Mike Capizzi, CLMP
Mike Capizzi is the Dean of the Loyalty Academy. A 45+ year veteran of the Marketing Services industry with deep knowledge of the Loyalty Marketing space, Mike currently operates a specialized consulting practice assisting clients in the identification, design, financial assessment, technical enablement and on-going enhancement of consumer and B2B loyalty, incentive and employee rewards programs. Mike supports many marketing services firms in the loyalty and database area with strategic planning, marketing research projects, competitive analysis, new market and new product/service assessments. He is a noted advisor to private equity and investment analysts in investigating, understanding and profiling marketing services firms who represent potential investment opportunities.
Mike is a globally recognized speaker and author in the loyalty arena and a partner in the Wise Marketer Group. He is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ (CLMP) and has taught loyalty and marketing courses at five US universities and among practitioners in twenty different countries. He holds a BBA in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an MA in Media from New York University.
Margaret Meraw, CLMP
Margaret Meraw has over 36 years of experience in the loyalty marketing and financial services industries. Margaret has successfully strategized with global financial institutions, C-stores, retailers, restaurants, airlines and telecoms to implement large-scale loyalty, travel and marketing products and programs throughout North America, and the Caribbean.
Today, she runs Effective Execution, an independent consulting practice out of Toronto which focuses on helping clients realize efficiency, effectiveness and competitive differentiation in their marketing strategies and operations.
Previously, Margaret served as an Executive Leader at loyalty service provider Kobie Marketing, directing large and diverse teams across multiple disciplines to effectively manage client implementations and integrations.
Margaret formerly worked for RBC Royal Bank (RBC), the largest financial institution in Canada. She was part of the 3-year task force responsible to launch EMV (Chip and PIN) within Canada. Margaret oversaw a team responsible to manage 150+ global vendors supporting the complex Payments Industry.
Margaret has a Masters in Business Administration and Graduate Degree in Management from Athabasca University (CA). She joined the Loyalty Academy faculty in March of 2017 and was named to the Board of Regents in December of the same year.
Bill Hanifin, CLMP
Bill is President and CEO of Hanifin Loyalty, focusing his work at the intersection of data-driven marketing, payment products, and marketing technology. While creativity and innovation are part of what he promises to clients, the highest objective of his work is to transform thought leadership into practical marketing solutions which can be successfully executed to build competitive advantage in the marketplace.
In addition to leading Hanifin Loyalty, Bill is the Chief Executive Officer for The Wise Marketer Group, a global education and publishing enterprise covering the loyalty marketing industry. He also publishes the Loyalty Truth blog, a unique source of independent and unbiased insights in customer centric marketing.
Bill holds a BS in Finance from the McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia. He has been facilitating loyalty marketing workshops since the early 2000’s.
Nick Chambers, CLMP
Nick is an expert in taking companies mobile & digital. He helps clients build stronger customer relationships through mobile applications using both emotional engagement and data insights
Experienced in providing technology & services in all aspects of mobile loyalty & payments, Nick has launched and managed mobile loyalty programmes for a number of leading UK brands including Giraffe restaurants, Sodexo & Ed’s Easy Diner.
Nick is CEO of Mobile Loyalty Technologies Limited and has previously held senior loyalty marketing positions with Avios (formally Airmiles), AIMIA and Shell. He has also been involved in a number of successful start-ups, including Kula Causes, a US based social venture & technology company.
Nick is a regular conference speaker and contributor to leading loyalty marketing publications. He is also a Partner in the Customer Strategy Network.
Mark Mullinix, CLMP
Mark Mullinix leads the Consulting and Advisory function for Ascenda, a global provider of loyalty technology for the travel and financial services industries. Prior to that he was founder and Managing Director of Loyalty Advantage, a Singapore based full-service consulting and technology company focused on building effective travel industry and multi-segment programs. Mark has personally led or contributed to projects with airlines such as ANA, JAL, Cathay Pacific, Jet Airways, and Thai Airways, and large coalition programs such as Payback (Germany) and Rabbit Rewards (Thailand).
