The #FSN20 has become something of an industry-wide institution across the many years it has been running. An annual celebration of innovation and excellence amongst the leadership of our industry is of course always well received and compiling the list is an important task we take a lot of pride in.
However, the 2020/2021 list is perhaps more important than all iterations that have come before it simply as it reflects leadership in the most challenging of times.
Across the industry, as we tried to deal with the pandemic and the impact of the subsequent lockdowns we saw temerity and tenacity, innovation and ingenuity, we saw our leaders standing tall as our industry quietly kept the world turning against all the odds.
So many in our industry showed exceptional leadership in the last 18 months we genuinely considered extending the list to the #FSN50, or even #FSN100. However, after a lengthy conversation, our industry panel decided to stick to tradition and began the painstaking task of whittling down the huge list we had to 20 leaders across our industry that deserve this acknowledgement the most.
Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular order, we are pleased to present this year’s #FSN20
RHONDA RICHARDSON, CFO, NEW ZEALAND POST, NEW ZEALAND
Rhonda is an accomplished executive leader with extensive experience in driving strategic priorities, embedding end to end business improvement, improving customer experience, enabling growth opportunities and leading transformational organisational change.
As a leader, Rhonda is passionate about people and culture – a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and growing female leadership capability. She is actively involved in the development of others both inside and outside her organisation.
With a strong background in financial management Rhonda’s experience move into operational worlds particularly in the Telco sector in her native New Zealand. During the pandemic, while working with Chorus her team’s innovative approach to zero-touch installation played a huge part in keeping New Zealanders connected to the internet and informed at a vital time.
Since then she has returned to a senior finance role with New Zealand Post and it will be interesting to see the impact of a CFO that truly understand operational challenges in the logistics space.
GED CRANNY – SENIOR CONSULTANT, KONICA MINOLTA, UK
A Senior Leader that is driven loyal and dedicated to both the business brand and people. In his role as Head of Direct Service for Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd Ged brought exceptional insight and clear vision and direction to a team has delivered consistently across a broad spread of KPI’s.
In that role, Ged was accountable for teams of 400+ people employed to deliver effective B2B support the UK and European remit. Having responsibility for Profit and Loss account circa £85m revenues and managing £32m spend on an annual basis demonstrates a strategic and commercial approach balanced with a strong leadership style that empowers and engages at all levels.
However, in the last year, Ged’s role has evolved to supporting innovation across the entire European team. With a wealth of experience to draw from in an ever-evolving world of service delivery and business transformation, Ged has always adopted an innovative approach that works and now is helping guide Konica Minolta as they continue their own evolution.
HEENA MISTRY – CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, UNITED UTILITIES, UK
Mistry is an impressive leader, with a clear understanding of the impact of technology on modern service delivery. With a customer base reliant on their services as a major water supplier within the UK, Mistry’s balanced mix of understanding the importance of customer satisfaction and embracing leading technology to ensure that the service United Utilities deliver not only meets that standard but goes consistently above and beyond is absolutely crucial.
CHAD LOWMAN – DIRECTOR, CORPORATE BUSINESS SYSTEMS, FIKE CORPORATION, USA
Being a highly respected NFL and MLS technology leader, Lowman has led teams that have helped enhance the enjoyment of sport to millions of this fellow Americans. As a technical project and strategy manager who achieves results, Lowman has proven himself to be adept at building collaborative relationships with executives, internal stakeholders, clients and subject matter experts to create optimal business solutions.
Technically savvy with extensive expertise in many areas including learning management systems, communication technology and networks, game day systems, and the utilization of multimedia and e-learning platforms, Lowman is both highly respected and well liked amongst his peers and colleagues.
As one of his former colleagues comments: “Chad is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever known. Not just about instructional design and technology but basically everything. I really miss working with him.”
ADAM GORDON MBE, HEAD OF UK FIELD SERVICE, ERICSSON, UK
Having spent 17 years abroad working in the Telecommunications environment that included field service delivery, Adam is now established in the UK with a clear drive and focus to move Field Service delivery within Ericsson ready for the immediate and long term future.
With a culture or “proactiveness” and ‘first time right’ for Ericsson’s customers and he is paving the way to enable a more connected experience involving various touchpoints encompassing technology as well as people.
From embedding AI and machine learning within proactive toolsets, harnessing data from hardware and the environment for predictive automation to internal training and management. It is clear Adam has a vision in place and he knows how to execute it.
RUDI KHOURY – EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, FISHER & PAYKEL, NEW ZEALAND
As Executive Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience, Khoury is responsible for delivering seamless customer experience and online platforms that reflect a premium brand experience across every touchpoint.
Khoury joined Fisher & Paykel Appliances in February 2009 as a Financial Controller, before assuming his current role on Fisher & Paykel’s Executive Team in August 2019.
Throughout his career at Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Rudi has held a variety of senior leadership roles, including as Regional CFO Australia, General Manager of Customer Experience, and General Manager of Sales Operations. Rudi holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting & eCommerce, Masters of Business Administration and is a Certified Practicing Accountant.
