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Speakers

Jeri Scheel
Sr. Director - Digital Strategy
Fiserv
Jeri Scheel, Senior Director for Digital Strategy, has been with Fiserv for over 10 years with ever-expanding responsibilities culminating in her current role of leading digital products like the uChoose Rewards loyalty program and Digital Issuance. Jeri brings insights to the digital space based on her extensive years in telecom, building mobile applications and partnering with clients and vendors worldwide.

Jeri has Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Business from Kent State University and is an avid, competitive tennis player who loves to read and travel.
 
Karen Szarvas
Sr. Director of CRM and Loyalty
The Vitamin Shoppe
Karen Szarvas serves as Sr. Director of CRM & Loyalty at The Vitamin Shoppe®, an omni-channel specialty retailer and wellness lifestyle company. In her role, Karen provides expertise and leadership to design marketing strategies to increase acquisition, customer engagement and retention. Karen has 20+ years of global marketing, CRM and Loyalty experience and is a dynamic, innovative, thought leader. Prior to joining The Vitamin Shoppe, she worked at Wyndham Worldwide where she managed the Wyndham Rewards Loyalty program, email, and direct marketing efforts and consulted at KMS Marketing Solutions specializing in loyalty, branding, and customer experiences.
Michael McDowell
VP of Loyalty Programs and Partnerships
Parkland
Mike McDowell is the Vice President of Loyalty Programs and Partnerships at Parkland.  In his role, Mike is responsible for the customer loyalty strategy and driving organic growth of the business with the Journie Rewards program in the Canadian, International and US markets.  Previous to joining Parkland Mike was SVP, Client Development & Partnerships at Bond Brand Loyalty where he led clients in driving positive outcomes through large international loyalty and CX programs.  Mike was instrumental in setting up the Journie Rewards program in the Canadian market for Parkland as part of Bond.  Prior to Bond, Mike spent 11 years in progressively senior sales and marketing roles at Blackberry.
 
Moderator: Katie Berndt
VP of Strategy Experience & Research
Phaedon
Katie’s guiding principles include listen generously, seek clarity, and live life to the fullest. She brings more than 20 years of marketing, loyalty program design, and CRM strategy experience to her role at Phaedon. She is known for successfully leading and collaborating closely with cross-functional teams (including analytics, technology, creative, and operations) to design and enhance best-in-class loyalty programs and CRM strategies to improve the end-to-end customer experience. Katie has worked on loyalty and CRM strategy, journey mapping, and research projects for a wide range of verticals, including airlines, airports, consumer lifestyle, energy, financial services, grocery, hospitality, transportation, restaurants, and retail.
 
Prior to joining Phaedon (previously known as ICF Next), Katie spent nearly 10 years with Transamerica, which specializes in insurance, investments, and retirement. She led marketing teams responsible for driving acquisition, engagement, and retention strategies for the consumer retirement division. Outside of work, Katie enjoys traveling, running, biking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
 
Jenn Chick
SVP and Global Head of Hilton Honors and Customer Engagement
Hilton

Jenn Chick is the senior vice president and global head of Hilton Honors and Customer Engagement at Hilton. Jenn has more than 20 years of experience developing innovative marketing strategies across a variety of industries, including hospitality, travel and consumer packaged goods. In her current role, she is focused on elevating the customer experience and driving acquisition and retention for Hilton Honors, as well as overseeing performance and benefits, setting reward pricing and strategy, and providing overall program management. As a Hilton Honors member for almost a decade, her favorite benefit is the warm welcome and hospitality she receives no matter where in the world she stays.

Most recently, Jenn served as vice president of marketing execution and operations at Hilton, where she transformed marketing operations through the use of analytics, process optimization, automation and organizational transformation. She was responsible for developing a global integrated marketing strategy and delivering customer-centric content and creative to drive better marketing returns and customer experiences.

Prior to joining Hilton, Jenn worked for MarketBridge, McCann-Erickson and Arnold Worldwide in various marketing, sales and advertising roles. She holds an MBA from The Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Marketing from George Mason University. While Jenn can most frequently be found at a roadside Hampton by Hilton with her husband and three children, she always appreciates an opportunity to use her Hilton Honors Points for a special getaway at one of Hilton’s luxury resort properties around the world.

Denise Holt
SVP of Strategy Experience & Research
Phaedon
Denise understands the power of human insights in driving smart strategy and business growth. With over 20 years of experience in consumer loyalty, brand and creative strategy, consumer insights, human-centered design, and business strategy, Denise leads Phaedon’s strategy, experience, and research team. As part of our company’s thought leadership, she spearheaded a substantial multi-method research initiative that led the industry and has been embraced for uncovering insights about the drivers that are core to all human connections—Humanizing Loyalty: A road map to establishing genuine emotional loyalty at scale. In 2023, her team led and published research entitled Sparking Consumer Participation Through Shared Values and Beliefs. Denise’s clients across a variety of industries (travel, hospitality, retail, restaurant, health, wellness, and more) benefit from her strategic guidance, research leadership, and continuous pulse on emerging trends and human insights.
 
