World-Class Keynote Speakers | ICMI

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Keynote Presentations

 

     

Dynamic thought leaders,  that will have you entertained and inspired!
Expert and experienced, these headline speakers will heighten you and your team’s awareness around the pillars of success: organizational excellence, unflappable leadership, and a healthy, productive culture. You’ll bear witness to the power of coming together and the impact it can have on your career, your team, and your business.

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Opening Keynote: Hidden Obstacles to Outstanding Customer Service

Monday | 4:45 PM – 5:15 PM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Jeff Toister

Research reveals that our contact center agents face hidden, unusual, or even counter intuitive obstacles that make it difficult to serve customers at the highest level. This highly engaging presentation shares several common examples that may surprise you! You will learn through a blend of fun experiential activities, real-life examples, and cutting-edge research. Best of all, you can immediately apply these concepts to improve your conference experience!

Jeff Toister

Toister Performance Solutions, Inc., President

Jeff Toister is the author of three customer service books including Getting Service Right: Overcoming the Hidden Obstacles to Outstanding Customer Service. More than 140,000 people on six continents have taken one of his training programs on LinkedIn Learning (a.k.a. Lynda.com). Jeff is a member of ICMI's Top 50 Contact Center Thought Leaders on Twitter and a Global Gurus Top 30 worldwide customer service professional. Feedspot has named his Inside Customer Service blog one of the top 50 customer service blogs on the planet. Jeff is passionate about training and is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance.

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Featured Keynote: Unstoppable Cultures: Creating and Sustaining Organizations of Enduring Excellence

Tuesday | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Ginger Hardage

Every company has a culture. For some, it's a culture of innovation - new, never been done before ideas. For others, it's fun (birthday cakes and costumes are often involved). For some, it's toxicity and gossip. There are cultures that celebrate loyalty, hard work, or profit above all else. There are cultures that are both intentional and accidental. There are cultures that draw people in and ones that drive people away. There are cultures that detract from the mission of the organization, cultures that must be overcome or compensated for, cultures that derail or dead end. Surely, you can resonate with at least one of those descriptions.

But then, there are cultures that are unstoppable. Unstoppable Cultures put people first, are consistent in nurturing their culture through systems, and are relentless in storytelling. In this signature talk from Ginger, she will walk you through these critical characteristics of unstoppable cultures. You will undoubtedly leave with both practical and inspiring ideas on how to begin the journey of building the culture you always dreamed of for your organization.​

Ginger Hardage

Southwest Airlines, former SVP of Culture & Communications

Ginger Hardage recently retired as Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications at Southwest Airlines after an illustrious 25 years, where she served as a member of the CEO's executive leadership team. At Southwest (the nation's largest airline), Ginger led a team of 150 people responsible for building and sustaining the organization's legendary culture and communications enterprise.

Recognized by many as a foremost global authority on building and sustaining organizational culture, Ginger was responsible for the activities that nourished the culture and the internal and external communications function. At Southwest, Ginger was a tireless ambassador of the world-famous Southwest Culture, leading to honors like 23 consecutive years on FORTUNE's "Top 10 Most Admired Companies in the World" list. Most importantly, Ginger helped champion the values that have made Southwest a culture of enduring greatness – we put people first, we treat customers like family, we nurture our culture, and we try to change ahead of the times.

In addition to leading Southwest's "Best Place to Work" initiatives, Hardage led the airline's culture and communications evolution, expanding the communication functions to include more robust internal communications capabilities and a more focused corporate philanthropy program. She also led the airline's Culture Committee, employee recognition and engagement, and all companywide celebrations.

Throughout her career, Ginger has received countless awards and honors including the PRWeek Top 50 Power list, PRWeek 50 Most Powerful Women in Public Relations, Texas' Most Powerful and Influential Women, and "Legendary Communicator" by Southern Methodist University in 2007. Ginger was inducted into the Public Relations Hall of Fame in 2015, received the Legacy Award from the Plank Center for Leadership in 2016, and was selected for the James C. Bowling Executive-In-Residence Lecture Series at the University of Kentucky in 2005.

Before beginning her career at Southwest Airlines in 1990, Ginger held a variety of marketing and public relations positions at Maxus Energy Corporation, Diamond Shamrock Corporation, and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest.

Ginger earned a B.A. in advertising/public relations from Texas Tech University and was recognized as an outstanding alumna by the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University.

In 2017, Ginger launched Unstoppable Cultures, a brand designed to help organizations create and sustain cultures of enduring greatness. Ginger's expertise and worldwide recognition is highly sought-after as a consultant and speaker, and she has accepted engagements at organizations like Google and Princeton.

Ginger lives in Dallas with her husband, Kelly, and has grown stepsons, Patrick and Ross.

