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 2007 and has been instrumental in establishing new client relationships across the spectrum of Brierley's services. Additionally, he has expanded the company's service offerings – most notably, the Brierley LoyaltyWare® suite of technology solutions. Jim's technology-focused leadership has gained recognition throughout the industry as he was selected as a Tech Titan for his technology contributions with Brierley. His reputation for creating industry-differentiating lifetime loyalty programs for our clients has driven double-digit growth at Brierley. Jim’s leadership is exemplified by serving on the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Infogroup Board of Directors.
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 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.
Kats (Katsutoshi) Murakami Executive Vice President Global Business Development
Kats (Katsutoshi) Murakami
Executive Vice President Global Business Development
Kats is a member of the Brierley+Partners Board of Directors and the Executive Vice President of Global Business Development. He also serves as a senior consultant for Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan. Kats joined Brierley+Partners in 2015, and has led the synergy team, which focuses on global client relationship management for Brierley’s CRM and Loyalty solutions. With over 20 years of experience as a management consultant, his considerable expertise includes corporate strategy, marketing and business technology. Kats has advised and supported more than 100 companies worldwide in a variety of industries, including retail and manufacturing. He graduated from Keio University with a Bachelor of Law degree, and received an MBA from University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.
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.
Nori Kawazu Senior Vice President Global Business Development
Senior Vice President Global Business Development
Nori joined Brierley+Partners in 2015, and is currently responsible for global business development. She began her career with Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI) in Tokyo where she served as a senior consultant on a variety of management consulting projects for both the business and consumer sectors. Throughout her career, Nori has specialized in consumer insights, marketing strategy and branding strategy with a focus on Japan, China, India and the countries of Southeast Asia. She has also published articles, papers and books, and has served as a featured speaker. In her most recent role before joining Brierley, Nori led NRI sales and planning teams in the IT Solutions Division as a group manager. In this position, she made significant contributions to customer relationship building and account management. A graduate of the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor of Social Psychology degree, Nori was also selected as a member of the Statistical Commission of the Statistics Bureau and Cabinet Office for the government of Japan in 2008–2009.
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.
Sean Eidson Senior Vice President Strategy
Senior Vice President Strategy
Sean has a passion for engineering consumer behavior and a bias towards action that makes him a key Strategic advisor for our clients. Sean joined Brierley+Partners in 2004 and spent most of his career working alongside Hal Brierley, developing Loyalty program concepts and growing his affiliated ventures including e-Rewards (Research Now) and e-Miles in executive roles. He was also Founder, CEO of True Linkswear, a golf footwear company with a novel product premise that changed the golf shoe industry and grew to millions in sales in its first years. At Brierley, he has been involved with designing or shaping strategies for many of our award-winning programs, including GameStop, Hertz, and Godiva. He is a graduate of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia where he was a merit scholar with a specialization in strategy and marketing. Sean holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and History from Emory University and an MBA from the Darden School.
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.
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.
Jennifer Jaynes Senior Vice President Professional Services
Senior Vice President
Jennifer joined Brierley+Partners in 2004 and leads Professional Services for the technology team. She has considerable expertise in orchestrating cross-functional teams and departments through complex implementations and major client projects. At Brierley, she has led numerous loyalty and CRM implementations for major retailers including Express, Sony, 7-Eleven, American Eagle Outfitters, and Hard Rock. She also plays a key role in technology business development and new client onboarding. Jennifer's more than 15 years of technology leadership and Business Analysis experience spans various industries. Earlier in her career, she worked for Ernst & Young where she served as Senior Consultant and led numerous software implementations within Ernst & Young’s Telecom, Media and Entertainment sector.
Kerri Sallusti Vice President Omni-Channel Communications
Vice President Omni-Channel Communications
Kerri joined the Brierley+Partners Strategy Group in 2008. With her passion for creating and strengthening customer relationships, she has led loyalty, CRM and strategic communications planning for Hertz, Hilton and other key clients. Currently as VP of Omni-Channel Communications, Kerri’s dynamic leadership and strategic vision is instrumental in creating more profitable communications for all Brierley clients. She is responsible for managing world-class Omni-Channel platforms to ensure all of our client’s touch points are integrated and present a unified voice to their customers. Prior to joining Brierley, her nearly two decades in loyalty and relationship marketing included both client-side and agency-side experience. Kerri’s background ranges from the management of marketing communications strategies at Verizon and Blockbuster to serving as a senior strategic advisor for a broad portfolio of agency clients, including AT&T, Comcast and Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits. Kerri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University. She has also earned the Direct Marketing Association’s Certification in Integrated Marketing in the Digital Age as well as in CRM & Database 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.