Corporate Advisory Board

Monica Allen

Strategic Marketer
General Mills

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Monica is a strategic marketer with experience on leading brands such as Cheerios, Yoplait, and Old El Paso. Over the course of her career she has developed brand strategies, advertising campaigns, and promotional events on both a customer-specific and national scale. She is a proud member of the team that earned Marketing Magazine’s “2015 Marketer of the Year” award for its bold, consumer first approach.  In her current role with General Mills Canada she creates national promotions that drive large scale merchandizing support and incremental sales, working with partners that include Fruit of the Loom and Next Issue.

Monica joined General Mills Canada in 2012 during its integration of the Yoplait brand. During this time she was responsible for developing marketing communications for Yoplait’s child yogurt brands as well as securing a strategic partnership with Weight Watchers for Yoplait’s light and diet yogurt, Source. Monica also supported new product innovation by leading the digital and in-store marketing communications for the launch of Source Greek. During her time with General Mills US, Monica worked with regional customers to build insight-led shopper marketing strategies and platforms across the portfolio of brands. These programs included customized event platforms, support for new item launches, loyalty programs, CRM targeted marketing, digital and social media initiatives.

Monica’s roots began in small business. She started her professional career by co-founding a web development agency at age 19.  After graduating from the Robert H. Smith School of Business she went on to work as a marketing consultant in Philadelphia where her accounts included both government and corporate clients.

Monica currently resides in Toronto with her husband, also a graduate, and their daughter.

EDUCATION: 

B.S. Marketing, University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

CONNECT:

linkedin.com/in/monicamlynarykallen

 

George Assimakopoulos

Head of Client Engagement

Penton 

Current Roles & Responsibilities: 

With expertise in business-to-business and business-to-consumer online marketing, branding and emerging media, George Assimakopoulos is an interactive marketing and tech media strategist.

As Head of Client Engagement, George is responsible for forging strategic relationships with key business-to-business agencies to benefit all Penton brands.

Prior, George was Vice President, Penton Marketing Services where he created new ways to leverage Penton’s industry expertise and audience value to deliver the best content marketing and digital solutions for its business-to-business clients. George grew Penton Marketing Services to be a significant line of business for the company.

In 2004, George founded EyeTraffic Media, a performance-driven interactive marketing and consulting firm that provided strategic direction and campaign execution of interactive marketing initiatives as part of an integrated advertising approach for companies such as Pfizer, DuPont, Mazda USA and Chevron and many others.  Penton acquired EyeTraffic Media in 2011.

Earlier, George served as the Director of Client Services at Proxicom, Inc. where he managed the implementation of marketing, branding, and e-commerce programs through the Internet. He was an integral part for several strategic web engagements to Fortune 500 companies including ExxonMobil, NIKE, Merrill Lynch, Chase Bank, Toyota, Marriott Corporation, Home Box Office (HBO) and several others.

George regularly teaches classes at The American University, Georgetown University and The University of Maryland on topics of tech media and entrepreneurship.

George earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing from The University of Maryland and an MBA in International Marketing & Information Systems from The American University.

Education:

BS:        University of Maryland, College Park
MBA:     American University 

 

Cheridy Bell

Analytics Chief-of-Staff
Merkle, Inc.

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

As Analytics Chief of Staff, Cheridy leads operations for a 450+ person global analytics team. With more than 15 years of experience, she has been in analytics executive roles for some of the country’s top brands including: Bank One, Frequency Marketing, Dell, Kimberly Clark, ExxonMobil, Abercrombie & Fitch, GE and Nokia Siemens. Her focus has been on identifying business needs, defining the right solutions to meet those needs and delivering results that drive improved decision processes and better business outcomes. Cheridy has conducted numerous industry workshops and speaking engagements in partnership with the AMA, ANA, NCDM and The Executive Council.  She holds a Master's degree in mathematics from Clemson University. 

Education:
BA:       University of Central Florida
MS:       Clemson University

 

Gaurav Bhalla

Gaurav Bhalla, Ph.D.

Entrepreneur/Owner
Knowledge Kinetics

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Gaurav Bhalla is a strategy, innovation, and marketing professional with global experience, having worked on three continents and with companies in over 20 countries. Since the mid-70's, he has been associated with the business world as a consultant, executive, entrepreneur, and academic/executive educator.

