Chief Executive Officer
Strategy & Leadership, Organization Alignment & Change Management, Customer Engagement, Category Management, Mobile/Social and Payments
Lesley Saitta knows a thing or two about convenience. She has been engaged in the chemical, petroleum and convenience channels, as a consultant and retailer, for over 35 years. As CEO of Impact 21, Lesley works closely with both domestic and international retailers, consumer goods companies, software providers and industry associations. Lesley’s focus on leadership, organization, infrastructure and change management transforms companies and yields significant returns.
Lesley is a recognized voice in her industry. She is active in NACS and is currently on the Supplier Committee, spent 7 years on the Convention Committee, and is a regular speaker and moderator for the NACS Show, Outlook Leadership and many other industry events. She is also a member of the Network of Executive Women.
Prior to forming Impact 21, Lesley was VP of Marketing for Speedway Superamerica LLC, responsible for Marketing, Branding, Category Management, Foodservice, Customer Engagement, Merchandising and Distribution. Lesley began her career in the chemical industry and held senior management roles in sales, marketing, business development, strategic planning and product management in both international and domestic operations at Ashland, Inc. and the Dow Chemical Company.
Born in Alaska and growing up with the feminist influences of her father, Lesley started working at the age of 14, set her goals high and graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a B.S. in Marketing/Management and an Executive MBA. As the founder of a company owned by women, a wife, and mother of two fine men, Lesley is a mentor to many successful retail executives and entrepreneurs and is committed to expanding equality and diversity in the workplace. Her passion for reading, championing children with learning differences and personal work with Make-A-Wish keep her both humbled and inspired.
Strategic Planning, Business Alignment, Organizational Alignment, Acquisition Integration, Retail Automation & Learning & Development, Foodservice, Price Management
Lisa Stewart’s passion for operational excellence, along with her 27+ years of practical and technical experience in the petroleum, convenience, and retail industries, has served her team and clients well. As Co-founder and President of Impact 21, Lisa works with retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, and solution providers to build business infrastructure and leverage returns on investment for corporate and store level technologies.
With a mastery of strategic planning and organizational alignment, Lisa leads business and acquisition integration for Impact 21 – with a focus on integrations within convenience retail and refining & logistics. She also takes the lead on projects involving major supply chain and foodservice strategies and deployments. She drives foodservice deployments from strategy to deployment, piloting new concepts, packaging, merchandising, marketing, and safety programs. Through her expertise in retail automation, inventory, and price management, Lisa manages strategic alliances and advanced enterprise integrations for retail, fuel, foodservice, workforce management, learning management, and wholesale solutions.
As a distinguished expert in the industry, Lisa maintains a strong focus on learning and development and is frequently called upon as a contributor, facilitator, and speaker for NACS and other industry trade organizations and publications. Lisa served on the board of Conexxus/PCATS for 6 years and previously on NACS Technology Standards committees since 1996. In honor of her many years of commitment to industry standards and process improvements, Lisa was inducted into the Conexxus Hall of Fame in 2018.
Before founding Impact 21, Lisa served at Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC, a joint venture between Marathon Oil and Ashland, Inc. and prior to that at SuperAmerica Group, a division of Ashland Inc. She was responsible for corporate and store merchandise management systems and led inventory management and automation initiatives. Lisa held a variety of special assignments during the joint venture for process and systems integration. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Eastern Kentucky University.
Family first is a core value for both Impact 21 and for Lisa personally. Coming from a large extended family and having three grown sons of her own, Lisa cherishes her family time. She has always had a passion for helping children. She is active in her church’s children’s ministry and co-founded a non-profit organization, Hopes and Dreams, to provide assistance and activities for children and adults with special needs throughout several counties in Kentucky.
Chief Technology Officer
IT Leadership, Payment Methods, Point of Sale Implementation, Enterprise Integration, Loss Prevention, Business Intelligence, Store Operations
Chuck Young is the Chief Technology Officer for Impact 21 and with good reason. Through his 38+ years in the retail industry, over 29 of them in petroleum/convenience, Chuck has become an expert in the world of IT. He works with retailers both large and small to implement and leverage retail technology stacks that drive efficiencies.
During his 20+ years of project management and consulting with Impact 21, Chuck has worked with retail chains ranging in size from eight stores to several thousand. The scope of the projects ranges from selecting and implementing new payment platforms and Point of Sale (POS) upgrades to integration of technologies and automated processes into the retailer’s business model. He has managed and completed projects including EMV certification, deployment initiatives for Back-office / Home Office implementation, requirements analysis & solution sourcing for POS, Back-office and Home Office hardware and software, and an ongoing modeling and analysis program for the franchise network of a major oil company.
Chuck’s go-to philosophy is that of Francis Bacon—“Ipsa scientia potestas est”—translation, “Knowledge itself is power”. It is no surprise then that Chuck lends his knowledge to others as an active member of Conexxus, a participant in various committees and work groups, and a semi-regular speaker at the NACS Show and other industry events.
Though Chuck currently resides in Lexington, KY, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in his home state from Cornell University. Chuck is an active member of his Catholic parish and hits the golf course any chance he gets.
Chief of Staff
Project Management, Organizational Design, Human Resources, Loyalty, Brand Development, Marketing, Strategy
Kathi Webber brings a lot to the table at Impact 21 with 20+ years’ experience in leadership and management, over 15 of them in the petroleum/convenience retail industry. In her roles as project manager, sponsor, and project subject matter expert, Kathi draws from her New England work ethic – through hard work, and a bit of stubbornness, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to achieve. She guides teams in transforming their business goals into achievable multi-year operating plans. Kathi extends her skills to internal operations, whether sponsoring the Impact 21 EDGE collaboration portal and advising on internal Human Resources activities or supporting owners in their own internal operations. She plays a primary role in creating SmartSheet Dashboards – pulling from a variety of systems and sites.
Prior to joining the Impact 21 team, Kathi held various senior level leadership positions at Irving Oil from business development, innovation and marketing, organizational development to human resources management. She wore many different hats, responsible for scenario and strategic planning, due diligence management, partner relationship management, loyalty marketing development, category management, product development and marketing for 300 branded convenience store locations and 700 branded fuel and travel plazas located in Canada and US.
In addition, Kathi led the people and change practice for several company reorganizations, right-sizing, mergers, divestures and acquisitions as well as the Human Resource operations for all non-refining divisions in the US and Canada. Prior to her experience in the petroleum company, Kathi worked in the Group Insurance and Entertainment industries in training and development and recruitment roles.
Growing up in Maine, Kathi developed a love for learning. She achieved her Bachelors of Art from the University of Maine and her Master of Business Administration from Boston University. She also attained certifications from Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management in business strategy and marketing. Her mission to be of service to the communities around her and to live in a manner that respects differences and embraces learning, has inspired her many travels to over 30 countries and all 50 states. Kathi has been a long-term member of various board of directors in her local communities. She shares many adventures with her faithful dog, Phoebe.
Chief Marketing Officer
Strategy, Business Outlook, Marketing, Consumer Insights, Performance Improvement, Foodservice
Though Rob Gallo’s title is Chief Marketing Officer, his role goes above and beyond marketing. He has a knack for connecting the dots and finding better paths to reaching goals. And, he has more than 20 years’ experience in doing just that – as a trusted strategist driving real business results for the world’s biggest brands. At Impact 21, Rob guides the overall marketing strategy for the firm, working closely with clients including retailers, consumer goods companies and technology providers.
Rob leads a wide range of strategy, business outlook and performance improvement engagements, tapping into his significant experience with primary consumer research studies. He helps suppliers and retailers identify viable growth opportunities and provides diagnostic analysis. Within the petroleum and convenience channel, Rob implements assortment strategies, competitive and landscape assessments, market entry strategies, performance improvement and “Store of the Future” studies. Rob is frequently asked to share his knowledge as a guest presenter/speaker for organizations like NACS, Convenience Retailing University (CRU), and the National Advisory Group (NAG).
