Speaker Profiles

Each year, the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement at SMU Cox invites a select group of faculty peers and experienced marketing practitioners to participate in a rich collaborative environment—an exchange of ideas, insights and practices focused on advancing research agendas, networking and improving how to prepare students for successful careers in marketing.

In 2020, the Professors Institute will take place on January 8-10 at the SMU Cox Collins Center, a state-of-the-art on-campus hub for the Cox School of Business.

Hal Brierley

For 30 years, Hal Brierley served as the Chief Loyalty Architect for Brierley & Partners, providing loyalty counsel for some 175 clients, including American Express, AT&T, GameStop, Hertz, Hilton, Neiman Marcus, Office Depot, 7-Eleven, Sony, United Airlines, and UPS.

He began his entrepreneurial career as co-founder of Epsilon, serving as its CEO for eleven years. In 1980, Hal was advised American Airlines on the launch of AAdvantage, the nation’s first frequent traveler program. In 1982, he was elected Vice President of Sales and Advertising for Pan American World Airways, where he launched Worldpass, the first global frequent traveler program, In 1983, he joined Continental Airlines as its Senior Vice President of Marketing.

Hal launched Brierley & Partners in 1985, serving as President and CEO through 2006 and as Chairman through 2015, when the company was sold to Nomura Research Institute, Japan’s largest technology services firm.

In 1999, he founded e-Rewards, today re-branded as Research Now, the world’s largest online market research panel providing survey respondents for over 2,500 research firms, with sales of $300 million and more than one million members completing one or more surveys each month.

He serves on the Executive Board at the SMU Cox School of Business, Dean’s Advisory Board at Harvard Business School, the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Executive Committee of The Better Angels Society (a Foundation supporting Ken Burns’ work for PBS).

Hal is a member of the Executive Board of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, a Life Member of the Board of Governors of the Dallas Symphony, and a member of the Board of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, North Texas Public Broadcasting, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Foundation.

He is a regional recipient of E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Lifetime Achievement, the 2013 recipient of the Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Education Leadership award, and a 2012 inductee into the DMA’s Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in direct marketing.

He graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering with highest honors from the University of Maryland in 1965 and with an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1968 as a Baker Scholar with High Honors where he has endowed a Marketing Professor.

Hal and his wife Diane live in Highland Park, Texas.

Stacey Lynn Bourgeois

Director, Consumer Acquisition
Pizza Hut

Stacy Lynn is a strategic marketer with an insatiable hunger to understand the consumer. She is currently the Director of Consumer Acquisition for Pizza Hut, where she is standing up a performance marketing team to employ data to fuel ROI and improved consumer experiences. Thus far, she’s articulated the roles and responsibilities of the team, created a series of channel-based strategies and a plan to migrate to an audience-based strategy overtime, and has delivered significant growth in the performance channels.

Prior to her current role, she spent years in brand management and held many roles in and outside of marketing – from building a data science and analytics function (leveraging predictive analytics to grow the business and better connect with consumers), to innovation (launched a new restaurant concept, & many new products), to advertising (managed an agency review & partnered with agencies to launch campaigns).

Before Pizza Hut, Stacy Lynn earned her master’s degree from Northwestern University in integrated marketing, and her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. Throughout her education, she interned in technology with General Motors/On Star, dabbled in agency life at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, served non-profits at United Way & the Claude Pepper Center for Intercultural Dialogue, and experienced corporate with Anheuser-Busch.

Alex Knight

Director of Data Science and Analytics
Pizza Hut

Alex joined Pizza Hut from Hotels.com in June of 2018. In his role, Alex leads teams tasked with providing cross departmental data strategy and analytics support. His current areas of focus include website data strategy and optimization; customer analytics; and optimal cross channel deployment of marketing funds. His team’s key projects include, implementing A/B testing to optimize website performance; redefining online marketing attribution; and building business intelligence reporting to support tactical planning.

Prior to Pizza Hut, Alex was the Director of Strategy and Data Science in the Acquisition Marketing department at Hotels.com. There he led a team of data scientists and analytics professionals in efforts to maximize returns on over a half a billion dollars of online marketing by building and implementing both machine learning models and pragmatic analytical approaches.

Previously, Alex also worked in similar analytics positions at American Airlines and in the litigation consulting industry for Charles River Associates.

Alex earned both a BA in Mathematics and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. Alex lives with his wife and two children in Dallas where he is an avid home chef and presently still-ten-fingered amateur woodworker.

