Tadeo is the Customer Experience Director at Telecom, the leading telecommunications company in Argentina. Telecom main brands are Personal (Mobile), Fibertel (Broadband), Arnet (ADSL Broadband) and Cablevisión (TV). For corporate customers Telecom main brands are Fibercorp & Telecom Negocios.
Simón began his career at Cablevision in 1998 and has held various positions, including Client Retention Coordinator, Business Analyst, Head of Administration & Control and Sales Integration Manager. In 2008, after the merger between Cablevision and Multicanal, Simón assumed responsibility for the creation and integration of the new business processes.
From November 2009, Simón led the Open Project—a three-year business transformation project that deployed a new CRM, billing system, workforce management, mobile, & BI systems in Cablevisión, Fibertel and Fibercorp. For the next three years, Simón focused on improving customer experience for Cablevisión - Fibertel, fostering Innovation across the company and leading a cross company Project Management Team. From June 2016 until January 2018, Simón was responsible for the leadership of the Sales & Customer Care management teams, which included accountability for sales and churn, contact centers, digital channels, retail stores, business processes and customer insights.
In February 2018, following the merger of Telecom and Cablevision, Simón was appointed the Customer Experience Director of the newly-formed company, Telecom Argentina.
Simón holds a degree in Business Administration from the UCA (University Católica Argentina) and studies in Marketing at UCES (University of Business and Social Sciences).
VP, NPS Operations
As Vice President of NPS Operations, Graham leads Comcast’s Customer Insights team providing the organization detailed intelligence and priorities for enhancement to the Comcast Customer Experience. Graham and his team leverage customer, operational, market and financial data to provide comprehensive insights to current performance, customer expectations and factors affecting Loyalty and Operational efficiencies.
Prior to joining Comcast, Graham successfully managed and advised domestic and international organizations to revenue producing, customer-centric units through strategic marketing and service leadership solutions in his almost 20 years of experience.
Maria van Dessel
The Cable Center
Maria is a Senior Fellow at The Cable Center and a Research Scholar in the Department of Marketing in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Dr. van Dessel’s principal research covers the general area of marketing communications with a focus on advertising. Her teaching assignments have included undergraduate and graduate courses in marketing, market research, marketing process and strategy, marketing communications, advertising and advertising management subjects.
She is currently engaged in a number of research and consulting projects involving expert witness research, content analysis of marketing communications in the business-to-business sector, studies in philanthropy and customer experience metrics, along with customer experience management training for the cable industry.
Dr. van Dessel holds a BS (marketing and management), and a Ph.D., both from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
VP, Customer Experience Operations
Scott is responsible for leading Cox's customer care organization. He provides vision, direction and strategy for the company's traditional customer-serving infrastructure as well as emerging self-service customer tools. Scott possesses a valuable tandem of leadership and operational experience that will be an outstanding addition to our customer care operation. His knowledge of call center operations and his experience in supporting current and emerging communications and entertainment services are exactly what we need to continue our tradition of customer service excellence.
Prior to joining Cox, Scott served as Vice President of Resource Planning for EARTHLINK where he oversaw the operational functions of the customer service operation. Previously, he served as Senior Director of Call Center Operations for Sprint PCS.
Program & Marketing Director
Lisa thrives working on a micro level to create macro-level changes in an industry. She began her career in the newspaper industry where she led digital efforts for over 40 leading news sites in the country, including managing the Yahoo Newspaper consortium and launching programmatic advertising for her firm. Lisa is always looking to improve, break, and disrupt things. She is a 2x startup founder and graduate of the Boomtown Accelerator and the TIE Rockies Propel program.
Running the Fiterator program is right up Lisa’s alley of firing on all cylinders to mix her creativity with strong business modeling and strategy. She is very passionate about both startups and pushing industries forward in technology and culture. Lisa mentors many tech startups, is involved with several Startup Weeks across teh country, is a recent graduate of Seth Godin’s altMBA program, and is one of WICTRM’s Women to Watch for 2018.
Chief Product Officer
Tom has a strong FinTech background, having served as a senior analyst at Capital One as well as VP at Lending Club where he managed their Small Business group. Tom also has extensive experience at Bain & Company, is a graduate of Harvard Business School, and earned a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford.
Steve Hartley, Ph.D.
Daniels College of Business
UNiversity of Denver
Steven Hartley is a professor of marketing at the Daniels College of Business. He has performed extensive research and written numerous articles that have garnered awards that include: first place, Top Ten Sales Articles of the 20th Century: American Marketing Association, Sales Management Interest Group finalist (2002); American Marketing Association, 1990 O’Dell Award—given to authors of the JMR article with the most significant impact on the discipline during the past five years; the Best Article of the Year Award (1986) by the Academy of Marketing Science; the Faculty Research Award (1987) for the College of Business Administration from the University of Denver, presented to the faculty member who has demonstrated the highest level of sustained quality research activity.
Steve was an American Marketing Association Doctoral Consortium Fellow and won the Dean’s Prize for Applied Research, University of Minnesota, School of Management in 1980. When working with the media, Hartley can address marketing from both an academic and industry perspective. He can discuss marketing and strategic resources, business-to-business advertising, promotions and advertising, product development, consumer marketing and trends.
Dr. Hartley holds a BME in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA, and Ph.D. in Marketing, from the University of Minnesota.
