The 4th Annual Loyalty Academy Conference was held on March 6-7, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

Members of the Loyalty Academy can access all presentations in the Vault section of “My Account.”

 Make plans now for the 2020 conference!

Presented by

the wise marketer

Platinum Sponsor

the wise marketer

Gold & Sliver Sponsors

the wise marketer
the wise marketer
the wise marketer

Winning with Customers by Making the Changes that Matter.

The theme for the 2019 conference was all about change. We heard from leading brands like Kroger, Yesway, AirMiles and Scene about the strategies behind  refreshing or redesigning their loyalty program mechanics. Discussion and key learnings revealed how new strategies and technologies enabled material change to how brands engage with their valued customers. We also heard from industry experts about the intersection of behavioral science and economics with loyalty marketing dynamics. Attendees were able to derive substantial insight from the latest set of new and rejuvenated loyalty programs which provide customers with more choice, greater transparency, exclusivity, and value. They also remove unnecessary points of friction.

Meanwhile, conference attendees were able to enjoy the sunshine and seashore afforded by our South Florida venue. The open forum, evening receptions and daytime outdoor patio gave everyone chances to network, discuss common issues, develop mutual business opportunities or just get to know each other. The event also went out on livestream to attendees in 5 different countries. 

We are indebted to a fantastic group of sponsors – companies who take leadership in the loyalty industry very seriously. The Loyalty Academy conference is not a trade show nor a selling forum. It is a symposium of thought leadership and potential solutions to industry challenges that brings together the best and brightest minds in the global loyalty marketplace. Our sponsors embrace that and contribute to our continued success.

Maritz Loyalty – Platinum Sponsor

Kobie Marketing – Gold Sponsor

Hinda Loyalty Group – Silver Sponsor

Epsilon – Networking Sponsor

LoyLogic – International and Livestream Sponsor

If you’d like information about how you can become a sponsor at next year’s event, please contact us.

Join us next year as we continue to create new conversations and revelations about why and how leading brands embrace the discipline of loyalty marketing to create real value for their best customers. Drop us a line using the form below and we’ll keep you informed about our plans for 2020! 


The 5th Annual Loyalty Academy Conference


Late February or Early March, 2020


South Florida, USA


Be inspired via the key learnings and thought leadership presented by the best and brightest minds in our global loyalty industry. Take away practical knowledge and visionary paths to help you and your brand navigate the evolving loyalty landscape. 


You are a mid to senior-level marketer with an interest in building the most effective customer strategy you can offer to your best customers, senior management, and stakeholders. Whether you’re an airline, a card marketer, a hotelier, a retailer, or a B2B provider, you’ll find invaluable insight at the Loyalty Academy 2020 Conference – and your opinions will be in high demand.

2019 Conference Speakers

Bob Welch

Bob Welch

Senior Vice President, Customer Communications & Loyalty (84.51°)


As Senior Vice President, Bob Welch helps Kroger and CPG brands create relevant and personalized connections with customers through Kroger Loyalty, Marketing and Kroger Precision Marketing platforms. Bob also leads the activation of Kroger’s Marketing through the Media and Lifecyle Marketing teams.

Matthew Seagrim

Matthew Seagrim

Managing Director of SCENE


Matthew brings two decades of experience to his role as Managing Director of SCENE, the biggest entertainment loyalty program in Canada. Unique among loyalty programs, SCENE has earned a place in the hearts of over 9 million Canadian members. Matthew’s career includes work in management consulting, financial services, product management and product development in global markets.

Rachel MacQueen

Rachel MacQueen

Vice President, Marketing, AIR MILES


As the Vice President of AIR MILES Marketing, Rachel is responsible for overseeing the strategy, social programs and marketing communications designed to increase the engagement and profitability of the 10 million plus Collectors in the AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program.

Jane Moran

Jane Moran

Vice President Analytics & Insights, AIR MILES


As Vice President Analytics & Insights, Jane leads a team of analytical professionals and oversees the analytic strategy for the AIR MILES Reward Program.  For the past 10 years, Jane has been developing methodologies to help businesses capitalize on the power of data, using techniques such as machine learning, agent-based modeling, data mining and network analysis.