Prior to Phaedon (previously known as ICF Next), Denise ran her own strategy consulting practice, was the director of strategy and branding at Optum, and spent more than a decade in marketing and brand planning roles within the loyalty space. She is passionate about uncovering personal stories and insights from consumers, employees and business leaders that enable organizations to connect on an emotional level with those they serve. Denise brings clarity and focus to drive meaningful business growth.
 
Amanda Jamerson
Sr. Director of Hilton Honors
Hilton
Amanda Jamerson is recognized as a Woman to Watch & Role Model for Inclusion Hospitality by the Travel & Leisure Index and has over a decade of hospitality experience. With a multifaceted 14+ year career based in customer experience, marketing and eCommerce, she has remained committed to blending customer needs with marketing and technology to drive the business forward. She is a passionate leader focused on mentoring, developing and inspiring people in their careers and she pushes boundaries to create a diverse and equitable work environment.
 
Currently a Sr. Director of Hilton Honors, known as an award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s portfolio of brands, comprising of more than 7,100 properties and over 150 million members. Amanda is responsible for developing a comprehensive multi-year program strategy that expands Hilton Honors across core loyalty segments and key enterprise growth areas. Leveraging customer-driven research and data, she oversees the evolution of member benefits and unlocks brand positioning to future-proof and propel Hilton Honors forward. Amanda is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and minor in hospitality and tourism management. 
 
When not working she is a full-time wife, mother, and travel enthusiast. Amanda lives every day by the Jane Goodall quote “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide the difference you want to make.”
John Giaquinto
Vice President of Loyalty Personalization and Analytics
Rite Aid

John is the Vice President of Loyalty, Personalization, and Analytics at Rite Aid. Prior to Rite Aid, John launched a digital-only loyalty program at Hannaford Supermarkets (part of Ahold Delhaize).  Additionally, he has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, with much of that in retail. His experience includes data-driven marketing roles from a variety of perspectives, including Vice President of CRM at Symphony EYC (including clients Ahold USA and Rite Aid) and Manager of Customer Loyalty Marketing at Shaw's Supermarkets.

Ryan Draude
Head of Loyalty
Giant Food

The current Head of Loyalty for Giant Food, Ryan Draude has invested his career in the evolution of long-term customer relationships made through the benefits of loyalty & retention programs.

With Giant, he is responsible for fostering the customer relationships with prospective and current shoppers across omnichannel interaction points and forging the path toward benefits and experiences that serve millions of shoppers who shop both in-store and via eCommerce across the Mid-Atlantic.

Ryan formerly led Choice Privileges, the multi-billion-dollar reward program for Choice Hotels, and over a five-year period overhauled the program via the scrutiny of member data and the respect to listen to what members sought from the program. The results catapulted the program to its first major Freddie Award and moved the program from #11 in the country to #2 in the US News & World Report’s Best Hotel Reward Program category.

Prior, Ryan earned a U.S. patent for his work standing up Sallie Mae’s customer engagement efforts via his delivery of the first true-cost college affordability online tool for all families to understand the real education financing. His tenure includes other loyalty, marketing, and financial leadership positions with Rite Aid, Capital One, Citigroup and Switchfly.

He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, teaching Loyalty Strategy within their Hospitality Leadership program at the Master’s level for the past four years.

Don Smith
Chief Consulting Officer
Capillary
Don earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University and spent 11 years in academia teaching statistics, modeling and program evaluation. Over the years with Brierley, he has designed and/or contributed to over 150 customer loyalty programs/engagement solutions, and he is author of numerous articles and a regular speaker at industry conferences and workshops. He serves as the Global Consulting Officer for Capillary Technologies and is the Chief Marketing Officer for Capillary’s US and European markets. An avid theater aficionado, his passion for presentation informs marketing data analytics, where he eschews the traditional view in favor of a dynamic storytelling model that brings numbers to life through contextualization and the generation of actionable insights.
Matthew Hall
Head of Loyalty Planning and Development
Air Canada
Matt has been at Aeroplan for over 16 years, joining shortly after Aeroplan was spun-off from Air Canada. He was a member of the team who transitioned back to Air Canada in 2019, and part of the program relaunch team in 2020.
 
He is currently responsible for the commercial operations of the Aeroplan program, including program design, the Aeroplan Elite program, air partnerships, everyday partnerships and currency management.
 
Prior to Aeroplan’s return to Air Canada, Matt held various roles overseeing the Aeroplan partnerships and partner marketing teams.
 
Jonathan Silver
CEO
Engage People
As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engage People, Jonathan is responsible for managing all facets of the business. He leads the long-term corporate strategy, marketing and sales at one of the fastest-growing technology companies in Canada, according to Profit Magazine. Jonathan has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience driving growth in the loyalty and technology industry. Prior to Engage People, Jonathan held numerous senior positions in the loyalty sector and was Chairman and Co-owner of MyAxs and CEO and Co-founder of Access (formerly LRG Rewards). His passion is the customer space where he focuses on developing innovative solutions that drive tangible results. Jonathan is a member of the leadership team and board of directors at Engage People. He earned an MBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.