Rob’s expertise is not limited to the petroleum and convenience channel. After all, his first job was a bagger for Big Bear grocery store. Rob’s experience has gone well beyond his bagging days and now encompasses multiple fast-moving consumer goods channels including grocery, supercenters and warehouse clubs. He also gained extensive experience with specialty apparel and department stores. He has worked with suppliers servicing most retail channels in the areas of growth strategy, market entry, category management and shopper insights. Prior to Impact 21, he held senior positions at Chute Gerdeman, Kantar Retail, Retail Forward and the Management Horizons Division of Price Waterhouse.
Born in Philadelphia but raised in Ohio, Rob attended The Ohio State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing. He applies his know-how to the natural soap company, Elemental Blue, owned and operated in partnership with his wife. Rob is still able to find time to play and enjoys bicycling, fitness, fishing, the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his family. He makes it a priority to support multiple charities that have affected his friends and family.
Lucia Romanello Crater
Executive Vice President, Sales & Business Development
Leadership & Business Development, Brand & Go to Market Strategies, Supply Chain & Category Management, Consultative Sales, Performance Management, Board Leadership & Advisory
Impact 21 sets the bar high in convenience with Lucia Romanello Crater. As a sales and marketing leader, with an exceptional executive-level network, Lucia is charged with leading Impact’s Convenience Store Business Development. Her 25+ years in the convenience store industry, with a track record and proficiency in driving growth and market share gains, serves her well in this role. She specializes in developing new business connections, recruiting and training superior achievers, and closing innovative and profitable sales.
Though born into an old fashioned, Italian family where women’s roles were clearly defined, her mother taught Lucia she could do and be anything she wanted to be. And Lucia did just that. She is a founding member and current officer of the Network of Executive Women in the Consumer Products Industry (NEW). She was named one of the Top Women in Convenience at the Senior Executive Level by Convenience Store News Magazine in 2014 and given the Best of the Best Leader Award in 2016 by NEW. Lucia is the leader of the NEW team currently working to build a new region in the Nashville market. She served on the NACS Retail Board and NACS Supplier Board on which she was Chairman of the Manpower, Membership, and Exhibitor Advisory Committees. Initially elected Vice Chairman of the Board followed by Chairman Elect, Lucia was ultimately elected Chairman of the NACS Supplier Board. Boy would her mama be proud!
Prior to joining Impact 21, she was the Director of Convenience at Jack Link’s, where she successfully led the implementation of Go-to-Market strategies to surpass top line sales budgets while delivering the bottom line gross profit budget. As Director of Sales, Convenience at KIND Healthy Snacks, she was instrumental in driving convenience store market share. Most notably, Lucia was Director of Sales, Convenience at US Nutrition where she developed and directed the strategy to raise the profile of the MET-Rx brand to the #1 High Protein product in the channel. Her Convenience Store career began at GSP as Vice President of Sales where she built key retailer relationships that led to the company’s focus in the channel.
Born in Connecticut, growing up in New Jersey and Richmond, VA, and graduating from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Lucia now calls Nashville, TN home. She gives back to her communities through volunteer work and lending her voice to her church choir. She was awarded the Richard Llano Service Award for her contributions of time and talent from Jesuit High School in her former hometown of Tampa, FL. She passes her strong work ethic and values on to her son, James, who is the co-founder of SperaHealth. Lucia’s philosophy behind it all—“Don’t quit.”
Chief Information Officer
Project Management, IT Organization, Retail Automation, Process Management, Fuel Management / Pricing / Logistics, Convenience Retail Leadership, Technical Standards and Interfaces, Legislative Affairs
Gabe Olives is a POS and payments guru and an undeniable industry expert in the convenience channel for technology, fuel management, legislative affairs, POS/BOS and payments. As Chief Information Officer of Impact 21, Gabe has applied his industry savvy to many projects. He has engaged in transitions for a large acquisition of retail sites, a refinery, and a commercial bakery/commissary, with specific emphasis on the migration of accounting. He assisted in the implementation of a multiparty logistics consolidation project for a major retailer, supported a major technology company in a successful new product introduction, and engaged in EMV planning, certification, and execution.
Gabe’s knowledge, gained from his long history in both technology and fuels and his 30+ years in the convenience store industry, is an asset to the industry. He serves on the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association and is Chairman of their Fuels Committee. Gabe has been very active as an advocate for process improvement and technical standards including many speaking engagements at NACS and Conexxus. Gabe served as Chairman of Conexxus in 2015 and serves on the Board of Directors of PCATS, as its Chairman in 2009. In 2010, he was honored by CSN magazine as the Top Tech Executive of the Year.
Gabe’s background spanned many aspects of the industry, including operations, marketing, and construction during his first ten years in convenience. He served as a senior executive at Turkey Hill Minit Markets, a best in class IT organization and division of the Kroger Company, responsible for petroleum marketing, information technology, and legislative affairs and in a senior position with Rutter’s for petroleum marketing. A self-described marketer with a passion for technology, Gabe advanced Turkey Hill’s processes to support all aspects of retail automation and guided the organization through the transition from major to private branded fuel operator. Over the years, Gabe has worked closely with most solution providers in the convenience channel as either a retailer directly or as the only two-time Chairman of Conexxus with experience in all aspects of retail technology.
A Pennsylvania native, Gabe graduated from the University of Scranton. He takes pleasure in spending time with his family and giving back to his community through active involvement at Bishop McDevitt private high school in Harrisburg, PA. In his spare time, Gabe can be found working alongside his wife on their property, playing sports, swimming, or golfing at any chance he gets.
Project Management & Consulting Team
IT Management/Strategy/Road Map, Project Management, ERP Systems, Retail Systems, Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Improvement, Supply Chain, Enterprise Data Warehouse, Business intelligence & Analytics
Alvin Fortson has what it takes when it comes to information technology. With over 30 years of experience in IT, the past 20 of those in the petroleum/convenience retail industry, Alvin has developed an unrivalled set of skills. Impact 21 clients benefit from his expertise through a wide range of projects. The retail systems and programs he implements include accounting, back office software, commodities trading and risk management, fuel pricing, time and attendance, labor scheduling, help desk, document imaging, workflow, enterprise data warehouse, supply chain, and point of sale. He oversees all IT activities, from IT strategy, project management, retail systems, application development, to enterprise architecture, help desk, and pricebook.
As Senior Principal Consultant with Impact 21, Alvin has led multiple, large-scale IT implementation projects with a major petroleum/convenience retailer for multiple years. He has supported acquisition integration activities for enterprise accounting, back-office and data warehousing initiatives. Alvin also led a major commodities-trading and risk management solution implementation. This application supported front-to-back office workflow from deal capture to risk position reporting, logistics, settlement, and accounting.
Alvin shares his expertise through various industry venues as a panelist, speaker, and author. He is a current and longtime contributing member on the Board of advisors of CONNEXUS (formerly PCATS – Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards), serving with many committees to solve key issues in the industry today like EB2B (Electronic Business to Business), lottery, and motor fuels. Alvin is also on the board of Society Information Management for Research—Triangle Park Chapter and a past member of the Association of Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). He authored “How to Fit Apps into an IT Platform” for CSP Convenience Store and Fuel News. He took part in the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI), to help raise awareness and provide real solutions for the more than 400 million vulnerable children worldwide.
During his career, Alvin has served in several senior IT management positions operating The Pantry and Quick Stop Food Stores in the Mid-Atlantic region. Alvin served as CIO/VP of IT, Director of Network Systems Development, as well as Director of Enterprise Applications Systems. Through strategic planning, Alvin has implemented multiple systems and programs in business retail locations, including PDI/Enterprise, PDI/RMS, JDA, fuel pricing, time and attendance, labor scheduling, help desk, document imaging, workflow, enterprise data warehouse, and point of sales systems. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and was responsible for planning the transition of all systems for numerous M&A activities while at The Pantry.