Barry Kirk, CLMP

Barry Kirk, CLMP

VP of Strategy for Maritz Loyalty


Barry is a 15-year practitioner of the art of loyalty marketing and is considered a thought leader in the space. A sought-after consultant, speaker and workshop leader, he is also the originator of The Multi-Loyalty Framework and an evangelizer of the notion that “Consumers are human beings first.” Barry’s specialties include evaluating emerging trends, leading teams of strategic thinkers, and the application of gamification to loyalty program design.

David Andreadakis

David Andreadakis

Chief Strategy Officer, Kobie Marketing

David Andreadakis has one main responsibility: evangelize the power of loyalty. David is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, universities and corporate events, helping organizations understand, prioritize and solve for complex customer issues. With over 20 years in marketing, Andreadakis brings a wealth of experience solving for customer engagement and sales growth at the highest levels of Fortune 500 companies.

Darrin Samaha

Darrin Samaha

Vice President Marketing, Yesway


Darrin Samaha, Yesway’s VP of Marketing, leads the charge with respect to the creation, growth, and cultivation of the Yesway brand across all channels. He is responsible for the launch and management of the award-winning Yesway Rewards customer loyalty program, development of all digital and social media marketing strategies, and the creation and execution of its targeted advertising campaigns.

Christopher Summers

Christopher Summers

Chris is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Darla Moore School of Business.

As an “applied academic”, he enjoys helping firms large and small understand, predict, and influence human behavior by leveraging behavioral science and psychological principles. His research program is devoted to uncovering managerially relevant insights related to CX/loyalty, advertising and promotions, and new behaviors emerging through the intersection of technology and virtual spaces (e.g., sharing economy and crowdsourcing). He welcomes all opportunities to engage with innovative thinkers looking to push the boundaries of their field. 

The 2019 Agenda

March 6 – Registration and Conference Reception

  • 6:45 PM Registration Table Open
  • 7:00 PM Cocktail Reception Begins – Hosted by Maritz Loyalty
    Please join us to register for the conference at our first networking event hosted by Maritz Loyalty. Our conference focuses on creating discussion and we’ve learned that knowing who is in the conversation with you encourages healthier conversations. At the reception you’ll have the opportunity to meet other attendees and our speakers, plus ensure that you’re fully prepared for the next day.
  • 9:00 PM Registration Table Closes until March 7 at 7.30am until 8.30am

March 7 – Conference Day

  • 7:30 AM Late registration available until 8.30 AM
  • 8:00 AM Networking Breakfast – Hosted by Kobie Marketing
  • 9:00 AM Welcome and Opening Remarks
    Bill Hanifin, CEO Wise Marketer Group
    Knowing the reasons influencing why we need to make changes is relatively easy, but then taking actions to doing something can be challenging.  Add in the complexity of having multiple reasons influencing what you need to change and this because even more daunting.
    Understand why it’s important for loyalty marketers and practitioners to learn from those brands that have been able to prioritize the many change agents facing them to then make material changes to their customer marketing programs – the reasons, their approach, and the impact on their customers.Listen to our perspective on why we feel marketers need to be cognizant of change agents – and then know how to prioritize the changes that matter most to truly be winning with your customers.

  • 9:30 AM The Common Sense Behind Creating “Convenience” in Our “Stores” for Convenience Store Customers
    Darrin Samaha, Vice President Marketing
    Since 2016, new convenience store retailer, Yesway, has been successfully delivering on its ambitious plans for growth by acquiring select c-store operators and rebranding them to create a retail environment that is truly “convenient” for their customers.  Adopting an intense focus on customer loyalty early on has enabled them to mitigate the risk of disenfranchising existing customers, which often occurs with a rebrand. It has also reinforced their brand promise by setting customer expectations for the in-store retail experience first and then extending into their fuel service.Learn how this store-first loyalty mindset has influenced the Yesway Rewards program design, how they are able to work with select consumer packaged goods partners to influence customers based on their specific product use, and the role of the rewards program to expand their own private-label products.

