AMA USA 2022

May 18th & 19th 2022 – Menlo Park, CA

Agenda  I  Speakers  I  PanelsSupporters  I  Theatre  I  Tickets  I  Hotels Attendee Guide  I Intial Photos

UPDATE: WOW!!! we came, we saw, we chose cocktails. Hope everyone had a super time; here’s to AMA USA 2023


We reconnected, back where it all began, and it felt great!

100 people came, from nine countries, and had a blast. Wonderful presentations, good food, exciting cocktails, and even better company.

The Guild Theatre was loved by everyone, and we’re already planning something just as exciting for 2023.

Check out the video highlights here, plus all the presentations and session videos as they are signed-off, in the knowledgebase.


It’s time to reunite with your tribe
People who get you, who understand you

Connect, Share, Unite

Let’s talk, discuss and chat
and I mean really chat

So, book your ticket, pack your bags
And make the time to be inspired, be together

At the beautifully restored Guild Theatre, a classic Bay movie theatre that’s had a
new lease of life

Where every seat is the best seat, at the leading customer advocacy event


We’re really pleased with how things went, and are reviewing feedback to inform the decision on 2023. More on this as we have it.


DOWNLOAD THE DOC to help you pursuade the boss to sign off your attendance at AMA (not that it should take much pursuading). Now with discounted CCAP Certification training possible, AMA attendence is a no-brainer for anyone working with customer reference/advocacy programs or customer stories.



Doors open 08:15 for registration & breakfast  I  AMA begins 09:00, Finishes at 17:00  I  More mingling drinks & chat until 18:00

After reuniting with old friends and getting to know some new ones, we’ll kick things off and get into a fast-paced day of exploration of the Advocacy Line. The destinations are numerous, there will be sessions from your peers, people with a story to tell about their programs, with content suitable for programs at all stages. We also build in plenty of breaks and networking sessions, keep you fed and watered, and finish off the day with cocktails and chat.

08:15 - 09:00Arrival, Registration & Mingle
Pastries and Danish, plus yogurt parfait, fresh fruit salad, juices, coffee and tea in the dining car
09:00 - 09:30Opening: Chief Engineer: Robin Hamilton - inEvidence CEO
Plans for the day, station etiquette and Advocacy Line service announcements (mind the gap)
Why less is more; we don't add, we average
09:30 - 10:10Session One: Citrix: Melanie Gomez, Sr. Program Manager, Executive Programs
Connecting with customers: The Importance of Customer Advisory Boards and building strong relationships
10:10 - 10:50Session Two: Google Cloud: Cynthia Hester, Director - Global Programs
Customer Advocacy – into the Metaverse
10:50 - 11:20Networking Break:
It's cookie time! Chat with friends, make new ones, stretch your legs.
11:20 - 12:00Session Three: Genesys: Jenna Feldman, Customer Advocacy Program Manager
The Secret Sauce to Building an Engaged Advocacy Community
12:00 - 12:40Session Four: 826 Valencia: Miranda Ling, Director of Advancement, and Precediha Dangerfield, Program Manager
Storytelling with purpose; recapturing the creativity we've lost
12:40 - 13:40Networking Lunch:
A decent break; time to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and catch up on that email that simply won't wait
13:40 - 14:20Session Five: Frank Williamson, Senior Service Consultant
A chat with Frank; exploring customer advocacy from from an enterprise sales perspective - a rare chance to hear about the sharp end of sales advocacy
14:20 - 15:00Session Six: ServiceNow: Michelle Knight, Vice President, Customer Engagement
A customer advocacy transformation
15:00 - 15:30Afternoon Tea:
A quick cuppa and cake (in the UK it's illegal to miss afternoon tea) then finish in style!
15:30 - 16:10Session Seven: PeerSpot: Alison Bukowski, Director, Customer Advocacy & Engagement
A Reference Evolution
16:10 - 16:50Session Eight: VMware: Stefania Cugini, Director, Global Customer Advocacy and Loyalty
A journey towards integrated advocacy and loyalty
16:50 - 17:00Special Service: Emma Clarke
Lessons in storytelling: from behind the microphone
17:00 - 17:10Station Master: Melissa Talbot, inEvidence Deputy Managing Director
A quick round up of the day; the key takeways, and the only thing between you and a cocktail in the dining car
17:10 - 18:00Decompress: Drinks Reception
Relax after a fun, full day with a glass (or two) of something nice, share more stories. We'll have earned it!


