In 2016 there were two panels, in 2017 there were three panels, and in 2018 there were four! This is because each year, more companies want the opportunity to win a coveted Loyalty Magazine Award, so each year we have to bring on board more judges!
For 2020, the judging panel for The Loyalty Magazine Awards will be reinforced with even more experience and expertise from across the whole world.
As in previous years, the judging will culminate in a judging day to decide the regional winners and to deal with any issues and queries that have arisen. Our independent experts either specialise in a particular field, or have a broad insight into the many different elements of the loyalty industry. They include representatives from loyalty service providers, independent consultants and business commentators both from an industry and consumer perspective.
The 2019 panel is shown below. The 2020 panel will be announced soon.
Chairman of the Judges 2019
Founder and CEO of Polymath Consulting
David is the founder and CEO of Polymath Consulting working on projects and advising organisations across the Cards & Payments industry. Polymath Consulting and David are particularly well known for their work on E-money & Emerging Payments.
Prior to moving into payments David spent 20 odd years with leading advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Bates and McCann Erickson. Starting his career below the line in Sales Promotion he ended up as a Group Account Director and Head of New Business through the line.
Director, Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard
Unette is a specialist in customer insight and loyalty consulting with over twenty years’ experience gained at CACI, dunnhumby and Mastercard Advisors. She has worked with international retailers in a territory spanning Europe, South America and South Africa. Unette has provided customer strategy expertise and consultancy, directly to the C-suite and senior management: sharing best customer centric practices across the business to drive loyalty and customer engagement through data led decision making.
Unette developed the strategy and high level design for a new digital loyalty programme for a multi-national global electronics retailer launching in the UK. She developed loyalty concepts and ultimately the high level programme design, including customer journeys and cross channel experiences. In her current role at Mastercard, Unette, by establishing and leading partnerships with key retail and digital players, is supporting the development of new financial inclusion propositions in developing and emerging markets, of which loyalty is a critical component.
Co-founder and Director, DataLab GmbH, Germany
A native Italian, Cecilia is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of DataLab GmbH, a Düsseldorf based marketing consultancy specialising in Loyalty, Data Analytics and Customer Equity. She is a Customer Management Expert with extensive experience in the international and German Loyalty industry dating back to her time as one of Loyalty Partner´s earliest team members, where she proved formative in the success of the coalition loyalty programme Payback.
In her current role, Cecilia and her team have been instrumental in implementing the relaunch of the Douglas Beauty Card as well as in supporting Europe´s no. 1 pet supply chain, Fressnapf/ MaxiZoo, to develop and realize their CRM vision. DataLab´s renowned clients also include Rewe, one of Europe´s largest supermarket chains and the cable operator Unitymedia, which retains a subscriber base of 12.7 million in Germany alone.
Prior to this, Cecilia was Director of Category Management, Purchasing, Marketing and Quality Management at Eismann Tiefkühl-Heimservice. She has also held positions as the Director of Marketing for Portfolio Customers at Citibank´s retail banking division and as Head of B2C Marketing and Sales at EnBW, one of Germany´s largest energy utility companies. The published author and popular guest speaker regularly lectures at the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, (Koblenz, Germany).
In 2012 Cecilia received the “Manager of the Year” award from “Generation CEO”, the German business network for women in top management.
Charles (Chuck) Ehredt
CEO and Co-founder of Currency Alliance
Chuck is passionate about solving problems – which has led him to create 12 companies over the past 35 years, invest in 23 companies as a Business Angel, as well as remain active as a mentor and coach for innovative companies. Chuck has joined over 60 loyalty programs due to considerable travel, but only started working in the industry 4 years ago when he recognized that brands were struggling to engage with mid-tail and longer-tail customers – because their loyalty currency just wasn´t relevant due to lack of frequency with any one brand.
In the past few years, Chuck has been advocating for greater collaboration among brands in order to extend their ability to jointly serve customer interests; and, believes that coalition loyalty programs (as we have known them) will morph into marketplaces during the next decade – allowing customers to have much more say in how they earn and redeem popular currencies, while allowing loyalty program operators to greatly reduce operating cost.
He is co-founder of Currency Alliance, which provides advanced, cloud-based technology to brands, allowing them to be much more agile in responding to changing market conditions. He has personally benchmarked more than 200 loyalty programs in the past 18 months, which brings a bit of perspective to the Loyalty Magazine Awards judging panel.
