VM Global Leadership Summit 'Decoding the Consumer' Program Expands With Experts in AI Enterprise and Blockchain


(L to R) Justine Santa Cruz, Dr. Roger Smith, PhD, and Deborah Weinswig.

NEW YORK—The speaker roster is expanding for the upcoming Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit, "Decoding the Consumer: The New Science of Customer Behavior." Experts in new retail and health care technologies have joined the day-long exclusive program, which will be held here on March 20 at The Times Center. In the emerging category of using AI technology to build out knowledge of the customer and help create new and improved experiences, Justine Santa Cruz, SVP of enterprise & retail at Satisfi Labs joins the program. She is responsible for forging new partnerships with major brands, retailers and enterprise organizations to build automated solutions on the Satisfi Labs platform. Satisfi, an intelligent Answer Engine, uses internal data, customer input and product information to automate voice and text conversations between brands and their customers.

Santa Cruz has dedicated her career to introducing disruptive digital innovation to the retail industry. Before joining Satisfi Labs, she led omnichannel marketing innovation at Macy’s where she fulfilled their vision of being the first retailer to go-to-market with technology that modernized and streamlined the traditional customer experience. Her pilot projects have been cited in publications like Forbes, AdAge, AdWeek and Mobile Commerce Daily.

After graduating from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, she joined Oracle’s hospitality agency managing large-scale web, mobile and software implementation for renowned hospitality brands worldwide. Outside of work, Santa Cruz is also a product manager in residence at General Assembly where she helps budding entrepreneurs on their path to find their “golden egg idea.” Most recently, she's joined BUILD as a resident judge for the Student Business Plan competitions out of the Bronx, N.Y.

Now taking part in the health care aspect of the VM Summit program is Dr. Roger Smith, Ph.D., chief technology officer for the AdventHealth Nicholson Center in Florida, where he is responsible for establishing the technology strategy and initiating research projects to improve hospital operations. He has previously served as the CTO for U.S. Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation and was VP and CTO for training systems at Titan Corp.

Roger holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, a Doctorate and MBA in Management, and an M.S. in Statistics. He has published extensively and his most recent book is A CTO Thinks About Innovation. Dr. Smith will provide a top-line look at blockchain technology, which is being heralded as the next wave in data systems capture and has the potential to transform traditional views of patient electronic medical records.

The two will be joining Deborah Weinswig, the VM Global Leadership Summit keynote speaker, one of the worlds most notable experts in the intersection of retail and technology. She is the founder and CEO of Coresight Research, a strategic advisory and mentorship network that enlightens retailer, brand and technology clients on disruptive technologies reshaping today’s global retail landscape.

At the VM Summit, Weinswig will talk about how new prescriptive tech tools are helping retailers large and small build sales and, importantly, build relationships and experiences with consumers. She’ll share exclusive research and examples of what these trends and tools can mean to optical retailers and eyecare professionals. Weinswig will also lead a panel of leading tech solution experts at the VM Summit.

Early-bird registration is now open for the exclusive live event, to be held Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at the Times Center here, just prior to Vision Expo East that week.

"Today’s consumers want it all: unlimited choice, unsurpassed convenience, personalized service and undeniable value. They demand it from the brands they identify with, and from the stores and sites they love and the health care providers they trust,” said Marge Axelrad, SVP, editorial director of Vision Monday. “The rules of engagement have changed, and business leaders need to unlock the data behind this fundamental shift among consumers and patients. This has proved to be a daunting task, but new tools, techniques and tactics offer solutions, which the VM Summit will identify,” she said.

Optical retail executives, eyecare professionals, suppliers and vision care investors will take away actionable ideas and information from the Summit that will help them compete in this new customer- and patient-centric environment.

Platinum sponsors of the VM Global Leadership Summit are Essilor and Luxottica. Silver sponsors are CareCredit and VSP Global.