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Introducing ICMI's 2018 Featured Contributors

Late last year, we issued a call for icmi.com contributors. We were looking for experts from a variety of backgrounds to help us educate, inspire, and shape the contact center industry. We’re pleased to say that the answer to that call was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and we’ve assembled an esteemed crew of sixteen writers.

What will ICMI Featured Contributors do? They’ll be your voice throughout the year. They’ll answer your burning questions, push you to think about new ways of approaching contact center leadership, and hopefully inspire you with new confidence. Each of these writers will share bimonthly articles on icmi.com and in our Contact Center Insider Newsletter. We hope you’ll follow along!

Without further ado, get to know our 2018 ICMI Featured Contributors.

2018 ICMI Featured Contributors

Matt Beckwith, Contact Center Director, Clark Pest Control

Matt Beckwith is proud to be a Contact Center Geek. Since putting on the headset for the first time as a 411 operator, he has spent more than 20 years leading customer service and sales call centers in different industries. His passion for customer service and experience, technology, leadership, and professional development has led him to his current role leading customer contact operations for Clark Pest Control, one of the largest and most successful pest control companies in the US. He writes at ContactCenterGeek.com and tweets @mattbikewith. Matt also serves as a steering committee member for the Northern California Contact Center Association.

Nate Brown, Director of Customer Experience, UL

Nate Brown is on a quest to improve the agent experience and the customer experience through creativity, knowledge, and hard work.  In addition to being a Director of Customer Experience at UL, Nate is the VP of Communication for the HDI Music City Chapter and a well-known speaker in both the ICMI and HDI communities. You can read more on his site, CXAccelerator.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CustomerIsFirst.

Steve DiGioia, Customer Service Author, Trainer, and Speaker

As a customer service trainer, coach, author & speaker, Steve DiGioia uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers’ desire. Connect with Steve on Twitter: @SteveDiGioia.

Sue Duris, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience, M4 Communications

Sue Duris is Director of Marketing and Customer Experience of M4 Communications, a Palo Alto, CA-based strategic marketing and customer experience consultancy that helps tech companies become customer-centric, develop their digital transformation strategies and create omnichannel experiences customers love. She speaks on digital marketing and customer experience topics. Besides the M4 Comm blog, you can find her work at CustomerThink and MyCustomer.com, to name a few. She also hosts #CXChat,  a weekly Twitter chat discussing customer experience and employee experience. Follow her on Twitter at @SueDuris.

Sean Hawkins, Contact Center Director, Framework Homeownership

Sean has over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors. He has led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries and environments including sales, BPO, and SaaS to name a few. Additionally, he’s implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers. Follow him on Twitter: @SeanBHawkins.

Charles Henries, Director of Operations and Member Experience, TMG Health

Charles is a customer service and call center industry thought leader with nearly 20 years of operational leadership experience. Throughout this time he has acquired significant change management experience, helping several organizations through strategic/operational model changes, technological implementations, as well as human capital transformations & overhauls. He has had the opportunity to work on several startup centers and has experience providing strategic direction for multi-site operations including near and offshore call centers. Charles and his team are also recipients of several awards for their social service model including the ICMI award for Best Use of an Emerging Channel.

Jace Hills, Supervisor, Systems Support, North American Lighting, Inc.

Jace is an IT professional involved in all aspects of IT Service Management, focusing on Continuous Improvement, Customer Service, Incident & Problem Management and Business Relationship Management.  Jace’s goal is to make the end-user experience the best it can be, from making sure customers have all they need to succeed in their positions to making sure the service his center provides makes business sense for the company. Follow him on Twitter: @ITSM_Jace.

Al Hopper, Service Operations Manager, TaskUs

Al is an Army veteran who has over 20 years of experience in Customer service. He spent 12 years working in the main contact center for a major international bank. During his time at the bank, he influenced inbound digital and social media Customer service teams in a variety of leadership roles, as well as inbound phone sales channels. In 2015 Al completed his MBA and became a co-founder of a full-service digital agency with a focus on social media customer service. He has been nationally recognized as a thought leader in social media Customer service and contact center management for his contributions online, and off, by ICMI, Huffington Post contributors, Microsoft, and Conversocial, among others. Al is also a co-host of the weekly Twitter chat focused on all aspects of customer service, using the hashtag #custserv. Follow him on Twitter: @AlHopper_.

