GLTSA Meeting, October 2001

The annual Great Lakes Telemessaging Services Association (GLTSA) convention was held October 24th and 25th in Schaumburg Illinois. Originally scheduled for September 13th and 14th, the convention was postponed due to the terrorist attacks on September 11th.

Most of the original registrants were able to make the new dates, plus there were a few new attendees. There were approximately thirty-five participants in attendance. Vendors included Amtelco, Comverse, Professional Teledata, Record/Play Tek, and Tascom. Special thanks to these fine vendors for their presence and support of the association.

GLTSA President, Dan Hogan opened the meeting, welcoming the attendees and thanking them for their support and understanding of the decision to reschedule the convention. Peter DeHaan gave the keynote address and encouraged everyone to begin laying the groundwork to someday employ home-based agents. Even though employee hiring and retention challenges have declined for most members, this is a short-term situation and ultra-low unemployment rates will soon return. Now is the time to begin planning and preparing.

Jonathon Lehrer led an informative and practical discussion on websites, sharing many useful tips, ideas, and insights; his input was greatly appreciated by those present. A practical session on CRM was presented by Tony Murray. Troy Naals, a successful voice mail provider, flew in from Texas to share his sales and marketing strategies and successes. His ideas were not only relevant to selling voice mail service, but applied equally well to selling live services. Troy’s presentation was both entertaining and informative.

Darlene Campbell, ATSI President, was present and updated us on the current status and future goals of ATSI. She presented four initiatives which had been launched or are being pursued. The first idea was to increase public awareness of the teleservices industry and the vital role that we play. Secondly she highlighted a renewed educational focus, followed by a legislative effort being aptly headed by our own Gary Pudles. The next item was a dues restructuring and an effort to win back members. On the table for the future is an effort to pursue industry benchmarking (which is already being advanced) and the development of a four year strategic plan. The new motto of ATSI, reflecting these initiatives, is “Learning by Association.”

GLTSA’s new President, Rob Bennett began his term by leading the GLTSA business meeting and Betty Porter followed the convention with a special ATSI seminar. All in attendance agreed that it was an exciting and worthwhile meeting, wishing that more would have been present to enjoy and reap the benefits.

If you would like more information about GLTSA or to attend next year’s convention, contact Rob Bennett at 888-712-9396.

[From Connection MagazineJan/Feb 2002]

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