These inaugural awards recognize marketing leaders who demonstrate exemplary strategies focused on customer-led initiatives


TORONTO, ON – June 6, 2023 – Influitive Corporation, the leading provider of engagement software for customer marketing, advocacy, and online communities, today announce the winners of the first-ever Fearless 50 and Elite 18 customer-led marketing leaders and CMOs award program.

The Fearless 50 and Elite 18 awards recognize visionary marketing executives and leaders who prioritize a customer-first agenda above all else through innovative strategies and programs and their relentless pursuit of success through exceptional customer experiences. The full ungated list can be downloaded from Influitive’s website.

“So many business articles today stress the importance of customer-led growth, improving customer satisfaction and customer experience, and the importance of putting your customer front and center in everything you do,” said Dan McCall, CEO at Influitive. “I want to thank our judges who clearly demonstrate this mindset and congratulate our winners. You are putting words into action and it inspires our industry.” 

The first-ever Elite 18 customer-led CMOs of 2023 are*: 

  1. Allison Breeding, CMO, Apptio
  2. Amy Heidersbach, Chief Marketing and Community Officer
  3. Amy Messano, CMO, Altair
  4. Aruna Ravichandran, SVP and CMO, WebEx
  5. Brion O’Connor, CMO, Gong
  6. Catherine LaCour, CMO, Blackbaud
  7. Chris Kozup, CMO, Darktrace
  8. Dara Treseder, CMO, Autodesk
  9. Esther Flammer, CMO, Wrike
  10. Genefa Murphy, CMO, Five9
  11. Jeanette Volpi, Chief Communications Officer, Workday
  12. Katherine Post Calvert, CMO, PagerDuty
  13. Kathie Johnson, CMO, TalkDesk
  14. Latané Conant, Chief Market Officer, 6sense
  15. Maria Pergolino, CMO and Board Member
  16. Meredith Albertson, CMO, Zylo
  17. Mika Yamamoto, Chief Customer Engagement and Marketing Officer, F5
  18. Sara Varni, CMO, Attentive
  19. Shannon Duffy, CMO, Asana
  20. Wendy Steinle, CMO, Domo

“Marketing often has the first touch in that entire customer journey and oftentimes the very last touch, so as you come full closed loop, marketing leaders set the pace for companies on how we interact with our customers and how we engage,” said Carrie Palin, CMO at Cisco and Elite 18 2023 judge. “So these human beings being honored today are at the forefront of crazy innovation and doing wonderful things that we can all learn from.”

The first-ever Fearless 50 customer-led marketing leaders of 2023 are:

