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Episode Nine: Stephanie Leese Emrich

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In this episode, Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, talks to Stephanie Leese Emrich. Emrich is a leading expert in customer service, speaking and advising organizations on providing high-level customer experience. She is the Chief Service Officer of ServiceSpeaks Solutions, the President of the National Customer Service Association Chicagoland Chapter and a former college professor and hotel executive.


  • Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE

    President and CEO, Association Forum

    Michelle Mason is the President and CEO of Association Forum. Association Forum is the “association of associations” in Chicago. Founded in 1916, it has nearly 4,000 members. Prior to Association Forum, Michelle served as a managing director at the American Society for Quality (ASQ). In this role, she concentrated on business development, membership, component relations, innovation, advocacy, social responsibility, and process improvement efforts. Prior to she was Vice President of Strategic and Future Focused Research at the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE).

  • Stephanie Leese Emrich

    Stephanie (Leese) Emrich speaks and consults on the Customer Experience, and about those who create the experience.

    Inspired by her grandfather's ideals at his Disney World-area hotel, Stephanie's own customer service journey began at Chicago's Drake Hotel. Including her college internship, associations then and now play a large part in understanding how individuals and groups evolve.
    From meeting planner to Les Clefs d’Or Concierge to Kendall College professor, each role completes the picture.

    Stephanie founded ServiceSpeaks Solutions, where her signature "Be My Guest" mantra motivates and structures organizations to shift from a transactional to an experiential culture. Core program tracks include the esteemed Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP), applicable to every business.

    As Founding President of the National Customer Service Association (NCSA) Chicagoland, every day centers on high-touch interactions and the indelible imprint made in the customer journey. As a customer experience innovator, Stephanie’s work weaves in humorous and heartfelt stories, where meaning and message remain memorable.