Dr. Bhalla recently launched Knowledge Kinetics, a new entrepreneurial venture. The company focuses on the practice of customer-driven innovation and value co-creation. The goal is to provoke deeper thinking and more rigorous execution of initiatives related to innovation and business growth, through a mix of consulting, executive education, and research/analysis.

Gaurav previously was the Global Innovation Director, at Kantar-TNS, one of the world's largest market information and insight companies. Additionally, he held positions in corporate strategy, brand management, sales management, and market research at companies such as Nestle, Richardson Vicks, and Burke.

Gaurav has worked with some of the largest brands in the world, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squib, Amgen, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, HP, Microsoft, IBM, Motorola, Samsung, Hughes Electronics, Seiko Epson, Coca Cola, P&G, Heinz, Capital One, Wachovia, and NASDAQ.

Dr. Bhalla has published research papers in leading technical journals dedicated to marketing, marketing research and statistics, and has presented before professional and academic societies in the USA and abroad. Dr. Bhalla has also served as an adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business.

Education:
BA:       Delhi University
MBA:     Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
PhD:      University of Kansas

Jeb BrownJeb Brown

Senior Partner
Smith Gifford

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Jeb Brown has recently joined Smith Gifford as a Senior Partner. Smith Gifford is a media services firm specializing in brand development, social media, and website design. Jeb has been working with entrepreneurial clients for well over 30 years as an agency head, board member, management consultant, and executive recruiter. The former head of Earle Palmer Brown, a 13-office, 1,000-person marketing communications firm, Jeb has worked with clients like P&G, GEICO, and Coca-Cola, as well as many local and regional consumer and retail businesses. In addition to his agency work, Jeb is an Adjunct Professor at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, teaching MBA classes in Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Education:

BA:      Washington and Lee University
MBA:    Harvard University

Rory ChannerRory Channer

Chief Business Officer
CircleBack, Inc.

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Rory is the Chief Business Officer at CircleBack, Inc.  In the role he is responsible for all aspects of commercializing CircleBack.  This role includes leading the consumer marketing, sales and BtoB marketing departments. 

Previously, Rory served as CEB’s Head of Marketing and Head of Sales of SHL. Rory led a number of large sales, marketing and account teams across multiple practice areas and geographies. Before joining CEB, Rory held a number of senior commercial positions at a number of software and consulting companies. His earlier career included two years in a leadership development program for the big Utility - Thames Water.

Rory holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Hull in the UK. He has postgraduate qualifications in Industrial Psychology, Psychometrics, Counseling Psychology and Leadership Coaching from Hull, Regents College, London and George Washington University in DC. He and his wife reside in Virginia with their two sons.

Education:

BA:                      University of Hull, UK
Postgraduate: University of Hull, UK, Regents College, London, George Washington University 

Steve Cohen

Partner and Co-Founder
in4mation insights

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Steve specializes in the design of research, the analysis of marketing data, and the application of marketing science tools to the solution of business problems.

In 2007, he founded in4mation insights with his business partner Mark Garratt.  In4mation Insights is an internationally-recognized firm in the marketing research and analytics field and is known for its industry-leading theoretical and practical leadership and advanced technology. The firm delivers answers related to Pricing, Marketing ROI, New Product Development, Market Structure and Consumer & Market Segmentation. The firm has a worked with a number of Fortune 200 companies, including industries such as consumer goods, IT, Telecom, Financial Services, and Media.

Previously, Steve was Senior Vice President at Knowledge Networks (April 2000 – February 2002), where he served as General Manager of the Boston office, Head of the firm’s Marketing Science practice, and as a member of the firm’s senior management team.

From 1990 until the sale of this firm to Knowledge Networks in 2000, Steve founded and managed Stratford Associates, which served companies in the financial services, technology, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, and consumer and industrial products and services sectors. Stratford Associates was well-known as one of the leading suppliers of high-end strategic modeling services in the U.S.

Prior to that Steve was Technical Director at Decision Research Corporation (now part of Mercer Management Consulting).  There, he introduced several new marketing models currently used today.  His achievements have won numerous awards and Best Paper awards.  His work earned him an induction into the Marketing Research Council of NYC’s Marketing Research Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Education:

BA:    Mathematics, CCNY
MS:   Communications Research, Boston University
PhD: (ABD), Mathematical Sociology, Boston University

 

Charles Colby

President
Rockbridge Associates, Inc.

