2005 NAEO Convention Report: Exploring New Horizons

Reported by Kelli Harrigan

The 2005 NAEO (National Amtelco Equipment Owners) Annual Conference was held February 20-23 in San Diego, CA at the Paradise Point Resort and Spa. More than 200 NAEO members gathered to benefit from the conference theme Exploring New Horizons.

There were two pre-conference workshops. Fix It and Forget It focused on automated account set-ups; it was presented by Betty Bouchie (Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre),. Daphne Wagnon (Communications Network, Inc.) shared recruiting and screening tips in her presentation, Hiring Strategies in Today’s Call Center.

After lunch, attendees had a choice of programming. Many enjoyed an afternoon sales and marketing session, Generating Revenue in Your Call Center. Bill Smith (AnswerOne) and Jamey Hopper (Dexcomm) led an entertaining and interactive discussion on growing business in both traditional telemessaging and enhanced service markets.

The afternoon also included two medical breakout sessions: Important Features and Applications Designed for Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations was a joint presentation by Amtelco-1Call representatives and NAEO healthcare members.   Implementing Web OnCall in a Hospital Setting, was the focus of Mary Schiller’s (Brody School of Medicine) presentation.

Opening Ceremonies, conducted by NAEO President Shane Burleson (Fairview Health Services), marked the conference’s official start on Monday. Keynote speaker Milo Shapiro’s “You Gotta Fail … to Succeed” presentation used improvisational exercises that energized the audience. Educational sessions presented on Monday included:

  • Amtelco Presents: Intelligent Messaging and Intelligent Dispatch (Kevin Beale, Amtelco along with a panel of Intelligent Series users)
  • Intra-Office Communication via the Web (Cori Bartlett, Alliance Communications Center)
  • Managing Your Remote Staff (Jaime Lee and Jason Lumbruno, ACT Teleservices)
  • Using Report Generator in the Hospital Setting (Shane Burleson)
  • Emergency Procedures in the Hospital Setting (Betty Bouchie; Joe Adam, Athens Regional Medical Center; and Pam Pupatelli)

Concluding the day was the Amtelco Party, held aboard the William D. Evans Paddlewheeler.

Tuesday was devoted to NAEO Presents: The Infinity Top Ten, an overview of Infinity’s most popular add-on features:

  1. UltraComm (Diane Held, Fairview Health Services)
  2. Voice Logger (Robert Denman, Call Management Resources, Inc.)
  3. Message Distribution (Sharon Campbell, Cal Johnson’s Answering Service and Stephanie Venable, Dexcomm)
  4. URL Pop (Kelli Robbins, ContactOne)
  5. Web On-Call (Mary Schiller)
  6. Perfect Answer and Auto-Connect (Betty Bouchie)
  7. MDR Reports (Kelli Harrigan, Spectrum Communication Services, Inc.)
  8. Directory Importer (Mike Burkinshaw, Comm-Link)
  9. PBX (Joseph T. Miller III, Checkpoint Communications Company)
  10. Macro Magic (Lisa Olson, NotifyMD)

At the NAEO business meeting, three new directors were elected to the Board: Cori Bartlett (Alliance Communications Center), Betty Bouchie (Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre), and Kelli Harrigan (Spectrum Communications Services, Inc.). NAEO president Shane Burleson passed the gavel to president-elect Marci Imes of Advantage Answering Plus in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Next, Kevin Beale completed the Intelligent Series topics, followed by the always-popular NAEO Party, this year styled as a Hawaiian luau complete with Hawaiian music and dancers.

The conference’s final day was filled with breakout sessions:

  • Moving from a Switchboard to a Full-time Call Center, presented by Joe Adam
  • Using Logger to Track Payroll (Michael Leibowitz, Professional Answering Service)
  • The Revolutionary Horizon of VoIP Communications (Joseph T. Miller III; and Mike Shantz, Northern Communication Services, Inc.)
  • How to Manage Infinity with Less Management (Jeff Farber, A-B Communications)
  • How to Identify and Groom Your Leaders of Tomorrow (Barbara Bradbury, Answer Plus)

Following the final program, Wish List with Kevin Beale and Dan Hogan, the convention ended with a closing luncheon. Throughout the conference, there were opportunities to learn more about the NAEO Infinity Operator Training Program in demonstrations moderated by Laurie Blow (Advanced Answering Center) and Robert Denman (CMR Incorporated).

Among the awards and recognition presented at the 2005 NAEO Annual Conference were:

  • In recognition of her dedication and hours of work on the Operator Training Program, Laurie Blow received the President’s Award and was inducted into the NAEO Hall of Fame
  • Ken Smith was named NAEO’s Amtelco Employee of the Year
  • Laurie Smith from Children’s Physicians Network in Minneapolis was awarded the Christina Collins Scholarship
  • Jeffrey Noe from Tele-Serve Message Center in Eau Claire, WI, was awarded the Curtin Scholarship

Next year’s NAEO conference will be held in March of 2006 in Orlando, FL.

[From Connection Magazine May 2005]

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