Director of Strategy Direct Solution Int Ltd
Ian is Director of Strategy at Direct Solutions Int Ltd, Sri Lanka’s leading response agency.
He has been involved in loyalty marketing since he had hair and created the first relationship programme for Hilton Hotels worldwide in 1987 (beating Peppers and Rodgers by 1 year!) He’s also been part of the team that has developed some of the more innovative programmes in S Asia including the first totally mobile programme for an FMCG product range.
A Fonder Member and Fellow of the UK’s Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing, he was awarded Educator of the Year in 2002 following 18 years teaching customer loyalty.
He’s currently using social engineering to develop a totally new type of programme that doesn’t involve points or personal rewards.
Senior Vice President, Global Solutions
As Senior Vice President of LoyaltyOne Global Solutions, Caroline sits on the Executive Committee and leads global alliances and key loyalty partnerships in North America and abroad, including the loyalty consulting practice and new ventures in customer experience. Caroline also leads LoyaltyOne Corporate Marketing and Thought Leadership. With her extensive practitioner experience in loyalty, customer centricity and brand management, Caroline is a successful B2C and B2B change agent and has a proven track record in designing and managing loyalty coalitions, delivering innovative customer loyalty and retention strategies to drive superior customer financial performance.
Caroline has worked across multiple industry sectors, including retail, financial services, telecom and publishing. Her past executive roles include Senior Vice President of Marketing for Rogers Communications Inc., Canada’s largest telecom services provider, CRM Manager at Sears Canada, Senior Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer at LoyaltyOne and Senior Vice President of Marketing for the AIR MILES Reward Program.
Caroline has been an active Board member and strategic partner of the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), and was bestowed an Honorary Life Member award by the CMA for her contributions to marketing in Canada. Caroline was formerly a Board member for The Verde Group, a customer experience company, and has participated on several Advisory Boards for technology startups in the areas of data, CRM, loyalty and customer experience. Caroline is the Executive Sponsor of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at LoyaltyOne and was the previous Chair of the Roger’s Women’s Network. She has also held a Board position at Ronald McDonald House, and is an active fundraiser for Covenant House.
Managing director & Founder, Partner Union
Matt has over 20 years experience in loyalty and partnership development in financial services, retail and travel sectors. Throughout his career, he has thrived on change and innovation and been lucky enough to be involved in some ground breaking projects. This includes the introduction and roll out of the UK’s first “packaged” current accounts (or AVAs) with RBS, NatWest and Lloyds TSB and the development of the first “Dual Card” product with GE Capital & Debenhams – a hybrid credit/store card.
Outside financial services, Matt was central to the development of Avios and its evolution from Airmiles into IAG’s global loyalty currency. Since then he has worked as an independent consultant in the loyalty sector and founded Partner Union, which helps businesses unlock growth through partnership.
Matt is currently CEO of Synergy Financial Products, a Fintech platform provider supporting both B2C and B2B wealth management, protection and service products.
Robert J Graham
Rob brings over eighteen years’ experience of business strategy with a loyalty career dating back to the first year of Nectar in the UK, and heading up Aimia’s first retail analytics team in the UK. He later took the reins of RBS Group’s award-winning YourPoints programme, and was responsible for redemption partnerships including a unique deal with EasyJet and eBookers’ pioneering, white-label, “any flight any time” solution, before introducing the retail proposition that saw the suite of loyalty programmes approach 1m card holders across the UK and Ireland.
More recently, Rob led the strategy for Collinson Group for five years, in which period the business more than doubled in size and acquired loyalty technology pioneers, Welcome Real Time. Having led the group’s payments and financial services insight, Rob is now a freelance consultant in the loyalty and payments space.
With over twenty-five years sales & marketing experience, Paula specializes in loyalty marketing consulting for blue chip clients, advising and managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations.
Originally from Ireland, she both consults and works in-house on loyalty programme development, operations, partner negotiations, risk management and technology/platform solutions. She excels in simplifying the loyalty customer journey and ensuring an exceptional user experience. Her strategic approach ensures her client’s programmes achieve their commercial KPI’s.
Paula’s clients have included Telefonica O2 (Priority Moments programme), Electric Ireland Rewards Programme, Allied Irish Bank (tactical student acquisition campaign) as well as commercial partner acquisition for Avios (the currency of Aer Lingus, British Airways Executive Club and the International Airline Group).