Jeremy Hyde, Customer Service Manager & Vendor Oversight, Ucare

Jeremy Hyde has over ten years of experience working in both inbound and outbound contact centers. Jeremy currently serves as Manager, Customer Service & Vendor Oversight within the contact center for Ucare, a Minnesota based health plan. Jeremy also serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Contact Center Association (MWCCA) which aims to bring together a network of peers focused on collaboration and education. Jeremy is passionately focused on employee development, team culture and customer experience. Follow him on Twitter: @JeremyHyde_.

Sheri Kendall-duPont, Training Manager, FCR

Sheri Kendall-duPont’s passion for creating positive change within organizations led her to FCR. In her current role as Training Manager she has developed programs that have inspired those in leadership to create a coaching culture. The customer service education that she provides inspires agents to do their best work and to find purpose and meaning in the service they provide.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Northwestern Christian University and a Master’s Degree in Training and Development from Roosevelt University. Her career in education began in 1999, and since then she has developed workplace learning opportunities for non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, government agencies, healthcare organizations and contact centers. Follow Sheri on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Erica Mancuso, Director of Client Care, Straightaway Health Careers

Erica Mancuso builds teams that deliver exceptional customer experiences. After 15 years of leading customer-facing teams for entrepreneurial technology companies, Erica knows these experiences are the result of not only a solid product but also great employees armed with the right tools and processes to get the job done well. Erica is Director of Client Care at Straightaway Health Careers. Connect with Erica on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Leslie O’Flahavan, Principal, E-WRITE

Leslie O'Flahavan, E-WRITE Principal, has helped thousands of people learn to write well for online readers. She is a problem-solver for all the writing-related challenges faced by contact centers: e-mail, chat, and social media. She helps contact centers train agents to write excellent e-mail, measure the quality of their e-mails to customers, and rewrite and maintain their entire library of canned answers. Recently, she completed a complete overhaul of customer service writing for a global airline’s domestic and international contact centers. Leslie is the co-author of Clear, Correct, Concise E-Mail: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents. Reach Leslie at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @LeslieO.

Melissa Pollock, Head of Client Services & Content Development, AplifAI Solutions, Inc.

Melissa Pollock is head of Client Services & Content Development for AmplifAI Solutions, Inc., a disruptive AI technology that accelerates employee skill- building and boosts engagement and performance through data-driven micro-learnings and predictive coaching & recognition. Melissa spent 12 years consulting for direct and BPO contact centers, specializing in behavior-based coaching transformations, strategy and goal alignments, onboarding and quality redesigns, and content development and training.  Visit the AmplifAI blog for more articles and insights.

Neal Topf, President, Callzilla

Neal Topf co-launched Callzilla in 2005. Since then, he's led Callzilla to become one of the world's top-ranked outsourced contact centers, earning over a dozen industry awards for top quality and performance in outsourced customer care, business process outsourcing, and customer acquisition via phone, email, live chat, automation, and social media. He has been named one of the 2017 Top 50 Thought Leaders (@nealtopf), by ICMI, and regularly presents at industry conference like SOCAP. One of his proudest accomplishments is Callzilla winning the prestigious ICMI Global Contact Center Award in 2017 for Best Outsourced Service Provider.

Jeremy Watkin, Director of Customer Experience, FCR

Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premier provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service, customer experience, and contact center professional. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on Customer Service Life. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

Evan Watson, Documentation Librarian, AICPA Member Service Center

Evan Watson is the documentation librarian at the AICPA Member Service Center. He is a regular contributor in the ICMI community on topics ranging from knowledge management to improv comedy. Find him on Twitter at @evenwatson.

Have a topic you’d like one of our writers to address? Let us know in the comments!