Bart Schaller

Chief Marketing Officer

In the role of Chief Marketing Officer, Bart Schaller is focused on innovation and growth for Synchrony and its 
partners. Bart’s commitment to driving new growth strategies, including developing new products, channels and value propositions for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer segments, is built on over 25
 years of insights -- working directly with major partners to develop strategies to increase sales, expand customer relationships and loyalty. He has developed and launched many new programs, successfully 
repositioned value propositions, and integrated programs with partners’ core marketing strategies and loyalty

After receiving BBA in Marketing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Bart began his career at 
Synchrony (a successful spin off from GE in 2014). Prior to becoming CMO, he was SVP, Business Development, where he led new partner program sales activities, M&A opportunities and strategic 
investments. Prior to this role, Bart led several key partner-based programs as General Manager or Marketing
Leader and was responsible for the overall growth and performance of those relationships and portfolios. Early in his career he held several progressive roles in Operations, Marketing and Client Development.

Bart is married to a Mustang and has 2 children (his son is class of 2019 at SMU). He resides in Rogers, AR and loves the beach and golf.

Charlotte Mason

C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Chair of Business Administration
Terry College of Business, University of Georgia

Charlotte Mason is head of the Marketing Department at UGA’s Terry College of Business where she holds the C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Chair of Business Administration. She is also Director of the Coca-Cola Center for Marketing Studies which houses the Master of Marketing Research degree program. Previously she was at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Charlotte’s current research focuses on the visual representation of data, data-based marketing, and strategic customer relationship management. Her research has been published in leading journals including Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Letters, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Strategic Management Journal and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and has garnered over 5700 citations on Google Scholar. Charlotte teaches the MBA Marketing Analytics & Decision-Making and the MMR Database Marketing and Customer Relationship Management courses. In 2017 she received the MBA Outstanding Teacher Award; in 2016 she received the Terry Outstanding Faculty Service Award.

Charlotte is on editorial boards for Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Relationship Marketing. Charlotte has served on the AMA Academic Council, and is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Marketing EDGE – a non-profit organization whose mission is to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ students in the field of marketing. In 2014 she received the Marketing EDGE's Robert B. Clarke Outstanding Educator Award. Her industry experience includes work for Procter & Gamble, Booz, Allen and Hamilton as well as consulting projects. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in industrial engineering, an M.S. in statistics, and her Ph.D. in business administration from Stanford University.

Darshan Gad

Vice President, Marketing, Customer Innovation
Neiman Marcus Group

As the Vice President of Marketing, Customer Innovation at Neiman Marcus Group, Darshan Gad is responsible for the InCircle loyalty program, advanced customer relationship management (CRM), and customer journey-based marketing. Darshan joined Neiman Marcus from the Sam’s Club division of Walmart, where he was the Vice President of Marketing. There he led the marketing organization, including engagement marketing, channel management, media, and marketing operations. While at Sam’s Club, he revolutionized the marketing strategy and spearheaded an enterprise-wide personalization agenda that delivered millions of 1:1 customer interactions to drive engagement and incremental sales. Earlier in his career, Darshan was the Director of Digital Messaging at Hilton Worldwide. In this position he led the marketing organization responsible for direct marketing and CRM activities across more than 5,000 hotels in over 100 countries. He has also held key marketing roles at Rapp Worldwide and Sabre Holdings.
A native Texan, Darshan graduated from Case Western Reserve University and holds an MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

Don Smith

Brierley and Partners

Don earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from The Florida State University, and spent 11 years in academia teaching statistics and policy evaluation. Prior to joining Brierley and Partners, he was a research director for Dallas County, 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 loyalty programs and CRM solutions, leveraging customer-centric data assets to create predictive models and prescriptive targeting solutions, with an emphasis on marrying customer engagement data to shopping and purchasing patterns. His current client list includes Hertz, GameStop, Express, Pep Boys, Orchard Supply Hardware, Kellogg’s, GAF, PepsiCo, Otterbox and Al Tayer. An avid theater fan, he was the 1990 Saax Bradbury/Amos Abrams fellow to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; his penchant for over-acting informs his current presentation style, which is conservatively characterized as 'overwrought theatrical storytelling’.

John Deighton

Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration Emeritus
Harvard Business School

John Deighton is Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at Harvard Business School, where he has taught marketing for 20 years. He has taught Digital Marketing and Big Data in Marketing in Harvard’s MBA program. He will be teaching the latter course in 2018 at Cornell Tech. He co-chairs Harvard’s executive short course titled Competing on Business Analytics and Big Data. His recent research includes ”Rethinking the Profession Formerly Known as Advertising: How Data Science is Disrupting the Work of Agencies,” (Journal of Advertising Research 2017), “Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem,” (2017), “The Value of Data: Consequences for Insight, Innovation, and Efficiency in the U.S. Economy,” published by the DMA 2016, “Adding Bricks to Clicks: The Effects of Store Openings on Sales Through Direct Channels,” published in the Journal of Marketing, and "Interactivity's Unanticipated Consequences for Marketers and Marketing," in Journal of Interactive Marketing. Recent case studies include Oracle: Targeting the CMO, Managing Data at Allstate, WPP: From Mad Men to Math Men, and Target Stores: The Hunt for Unvolunteered Truths. See also his Twitter feed @HBSmktg. He is a past editor of the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Interactive Marketing. He has served as the Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute and is currently a member of the Chair’s Advisory Council of Marketing Edge, and Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He has been a visiting professor at the Duke University, the University of Tokyo, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the UK.

