California’s Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading Brands

In California, a state known for its innovation, diversity, and unparalleled business landscape, the significance of effective CX leadership cannot be overstated.

As industries continuously evolve, customer expectations soar, and digital transformation becomes the norm, the role of CX leaders stands at the forefront of navigating these shifts. 

From Silicon Valley’s tech titans to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, These visionary professionals, hailing from some of the most reputable brands, are shaping the very fabric of customer-business interactions. 

Let’s have a look at the top 20 CX leaders in California who are at the helm, steering their organizations through the ever-changing tides of consumer preferences and expectations.

Addie Allison
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsBoasting 18 years in credit unions, Addie Allison is the Chief Experience Officer at First Entertainment Credit Union. With a focus on marketing, business development, human resources, and sales, she collaborates with senior leadership to design systems that elevate end-to-end customer experiences. Allison’s overarching goal is to cultivate meaningful, enduring brand equity among members while ensuring financial tools and education are accessible to all. Previously, she worked at Partners Federal Credit Union for over nine years. Academically, Allison holds an MBA in leadership and management from the University of La Verne, complemented by a BA in accounting. 

Alicia Giglio
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsWith over 25 years of leadership and management experience in the retail fashion industry, Alicia Giglio has held various leadership positions within a Fortune 500 company. She also possesses eight years of executive leadership expertise in the wholesale beauty industry, working with leading manufacturers. Throughout her career, she has prioritized a customer-centric approach. Giglio is currently the Chief Experience Officer at Beauty & Hair. Previously, she founded a company, Heart + Hair, and has also worked at Nordstrom for over nine years, where her last position was Director of Customer Relationship and Personal Stylist Programs. Giglio acquired her bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara. 

Amy Searls
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsA health care professional driven by performance and results, Amy Searls is the Chief Experience Officer at Prime Healthcare. She offers thought leadership, strategic direction, and tactical programs to foster operational excellence. Searls excels in customer-centric service delivery, enhancing employee performance, and driving the achievement of organizational business goals. Previously, she worked at UCHealth for eight years as the Executive Director, Office of Patient Experience, Director of Service Excellence at Providence Hospitals and McKee Medical Center. Searls was also the Director of Service Excellence at Banner Health for six years. 

Araceli Leon
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsAraceli Leon, a seasoned professional in the aviation industry, presently serves as the Chief Experience Officer at Jet Edge International, marking four years of impactful leadership. Leon’s journey with the company began a decade ago when she assumed the role of Director of Client Relations, a position she held for six years before advancing to her current executive role. Her diverse professional background includes a brief stint at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, where Leon contributed her skills and expertise for less than a year. Araceli is an alumna of the University of Southern California, where she honed her knowledge and skills.

Barry Ratzlaff
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsWith over 14 years of service at Hyundai Motor America, Barry Ratzlaff is currently the Chief Customer Officer. In this role, he is responsible for Hyundai’s customer experience strategy, retail process, sales and service training, product quality and service engineering. With three decades of experience in the automotive industry, including General Motors, Toyota, and DaimlerChrysler, he has held various positions in customer care, manufacturing, quality control, and product development. Ratzlaff holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Administration and Finance from the General Motors Institute and Master of Business Administration from Washington University.

Bruce Boettner
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsBruce Boettner is the Chief Customer Officer at Chuao Chocolatier. Prior to this role, he held the same title at Stryve Foods, demonstrating his proficiency in customer-centric roles across different industries.Boettner has also worked with Humm Kombucha as the VP of Sales. His career also includes a significant role at Kashi Company, where he served as the Senior Director for over three years, contributing to the company’s growth and success in Solana Beach, CA. In terms of education, Boettner holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from California State University, Fullerton.

Christine Cunningham
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsChristine has dedicated over four years to El Camino Health, serving as the Chief Experience & Performance Improvement Officer. With a strategic and passionate approach, she brings 25 years of expertise as a patient experience, business development, and marketing executive. Her career has been marked by a relentless focus on building programs and services that enhance patient healthcare experiences and outcomes.

Cunningham’s notable accomplishments include the successful execution of customer-focused strategies, program design and development, and fostering human-centered leadership. 

Cynthia Neiman
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsCynthia Neiman is an award-winning business professional with a wealth of experience spanning Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and internet start-ups. She is currently the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). Throughout her career, Neiman’s achievements include the launch of Mattel’s brands into social media and leadership of their initial digital initiatives. She was also instrumental in introducing IKEA on the West Coast, spearheading the Marketing transformation of CHOC Children’s, and delivering crucial consumer insights and launch strategy for Ergobaby, the baby carrier. Neiman pursued her MBA in Marketing from Vanderbilt University.

David Stis
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsAs the Chief Customer Officer at Del Monte Foods, David Stis stands as a senior executive leader with a consistent and impressive track record of driving transformational, financial, and organizational impact. Previously, Stis has worked with several companies, such as Good Karna Foods, Dean Foods, Glanbia Performance Nutrition, and PepsiCo. He has cultivated a robust foundation through pivotal roles in Customer Management, Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. Stis’s strategic acumen is evident in leading the ecommerce development agenda, with direct ownership from major platforms such as Amazon, Groupon, and Jet.com. 

Elizabeth Mutuc

With 23 years of experience at Union Bank, Elizabeth Mutuc is currently the Client Services Officer, specializing in providing exceptional customer service to the bank’s top-tier client portfolio. Her role involves independently researching, analyzing, and resolving a wide spectrum of complex customer issues, with a strong emphasis on responsiveness to both internal and external customers. Mutuc is instrumental in analyzing data to assess exposure and potential risks to the bank, using her extensive banking knowledge and experience to make well-informed recommendations. She is also instrumental in analyzing data to assess exposure and potential risks to the bank.

