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Agenda & Speakers

Loyalty Awards eXChange, Creative Campaign Category: Meet the Finalists

Leading up to Wednesday’s Loyalty360 Awards ceremony, the finalists competing in the 2017 awards will share details of their programs and strategies in fast-paced, 10 – 15 minute presentations. Loyalty Awards eXChange is a chance to hear first-hand from the brands that are delivering experiences that set them apart from the competition and create happy, loyal customers.

Finalists in the Creative Campaign category will share how their brand coordinated a campaign of advertisements, communications, or marketing initiatives related to any facet of customer loyalty, including a loyalty/reward program.


Karen French, Vice President, Business Strategy and Support, Citizen's Bank

Karen A. French joined the Consumer Unsecured Lending business line of Citizens Bank in 2016 to drive the strategic growth plans for the division, which includes both the Citizens Bank Personal Loan and a variety of partnerships with Fortune 500 companies to offer zero-percent installment loans for large retail purchases. A key part of her work is leveraging the success of existing programs to develop strategies that drive a simple, fast and hassle-free lending experience.
Karen came to CFG in 2010 as part of the Student Lending department, where she spearheaded the launch of the Education Refinance Loan, a groundbreaking product that allowed students to consolidate higher education loans to significantly lower their interest rate. Karen has also managed the bank’s portfolio purchases of Student Loans from other leading lenders in the space since 2014.  Karen has a bachelor’s degree from  Duke University and received her  J.D. from Boston College Law School. 

Steve Kennedy, Director, Loyalty & Engagement, Domino's

As an expert in engagement marketing, Stephen leads the development, execution and management of the award-winning Dominos® Piece of the Pie Rewards program; which has been a significant contributor to Domino’s continued business success. As Director of Loyalty Marketing, Stephen is responsible for the overall success and ongoing management of the loyalty program, directs the testing of the program to ensure continued success and has responsibility for member engagement, experience and program profitability. Leveraging over 15 years of marketing experience focused on brand strategy, insights, innovation, advertising and strategic planning, Stephen is constantly striving to take the Piece of the Pie Rewards program to the next level of engagement. Prior to joining Dominos, Stephen held management positions at General Motors, Grail Brand Labs, Campbell Ewald and Borders Group. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University.

Julie Gerola, Vice President & General Manager for Digital Marketing & Operations, Marvel

Julie Gerola is the Vice President & General Manager for Digital Marketing & Operations at Marvel Entertainment. She is a marketing and loyalty expert, having served most recently as the Head of Marketing & Loyalty for Viggle Inc. Prior to her tenure with Viggle, Julie spent 12 years at Citigroup where she led major marketing efforts for Citi’s ThankYou Rewards program, a premier financial services loyalty program. Julie also spent several years in new product development creating notable financial services credit cards including the American AAdvantage Business card and Citi’s Prestige Card. Julie is a data-driven marketer with expertise in digital marketing, loyalty, strategy, economics, partnerships, and user experience.

Rebecca Barba, Sr. Manager, Product Marketing Strategy, Royal Caribbean

Rebecca Barba is a marketing magician, she creatively transforms complex business challenges into alluring, creative executions that draw in customers.   

Boasting twenty-three years in the leisure travel segment and over eighteen with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Rebecca has a strong command of global marketing strategy in the vacation industry. Her passion for painting and arts allows her to combine visual design with fundamental marketing principles to deliver award winning campaigns on a global scale.    

Since joining Royal Caribbean, Rebecca has spread her magic across multiple marketing functions, including: Loyalty, Customer Communications, Brand, Media, Advertising, Partnerships, Production, Public Relations, Multicultural Marketing, Global Marketing, Revenue Generation, and Product Strategy. 

During her tenure in the cruise industry, Barba has earned numerous awards for outstanding achievement in sales and marketing, including the esteemed Travel Weekly, Gold Magellan Award in 2015 for Celebrity's Global Tours Travel Agent Website, and Silver Awards for Destination Videos and Innovative Tour Product.    
Rebecca has also accumulated professional recognition by Royal Caribbean including Manager of the Year, Employee of the Year and The Internationalist's top 50 Marketers in Latin America. 

Rebecca is a native of Miami, Florida, earning a minor in Visual Arts, BS in Political Science and a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from Florida International University.  She also received a Cultural Arts Diploma from the University of Salamanca in Spain. 

Rebecca derives inspiration from her travels whether at the office or in her studio.  She has visited numerous countries in 5 of the 7 continents and is always planning her next adventure. 


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