Doors open 08:30 for breakfast  I  AMA begins 09:15, Finishes 15:00  I  More mingling and chat until 16:00

Deliberately a shorter day to ensure energy levels stay high, Day Two will comprise the same quality content as Day 1 and will look a little more to the future, exploring where programs and customer storytelling are heading. Our speakers will be sharing ideas about the latest trends, tools and techniques, and their ideas for the future of programs and profession, intending to leave everyone inspired about the future for their programs, and customer storytelling in general.

08:30 - 09:15Arrival, Registration & Mingle
It's bagel day! plus yogurt parfait, fresh fruit salad, juices, coffee and tea in the dining car
09:15 - 09:30Opening: Chief Engineer: Robin Hamilton - inEvidence CEO
And we're off for Day 2! Hot-off-the-press highlights from the 2022 Global Customer Reference/Advocacy Industry Survey
09:30 - 10:10Session One: Coupa Software: Pascale Royal, Director, Executive Customer Programs.
The only one in the room: Being a black woman in marketing (and how customer marketing can drive positive change)
10:10 - 10:50Session Two: Cisco: Valerio Battelli, Head of Global Advocacy & Operations
The birth of Cisco Insider Advocates
10:50 - 11:20Networking Break:
Chat with friends, make new ones, stretch your legs. Plus cookies, shortbreak and madeleines.
11:20 - 12:00Session Three: David Sroka, Point of Reference I Ray Rhodes, UserEvidence I Patrick Morrissey, Upland Software I Scott Wilder, Crowdvocate
Customer Advocacy Technology Panel. What tech is available now, what's coming, and what does the future look like for specialist customer advocacy apps and tools?
12:00 - 12:40Session Four: Workday: Mike Hughes, Customer Advocacy Reference Manager
Partnering with Sales to drive results
12:40 - 13:40Networking Lunch:
Catch up with friends new and old over lunch and sweet treats. Grab the presenters to ask all those questions you wanted to earlier.
13:40 - 14:20Session Five: Helen Feber, Referential I Lisa Matzdorff, OpenText I Trish Borrmann, ServiceNow
Customer Advocacy Education /Career Development Panel. What training and qualifications are available now, and what does the future look like for specialist customer advocacy professional training and certification? PLUS test yourself with ten questions from CCAP I, how will you do?
14:20 - 14:30Round Up Of AMA USA '22: Melissa Talbot & Robin Hamilton - inEvidence
The only thing between you and cake
14:30 - 15:00Wrap: Mingle before heading home or back to the office
It's the last chance to chat before we all hear our separate ways. Let's have a good natter over a cup of tea and cake! Until next year...


Michelle Knight

Vice President,
Customer Engagement

Michelle has dedicated the past three years to building a global customer advocacy team at ServiceNow that is passionate about telling customer stories, as well as launching the first ever ServiceNow global sales reference program. With a further eight years at SAP and Workday in customer advocacy and customer marketing roles, Michelle has a wealth of experience to share when it comes to developing mutually beneficial customer engagement.

A customer advocacy transformation

How has ServiceNow’s customer advocacy program grown from a 2-person team in the U.S. to a global organization with 25 team members all bringing customer stories into the heart of the ServiceNow brand?

In this session, Michelle will share the transformational journey that has seen the team’s ongoing progression from pure execution to building a strong foundation for a strategic, global program that has transformed to include sales reference delivery and more human, emotional storytelling. She will talk about critical success factors like securing ongoing investment in customer advocacy, maturing cross-organizational relationships, and developing deeper support from senior leaders, which all helped the team build a truly cross-organizational ecosystem focused on finding, activating, and promoting customer stories as central to sales, marketing and thought leadership initiatives.

An essential element of the transformation has been advocating for customers and demonstrating how to engage customers in a way that is valuable for them. Michelle will share her insights, including challenges, highlights, and tips for cultivating interest and buy-in from stakeholders.

Pascale Royal

Director, Executive
Customer Programs

The best-known brands create a special connection with their customers, empowering their fans and turning a one-way marketing channel into multiple conversations. Pascale’s expertise is in creating and managing advocacy programs that build and nurture relationships with executive customers; strengthening the brand, increasing retention, and driving revenue. Pascale joined Coupa Software in 2021, and has previously held global customer advocacy roles at ServiceNow and Citrix.

The Only One in the Room: Being a Black Woman in Marketing

(and How Customer Marketing Can Drive Positive Change)

It’s fact, Customer Advocacy teams are simply not diverse, and the stories we tell don’t mirror society’s diversity and composition. I have been in corporate marketing for over 20 years, customer marketing for tech for 16. In that time the vast majority of customers featured in our stories, and customer speakers at events, have been white men. Meanwhile, I have had only one Black female manager and have never been part of a global corporate marketing team containing more than 3 Black women. Being underrepresented and outnumbered is lonely!

