Judging Committee Heads Named in 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service
Judging of the 2018 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service will be conducted through January 15 by more than 150 professionals worldwide. Their average scores will determine the Finalists to be announced in mid-January, and the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie-winner placements among the Finalists.
2018 Jury Chairs: these professionals will lead the judging of the 2018 awards.
Art Gairo is a Client Operations Executive with over 20 years of experience in building, transforming, and leading world class customer service organizations. Art currently serves as Senior Vice President of Client Operations at Evolve IP, The Cloud Strategy Company™. In this role, Art is responsible for leading the entire client experience, while directly leading client care & support, technical services, project management, service delivery and client activations.
Prior to joining Evolve IP, Art was the Senior Vice President and Head of Customer Experience at Broadview Networks, with responsibility for all Service, Repair, and Care Centers; the Enterprise Customer Support Division; Field Operations; and the Agent and Wholesale Support Divisions. Before joining Broadview, Art was Vice President of Customer Operations at ATX Communications, which was acquired by Broadview in 2006. Art was also Vice President of Client Implementation at Allegiance Telecom prior to his time with ATX Communications.
A multiple award-winner, including for Customer Service Team of the Year, Art holds a 6 Sigma Black Belt Certification and dual Master’s Certifications in Lean 6 Sigma and Organizational Leadership from Villanova University. He is currently enrolled in the Executive Leadership Program at Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business. Art served as the Chair of the Customer Service Judging Committee in The 2011 American Business Awards.
Art told us: “I’m honored to be selected for the second time to serve as a Judging Committee Chair for the Stevie Awards. My first experience was a remarkable opportunity that provided me with many wonderful memories that I cherish to this day. I look forward to having the opportunity to recognize the past year’s accomplishments by customer service practitioners around the world that truly demonstrate the capabilities of this ever-evolving industry.”
As the Senior Director of Customer Service at Dun & Bradstreet, Matt enjoys developing leaders and taking care of customers. In 2017, Matt was recognized for spearheading teams that resulted in improved Net Promoter Scores, handled millions of customer contacts at an 82% service level, and contributed over $100 million in sales, saves, and collections.
Matt was named Contact Center Manager of the Year in the 2017 Stevie Awards, and in 2007 was awarded the Scott Cook Innovation Award from Intuit for TurboTax Solutioneering.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys coaching high school soccer and watching Club Atlético River Plate.
Ben Martin currently serves as a member of the Network Alliance executive management team. He directs the Network Alliance Client Support Center, which specializes in offering white glove technical support, system management, and professional services for a wide spectrum of Cloud Desktop, Cloud Infrastructure, and Cloud VoIP environments. Ben previously served as Vice President of Customer Care at Parature, Inc. (acquired by Microsoft), where he directed technical support operations serving Parature's global customer and partner network.
Prior to joining Parature, Ben was the Director of Investor Services at The Morino Institute Netpreneur Program, an organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs fund and grow their technology businesses. During his four years at The Morino Institute, Ben worked with technology entrepreneurs, angel investors, and early stage venture capital firms to identify early stage investment opportunities within the Mid-Atlantic region.
Ben began his career in Information Technology as a technology analyst with the Advanced Technology Department of the American Chemical Society. He earned an MBA in Corporate Finance and an MS in Information Technology from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. He also holds a BS in Corporate Finance and a BA in Philosophy from West Virginia University.
Jay Fortuna has been helping transform the Learning and Development industry through a blended learning approach that incorporates micro-learning and other innovative techniques. The curriculum and courses that Jay has created are not only effective and immersive, but are engaging and enjoyable. Jay is becoming a recognized name in the Learning and Development (L&D) field and received multiple awards in 2017. This includes winning the Gold Stevie Award for Sales Training Program of the Year, and Bronze Stevie Awards for Sales Training Product of the Year, and for Sales Training or Education Professional of the Year in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Services for his work with the Horton Group. In addition, Jay and his team were named a Finalist by the Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES) for Sales Innovation of the Year. Recently, Jay was named as one of Workforce Magazine’s 40 under 40 Gamechangers in 2017 for his accomplishments and the future impact that they believe he will have in the human resources and L&D arena.
Jay’s career started in an industry where many young men dream of working one day: professional sports. Though his own dream had been to be a professional athlete, he instead learned many early lessons from his time as a Media Relations Intern with the Minnesota Twins that have helped him get to where he is today. He received some words of wisdom from the team’s General Manager, which still resonate with him today: “Learn enough to become dangerous.” As a result, Jay is a perpetual student of new trends and effective techniques that can be applied to L&D.
The next steps in Jay’s career allowed him the opportunity to use his charismatic people skills and competitive nature to soar. He succeeded in multiple sales roles at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and various financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase and Associated Banc-Corp. At Associated Bank, Jay’s true passion for L&D was nurtured by his Director, Penn Vieau. With Vieau’s coaching and mentorship, Jay was able to develop his craft as a facilitator and to garner a deeper understanding of how to run a successful L&D department. Jay took the lesson’s that he learned from Associated Bank and joined HUB International, where he became Training Manager and was able to create the curriculum for the Business Development Team from the ground up. Curt Vondrasek, a fellow Gold Stevie Award winner, encouraged him to embrace the Training Manager opportunity at HUB International. Jay launched a training program that took new inside-sales representatives and trained them to become successful sales leaders in their insurance verticals. It was here that Jay continued to hone his craft of training Sales, Service, Leadership and Support staff through a blended learning approach. He teamed up with Chris Condon, VP of Sales Training for HUB International, and together with the Sales Force Development Team, they took on the Insurance Brokerage Firm’s largest goal, growing sales organically. The early success achieved by this new approach brought attention to Jay’s talents, which propelled him to his next role, Director of Training and Development at the Horton Group. Jay didn’t just focus on the issue of organic growth at the Horton Group: he helped the company modernize and reinvent their training as a whole, which has allowed the company to be recognized as an insurance brokerage firm industry leader from Assurex Global, the world’s largest privately held commercial insurance, risk management, and employee benefits brokerage group.
Jay is honored by the opportunity to Chair one of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Awards Judging Committee. He tells us that he is looking forward to seeing the best that the world has to offer in Sales and Business Development.
Tiffany Wagner has worked in sales, consulting, and sales operations leadership roles in the software industry for 25 years. Her experience crosses over both start-ups and fortune 500 companies. She has been with SAP since 2006, and is responsible for the largest demand-generation program in SAP strategic and large enterprise accounts.
Tiffany won the Gold Stevie® Award for Software Sales Distinction in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Services, and was recently asked to provide the keynote for Enterprise Ireland on Sales Planning.
In her personal time, she volunteers at multiple non-profit organizations in the San Francisco bay area.