Leadership

Paula Courtney

Paula Courtney

Chief Executive Officer

A passionate change agent and entrepreneur, she believes that organizations remain competitive and profitable when they are brilliant at the basics of service delivery.

As President of the Verde Group, a research consultancy specializing in helping companies improve customer retention, Paula leads the development of new research methods for helping companies link customer and employee experiences to financial outcomes. The Verde Group’s Canadian and US retail studies have been published globally in over 35 publications including Business Week, Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal and Fortune. A frequent conference presenter, Paula has delivered keynote presentations for various industry and professional associations and is also a regular guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business.

Paula holds a BSc in Psychology and a post graduate certification in Personnel & Industrial Relations (CPIR) from the University of Toronto. Paula is also fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Graham Kingma

Graham Kingma

Executive Vice President

Graham has more than 20 years of experience in customer loyalty work, both as a general manager in the Telecommunications and Retail space and as a C-Suite advisor to Fortune 500 companies.   His specialty is analyzing the most critical aspects of the customer relationship and identifying high-yield opportunities for companies to drive shareholder value through superior customer experience, operations and sales.  Graham’s consulting expertise includes Financial Services, Telecommunications, B2B and Retail.  He is passionate about both strategy and execution, and excels in advising clients on how to operationalize strategy to deliver measurable improvements in revenue, share and competitive stance.

Graham is a sought after public speaker on best practices in the areas of leadership, customer experience and social media execution.  He is the recipient of numerous awards and designations, including “Best Contact Centre in the World” in 2008. He is a published author and a regular contributor to the Canadian Marketing Association blog.

Graham holds a BA in Law and Business.

Jon Skinner

Jon Skinner

Executive Vice President

Jon has more than 20 years’ experience in helping clients and organizations raise customer value through improved customer insight, relevance, satisfaction and operational excellence.  Spanning both B2B and consumer categories, he has consulted to market leading companies across the Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals and Medical, Telecommunications, Software and Consumer Package Goods verticals designing and implementing programs to grow customer value.  As practice area leader for Digitas, Jon led the Customer Management Group, which was responsible for customer value management, satisfaction strategy and channel execution. He was also VP of CRM Strategy for Seurat, a marketing outsourcing and services provider. His general management experience includes executive leadership positions at Excite@Home, Webroot Software, and New England Business Services.  Jon holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth, and a Bachelor of Arts from Union College.

Gord Ripley

Gord Ripley

Senior Vice President Operations

An experienced executive manager in the loyalty research and analytics space, Gord has over two decades of experience managing the operational complexities of enterprise-wide customer experience programs for North America’s largest organizations.   Adept at optimizing existing processes and developing new ones that deliver greater client efficiencies and new sources of client value, Gord oversees all operations at Verde Group.

Prior to joining Verde Group, Gord was Vice President of Client Experience for Greenwich Associates where he was responsible for the implementation and ongoing success of customer experience and loyalty programs touching millions of customers across all segments and business categories.  Gord has a particular depth of expertise in strategic program development and execution in the Financial Services category.

Gord has held positions on the Board of Directors for the MRIA, is a Net Promoter Certified Associate and holds a BA in Sociology from Dalhousie University.

Sandie Parker

Sandie Parker

Vice President, Customer Experience and Loyalty

Sandie specializes in consulting with clients in the areas of customer experience and loyalty assessment, sales force research and strategy, measurement and reporting. Her expertise encompasses both qualitative and quantitative research and facilitation of strategic action planning. Sandie has extensive background in the financial services industry including retail brokerage, wealth management and financial planning, investments and securities, insurance, commercial and investment banking, and contact centers. Before Verde, Sandie was responsible for commercial strategy development, planning, execution and measurement at leading North American bank. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and holds a specialty in Administrative Management from the Life Office Management Association.

Lori Childers

Lori Childers

Vice President, Client Solutions

Lori manages Verde’s large client engagements related to customer loyalty and retention and applies her management consulting experience to discern actionable insights from client studies. Her expertise encompasses both qualitative and quantitative operational analyses focusing on the people, process, and technology aspects of an organization. Lori has extensive background in management consulting for both Canadian and U.S. clients to include Federal Government agencies, non-profit associations, and Fortune 100 clients within the Pharmaceutical and Consumer Processed Goods industries. She has more than 25 years of experience facilitating private/government business operations transform to more efficient and effective models through implementation of management controls and reporting systems, business process reengineering, and organizational effectiveness.

Before Verde, Lori oversaw Canadian and U.S. proposal responses for the public sector arm of a leading global $600M consulting firm, delivering compliant, compelling, and winning proposals in support of overall business development activities to include a multi-million dollar contract with the Canadian Federal Government. Lori’s leadership experience includes prior positions within the IT industry for CP Rail and EDS in both Canada and the U.S. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Business Administration from the University of Waterloo and is certified as a Proposal Manager Practitioner from the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP).

Michael Tropp

Michael Tropp

Vice President, Business Development

Michael leads Verde’s Business Development outreach efforts.  With over a decade of experience in market research, financial analysis and sales leadership, he has designed and led customer satisfaction, sales and training programs for a number of companies, including the US Postal Service.  A graduate of the University of Richmond, Michael has studied extensively abroad, attending both Oxford University and the University of Copenhagen.

Jesse Berger, Associate VP

Jesse Berger

Associate Vice President

Jesse brings nearly a decade of experience as a financial services professional, having worked in banking, wealth management, and management consulting. Jesse specializes in consulting with clients in the area of customer experience and loyalty in both the B2B and B2C space. He is focused on helping organizations identify and resolve the most critical customer experience issues in order to build advocacy and drive profitability.

Jesse has worked extensively as a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs as well as Fortune 500 companies. His broad consulting experience includes managing process improvements, synthesizing qualitative and quantitative information, and data analytics and forecast modelling. Jesse holds a BA in Economics and Philosophy from McGill University and an MBA from Ryerson University.