Prior to Loyalty Advantage, Mark was responsible for business development, credit card strategy, and rewards and product development for American Express, specializing in loyalty and rewards partnerships across Asia. Mark’s passion for loyalty has been developed over the past 15 years of extensive travel and engagement with the sector, including work with leading Canadian and UK coalition programs.
Mark is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP) and he joined the Loyalty Academy faculty in May 2017. He holds a degree in Psychology and Sociology from Dartmouth College (USA) and an MBA from INSEAD (Singapore).
Robyn Simpson, CLMP
Robyn Simpson has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and consulting across a diverse range of industries from retail to financial services. Having held Senior Leadership positions since early in her career, Robyn has been exposed to a range of strategic scenarios and been tasked with providing commercially viable customer-centric solutions.
With hands-on brand-side experience in building and growing an innovative loyalty program in the Financial Services industry, Robyn has experience in every aspect of program development from strategic partnerships, member engagement, inventory management, risk assessments and compliance to the development of stakeholder engagement, customer experience and customer value propositions.
Today she specializes in Retention & Loyalty marketing, with a passion for customer experience, voice of the customer and a special interest in loyalty fraud. She is the Founder of MarketSmartly an independent consulting business based in Australia. A Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™, Robyn joined the Loyalty Academy Faculty in 2021. She holds a BBS (Marketing) from Massey University and is currently studying Neuroscience.
James Christensen, CLMP
James has over 25 years experience working at the forefront of emerging markets where payments and loyalty converge. He was a pioneer in gift cards and real time points as Founder of Ernex and has held leadership positions at TSYS Loyalty, RBC Cards, and RewardStream. James has worked with leading brands in payments, retail, and F&B including Eddie Bauer, Visa, AT&T, Levi Strauss, The Palm, Choice Hotels, and McDonalds.
Today, James advises companies navigating the digital disruption and noise being caused by rapid changes in payments, point of sale, and cloud technologies. He focuses on strategic planning, product innovation, and sales development, helping his clients take advantage of the digital revolution happening in brick and mortar retail. He has expertise in loyalty, payment innovation, card linking, cloud commerce, mobile payments and mobile ordering.
James lives in Vancouver, BC, CANADA where he operates his consulting practice, The Loyalty Point. He is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ and joined the Loyalty Academy Faculty in 2019 with a focus on the intersection of payments and loyalty. He is a frequent contributor to The Wise Marketer and a member of the Delphi Panel at The Loyalty Academy. He received a BA Economics from the University of Victoria and has completed a CMA accounting designation.
Jim Griffin, Guest Lecturer
Jim is Americas Director for Cartesian DataSciences, a Frost & Sullivan Marketing Analytics Company of the Year award winner. He also serves as a faculty member at the University of Texas Austin’s graduate program in business analytics. At Cartesian, which is a team of 200 data scientists who have done more than 100 projects worldwide, Jim has led numerous loyalty and CRM projects in the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. He carries 20 years of combined experience in analytics, machine learning, CRM, and loyalty marketing.
Jim is the author of “The Customer Genome – An Empirical Approach to Segment-of-One Marketing,” DMA Analytics Journal. This article describes the IP behind an AI-based technology called SOLUS that now delivers Segment of One marketing at a scale of millions. Previously, Jim launched and ran a loyalty program for a top retailer in the Philippines, and while there, he developed an approach for detecting cashier fraud within retail loyalty programs. He has previous Senior Management experience in the Philippines with APAC, in Latin America with Toshiba and with Office Depot in the US. He holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Minnesota and has done post-graduate work in Statistics at UP Diliman.
He joined the Loyalty Academy Faculty as a Guest Lecturer in 2020.