John Dubois


John Dubois is the CEO of Oculus360 an AI Consumer Insights Platform. Oculus360
uses AI to analyze a breadth of consumer-generated content to help brands and retailers understand how consumers use products and why they consider products and brands. Prior to Oculus360, John served as Chief Technology Officer for Ascendant Technology, a global consulting firm.

Mike Bopp

EVP and Chief Customer Engagement Officer

In the role as Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Engagement Officer, Michael Bopp is responsible for leading Synchrony's customer journey and enterprise analytics teams to enable customer-centric solutions across our platforms.

After receiving B.A. in Psychology from The Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in Industrial and  Organizational Psychology from The University of Connecticut, Mike began his career at Citigroup as a  programmer in their cards division and went on to lead various analytics teams across finance and  decision management.

Prior to joining Synchrony, Michael was President and Chief Operating Officer at Argus Information  and Advisory Services, a global data and analytics company focused on credit card and retail banking  segments. At Argus, Michael led products and delivery teams, while also managing operational  support functions across finance, legal, and human resources. Prior to his role at Argus, Michael  worked at TD Ameritrade as their head of analytics and database management. Michael gained early  finance and analytics experience in business development pricing, Dual Card analytics and modeling  with GE Capital Retail Card Finance where he became head of analytics and pricing. Mike  is  married  to Stefania, has three children and lives in New Canaan, CT.

Serge Ozbek

Associate Partner
McKinsey & Company

Serge is an Associate Partner in McKinsey’s Marketing and Sales practice, and is based in the Chicago office. Serge is a leader within McKinsey’s Personalization At Scale Service Line, where he helps clients drive omni-channel growth through the combination of data driven insights and analytical capability building. He works with clients across multiple sectors, with a focus on Media and Telecom

Recent experience includes:

  • Driving higher Programming ROI by infusing data and analytics into the content decision making process for a leading TV network
  • Piloting best-in-class “Agile” marketing capabilities to increase throughput and effectiveness of customer-facing communications at a global media publisher
  • Reducing customer churn across multiple channels by >10% for a leading US cable operator, through a combination of customer segmentation, proactive churn analytics, and a call center capability building program
  • Driving 30% lift in revenue per call at a leading US telecom operator, by infusing personalization and behavioral segmentation into the call flow, while raising call center agent capabilities through field and forum-based training
  • Improving the ROI on paid media at a major wireless operator, by 20%, across digital and traditional channels through advanced analytical techniques, simultaneously supported the Media team in a 6 month search for a new agency, driving 15% in savings on media spend while driving down fees and improving agency capabilities
  • Standing up a war room to improve customer retention across multiple inbound channels for a leading US health insurance provider that faced major upward price pressure
  • Driving improved customer satisfaction for a global multi-line insurance provider by applying advanced analytics to primary research and identifying primary “pain points” within key customer journeys

Prior to joining McKinsey, Serge was a Director of Marketing Analytics for OMD, the lead media agency network for Omnicom, where he designed media strategy and measurement approaches for clients across multiple sectors in both the US and his native UK. He holds a M.A in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford and a M.Sc in Economics from University College, London

Sharif Mityas

Chief Experience Officer

Sherif Mityas is the Chief Experience Officer for TGI FRIDAYS with oversight for the Brand’s Strategy, Marketing, Operations, Technology and Digital efforts. Mr. Mityas has more than 20 years’ experience in the retail and hospitality industries in both senior consulting and executive industry roles.

Prior to joining TGI FRIDAYS, Mr. Mityas served as the Managing Partner for JS Consulting and as the Chief Executive Officer for Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery. Mr. Mityas received a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from Boston University, a M.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Stephanie Montgomery

Senior Manager of Customer Loyalty and Insights
American Airlines

Stephanie Montgomery is the Senior Manager of Customer Loyalty and Insights at American Airlines. She leads a team of data analysts who develop customer insights and perform data-driven analysis to inform and support business decisions across the company. Her team is also responsible for developing propensity models and conducting post-campaign analysis for member promotions. Before joining the Customer Loyalty team, Stephanie also served in the Domestic Sales Strategy and Finance organizations at American. Prior to joining American, Stephanie worked in the not-for-profit world, where she developed business plans and managed research initiatives to support start-ups and expansions of microfinance institutions to serve poor entrepreneurs around the world.

Stephanie has her MBA from the SMU Cox School of Business and B.A.s in International Relations and Spanish from Wheaton College. She lives in Ft. Worth with her husband and two sons.