Jacob Watts, Brad Smith, Christina Roosen, Kendall Brenneise, Laurel Poertner, David Kay at Member Summit 2024 in Fort Worth, TX

These innovators join a select group of members who have provided a significant contribution to the work of the Consortium over a period of years. Their participation with the program teams has provided an important element of continuity. We are pleased to recognize them with the distinction of Consortium Innovator in appreciation of their dedication to the work of the Consortium and their sustained contributions.

Kendall Brenneise (2023)

Kendall works hard to bring Consortium ideas and methodologies to life in his work at F5. He has moved the thinking forward on the importance of a coaching program and has quantified its benefits to the organization far beyond KCS. Assisted by his extensive knowledge of Consortium documentation, Kendall is currently experimenting with ways to help his colleagues leverage the Nurturing an Adaptive Workforce paper.

Kendall Brenneise, Innovator

Kendall is a frequent and generous host of the Salesforce Community of Practice and a KCS Certified Trainer who offered his experience and perspective in building the Field Guide for KCS Program Management. He is also a frequent participant of the Member Slack Workspace, where he is always willing to answer questions and explore ideas, and his “search early, search often” and linking skills have earned him the reputation (and custom emoji) of KendallBot.

Christina Roosen (2022)

Christina’s habit of “opting-in” has resulted in significant contributions to both the work of the Consortium itself and to the success of individual Members.  With her extensive experience in both communities and analytics, Christina has been an active contributor to the Understanding Success by Channel project and was a presenter for that group at multiple Member Summits.  She also offered her time, thoughts, and data to a series of calls around building a healthy measurement system.

Along with Monique Cadena and Sara Feldman, Christina launched the ongoing Salesforce Service Cloud Community of Practice.  As a Salesforce Administrator, Christina acts as a co-facilitator and provides countless answers and workarounds for folks looking to use Salesforce to implement KCS.  

In addition to her willingness to offer advice through KCS in Action calls and the Consortium Slack Workspace, Christina also provided a careful reading of the Intelligent Swarming Practices Guide and lent her voice to the online training module.

Laurel Poertner, Innovator

Laurel Poertner (2020)

Laurel has been an active participant with the Consortium since 2009, and a KCS Certified Trainer since 2016.  She has shared her perspective from her work at Consona (which became Aptean), Coveo, and F5.  She has helped these organizations (and more) implement KCS, and has brought many lessons learned to the Consortium community! Her investment in her team’s development through KCS and coach training, through encouraging them to participate in the Consortium community, and through innovative ways of using Organizational Network Analysis to understand the dynamics at play have brought new understanding of each of those pieces to her Consortium colleagues. Laurel has especially helped us understand the nature and scope of Evolve Loop work, and this year was a contributing member on the Measurement Matters v6 paper as well as a key participant in the Measuring Self-Service Success (Understanding Success by Channel) project, released at the 2020 Member Summit.

Melissa George

Melissa George (2019)

For her many years of excellent guidance and deep thinking on the staff of the Consortium, it feels appropriate to designate Melissa as her own category of SuperInnovator. She has been instrumental in creating the Consortium’s brand promise, and has influenced every one of the Consortium’s initiatives. She has shepherded the KCS methodology through major revisions, developed a rigorous certification program to assess KCS understanding, and facilitated the creation and administration of the KCS Verified and Aligned programs for knowledge management tools and services. She developed the Consortium’s first online training module (KCS v6 Fundamentals) and has been our resident expert in Organizational Network Analysis, in addition to being a thoughtful presence at innumerable Consortium program team meetings.

Jennifer Crippen

Jennifer Crippen (2018)

A long time participant and contributor to the work of the Consortium, Jennifer was a champion for KCS when she was at Verisign during the early days of KCS. She is one of our most active and tenured KCS Certified Trainers, and since getting certified in 2010 she has helped some 50 companies with their KCS adoptions. In some of those adoptions, she actually filled the role of KCS adoption manager for the company. Based on her extensive KCS adoption experience, her input was the basis for the many improvements in the KCS v6 Adoption Guide.

