A pioneer in the development of customer loyalty programs, Hal Brierley founded Brierley+Partners in 1985 and has led the company through more than two decades of successful growth. Graduating Harvard Business School in 1968, he co-founded and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Epsilon Data Management, one of the nation's leading database marketing companies. In 1980, Hal was retained as the only outside consultant to work on the design of American Airlines AAdvantage®, the world's first frequent-flyer program. In 1982, he became Vice President of Sales and Advertising for Pan American World Airways, where he launched WorldPass®, Pan Am's frequent-traveler program. In 1983, he was named Senior Vice President of Marketing for Continental Airlines. Hal began his career in direct marketing more than 25 years ago and remains one of the most innovative and respected strategic thinkers in the field. In recognition of Hal's significant contributions and leadership in the industry, he was inducted into The Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame in 2012.
Jim Sturm President Chief Executive Officer
President Chief Executive Officer
Jim Sturm is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Brierley+Partners, Inc. and leads the globally recognized company in loyalty and CRM marketing. Jim joined Brierley in January 2007, and since joining, Jim has been instrumental in establishing new client relationships across the spectrum of Brierley's CRM and loyalty services. Additionally, he has expanded the company's service offerings – most notably, the LoyaltyWare™ suite of technology solutions. With a focus on technology productization and a full suite of marketing professional services, Jim has driven a culture of trusted advisor leadership throughout the Brierley team. With a spirit of innovation and change, Jim has driven double-digit growth and a reputation for creating industry-differentiating customer engagement programs for our clients. Jim's passion for helping our clients achieve their goals and creating an atmosphere of fun in the workplace is making Brierley a unique experience.
Prior to Brierley, Jim spent over 20 years with Electronic Data Systems, an industry leader providing a broad portfolio of Business Process Management and Technology solutions. Jim was responsible for Client Service Excellence, providing innovative solutions for major clients and ensuring client satisfaction. He also played a major role in developing and leading EDS's client loyalty program. Earlier in his tenure with EDS, he served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development. Jim holds a degree in Business Administration, Finance and Management Information Systems from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Bill Swift Executive Vice President Chief Technology Officer
Executive Vice President Chief Technology Officer
Bill has been leading Brierley+Partners' technology organization since January of 2001. As CTO his responsibilities span from technology architecture and product direction to client implementations and operational support. Bill has been instrumental in expanding the company's vision beyond customer loyalty solutions to also encompass broader CRM and data warehouse capabilities. The combined platform is now powering complex marketing strategies that capitalize upon having a single view of the customer; not only from a database perspective but also in terms of real-time customer data integration. Having participated in the successful adoption of international technology standards, Bill is a contributing author of publications focused on distributed computing architecture and holds several software design patents. Bill earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.
David Mellinger Executive Vice President Chief Financial Officer
Executive Vice President Chief Financial Officer
David has been with the Brierley family of companies for over 10 years and provides over 30 years of financial and corporate development leadership to Brierley+Partners. Part of the last 10 years was spent as the CFO and EVP of Corporate Development for e-Rewards, the world's largest online market research panel company, where he provided the financial oversight of the company's fast, profitable growth and was responsible for multiple debt financings, equity raises and acquisitions. Prior to joining Brierley, David was CFO of two technology subsidiaries of Rapp Collins Worldwide, and INTRICO, a software development and marketing partnership between American Airlines, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels and Budget Rent-a-Car. David has also held executive positions at Perot Systems, Centex General Construction Companies and Pinnacle Brands, a baseball trading card manufacturer. David started his career with Arthur Andersen where he was an audit manager and worked for 2 years at its world headquarters on computer audit techniques. David graduated with high honors from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Kristen Dearing Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing & Alliances
Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing & Alliances
Kristen brings over 19 years of creating and delivering innovative and successful sales and marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Brierley in 2012, Kristen was a global sales leader at Oracle, responsible for multimedia marketing and technology engagements within the Communications Business Unit. In addition, Kristen spent over 12 years at Sun Microsystems managing key strategic alliances and leading organizations that sold to Fortune 100 companies. She also has a consulting background, as she spent several years at Accenture. At Brierley+Partners, she leads the Marketing, Public Relations and Partnership Alliances. Kristen is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance.