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Charles Colby is the founder and chief methodologist of Rockbridge Associates, Inc. He is a senior professional with over 30 years of experience in service quality measurement, market research and marketing strategy formulation. He has designed and directed hundreds of studies for services businesses on topics like customer satisfaction, positioning and branding, segmentation, pricing, and product development. Charles directed a service quality measurement function for Citicorp, and he has also worked for premier organizations such as Opinion Research Corporation and Westat, Inc.

Charles has presented at numerous conferences on Technology Readiness, service quality, and innovative data collection methods. He co-authored the book Techno-ready Marketing with Dr. A. Parasuraman. He has taught marketing management and market research at universities, and is a Senior Fellow in the University of Maryland’s Center for Excellence in Service. 

Education:

BA:       University of Maryland, College Park - Smith School of Business
MBA:    University of Maryland, College Park - Smith School of Business

Roger ConnerRoger Conner

Director of Communications
Catholic Charities USA

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Roger Conner retired from Marriott International after more than 25 years in marketing communications with Marriott, most recently as a Vice President focusing on their branding initiatives and their market and corporate communications. After his retirement he was quickly tapped by Catholic Charities USA to take on their marketing and corporate communications. Catholic Charities USA is a primary provider of disaster response, adoption and immigration services for the poor and marginalized members of our society. Roger works on new communications strategies to advance the “Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America” and position the organization’s president as one of the primary spokespersons in the country on the issue of poverty.

 At Marriott Roger was responsible for the development of the “portfolio of brands” communications strategy and execution for the J.W. Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, and other Marriott brands. He managed the company’s crisis communications strategy, and has taken that skill to Catholic Charities USA. 

A graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications, he is an active member of the school’s Advisory Board and other initiatives at Syracuse. Roger has taught marketing courses for the Smith School of Business and is a member of the Marketing Corporate Advisory Board. Roger’s wife is a former national and world figure skating champion/competitor, and she is the current senior figure skating professional at Chevy Chase Club.

Education:

BA:    Syracuse University

Matt DeFoeMatthew H. DeFeo

Techtronic Industries, Inc.
Vice President Sales, Training and Recruiting

Current Roles & Responsibilities: 

Matt DeFeo is the Vice President of Sales, Training and Recruiting for Techtronic Industries, a world leader in home improvement power tools.  He has been with Techtronic Industries for more than three years.  Prior to that position, Matt worked for Black & Decker for 15 years in the sales field, then marketing and finally in the training area. Matt holds a BS in Business and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.  In his spare time Matt enjoys spending time with him family, coaching baseball and soccer and sport fishing. 

Education:

BA:      Northeastern University
MBA:    Northeastern University

Nancy Kaplan

Nancy Kaplan

Partner
SECOR Group Consulting

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Nancy Kaplan is a leading consultant to executives at Fortune 500 companies. Nancy focuses on strategic initiatives and major enterprise transformations to help clients adapt to rapidly changing markets. Her work includes defining new business models and offers, and developing the strategic alignment, organizational and cultural imperatives, governance models, and processes to enable them. Strategic marketing, customer engagement, digital and social media strategies, and product and service innovation highlight much of her work.

Nancy is a Partner at SECOR Group Consulting, a 35-year old, leading international strategy firm, where she leads the Communications, Media and Entertainment Practice and the Digital Media Strategies Practice.  Nancy’s point of view is frequently sought by the media, including interviews with the BBC (live), Business Week, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Economist, Telephony, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Deal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cantos.com, and IT Radio Network. 

Education:

BA:   Yale University
MBA: Stanford University

Timothy KeininghamTimothy Keiningham

Ipsos Loyalty
Senior Vice President & Head of Consulting

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Timothy L. Keiningham is Global Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President for Ipsos Loyalty. Tim is a recognized authority in the areas of service marketing and linking service improvement efforts to the bottom-line. A prolific writer, Tim has several books to his credit. His most recent book, Loyalty Myths: Hyped Strategies that Will Put You Out of Business – And Proven Tactics that Really Work, by John Wiley and Sons, exposes the fallacies of most of the conventional wisdom surrounding customer loyalty. The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada) counted Loyalty Myths as the Number 4 best business book of the year; Soundview Executive Book Summaries chose Loyalty Myths as one of the 30 best business books of 2006; and it is a 2007 finalist for the Berry-AMA Book Prize for Best Book in Marketing. 
 