Arnfinn Austefjord

Arnfinn Austefjord (2017)

We often talk about the iterative nature of innovation; the constant improvement of ideas. Arnfinn is both an iterator and an innovator, who has made a significant contribution over the years to the Consortium’s work. In particular, Arnfinn’s continuous improvements in his model to assess the customer self-service experience and success at Oracle has been extremely valuable. Arnfinn has also generously shared his experience and insight on training and certification programs with the KCS Academy.

Jacob Watts (2017)

Jacob was the heart of KCS at Cisco WebEx Customer Success for many years, and was one of the first people to encourage the Consortium to consider the use of KCS outside of a case-based environment. He helped develop the KCS Publisher certification (and was the very first officially Certified KCS Publisher), and was a beta tester for the KCS v6 Fundamentals online course and exam. His careful reading of the last several iterations of the KCS Practices Guide has lead to better clarity, spelling, and punctuation, and we are grateful for his willingness to be a Consortium photographer!

Jacob Watts

“As an open source software company, Red Hat actively encourages its employees to contribute to ‘upstream’ open source projects, which Red Hat productizes and offers services and support around. I have come to realize that the Consortium for Service Innovation is my upstream community. Similarly, my leadership encourages me to contribute to it, because they understand the innovative potential of a community of passionate people with a shared purpose.”

Jacob Watts
Kristen Hunter & Greg Oxton

Kristin Hunter (2017)

Patience and persistence: two important attributes for any agent of change. Kristin’s work at Sage has demonstrated these in spades. As the KCS adoption program lead over the past few years, Kristin has been advocating KCS with support agents and managers in innovative ways. She helped with the development of the Organizational Network Analysis to find Coaches, she was a beta tester for the KCS Fundamentals Online Course and exam, and she has willingly shared her experiences in many program team meetings. Her thoughtfulness, curiosity, and enthusiasm is a great asset to the Consortium.

Ron Plourde

Ron Plourde (2017)

A great sign of effective change leadership is when the KCS practices continue and mature after the instigator has left the organization. Ron has a long and productive history with the Consortium that transcends many years and many companies, including DEC, Compaq, HP, EMC, and Dell. He managed the largest, most successful and sustained adoption of KCS we have ever seen by building the foundation for KCS at DEC and working to sustain the focus on KCS across numerous acquisitions and mergers. The foundation Ron established in his prior positions continue to lead to significant benefits, lasting impressions, and numerous awards for those KCS operations. Ron has an amazing track record of operationalizing the Consortium’s models and concepts including recently completing a KCS implementation for three thousand service professionals at Dell EMC.

Russ Brookes

Russ Brookes (2016)

Russ is an early adopter of KCS. When he was at Nortel in the late 90’s, he was a contributor to the Consortium and was actively promoting KCS. Ten years later, Russ is the KCS champion at Avaya. Avaya’s great success with KCS is in part a result of strong leadership and in part a result of Russ’s innovative approach to KCS adoption. Russ developed and implemented the “dynamic approach to measurement” and “data-driven coaching” models, both of which represent creative and valuable improvements to the KCS adoption model. Russ is a great collaborator with other Consortium members and is always willing to share his experiences.

Monique Cadena

Monique Cadena (2016)

Monique has been a “quiet force” at numerous Consortium events over the past six years, sharing her experiences in implementing KCS at both Avaya and Dell Software. Monique was instrumental in the deployment of the Direct to Publish program at Avaya, and developed and implemented both the Domino Process (a training and coaching model) and the Knowledge Improvement Process (quality data and coaching for the Coaches) at Dell Software. In addition, her work with communication effectiveness surveys for both support analysts and front line managers has lead to some great insight, most recently on the team working to evolve the role of the manager. Her experimentation, insights, and presentations contributed to the development of KCS v6, and we are grateful for her dedication to both KCS and the Consortium.