  • 10:15 AM Networking Break A
  • 10:45 AM Engagement Enabled through Better Use of Data
    Bob Welch, SVP Customer Communications
    84.51 and Kroger Media Services & Lifecycle Marketing
    Kroger is investing in innovations that will create a seamless high-tech grocery experience for its Kroger Plus members across its in-store and digital channels. The aim of this modernization process is to maintain its dominance in the US grocery landscape by focusing on stronger use of data to drive engagement and loyalty to its banner brands.

    Learn how Kroger Plus is using advanced customer profiles to customize web and social experiences, as well as how their future-store experience will digitally serve prices, promotions, and ads to their customers as they shop, and more.

  • 11:45 AM Lunch and Networking Break Hosted by Loylogic
  • 1:15 PM Industry Perspective – Your Brain on Loyalty: Why Behavioral Science is the Key to next-Gen Consumer Engagement
    Barry Kirk, VP of Loyalty Strategy, Maritz Loyalty and
    Christoper Summers, Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of South Carolina
    The holy grail of customer marketing has always been understanding what makes a customer decide to buy. But the holy grail of loyalty marketing is how to keep them buying into the future. The latter is a far trickier proposition, especially as we see the path to purchase dramatically shifting from a rational linear progression to a chaotic series of emotion-driven interactions across an ever-increasing number of channels.

    A new breed of digitally conversant consumers is thriving in this world of change, mastering the ability to consume millions of ephemeral messages and adopting emerging technologies at a rate that exceeds the marketer’s ability to understand their long-term impact on decision-making.How should marketers equip themselves to embrace this change? While solutions based in technology, AI and advanced customer data analytics are part of the answer, increasingly marketers will also need to look to a deeper and more personal place – namely, the field of behavioral science.

    Join visionary marketer Barry Kirk as he:
     – Identifies the most significant cultural shifts affecting consumer attention and choice.
    – Offers a vision for a new behavioral science-based toolset for loyalty marketer.
    – And facilitates a discussion of the dynamics of consumer decision making with two of the brightest minds among the digitally conversant


  • 2:00 PM The Network Effect: Leveraging Data at Scale to Treat Your Best Customers Better and Find Your Next Best Customer
    Rachel MacQueen, VP Marketing, and Jane Moran, VP Analytics
    AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s Loyalty Leader
    The current state of data and modern technology equips marketers with a bounty of tools to engage and inspire consumers. Category leaders are defined by brands that demonstrate an advanced understanding of consumer behaviour and deliver memorable brand interactions and personalized offers for customers.Large e-commerce players recently changed the game with a network-wide view of customers as they sell products across many brands and categories to get a more complete view of the customer.But for coalition loyalty programs, they have been leveraging the network effect of data decades.  Brand specific loyalty programs provide valuable information on who currently purchase their products and services but at best leave companies with a tiny lens into the lives of their customers.

    A strong coalition loyalty program bridges the gap across industries, regions and demographics allowing partners to harness insights from the network to target potential new customers with accuracy and insight.1 in 5 American households subscribe to Netflix and 1 out of every 19 Americans belong to the Starbucks Rewards program. Those are impressive adoption rates. Meanwhile in Canada…nearly 1 in 3 Canadians are active collectors within the AIR MILES Reward Program. This scale positions AIR MILES as one of the most effective tools for marketers looking to create deep and meaningful relationships with Canadians.

    Explore how Canada’s leading coalition loyalty program is leveraging data from across more than 200 partners to drive business results for coalition partners and create meaningful value for consumers.

  • 2:45 PM Networking Break C
  • 3:15 PM Industry Perspective – Emotional Drivers that Change Consumer Behaviors
    David Andreadakis, Chief Strategy Officer
    Kobie Marketing
    Marketers ultimately want to create relationships with their customers that result in spending more money with their brands.  To change consumer behavior in a manner that fosters a stronger relationship, while simultaneously increasing spend, requires understanding the drivers of what Kobie describes as Emotional Loyalty.
    Learn how to identify the emotional aspects that motivate consumer behavior, market to those drivers and how to monetize this information to build an emotional connection with your customers that creates a more valuable relationship with your brand.
  • 4:00 PM Evolving Customers’ Perception of their Worth
    Matthew Seagrim, Managing Director
    SCENE Rewards Program for Cineplex and Scotiabank
    The recent re-emergence of fee-based loyalty programs has marketers exploring whether paid loyalty is an approach suitable for their own customer programs.  Some brands are changing their loyalty models quickly to implement these enhanced programs while others are adopting a test-and-learn approach.  