She is now based in Dubai, UAE, and is working on a number of high profile regional online loyalty programmes focused on the Middle East market.
She graduated top of her year, earning a first class honours MBA from University College Dublin – one of Ireland’s most prestigious business schools.
(non-voting member of the panel) Editor, Loyalty Magazine & CEO of The Loyalty Magazine Awards
An enthusiastic supporter of the concept of loyalty and what it can achieve, Annich also writes for Card & Payment World, Fraud Watch and Mobile Innovations Magazines, which has helped her develop a good understanding of how technology can enhance the customer relationship.
She is regularly asked to comment on loyalty matters by the BBC and also works as a consultant to firms wanting to gain an understanding of the loyalty big picture. She is a regular conference chair and speaker.
Managing Director & Partner at Strategic Caravan Intl Pvt Ltd
Consulting, Planning and Program management in Customer strategy. We are an organisation that helps brands become Customer centric.
Customer driven decision making across marketing, operations, finance, HR, right from customer behaviour to development of key metrics and reporting we handhold organisations through the basic steps of collecting data, to reporting, driving campaigns and improving profitability into more advanced big data applications such as prediction, strategy and profitability.
Independent Customer Loyalty Consultant & Managing Director, Business Assyst
Chris is a renowned and highly experienced, independent Customer Loyalty Consultant with 25 years’ experience in Loyalty. Having been personally involved in over 90 programmes in retail, banking and telecoms, and having founded two companies offering customer loyalty solutions and services, he has practical experience in all aspects of Loyalty, from end to end.
He provides strategic direction and implementation support to businesses considering a new programme, or reviewing an existing operation, and advises solution providers on market opportunities. Having evaluated the metrics from many of the major high profile programmes, and other schemes in a range of sectors, he produces ROI financial models to support the cost justification process needed to control the risk of embarking upon the long term investment necessary.
Chris graduated in Computational and Statistical Science and is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing.
Managing Director Premium Group Marketing
Graeme is domiciled in New Zealand, has extensive experience in loyalty, more specifically in the B2B environment and programme rewards. Graeme comes with a back ground in strategic and tactical marketing and encourages clients to encapsulate a much greater diversity in services, positioning, data collection and customer relationships evolving from a customer’s loyalty activities.
Graeme is now an independent consultant and a Partner/Director of Customer Strategy Net Work, The Wise Marketer and The Loyalty Academy.
Founder Maverick Planet
Mark was an executive strategy director career in advertising, media and marketing agencies for most of his career and nominated as among UK’s top 10 Media Thinkers. He then founded Maverick Planet – a facilitated change consultancy helping clients find business, brand and marketing solutions for the dynamic digital, social and commercial world they inhabit.
Clients include: Google, The Economist, BSkyB, Ebay, Cadbury, Bupa, Samsung, Vodafone, English Cricket, Dixons, Quiet Mark and the governments of Denmark & Nigeria. Mark also advises a small number of mobile tech start-ups, is a guest lecturer at Henley School of Management and an occasional columnist for the Times & Guardian.
Loyalty marketing solutions
Radek Hrachovec has long-term involvement in the retail industry, with emphasis on the best practices in loyalty programmes and direct communication. He aims his effort to strengthen relationships with existing customers, keep their loyalty longer and maximise lifetime value.
Nowadays works as a freelance marketing specialist with focus on keeping customers for several companies. While independent he can draw on his 14 years experience in direct communication and loyalty programmes and share it with more people. His clients operate in retail, hospitality and financial services. His work includes creating loyalty programmes from scratch, program’s evaluation and suggestions, customer segmentation, multichannel communication, creation of loyalty coalitions and creativity plus imagination.
Director, PARALLEL marketing
A data marketing professional with over 20 years experience. His career started in the direct sell travel sector before moving into the Financial Services arena for most of his career. For the last 14 years he has work for himself as a consultant.
His experience ranges from delivering the full marketing mix across traditional and digital media, he has lead the delivery of brand led communication strategies, is a keen advocate of the power of data driven customer marketing and loyalty schemes, he champions customer value management through effective segmentation.
