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10/10/2017 » 10/12/2017
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10/22/2017 » 10/25/2017
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Training & Development Summit

2015 Summit Presenters

2015 Summit Sponsors Session Descriptions and Handouts

2015 IMA Executive Summit Presenter Bios

Click here for Session Handouts. (IMA Member login required.)

Keynote Speaker

Max Weinberg

Max Weinberg - Drummer for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band

Max Weinberg, the man the New York Times called “the rhythmic backbone of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band” is one of the most visible drummers of the rock era, and has recently completed a whirlwind 2 ½ year tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. He continued to entertain audiences for 17 years both as a featured performer in comedy sketches and as the leader of what Tom Shales called “…the best band on TV,” the Max Weinberg Seven on NBC’s Late Night and The Tonight Show.

Max has performed in the East Room of The White House with the United States Navy Big Band and at two Presidential Inaugural Galas, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014.

Nancy Alderman

With more than 30 years of travel experience with the airlines and incentive industry, Nancy Alderman brings unique insight and expertise to her position as Associate Director – Special Operations Services of TSYS Loyalty.  Nancy has been with TSYS Loyalty for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the growth of the organization and the continued expansion of travel incentive offerings.

In her varied and successful career with TSYS Loyalty, Nancy has been responsible for call center operations, training and development, rewards program design and implementation.  Nancy has been instrumental in the launch of over 60 Loyalty Rewards programs serving over 30 million consumer and corporate credit cards. 

In 2013, Nancy had assumed responsibilities for the Specialty Travel Group, Travel Operations and Customer CARE.   In this role, Nancy focused on developing and expanding the incentive travel product line, enhanced customer experience and first call resolution.   Since 2013 she has increased sales of incentive travel by more than 33% and revenue by more than 49%, while reducing customer call handle time and escalations to second tier support team members.

Nancy is recognized as an industry expert and has spoken at numerous trade shows and conferences. She is a graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Jamie Badgett

A 16 year payment industry veteran and a self described solutionist. Jamie is currently the Senior Director of Business and Client Development for Transaction Wireless. TW is an industry leader in bringing innovative digital life to gift cards, loyalty incentives and integrated marketing solutions to retailers, partners and consumers. Jamie holds a US patent for innovation in the packaging of prepaid gift cards.


Nick Balestino

Nick Balestino is the manager of Award Partnerships at Hallmark Business Connections, the business-relationships unit of Hallmark Cards, Inc. He has over fifteen years of experience in the incentive industry and ten years in the payments industry. He has a strong background in retail having worked at Banana Republic, Apple Store and Best Buy. He is responsible for negotiating and managing gift card partnerships with leading merchants to support Hallmark’s Employee Recognition and Wellness Engagement award solutions. He also oversees gift card and voucher fulfillment partnerships in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America.

Nick is passionate about the incentive and payments industry, retail, technology and the power of human connections. He has previously served on the board of the IGCC and actively participates in incentive and payment industry events.


Bill Beck

A seasoned global leader with 25 years of experience, Bill Beck has served in roles ranging from operations, information technology, product marketing and sales. He has a superior track record of impacting profitable revenue generation, building, developing and leading results-oriented sales and service teams, all while taking care of clients.

His first boss gave him a piece of advice that he uses to this day: listen to the client and try to make the experience a little fun for them. Mission accomplished. With a BA in English from Missouri State University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Bill’s career path has taken him from Emerson Electric to SAP, where he held key roles including VP/Sales and VP/Solutions. Today he serves the B2B community as the VP/Sales for Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, a leading global provider of customized incentive and engagement solutions for employee rewards and recognition programs. A strategic partner with many of the world’s leading brands, Bill is a thought leader in the space, offering game-changing engagement solutions that impact results.


David Boodey

A former trainer and author on Microsoft technology, for the past 16 years David has been a partner in The DataDirect Group, playing a critical role in bringing the popular and widely used RepLink System to the incentive industry. He is a regular presenter at IMRA and IMA conferences on technology and how it is affecting the Incentive Industry.