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Morning Welcome: Driving Customer Success in the New Age of Service

Tuesday | 8:15 AM – 8:35 AM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Allison Johnson Bryan

Trends like digital transformation, automation, unified platforms, and connected devices have caused a profound shift in the way customers interact with companies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of service, which impacts every stage of the customer experience. To thrive and compete in the new age of service, every organization must reimagine their service approach and create transformational service experiences. Join us to discuss the latest industry trends and see how trailblazers use Salesforce to capitalize on these trends to transform service and deliver customer success.

Allison Johnson Bryan

Salesforce, Director, Product Marketing

Allison Johnson Bryan is Director, Product Marketing at Salesforce. With over a decade of experience in the high tech industry, Allison's expertise is on customer experience, new ways to empower agents and industry trends and insights. Her team manages the Service Cloud community and launched the Trailblazer for the Future workshops.

Having worked at innovative companies such as Cisco, Deloitte Digital and Salesforce, Allison has witnessed how leading companies have evolved, including the adoption of digital channels, the changing role of the agent, and the benefits of embracing your mobile workforce.

Having recently published the State of Service, Allison explores what it means to deliver a connected customer experience, including the benefits and challenges that modern organizations face. In an effort to build trailblazers, Allison enjoys receiving feedback and insights from those in the industry and is excited to see what comes next!
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Keynote Address with Brad Cleveland

Tuesday | 8:35 AM – 9:00 AM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Brad Cleveland

Brad Cleveland

ICMI, Senior Advisor and Founding Partner

Brad Cleveland is often cited as one of the world's foremost leaders and thinkers in customer service and contact centers. He has worked in over 60 countries, has advised numerous governments, and counts many of today's service leaders Apple, HP, American Express, and others among his clients. Brad is author/editor of eight books, including Call Center Management on Fast Forward , which won an Amazon.com best-selling award and is used in universities and corporate training programs around the world. One of the initial partners in and former President and CEO of ICMI, Brad grew the firm into a global industry leader that is now part of United Business Media (London: UBM.L). He now serves as a Senior Advisor to ICMI, and is an in-demand author, speaker and consultant. His current research is focused on the future of customer service.
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Morning Welcome: The Power of Virtual Human and Digital Connections During a Crisis

Wednesday | 8:15 AM – 8:35 AM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Kate Kuehn, Roberta J Fox-Lawson

Kate Kuehn

Crisis Services Canada, Office Administration and Marketing Support

Kate brings an eclectic work and study background to Crisis Services Canada, the team behind the Canada Suicide Prevention Service virtual contact centre.  Originally graduating with a degree in East Asian Studies (specializing in Japan), Kate has provided administration, client services coordination and marketing support for companies in a variety of fields. 

However, it is her volunteer work with the Distress Centres of the Greater Toronto Area as a helpline responder that has proven the most invaluable on a professional and personal level, and means that Kate has the opportunity to experience both the front and back ends of the service.  Over five years volunteering on various helplines, some of which have a specialized service user base, she has taken hundreds of phone, text and chat interactions.  These interactions come from every conceivable type of person, but are all seeking support; whether it be for issues of social isolation, mental health related concerns, or the imminent risk of suicide.  These deeply human interactions serve as a constant reminder of not only the need for, but the efficacy of such helplines, and are the source of Kate’s impassioned motivation.

Roberta J Fox-Lawson

Crisis Services Canada, Chief Technology Advisor

Roberta is an experienced technology executive and management advisor involved in multiple consulting and professional service firms including FOX GROUP Technology and 911Tech Advisors. She is one of North America's top IT communications technology consultants, thought-leaders, and advisor on digital innovation and technology transformation.

Roberta and her team provide strategic level analysis and guidance relative to technology and regulatory trends in telecommunications, network, NG9-1-1 contact centre areas to government, health care, first responders and non-profit organizations. She regularly appears on or contributes to BNN, CBC TV & Radio, CBS online, CTV, the Globe and Mail, as well as writes blogs for leading global publications.

She recently lead the design, development and deployment of a world award winning first…The solution is the first global integrated CRM, voice, text, chat national suicide prevention and support platform. (www.CrisisServicesCanada.com). She has been retained as the CSC CTO to help them evolve the cloud-based platform to include social media and artificial intelligence elements to enable them to provide other mental health crisis support services.


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Keynote Address with Fancy Mills

Wednesday | 8:35 AM – 9:00 AM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Fancy Mills