GYNER OZGUL – COO, SMARTCARE EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS, USA
“As an C Level Operations Executive, I enjoy understanding complex problems, finding the right solutions and developing future leaders” states Ozgul.
“I commit to a high level of empowerment, engagement and accountability to drive success. I have been able to provide senior management with visibility to operations opportunities and subsequent plans to execute resulting in 2M+ savings annually since 2012.”
His leadership skills, particularly during the height of the pandemic were critical to navigating both his team and customer base through exceptionally challenging times for the catering industry that was hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic.
KEVIN STARR, SERVICE LEAD FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR PROCESS INDUSTRIES, ABB, USA
Kevin Starr began his career installing, tuning, and training on industrial automation systems.
His experience working closely with customers led to the development and implementation of globally accepted service offerings, patents, and tools.
His ABB career has enabled him to work in a wide variety of process industries, including chemical, metals, mining, plastics, oil & gas, pulp & paper, rubber, and water treatment. Kevin has taught process control techniques and implemented optimization services for ABB employees and customers all over the world.
DAVE APPERT – VICE PRESIDENT, CUSTOMER CARE, CLAYTON HOMES, USA
Appert is a creative, customer-focused, and results-driven senior leader with an extensive background in product and program development, merchandising, marketing, operations, financial planning, and technology.
Appert, has enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to manage through complexity by finding business insights that enable the team to delight customers and deliver on business objectives and is an active participant in many industry discussions to both share his own insight and also to continue his own knowledge development.
Appert has demonstrated an excellent record of successfully balancing a bias towards action with risk while maintaining agility. His strong belief that process and people-driven innovation begins with a team culture is at the heart of his management philosophy. This is characterized by Appert’s open, informal approach to communication, and a commitment to relentless leader support at all levels – which drives autonomy, and empowerment amongst those within his teams.
MARK HESSINGER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL CUSTOMER SERVICES, 3D SYSTEMS, USA
Mark Hessinger is the VP Services at 3D Systems Inc. and is responsible for all Global Services Functions. He is a Senior Global Customer Experience Leader who leads organizations to higher performance.
A visionary with a demonstrated ability to identify customer needs and design a strategy that builds innovative, profitable and scalable solutions that deliver greater customer loyalty and employee engagement. Mark designed and led Global Customer Experience programs leveraging NPS and a closed-loop process improvement at multiple companies.
He architected the strategy and led IoT and M2M projects that leveraged technology to transform business processes and operations. He enjoys finding sustainable solutions for large messy customer-facing problems.
RAJAT KAKAR – EXECUTIVE, SERVICE SALES GROUP, EUROPE, IBM, GERMANY
Passionate about everything services advisor, technology and business leader Rajat has been a consistent figure in the industry offering insight and support across many channels including our own COVID support sessions which were run completely for free to help the industry.
Rajat’s experience spans customer transformational journeys for Services using AI Ops, shift left, AR/VR and others. He has helped to discover new digital services based on data analytics and process automation including RPA.
Rajat is an Executive at IBM Services Europe and an Advisory member for our event. Prior to IBM, Rajat ran the EMEA Services business for Fujitsu, including Infrastructure Services, Professional Services and Product Services, where he was instrumental in creating world’s first OEM multi-vendor managed services.
Rajat is certified in Lean Six Sigma, holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State. He has lived on three continents and worked in European, American and Asian cultures.
MICKEY ROONEY, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, JLL, UK
A highly intelligent, driven and ambitious leader, Rooney has over 30 years of experience in leading the delivery of successful teamwork in challenging and complex working environments; with an exceptional service focussed mentality.
Equipped with a deeply technical MSc and supported by an MBA, his skill set has resulted in a broad spectrum of employment spanning the military, corporate and political spheres. He has led global infrastructure and transformation programmes in areas of cultural and political sensitivity, with a range of technologies from high-end digital systems to blue sky innovations.
Politically astute and an experienced diplomatic manager, on several occasions he has overcome contractual inertia, establishing credibility with international operating areas, he has coordinated the negotiation of new terms without financial variation resulting in a history of success with technical programmes requiring strong leadership and vision.
His recent work with Integral/JLL has shown an exceptional prescience for how the future of the high-street will evolve and how the field service sectors serving the built environment face major disruption.
SARAH BRETTLE, DIRECTOR, CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVISION, FORD
Having joined Ford in 2010. Brettle has served in numerous roles in the organisation including After-Sales Marketing Manager and Director of Field Operations which gives her a wealth of insight and expertise that make her an exceptionally rounded service leader.
With a focus on how to turn around industry stereotypes through customer experience and technology, Brettle has her sights firmly set on the future and importance of Field Service within Ford as she hopes to change the customer perception of the retailing experience they may have had and provide an innovative approach through better value, better service and better technology.
FRANK ÖSTBYE, GROUP VICE PRESIDENT, HEAD OF FUTURELAB, GRUNFOS
Östbye is a natural entrepreneur who has built multiple successful companies since he went to school and has an exceptional vision of emerging trends that can change industry and society at large.
His first company installed solar panels on houses. His second was got acquired by a Kinnevik company in 2004, based on the prediction that all electricity meters will be connected.