Jeffrey Dalton

Jeffrey Dalton is founder and President of Paramax, a leading technology provider of Incentive Management Solutions used in incentive, recognition, loyalty and awards programs. Founded in 1995, the company was an early pioneer in creating some of the first on line reward and redemption programs. Paramax provides its Points, Plateau, and Robust Award Catalog solutions exclusively thru Incentive Companies and Promotional Products Distributors.

From 1984-1994 Dalton was president of Eastern Computer Graphics, a Value-Added Re seller (VAR) of business presentation and Pre Press systems. ECG created one of the first turnkey computer graphics work station and by 1989, the company was providing Pre-Press and Design systems to the graphic arts market as an IBM and Apple VAR.

A professional musician, promoter, and producer, Dalton spent many years in the mid to late seventies performing and producing musical events and concerts.

Barry Doyle

Over 25 years experience in helping the world's largest global Marketing, loyalty, reward and recognition companies deliver market leading goods and services in-to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Procurement International are proud to manage the outsource reward services for their global agency clients delivering over 3000 tangible line items in-to 57 countries over three continents.

Brian is a veteran of the prepaid voucher and gift card industry, well known within the conference circuit, with over 25 years experience in the retail and hospitality sector. He continues to work with some of the World’s largest retailers and hospitality providers, including B&Q and Toys R Us, helping clients to: Drive Customer Loyalty; Reward Distributors; Entice Customers; Reward Purchases; Motivate Employees.


Brian Dunne

Brian Dunne has previously held a variety of Managing Director roles, including National Post Office / Royal Mail Group and Whitbread PLC, the largest hospitality retailer in the UK, where he gained a profound passion for the incentive marketplace.

As the Managing Director of SVM Global Ltd, Brian serves the incentive industry with gift cards, specifically specializing in offering prepaid solutions, whilst supporting some of the leading incentive and motivation companies and programs.

Originally established in the USA in 1997, SVM Global has expanded and flourished at a rapid rate, promoting over 500 aspirational brands across UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America and handling the secure sale, marketing and distribution of gift cards and digital e-codes.

Brian is a veteran of the prepaid voucher and gift card industry, well known within the conference circuit, with over 25 years experience in the retail and hospitality sector. He continues to work with some of the World’s largest retailers and hospitality providers, including B&Q and Toys R Us, helping clients to: Drive Customer Loyalty; Reward Distributors; Entice Customers; Reward Purchases; Motivate Employees.

Brian is a Master of Business Administration (MBA); a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and a Fellow of the Hotel & Catering Institute. He also maintains various additional qualifications within the retail and hospitality space.


Gunther Everaert

Gunther Everaert is Managing Director and Founder of SwingGroup, a specialist B2B incentives company based in Belgium. He has extensive experience developing inspirational B2B and B2B2C Incentive Marketing solutions helping businesses excel. He is expert at using innovative positive reward systems, one-on-one communications and cutting edge technology as 'excellerators'.

He graduated from Ghent High School in ’92 division Marketing with Master Thesis ‘The Corporate Image of Kipling’. He set up SwingGroup in 2002, and prior to this held senior positions with RCP as Managing Director and TMP Worldwide as Key Account Manager. He has strategically advised and developed integrated incentive marketing programmes for Fortune 500 clients such as BMW, Coca-Cola, Electrolux, GE, Philips, Samsung, Thomas Cook, Toyota and Unilever. He has spoken as an industry leader at conferences such as Digital Marketing First, International Gift Card summit and HRM Masterclass e-recruitment, given interviews on Belgian national radio and as a regular guest lecturer at Ghent University.

His particular areas of specialism are:

  • Incentive and loyalty marketing;
  • Corporate communication.

kevin green

Kevin Green

Kevin Green is the Director of Promotional Sales at Fandango—the nation’s top moviegoer destination and the leader in online movie ticketing, with access to over 36,000 movie screens nationwide. Fandango’s B2B movie ticket and digital rewards codes are used as an effective promotional incentive tool by many of the top brands, studios and CPG’s in their consumer-facing promotions. .