Alvin has accomplished much over the years following Winston Churchill’s adage, “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Growing up in DC and Florida, he was a go-getter from the start, delivering newspapers and mowing lawns at the age of 10. He went on to graduate from Mercer University, Macon Georgia. Now settled in North Carolina, Alvin seeks out relaxation through sailing, fishing, kayaking, and BBQing. He finds time to give back through volunteer work at his church and other nonprofits and raising awareness for cancer research.
Casey A. McKenzie
Category Management- Retail, Category Management- Consumer Package Goods, Training
You’d be hard pressed to find someone more adept in convenience yet as professional and personable as Casey McKenzie. With over 21 years in leading c-store chains, another nineteen in consulting, Casey has experience in almost all facets of the c-store channel of trade, including operations, category management, and strategic planning. Along with his strong focus on category management initiatives, he serves as project manager for convenience store chains implementing retail automation, category management, business alignment and organization integration.
Bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge, along with his keen sense of humor, Casey is a frequent distinguished speaker at industry events. His expertise has been an asset to the National Association of Convenience Stores’ (NACS). In conjunction with Willard Bishop Consulting, Ltd, Casey was co-author of the NACS Category Management Guidebook and has served as facilitator for workshops on category management throughout the country and internationally. In 2014 Casey led the initiative to convert the NACS Framework course into an online-based learning curriculum which launched in 2015.
Casey became the first to obtain the Certified Convenience Category Manager and Certified Convenience Advanced Category Manager designations from NACS and led the development of Advanced Category Management training material and workshops. He served as project manager and co-author on the NACS Marketing Toolkit for Store Operations and developed a training workshop on that material as well.
Born and raised in southern Ohio, Casey’s traditional Midwestern values of faith, integrity and hard work have served him well over the years. He earned an Associate in Accounting degree from Shawnee State University, a Bachelors in Business Administration from Ohio University and an MBA from Eastern Kentucky University. Though hard work usually pays off, Casey always finds himself chasing the perfect round of golf. He takes pride in supporting his wife and children in their pursuits while serving others through his church.
Cross-Functional Process Improvement, Retail Automation, Organizational Alignment, and Business Intelligence
Chad Winterboer, Principal Consultant with Impact 21, has 20 years of practical and technical experience in the convenience retail industry. In this role, Chad focuses on aligning financial and technology personnel and processes with business strategies. Chad ensures his projects and solutions are practical, value driven and aligned with organizational goals. He has a strong background in developing teams to work cross functionally and in supporting employee training and development.
Chad continues to work with many Impact 21 clients on multiple accounting projects including implementations and integrating acquisitions. He also supports Impact 21 clients in all facet of Accounting and Finance, including as Interim CFO or Controller. Chad is an industry expert in convenience store retail accounting processes and best practices, as well as an experienced user of multiple accounting solutions.
Before joining Impact 21, Chad held several positions with Prima Marketing, LLC, the largest 7Eleven licensee. During his tenure, Prima grew from 14 to 90 stores. As a company officer, Chad managed accounting, IT and retail automation teams and championed numerous cross-functional projects such as Focal Point and customized BI, price book, POS scanning, item level inventory management, computer assisted ordering, and rebate management. Prior to Prima, he held several accounting positions for Avanti Petroleum, a 70-store chain.
Chad is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in accounting.
Project Management, Process Management, Standardization & Improvement, IT System Training & Implementation, Training & Development, Services Support
Connie Guilfoil is a big picture person, granting her a distinct vantage to see end-to-end solution requirements and generate next steps and action items to meet those requirements. This skill plays a key role in Connie’s project management engagements. She consistently helps clients meet budget and deliverable deadlines while successfully coordinating work stream critical paths for enterprise-wide projects. These PMO activities include gap analysis and dependency review. Connie offers an objective, outside perspective for clients, filling the resource gap and ultimately seamless transitioning role to the clients’ appropriate position.
Connie has put her extensive project management capabilities to work for Impact 21, managing both software and hardware point of sale solutions within retail, food service, and convenient store markets. She led a major product development initiative with a large POS company while managing multiple vendors and internal teams toward an aggressive timeline. In addition, she has worked on a major foodservice company’s analytics and data management project, resulting in new IT infrastructure and processes to support its wholesale and retail clients.
Connie’s diverse professional background provides skills and methodologies that translate into any industry, allowing her to uphold standard proven practices. Her career path awarded her expertise in project management, change management, business process innovation, organizational design and development, CRM design, curriculum development, as well as, information systems training and implementation. She applied these skills in her roles within the University of Kentucky IT Services, Lexmark International, Excentra, and Dun and Bradstreet.
Connie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration as a Major of Finance and Marketing from the University of Kentucky. She also holds several certifications – Project Management Professional (PMP), Help Desk Institute (HDI) Knowledge Centered Support (KCS), ServiceNow System Administration, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3, and True Lean Systems Program – providing her a tremendous wealth of knowledge and high level of expertise.
During her 20+ years of professional experience, Connie has worked hard to balance career and family priorities, therefore always focused on what she loves to do most. She serves as a board member for The Nest – Center for Women, Children, and Families and for Crestwood Christian Church and acts as director of the middle school church camp and as adult leader for the middle school mission trip. As a mother of two college students and a senior high schooler, she still finds time to enjoy her son’s baseball and running marathons.
Financial Accounting & Analysis, GAP Analysis, Training, Project Management
Corby Olson, Senior Principal Consultant with Impact 21 and financial consultant extraordinaire, prides herself on truly listening to her clients. Corby’s knowledge and talents in financial accounting and reconciliations provide retailers the ability to leverage technologies that support their entire business enterprise. She taps into her financial expertise to help clients integrate varying general ledger systems with common convenience retailing back-office solutions. She works diligently to understand the root cause of issues while keeping an eye on the big picture to lead clients forward. Corby enjoys working with customers to help them find the right technology solution for their business challenges, guiding them to take full accountability of their system and processes.
Corby’s background with PDI, gives her the expertise to help customers migrate to new Enterprise accounting systems and guide them through setup, training, testing and certification of the software. She also works with, and provides training for, Enterprise Daily Reporting and Inventory modules.
Corby’s knowledge and expertise in financial accounting and reconciliations have provided many Impact 21 clients with the ability to leverage technology that supports the entire business enterprise. She has also integrated different general ledger systems with common convenience retailing back-office solutions. Corby enjoys working with customers to help them find the right technology solution for business challenges, guiding the customer to take full accountability of their system and processes.
With 33 years in the petroleum convenience industry, most of her career been focused on streamlining accounting procedures within the financial accounting arena. She has implemented numerous systems with continued process improvements to gain efficiencies. Prior to joining Impact 21, Corby spent eight years with PDI in a consulting capability, most recently as a Consulting Manager. Her project management work at PDI ranged from process improvements to full system implementations. She was instrumental in numerous accounting system migrations, including SAP Retail. She conducted training classes during annual PDI Users conferences. Corby was recognized for delivery of outstanding service to internal and external customers, for her strength as a technical liaison, and for effectively providing information and discussing financial and technical issues with audiences of various knowledge levels.
Prior to PDI, Corby was a Senior Consultant with Accenture and supported 850 company operated retail locations for BP on an outsourced basis. She was one of two BP/Amoco employees selected for transition to Accenture upon outsourcing of its retail accounting functions. She provided expertise on accounting issues and technical questions and managed up to 50 company staff on specific projects. She also served as the liaison between IT staff and retail site accounting teams for technical projects and issues related to PDI and JD Edwards-based BP system.