The third business Östbye launched was acquired by Telenor in 2013, based on the prediction that everything will be connected!
He attributes his success to a focus on doing business where all involved are winners and that can contribute to a more sustainable world. Now in his role with Grundfos, a true global leader in their sector, he continues to be a driving force for both service excellence and a brighter, more sustainable future.
CHRISTIAN NOLTE – VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SERVICE, WMF, GERMANY
Nolte is an exceptionally experienced senior leader in the global technology and customer services industry. Across the last 15 years, he has held a number of significant leadership positions reaching into all corners of the global service organization.
He has successfully led global as well as local organizations while maintaining a focus on consistently building a strong inter-cultural repertoire. Across his career, Nolte has been at the forefront of the digital transformation revolution and is a fantastic advocate for the intensive application of technology alongside modern management methods.
With natural acumen in developing and future-proofing organizations, Nolte has become a well-recognised speaker at key industry events and is a highly sought after expert and sounding board.
JAMIE MORAIS – REGIONAL GENERAL MANAGER, AFTERSALES AND DEALER DEVELOPMENT, NISSAN, THAILAND
Morais is a seasoned automotive senior executive with vast international experience, been based in Europe, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and now Thailand.
Having been tasked with leading roles in Aftersales & Quality Management, Dealer Operations Management, Business & Network Development, and Customer Experience, Morais is widely acknowledged as a genuine subject matter expert in both the automotive industry but also in what service excellence looks like within that sector.
Morais possess the right mixture of technical skills, business acumen and corporate experience, with 14 years’ regional experience, including the last 8 years in senior management roles.
ALEC PINTO – EMEA SERVICE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE LEADER, LEICA BIOSYSTEMS, GERMANY
For a number of years now Pinto has been at the forefront of forward-thinking and innovation driving operational excellence within the field service teams he has held responsibility for.
From using cutting edge mathematical algorithms to help improve availability within the region to embracing technology and successfully integrating disparate international teams into unified divisions Pinto’s career as a service leader boasts numerous successes in various aspects of senior leadership of service operations.
Now in his current role, he is building on this foundation of experience and insight as he is playing a central role in establishing a centre for service excellence across the EMEA region for Leica Biosystems.
KARL LOWE, HEAD OF PANASONIC EUROPEAN SERVICE, PANASONIC HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS, UK
Lowe is an experienced service leader with over 20 years of experience within the HVAC industry. Across this background of a wealth of experience Lowe has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of working in the mechanical and industrial engineering industry.
His background has provided him with a deep skillset that covers HVAC, Sales Management, People Management, Energy Efficiency, and Cooling Water. However, it is his extensive experience in delivering change projects, that earns him his inclusion in this year’s list.
Having led numerous implementations that complement service business infrastructure including CRMs, E-commerce platforms and numerous IT systems – during the height of the pandemic Lowe led the rapid and successful adoption of remote service technology that allowed his team to continue meeting the service needs of their customers in the most challenging of environments our industry has ever faced.
CLAY BARKER, DIRECTOR OF SERVICE AND SUPPORT, REVOLUTION RETAIL SYSTEMS
As Director of Service and Support, Barker is responsible for service and support of 6000+ customer locations across the United States and Canada.
In this role, he has been required to define new and existing end-to-end processes for areas of improvement while managing key vendor relationships alongside managing high-level projects that drive results while improving profitability and efficiency.
It is the implementation of one of these projects that has brought Barker the acknowledgement of being part of this year’s #FSN20 as he achieved something a huge amount of service leaders will be keen to replicate.
That was to introduce an entirely new remote service technology into his team and achieved company-wide adoption of the tool within just 3 months – a truly exceptional feat. However, even more, impressive is that Barker achieved while ensuring the projects had a positive impact on Employee Engagement, Customer Experience and Operational Efficiency.
PATRICK JANSEN, CSO, VBR TURBINES, NETHERLANDS
Jansen is an experienced field service manager with a demonstrated history of working in the oil/gas & energy industry and has shown a consistently impressive record in each step of his development and career, culminating in his recent promotion to the role of CSO.
Skilled in Gas Turbines, Maintenance, (remote) service delivery, Capacity Planning and workforce management he has the technical background required for the complex engineering VBR develop.
However, it is a flair for outside-the-box thinking that has allowed him to see beyond the day-to-day challenges of service operations and identify real solutions that solve tomorrow’s problems – including completely rethinking how to attract a younger generation of workers as well as being at the vanguard of understanding how the Internet of Things can be leveraged within the Oil and Gas sector.
Outside of work, Jansen is a committed family man, “When I’m not working, I’m usually with my wife, twin son and daughter in the park,” he comments.
“They make me step back and look at things from a different perspective. Therefore they are my inspiration.”
THE #FSN20 PANEL
Many thanks to this year’s advisory panel:
Michael Blumberg, Jan Van Veen, Nick Frank, Jim Baston, Thomas Igou, Prof. Christian Kowalkowski, Dr. Shaun West, Rohit Agarwal, Gladys Caligagan, Jonathan Massoud, Kris Oldland, Aly Pinder Jr., Martin Summerhayes