Jason Fowee

Jason is the Sr. Gift Card Category Manager at Kroger, responsible for driving the strategy and marketing of gift cards for the largest traditional grocer in the US. With over 18 years in the grocery industry and over 10 years’ experience with gift cards, Jason has helped Kroger grow gift card sales into one of the best performing products on a per square foot basis.


Alan Hale

Alan Hale, President of Fairways Golf, is a proven chief executive with significant experience leading service-oriented businesses. He is the former CEO/owner of Adventure Travel (ADTRAV), one of the largest privately-held travel agencies in the USA. Under his nearly 18 years of leadership, Adventure Travel grew from $25 Million in sales to over $150 Million, by both organic growth and through nearly two dozen acquisitions. While at ADTRAV, he was recognized as the Small Business Person of the Year from the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, and his company was a top ten finalist in the nation-wide Inc. Magazine and MCI Positive Performer Customer Service Awards.

Mr. Hale is a past Board Member of The Travel Institute (the travel agent community’s accreditation and educational organization) and served for nearly eight years on the Board of Directors of Ensemble Travel - one of the largest travel agency co-operatives of in the world with nearly 2,000 locations in North America. Prior to acquiring Fairways Golf, Mr. Hale was a consultant for companies such as Virgin Vacations USA and TravelLeaders (formerly Carlson Travel Leisure Group). At TravelLeaders, he led the acquisition of the lead company, a $225M travel agency in Florida, and served as President. Mr. Hale has served or is presently serving on several other travel industry advisory boards: Traveling Times, Choice Hotels, Hotel Clearing Corporation, and Dollar Rent-a-Car.

Mr. Hale is married with three adult children and is retired from the U.S. Navy Reserves. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Engineering and attended college on a NROTC scholarship. He served as a Naval Flight Officer and flew anti-submarine aircraft missions in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters during the early 1980’s.


Nicole Hardey

IMA Member since 2010; IGCC Member since 2010; IGCC Board Member since 2014; Co-VP of Education RGCA Member since 2010; RGCA Board Member since 2013; Membership Committee Gift Card Network since 2012; Merchant Committee Incentive industry since 2008

As the Sr. Manager of Gift Cards and Special Projects at Groupon, Nicole is a strategic marketing and business development professional with 10 years of experience in leading multi-functional teams to attain company goals and initiatives. Nicole built Groupon’s gift card program from infancy to a multi-million dollar business unit through the launch of digital and physical gift cards in B2B, B2C, and 3rd party channels. She continues to independently manage Groupon’s gift card program while leading cross-functional teams to execute ongoing special projects to drive company initiatives including: mobile app downloads, customer search behavior, email open/click rates, and engagement & activation campaigns.

Nicole is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of Notre Dame.


Barb Hendrickson

Barb Hendrickson’s current company, Visible Communication, LLC, focuses on the platforms and strategies that help companies to develop and communicate their marketing messages. Strategies include website design and content, in-bound marketing and social media strategies, reputation management, brand development and more. Barb is a frequent speaker and trainer on Branding, Communication, Using LinkedIn for Business and InBound Marketing.

Barb has 30+ years experience in incentive program design and promotional marketing, is a Certified Professional of Incentive Management (CPIM), past President of IMA and authored It’s Not About the Money; 10 Steps to Designing Effective Non-Cash Incentive Programs that Retain Employee, Engage Customers and Improve Business.

Barb also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for a faith-based hospice in Livonia, MI.


Andy Hodges

As the Group Vice President of Business Development, Andy Hodges uses his 25 years of experience to grow Connexions Loyalty’s offerings to its clients. During his more than 13-year tenure with Connexions, Andy has served as the Vice President of Product Management and the Vice President of Marketing. Andy is a member of numerous professional associations, including the Incentive Marketing Association, the Incentive Gift Card Council, and the American Marketing Association. In addition to his professional activities and accomplishments, Andy donates his time to help Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Club.


Steve Kane

Steve Kane leads Spafinder Wellness revenue strategy and execution. He is responsible for sales and new business initiatives. Since he joined Spafinder in 2007, gift card sales alone have increased by over 150 percent, and the program has expanded around the globe.