In this session we’ll take a hard look at the numbers, then our opportunity to affect change. Our teams are uniquely positioned in most corporate marketing orgs as hubs, working with just about every company department. And we get to meet customers every day. We have both a responsibility and a unique ability to increase diversity, both within our teams, and in our storytelling. Let’s talk about how we can do it.

Jenna Feldman

Manager, Customer
Advocacy Program

Jenna has spent the last 1.5 years managing Genesys’ global community of >6k advocates who make up the Genesys Customer Advocacy Program (GCAP). Jenna also oversees Genesys’ peer review generation strategy and strives to amplify the voice of the customer on trusted review sites. Jenna lives in SFO and can be found hiking, exploring new neighborhoods, and spending time with friends and family around the beautiful Bay Area.

TBC – Jenna has kindly agreed to cover a session at short notice!

Frank Williamson

Senior Service

Frank has held a broad range of senior level positions during his 33-year career. He brings his strong international background and significant experience in many high-tech and print industry positions. As a senior leader, Frank is responsible for leading several enterprises and commercial relationships in the U.S. His previous roles at HP include GM of global alliances, director of global accounts, and services sales mgr for EMEA, where he used his strong consultative enterprise background and significant experience in direct & channel PC/Print segments. Frank is active in several international civil service orgs in Geneva, Switzerland, and resides in Las Vegas with his wife
and two sons.

Coming Soon!

Cynthia Hester

Director, Global Customer

Cynthia is a passionate leader, storyteller, and innovator.
A customer advocacy pro with more than 20 years’ experience, she creates programs that showcase customer innovation and success, incorporating thought leadership, personal brand amplification, and storytelling. In roles at VMware, Salesforce, New Relic, and now Google Cloud, Cynthia has embraced every area of advocacy from strategic planning & comms, to CABs, awards, events, and CX. Cynthia spends her non-work time as a mentor, advisor, and non-profit board member/chair.

Customer Advocacy – into the Metaverse

Cynthia’s talk is still in development but will touch on the impact of Web3, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and Metaverse on Customer Advocacy & Experience.

The session will be a discussion will be on the influence of these new technologies on the customer advocacy and customer experience functions for organizations, the importance of establishing a 360 view of customers, and using technology and tools to scale and drive greater impact to the business.

Stefania Cugini

Director, Global Customer Advocacy
and Loyalty

With 25 years’ experience working within leading global technology companies, Stefania is passionate about customer marketing. In her role at VMware, Stefania is in the unique position of spanning both customer advocacy and loyalty, enabling her to enhance her knowledge of advocacy and truly understand the synergies and integration points between advocacy and loyalty from a customer perspective

Miranda Ling

Director of

Miranda Ling (she/her or they/them) is an afrofuturist, writer, and $25+ Million fundraiser with a background in the arts and education. As the Director of Advancement for 826 Valencia, she believes in the power of storytelling to imagine a more just and loving world, and call that world into being. She loves building connections through personal stories and social impact, and earned her MA in Communication and BA in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University.

Storytelling with purpose; recapturing creativity

Corporate life, the focus on compliance, and content creation by committee have all sucked the life out of storytelling. In this session we’re going to explore the work being done by 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success and that great leaps in learning can happen when trained tutors work one-on-one with students.

826 Valencia’s work is a reminder that storytelling really does have the power to change lives. You will come away from this session understanding how you can make change, and possibly strive to recapture a little of the joy and expression removed by corporate life.

Alison Bukowski

Senior Director,
Customer Marketing

Alison is an experienced marketing pro committed to building exceptional relationships with internal & external customers. A Top25 Customer Marketing & Advocacy Influencer, she moves advocacy programs from merely transactional, to an engaging, multi-dimensional customer experience. With >20 yrs in marketing, customer success and sales ops, she knows what truly drives organizational growth—the customer voice.  While her true passion resides with customer advocacy, Alison fancies herself a better-than-average baker and cook, an avid nature lover, curious explorer, and animal welfare enthusiast.

A Reference Evolution

It’s a tale as old as time (or as old as customer advocacy anyway). We need customer references! When do you need them? Yesterday! No, we already used those five customers; who else do we have? And while those of us in the industry know that customer advocacy goes well beyond the reference, we still must support our internal stakeholders with this critical piece of the sales cycle. But, just as advocacy has evolved over the years, so have customer reference programs.