Senior Director, Industry and Association Affairs
Wyatt Barnett is Senior Director, Industry and Association Affairs at NCTA. He is responsible for directing technology in NCTA’s Innovation Center – a high-profile space in Washington, DC where we tell policymakers how our industry connects Americans and empowers the future. Previously, Wyatt served in a variety of roles over 16 years in NCTA’s Information Technology shop including network, database and application development responsibilities.
Wyatt resides in Washington, DC with his wife and daughter and graduated Tulane University with a BA in History.
Rama is a daredevil, a people person and a scientist (UMD, MIT, Applied Materials) all rolled into one. Although he loves getting technical, Rama's real passion lies in empathizing with the customer and finding ways to solve their problems. Nothing brings him more joy than getting his hands dirty to solve anyone’s pain point.
VP, Financial Consultant
I can partner with you to understand your goals, create a personalized plan, and provide investing guidance. You’ll understand where your money is invested and why, how your investments are performing, and how much it’s costing you. Plus you’ll have access to Schwab’s portfolio management expertise, insights, and specialists. It’s a modern approach to wealth management—so you can take ownership of your financial life.
- VP - Financial Consultant, Charles Schwab, 2017-present
- Associate, Financial Consultant, Charles Schwab & Co., 2016-2017
- Client Relationship Specialist, Charles Schwab & Co., 2015-2016
- Specialist, High Net Worth Rep, Charles Schwab & Co, 2014-2015
- Brokerage Service Rep, Charles Schwab & Co, 2013-2014
VP, Financial Consultant
Don Richards, CFP® has been a financial advisor and an independent insurance broker since 1984. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado in 1978, his MBA in Finance from the University of Denver in 1983 and his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 1989. Don currently holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 65 registrations and provides investment products through Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC and Vantage Financial Group, Inc. He is the founder of The Richards Financial Group, Inc. He is an associate with The Benefit Team, LLC and is a consultant with AssuredPartners, Inc.
Don is involved in numerous community and professional organizations and has served on the boards and advisory councils of several charitable foundations, including the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Young Americans Education Foundation and Junior Achievement of Metro Denver. He served on the Chamber's Executive Committee from 2008 through 2009. Don is an active member and volunteer with the Denver Chamber, is a graduate of the 2007 class of Leadership Denver, an eight-time delegate in the Leadership Exchange program and a six-time delegate in Colorado Experience. He is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Program of the Rockies and is an advisor to the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network. Don serves on the steering committee of the Dean’s Society at the Daniels College of Business and has served as a mentor in the Daniels Scholars program.
- Daniels College of Business Outstanding Alumnus of the Year - 2015
- Robert Blankenship Heart Award (Denver Chamber) - 2014
- Reiman School of Finance Distinguished Alumni Award - 2013
- David E. Bailey Small-Business Advocate Award - 2008
- Four-time recipient of the Chamber Champion Award
Don has climbed all of Colorado’s Fourteeners and is a regular participant in long-distance cycling events. He is a pen-and-ink artist whose work has been published since 1972. Don is a frequent speaker at various events and programs within the Denver business, civic and academic communities.
Client Loyalty Consultancy
Brad Cravens is the Managing Director of the Charles Schwab Client Loyalty Consulting team. Brad’s team provides deep analytics and insights specific to client feedback that is collected across all of Schwab’s client touchpoints and major business units, and the analytics and insights are used to drive enhancements to Schwab’s products, services, and improvements to the overall client experience. Prior to his current role, Brad led client experience, voice of client, and retention efforts across Schwab.
Jacob is a Lead Strategist on the Technology Strategy team at CableLabs. With a background in applied microeconomics and industrial organization, Jacob’s main focus area is empirical analyses of subscriber demand that enable cable operators to make data-driven product and network strategy decisions.
Jacob holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts, and PhD in economics, all from the University of Georgia and has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Telecommunications Policy.
Sanjay Patel is a Principal Strategist at CableLabs, a non-profit research and development lab funded by the global cable industry. As a senior member of the Technology Strategy team, he partners with the organization’s innovation and R&D groups on technical, competitive and economic analyses. His areas of focus include Wireless (5G, fixed wireless substitution, new spectrum opportunities, MVNO business models and economics,) and Fixed Broadband (bandwidth demand growth forecasts, and Video OTT services, IP video migration). Sanjay also works closely with Kyrio, CableLabs’ for-profit subsidiary, to help form the overall strategic direction for its suite of testing, security and online services.
Before joining CableLabs in 2014, Sanjay led product and strategy for Comcast’s wholesale services business unit. Prior to that, he held several roles in finance, product, strategy and corporate development for Level 3 Communications. In addition, Sanjay has worked as a Certified Public Accountant.
Sanjay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
Sales North America
Tom Tseki is TechSee's Vice President of North America and a contact center industry veteran, whose expertise includes helping leading global telcos leverage omnichannel customer care strategies to improve CX while reducing costs. He brings a deep background in contact center technologies and extensive experience working for companies like Genesys and Nuance where he helped Fortune 500 companies achieve contact center operational excellence. Prior to joining TechSee, Tom managed global contact centers for Lionbridge where he was responsible for all aspects of business unit strategy and operations. Today he works closely with contact center and product executives on strategies to drive self-service, grow revenue, and improve CX.