Bill Russo Senior Vice President Strategy
Senior Vice President Strategy
During a 20+ year career, Bill has established himself as a customer loyalty program and CRM expert. He recently rejoined Brierley+Partners to begin his second decade with the company. Previously Bill was Brierley's Senior Vice President – Account Services and led the agency's efforts for a wide variety of clients, including AT&T Wireless, BLOCKBUSTER, Hertz Rent-A-Car, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Neiman Marcus, Norwegian Cruise Line, and UPS. Starting in 2002, Bill served as President of e-Rewards Market Research (an affiliate company of Brierley+Partners) and led its rapid growth from new entrant, to U.S. market share leader and ultimately to becoming the world's largest online market research panel. Early in his career he worked as a marketing and business development executive in the travel and hospitality industries. Bill has served as the Manager of TWA's Frequent Flight Bonus Program, was Staff Vice President – Regional Marketing for Hertz, National Director of Marketing for the Fairmont Hotel Company, and Vice President – Marketing for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Bill holds a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University's Stern School of Business.
Billy Payton President Retail Services
President Retail Services
Billy, a veteran retailer and pioneer in retail loyalty programs, joined Brierley+Partners in 2000 to lead the firm's expanding retail practice. Prior to joining Brierley, he served as Vice President, Marketing and Customer Programs for Neiman Marcus, meeting with great success in promoting the unique and highly recognizable brand. During his 36-year career at Neiman Marcus, Billy was responsible for the development and implementation of InCircle and NM Gold, programs which pioneered the concept of customer loyalty within the retail industry. He also managed the Neiman Marcus customer database and credit card marketing efforts. As part of his contributions at Neiman Marcus, Billy created the first electronic, prepaid gift card—a concept that remains widely used throughout the retail industry today.
Don Smith Senior Vice President Chief Analytics Officer
Senior Vice President Chief Analytics Officer
Don earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from The Florida State University (with concentrations in program evaluation, campaign management, and statistics) and spent 11 years in academia (Rice University, Cornell College, and the University of North Texas) teaching statistics and policy evaluation. Prior to joining B+P, he was a Research Director for Dallas County, TX, in charge of database modeling, data mining, and program reporting. He has authored several journal articles and a full-length book. At Brierley, Don specializes in building econometric models and creating segmentation schemes, with an emphasis on marrying customer engagement data (web analytics, social media, communications response) to shopping and purchasing patterns. His current client list includes 7-Eleven, Express, Fresh & Easy, GameStop, Hertz, Levi’s and MoneyGram. An avid theater aficionado, Don was the 1989 Saax Bradbury/Amos Abrams Fellow to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where he studied classical acting; his passion for presentation informs his marketing data analytics, where he eschews the traditional view in favor of a dynamic storytelling model that brings numbers to life through contextualization and the generation of actionable insights.
Jim Huppenthal Senior Vice President Creative Services
Senior Vice President Creative Services
Jim started his career at Brierley+Partners over 25 years ago, helping open the L.A. office. During that time he led the art direction and design for the launch of Hilton HHonors as well as Hertz #1 Club Gold. Presently Jim oversees our global creative services, art direction, design, interactive and production art studio to ensure consistency across all customer engagements. During his impressive career Jim has gained a national reputation for his achievements. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including ECHOs, Caples, Pioneers, Tempos, AAF Best in the West, Telly and American Catalog Gold awards. A graduate from the American Academy of Art, Jim began his career at Stone & Adler in Chicago and then Wunderman West in Los Angeles.
Jill Goran Senior Vice President Group Creative Director
Senior Vice President Group Creative Director
Jill joined Brierley+Partners in 1991. Over the years, virtually all of Brierley's clients have benefited from her creative leadership, writing talent, and strategic focus: Bloomingdale's, Hilton, Hertz, MSN, Sony, and UPS among them. A native of the Big Apple, Jill started her career at William Esty Advertising in New York, creating national print and TV campaigns for Colgate-Palmolive, Nabisco, and Union Carbide. She next moved to L.A. to work for MPI, a subsidiary of United Airlines, and had creative responsibility for the Westin Hotels Premier and United Airlines Mileage Plus programs. The recipient of numerous creative awards, including ECHOs, Caples, Pioneers, Lulus, Tempos, and an Academy of American Poets Prize, Jill has also been featured in industry publications for her breakthrough creative. Jill holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with high distinction from the University of Rochester.