Corby grew up along the foothills of the Wasatch mountains of Utah. With a whole lot of ambition and drive, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix while working and raising her two children. She also gave back to her community, acting as President of the Sandy, Utah Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business. Corby now takes pleasure in exploring her hometown, Houston, TX, cheering on the Astros with her husband, and sewing for her granddaughters.
Marketing, Content Management, Communications, Collaboration
Diane Frechette’s versatility serves her well in her roles at Impact 21. Diane exercises creativity and interpersonal skills when coordinating marketing team efforts. She works to development, preserve, and align business and branding strategies. She manages and contributes to all aspects of marketing from website development, content, material development, and social media. Diane writes and edits articles, promotional material, and team biographies. She works closely with marketing and sales teams to establish tone of voice and writing styles that best reflect Impact 21’s personality. Diane also serves on the Content Management Team, ensuring that documentation follows consistent formatting aligned with the Impact 21 branding guidelines.
Diane was a key player in developing Impact 21’s new branding strategy and restructure of service offerings. She has headed up the development of multiple website renovations. She composed several published articles in CSP (Convenience Store Petroleum) Magazine addressing Category Management. Diane developed presentation materials for National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) category management conference and developed post-conference surveys, analysis reports, and presentation materials. She contributed to the development of NACS online certification program. Diane reorganized multiple, sizable SharePoint libraries to create ease of use for the Impact 21 team.
Before her Impact 21 days, Diane worked with The McKelvey Group (TMG), a financial consulting firm focused on government contracting, developing and implemented full marketing capabilities, leadomg internal training sessions, and managed all aspects of TMG’s training offerings while securing a National CPE accreditation for the company. With The Village Circle Company, a business consulting firm, Diane managed projects with clients in both the public and private sector, including the Department of Navy, Department of Veteran Affairs. She coordinated proposals, provided project management support, including logistics, materials, and session facilitation. Diane compiled annual business plans for multiple branches of the Navy along with individual directorates. She analyzed annual goals vs. accomplishments and developed comparison reports to communicate the alignment of business planning efforts and end-of-year reporting. Diane also served as a high school administrator at a prestigious arts school, an elementary school teacher, and a Logistics Coordinator and Regional Director of an outdoor adventure company.
Diane grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and went on to achieve her B.A. in Education, Political Science & Language Arts, from Michigan State University. As a tribal member of the Chippewa of the Thames, Diane combined her educational background and heritage, as a teacher at the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe’s JKL Bahweting Anishnabe School. She fulfilled her dreams to travel through her love of the outdoors, leading teenagers on adventures throughout the states, and teaching in the Bahamas. She established her home in northern Michigan with her husband and three kids. Whether camping, hiking, biking, or boating, family time is a high priority. Diane is active in her Catholic parish and is the founder of the Running 4 Babies charitable organization raising funds for a local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Strategic Planning, Financial Analysis, Operations, Marketing, Technology Implementations
Jackie Maxwell, Principal Consultant with Impact 21, has spent her entire 34-year career in the petroleum and convenience industry. She most recently served as Vice President for MFA Oil Company in Columbia, Missouri and was responsible for the convenience store division, consisting of 77 Break Time convenience stores. In addition to her work at MFA Oil, Jackie has been active in Study Groups for the past 9 years, serving as President of her study group.
As Principal Consultant with Impact 21, Jackie has supported numerous accounting, back-office, POS and LMS implementations as well as multiple foodservice programs. She has provided training for several Impact 21 clients at District Manager and Store Manager levels on how to use and leverage new back-office, POS and analytics solutions. She has also worked on numerous technology sourcing and implementation projects at Impact 21.
Jackie has broad and comprehensive experience in selecting, developing and managing convenience stores in a variety of functions. In her leadership positions within MFA Oil, she developed strategic plans, managed site selection and property development, directed multi-million-dollar capital investments, managed contract negotiations, and directed budgeting and financial reporting and review. She also has extensive experience in operations, marketing, merchandising, technology implementation and vendor relations at MFA Oil.
Jackie has a passion for seeking out technology solutions to solve business challenges with an emphasis on visibility and accountability. She has been involved in piloting and implementing numerous technology solutions such as store accounting, POS, cloud based team collaboration, grocery integrations and e-learning solutions. Jackie has extensive experience in building teams and practices “HEART” Leadership (Honesty, Efficiency, Attitude, Respect and Teamwork).
In addition to her work with Impact 21, Jackie and her husband, Marty, own and operate a family farm in Missouri and have been married for 34 years.
Strategy & Leadership, Organizational Design & Re-engineering, Cross-Functional Process Improvement, Technology Implementations, Change Management, Growth Planning, Customer Service
Jason Hipsher is a man of vision, an operations leader, and change agent. He taps into his unique background which spans multiple industries—each centered on operational improvements and customer experience—in heavily regulated environments. As a principal consultant for Impact 21, Jason turns his keen focus on people, process and technology, based on solution-driven collaboration. He helps clients get the most out of technology while ensuring that customer experience remains a top priority. Jason advocates leadership development for his team while continuously striving to improve his own leadership skills. He has organized, designed, and driven change to processes and procedures critical to core business; including changes to call centers and centers of excellence, small distribution centers, organization-wide system implementations and multiple other leadership initiatives. He has been engaged in multiple mergers and acquisitions requiring significant growth, planning, and integration.
As a senior executive with both privately held and publicly traded organizations, Jason has focused on setting strategic vision and subsequently leading operations and technology initiatives that drive growth and return on investment. He shared his expertise of practical and technical experience in the healthcare, insurance, energy, payments, and retail industries with clients for over 20 years. Most recently, Jason served as a consultant to Ascena Retail Group, helping their individual brands to implement and integrate a new ATG website and Order Management System into the business. Jason also spent time assisting Rev1 with start-ups in Columbus, OH; helping them with business plans, market research, and venture funding.
A graduate of The Ohio State University, Jason earned a degree in Marketing. He was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he now enjoys time with his wife and three girls. He supports his teenaged daughter who was born with a neuro-genetic condition known as Angelman Syndrome (AS). Jason gives back to his community by volunteering for the AS Foundation, Special Olympics, and Big Brother Big Sisters. He is also a board member of Cultivate, a local start-up accelerator. When time allows, Jason loves to hit the golf course with friends and try a new craft brewery here and there.
PDI Software, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), AP Imports/Exports, Host Level Interfaces
Larry brings his deep technical expertise, along with his PCS operations knowledge, to the table at Impact 21. He serves in many roles involving acquisition integration, POS integration, and PDI Enterprise implementation and upgrades (including Enterprise, RMS, Journal Collection, Market Basket, POS Interfaces, Radiant, Commander, Nucleus, Fiscal).
Larry’s loyalty and dedication to the industry has served him well through his 36+ years within one company. He has walked in the shoes of many of his clients, starting his Sunoco days as a full serve attendant, climbing the ladder to Store manager, Field Auditor, Pricebook Manager, and finally Senior Business Systems Analyst.
As a senior business systems analyst, Larry applied his philosophy of “Work smarter, not harder.” He ensured PCI and SOX compliance of 3,000 PCs and servers in both remote and local locations. He applied is expertise to project management, as well as day to day operations. Larry was integral to numerous small and large acquisitions, multiple office moves, and Store Help Desk management. In his Data Process/Control role, he managed retail automation, overall Information systems performance, and support for 500+ end users.
Born in Buffalo, NY, Larry studied Business Administration at Bryant and Stratton College. Larry now lives south of the city where he finds time for hunting, camping, and enjoying music.
Senior Principal Consultant
Business Strategy, Category Management, Pricing Optimization, Fresh Food Program Development, Innovative Merchandising Solutions, Small Format Store Design & Branding
Liza brings innovative leadership to Impact 21, inspiring teams to think differently and push the boundaries of traditional industry norms. She taps into her expertise in small format merchandising, marketing, branding, and business strategy to help companies realize their business objectives. Liza’s deep background in merchandising, paired with her knack for strategic thinking, enable her to lead merchandising and marketing strategy that results in achieved sales and gross profit goals. Liza extends her expertise, particularly in fresh food program development, as a NACS speaker.