Steve also leads the company's workplace wellness program, Corporate Wellness 365™, which offers employers incentives fully aligned with health objectives.

Steve’s professional experience includes 30-plus years of senior executive sales leadership, with a focus on account management and client relationships. Prior to Spafinder Wellness, he was responsible for the launch and sales fashion accessories brands at Schifter + Partners. Previous positions also comprise vice president, North America, for LeSportsac, Inc., and national sales manager for Liz Claiborne Handbags and Small Leather Goods.

Steve is a board member of the RGCA and the advisory board of SVS Ceridian, as well as a past board member of the IGCC.


Bill Martocci

Bill Martocci is President of Carlisle Sales & Marketing, a Manufacturer’s Representative Firm selling top name brands his company offers throughout the northeast (NY/NJ). Making a switch over 8 years ago from the manufacturer side of the business as Director of Special Markets for Carson Optical, to a rep, and then ultimately to owner of Carlisle Sales, Bill has extensive sales knowledge, and a unique perspective on issues and strategies in this channel through his over 10 years of experience. Bill has sold B2B, retail, and service accounts, throughout his 25 years sales background and also holds an M.B.A. in General Management
Bill is the current President of IMRA (Incentive Manufacturer Representative Alliance) having served on its Board for 7 years and a member of the IMA Board. He both resides and has his offices in New York on Long Island.


Marc Matthews

Marc Matthews, President and CEO of Corporate Sport Incentives has over thirty five year experience in the special events and secondary ticket market. Primarily a strategic B-to-B service fulfillment partner, Corporate Sport Incentives specializes in providing sales incentive and customer relationship development programs based around small group and individual experiential sports and vacation travel packages as well as premium ticket and ticket packages to all concerts, theatre and sports events worldwide. Corporate Sport’s most popular product, the JustRewards™ line of experiential, sports and vacation travel awards, provides a high perceived-value alternative to cash awards and is a staple offering in many incentive company’s loyalty, recognition and service programs.

Marc graduated in 1987 from the University of Maryland College of Business with a Degree in Marketing and a Degree in Finance and also earned two Associate Degrees in Architecture and Civil Engineering. Mr. Matthews currently resides in Haymarket, Virginia with his lovely wife Julie and 4 great kids – Grayson, Campbell, Georgia and Colton.


Ted Moravec

Ted Moravec is Vice President of Elite Creations, a National Marketing Company providing brand name merchandise to the incentive market since 1983. In this capacity he provides leadership for all sales, customer relations, supplier relations and administrative functions.

Ted joined Elite Creations in this position in 2008, after having worked the previous 15 months as a consultant to the company. Prior to joining the incentive world, Ted spent 30 years in the insurance industry almost half of which was in international markets, including leading the Korean and Indian subsidiaries of Allstate and New York Life.

Ted is currently Vice President of IMRA and a member of the IMA Board. He resides in Elgin, IL with Jan, his wife of 41 years. They have two children and one grandchild.


Tom Niedbalski

As vice president, business development for Transaction Wireless, Tom Niedbalski is charged with expanding the company’s innovative digital gifting and marketing platform globally. With more than 23 years of experience in retail marketing, merchandising, operations and new technology development, Tom is an integral part of TW leadership team and his knowledge has been instrumental in developing and evolving the company’s robust platform that brings a digital life to gift cards.

Mr. Niedbalski joined Transaction Wireless from Stored Value Solutions (SVS) where he was responsible for developing a new mass market sales channel, the SVS Loyalty Program, as well as leading the partnership marketing team, among other duties. Prior to that, Niedbalski was promoted through the ranks at Blockbuster where he excelled for 17 years in various management roles including IT, marketing, new retail technology, operations and product development. Among his many accomplishments, he was part of the team that developed and launched the Blockbuster Reward Program, the most successful marketing program in the company’s history generating more than $20 million annually. In addition, he revolutionized the company’s gift card program with marketplace innovations that continue to serve as a model for enterprises across the globe.

Mr. Niedbalski currently represents Transaction Wireless as an active member on the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) and Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC).

