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Inaugural CX Force Awards Winners Honored at Avaya ENGAGE for Transforming Customer Experiences

Co-sponsors Avaya, IAUG and Constellation Research Recognize CX Achievements Across Seven Categories

Avaya, a global leader in enterprise customer experience solutions, today announced the seven inaugural winners of the CX Force Awards, a new, prestigious recognition for the impressive innovators, strategists, and pioneers dedicated to reshaping the world of customer experience. The winners were announced during an on-stage ceremony at Avaya ENGAGE on May 15 in Denver, CO. The CX Force Awards program was founded in partnership with the International Avaya User Group (IAUG), a community that enables Avaya users to connect and share ideas that are transforming the industry, and is co-sponsored by Constellation Research, the Silicon Valley-based technology research and advisory firm.

“Avaya thanks the individuals and companies that submitted nominations, and our three expert judges who thoughtfully deliberated to select our first-ever CX Force Awards winners,” said Alan Masarek, CEO at Avaya. “Congratulations to the innovators whose achievements in advancing customer experiences earned them a winning spot. These winners are responsible for meaningful and strategic initiatives that are driving exemplary customer experience programs within their respective organizations.”

In today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, customer and employee experiences have an increasingly large impact on an organization's business growth and outcomes. The businesses that understand this impact continue to explore new ways to elevate the customer experiences they provide to encourage brand loyalty. The inaugural CX Force Award winners represent individuals, teams, and organizations who have set the benchmark for outstanding customer experiences despite the business or technological hurdles they may have faced, evidenced by the tangible results of their success stories.

“Every CX Force Award winner demonstrated an unwavering passion for improving and transforming customer experiences within their roles, through initiatives that impact people, processes, and technology,” noted Lori Wodrich, President of the International Avaya User Group (IAUG). “Our winners stood out due to the measurable success of their efforts to improve their organization’s CX output."

The Inaugural CX Force Awards Winners of 2024

  • CX for Employees: Jayne Hogle, Director of Unified Communications, American Heart Association
    • The CX for Employees category points to CX leaders who not only care about the outputs of customer experiences, but also the symbiotic relationship between customer and employee experiences in driving business success. Jayne’s work showed a thoughtfulness around how employees at the American Heart Association work, and how to effectively map the systems and technology they use to meet those standards. Her passion for optimizing customer and employee experiences led to streamlined internal processes and overall business modernization at scale.
  • CX for Education: Tara Pasalic, Systems Integration Specialist, McMaster University
    • Tara embodies the spirit of innovation and passion that defines the CX for Education category. Driven by her dedication to enhancing the educational experience for students, faculty, and staff, Tara took the initiative to transform McMaster University's voice communication platform. She leveraged public cloud technology to empower seamless collaboration, creating a more inclusive and engaging environment that enriches the McMaster experience. She remains dedicated to providing staff and students with the tools necessary to foster creativity, collaboration and community.
  • CX for Good: Ian Cole, Chief Innovation Officer, Give Kids the World Village
    • CX for Good aims to spotlight an individual either in the nonprofit space or in a more service-oriented role with a CSR focus, who is positively impacting communities or citizen experiences. Ian is an active, hands-on leader in adopting new technologies that enhance the customer experiences they provide. He is passionate about advancing the mission of Give Kids the World Village forward and will never recommend a technology that does not hold true or align with the aspirations of the organization, which reflects his desire to drive positive and impactful social change.
  • CX for Growth: Hugh Carr, Director of Customer Services, Standard Focus
    • The CX for Growth category focuses not only on the nominee’s efforts in improving customer experiences, but also the outcomes of that work and its direct impact on revenue or overall business growth. Hugh’s work at Standard Focus demonstrates strong leadership in dramatically streamlining bottom-line costs and remaining passionate about its impact on CX, all while maintaining a hands-on leadership approach across a team of 900+ agents operating contact centers in 10 locations worldwide, supporting 11 different languages and providing true omni-channel and AI solutions to customers.
  • CX for Healthcare: Rafael Sousa, Chief Technology Officer, HNIPO
    • CX for Healthcare focuses on the individuals pioneering patient-centric care that tangibly improves healthcare experiences. Rafael and his team pursued various technological integrations that changed both hospital operations across the communications system and extended into optimizing patient care. These initiatives powered multilingual service and engagement across the communications base, which led to faster service, reductions in wait time, speed and efficiency of their internal systems, and the impact of these internal improvements on external communications and service.
  • CX for Transformation: Virginie Nowak, Group Chief Customer Experience Officer, Access Bank PLC
    • The transformation category recognizes the individuals who steered their organizations toward success by embedding an experience-first mindset into their operations. Virginie’s efforts pushed Access Bank to innovate at a pace that is advanced for most banking institutions, which are normally slower to adopt new technologies. Her pursuit accelerated impressive results and metrics that reflect true business transformation, and her commitment to training and educating all employees to feel confident using the new tools demonstrate true CX business transformation.
  • Rising CX Superstar: Emily Stubbs, Director of CX, Aerflo
    • The Rising CX Superstar category aims to recognize an individual’s growth within the industry while looking ahead to the future and proactively pursuing opportunities to drive CX innovation. Aerflo’s Emily Stubbs showed a willingness to pursue partnerships with non-traditional departments across the organization, and to think outside of the box in her CX strategy to proactively anticipate customer needs. She also took the initiative to build a CX group from the ground up, taking a data-driven approach to kickstarting the group and solving customer problems.

The CX Force Awards winners were selected by a panel of judges including Avaya Chief Marketing Officer Josh Mueller, IAUG President Lori Wodrich, and Constellation Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Liz Miller. Each entry was assessed based on the nominee’s career achievements, innovative CX strategies, the tangible impact of their work, challenges they’ve overcome, and the role Avaya’s solutions and technology played in these accomplishments. For more information on the CX Force Awards program and winners, visit

About Avaya

Businesses are built by the experiences they provide, and every day, millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya. Organizations trust Avaya to provide innovative solutions for some of their most important ambitions and challenges, giving them the freedom to engage their customers and employees in ways that deliver the greatest business benefits. Avaya contact center and communications solutions power immersive, personalized, and unforgettable customer experiences that drive business momentum. With the freedom to choose their journey, there’s no limit to the experiences Avaya customers can create. Learn more at

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Source: Avaya Newsroom


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