Liza applied her aptitude for guiding staff and clients, along with her industry savvy, to several senior leadership roles. She served as Senior Director of Brand Concept Development at Sunoco, with past experience as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Merchandising at Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores and various senior merchandising roles at Giant Eagle.
Native to Pennsylvania, Liza graduated from Indiana University of PA with both a Bachelor of Science in Finance and an MBA. She has attended many business leadership programs from the following universities: Duquense, Carnegie Mellon, and Cornell. Liza has returned to her home state of PA, though her career first led her to Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Liza believes in playing an active role to improve living conditions to those that are most in need. She founded Zaden, connecting the world to the exquisite hand-embroidered clothing designs of Kashmir India one stitch at a time. Her 12- and 13-year-old sons keep her busy between track meets, soccer games, and piano recitals. She finds time for herself through running, yoga and relaxing with friends by the fire-pit on weekends.
Program Management, Process Management, Business Alignment, Change Management, Operations Management, Fuel Pricing & Supply, Learning & Development, Restaurant Operations
The word exceptional comes to mind when describing Matt Pytosh as project manager. Matt leverages his 30-year history of exemplary work in the petroleum/convenience retail industry when serving clients at Impact 21. He serves as project manager for retail automation and learning & organizational development, specializing in change management. Matt leads successful acquisition integration efforts and serves as program manager for retail automation projects. He expertly combines the technical elements of milestones, processes and deliverables, while simultaneously managing team members, organizational politics, customer relationships and those subtle nuances that make projects successful. He is an engaging, effective facilitator, leading large-scale training and deployment programs for new Back Office System (BOS) implementations with retailers of all sizes. Matt designs classroom training programs and curricula.
Matt is an asset to Impact 21 as an accomplished principal consultant, with an extensive history of writing and implementing project plans. He has a considerable background working with clients to redesign business processes, as well as managing, training, and deployment of new technologies to company-operated and franchise classes of trade for large major oil companies. He directed an internal Project Management Office (PMO) for a global technology provider, launching a new solution market introduction.
As a leader in his field, Matt has enjoyed numerous senior level operations positions within SuperAmerica, Speedway SuperAmerica, Alimentation Couche-Tard, and Pilot Travel Centers. His experience operating units includes hands-on and financial accountability for a variety of branded fast foods including Subway, Taco Bell, Arby’s and Wendy’s. He managed the “war room” for Speedway SuperAmerica, responsible for setting retail gasoline prices for 2400 locations in twelve states.
Matt’s considerable credentials validate his expertise. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky. He was certified as an industry trainer through courses at the University of Kentucky, Ashland Petroleum Company, and Vanderbilt University. He is a member of the National and Central Florida Association of Talent Development and of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Project Management Academy.
Born in Dayton, OH, Matt has made his home in Orlando, FL which fosters his love for distance running. Matt applies the sentiments of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right,” to both his professional and personal life.
Manager of Category Development
Category Management, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Merchandising, Trade Marketing, Analytics
Matthew Saitta knows Category Management and Merchandising. Having worked on both sides of the fence–on the retail and supplier side–Matthew has a unique perspective and a deeper understanding of these service areas of Impact 21. With considerable retail and merchandising experience in multiple sectors, Matthew applies his expertise to both client engagements and internal Impact 21 processes and program development. As Manager of Category Development, Matthew focuses heavily on category management and merchandising within CPG, convenience and other retail channels. Matthew applies John Wayne’s motto to both his personal life and professional attitude, “Tomorrow hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” Matthew helps clients focus on improvement whether working to identify potential opportunities, streamlining communication and support to facilitate excellent customer service, or conducting business reviews to appraise performance and goals. Matthew has the analytical foresight to help clients both learn from the past and look forward to reach their potential.
Matthew has been drawn to the retail world from the start. He has come a long way from his first job as a stockroom attendant at The Cheese Box in Lake Geneva, WI, yet it did make an impression. He has remained in the retail industry in one way or another ever since. Matthew gained considerable experience in Sales Management and Field Sales Execution with a dominate Pepsi Cola bottler. He managed and motivated his sales team in large format retail accounts, coming out as top grossing sales manager in his market. He has extensive experience with trade marketing, distribution, sales operations, direct sales delivery (DSD), vendor contracts, product assortment planning, and sales analytics. Matthew’s skill set is not limited to one channel as his background encompasses department and specialty stores as well.
Born in Wilmington, DE, Matthew was on the move, growing up in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois. His parents’ inspiration to always strive for more and never settle drove him to succeed. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles from the University of Kentucky. Matthew’s sense of adventure takes him mountain biking, skiing, camping–anything in the woods or on the water–whenever possible. He now enjoys these adventures with his wife and dog.
Pricebook Management, Retail Automation, Auditing/Data Integrity, Lab Testing, Item Level Inventory Management, Cost Accounting, Business Alignment, Solution Sourcing, SharePoint
Patti Safford has the tools and know-how to pull teams together and make things happen. She leads business alignment and change management initiatives for organizations needing strong integration of processes, technologies, and accountabilities. Patti’s project management skills at Impact 21 help companies lead site conversions, deployments, and reset all policy and procedures for the implementation of corporate and back office technologies and learning solutions. Patti is the go-to person for LMS and pricebook at Impact 21 as she builds, evaluates, and develops processes for on-going maintenance. She leads teams forward through her expertise in business alignment and team facilitation. Patti not only facilitates training, she also designs curriculum and develops training guides for train-the-trainer sessions and site implementations.
For Impact 21, Patti has led multiple retailers, both large and small, in several different technologies that automate retail and pricebook processes, enabling them to utilize computer assisted ordering and replenishment systems, and in turn, optimize inventory levels, increase margins, and move to item level inventory across many categories. She has been involved in many implementation projects with a focus on pricebook, store and corporate processes, merchandise/fuel/rebate and inventory management. She conducted pricebook reviews and developed best practice implementation. Patti is the master of SharePoint, guiding clients through project management, document management, and team collaboration. In addition, she is called on to lead cross-functional teams to deploy Learning Management Systems and to source the best technology solutions for a company.
Patti’s 24+ years in the petroleum/convenience retail industry is a great advantage for Impact clients. She served as the former IT and Pricebook Manager for Ricker Oil Company. As part of the senior level management team, Patti engaged in the selection of retail technology at both corporate and store level systems and managed all store level support. She not only implemented project management and upgraded all processes of store retail technology packages – Point of Sale (POS), back office, home office, help desk and accounting – but also coordinated the development of a data warehouse for Business Intelligence reporting.
Patti follows the influences of her father, fostering a strong work ethic and the understanding that hard work pays off. Patti attained extensive training on Enterprise back-office solutions, earning multiple certifications through PDI and gained considerable SharePoint administration training. Her training and efforts over the years in the industry have paid off. Patti is regarded as an industry expert in pricebook, retail processes, and training. She frequently shares her expertise as a speaker at NACS and other industry events, including sessions on item level inventory, pricebook, technology, and category management.
Born and raised in Indiana, Patti still calls Anderson, IN home. She loves to capture the world through photography. Patti helps her community and the children in it by volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Senior Principal Consultant
Project Management, Strategic Planning, Technical Infrastructure, Computer Assisted Ordering, Inventory Management, Integration & Consolidation, Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence
Pete Rudd has a history of setting goals and reaching them, so it is no surprise that he specializes in planning and alignment. For over 30 years, he has applied these skills to his retail industry Information Technology experience, over 25 of which were specific to the convenience retail and petroleum marketing industry. As Senior Principal Consultant for Impact 21, Pete focuses on IT Strategic Planning and Alignment to overall company goals and objectives and Integration Planning and Management.