Jeff Sigmen
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsJeff Sigmen has dedicated his entire career to the Coca-Cola Company, amassing over a decade of experience in various roles. Throughout his professional journey, he has led both direct and cross-functional teams, overseeing a range of responsibilities. He has led professionals execute a comprehensive business plan directly impacting the Profit and Loss (P & L) across regions. His areas of ownership encompass sales, commercial, delivery, and warehouse. Presently, He holds the esteemed position of Chief Customer Officer at Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling Company.  Sigmen earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing from California State University, Bakersfield. 

Jennifer Tong
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsDr. Jennifer Tong, who currently serves as the Chief Experience Officer at Santa Clara Valley Healthcare, boasts an impressive career trajectory. Originating as an academic hospitalist, she orchestrated the clinical transformation of the 574-bed safety net hospital in Santa Clara County from paper charts to an electronic medical record in 2013. Dr. Tong then made history in 2014 as the inaugural Chief Medical Information Officer for the County of Santa Clara, followed by Associate Chief Medical Officer for four years. Amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, she demonstrated remarkable leadership, overseeing the establishment of a field hospital and managing County-operated mass vaccination sites.

John Fishback
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsJohn Fishback brings over 15 years of dedicated service to First Bank & Trust, currently the Chief Product and Customer Experience Officer. His journey within the organization includes a notable stint as the Vice Chairman of the Board for 14 years. Prior to his roles at First Bank & Trust, he held the position of Director, Relationship Delivery at Fishback Financial Corporation. Before venturing into the financial sector, Fishback spent a decade with CEB, acquired by Gartner, where he held the esteemed role of Principal Executive Advisor. John Fishback earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University. He also attended  the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU.

Lesley J Wilson
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsLesley has been working with UC San Diego Health for a span of eight years, currently holding the position of Associate Chief Experience Officer (CXO). Previously, she dedicated over 16 years of her career to Sharp HealthCare, where she ended her tenure as the Manager Consumer Information Services. Wilson has a successful track record of managing by influence and is skilled at navigating front-line staff through change processes. As a recognized consultant in customer service process and performance improvement, experience design, and service best practices, she holds the prestigious Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Wilson acquired her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas.  

Marci Francisco
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsA dynamic senior executive with extensive experience in corporate strategy, marketing, and product development within the financial services, affinity, and automotive industries, Marci Francisco is currently the Chief Experience Officer at Premier America Credit Union. She is responsible for defining the member experience, driving brand perception and generating community growth. Previously, Francisco has held diverse roles in various  companies, such as AutoLand and CU Direct. She possesses the Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designation and is a graduate of the Cardwell 306 Group Executive Leadership program. She acquired her MBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. 

Maurice Cooper
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsMaurice Cooper is the Chief Customer Officer at Bath & Body Works. He is responsible for implementing a comprehensive strategy aimed at enhancing and elevating the brand. His role involves expanding and retaining the brand’s dedicated customer base by crafting a personalized, interconnected, and engaging end-to-end customer experience. Previously, he was the SVP, Marketing – Guest & Brand Experience at Target and was responsible for overseeing all omnichannel traffic for Target’s $100 billion enterprise. He has also worked at InterContinental Hotel Groups for four years as the Vice President. Cooper acquired his MBA degree from The University of Virginia Darden School of Business. 

Neelam Sandhu
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsNeelam Sandhu is the Chief Elite Customer Success Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at BlackBerry, reporting directly to the CEO. In her role she leads strategic relationships, sales, co-selling initiatives, and customer success. Having been with BlackBerry since 2009, Sandhu has held diverse roles in the company’s UK, NYC, and California offices. In her previous role, she served as the Chair of the Artificial Intelligence Working Group at the Consumer Technology Association. Sandhu holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Leicester. She furthered her education with an Executive Certification in Financial Analysis from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Paul Witt
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsPaul Witt serves as the Chief Experience Officer at Winston Retail, where he holds a pivotal role in leading the Retail Pop Up Experiential Division. In this capacity, he is responsible for managing all aspects of partnerships, new business development, creative initiatives, marketing efforts, and influencer partnerships. Under his leadership, the team has successfully launched more than 25 activations in nine different cities. Witt is also the founder of Wittmore, a multi-brand retail experience that sells and markets clothing, accessories, grooming, home, and lifestyle products, appealing to a global customer through two Los Angeles brick and mortar locations, e-commerce, and a slate of revolving pop ups.

Robert Baron
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsRobert Baron, who serves as the Chief Experience Officer at StandardC, is a distinguished expert in the field of Cannabis Banking. With a strong background in financial compliance, he holds certifications as a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and an Advanced Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist in Risk Management (CAMS-RM). Prior to his current role, Baron dedicated over 12 years of his career to Technicolor Federal Credit Union, where he culminated his tenure as the Senior Vice President in charge of Member Services. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of California, Davis.

Steve Pratt
California's Top 20 CX Leaders: Driving Experiences in Leading BrandsSteve Prat is the Chief Customer Officer at Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. In this role, he spearheads the growth of iconic brands such as Häagen-Dazs, Outshine, Drumstick, and Oreo. Previously, Prat held a prominent role at Nestlé, where he accumulated an impressive tenure of 21 years and 6 months. During his time with this company, he served as the Vice President of Sales for over 5 years. In this capacity, he successfully led sales initiatives for Nestlé USA’s Ice Cream Division, playing a pivotal role in driving growth across a diverse portfolio of delicious brands. He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.