Tim is co-author of the book The Customer Delight Principle: Exceeding Customers’ Expectations for Bottom-Line Success, © 2001 by McGraw Hill. He is co-author of the book Return on Quality: Measuring the Financial Impact of Your Company's Quest for Quality, © 1994 by Irwin Professional Publishing. He is also co-author of the book Service Marketing and is co-editor of the book Readings in Service Marketing, both © 1996 by HarperCollins.

Tim’s article, “Return on Quality: Making Service Quality Financially Accountable,” (with Roland Rust and Anthony Zahorik) was selected as one of the “Top 20” marketing science papers written within the past 25 years by INFORMS Society for Marketing Science. His article, “The Brand-Customer Connection,” (with Lerzan Aksoy, Tiffany Perkins-Munn and Terry G. Vavra) was awarded the Citations of Excellence “Top 50” award (top 50 management papers of approximately 20,000 papers reviewed) from Emerald Management Reviews. Tim was twice awarded the Marketing Science Institute - H. Paul Root Award (formerly the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Award) from the American Marketing Association / Journal of Marketing for the article judged by the editorial review board to represent “the most significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of marketing” (the first award was with Roland Rust and Anthony Zahorik; the second award was with Bruce Cooil, Tor Wallin Andreassen and Lerzan Aksoy). Tim received the Excellence in Service Research Award (with Tiffany Perkins-Munn and Heather Evans) for the best paper to appear in the Journal of Service Research. Tim was awarded the Outstanding Paper Award (Best Paper) from Managing Service Quality twice (the first award was with Lerzan Aksoy, Bruce Cooil, Ken Peterson, and Terry Vavra; the second award was with Bruce Cooil, Lerzan Aksoy, Tor Wallin Andreassen, and Jay Weiner). Additionally, a paper he co-authored was a finalist for best paper in Managing Service Quality, while one more was a finalist for Highly Commended paper in Managing Service Quality. Tim also has received the 2006 best reviewer award from the Journal of Service Research.

His articles have been accepted for publication in such journals as Journal of Marketing, Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Relationship Marketing, International Journal of Service Industry Management, Interfaces, Marketing Management, Managing Service Quality, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Financial Executive, Journal of Retail Banking, and American Banker. Tim also serves on the advisory board of the Journal of Relationship Marketing, and on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Service Research, and International Journal of Service Industry Management. 

Education:

BA:     Kentucky Wesleyan College
MBA:  Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

Mark KoepsellMark Koepsell

CORT
Senior Vice President of Business Development

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Mark Koepsell, Executive Vice President of New Business Development started with CORT in 1988 as National Accounts Manager and has held a series of progressive positions since that time.  During his tenure, Mark has been responsible for developing CORT’s National Accounts, Federal Sales, Global Furniture Rental, Destination Services and Student Furniture Management Teams. CORT is a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary of 2,500 employees that serves the needs of individuals and businesses in transition. CORT provides Furniture Rental and Trade Show and Events operations in 57 major markets in the US and London.  Global partnerships extend that reach to 70 countries.  Destination and Settling In Services for corporate assignees are available in all 50 states.

A graduate with both a BS in Psychology and an MBA in Finance from the University of Maryland, Mark has been involved with the University as a Senior Mentor with the Smith School of Business and currently sits on the Corporate Advisory Board of the Marketing Department.  Mark resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and two children.  

Education:

BS:    University of Maryland, College Park
MBA: University of Maryland, College Park - Smith School of Business

Suzanne LoweSuzanne Lowe

Expertise Marketing, LLC
Founder

Current Roles & Responsibilities: 

Suzanne Lowe is a highly regarded analyst, consultant, author and speaker on professional services marketing and management. She advises C-suite leaders about their firm’s growth strategies. She is the author of two books on how professional firms can organize to compete more effectively

Before founding Expertise Marketing in 1996, Ms. Lowe spent more than a decade leading the marketing programs for top-tier management consulting and business-to-business organizations. Before that, she spent more than a decade managing and implementing strategies for political candidates and organizations. 

Her widely disseminated research initiatives on strategic marketing perceptions, practices and performance of professional service firms around the globe contain data from thousands of firms, and are the basis for her books Marketplace Masters: How Professional Service Firms Compete to Win (Praeger, 2004) and The Integration Imperative: Erasing Marketing and Business Development Silos -- Once and For All -- in Professional Service Firms (Professional Services Books, 2009). She has also published an on-line newsletter, The Marketplace Master™ and a blog, The Expertise Marketplace™. 