In his role, Pete has led large end to end acquisition integration activities, including sourcing and implementing new technologies, consolidating systems, and aligning processes and organizations to achieve desired synergies. He has also helped several large integrated refining and marketing companies transition their retail business from legacy IT infrastructures through aggressive transition services timelines. Pete has a team of project managers he leads in a variety of technology implementations as well as business transformation initiatives. Pete has worked extensively with various Petroleum Convenience centric systems such as JDA and PDI, as well as Oracle and SAP Financials, Maximo, PeopleSoft, and integrated workforce management and LMS solutions through projects related to implementation, upgrade, and implementing additional features and functions.
Pete’s expertise is sought after, allowing him the opportunities to speak at various industry engagements, including NACS and NACSTech on topics like Pricebook Implementation, Telecommunications, Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence, and Help Desk. He extends this expertise as a member of the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executives Group and as past President of the Suburban West Chapter – Data Processing Management Association.
During his career, Pete has served in key IT Management positions with industry leaders, such as Wawa, Inc., Amoco Oil Company, and Amerada Hess. He has also served as Director of Strategy, Petroleum Marketing for Delinea Corporation. In his roles with these companies, Pete has developed IT organizations to support this changing industry. He has also spearheaded projects such as the implementation of scanning, item level inventory management, supply chain, data warehouse/BI implementations, EB2B, and corporate intranets. With Ted Turner’s never say no inspiration, Pete has had some pretty hefty accomplishments over the years. Through Pete’s persistence and goal oriented mind-set, he migrated all IT applications from a centralized IBM Mainframe to a distributed DEC environment for Wawa, build IT organization and infrastructure to support Amoco COOP sites, and implement the first data warehouse and intranet application at Hess focused on supporting the Retail Business Unit.
Pete received his BS in Management Information Systems at the University of Phoenix. His extensive travel schedule lends to his passion for reading and his free time to boating, fishing and spoiling his three granddaughters.
ERP System Implementations, Point of Sale Installations/Integrations, Loyalty Systems, Data Mart Systems, BI / Reporting Solutions, IT Management, Strategic IT Planning/Budgeting, Needs Assessment, Solution Sourcing, Business Process Improvements
Never one to shy away from rolling up his sleeves and digging in, Scott Davi works side by side with clients on both short and long-term projects. He brings along his strong business sense and Information Technology background (hardware, software, and management) to support those projects. Scott transforms business executives and managers into effective leaders for their expanding businesses, understanding their struggles and needs and providing them with the best process and technological solutions. Scott supports clients by putting in place the proper IT structure to support current business goals and growth into the future.
At Impact 21, Scott conducted the research of all mainframe applications and identified relationships with outside databases and applications for a large petroleum company. He lent his tech expertise on the NCR-Invenco OPTIC Program and NCR EMV Certifications. He has also worked on multiple solution sourcing projects, including telecom and network services for Yesway Convenience Stores, a customer technology service desk structure for Irving Oil, and a replacement Fleet Services Billing System for Tri Star Energy. He has been a key player in the acquisition needs assessment for a large c-store retailer.
Scott has been around the block a time or two in the IT industry with nearly 30 years in various capacities and vertical markets, twelve of those years in retail. He has a background in supporting the Small to Medium-sized Business (SMB) Market and creating an IT support arm for many businesses with no internal IT department. Throughout his career, Scott has successfully brought business IT environments to new levels of productivity, cost effectiveness, and functionality and has been pivotal in bringing many companies overall performance to new heights. He has served as consultant for a retail startup and an IT Director for the retail chain, Swiss Farm Stores, in Philadelphia, PA. As IT Director, he completed a high-profile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementation to deliver an end-to-end Infrastructure Point of Sale solution where minimal technology previously existed. Scott has managed IT projects involving accounting, inventory management, Price Book management, payroll/time and attendance applications. He implemented Data Mart solutions for labor, sales, and product catalogs, drove infrastructure installations for new store locations, and created main office links through Virtual Private Network (VPN). Scott also possesses a broad range of experience in the manufacturing and service Industries including health care, transportation/logistics, and accounting.
Scott attended Rutgers University, in his home state of New Jersey, to gain an MBA with emphasis on Management Information Systems, along with Associate and Bachelor Degrees in Computer Science. He extends his IT expertise to others as a member of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), Philadelphia Chapter. Scott devotes considerable time to his career, so when he gets the chance to spend time with his family he takes it. He manages to squeeze in a game of golf and brews his own beer and makes mead (honey wine) when he can.
Customer Engagement & Loyalty Team
Practice Leader, Customer Engagement & Loyalty
Strategic Marketing, Payment Systems, Marketing Technology
Bill Hanifin is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional, with nearly 20 years designing, managing & evaluating customer loyalty and data-driven marketing programs on behalf of leading organizations around the world. His unique background forms the DNA of Hanifin Loyalty, a business practice of Impact 21, with expertise at the intersection of loyalty marketing, payment systems, and marketing technology.
In his role as Practice Leader for Hanifin Loyalty at Impact 21, Bill has led several large customer analytics projects, including data management, loyalty program diagnostics, reporting/scorecards and building customer engagement strategies. He has also led projects to create and implement loyalty and customer engagement programs in multiple channels. Bill has successfully executed customer strategies throughout North America & Latin American markets as well as in the EU and Asia Pacific regions.
As founder and President of Hanifin Loyalty, Bill’s client list included notable brands in every customer facing vertical market; Aeroplan, American Express, ArcLight Cinemas, Badgeville, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Caribbean Airlines, Emerson Ecologics, ExxonMobil, FIS Global, JM Family & Associates, La Quinta Hotels, MasterCard, Phillips 66, Redbox, Scotiabank, and Visa.
Bill is a co-founder of the Customer Strategy Network, an international consortium of customer loyalty and CRM professionals. He also serves on the Editorial Staff of TheWiseMarketer.com, publishes LoyaltyTruth.com, and operates the Loyalty Academy, an educational program for business people seeking a professional certification in Loyalty Marketing.
Principal Consultant, Customer Engagement & Loyalty
Loyalty, Pricebook, Store Operations, Retail Automation, Retail Analytics, Customer Service, Content Management
Christine Grant plays a versatile role at Impact 21. She serves as principal consultant, focused on Impact 21’s loyalty, retail analytics, pricebook, and customer service initiatives. She is adept at conducting Quality Assurance (QA) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT), along with validating systems and identifying how to best leverage available data. She contributes to the Impact 21 EDGE SharePoint application used for project management and collaboration, as well as internal and external documentation. Christine may not have the loudest voice in the room, but she does capitalize on being the quiet type, using her strong communication skills to listen, analyze, and formulate sound plans of action. Whether working with the Impact team or with clients, Christine lends these skills to improve customer satisfaction, foster greater productivity, and increase sharing of information.
As an Impact 21 Project Manager. Christine has led several Loyalty engagements through development and rollout to analysis. Also, she has successfully set-up new pricebook organizations and systems for several retailers with different solutions, including both franchise and company operated environments. Christine has served as a subject matter expert on many large implementation projects in the areas of loyalty, retail analytics, and customer engagement.
Christine has worked her way up through her 15 years in the convenience store industry, starting out in operations with positions from sales associate to store manager. After opening and managing several new stores, she joined Irving Oil’s newly formed marketing department as the Pricebook Manager. Christine implemented retail automation and managed pricebook for 500 locations throughout the United States and Canada. She was instrumental in creating a North American Pricebook by integrating Irving’s Canadian operations during its PDI implementation. She played a part in the set up and implementation of Irving’s loyalty marketing initiatives. She then joined the startup company Override as the Customer Relations Manager/Analyst, where she implemented both an external and internal helpdesk to service customers and locations. Christine worked closely with IT testing enhancements, validating set-up, and customer facing functionality.