Matthew Seaman (2015)

Greg Oxton and Matt Seaman

As the Director, Global Premium Services at PTC when he became involved with the Consortium, Matt was a great resource for other members looking to start or sustain a KCS implementation. It soon became clear that Matt was committed to making the then-brand-new Customer Success Initiative a reality at PTC. In 2014, Matt redesigned his role and built a team to focus on customer experience and service transformation, which included managing a customer experience model across the enterprise, implementing voice of the customer initiatives, developing ways of delivering preventive support, and fleshing out PTC’s use of smart and connected technology to digitize support services. His commitment to advancing the services industry from reacting to customer-initiated problems to automating solutions and optimizing productivity has moved the needle on the Consortium’s value erosion and predictive customer engagement models.

“The growth that PTC, and I personally, have gone through in recent years in pushing boundaries are directly related to the work being done with the Consortium. Listening to, sharing with, and engaging unique, yet like-minded people is energizing. I look forward to many more years of innovation and collaboration!”

– Matt Seaman

James Pendergast (2014)

Jim’s work at Sage in leading the development of the Customer Experience Continuous Improvement model is truly groundbreaking. As the SVP, Customer Advocacy, Jim and his team have developed a model that leverages what Sage knows about their customers’ experience from multiple points of view and enables decisions and action for improvement. With over 12 years of participation in the Consortium, Jim is a long time and significant contributor. Over the years, he has been an early implementer of numerous concepts and models discussed by Consortium members. Jim’s courage in trying new things and his candidness in sharing his experiences has been a great asset to the Consortium’s work.

Amy Dotson (2012)

Amy has been an active member of the Consortium for the past ten years. She has been instrumental in three different KCS adoptions during that time; in sharing those experiences, she has contributed to the evolution of the KCS methodology and our understanding of adoption best practices. As a partner, Amy brought the KCS Practices to the help desk audience. Amy has also been a key contributor to the development of the KCS Publisher and KCS Coach certification programs.

“The Consortium has always been a co-op type group for me, where people can bring great ideas and get instant and honest feedback on the direction of their thoughts. We’ve got a collection of the industry’s best assembled under one roof, and the Consortium has given me the courage to move ahead and try new and exciting concepts. What’s even more important than having made some great professional relationships over the years are the personal friendships and connections I’ve made at CSI.”

– Jim Pendergast

Steve Young (2012)

Steve is a thinker, a doer, and a collaborator. He has the rare ability to mix strategic innovation with operational action and is always willing to share his experiences and observations. In the late ’90s, Steve lead the Tandem Computers support team to an unprecedented level of KCS proficiency and benefit. He evolved the organization from an escalation model to a collaboration model. More recently, Steve is helping to redefine the problem solving process at Cisco by focusing the process and tools on collaboration and making the knowledge capture a natural by-product of collaboration.

Nitin Badjatia (2011)

Over the past eight years Nitin has been an active promoter of and significant contributor to the Consortium’s work. Most recently, he was a key contributor to the development of the Five Key Tenets for Social Media & Support. Nitin’s understanding of the trends in the industry and his connections with trendsetters has provided valuable insight to the Consortium and its members.

Hunter Donald (2011)

Hunter is both innovative and practical. He understands the dream, takes the components, and figures out what can be done to move closer to the dream. One of Hunter’s first Consortium projects was designing content landscape – what types of content to put where and in what format. We appreciate his laid back Hawaiian style and his fostering of multi-vendor collaboration between Microsoft and Cisco (and others). His sharing of the Microsoft “Ask the Expert” prototype inspired many interesting conversations.

Cheryl King (2011)

Cheryl took copious notes at her first Consortium meeting in her effort to capture and learn as much as she could. These notes have become some of the most valuable, comprehensive, well-structured notes on our wiki (with not a spelling error in sight). Since 2008, Cheryl has been involved in many, many KCS projects, including helping to review and edit the KCS 5.0 Practices Guide. Cheryl spent countless hours writing, reviewing, and beta testing questions for the KCS Publisher Certification offered through the KCS Academy, and is training 50+ KCS Certified Publishers at Novell.

