Karl E. Sharicz, CCXP | CEO
“Karl, You are the most passionate customer focused person I know and I love it!”
William Ryan, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, U.S. Venture, Inc.
Karl brings over thirty years of skills and experiences gained in high-tech research and manufacturing B2B environments along with proven business acumen. Throughout his career he has served a broad range of roles within marketing, sales, training, and training management—developing internal and external customer relationship skills and building a decided customer-centric focus along the way. As the Founder and CEO of HorizonCX, Karl offers professional services to organizations in two general categories.
- Small to medium sized businesses aiming to begin the Customer Experience journey
- Large enterprises on the Customer Experience journey aiming to bring it to a next higher level
In his former corporate role within Tyco SimplexGrinnell, a leading fire and life-safety provider doing business throughout North America, Karl served as Customer Experience Lead where and his team focused on driving those elements of the customer relationship and experience that increased customer satisfaction, reduced customer churn, and increased customer lifetime value.
Karl is steeped in the Customer Experience Management discipline, including developing a customer-centric cultures; determining the voice of the customer and deriving insights and understanding; fostering organizational adoption and accountability; creating customer experience strategies, designing approaches that will achieve customer experience excellence; and setting up metrics and measurement systems that help drive organizational return on investment.
Through his knowledge of adult education and learning styles plus prior experiences as a director of training, he offers additional skills in developing structured learning environments. During his tenure at Tyco for example, Karl developed the Next Improvement in Customer Experience (NICE) Workshop concept that has been in operation throughout the organization since 2010 and driving new levels of customer focus leading to increased customer retention. He has developed certification programs for professional services teams and was a certified consultative sales trainer and coach.
Karl is a United States Air Force veteran and served during the Vietnam era. He holds a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University, is actively engaged with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and leads the CXPA Boston Network and event planning committee. Karl also formerly served on the CXPA Board of Directors as well as having served on several other key CXPA committees. He also served in past leadership positions within the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). Karl is well published—the two most recent articles of which appeared within two prominent CEM journals. In addition to his professional CX persona, Karl doubles as a singer-songwriter and musician and has recorded two CDs of his original music to date.
Jim Bass, CCXP CX-PRO NPS PMP
VP, Marketing, Content Development and Delivery
Jim is a Customer Experience and Engagement Strategist located in Alpharetta, GA. He has over 15 years’ experience designing customer experience at key moments of truth and critical touchpoints along the customer journey map. The bulk of his experience comes from 14 years at McKesson Corporation where he led customer support and advocacy, 5 years at ADP where he managed survey operations and insight analysis for National Accounts, and almost 1 year at Macquarium where he was CX design consultant. During his tenure at these companies, he envisioned, implemented, and led many proactive programs, projects and initiatives designed to increase customer satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty while containing/reducing costs and minimizing churn. His CX perspective is that improving customer experience does not always have to be a daunting or expensive venture.
Businesses can improve revenues and profitability by making a few simple changes in behavior, communication, listening and, most of all, acting. Jim is also a published songwriter and genealogist. When he is not helping businesses improve CX you will find him working on a music and genetic genealogy projects as a creative and analytical outlet during down time.
At HorizonCX, Jim provides instructional and promotional support focusing on:
- Classroom education content and delivery
- Identifying new CX business opportunities in existing markets
- Growing and expanding existing CX business engagements
- Following CX trends and recommending new content and targets for market expansion
Website and Blog: www.DesigningTheDifference.com
Alden Suokko, CX-PRO, Business Development Representative
Alden Suokko is a customer experience business development representative (CX-BDR) for HorizonCX with experience in both industrial design and sales. Those experiences include retail sales, user experience design, product design, and user interface design. In addition to design and sales, Alden races road bicycles semi-professionally and continues to race enduro mountain bikes.
At HorizonCX, Alden provides sales and and business development support with a primary focus on:
- New business development and client acquisition strategies
- Promotion of Customer Experience workshops and deliverables
- Social media marketing and prospecting
Alden is an Industrial Design student at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston Massachusetts—class of 2020. Prior to joining the HorizonCX team, he led a Lean Design and Development graduate class project at Northeastern University exercising his team-building skills within a diverse group of individuals across a range of disciplines and coaching them through the design process. He also gained some key experiences working with both designers and customers in a variety of roles including a month-long excursion to Marrakesh assisting an internationally acclaimed artist and his team of Moroccan craftsmen. To appreciate some of Alden’s design concepts, please check out his design website at https://aldensuokko.com. In Alden’s words, “I have always been drawn to products that enhance the user’s experience both in the comforting feel of the product working well and the joy that comes from using it.”