Volker Patzak

Volker Patzak is the Vice President MdGl of cadooz GmbH. Volker has been a leader of cadooz, one of Europe’s largest reward companies based in Hamburg, Germany part of the global payments organization Euronet. Volker has been a leading player in the voucher, giftcard & rewards business in Germany for over 15 years, and before that was head of sales for Experian and easycash loyalty solution, developing and selling consumer loyalty-, payment- and giftcard-schemes to retailers. Volker is passionate about leading a fast growing business within a global group and developing corporate and trade relationships on an international basis, as well as innovative incentive products. Volker is a long-standing IMA Europe member.


Julian Rochard

Expert in Marketing services, reward fulfillment and Global programs. Managing Director in charge of marketing and business development, Julien joined Edenred 13 years ago in France, quickly mastering vendor relationships and forging new distribution channels. After Paris, Julien developed strategic guidance resulting in emerging India and China for incentive / motivation and CRM programs, before bringing Edenred’s expertise to American clients interested in international loyalty programs. Leading a team of account managers. sourcing and customer service Julien develops all clients in need of global opportunities.

Julien holds degrees in Law and Business and has an MBA.

Stationed in New York City, Julien’s passion is travel, which has taken him to more than 60 countries.


Rebecca Rosenbloom Andreoli

Rebecca is a results-oriented marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in both Business to Consumer and Business to Business Marketing. She currently is a Program Manager for Rewards Partnership Program where she demonstrates her ability to develop and manage rewards and loyalty programs across multiple channels, including: direct mail, email, web, print and telemarketing.


Jack Smith

Jack has been a principle at Great Lakes Scrip Center for 20 years. GLSC is one of the largest gift card distributors in the USA with state of the art card distribution capabilities. We were also one of the first B2B companies to incorporate ecards into our business model with the development of our ScripNow product in 2010. There are currently over 270 ScripNow brands to choose from as well as nearly 100 brands utilizing our reloadable card technology saving hundreds of thousands of cards per year from ending up in landfills.


Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith has been helping clients solve complex strategic problems for over 40 years. As Vice-Chairman of Shapiro+Raj, Matthew orchestrates global research in a broad range of business categories and brings his understanding of customer and consumer behavior to the Retail, CPG and B-to-B categories as well as the healthcare practice of CarbonSix, a division of Shapiro+Raj, in his role as chief advisor and ambassador. 

He has conducted ground-breaking research in the development of Big-Box retailers like PetSmart, The Sports Authority, and Staples as well as pioneering work in Health and Wellness for the American Cancer Society, The American Medical Society and the National Cancer Institute, including the first comprehensive study on the utilization of unapproved methods in cancer treatment.

He also served as Chairman of the Chicago Council on Urban Affairs for five years during which time the organization secured a grant from the Macarthur Foundation to public sentiments regarding Juvenile Justice in preparation for the Jane Addams Centennial and the founding of the first Juvenile Court in the United States.

Matthew started out pursuing a career in the Arts (Ask him about Picasso or Jasper Johns and the old Art Historian in him comes out!). Seeking more lucrative endeavors to support his young family, he was introduced to Dr. Leo Shapiro, noted University of Chicago sociologist, and joined his firm as an associate. Under Dr. Shapiro’s tutelage, he honed his research skills and became a principal of the company and is actively working to take the company, and it’s new partners, to the next level in the ever-changing world of Market Research and Strategy.


Eric Thiegs

As part of the executive leadership team at National Gift Card Corp., Eric is responsible for overseeing the staff and resources for the Sales, Marketing, and Merchant Partnerships departments. This includes servicing NGC's 300+ merchant relationships and 2,000+ B2B clients who purchase gift cards or use NGC's gift card fulfillment services for loyalty, rewards, incentive and employee recognition programs in the USA, Canada, and U.K.