“The Consortium allows companies, who might otherwise compete for business and customers, to come together and sincerely collaborate to improve the customer experience. Having a diverse group from various industries helps to generate fresh ideas and fosters innovation.”

– Hunter Donald

Devra Struzenberg (2011)

Devra (right, with fellow Innovator Cheryl King) has been the champion for KCS adoption at Genesys Telecommunications and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and has made numerous contributions to the Consortium based on that experience. Devra and her team have developed and refined a KCS Assessment program used to sustain focus on KCS across the Genesys Telecommunications global support community and are currently in the process of extending their KCS program (including the Assessment) to the rest of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise global support. Devra has also contributed to the evolution of the New vs. Known study and the Article Quality Index (AQI). Devra was a key contributor in the development of the KCS Certified Publisher program and exam offered through the KCS Academy.

Melissa Burch

Melissa Burch (2010)

Melissa has been an active participant in the Consortium’s work since 2004. She has made numerous contributions through her thoughtful questions and her willingness to take the pen and help organize the group’s thinking. Melissa has contributed significantly through her extensive work on the KCS Continuum and her help in writing the Consortium’s BMC case study on swarming. In 2008, Melissa posed the question, “We have done a lot of work defining the future state for support but how do we get there? What’s the road map?” This question set us on a path to create the KCS Continuum – a road map for organizational evolution to the dream state. After a number of discussions–many facilitated by Melissa–and considerable thought in editing the matrix, we now have a sense of “how to get there.”

Amanda Roberts (2009)

Amanda has helped to further the work of the Consortium from both an innovative and operational perspective. Her holistic approach to life and problems aligns closely with the purpose and values of the Consortium. She is truly a deep thinker.

Amanda participates in many of our program team meetings and often sits very quietly appearing not to be paying attention and then she will make a comment or come up with an idea that blows team members away. The best part is that her innovative ideas are very pragmatic.

Amanda and her team at Stone Cobra have developed online tools for the members to use–the KCS Maturity Survey, the Content Explosion Tag Cloud Tool and they also built the first KCS Online User Community. Amanda keeps us up to date on the leading edge technologies. If asked about a buzz in the industry, she will not only know what it is but will have researched, used it, and can provide very meaningful feedback. When Open Source Technologies were all the rage several years back, Amanda put together a presentation to help us understand the pros and cons of Open Source.

Brad Smith and Greg Oxton

Brad Smith (2009)

What do Brad Smith and Nike have in common? …”Just do it”…

Brad Smith has been an active evangelist for the Consortium’s work for many years. He has also been one of quickest to improve and implement the concepts, methods and models the Consortium has developed. In particular his work on quantifying the “Nearly Famous Funnel and the Cloud” model at Symantec and his use of Verna Allee’s value maps has brought clarity and value to the work.

Brad has been a valued member on the Consortium’s Board of Directors for five years. He has presented at numerous industry conferences and often references the Consortium’s work. Brad is not only promotes the work of the Consortium he also connects it with work in other areas and has introduced us to some great thinkers.

Curtis Hawks

Curtis Hawks (2008)

Curtis has been a great promoter of the Consortium’s work. He has managed the KCS adoption within his support organization and been influential with product management for the ServiceCenter product in promoting KCS functionality and the KCS Verified program. Curtis’ former boss Beth spoke at an industry conference and, largely as a result of Curtis’ influence, she is a strong supporter of KCS.

Curtis has contributed content and his experiences in the areas of performance assessment and measuring web success and value. He brings a thoughtful and sometimes humorous perspective to the team meetings. Curtis has also hosted numerous team meetings over the past few years.

Jennifer MacIntosh (2008)

Jen (pictured with fellow Innovator Jim Pendergast) has been an evangelist for KCS for the past 7 years. She promoted the methodology at Cognos and more recently managed the KCS adoption at Quest Software. Jen is an active member with Service Strategies and she has encouraged them to embrace the KCS practices as part of SCP. Jen speaks at conferences around the world and has been a great ambassador for the Consortium’s work.

