Reported by Nell Norris
In early October, 2005, Atlantic States Telephone Answering Association (ASTAA) held its first manager/supervisor conference near Baltimore. Donna West and her committee present sessions of interest to management. The program opened with a morning session by Lee McAteer of Focus Telemessaging on “Training for the Trainer” in a workshop atmosphere. In the afternoon, Cindy Vandermark and Andy Krishak of Ace Answering Service in State College , PA introduced “Agent Excellence Segments 1-4” of the Managers’ Script from SNUG’s training disk. That evening, after a cocktail party sponsored by Telescan, there was a chance for interaction at a “Getting to Know You” Dinner.
The next day kept the audience’s attention with “30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” with awards being given for first, second, and third place winners. Each contributor received a reward. Kelly Gillis of Focus addressed “How to Get Your Staff to Work to Win” in a delightful, inspiring presentation on the Top Op Program for ATSI’s Award of Excellence. Donna West , Program Chair, answered the question, “Yesterday You Were an Indian, Today You’re a Chief….How?” Jannemieke Keener of Keener Communications offered “Making Life at The Office Easier for Everyone – Streamlining.” She was a highlight of the conference with her wit and information. Lannette Reandeau of Focus presented “Coordinating Sales with Operations.” Lisa Mills of Quick Connections conducted a workshop on “Customer Service Networking,” where participants had to design the important aspects of keeping customers satisfied. Vendors were well represented and participants had an opportunity to view what each had to offer. There were drawings for vendor gifts as well as a general vendor drawing and a 50/50 Raffle.
The last day, focused on “Your Worst Operational Nightmare” with monetary rewards for first, second, and third place. Jack Agati, of Get Ahead Pro Speakers Bureau, kept the audience enthralled with his presentation on “Dealing with Beastly People.”
Presentations were rated as “fabulous” and comments were enthusiastic. Carol Wills of Telephone Answerette Systems in Kansas City , MO said, “This conference was a wonderful experience. I hope to come back next year.” Lamonica Davis-Hair of AMBS Message Center in Jackson , MI said, “The information was insightful and presentations energetic. The people were fun, friendly, and down-to-earth.” Maria Delaney of Medical Bureau of Harrisburg, PA said, “What a wonderful experience!” and Michelle Powas of Rincon Communications Inc. in Tucson , AZ said, “We got a lot of great ideas.” Melissa Mignini of A Personal Answering Service in Baltimore , MD , a prospective member, expressed, “It was delightful and informative. Great group of people.” Vicki Boese of Information Communication Group in Leawood , KS extolled, “I loved everything and I feel I am taking back so much to my company.” Deirdre Mellon of Holy Redeemer Medical Messaging in Meadowbrook , PA said, “I have walked away with important things I need to improve on.” New member, Mary Anne Weaver of Weaver’s Communication Service in Ephrata, PA said, “This was my first experience with the trade association. Can’t wait to start new ideas.”
Donna West of Focus Telemessaging will again chair the program for Convention 2006. It too, will be a Manager/Supervisor Conference and is scheduled for October 16-18. The location has not yet been finalized.
[From Connection Magazine – Jan/Feb 2006]