Lowe speaks for leading trade associations and in-house audiences, and has written for premier publications, including the Harvard Business Review, and BusinessWeek, Marketing Management magazine and the new textbook Essentials of Services Marketing. 

Education:

BA:    Duke University 

Cheryl Max

Senior Director, Marketing Operations
Juniper Networks

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Cheryl Max has had 20 year career in global marketing. She joined at Juniper in 2012 to design and implement marketing's transition to a fully automated system integrating multiple platforms and technologies and driving skills enhancements. Specifically: developing Juniper's Demand Center which includes the platform acceleration of Eloqua, Accadia, Salesforce.com, and data management to drive optimized campaign performance and revenue generation; developed a marketing certification program to drive skills and capabilities across the global marketing function, devising a long term marketing and labor strategy; developing campaign structure and discipline and leading supplier strategies. Prior to joining Juniper, Cheryl worked at TNS Research as the SVP of Marketing North America and previous to that at IBM where she held the role of Global Director, Marketing Cheryl holds a BA from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Thunderbird - the Garvin Graduate School of Business. Cheryl also guest lectures at business schools, bringing to her business experiences into business case studies. 

Education:

BS:    University of Toronto
MBA:  Thunderbird - The Garvin Graduate School of Business

Barbara Kline PopeBarbara Kline Pope

The National Academies
Executive Director of the National Academies Press and Executive Director of Communications

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Ms. Pope is Executive Director of the National Academies Press and Executive Director of Communications for The National Academies. She is responsible for an innovative and dynamic publishing operation of both scholarly and trade books that have been available on the Web free to read since 1995.

Branding, marketing research, derivative products, and social marketing projects occupy her time as executive director for communications. Research articles she has authored or co-authored revolve around the discipline of consumer behavior and include specific projects on business models for the digital publishing arena and the use of information sources among organizational buyers. 

She has been guest lecturer for marketing and technology courses at the University of Maryland and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia’s continuing education program. She is on the board of directors of Hands On Science Outreach, a nonprofit organization that provides high quality after school science programs for children. 

Education:

BS:   Indiana University of Pennsylvania
MS:  University of Maryland, College Park

 

Richard B. Toohey

Marketing Executive

Roles & Responsibilities:

Rich Toohey is a senior marketing executive with significant global expertise in Loyalty, Customer Experience, CRM, and Customer Engagement acquired during a 20+ year travel & hospitality career at Marriott International.  His most recent Marriott marketing leadership role was as Vice President, Rewards Member Experience for Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards with responsibilities that spanned member acquisitions, Elite member retention, program digital strategy, member communications, and member services. 

Rich led efforts that improved engagement and the guest experience through program innovation, new communications strategies, benefit enhancements and omnichannel integrations. His other Marriott marketing positions were in CRM, Loyalty Marketing, Database Marketing, Sales Transformation, and Marketing Research.  Prior to joining Marriott, he worked for RJR-Nabisco in Marketing, Operations, and Manufacturing Engineering roles. 

Rich has shared his Loyalty, Customer Experience, CRM, and Customer Engagement expertise in numerous meetings, panels, guest lectures, and industry conferences.  He has an MBA with a marketing concentration from Wake Forest University and a BS in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from Virginia Tech.  He lives in Maryland with his family and enjoys golf, running, hiking, travel and attending all types of sporting events.

Education:

BS:      Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Virginia Tech
MBA:  Wake Forest University

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rich-toohey/a/9b/41

David N. TownshendDavid N. Townshend

Marriott International 
Senior Vice President, Global Sales - The Americas

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Mr. Townshend is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales for Marriott International. His markets are located throughout America with annual sales of approximately $3.5 billion.

During Mr. Townshend’s years with Marriott International, he has gained both sales and marketing experience through many different positions including Senior Vice President of Strategic Accounts and Director of Sales and Marketing of the JW Marriott in Washington DC. He has also held the titles of Regional Director, National Director and Vice President of Alliance Accounts with Marriott International. Mr. Townshend has a Business Administration degree from the University of Denver with a concentration in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Education:

B.A.   University of Denver

Liz Sara

Best Marketing LLC
Owner

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Liz Sara has more than 25 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and arts advocate. 

