Andy founded Service Management Group in 1991 with Bill Fromm and Dr. Len Schlesinger. SMG’s first client was a small retail chain, where Andy led a team conducting an employee survey. Throughout the company’s history, SMG’s associate and customer research has included an analysis of their relationship to financial performance. This concept was the primary focus of Dr. Schlesinger’s research at Harvard Business School and first articulated in 1998 in The Service Profit Chain with co-authors Heskett and Sasser. SMG’s research was subsequently published in 2003 in The Value Profit Chain—the follow-up work from the same research group at Harvard.
Andy graduated with distinction from Boston University and has served as an expert contributor in the area of customer service and satisfaction measurement to media such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company.
First Job: I cleaned pools throughout high school and still occasionally get asked for pool-cleaning advice from my former clients.
Chris is responsible for SMG's global client-facing organizations and is a thought leader in SMG's strategy and new business development. Prior to joining SMG, Chris was a principal at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As a core member of BCG's consumer practice, Chris primarily advised consumer retail, restaurant, and packaged goods companies and pursued functional areas of focus including strategy, service models, customer experience, consumer insight, and pricing across numerous retail formats. Prior to BCG, Chris was a senior brand strategist at Intel.
Chris is a current member of the Kansas City Zoo board of directors and is actively involved in the Zoo’s efforts to drive guest attendance and improve guest satisfaction. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
First Job: I worked as a cook for Pizza Hut and frequently won competitions for "fastest pizza maker." Now my family reaps the benefits of this skill.
Mary is responsible for resource planning, forecasting, and all financial aspects of the company. She directs SMG's strategic human resource initiatives and leads the company's administrative team. Mary also works closely with SMG’s clients during agreement negotiations and provides analysis and pricing of services. Prior to joining SMG as chief strategic officer, she was a partner in a CPA firm where she provided management, tax, and accounting consulting to a variety of businesses — including SMG. Mary earned her accounting degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
First Job: I had every 13-year-old's dream job...detasseling corn for DeKalb. I was in the fields by 6 AM, and by the end of the summer I had extremely tan arms (covered in cuts) and the whitest legs in three counties.
Ken has a strong background in innovation, consulting, and technology; applying more than 20 years’ experience toward enhancing clients' customer experience programs. As Chief Client Officer, Ken oversees client services globally for SMG, supporting our teams in delivering actionable insights that lead to revenue and profit growth for our clients across all industries. Prior to SMG, Ken held various product development, technology, and operational leadership roles at H&R Block and consulted with Fortune 500 companies in large business transformational projects at Accenture. Ken earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University.
First Job: I grew up on a farm, so my first job — at the age of 5 — was feeding our chickens and collecting their eggs.
Dennis leads the information technology and product development teams and is responsible for all of SMG's architecture, infrastructure, and development activities. Defining new and innovative products, Dennis oversees all of SMG's short- and long-term product enhancement plans. His 20 years of information technology experience spans the disciplines of operations, project management, application development, and process improvement initiatives. Prior to his current position, Dennis worked at Accenture in the financial services consulting practice and as director of information technology at H&R Block. Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Denison University and earned his MBA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
First Job: I was a paper boy, delivering papers to around 350 neighborhood houses on the weekends.
As Vice President of Human Resources, Kim is responsible for SMG's global activities in talent acquisition, development, organization design, and compensation benefit and wellness strategy. She is also responsible for contract negotiation, corporate structure, compliance, and general legal affairs. Prior to joining SMG, Kim served as an HR Relationship Manager at Sprint, where she led cross-functional HR teams in designing and delivering HR solutions. Kim holds a BSBA in Human Resources from Rockhurst University and a Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law.
First Job: I worked at Six Flags with 400 of my favorite friends—great way to spend the summer!
A nationally known expert in strategic planning and customer service, Bill co-founded SMG and created the marketing firm Barkley Evergreen & Partners. Bill’s client roster represents retail, fast food, business-to-business, franchise operations, telecommunications products, and automotive aftermarket.
Bill was named Inc. Magazine’s Regional Entrepreneur of the Year in 1995. He is the author of two books on customer service: The Ten Commandments of Business and How To Break Them and The Real Heroes of Business and Not a CEO Among Them, co-authored with Len Schlesinger. Bill has appeared on both the Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show and was featured on a segment produced by CBS’ 48 Hours on customer service. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
First Job: I worked in a flower shop, preparing flowers for the designers.
Lou leads SMG’s mobile platform development and oversees the expansion of SurveyMini, SMG’s location-based consumer research app. He adds expertise in big data science, advanced location analytics, and decision support to benefit current and future clients. Prior to his role at SMG, Lou was the leader of the Intelligence and Decision Technology group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where his group developed computer analytics and systems supporting military decision making. Lou is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development and holds a doctorate in philosophy and master’s in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
First Job: I worked at a small restaurant owned by a local lobsterman. During my first summer I repaired lobster traps — including one that caught an extremely rare blue lobster.