Going beyond the reference and creating a multidimensional approach allows us to not only maximize the customer voice, but minimize our workload. How? Join us to learn about building a customer reference program that is definitely not a one-way street (i.e., transactional), but allows you to create a strategy around multi-use customer references, leveraging reference content across a marketing strategy, and finding new ways to support your sales team without exhausting customers with repetitive requests.

Melanie Gomez

Senior Program Manager,
Executive Programs

Melanie is passionate about all the aspects of Marketing and has spent the past 9+ years creating and managing programs that build and nurture relationships with strategic customers. In her role in Executive Programs at Citrix, Melanie is responsible for the development and execution of Advisory Boards with C-level customers, the Citrix Innovation Spotlight program, and securing C-level customers for Keynote opportunities. Melanie also leads the Global Citrix Women’s Inspirational Network (WIN) employee resource group, and was a recipient of the Citrix Marketing Big Achievement Award and was twice named one of Citrix’s Extraordinary Women.

Connecting with customers: The Importance of Customer Advisory Boards and Building Strong Relationships

Every customer advocacy program strives to attract c-level customers to take part. In this session, Melanie will share what she has learned over years of developing and executing Executive Programs at Citrix. From how to gain access to c-level customers, and turn that initial introduction into a mutually-successful, long-term partnership, to the intricacies of running a successful Customer Advisory Board, including selecting the right members, how to develop the correct customer value proposition, and why creating unique experiences takes customer relationships to the next level. Whether you’re already running successful executive programs, or are looking to introduce a customer advisory board for the first time, you are sure to come away from this session with practical advice.

Mike Hughes

Customer Advocacy
Reference Manager

Mike started his career in software sales before developing and launching global CRPs with companies such as Procore, Rubrik and Workday. His knowledge of sales has complimented his ability to create meaningful client relationships to influence over $1B in ARR. Mike has a listen-first approach when it comes to providing customer references by alignment with sales leadership, understanding opportunity details and ensuring customer advocates have a best in class experience. Outside of work, you can find Mike at a baseball game or cooking up Texas style smoked bbq with his wife in Northern, CA.

Partnering With Sales.

In this session, Mike will be sharing insights of how his prior experience in sales has given him a unique perspective into how customer references are a driving force in the sales cycle, thus giving him a broader view of global strategy and how Customer Marketing can be a true partner in achieving larger company goals.

While customer reference requests are typically reactive in nature, we must align ourselves with sales leadership to better forecast future needs while continuing to be the advocate for our very own customers.

Workday has developed a best-in-class global reference program with not only a very small turnaround time, but with quality customer insights and data to support our partners in sales. Mike truly looks forward to sharing his expertise to help you drive results.

Precediha Dangerfield


Precediha Dangerfield (she/her) is an activist, educator with a background in sociology and community organizing. As the Program Manager of 826 Valencia, Tenderloin, equity is at the core of her work and program development. Precediha created the Black Students’ Initiative which provides equity in access to opportunities for Black students in the San Francisco Bay Area to becoming published authors. She finds deep fulfillment in supporting young writers gain the tools for understanding how to write stories in order to authentically tell their own.

Storytelling with purpose; recapturing creativity

Corporate life, the focus on compliance, and content creation by committee have all sucked the life out of storytelling. In this session we’re going to explore the work being done by 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success and that great leaps in learning can happen when trained tutors work one-on-one with students.

826 Valencia’s work is a reminder that storytelling really does have the power to change lives. You will come away from this session understanding how you can make change, and possibly strive to recapture a little of the joy and expression removed by corporate life.

Valerio Battelli

Head of Global Advocacy
and Operations

Valerio has built a successful career in the customer advocacy industry, first at Finastra and for the past six years at Cisco. He was recently recognised as a Top 100 Strategist in Customer Marketing & Advocacy. As Head of Global Advocacy, Strategy, Planning & Operations, Valerio has been heavily involved in every aspect of Cisco’s innovative advocacy program, including the customer community, the Cisco Gateway, and developing the global Advocate Awards program.

Breaking down silos – The birth of Global Gateway

In this session we’ll see how Cisco’s award-winning Gateway community has gone from strength-to-strength, and has now consolidated separate regional groups into a single Global Gateway.
The impact has been substantial; streamlined processes, even more tightly connected regional teams, and improved  performance while creating a global, tailored, and personalised journey for our customers & partners.

Cisco has also been working on an exciting new program development to be launched at the end of April, and Valerio might possibly give session attendees a (confidential) sneak peek!