In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services.  Her company offers all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis -- eliminating overhead while bringing a business executive’s perspective to solving the challenges of growing a start-up.

Since inception, she has served as a virtual Marketing Chief for 85++ companies, assisting startups increase revenue and speed market adoption for their tech products.  Her business expertise includes re-positioning company messages, adjusting target audiences to real buyers, planning and launching new products for clients, setting up alliances that deliver revenue, developing/implementing lead generation campaigns, creating PR campaigns that lead to coverage, nominating clients for awards, assisting in M&A, raising seed capital.

Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division. 

She is an adjunct Marketing Professor at RH Smith School of Business at U-MD. She served on the Board of Advisors at the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship and is now an Entrepreneur-In-Residence there. She serves as mentor at The Fort, Acceleprise and Founders Institute. Liz currently mentors startups in the German-American accelerator in NYC and in Accelerate Baltimore.

Liz holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland.  She is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to e-business, marketing and angel investing. She holds Advisory Board positions in several technology companies.  She invests in startups as a member of the New Dominion Angel Investor Group.

Education:

M.A. College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Susan VanderverSusan Vanderver

Marriott International
Senior Director, Lodging and Quality Assurance

Current Roles and Responsibilities:

Susan Vanderver is Senior Director, Lodging Quality Assurance, for Marriott International at the company’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. She focuses on information management for the quality assurance audit program and customer satisfaction program, which measure product and service quality at hotels worldwide. Marriott’s quality assurance program is a key component of its global operations. Susan has worked in Quality Assurance since 1999, when she helped design and develop Marriott’s centralized multi-brand quality and property performance management programs.

Susan’s information technology background has enabled her to successfully implement systems and process improvements throughout her career. Prior responsibilities at Marriott include systems representative for brand management, Y2K, data warehousing and business intelligence, and retail systems. She was employed as an IBM Systems Engineer for large national accounts before joining Marriott. 

Education:

BS:    Ohio State University
MBA:  Georgetown University

Tony ZahorikTony Zahorik, Ph.D.

The Burke Institute
Vice President

Current Roles & Responsibilities:

Dr. Zahorik is a vice president of the Burke Institute, the world’s premier provider of executive seminars on marketing research, and a service of Burke, Inc. of Cincinnati.

He is responsible for conducting seminars on various aspects of marketing research methodology as well as specific applications of quantitative methods in marketing research, such as customer satisfaction measurement, advertising testing, and market segmentation. He has taught seminars for corporations in over 25 foreign countries. In addition to his role as a seminar leader, he has worked as a marketing consultant to a variety of industries including telecommunications, banking, hospitality, book publishing, advertising, construction equipment, food processing, airlines, oil drilling, pharmaceuticals, and for the U.S. Government. 

Before joining Burke Institute, he served for twelve years as a member of the marketing faculty of Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management, where he taught courses and executive seminars on marketing management, marketing planning, measuring advertising effectiveness, and managing customer satisfaction. In addition to teaching at Vanderbilt, Dr. Zahorik served as the assistant dean of the Owen School and has been a mathematics professor at Ithaca College and a member of the faculty of Cornell University's graduate school of management. Throughout his career he has been acclaimed for his ability to teach technical subjects to both technically and non-technically oriented students. As a member of the marketing faculty at Vanderbilt, he won every teaching award offered by the Owen School. 

Dr. Zahorik has done extensive consulting, research and publication in the area of customer service, customer satisfaction and the impact of service quality programs on corporate profits. He is the coauthor of two books on these topics, Return on Quality: Measuring the Financial Impact of Your Company's Quest for Quality and Service Marketing. His co-authored article on return on quality published in the Journal of Marketing and won the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Award for "the most significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of marketing", and in 2007 was recognized by INFORMS Society for Marketing Science as one of the top 20 most influential articles of the past 25 years. The selection was made by marketing practitioners, who chose the 20 most influential articles from the 100 most-cited articles of the last 25 years.

He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Service Research and the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Marketing and reviews articles for other academic publications. He has also published articles in numerous publications, including Management Science, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Healthcare Marketing, and the Journal of Retailing and has presented papers at many professional meetings and conferences in the U.S. and in England. Dr. Zahorik is also a member of the Corporate Advisory Board of the Department of Marketing of the Robert H. Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland.

Education:

MA:      University of Illinois
MBA:    Cornell University
Ph.D.:   Cornell University