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Agenda & Speakers

Loyalty360 Award Finalist Presentations: Employee Engagement

Leading up to Wednesday's Loyalty360 Awards ceremony, the finalists competing in the 2019 awards will share details of their programs and strategies in fast-paced, 10-15 minute presentations. These presentations give attendees 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.

After the presentations, attendees will vote for their choices for bronze, silver, gold, and platinum in the particular category. 


Greg Chase, Vice President of Guest Strategy & Insights, MGM Resorts Internationa

Greg Chase is Vice President of Guest Strategy & Insights for MGM Resorts International. In this role, Greg is responsible for designing, measuring and implementing the guest experience strategy for MGM Resorts properties worldwide. He also oversees consumer feedback strategies to further drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Greg has been with MGM Resorts since 2010, serving as a leader in the Hotel Operations, Guest Experience and Human Resources departments at ARIA Resort & Casino, New York-New York Hotel & Casino and the MGM Resorts corporate office. An effective and enthusiastic leader, Greg led the implementation of several key companywide initiatives, including the transformation of the company’s guest service standards across its entire portfolio.Greg’s background includes more than 12 years of hotel operations, food & beverage, human resources and guest service experience. Prior to joining MGM Resorts, Greg held leadership positions at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, where he was responsible for creating innovative solutions and driving improvements in guest satisfaction scores at multiple Walt Disney World Resorts.

Sara Blackwood, Loyalty Marketing Manager, Omni Hotels

Sara never intended to work in loyalty. After a six year stint working in the arts, she stumbled into loyalty at US Airways and never looked back. After the merger with American Airlines brought Sara back to Texas, she joined the Select Guest team at Omni Hotels & Resorts as the Loyalty Marketing Manager in 2016.

Since her arrival, Sara has focused on improving employee engagement with the corporate office and members of Select Guest. A people-focused individual, she led the implementation of a new holistic employee engagement program driving motivation, engagement, and education of Front Office staff around growing membership and increasing consistent and exception delivery of program benefits and member recognition.
In addition to Loyalty Marketing, Sara also held positions in Partnership Strategy, Partner Channel Strategy, Partnership Marketing, and Advertising Sales with Dividend Miles and AAdvantage.

Jimmy Budnik, Vice President of Customer Care, Overstock.com

Jimmy Budnik, Overstock.com’s Vice President of Customer Care, began his  career  with  the  online  retailer  in  2008  as  a  Senior  Process  Improvement  Engineer  after  half  a  decade  working  as  an  Industrial  Engineer,  first  with  UPS,  then  with  Homeshield.  
Budnik  has  held  several  positions  in  his  time  at  Overstock,  where  he  developed  strategies  and  executed  improvements  initiatives  to  drive  growth  and  improve  the  customer  experience.  These  roles  included  transitioning  between  multiple  departments  as  a  Chief  of  Staff,  including  Customer  Care,  Marketing,  Merchandising,  and  the  Office  of  the  President.  Also  during  this  time,  he  was  a  Senior  Director  of  the  Product  Content  Teams,  worked  in  Overstock’s  technology  incubator,  OLabs,  and  most  recently  he  served  in  a  dual  role  as  the  General  Manager  of  Marketplace  and  the  General  Merchandising  Manager  for  Home  Essentials  and  Apparel. 
In  his  current  role  as  VP  of  Customer  Care,  Budnik  leads  a  workforce  of  hundreds  of  associates  that  consistently  deliver  a  world-class  customer  experience,  while  promoting  the  customer-centric  culture  that  has  given  Overstock  the  reputation  as  an  award-winning  leader  in  online  retail  customer  service  for  nearly  two  decades.

Tiffany Darden, Senior Manager of Field Marketing, Sodexo


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