Thiegs is a 15+ year veteran of the gift card program / reward and loyalty program arenas, having worked as a Senior Account Executive for five years on Visa Rewards at Carlson Marketing Group (now AIMIA), five years as the Director of Partnership Marketing at Access Development, a year as head of accounts for a branding/PR/marketing agency, and four years running his own partnership agency, Stage of Life LLC, as a consultant for loyalty program clients in the mobile, financial institution, and non-profit sectors. Past clients include Discover Card, CapOne, HSBC, Gettysburg Foundation, Kobie Marketing, Olson, Best Buy, Verizon, TracFone, Visa, and more.

He was named a "Forty Under 40" in the Pennsylvania business community by Central Penn Business Journal in 2012 and relocated to the Chicago area for National Gift Card in 2014.

When he is not at NGC, Eric enjoys playing board games with his daughters, laying on the beach reading a good book with his wife, and playing guitar.

Hollis Thornton

As one of the founding team members of Stoner Bunting Gift Cards, Hollis started her career over 2 decades ago and has worked for organizations such as the Orlando Host Committee for World Cup Soccer, Robert Earl’s Orlando Entertains (Hard Rock, Medieval Times, Blazing Pianos), and Cox Enterprises’ sports marketing/promotions agency in New York, as well as Cox Direct. Her account management and public relations skills achieved results on behalf of such influential brands as JCPenney, Pace Foods, Fujifilm, the US Tennis Association and US Olympic Committee.

Hollis currently serves as the Account Group Director of Stoner Bunting Gift Cards and is actively leading the strategic direction of the Account, Sales and Order Management Teams. Utilizing her talents, she has developed large scale promotions and secured targeted partnerships with such clients as Sunglass Hut, Brooks Brothers, EXPRESS, and Dave & Buster’s. In addition to working with over 30 different merchants, Hollis ensures Stoner Bunting is delivering phenomenal outcomes for clients’ B2B gift card programs. Using her vast experience from working within the client side of the business, she brings a unique perspective to Stoner Bunting that has helped the company create long-term client relationships and become a leader in creating bottom-line results.

van dyke

Melissa Van Dyke

Melissa Van Dyke is President of the Incentive Research Foundation where she has responsibility for all day-to-day operational, financial and marketing aspects of the organization and has helped triple the organization's research and education footprint over the last 5 years. She came to the IRF from her position as Managing Consultant of Employee Engagement at Maritz. Prior, Melissa held leadership positions in Solution Management, Product Development and Business Technology Solution Management at Maritz. Van Dyke was selected as Incentive magazine’s 2007 “Rising Star in the Incentive Industry” and authored the chapter on “Non-monetary Awards: Experiential, Tangible, and Cash Equivalent Awards” in the upcoming sixth edition of the Compensation Handbook. Before joining Maritz, Van Dyke worked as a Senior Consultant for Ernst & Young.


Robert Ward

Robert Ward, Director of Sales, Ovation Rewards. Robert has been in the hospitality business for over 30 years. He has worked with Starwood, Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton Hotels and has been in his current position for Fairmont-Raffles-Swissotels for over 12 years. Robert helped launch the Ovations/ FRHI gift card program for FRHI Hotels & Resorts in 2003. This program has achieved double digit growth every year since its inception. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for IMA, helped create the IMA Travel SIG in 2005 and is also a member of the Incentive Gift Card Council. He has received both the CPIM and IP professional designation from IMA.


Andrew Wilmot

Andrew Wilmot is the CEO of Maroon Elephant. Andrew heads London based Social Marketing Agency Maroon Elephant that specializes in social and digital product innovation in motivation industry. Previously, Andrew sold his digital marketing business to WPP group company Grass Root.


Erin Wood

As the Director of the SUBWAY® Card Program for North America, Erin has the overall responsibility for developing and executing profitable and competitive gift card strategies for over 30,000 SUBWAY® restaurants in the US and Canada. Erin has over ten years’ experience in the card industry, leading card program initiatives for both Target and SUBWAY® inclusive of various consumer and B2B sales channels. She has managed all aspects of a gift card program including marketing, sales, innovation, contracts, production, and fulfillment. Erin also serves on RGCA Board, and is the Chair of the Knowledge Committee which focuses on fraud, mobile/virtual technology and metrics.

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