“Always give people more than they expect to get.”
The contact centre industry is a rapidly evolving landscape with the industry impacted significantly over the past few years. As contact centres adapt to changing demands from customers and agents, top leaders and influencers have reimagined the workforce, and recreated a version of contact centre excellence not seen before.
The emergence of new technologies, platforms and applications transcends the past in a way that has contact centres motivated for change.
Through this time there have been individuals who have been driving this change, and have made a lasting impact on those they are leading, and the industry as a whole. The Top 100 Influencers in the Contact Centre Industry are a group of professionals who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of this industry. They have brought new ideas and innovation to the table, inspiring others to push the boundaries of what is possible.
These influencers have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity and commitment to driving excellence in the contact centre industry. When we asked for nominations for industry influencers, we were overwhelmed by the number of nominations we received. Many nominated multiple times by peers, colleagues and staff for their leadership, others for their role in vendor organisations. Needless to say, it was a tough job to come up with only 100 influencers and it shows that the future of the contact centre industry is in very safe hands. Their insights and thought leadership have helped shape the industry in a positive way, and they continue to inspire and motivate others to do the same. From customer experience experts to technology pioneers, the Top 100 Influencers represent a diverse range of perspectives and approaches to the industry.
What makes these influencers unique is their ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the contact centre industry. They are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve the customer experience, drive efficiency and optimise performance. They have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing contact centres, and they use their expertise to guide others to success.
In recognising the Top 100 Influencers in the Contact Centre Industry, we celebrate their achievements and the positive impact they have made on the industry.
We acknowledge the hard work and dedication that has gone into driving change and shaping the future of this dynamic and important industry.
Ayelet Mendel-Girin – Group Head of Customer Experience at Humm Group
Ayelet has made an incredible mark on the CX industry in Australia in a remarkably short period of time. A senior customer experience leader, Ayelet builds the bridge between the present and the future, building purpose and creating a compelling customer vision. Passionate about creating a collaborative, customer-first culture, Ayelet specialises in building and executing the full Customer and Employee Experience Strategy. Ayelet has partnered with iconic brands including Microsoft, CBA, Deloitte, American Express, Kimberley-Clark Corporation, IBM, Jaguar and Pfizer, transforming their customer experience and taking them to the next level. Taking out numerous CX and Product Industry awards this year including Canstar, Finder, Product review, Ashton Media, Mozo Experts Choice, Ayelet was named the Australian CX Leader of the Year in 2022. Ayelet can be seen out and about presenting at key industry conferences, contributing to industry publications, and is a valued contributor to Matchboard’s Industry Advisory Board. Definitely one to watch!
Angelo Azar – Chief Operating Officer of Honey Insurance
Angelo Azar has spent his career in contact centre and customer experience leadership roles, recently shifting into the Chief Operating Officer role at Honey Insurance, one of Australia’s fastest growing insurance companies. He has a reputation for leading organisations to successfully connect commercial outcomes and exceptional customer service. Recognised as an exceptional people leader, Angelo influences others through role modelling values of integrity, customer-centricity and a genuine care for the people he leads. Angelo is an active and influential member of the community, supporting charities, mentoring, and guiding emerging leaders, and is an Industry Advisory Board member at Matchboard. He is the recipient of Hollard’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award, and always displays a commitment to diversity and multiculturalism. An exceptional leader who knows that creating an environment where people feel valued and connected will bring results.
Stacey Tomasoni – Managing Director at Datacom
Stacey Tomasoni is the Managing Director at Datacom, a company dedicated to helping organisations create exceptional customer experiences. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Stacey and her team are experts in designing and executing transformational programs through experiential design, operational excellence, and the use of emerging technology. With a focus on delivering long-lasting value to clients, Stacey has sponsored the development of programs that take transformational change from design through to execution, empowering executives to participate and contribute to the strategic dialogue. This approach has helped clients achieve significant outcomes, including repatriation of workloads with improved customer outcomes, alignment of digital and service strategies, application of automation, and design and rollout of a customer-focused vision for the workforce. Stacey is a strong, strategic leader, with a passion for delivering customer excellence and organisational results. Generous with her time, Stacey supports emerging talent in the industry through mentoring and guidance. Stacey is a sought-after speaker, a polished professional, and an advocate for the contact centre industry. An asset to any organisation, Stacey is well respected throughout the industry and considered an innovative change maker.
Stuart Beaumont – Executive General Manager at Suncorp
Stuart Beaumont is the Executive General Manager, Direct Distribution at Suncorp Group. An experienced executive, Stuart is a contact centre expert with more than 20 years’ experience managing teams to deliver successful business and customer focused outcomes. With a passion for digital and technology, Stuart has delivered strong technological programs for organisations including automation, conversational AI and more. He is currently responsible for the strategic direction and sales/service performance of the Direct Distribution team, encompassing all Suncorp brands including AAMI, GIO, APIA, Shannons, etc. He is passionate about creating seamless digital self-service solutions, whilst maintaining and building customer relationships with expert customer support where it is needed. An expert both in Australia and internationally, Stuart is a strong leader who empowers his people to be decision makers and customer advocates. Stuart has been an active contributor to the Australian contact centre industry, supporting growth and talent development, presenting at key industry events, and continuing to champion the role of the contact centre in corporate organisations. Stuart is a well respected leader, authentic, strategic and people centric.