Jeff joined SMG after working with Gallup for five years, consulting with companies on workplace optimization. He has over 12 years of workplace consulting and management experience. As the practice leader of SMG’s employee engagement offering, Jeff is dedicated to discovering insights that foster an ideal workplace, and he enjoys collaborating with clients to turn those insights into action that improve both company performance and the employee experience. Jeff is particularly interested in change management—the study of human behavior and how it can be impacted—and specializes in working with management on employee selection and reducing employee turnover. He holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
First Job: I ran the grill at Runza—preparing several hundred burgers made to order has served my three boys well over the years.
Charlie leads SMG’s CX solutions, bringing expertise to measurement of online, mobile, app, and contact center experiences. Prior to joining SMG, he worked in the healthcare industry, leading client operations and account management organizations delivering population health services. Charlie also directed the customer experience measurement strategies, customer service operations, and account sales for a leading global retailer, during which time he was an SMG client. In this role, he led the global effort to improve associate interaction with customers across multiple channels, leading to significant year-over-year increases in satisfaction and customer loyalty. Charlie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois.
First Job: I worked for a big box retail discount chain, where I met the love of my life under a blue light special.
As VP of Social Solutions, Jason leads SMG’s Social Monitoring + Publishing offering. Prior to joining SMG, he was the director of digital marketing for AMC Theatres. Having worked on teams for a variety of products and services, including Sprint, H&R Block, and DirecTV, Jason has a passion for the interactive marketing space and enjoys the dynamic, fast-paced challenges it presents. At SMG, he uses that passion to help SMG provide best-in-class social tools that allow brands to monitor and boost their digital presence by tracking relevant conversations, publishing ratings and reviews, and enhancing discoverability through search engine optimization. He holds both an undergraduate degree and an EMBA from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS
First Job: I worked as locker room attendant at a Denver health club and managed the student store at my high school.
John leads engineering, architecture, and data services, overseeing the software development life cycle of SMG’s core products. With two decades of experience in software development roles, he specializes in scalable software architectures, largescale data-centric applications, and building high performing software development teams. Prior to joining SMG, John led business and engineering operations for Cerner’s Community Care Solutions, building a highly distributed enterprise mobile medical record and billing platform. He has also held engineering and technical leadership positions in Microsoft Corporation’s Windows Media Services and Speech product divisions. John completed his undergraduate studies in Physics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
First Job: I was a paperboy for The Detroit News. I can say it’s difficult, yet possible, to ride a bike in a foot of snow.
As Vice President of Client Insights, Franci leads a team spread across our Kansas City, London, and Tokyo offices. She’s primarily focused on building customer engagement for a wealth of global retail and restaurant clients through actionable insights that help them achieve their strategic goals. Franci’s passion for taking on any challenge makes her an invaluable resource for her clients looking to excel in an always-changing business environment. Franci holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Drury University and an MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
First Job: My first job was a carhop at Sonic. Yes, I was a rollerskating carhop—and no, I never fell but I did have a few close calls! It’s not as easy as it looks!
Jen leads a team of client services professionals that serves several large multi-unit clients in the retail and restaurant industries. She specializes in guiding her team toward understanding the client’s business needs, determining strategic goals of the project, and delivering quality insight. Prior to joining SMG in 2008, Jen spent five years at American Century Investments, where she held positions within the marketing division that included responsibility for retention of assets and product marketing. Jen has over 21 years of experience in database marketing, product marketing, client retention, research implementation and analysis, and program management. Jen earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Southern California.
First Job: I worked behind the deli counter at our local Hy-Vee supermarket. To this day, I have superb meat-slicing skills
Todd specializes in developing creative approaches for improving customer loyalty and engagement. To his role as VP of client services, Todd brings more than a decade of experience in market research, competitive intelligence, and business improvement across diverse service-based industries. Prior to joining SMG, Todd helped companies such as H&R Block, Mutual of Omaha, Farm Credit Services, and Cerner Corporation further refine their marketing, client service, and new business strategies. Todd earned his MBA from Bellevue University and holds a BA in both sociology and political science from Northwestern College.
First Job: I was a busboy at an all-you-can-eat spaghetti restaurant in Omaha. As you might suspect, there were some especially dirty tables.
As Vice President of Client Services, Will leads a team to deliver actionable insights that create business impact for several clients in the retail and restaurant industries. In addition to specializing in QSR analytics and insights, he is part of the internal hiring cadre and plays a critical role in maintaining and updating SMG’s industry-leading data integrity efforts. Prior to joining SMG, Will worked as a Management Trainee for Balfour Beatty—a UK construction company—helping to identify safer on-site working practices.
At SMG, he enjoys working with a strong team of ambitious people and interacting with clients to share how SMG solutions can help answer their most pressing business questions, and clients especially appreciate his forthright approach. Will holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Business from the University of Surrey, England, as well as an MBA from Southampton Solent University, England.
First Job: Cleaning dishes at Pizza Express—a current client!
As Vice President of Strategic Operations, Krystal supports operational resource planning and portfolio optimization for our Client Insights department. She oversees the team responsible for onboarding clients, gives direction for the different product offerings, and provides strategic decision support for the organization as a whole.