Christine is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional through the Loyalty Academy. She received her degree in marketing and business management from Hesser College. She later went on to gain her Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrated Nutrition to support her healthy lifestyle. She loves gardening and making her own natural cleaning products, remedies, and preventives from herbs and essential oils. Christine makes an impact on others’ lives by volunteering at her local community center and Habitat for Humanity.
Principal Consultant, Customer Engagement & Loyalty
Finance, Loyalty and Marketing Strategy, Product Management
Dave Thompson is an accomplished consultant with more than 30+ years’ experience in the financial services industry in North America and Caribbean markets. Dave has been highly successful at taking product management and marketing strategies to the next level which includes increased revenues, market share and profitability. He believes in innovating and revolutionizing his clients’ requirements to deliver exacting strategies that’s maximizes customer acquisition, engagement and other key performance metrics.
Dave has held senior management roles with some of North America’s largest brands. Most recently, as a consultant with Hanifin Loyalty LLC, he successfully guided loyalty and marketing strategies for prominent leading brands in financial services, retail, and travel. Dave is knowledgeable in POS systems, merchant acquiring and evaluating third party vendor capabilities to create successful long term strategic partnerships.
Dave held senior management roles with American Express, Toronto Dominion Bank, Citibank Canada, and MBNA Canada. In these roles, he was at the forefront of game changing technological advances for new payment services products, loyalty initiatives, online banking, and merchant acquiring services. Later as a consultant, Dave continued that trend by assisting his clients with strategy, design, execution, and marketing innovation in the ever-changing loyalty landscape using both traditional and digital platforms.
Dave is native to Canada and is a graduate of York University with a degree in Business Administration. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging with friends, family, watching sports, bingeing on an exciting Netflix series, golf, and squash. “Make it so” is his motto.
CX, Brand positioning, Loyalty, Retail Automation, Retail Analytics, Customer Service, Content Management
Howard Curtis — a visionary and exceptional forward-thinker in the world of marketing. As a customer-focused, results-driven marketing executive, Howard leads with exemplary expertise in the areas of brand strategy and communication, marketing strategy, market/consumer research, product marketing, brand development, loyalty and database marketing, lead generation, advertising, PR and communications, promotions, digital marketing, creative development, and media planning/buying. Howard brings his dedication to innovation and implementations driven by consumer insights, new technology, and business strategy to Impact 21 clients. His strong communication and interpersonal skills foster collaboration among cross-functional departments and business partners, increased brand awareness, and strengthened revenue streams. Howard lends his expertise as a panelist speaker at Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA), Money2020, and the National Advisory Group (NAG).
Howard’s long history in marketing offers great advantages to clients. Prior to joining Impact 21, Howard focused on strategic planning as Vice President of Marketing with Lumina Foods. He contributed as key voice on leadership team for business strategy, culture development, and branding initiatives while collaborating on strategic planning process. Howard oversaw all key phases of marketing, including R&D, customer experience, creative services, PR, and lead generation. He spearheaded branding of Lumina Foods, J.Walken Chicken, and Pedestal Foods.
As Director of Marketing and Loyalty for Mapco, he planned and directed all aspects of marketing initiatives specifically around loyalty and mobile platforms, data insights, and customer experience. He managed agency and consulting relationships through consumer research and analytics, loyalty platform, interactive and advertising agencies, and external call center and led cross-functional teams represented by store operations, IT, sales and merchandising teams, finance, and accounting. While at The Krystal Company, Howard served as Director of Product Marketing, Director of Advertising, and Director of Media and Research. He applied his expertise in these roles through management of menu products and packaging across multiple categories totaling $471,000,000 annually for both company and franchise stores, managed all branding and creative campaigns for TV, radio, point of purchase, and Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising, and directed all media planning, strategically aligning consumer trends and opportunities.
Growing up in Washington DC area, Howard headed south to Clemson University, South Carolina, to achieve his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and went on to gain his M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from Marymount University, Virginia. Howard applies his mission, “Never underestimate the power you (we) have to change lives” to both his professional and personal life. Nashville, TN is home, where he spends time with his family doing hikes, the zoo, and any kid adventures. He stays active swimming, biking, and running with his biggest accomplishment as a 2007 Hawaiian Ironman World Championship Finisher.
Branding, Marketing, Advertising, Business/Brand/Product/Service Development, Promotions, Loyalty Design, Market/Competitive Analysis
Spend five minutes with Jeannie and you will know that she has a true passion for what she does. A customer-driven senior brand management executive, Jeannie applies her comprehensive skills in loyalty program design and management, integrated marketing campaign design, (social, SEO, website, and in-store), marketing analytics, and social media strategy development to client engagements. As an intuitive leader, with a drive for understanding consumer behavior, Jeannie motivates teams within tight timelines and prioritizes the cultivation of strong relationships and transparent communication.
Prior to Impact 21, Jeannie acted as Senior Manager of Consumer Marketing and Loyalty for Circle K North America, where she developed integrated cross-channel consumer engagement and loyalty plans across North America. She coordinated with national and global marketing teams to ensure adherence to brand standards and best practices and led integrated consumer engagement teams, including performance marketing, CRM, media planning, and activation. Jeannie served in other senior leadership roles – as Director of Consumer Engagement of ZipLine and as lead of advertising and loyalty program operations for The Jones Company / Flash Foods. Jeannie boasts the accomplishment of positioning >$1.6B in convenience sales within 5 years through design of an award-winning customer loyalty program.
Jeannie is highly sought after for her expertise as an industry speaker at events such as Pinnacle Summit, NACS, GACS Summit, CSP Convenience Retailing University, and CSP Leadership on various topics – loyalty programs, ACH payment programs and digital platforms including mobile apps. Her talents have been frequently recognized – named Rising Star in the 2014 CSNews Top Women in Convenience, CSP Convenience Retailing Award for Best Loyalty Program, and CSNews Top Technology Implementation Award. Jeannie extends her expertise as a Valdosta Alumni Career Coach and as a member of Conexxus’ Loyalty, Digital Offers, and Mobile Working Groups.
Growing up in southern Georgia, Jeannie started her path in business as a teen and never looked back. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management (BBA) from Valdosta State University. Jeannie continues to love learning new things, along with travel, home interior design, floral arrangements, gardening, wine tastings, community involvement, and mentorships with local youth programs. It is easy to see that Jeannie lives by the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Principal Consutltant, Customer Engagement & Loyalty
Payments, Loyalty, Financial Services, Marketing, Program and Project Management, Requirements/Solutions, Operations Management, Quality Assurance, Contact Centers, and Fulfillment
Margaret Meraw’s 36+ years’ experience in the loyalty marketing and financial services industries serves her well in her role as a principal consultant with Impact 21. Margaret successfully strategizes 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. You would be hard-pressed to find a more resilient leader than Margaret, always striving to provide ethical and transparent consulting for her clients.
Margaret is best known in the industry for her expertise in payments and loyalty implementations and operations. Inspired by Robert Herjavec (Shark Tank investor), with his rise from meager beginnings and his support of new entrepreneurs, Margaret models both his drive and mentorship mind-set. Margaret lends her knowledge to customer loyalty professionals and marketers as a faculty member of the Loyalty Academy, providing loyalty education and certification.
As an executive leader at Kobie Marketing, Margaret managed large and diverse teams across multiple disciplines to effectively manage client implementations and integrations. She manages multiple aspects of business, from strategy, design, marketing, and operations, to social and digital technology platforms. Always cognizant of efficiency, Margaret worked to continually evolve and streamline processes and practices to help clients gain productivity. Margaret successfully strategized and implemented full-service Contact Center and Rewards Fulfillment operations.