Fancy Mills

ICMI, Group Training and Content Director

As the current Director of Training and Content for ICMI and HDI- Fancy brings over twenty years of experience specializing in consulting, training and human resource development. Her focus is working with support centers and contact centers across various industries to optimize their performance. As a former consultant and Business Associate, she has certified thousands of service and support directors, managers, analysts, technicians, and corporate trainers around the world in virtual and classroom environments. In addition to training, she has developed and facilitated customized curriculum and consulted for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of process improvement, customer experience, quality management, workforce management, presentation, communication, and time management skills. Fancy has also served as a session and keynote speaker for various industry conferences and events. While at HDI she served as a chair for International Certification Standard Committees, served on certification testing committees, conference committees, as well as published articles for Support World Magazine. Fancy received her Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Development with a specialization in Adult Education from Texas A&M University. She is a published author on generational conflict strategies featured in the 2018 publication "Cultural Impact on Conflict Management in Higher Education" and was a featured speaker at the 2016 TEDx TAMU speaking on The XYZ Strategies for Succeeding in a Multi-Generational World. She served on the Texas A&M Graduate Advisory Board and the Steering Committee for The Academy for Future Faculty and was awarded the 2016 AFF Senior Fellow. She was selected to serve as a Texas A&M Student Representative Commencement speaker for December 2017 graduation ceremonies. As a fifth generation Texan, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Kevin, son Mills, and their cat Sparky. She’s an avid sports fan and enjoys rooting for the Texas A&M Aggies and all Dallas sports teams. Her favorite team is anyone that her son is playing on!

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Featured Keynote: Discover Your Greatness - Overcoming Life's Obstacles

Wednesday | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Henry Winkler

Join Henry Winkler - actor, director, producer, New York Times best-selling author and philanthropist as he takes you through his life's journey from the beloved "The Fonz" to his 2018 Emmy Award winning role in HBO's 'Barry. Henry will share his passion for writing children's books which were inspired by his struggle throughout his education due to undiagnosed dyslexia. You'll learn his story of how he overcame life's obstacles that will touch you and inspire you to your own greatness.

Henry Winkler

, Hollywood Actor, Producer, and Author

Henry Winkler is an actor, director, producer, New York Times best-selling author and philanthropist. His portrayal of Arthur Fonzarelli on Happy Days, beloved by all as "The Fonz", won him two consecutive Golden Globe Awards and three Emmy nominations. He also served as Executive Producer for Hollywood Squares, MacGyver, Dead Man's Gun, Sightings, and the Disney series So Weird. Over the years, he could be seen in series such as Royal Pains and Cartoon Network's first live-action, Emmy-award winning comedy Children's Hospital. For two years, he was an Executive Producer and star of the hit NBC reality series Better Late Than Never. Since 2018, he has starred in HBO's Barry, alongside Bill Hader. For his role as acting teacher Gene Cousineau, Winkler won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

In 2003 his career proceeded on a path that he could never have anticipated, he began writing series of children's novels entitled, Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Under-Achiever. The books have appeared on several best seller lists and are inspired by Winkler's struggle throughout his education due to his dyslexia, which would not be diagnosed until later in life. Winkler released the series entitled Ghost Buddy and his latest series Here's Hank, targeted to first and second graders. He has also published a collection of anecdotes, photos and heartfelt observations gathered while fly fishing in Montana entitled I Never Met an Idiot on the River.

An avid philanthropist, Winkler uses his position to help others, particularly children. He is associated with many groups, including honorary chairman of United Friends of the Children; founding member of the Children's Action Network; co-host of the annual Cerebral Palsy Telethon; the Special Olympics among many others. In 2011, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Henry with an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his services to children with special education needs.

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Closing Keynote: The Future of Corporate Culture: Why Your Employees Dreams Matter

Wednesday | 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
Ben Nemtin

The future of corporate culture is being shaped outside of the office. Ben knows firsthand that pursuing your passions brings you purpose, fulfillment and happiness. The simple truth: you won't get your employees to devote themselves fully to your organization if you aren't helping them achieve their dreams. Encouraging employee dream realization creates a healthy work-life balance which is the key factor in determining employee happiness.

Ben's program educates audiences about the importance of a bucket list, creates a safe space for sharing dreams and inspires audiences to act on it by building tiers of accountability. The tools he leaves behind allow employees to turn their enthusiasm into action, with the help and encouragement of their employer. Employee dream realization increases retention, aides recruitment and aligns work-life balance which leads to happiness.

Ben Nemtin

, #1 New York Times bestselling author and star of MTV's 'The Buried Life'

Ben Nemtin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? and the star of the MTV show The Buried Life. As the co-founder of The Buried Life movement, Ben's message of radical possibility has been featured by major media outlets including The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Inc., ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC News. Oprah called Ben's life work "truly inspiring." An acclaimed keynote speaker, Nemtin has presented his '5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible' to business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world, garnering standing ovations from Amazon, Microsoft, Nationwide, Viacom, Verizon, Levi's, Harvard, and more.

In a pit of depression, Ben and his three best friends decided to create the world's greatest bucket list to make them feel alive. They bought a rickety old bus and criss-crossed North America, achieving the unthinkable. And most importantly, every time they accomplished a dream, they helped a complete stranger cross something off their bucket list. From playing basketball with President Obama to streaking a professional soccer field, from raising over $400,000 for charity to placing a record-breaking $250,000 bet on roulette—Ben's bucket list quest has inspired millions to chase their dreams and realize that impossible is possible.

I have been attending these conferences over 8 years and each time they are more informative and enjoyable. I always bring action items back to the agency.

Esther Edmonds, Contact Center Manager, U.S. Government Printing Office

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