Prior to joining SMG, Krystal spent 5 years at NPC International, the largest Pizza Hut franchise in the United States. She held positions within the marketing department that included responsibility for development of print and broadcast media plans, pricing and couponing strategies, and implementation of market-specific growth plans. Krystal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism with an emphasis in strategic communications from the University of Kansas.
First Job: I was a waitress at the Chicken Inn, where I learned how to make a really good-looking iced cream cone—and ate iced cream for dinner a lot!
Jacqui leads a talented group of SMG client services teams to deliver solutions to multi-unit consumer brands, enabling them to better serve their customers, accelerate customer loyalty, and drive financial performance. Having prior experience in both executive sales and strategic accounts at Market Force, her expertise spans from customer service and relationship management to business strategy and new product innovation. Jacqui enjoys collaborating closely with bright, hard-working people to identify and implement break-through service insights that lead to results. Clients consistently note their appreciation for her honest approach and her commitment to understanding their business and helping them successfully meet their vision. She has a Bachelor’s of Commerce from The John Molson School of Business at the Concordia University in Quebec.
First Job: I was a sandwich maker at Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pastas. I successfully preserved my fingers from any meat slicer mishaps.
Paul is responsible for leading a team that delivers actionable insights to SMG clients across multiple industries. With over 10 years of experience at SMG and a background in multivariate data analysis, Paul brings an intimate understanding of research best practices for both the restaurant and retail industries. Prior to joining SMG, he conducted research in the areas of employee and guest satisfaction for Tyson Foods and the University of Arkansas. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management from the University of Northern Iowa and an MBA from Northwest Missouri State University. Paul currently serves on the Marketing and Legal Studies Advisory Board at the University of Central Missouri.
First Job: I worked in the kitchen at Burger King during breakfast and lunch. Each day, I'd make myself a Whopper for lunch...dang, they were good.
Joe’s first five years at SMG were focused on building our mobile and brand research capabilities where he was a featured speaker at several retail and restaurant conferences. He is now focused on leading a team to grow SMG’s presence in retail and service categories. He brings more than 25 years’ experience working with some of the country’s biggest brands, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Sprint, 24 Hour Fitness, and many more. Prior to joining SMG, Joe headed the retail account group at Barkley, an advertising agency in Kansas City. This broad experience provides him with a unique understanding of what drives the retail industry. In 2003 he was named by Ingram’s Magazine as one of the top 40 business professionals under 40 in the Kansas City area. Joe holds an MBA from the University of Missouri–Kansas City Bloch School of Business.
First Job: I was a telemarketer at the age of 15, selling tickets to the Fire Department Circus.
Shad leads SMG's marketing team to position and promote the SMG brand globally, and collaborates with the product and sales teams to market SMG's evolving portfolio of research solutions and technology products. Shad has more than 20 years of experience building brands across restaurant, retail, hospitality, and convenience categories. Prior to joining SMG, Shad held leadership positions at Barkley advertising and C3 marketing, where he led business development and account management teams for brands like SONIC, Arby's, Payless ShoeSource, 24 Hour Fitness, CITGO Petroleum, and many more. Shad is a graduate of Wichita State University.
First Job: I thought I was hired on as a waiter at Angelo's Italian Restaurant in Wichita, but when I showed up on day one, I was the dishwasher.
As Vice President of Customer Engagement, Peter is tasked with introducing SMG to new markets, building strategic relationships, and applying our technology and research to the unique market dynamics found globally. Prior to SMG, Peter spent 7 years at Cerner Corporation in progressive roles in consulting, finance, and operations. At SMG, Peter began in Client Services helping design, build, and manage large-scale client programs before eventually leading a portfolio of clients and delivery teams. He loves having the opportunity to discuss research and technology to help brands answer complex questions, and clients especially appreciate his passion and consultative approach to understanding their needs and designing custom programs accordingly. Peter holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Technology Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign.
First Job: I worked at my local Walt’s grocery store in Chicago bagging groceries, emptying the trash, and making regular coffee runs to the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street.
Jack is passionate about helping companies energize their people to create loyalty-inspiring customer experiences. He frequently presents at conferences including NRF, IFA, and MUFSO, teaching performance improvement strategies and instilling a spirit of “creative discontent” in his audiences. Jack blogs and speaks on engaging team members, connecting with customers, and earning customer loyalty. He is a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and past president of the American Society for Training and Development in Kansas City.
First Job: When I was 13 years old, I started a “pre-owned” golf ball business, using my scuba gear to dive for golf balls in ponds, then selling them on the course – my first job in sales!
As Vice President of Customer Engagement, Michele leads a team that develops successful relationships with brands in the retail, grocery, and convenience space. Having started her career as a broadcast reporter, she uses her interview skills to ask the right questions and discover what matters most. Clients appreciate Michele’s creative approach, strong work ethic, and singular focus on delivering measureable results. Working with our internal competitive cadre to understand the CX landscape and retain SMG’s position as thought leaders, she has dedicated herself to establishing and maintaining industry expertise to help solve complex client problems. Michele holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
First Job: I delivered the afternoon newspaper. In my frequently wet and snowy hometown, I learned quickly that a dry paper will drive loyalty.