  1. Allyson Havener, VP of Marketing, TrustRadius
  2. Amanda Malko, Advisor and Executive Advisory Board Member, G2
  3. Amy Payne, VP Global Customer Partner and Events Marketing, TalkDesk 
  4. Angela Wells, Head of Customer Advocacy and Executive Programs, Splunk
  5. Anna Griffin, CMO, Commvault
  6. Asha May, Customer Experience Leader
  7. Barbara Holzapfel, CMO, Genesys
  8. Bhaskar Roy, CMO, Workato
  9. Brenda Hodge, CMO, Nuance Communications
  10. Brittany Mullen, Senior Director, Global Customer Engagement, Genesys
  11. Callan Young, CMO, ON24
  12. Chris Powell, CMO, Qlik
  13. Claire Grove, Senior Director, Global Customer Advocacy & Storytelling, ServiceNow
  14. Dan Lowden, CMO, HUMAN Security
  15. Erica Messenger, Senior Director, US Higher Ed Advocacy & Community, Cengage
  16. Geetu Bhatnagar, Senior Director, Head of India Marketing, Oracle India Sales Limited
  17. Gillian Farquhar, Vice President, Customer Transformation, Qlik
  18. Gina Leranth, Senior Director, Customer & Product Marketing, Paycor
  19. Giulia Staffieri, Chief Marketing & Omnichannel, Leroy Merlin Italy
  20. Jamie Gier, CMO, DexCare
  21. Jeff Gladwish, CRO, iLobby
  22. Jim Fields, Vice President, Customer Advocacy, Workday
  23. Joe Chernov, CMO, Pendo
  24. Johann Wrede, Chief Experience Officer, Emburse
  25. Kalina Bryant, Head of Marketing and Partnerships, unapologeTECH
  26. Karen Steele, Founder of Steele-Alloy and Fractional CMO
  27. Kevin Lau, Senior Director of Global Customer Engagement, F5
  28. Leslie Paterson, VP, Customer Advocacy, BMC Software
  29. Liz Carter, CMO, Reputation 
  30. Lydia Flocchini, CMO, Surepoint Technologies
  31. Lynn Lucas, CMO, Cohesity 
  32. Mandy Dhaliwal, EVP and CMO, Nutanix
  33. Mandy Idol, Head of Marketing, XUP Payments, a brand of KeyBank
  34. Mary Kay Evans, CMO, Alida
  35. Melissa Henley, Vice President of Customer Experience, Luxion
  36. Melissa Potvin, Senior Director, Customer Platforms, Qlik
  37. Melissa Sargeant, CMO, AlphaSense
  38. Olga Noha, CMO, SplitMetrics
  39. Palmer Houchins, VP, Head of Marketing, G2
  40. Rebecca Stone, SVP, Cisco Meraki
  41. Rick Schultz, CMO, Databricks
  42. Robb Mapp, Senior Director, Customer & Influencer Relations, GitHub
  43. Sarah Acton, CMO, BILL 
  44. Sara Strope, CMO, QuotaPath
  45. Sarah Danzl, CMO, Skillable
  46. Simmi Singh Corcoran, Vice President, CMS Marketing, Trimble
  47. Stefania Cugini, Senior Director, Global Customer Advocacy and Loyalty, VMware
  48. Tamir Sigal, CMO, Quadient
  49. Tessa Barron, VP of Marketing, ON24
  50. Tyler Calder, CMO, PartnerStack

“We are incredibly proud to recognize and celebrate the Elite 18 and Fearless 50 marketing leaders for their exceptional contributions to the customer-led marketing movement,” said Ari Hoffman, VP of Customer Marketing and Advocacy at Influitive. “Their commitment to leveraging customer advocacy and engagement strategies has set a new standard for marketing excellence, and we applaud their tenacity to drive a customer-first agenda above all else.” 

About Elite 18

Winners for the Elite 18 list were determined by a judging panel consisting of 6 executive leaders in the B2B space, including Carrie Palin, CMO, Cisco; Christina Kosmowski, CEO,  LogicMonitor; Erica Kuhl, CEO, Kuhl Consulting; Jay Nathan, CCO, Higher Logic; Laura Heisman, CMO, VMware; and Nick Mehta, CEO, Gainsight. The top 50 CMOs with the highest vote count progressed to the judging stage and were reviewed by all six judges. Winners were selected based on how each judge weighed the prioritization of their customer-first strategies, applied budget and headcount, and demonstrated tangible success.

About Fearless 50

Winners for the Fearless 50 list were determined by the marketing community during a public voting period from May 3-12, 2023. All votes cast were tabulated, and the Fearless 50 were determined based on their total vote count and influence scores as determined by the community. Nominees required a minimum role of Senior Director or above. 

About Influitive 

Influitive works with forward-thinking marketers and digital businesses who want a better way to engage customers and mobilize advocates to increase referrals, references, reviews, case studies, and more. Our easy-to-use SaaS platform combines industry-leading customer advocacy tools, expert services, and training with intelligent automation, gamification, and personalization features that drive extreme engagement and customer growth at scale. Global brands such as ADP, Cisco, IBM and HPE rely upon Influitive to help foster collaboration, build trust and deepen relationships with customers for top-line growth and bottom-line profits. Visit to learn more. 

*Due to a 3-way tie, we have 20 winners for the Elite 18 2023 list