“The Consortium has provided a forum for real “out of the box” thinking. Working with this group has been personally and professionally very rewarding. The willingness of collaborators to try new ideas and the openness to share results is what truly sets the Consortium apart. The methodologies are tried, tested and true and give comfort to any organization seeking to implement – it works!”

Jennifer MacIntosh
Jim Pendergast and Jennifer MacIntosh

Christina Kulick (2006)

Christina has been an enthusiastic and valuable contributor to the KCS Operations team for the past three years. Her “can do” attitude and understanding of the KCS Practices allows her to effectively translate the concepts of the working groups to proven practices at HP NonStop. In particular Christina has championed the Solution Quality Index and developed performance management spider charts to illustrate the value of triangulation. Additionally, she continues to share her experience and feedback while contributing to the KCS v4.0 Practices Guide.

“The Consortium has been a place for me to try new ideas in a very supportive environment. I have been encouraged by the team members and projects to think in a way that is innovative and creative. Successfully bringing home the concepts and implementing them at HP has been very rewarding. My work in the Consortium challenges me to look for new ideas and approaches to support in a positive and stimulating atmosphere. I attribute much of my personal and professional growth to my participation in the Consortium’s work.”

Christina Kulick

Dave Thorp (2006)

Dave has been an active member of the Consortium for the past five years. He began while working for StorageTek and has continued while sitting on the Knowledge Management Steering Committee at Sun Microsystems. Dave’s area of focus in the work of the Consortium has been on Organizational Network Analysis and the Adaptive Organization. Dave’s KCS adoption experiences have made concrete contributions to the evolution of the KCS methodology. He has also played a key role in engaging the field in KCS processes, Content Standard and Solution Quality Review.

“My association with the Consortium has been one of the most productive and challenging experiences of my career. I have been able to contribute to and benefit from this collective experience. Meeting and working with bright energetic professionals in the support industry has been tremendously rewarding. This is an exciting time for support, and I am looking forward to defining and contributing to practices which will be widely adopted.”

Dave Thorp

Jan (Young) Robinson (2006)

Jan has demonstrated a strong commitment and understanding of the KCS practices over the past six and a half years at Novell. She has been instrumental in their KCS adoption and her feedback has helped to shape the current model. She was instrumental in empowering the line management to own the KCS adoption, making it one of the most successful transitions to date. Jan is also very involved with the operations team working on the KCS V4.0 practices guide, the CRM KM integration and the Solution Quality Review. Jan has been very influential within the industry working with KM software vendors to integrate the power of KCS into their tools.

“As an active member of the Consortium, I have been able to help develop and implement the latest practices in Knowledge Management. Our support organization has had tremendous success with the concepts of the program teams. We have a strong commitment to the next generation of support practices currently in development . I enjoy collaborating with other companies to develop standards for support excellence.”

Jan Robinson

Lala Mamedov (2004)

Lala became an active member of the Consortium in 2001. As the Director of Technical Support Operations at Verisign, Lala supervised one of the quickest and most successful KCS adoptions to date. Lala advises, “The most important thing in a new KCS adoption is to have the support delivery organization own it and drive it, NOT the project managers.” Lala considers participating on both of the Consortium’s operations teams to be the most rewarding aspect of membership due to the creative synergy. She continues to be a strong advocate of the Consortium and KCS, participating on various industry speaker panels at CSI Member Summits and events.

David Kay (2003)

David Kay at the 2012 Member Summit

David has been a member of the Consortium since 1999, having served on the Sponsors Committee, the Support Futures team, the Strategic Issues Working Group, the Adaptive Organization team, and the KCS team. David has been certified as a KCS practitioner, Coach, and Trainer, and has contributed to the Consortium’s work through a variety of deliverables including case studies illustrating benefits of CSI practices.

“The Consortium is the place where I collaborate with the best thinkers and leading practitioners in customer service and support. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn and contribute in an environment that is open to exploration but firmly grounded in the realities facing support professionals today. That’s why participating in the Consortium is at the core of my professional life.”