    Hear from SCENE, the first and only entertainment rewards program in Canada, as they share their unique perspectives on how they are each enhancing value to their core customers with paid loyalty offerings. 

    Please note that this session may be expanded to include an additional perspective on paid loyalty – Speaker to be announced.

  • 5:00 PM Closing Remarks and Thank You
    Mike Capizzi, Dean of the Loyalty Academy
    To close out the conference we will share our perspective on what are the key take-aways to emerge from the conference’s presentations and discussions, while also asking attendees what they viewed to be most interesting and of value.

  • 6:00 PM Conference Reception
    Continue exploring concepts and ideas from the conversations throughout the day and establish connections with other attendees that will continue beyond this event. More details to be announced at the conference!
  • 8:00 PM Cocktail Reception Closes

The Loyalty Academy Conference 2019: Testimonials

Still uncertain if the Loyalty Academy Conference is worth the investment of your precious time and travel budget? Don’t take our word for it – here are a few choice quotes from attendees at the 4th annual Loyalty Academy Conference on March 6-7, 2019 at the Pier 66 Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

“…great seeing you and meeting all the 2019 speakers – FABULOUS conference!” 

Suzanne Ruppert, CLMP

Client Relations Manager, FIS Loyalty

Congratulations again on a great Loyalty Academy conference last week. It had real energy and insights and a really interesting bunch of attendees. I am very glad I came!”

Richard Dutton, CLMP

Managing Director, Citizen Heart (UK)

“Another great event at the Loyalty Academy. Thanks to Bill, Mike, and the whole team for the opportunity to participate. This is the closest our industry can come to a doctorate consortium. It’s the think tank of loyalty.”

Dave Andreadakis

Chief Strategy Officer, Kobie Marketing

“Great conference…worth the trip over.”

Mark Bergdahl

UK Loyalty Expert across a broad range of industries

“Just a quick note to tell you thank you and congratulations for the great job that you did with the Loyalty Academy last week. Our attending clients and my Hinda folks were impressed with the progress the event made YOY. I watched most of it via live streaming. Great job! You should be proud of the event and all of the hard work that I know goes into something like that.”

Mike Donnelly, CPIM

President, Hinda Incentives

“…and certainly agree it was a high-quality, thought-provoking event. Anyone who wants to be seen as a leader in the loyalty space needs to make Loyalty Academy an annual ritual.”

Barry Kirk, CLMP

VP of Loyalty Strategy, Maritz Loyalty

“My boss asked me how it went. I handed him 15 pages of organized notes with specific recommendations on what we could be doing differently in our program. This was a great event – the south Florida venue, the first-class arrangements, the networking reception and the opportunity to learn from the brightest minds in loyalty. Thank you!”

Requested Anonymity

Loyalty Marketing Manager, Consumer Goods and Services Company

“Great conference – very informative. Kudos to you and the team.”

Dan Tobal

Vice President, Bank of America

“To me it felt like the true guard was back together. Guardians of the industry and what it stands for and can mean. It was real content and real connections. No BS. Proven innovators and those seeking to learn. Also, a testing ground. Bravo.”   

Michael Hemsey, CLMP

Executive Vice President, Loyalty Solutions Group, Merkle

Interested in becoming a conference sponsor?

As a sponsor of our annual Loyalty Academy Conference, your organization with learn from, share with, and network with some of the leading practitioners and professionals in loyalty marketing. Our conference isn’t a trade show – it’s a senior-level, highly interactive, collaborative, and intimate summit where brand attendees feel comfortable sharing their stories in a non-sales environment. Our conference sponsors get more than just event signage – we work with our sponsors to shape their participation in the event in the most beneficial means for their brand.

For more information, use the contact request form below or call us directly at +1.844.426.4346

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