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Our 2021 Headline Speakers

September 7 - 10, 2021

Featured Keynote: Innovate the Way You Innovate: Instilling a Pervasive Culture of Innovation

Wednesday | 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Eastern Standard Time
Stephen Shapiro

Well-intentioned leaders, in their attempts to boost innovation, are inadvertently destroying it. What if everything you know about creating a culture of innovation is wrong? What if the way you are measuring innovation is choking it? What if your market research is asking all of the wrong questions? It’s time to innovate the way you innovate.  During this interactive keynote, you will discover that innovation isn’t just about generating occasional new ideas; it’s about staying consistently one step ahead of the competition. This educational experience brings to life the concept in Stephen Shapiro’s latest book: “Best Practices Are Stupid.”


Learn why…

  • You should hire people you don’t like. Bring the right mix of people to unleash your team’s full potential

  • Asking for ideas is a bad idea. Define challenges more clearly. If you ask better questions, you will get better answers

  • You don’t want to think outside the box. In fact, you want to find a better box. Instead of giving your employees a blank slate, provide them with well-define parameters that will increase their creative output

  • Failure is always an option. Looking at innovation as a series of experiments allows you to redefine failure and learn from your results

Stephen Shapiro

Stephen Shapiro

, Innovation Evangelist and Author

Stephen Shapiro cultivates innovation by showing leaders and their teams how to approach, tackle and solve their business challenges. Applying the knowledge he has accrued over decades in the industry, Stephen is able to see what others can’t: opportunities to improve innovation models and the cultures that support them.

The first innovation opportunity Stephen Shapiro spotted was the opportunity to innovate within his own life. Halfway through his 15-year tenure at Accenture, while leading the company’s business process reengineering practice, he realized he no longer wanted to be responsible for people losing their jobs. So he did exactly the opposite by building Accenture’s thriving 20,000-person process and innovation practice focused on growth and job creation.

In 2001, after publishing his first book, 24/7 Innovation, Stephen left Accenture to become a full-time innovation speaker and advisor to clients around the world. Since then he has published four more books and spoken to audiences in 50 different countries. Today, Stephen continues to focus on transforming the way businesses like 3M, P&G, Marriott, Nike, and Microsoft improve innovation practices. 

Featured Keynote: Roadmap to 2025

Wednesday | 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
Eastern Standard Time
Brad Cleveland

2020 required contact centers the world over to do a lot of sudden improvising in order to continue supporting their customers. While the Herculean efforts were valiant and got us through a difficult time, more than a year later it’s time to focus on the future. Savvy leaders are moving beyond the band aids. They are fundamentally changing and strengthening their organizations to embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead. Have your pen and pad in hand as Brad leads this rapid-fire panel of leaders, who are guaranteed to inspire as they help you to discover your own path forward.


Ad Board Panel



Ted Stodolka VP and Chief Care Officer, Hallmark Cards
Anne Palmerine, VP, Customer Engagement and Enrollment Services, UPMC Health Plan
Eric Mackowitz, AVP, Service Center Operations, Amica Mutual Insurance Company

Jenny Dempsey, Consumer Experience Manager, Apeel Sciences



Brad Cleveland


Brad Cleveland


Brad Cleveland is known globally as one of today’s foremost experts in customer strategy and management. He has worked across 45 states and 60 countries for clients as diverse as American Express, Apple, USAA, the University of California and the federal governments of Australia, Canada, and the U.S. Brad was a founding partner in and former CEO of the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI). His books include Contact Center Management on Fast Forward (ICMI, 4th edition 2019) and Leading the Customer Experience (Kogan Page, 1st edition 2021). Contact info:


Connect with Brad:

Twitter: @bradcleveland

Email: [email protected]



Featured Keynote: Making #HybridTeams Awesome

Thursday | 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Eastern Standard Time
Hannah Ubl

2020 and its aftermath turned our world upside down. It changed just about every area of our lives, and work was no exception. While remote work existed before, it’s the norm now – and for most companies, some form of hybrid work is here to stay. As we boldly explore what it means to create exceptional hybrid work environments, we can’t just assume previous practices will produce similar results. It’s time to rethink how we approach company culture. From bringing intentionality to our communication to fostering a sense of belonging despite the challenges of hybrid work, to reimagining camaraderie and community when we’re not gathered in one physical space and place, this presentation examines what we need to create an awesome, energized work environment, no matter where people are working from.


In this valuable keynote, culture expert Hannah Ubl will provide a better understanding of the shifts needed for a truly dynamic hybrid workplace and share predictions on what it will take to foster a healthy hybrid work culture. You’ll learn practical strategies to redesign how you communicate, connect, and collaborate and discover best practices from organizations with proven awesome virtual and hybrid workplaces.

Hannah Ubl

Hannah Ubl

Good Company Consulting , Co-Founder

Hannah Ubl's core mission is to create organizations that don’t suck. She’s devoted her career to flipping the traditional workplace script, throwing out the old “employees are lines on a spreadsheet” in favor of treating people at work more like… well, people.


As Co-founder of Good Company Consulting, she’s sought after for her bold take on building workplaces that prioritize the human experience while simultaneously increasing the bottom line. Hannah has dedicated the past decade to researching people at work – not just top talent and leadership – but everyone in between. She’s discovered a strangely well-kept secret for recruiting and retaining the workforce of the future: the best recipe for organizational success is rooted in mindfulness, empathy, and kindness.


Hannah’s work is a fresh approach to the standard (and outdated) workplace narrative. With heart, deep conviction, and a good dose of self-deprecating humor, Hannah will sweep you along on a journey of insights that lead to deep, lasting mindset shifts about how work works.