Robert Owen Senior Vice President Technology Services CIO
Senior Vice President Technology Services CIO
Robert joined Brierley+Partners in 1999 and has almost 17 years of application development and technology operations experience. During his time at B+P, he has developed, implemented, and supported CRM and loyalty programs for a wide range of clients. As the company's senior technology operations officer, he manages a large and diverse team of technology professionals based in three B+P offices. Robert has worked with a number of Fortune 500 clients, including JCPenney, Sony, Borders, United States Postal Service, Goldman Sachs, United Airlines, DynCorp, and Nokia, both leading and developing complex technology solutions to support their marketing functions. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from the University of Texas, Arlington and an MBA from the University of Texas, Dallas.
John Pedini Senior Vice President Program Management
Senior Vice President
John joined Brierley+Partners in 1995. Throughout his career he has been a leader in the development and implementation of numerous customer loyalty and CRM initiatives. Prior to joining Brierley, John was a member of the technology solutions team at Relationship Management Programs Inc., developing online marketing strategies and solutions for United Airlines. In his current role John leads the Program and Project Management teams responsible for launching and supporting customer loyalty and engagement programs for all Brierley clients.
Over the years John has managed several client relationships including 7-Eleven, Allstate, American Eagle Outfitters, Blockbuster, GameStop, Godiva, Hard Rock, Neiman Marcus, and Nokia, in addition to many other key agency clients. John graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Theron Andrews Senior Vice President Client Services
Senior Vice President
Theron joins B+P in 2013, with over 25 years of client-side leadership, strategic planning, operational and organizational development experience. He has played pivotal roles in a number of retail marketing organizations including Department Stores, Big Box and Specialty Stores. His tenure with these companies has provided executive experience heading up large in-house teams for international retailers including Famous Footwear and Michaels Arts and Crafts, as well as for strong regional brands such as Bartell Drugs and Car Toys. Theron's background also includes loyalty program development and management, ecommerce, research, social media, all aspects of creative and production, and media buying. In his role at Brierley, Theron leads teams responsible for launching and supporting customer relationship and engagement programs for both US and global clients. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley.
Heidi Potthoff Senior Vice President Client Services
Senior Vice President
Heidi brings over 15 years of client and agency experience to Brierley+Partners. She has worked across a variety of industries – creating, managing, and enhancing relationship marketing programs to consumers. Prior to joining Brierley in 2012, Heidi spent several years on the client side. She held leadership positions and was responsible for developing and managing retail CRM/loyalty programs as well as targeted marketing strategies for Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Petco, Brinker and Westfield. She has also worked in key account management positions on the agency side with Targetbase and now Brierley. In her current role, Heidi is responsible for our retail client relationships. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising, and of the Cox School of Business where she earned her MBA.
Lynne Smith Senior Vice President Client Services
Senior Vice President
Lynne possesses a wide range of technology and management experience that she brings to making customer relationships successful. Prior to joining the Brierley team, Lynne worked at SAP where she was responsible for managing relationships with large retailers that exceeded $1B in revenue. Lynne has also served as an executive with Alliance Data, AOL/Netscape and Oracle. In recognition of her success at Oracle, Lynne was named an Oracle Club Excellence Award Winner for seven consecutive years. With extensive experience in the technology, communications, retail, transportation and manufacturing industries, Lynne has a proven track record of growing client revenue by transforming and restructuring existing organizations. In addition, Lynne excels at contract negotiations, strategic alliance development, business operations and customer service. Lynne serves as an active member of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Women's Roundtable. She is also an alumnus of Leadership America and a past board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas, an Advisory Board member of Menttium Corporation, and has served as Advisory Director for numerous venture-funded companies. Lynne graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on MIS and Marketing.
Tami Kirby Vice President Human Resources
Vice President Human Resources
Tami has been a part of Brierley+Partners' Human Resources team since 1999, and she leads the company's HR services for all of its offices. In this capacity, she is responsible for the design and implementation of all human resources strategies, policies, and processes throughout the corporation. With 20 years' high-level experience in the field, Tami's expertise includes compensation, benefits, organizational development, recruiting, and talent management. She also initiates employee training programs and manages company-wide events. Tami holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Relations & Business from Amber University.