Craig Apatov / Ascension Growth & Innovation Strategies
As founder of Ascension and leader of the firm’s strategic marketing and consultative sales practice Craig plays a hands-on role on many of Ascension’s major client engagements. His firm Ascension boasts 27 consultants and helps companies drive revenue growth, market share improvement, new product impact, and profitable geographic expansion. A three time Chief Marketing Officer Apatov possesses 20+ years of accomplishment in a variety of strategic marketing, general management, and consultative business development roles for multiple Fortune 100 companies. At Ascension he is often responsible for the development and implementation of game changing strategies for the firm’s clients around the world which range across industries including healthcare, financial services, industrial manufacturing + distribution, media entertainment, and retail. Craig’s professional experience includes executive roles with multi-national companies including Con Agra Foods, Citibank, GM, Mattel Toys, Time Warner, and The Walt Disney Company where he helped develop and grow some of the world’s largest and most iconic brands. In total Apatov has developed and managed strategic alliances valued at over $350 million. Apatov led major digital initiatives for Citibank in the e-commerce area, the development of AutoTrader.com, and the creation/growth of one of the nation’s largest and most successful pure play online banks — The GMAC Bank (later renamed the Ally Bank).
Donna Peeples / Pypestream
Chief Customer Officer
Donna Peeples is chief customer officer at Pypestream, which enables companies to deliver exceptional customer service using real-time mobile chatbot technology. She was previously chief customer experience officer at AIG.
She is an accomplished senior executive with extensive P&L responsibility and verifiable results in a variety of industries and global markets. Peeples is a versatile strategist who combines her keen market sense and strong orientation in top-line growth and negotiations with her experience, entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen to transform innovative ideas into profits. A master communicator, Peeples works to define business objectives and articulate the corporate vision in a way that inspires imagination and compels action throughout the organization. Whether managing cost, influencing the top line or creating vibrant and productive partnerships, her focus is on blending business strategy with creativity – touching the heart and moving the mind. The result is: true paradigm shifts, sustainable change and the achievement of overall business objectives.
What sets Peeples apart is that she has charted her path by rising through a variety of leadership, operational and revenue-generating roles in highly regulated and uniquely challenging industries. Time and again, in financial services, energy as well as original equipment manufacturing, she has introduced category-changing thinking while guiding purposeful and adaptable practices with positive results.