Len Llaguno, Guest Lecturer
Len Llaguno is the Founder and Managing Partner at KYROS Insights, the world’s only actuarial firm that solely focuses on loyalty programs. He and his team have been working with many of the world’s largest loyalty programs for more than 10 years, doing highly specialized actuarial analytics to address the wide range of finance, accounting and economic issues facing modern loyalty programs.
At KYROS, he leads a team of innovative actuaries with deep experience in this niche field. They are painstakingly designing solutions specific for teams that manage financial aspects of loyalty programs. Their solutions range from liability and cash flow management tools to financial reporting and audit support, scenario testing program changes, program valuation and machine learning to optimize financial performance.
Len is an enthusiastic advocate for loyalty programs as a driver of economic value. He often sees his job as helping loyalty marketers convince finance to invest more in loyalty. He joined the Loyalty Academy Faculty as a Guest Lecturer in 2020.
Brian Almeida, CLMP
A customer loyalty practitioner for over 25 years, Brian is the Managing Partner for Strategic Caravan International Pvt Ltd., one of India’s leading loyalty services companies. He is a former Managing Director of Direxions and he has launched several leading loyalty programs, including the British Airways Executive Club in South Asia, Taj Inner Circle, Jet Privilege, PetroBonus, First Citizen Club for Shoppers Stop, the IRIS student science talent discovery program for Intel and Inquimed, a medical portal for doctors at Pfizer’s.
Brian is also the Co-founder of Points for People an award winning charity platform that enables Loyalty program members to donate their points towards charity. He is a Member of the Board for Cartesian Consulting Pvt Ltd and Sisecam Flat Glass India Ltd. He also serves as a Trustee for several Indian Not for Profit organizations.
Brian is an alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Math and Statistics. He obtained a Master’s in Marketing from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai. He is an Alumnus of the Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard Business School and is also a Fellow of the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing (UK). He has served as a 6-time judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards (UK) and was formerly affiliated with COLLOQUY India as an Editorial Advisory board member and faculty participant. He is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ and joined the Loyalty Academy faculty in 2020.
Mala Raj, CLMP
Mala Raj has over three decades of experience in Direct Marketing, Loyalty and CRM and she has designed over 60 loyalty programs in India across multiple sectors. She currently serves as the Managing Partner for Strategic Caravan International Pvt Ltd where she directs consulting projects in the areas of loyalty, customer centricity and CRM. Mala is also a founding member of Points for People, an award-winning charity platform and ecosystem that connects loyalty programs with NGOs and enables program members to donate their loyalty points towards social causes. Mala’s past accomplishments include media planning at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising and Account Management in Direct Marketing for OgilvyOne. She headed the Loyalty Consulting Practice at Cartesian and worked on Customer strategies and audits for multiple clients in India, the Far East and Middle East.
Mala is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ and joined the Loyalty Academy faculty in 2020. She is a Bangalore University topper and a PGDM alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. She previously served on the editorial panel of COLLOQUY India and has frequently participated as a presenter and judge at Loyalty Summit India.
Steve Bocska, Guest Lecturer
Steve is CEO of PUG Interactive, an award-winning company that helps enterprises build and restore the brand-customer relationship using gameplay principles and advanced technologies. Founded in 2008, PUG Interactive offers a complete, end-to-end approach to get large communities active and engaged — creating fun, playful places that foster and measure community identity, reputation, and status.
Steve has 20+ years of direct experience in the video game industry, having designed and produced several AAA games for Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts , Sega, and Ubisoft that have generated sales in excess of $650 million. In 2006, he became the founding President and CEO of Hothead Games, winner of the Canadian New Media Association’s award for “Most Promising New Company of 2007.”
He has spoken at a variety of premier events, including Game Developer’s Conference (San Jose, California), South by Southwest (Austin, Texas), SIGGRAPH, Juarez Competitiva (Mexico), Banff New Media Festival, GameON Finance (Toronto, Ontario), GDCNext (Los Angeles, California), Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (Hong Kong), Interface Summit, and several others.