iX:Digital Strategy and Interactive, N.A. Leader, Global Business Services, IBM
John Armstrong leads IBM iX: Digital Strategy and Interactive in North America. This team of strategy, analytics and digital commerce consultants, researchers and designers helps clients engage with their customers by harnessing the power of digital, mobile, social, analytics and cloud technologies.
Armstrong is a recognized thought leader in customer analytics and advises senior executives on innovations for growth in the areas of customer experience, marketing and sales and service effectiveness. He helps clients navigate the changes required to engender a seamless digital and physical experience for their customers. He has held senior leadership positions in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific with Teradata, PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM Global Business Services.
SVP, Marketing, Guest Experience & Sales, John G. Shedd Aquarium
Meghan Curran provides strategic leadership to John G. Shedd Aquarium’s focus on promoting and delivering outstanding guest-centric services and experiences. A member of the executive leadership team, she is responsible for the aquarium’s marketing, online communications, brand management, sales operations, audience research and interpretive efforts. Curran and her team of 175 staff members are responsible for cultivating the organization’s almost two million guests each year, maintaining Shedd's position as one of the most-attended aquariums in the U.S. and the most attended cultural organization in Chicago.
With a proven track record for assessing and leveraging audience insight to drive brand and experience, Curran has played a prominent role in building and advancing Shedd’s brand and reputation over the last 15 years. She was a driving force in the creation of Shedd’s in-house marketing agency and is integral to ensuring audience insights are infused throughout aquarium strategic planning efforts to develop and promote guest-centric experiences that align with Shedd’s mission. She provides oversight to the audience research and evaluation team, and played a leadership role in the implementation of an aquarium-wide customer relationship management system. She holds a bachelor of science degree in advertising from the University of Illinois.
Kristina O'Brien, CCXP
VP Cust. Exp. Design & Planning - Personal & Bus. Banking, BMO Harris Bank
Kristina is a trained and certified Customer Experience Professional with over 20 years of experience leading B2C and B2B customer management and strategy efforts. She is a passionate customer-centric leader and advocate who believes that a deep understanding of the customer’s journey and experience should be at the center of all business strategy decisions and company culture. She is enjoys learning and sharing the skills related to improving the customer experience and is a champion for advancing the competencies of the CX profession.
In her current role at BMO Harris, she is responsible for definition and management of the Customer Experience team’s strategic focus and priorities to help identify and drive experience improvements and achieve company-wide NPS goals. She led efforts to create the BMO Harris Design Approach Methodology for journey mapping and is responsible for advancing proactive customer experience thinking and planning across all lines of business. She has helped to develop strong partnerships with various product and strategy teams to provide monitoring and measurement of project success and customer impact. She manages efforts to align the Customer Experience with the Employee Readiness and Customer Communications teams to inform and influence messaging and determine how projects will be delivered to customers. Kristina earned a BS in Marketing as well as Honors Humanities from Ball State University.