He is currently working closely with GDPR and the data protection changes due next May. Loyalty programmes and their compliance with GDPR is a hot topic for many. An active member of the DMA and Institut of GDPR, content provider for the IDM training modules. He works both with charities and private businesses.
General Manager, Loyalty & MySchool, Woolworths South Africa
Pieter has 35 years of experience in the Retail focusing on both the front and back end of the business. The last seventeen years he has specialised in Loyalty programmes with MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and WRewards being the main areas of involvement. He is able to integrate Loyalty and Retail to deliver optimum programmes that delivers value to both Customer and Business.
His education includes a degree in Social Sciences and a Diploma in Advance Executive Management.
He has lead the development of non-traditional Loyalty programmes in South Africa and Africa, including the biggest Community based Loyalty Programme in SA from the start.
His Team have had multiple winning entries in the International Loyalty Awards since its commencement.
He believes that technology should support and enable great CX when delivering Loyalty programmes to the customer. But most of all he remains a true trader that loves engaging with his customers in a forever changing world.
He is married to Eryza and have two sons both in the financial industry.
A senior marketing & commercial director with a breadth of experience in digital,
retail, financial services, and FMCG, all with customer data and insight at the core. A strong blend of analytical and creative skills used to innovate and create breakthroughs
in highly competitive markets. An inspirational leader and engaging peer, having led large teams for over 15 years
in a variety of businesses, markets and countries, all of which makes me good at getting stuff done.
Nicole is a loyalty marketing expert with specialty in conceptual design and implementation of loyalty programs, evaluation of necessary IT requirements as well as development and execution of marketing strategies.
Her industry experience covers retail, travel & hospitality, online gaming, industrial goods and process industry. Furthermore, she brings a broad experience in coalition loyalty management to the table.
Originally from Germany, Nicole has worked for international companies such as Lufthansa Miles and More and Bertelsmann in Europe. Having lived in the US for the recent years and working for American Express, she now combines European and US loyalty expertise.
Since 2019 she’s back in Munich, Germany, working as an independent loyalty consultant in the German and European market.
Based in Hong Kong, Stephen Hay is an Asia Pacific leader in loyalty, CRM and customer engagement; with over 25 years of customer innovation, development and transformation working with blue chip organizations such as Cathay Pacific, Asia Miles, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, AS Watsons Group, LVMH, Sands China.
Stephen kicked off his career in loyalty at Cathay Pacific Airways and was responsible for the strategy and programme design for Asia Miles, the region’s most successful reward programme. Later, joining Collinson Group’s loyalty agency ICLP, he led the loyalty consulting division driving both agency proposition innovation and programme design and development for key clients.
Appointed ICLP’s General Manager Hong Kong and then Regional Director Asia Pacific, he was responsible for the sustained and long term performance growth of the agency and the adoption of best practice loyalty and CRM across the region. Most recently, he serves as Loyalty advisor and strategic consultant to both start ups and industry leaders looking to develop the next generation of customer engagement and loyalty propositions.
Amanda Cromhout is CEO and Founder of Truth. Amanda’s extensive experience in the field of loyalty & CRM has put Truth at the forefront of the loyalty industry. As a boutique consultancy specialising in loyalty, CRM and customer centricity strategy development, Truth has proudly delivered loyalty programmes and customer centricity strategies for many of South Africa’s best-known brands and our international clients or conference keynote speaking in USA, New Zealand, Europe, Ghana, Kenya, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mauritius and Malaysia. She had previously spent 11 years at British Airways, leading sales & marketing teams across UK, Africa, Middle East & Asia. She has also spearheaded the Customer (CRM) division at Woolworths, South Africa’s leading premium retailer. Amanda is invited to speak, professionally, as a keynote speaker and thought-leader in her field, both in South Africa and internationally. Amanda is married to Theo with 3 children and enjoys extreme endurance events to keep her mind sane!
A selection of the judges from the independent judging panels review and score all the qualifying entries and compile a shortlist in each category. The judges gather for a final judging day in March/April annually, and vote for the overall winners in each category. Judges will be required to declare any vested or conflict of interest at the time of judging in any particular submission and will be asked to abstain from voting in that category. Supporting material, where provided, will be presented at this point in the judging process.
All judges of The Loyalty Magazine Awards are bound by a Code of Conduct covering confidentiality, conflicts of interest and contact with entrants. The judges’ decisions are final and there will be no opportunity for appeal, discussion or correspondence.