Margaret formerly worked for RBC Royal Bank (RBC), the largest financial institution in Canada. During her vast and varied career, Margaret engaged in many transformational initiatives. She strategized and launched new product and loyalty programs for international credit card portfolios within Canada, the United States, and throughout the Caribbean. She was involved in the launch of EMV (Chip and PIN) within Canada, managed a 150+ member team of global vendors to support the complex payments industry, and acted as a leader in establishing Moneris Solutions, an acquiring and payments solution provider. She is well versed in the industry, starting out by helping to transform RBC’s Service Delivery throughout Canada, instituting global policies and procedures, and even working as a branch manager.
A native of Ontario, Canada, Margaret attended Athabasca University to gain her Masters of Business Administration and a graduate diploma in Management. It is no surprise with Margaret’s extensive international work that she loves to travel for pleasure. On the flip side, she looks forward to time spent at the family cottage. Margaret has accomplished much over the years, following the philosophy of Helen Keller, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Accounting, Office Management, Human Resources, Project Documentation
Arlene Mallory holds down the fort at Impact 21. She manages Impact 21’s day-to-day activities ensuring punctuality and accuracy. She handles accounts payables and receivables, invoicing and billing, collections, and monthly financial reporting for the company. In addition, she manages all administrative activities including company logistics, internal form management, coordinating company events, and procurement of goods and services. She also serves in a Human Resources role, onboarding new team members, training on internal operations, payroll, and administering contracts. Arlene is a pro at Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. She supports both the internal team and clients in processing documents and in the production and delivery of project materials. Arlene developed the system of reporting time and project materials to back up monthly client invoicing and demonstrate clarity and transparency of Impact 21’s work efforts.
Prior to joining Impact 21, Arlene was a Regional Office Manager and assistant to the Regional Sales Manager for one of the largest credit card processing companies in the U.S. for over five years. She managed the daily operations, clerical and administrative function of several sales offices in the Midwest region, and served as liaison between the office staff and the corporate office. Arlene was also responsible for staffing new offices, procuring and acquiring materials, supplies, vendor setup, training new hires and existing staff, and escalating customer and correspondent banks service issues. She developed numerous spreadsheets that simplified monthly reporting and equipment pricing thus reducing errors in pricing calculations.
Arlene was born in the Philippines and attended Holy Angel University, Angeles City. She moved to the states and has called Lexington, KY home since 1993. Arlene enjoys cooking and relaxing with her cat Izzy.
Business & IT Analyst
Data Analysis, Database Development, Business Intelligence Development
When it comes to data analysis and IT, Channing Workman is the man for the job. With a background in Database development and administration, Channing specializes in the .NET Framework, QlikView, and Microsoft SQL Server, leveraging business processes through the strategic application of the appropriate technologies. Channing is charged with the development and system administration of Impact’s internal management tools and Business Intelligence (BI) offering. He develops web, desktop, and BI applications, for Impact 21 and its clients.
Channing has handled data analysis for several clients and brought disparate data sources together through the development of Reporting and ETL process. He has assessed CRM system health, developed reports, and strategized execution of reports for clients. Channing has helped clients through Point of Sale and Back Office System Market Analysis via Web Scraper. He manages the data loading and development of all existing and new clients to Impact’s BI offerings: QlikView, Excel, and SQL Server Reporting Services.
Channing has knowledge of Extract, Transform and Load (ETL), Reporting, and Business Intelligence tools. He conducted additional development of Impact’s BI tool, reengineered and automated Impact’s Project Resource Allocation Tool, reengineered and automated data loading of the Cigarette Excise Tax Asp.Net web application, and developed the Inventory Management Optimization (IMO) Model in the QlikView BI Suite. Channing also conducts much of Impact 21’s industry research.
Channing’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Computer Information Systems from the University of Louisville, along with his background in the convenience, retail/petroleum, and construction industries suit him perfectly for his Impact 21 projects. He has lent his expertise to many clients, like Circle K Convenience Stores, Couche-Tard, Ricker’s, Murphy USA, Sunoco Inc., Scientific Games Corporation, Maverik Inc., Irving Oil, and CW Electric Inc.
A native to Kentucky, Channing learned his work ethic from family, showing him value in pride for what you do, hard work, love, and kindness. Focusing his free time on guitar, fitness, and snowboarding, Channing lives by the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Pricebook, Content Management, Collaboration, Project Management
Julia Huffman wears many hats at Impact 21. Julia maintains quality, consistency, proper formatting, and accuracy in content and documentation for both internal work and client projects. She fosters smooth collaboration and project management for the Impact team and clients through her support of the Impact 21 portal. Julia knows her way around Pricebook processes and technologies. She assists clients with pricing tasks, Pricebook system clean-up, new software implementation, and training.
As part of her many varied roles, Julia has helped clients navigate through acquisitions processes, create SmartSheets, and adhere to proper protocol and required documentation. She has managed acquisition details, keeping records and meeting minutes to assure accuracy and compliance. She was instrumental in updating the 13-Step Merchandise Management Process, keeping it relevant and current.
Julia’s nearly 30 years’ practical experience in the chemical, petroleum, and convenience retail industries laid the groundwork for her wide-ranging roles. Prior to Impact 21, Julia worked for Pitney Bowes in outside sales, earning a sales award as one of the top sellers her first year. Julia served as Pricebook Coordinator for Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC, (SSA LLC), a joint venture between Marathon Oil and Ashland, Inc. She focused on retail automation for Pricebook management and store merchandising, managing daily Pricebook procedures for scanning and non-scanning stores. Julia created a user’s Pricebook department manual, trained new users, and handled store manager calls on pricing and product issues. She assisted a 600+ store chain in transitioning to an item level inventory system, supported the implementation of corporate level Pricebook, and maintained pricing and item setup for departments: candy, soda, grocery, novelty, and HBA. She also supervised the downloading of pricing to stores for all categories and all departments by various Pricebook specialists. She worked directly with Category Managers to set up items, discontinue items, and analyze reports and data, ensuring that margins and GP were consistently met. Prior to working at SSA LLC, Julia worked in customer service with BellSouth Mobility’s and Ashland Chemical.
Julia clearly applies her skills gained from her Bachelor of Organizational Management degree from Midway University in Lexington, Kentucky. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Julia now calls northeastern Texas home. When not chauffeuring their two active daughters around town, Julia and her husband spend as much time as possible on their houseboat. She occasionally finds the time to indulge in her passion for reading and travel.
Financial Analysis & Administration, Quantitative Research, Project Management, Digital Marketing
Mason Hanifin applies his keen understanding of finance, along with his talents in digital marketing, to all aspects of our Impact 21 clients’ business. Mason’s education and experience afford him expertise in financial analysis and project management. He has a knack for bringing success to teams while delivering rewarding business results. As Business Analysis for Impact 21, he provided accounting support for Sunoco LP’s $3.3B sale of 1100+ convenience stores to 7-Eleven.
Prior to joining Impact 21, Mason acted as Director of Finance and Administration for Hanifin Loyalty LLC. He was responsible for all financial and accounting related tasks, including bookkeeping, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and administrative tasks. Mason managed interactions with outside auditors and was the lead researcher on projects for clients such as Mastercard, FIS, and Kickback Rewards Systems.
Mason also worked with Wise Marketer Group, LLC, an industry leading publication focused on CRM and Loyalty Marketing, as the Community Manager and Research Lead. He managed membership generation for the Loyalty Academy (a subsidiary of Wise Marketer), coordinated the execution of targeted email marketing campaigns, and assisted in developing financial statements, projections, and pricing models to support Wise Marketer operations. He also conducted research on projects for clients including Kroger and Crow & Barker.
Born and raised in South Florida, Mason earned his BA in Finance with a minor in Economics from Florida Atlantic University. Industriousness runs in his blood as he started working for his family owned restaurant during his summers beginning at age 9. Mason enjoys staying active through a pickup basketball game, fishing, video games, skiing, or hiking the nearest mountain with family and friends.