Megan Papadopoulos – General Manager, Customer Contact at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Megan Papadopoulos is the General Manager at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. An accomplished professional with a deep love for contact centre operations and customer service, Megan is a highly respected leader and industry expert. Megan is highly efficient and understands the customer journey, taking every opportunity to enhance and streamline the interactions. Megan speaks of a philosophy that drives digital experiences by design, but human experiences when it matters. A results-oriented executive with a reputation for fostering talent and investing in the development of her team, Megan is a creative leader who empowers those around her. Megan’s leadership style promotes an engaged workforce, she values the contributions of others, and motivates involvement to get results. Megan has a deep understanding of the contact centre and customer experience environment, she is often seen presenting at industry events, sharing insights and knowledge about the industry. A superstar within the contact centre industry and an asset to any team.
Gerard Smith – Chief Executive Officer of GMCU
Gerard Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of GMCU. Gerard has been working in the Banking and Financial Services Industry for over 25 years. His professional background is varied and includes experience in contact centres, IT, sales and marketing, ecommerce and digital, marketing, project management, human resources, technology implementation as well as knowledge management. Gerard is a passionate advocate for the contact centre industry, he has a deep understanding of customer, and the ability to influence and motivate his people to become hyper focused on the customer experience. Gerard can often be seen delivering key note presentations at industry events, he provides mentoring and guidance to emerging leaders, and supports excellence as a judge and coach for award programs. A people centred leader, Gerard builds inclusive organisational communities where excellence is celebrated, and people feel valued. An industry supporter, Member of the Auscontact board and all round advocate for an innovative and successful future.
Mei-Ling Cheong-Nepia – Head of Client Service at Australian Ethical
Mei-Ling Cheong-Nepia is the Head of Client Services at Australian Ethical Investment, Australia’s largest pureplay ethical investment firm and fastest growing superannuation fund. Mei-Ling has extensive experience leading large, multi-site operations, having worked with large organisations across the financial services industry including BT, Rest, and Perpetual. Mei-Ling is a transformational leader and change specialist, experienced in leading people through large organisational restructures and change programs. Mei-Ling is invested in her people, challenging them to grow, develop and succeed. A state finalist in the 2022 Auscontact Excellence Awards in the Change, Innovation and Improvement category, Mei-Ling identifies opportunities to innovate and optimise the customer experience. A well-respected coach and mentor, Mei-Ling has been giving back to the industry through her development of emerging leaders. A strong player in the contact centre industry.
Beth Parkin – Head of CX Product & Service Development at Beyond Blue
Beth Parkin is the Head of CX Product & Service Development at Beyond Blue. She is a senior leader with diverse global experience across multiple industries and high-profile brands such as IHG Hotels, eBay, Vodafone, Optus, and Qantas in both B2B and B2C Customer Service and Experience Design. Beth is renowned for her ability to envision and deliver outcomes leveraging both digital and human strategies and capability. She has worked across multiple industries, leveraging her experience in all facets of customer service and operations, omni-channel strategy, experience design, and execution of brand principles. Beth is recognised as an innovative leader, known for developing and leading strategic, customer-focused, solutions with notable achievements in implementing service to reduce customer effort, improve efficiency and cost outcomes. With a passion for great digital design, Beth developed an onshore/offshore strategy for several organisations including the self-service strategy to solve customer enquiries including an industry first use of AI bots. Beth has multiple industry firsts and several awards in Digital Innovation within the Superannuation industry under her belt, and constantly looks for ways to streamline and optimise the customer experience. Beth enjoys all things that support optimal CX and is a highly respected contributor in the contact centre industry.
Kelly Mendes – General Manager Shared Services at Pica Group
Kelly Mendes has been in the contact centre industry for more than 20 years. Designing, implementing, transforming, and leading contact centre teams over multiple continents, Kelly is an influential leader who focuses on building engaged and effective cultures. Kelly transforms teams with her authenticity and values driven leadership. Challenging industry norms, Kelly looks to develop measures that matter in her pursuit of service delivery excellence. A humble leader who inspires those around her, Kelly is generous with her time and knowledge, nurturing emerging leaders through mentoring and development. An expert at driving results, Kelly has a deep understanding of people which contributes to her instinctive ability to identify currency that drives performance. Keeping customers at the centre of everything she does, Kelly is showing the next generation of leaders how to excel and succeed in the contact centre industry.
Blaine Slater – Chief Growth Officer of TSA Group
Blaine Slater is the Chief Growth Officer at TSA Group where he is responsible for the engagement of new clients in new industries. An experienced leader who has worked in all aspects of the industry, Blaine has the unique perspective that knowing the environment and every role within it brings. Blaine is an exceptional people leader; he drives results through people centred strategies and a deep understanding of the business. Results oriented, Blaine leads his teams to engage with purpose and commit to the organisational vision. A natural flair for reading and responding to the industry environment, Blaine understands local market trends, is an expert at contact centre technology adoption, and customer communication preferences. A market leader in the BPO space in the APAC region, Blaine understands the challenges and opportunities of running a global workforce of over 4,000 staff. Blaine is well respected across the industry and a definite industry influencer.