4 Black Customer Service Artists to Know

Black History Month

February is Black History Month—a time to acknowledge, educate, and celebrate Blackness and its history. This year’s observance focuses on the theme, “African American and the Arts,” paying homage to the African American artists who’ve used their craft to build communities and inspire action nationally and globally.

In the business sphere, some have embodied customer service as an art form. Combining the emotional and the experiential, they create positive, personalized interactions to meet expectations and build loyalty, leaving an indelible mark on their respective industries. Below, we spotlight four such individuals whose contributions have defined the art of customer service excellence in Forbes 2024 list of Customer Experience All Stars.

1. Julius W. Robinson, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer & Market Vice President, Marriott International (US & Canada)

Julius Robinson is a center of excellence in the hospitality industry. In his current role at Marriott International, he is instrumental in implementing strategic priorities to enhance profitability and expand market share across the brand’s extensive portfolio of hotels. Robinson is a force in his field with a career trajectory underscored by an expertise in understanding consumer needs and bolstering competitive advantage.

In 2016, Robinson received the Freedom Rider Award from the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers for championing diversity within Marriott. He was also named among the International Hospitality Institute’s “100 Most Powerful People in USA Hospitality” in 2022.

2. Kacey Felila Tolua, Senior Director of Global Technology – CEC Center of Excellence Products and Infrastructure, Marriott International

Kacey Tolua brings over 25 years of contact center leadership insights and experience. Her expertise spans a broad spectrum, including digital and voice self-service automation, CRM technology, and operational excellence.

Notable achievements punctuate Tolua’s journey at Marriott. She spearheaded the first digital-to-voice IVR integrations to enhance frontline associate experiences and generate substantial cost savings. She continuously drives innovation and transforms customer service through pioneering technology solutions and infrastructure enhancements across global Customer Experience Centers. 

3. Yvan J. Garcia, Customer Service Regional Director, Chewy

Goal-oriented and data-driven, Yvan Garcia is the operational and cultural leader for Chewy’s customer service center. With 15 years of industry experience, he has consistently driven impactful customer service operations in various capacities. Before being Regional Director, he played a pivotal role in approving or sponsoring Chewy’s key customer experience initiatives, leading to improved operational efficiency and streamlined customer interactions.

Garcia’s commitment to managing high-performing teams and empowering emerging leaders has enabled Chewy to deliver exceptional and reliable experiences for pet parents, resulting in the company winning America’s Best Customer Service for two consecutive years.

4. Rosalind G. Brewer, Former CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

Rosalind “Roz” Brewer boasts a trailblazing career in retail and consumer experience, marked by her strategic leadership. From her tenure at Kimberly-Clark to her recent role as CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (2021-2023), she has earned recognition as a high-impact strategist with a propensity for building strong teams and promoting community development. 

Among her accolades, Brewer was the sole Black female executive listed on the January 2023 S&P 500 roster of women CEOs. She was also the highest-ranking black CEO on the 2023 Fortune 500 list, securing the 27th spot. These achievements underscore her commitment to excellence and impact on the retail industry.

Like master artists, these industry leaders craft experiences that resonate with authenticity, empathy, and innovation. We celebrate their contributions and continue to draw inspiration from their remarkable journeys this Black History Month and beyond.

Contact us today to learn how we embody the spirit of these customer service artists in offering a better solution and an even better way to partner. Here at OP360, there’s a better way to outsource.

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