Russ Onofrio, CX-PRO
VP, Operations, Strategic Planning & Execution, Training Facilitation, Call Center Management
Russ is an operations leader with more than two decades of knowledge and experience in organizations ranging from start-ups to larger organizations looking to improve operational performance in a variety of industries including Financial Services, Technology, and Healthcare. He has led initiatives to improve and transform multisite customer operations, streamline and redesign policy and procedure, improve the customer/client experience, with technology to improve capacity and efficiency. Russ has been invited to speak nationally and internationally on the topics of operational metrics, performance management and employee motivation with organizations like PACE (Professional Association of Customer Engagement), NECCF (Northeast Contact Center Forum) and various contact center vendor events.
Russ is a partner at Cross-Rhodes Management Consulting, who specializes in analyzing, improving, and designing business processes to enhance the employee and customer experience as well as reduce cost with a focus on the contact center industry. Cross-Rhodes helps companies rethink how work gets done by optimizing the way people and tools work together to deliver results.
Russ partners with HorizonCX to provide contact center industry knowledge and expertise with a focus on:
- Contact Center Optimization, Performance Improvement and Process Design/Re-design
- Workforce Management and Capacity Planning/Modeling
- CRM/AI/Cloud Technology
- Customer Experience and Employee Engagement
- BPO outsourcing
Over Russ’ career he has held a variety of leadership positions with both emerging and establish organizations like, CVS Health- Director, Customer Experience, Visiting Nurse Service of New York – Vice President Customer Care/Call Centers, Zipcar – Vice President of Member Services and OnProcess Technology – Vice President, Operations. During that time, he has designed and launched contact center operations from the ground up for emerging companies, as well as been recruited to initiate the turnaround in performance within mature organizations.
Russell has led successful transformations that resulted in:
- Enhanced overall Operational Efficiency by 60%, improving Service Levels by 65%, reduced ASA by 69% and a decrease in abandon calls by 65% while reducing annual expenses by 10% resulting in $1M in savings
- Implemented multiple cloud/premise enterprise unified communications and collaboration solutions, including CRM, Workforce Management and Call Recording packages and migrated a company into a new customer experience platform (Medallia).
- Increased CSAT scores from 78% to 85%, with 6% rise in the Top 2 Box Rating and redesigned Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey process to capture data at critical touch points and ensure statistical significance resulting in an overall YOY improvement from 58% to 64% of 500 basis points
Russ holds a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics. He is a member of the CXPA and PACE (Professional Association of Customer Engagement, as well as a Net Promoter Certified Professional and a HorizonCX CX-PRO
Joe Camirand, CCXP | VP Client Services
Mr. Camirand is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience as a sales and services professional in a broad range of disciplines. These include executive management, service operations management, professional services, training, market research, outside sales, and strategic account management. He is a skilled manager of people, projects, and resources in the area of customer experience (CX) program design & implementation and learning & development.
At HorizonCX, Joe provides sales and services leadership and support with primary focus on:
- New business development & account management
- Development, implementation & delivery of Customer Experience (CX) workshops & deliverables
- Partnership/contractor development, training & management
Prior to joining HorizonCX, Joe lead service delivery for Confirmit, a leader in online survey technology for Voice of the Customer (VoC), Voice of the Employee (VoE), and Market Research. As Vice President of Consulting Services in the Americas, his primary responsibilities included customer experience research & consulting, survey design & programming, project management, and client training.
Prior to joining Confirmit, Joe held the positions of Vice President of Research & Consulting Services at MarketTools, Inc., Vice President of Services at CustomerSat, Inc., and Director of Account Management/General Manager of Client Service Operations at Omega Management Group Corp., a research firm specializing in the design and implementation of customer loyalty management strategy programs. As General Manager of Client Service Operations, he had full accountability for the execution and delivery of all customer and market research studies including customer satisfaction & loyalty measurement, won/lost business reviews, executive interviews, focus groups and competitive benchmarking.
Joe holds both a Bachelors of Science and Masters in Business Administration. He is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) though the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and was also certified in Customer Experience Management (CEM) through the Strativity Group.