Robin Hamilton


Melissa Talbot

Managing Director


David Sroka

Chief Executive Officer
Point of Reference

David has been a member of the customer advocacy professional community since 2003, when Point of Reference was founded. His passion is helping companies maximize the persuasive power of customer advocates through expertise and purpose-built technology; and establishing customer advocacy as a strategic game-changer in achieving company growth.

Ray Rhodes


Ray Rhodes is the co-founder of UserEvidence. As a long time sales leader Ray was a great customer storyteller. He now works to help B2B marketers capture and tell customer stories at scale.

Scott Wilder

VP of Customer Engagement &
Community – Crowdvocate

Today VP of Customer Engagement and Community at Crowdvocate, Soctt comes from a rich background in technology companies such as HubSpot, Apple, Marketo, Google, Adobe and Intuit.

Patrick Morrissey

SVP and General Manager
Upland Software

Patrick oversees Upland’s Enterprise Sales & Marketing BU. He is responsible for the go-to-market for products that synchronize revenue teams from initial lead to customer advocacy. Previously he was CMO at Altify. Prior to Altify, he was CRO at Simpplr, managing the sales, marketing and customer success orgs. Patrick has also held multiple exec positions at Salesforce, DataSift, Savvion and Business Objects.


Helen Feber

Managing Partner

Helen Feber has been personally involved in every aspect of building, managing, and growing advocacy programs. She has helped companies of all sizes harness the power of their customers, delivering support across the entire spectrum of advocacy disciplines. She has been instrumental on the Institute of Certified Customer Advocacy Professionals’ oversight committee in accomplishing agreement for the skills and knowledge required for all three certification levels.

Trish Borrmann

Director, Customer Advocacy

Trish is passionate about working with customers to share their success stories, elevating them as innovators and thought leaders to inspire and influence others.  In roles at ServiceNow, Cisco and Fortinet, she has developed exec advocacy and marquee account programs, and engaged over 30 industry leaders to co-author a book on cybersecurity best practices. When she’s not cheering at a high school football game or cruising down the coast, you’ll find her amplifying customer voices across comms, events, and brand.

Lisa Matzdorff

Sr. Mgr, Customer Advocacy &
Communities – OpenText

Lisa is a seasoned customer advocacy pro with more than 20 years’ experience in customer marketing leadership roles and contributing to customer advocacy programs. Her knowledge extends from strategic planning and elevating brand awareness, to influencing revenue growth, CABs and developing outcome-based content. She recently joined the OpenText Security Solutions BU, and held roles at Bolt, 8×8, Symantec, VMware, EMC, and even has agency experience working at Big Sky Communications.


The team at Advocate Marketing Academy has worked directly in the world of customer references and advocacy for more years that we’re keen to admit.

Like everyone else in marketing, during this time we’ve seen more soulless meeting rooms and hotel-based conferences (with migraine-inducing carpets and long, dull presentations) than we ever want to see again.

Yes, conferences are for taking notes of salient points, but our attendees tell us it’s even better if you can be ‘in the room’, engaged, experiencing and interacting



Where every seat is the best seat, at the beautifully restored Guild Theatre


The Guild Theatre is being reborn, just in time for in-person events to come back, as we move from Zoom to experiencing things in three dimensions. Textures, sights, smells and sounds; stimulating all the senses. The seats are fitted, the signs are illuminated, and The Guild reawakened in February as a premier Silicon Valley destination. We’ve been planning this AMA since Spring 2021, and it’s been a rewarding experience to be part of The Guild’s journey. There’s a super Mercury News article about The Guild here


San Francisco and San Jose are both close by

Within minutes of the birthplace of Silicon Valley, perfectly situated between San Francisco and San Jose, Menlo Park borders Palo Alto and Stanford University.

949 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Air: SFO airport: 25 mins, SJO airport: 28 mins


  • San Francisco: 45 mins
  • San Jose: 30 mins
  • Mountain View: 20 mins
  • Santa Clara: 30 mins
  • Sunnyvale: 22 mins

Other: Caltrain or Line 397 or 398 bus


We are all ready for some human contact; it’s time to meet old friends, make new ones, and focus on our learning and development. The middle of May should be perfect timing.

Global & Trusted

>10 years of successful events in all regions, providing value to the community


Not another dull hotel-event-room conference


Presentations from, and attended by, people that do exactly what you do – your peers


Super-relevant and useful content

'Ted Talks' format

AMA’s theater-style production is first-rate and engaging


Plenty of opportunities to meet new contacts and chat with old friends

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