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Customer Service Innovators 2022: 50 Leaders Transforming Contact Centers

Our annual list of bold leaders and innovators taking charge and reinventing how contact centers operate in a changing world. Download the PDF here.

The past two years have pushed both customers and contact centers to their limits. Plans have changed, services have been disrupted, supply chains have lagged, and frustration has never been higher. 

It’s no surprise why running a contact center has never been more difficult than it is today. Workforce management challenges have become the new norm, from hiring, training, and retaining call center agents, along with staffing against unpredictable call volumes. But the CX industry is no stranger to obstacles, and despite the introduction of new challenges there’s no shortage of leaders who have risen to the occasion.

Here is our first annual (unranked) list of 50 customer service innovators and leaders that have managed to turn their obstacles into opportunities, reinventing what it means to be a great leader and delivering exceptional customer experiences despite today’s climate. From managing their teams through crisis, to pivoting tactics in record speed, to innovating with emerging technologies, these are the leaders transforming contact centers to look out for in 2022.


Jill Accardo, Office Depot
Vice President Customer Service and Order Management | LinkedIn

Sam Azar, Charter Communications
Vice President – Strategic Program Management – Call Center Technology | LinkedIn

Mike Bowman, ECSI
Director, Servicing Operations | LinkedIn

Kim Brebner, UPS
Vice President of GBS Strategy and Transformation | LinkedIn

Sherry Comes, Deloitte Consulting
Managing Director, Conversational AI & Contact Center AI Leader | LinkedIn

Michael Coster, Xenial
Supervisor, CRM & Data Analytics | LinkedIn

Hannah Day, Paramount Hospitality
Director of Revenue Management & CRO Operations | LinkedIn

David Douglas, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah
VP, Member Experience| LinkedIn

James Gallagher, Nordstrom
Vice President, Customer Care & Fraud | LinkedIn

Shelly Griessel,
Vice President, Customer Care | LinkedIn

Bill Hackett, The General
Vice President of Contact Centers Strategy & Operations | LinkedIn

Jennifer Hanson, Target
Senior Director, Guest Services & GiftCard | LinkedIn

Linsay Hohmann, CSAA
Senior Vice President, Service | LinkedIn

Will Holloway, Western Union
Group Leader, Self Service and Omni-Channel Strategy | LinkedIn

Bill Hutchinson, Chewy
Chief Customer Care Officer | LinkedIn

Michael Ilfeld, Wells Fargo
SVP, Contact Center Strategy & Implementation Executive | LinkedIn

Nancy Jamison, Frost & Sullivan
Industry Director, Digital Transformation Practice | LinkedIn

Kalpesh Joshi, A3Ventures
Vice President, Innovation Lab | LinkedIn

Dilhara Kal, Princess Cruises
VP of Global Contact Center Sales & Operations | LinkedIn

Mark Killick, Instacart
Vice President, Care | LinkedIn

Suneel Kodeboyina, Citi
Head NAM Conversional AI and Contact Center Technology, Consumer Banking | LinkedIn

Val Kugathasan, ADP
Director, Innovation, BPI & Analytics | LinkedIn

Sohail Lalani, Bank of America
Senior Vice President – Contact Center Technologies | LinkedIn

Donna Loffert, Frontier Communications
Vice President of Call Center Operations & Customer Experience | LinkedIn

Matt Magnuson, Extended Stay America
VP, Call Centers | LinkedIn

Klarissa Marenitch, Hippo Insurance
Chief Information Officer | LinkedIn

Marcos Martins de Souza, Ally
Executive Director – Head of AI and Advanced Analytics | LinkedIn

Brien Mikell, Love’s
Director of Customer Engagement and Contact Center Operations | LinkedIn

Ben Morgan, Hawaiian Telcom
VP, Customer Operations | LinkedIn

Donna Neale, Lowe’s
Vice President Contact Center Operations | LinkedIn

Stacie Parrish, Equifax
Vice President of Global Consumer Care | LinkedIn

Becky Ploeger, Hilton
Global Head of Hilton Reservations and Customer Care | LinkedIn

Lori Pon, The Auto Club Group
Director, Claim Contact Center and Claim Handling Unit | LinkedIn

Donald Rice, Wells Fargo
Leader of Call Center Call Management | LinkedIn

Lisa Rivier, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah
Senior Director, Operations & Strategy | LinkedIn

Vincent Ruggiero, Kohl’s
BPO Director | LinkedIn

Mario Saraceno, Travelers
Vice President – Collaboration and Workspace Engineering / Contact Center Technology | LinkedIn

Jalal Shawwa, Ascension
Vice President of Contact Center Operations, Patient Access and Navigation | LinkedIn

Tim Stacey, LendingTree
Vice President, Contact Center Operations | LinkedIn

Herry Stallings, Best Buy Health
VP, Care Center Technology | LinkedIn

Alvin Stokes, SmileDirectClub
Chief Customer Contact Officer | LinkedIn

Brian Stout, MetLife
Senior Vice President, Head of Global Customer Care | LinkedIn

Dale Sturgill, Memorial Hermann Health System
Vice-President of Contact Center Strategy | LinkedIn

Craig Sultan, The Home Depot
Director, Product Management, Contact Center Capabilities | LinkedIn

Brian Syamken, USAA
VP – CTO Contact Center Technologies | LinkedIn

Tim Tarantello, Orkin
Managing Director, Orkin Customer Contact Centers | LinkedIn

Jayant Thomas, Change Healthcare
Senior Director AI/Machine Learning Engineering | LinkedIn

Jeffrey Walker, American Express
Vice President, Global Contact Center Technology | LinkedIn

Ron Wetzel, Sedgwick
Senior Vice President, National Contact Center Operations | LinkedIn

Ramie Word, Mr. Cooper
SVP Customer Care & Client Delivery | LinkedIn

Monterio Woodson, Cox Enterprises
Assistant Vice President, Intelligent Automation (IA) Shared Services | LinkedIn

View the press release here.

Congratulations to all of the exceptional leaders on this list. The next generation of customer service is being pioneered by bold leaders like these and we can’t wait to see what great innovations, strategies and tactics unfold in the coming year. 

It’s also noteworthy to extend an honorable mention to the frontline customer service agents and representatives that have kept this industry afloat by getting the hard work done day in and day out. All customer-facing professionals deserve a virtual round of applause. 

When it comes to continuous innovation, the venture is never over. There’s always a new technique or technology to identify, experiment, and implement as the modern customer continues to change. Check out our resources and blog pages for all things contact center optimization, and connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter to stay up to date with Replicant. Until next year’s Customer Service Innovators 2023 list.

The Replicant Team

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