David Kay

Emil Kobylecki (2003)

Emil has a long association with the Consortium as a partner while at HDI and more recently as a member of the KCS team and is one of the early KCS adopters. He has been involved in multiple KCS adoptions including Oracle, Legato and StorageTek. As a longtime member of the KCS program team, Emil has been instrumental in the evolutions of the operational model.

“Throughout the past six years, Consortium participation has provided a wellspring of ideas on implementing KCS. Regular interaction with those applying and refining KCS principles in a day-to-day business setting has promoted success and nurtured the creativity that KM practices demand. KCS by definition is a collaborative effort. Managing this challenging business relies on innovative thinking and an on-going exchange of information. Consortium members demonstrate KCS in action.”

Emil Kobylecki

David Stanley-Jones (2003)

David has been a member of the Consortium for over four years, having served on the Sponsors Committee, the Support Futures team, the Strategic Issues Working Group, and the Adaptive Organization team. David has been certified as a KCS trainer, and contributes to the Consortium’s work through a variety of deliverables including case studies illustrating benefits of CSI practices.

“My participation in the Consortium over the past eight years has been intellectually challenging and immensely rewarding; our combined efforts have developed a robust and proven philosophy for effective Knowledge Management. Equally exciting though is the ongoing collaboration with industry thought leaders to identify not only how we can improve on what we have today, but to continually push the horizon, to proactively identify and solve the problems of tomorrow. I highly recommend active participation by anyone wanting to make a lasting difference in the area of Knowledge Management.”

David Stanley-Jones

John Chmaj (2002)

John Chmaj playing at the Consortium's 20th Anniversary Party in 2012

John has been a member of the Consortium since its inception in 1992 and his contribution spans the entire scope of work of the Consortium. He has participated as a member as well as spent a few years on the Consortium staff managing the Exchange Standards team. John promoted the work of the Consortium while employed by Microsoft and continues to actively evangelize the Consortium models.

“Working with the Consortium has provided an opportunity for me to expand my thinking, work with others to validate and extend new ideas, and get excited again and again about the potential for improving the support industry. The people I’ve met and events I’ve attended have been among the richest, most powerful and most rewarding experiences of my professional career. Together we’ve created substantive, innovative work that has had a real impact on support organizations and their customers. There’s a reason I’m a long-standing member: it’s too much fun to stop, and there’s too much still to do!”

John Chmaj

Dave Cutler (2002)

Dave has participated in the Consortium’s work since 1996 with active involvement in the Strategic Issues group, the Virtual Support Community team and the Support Futures team. He has supported and promoted the adoption of KCS at Novell and is now part of the executive management team that are early adopters of the Adaptive Organization.

“The Consortium has been of tremendous benefit, providing opportunities to share knowledge and ideas with key industry peers. I would highly recommend active participation as a strategy for personal growth and career advancement.

– Dave Cutler

Tom Ford (2002)

Tom was an early adopter of KCS while at Attachmate and has provided insight and significant support to the evolution of KCS. He continued as a KCS advocate when he moved to Microsoft. Tom has participated in numerous program teams over the years including the Betty team and has made significant contributions to the development of the Adaptive Organization model (aka Betty) in his work on user communities at Microsoft.

Gig Griffith (2002)

As a long time member of the Consortium, Gig has participated in numerous program teams including Support Futures, KCS, and the Betty team. Gig was part of the inception of the Betty team and while at Novell, Gig was instrumental in the KCS adoption.

“The reason that I’ve been an active member of the Consortium for the past 8 years is because of the strong membership from top companies and the ability that I’ve had to shape industry-leading changes rather than just react to those changes later on.”

– Tom Ford

Greg Liverman (2002)

Among his many contributions, Greg played key role in the historic conversation that launched the Betty team in November of 2000. He has been an active contributor to the KCS and Betty teams. As the Global Program manager for KCS adoption at Compaq he promoted the KCS methodology.

Lisa Manchester (2002)

Lisa has been a champion for the global adoption of KCS at Oracle and has been an active participant in the Consortium’s work since 2000. She has made significant contributions to the KCS and Betty teams and provided continuity between the two.