By Noreen Kaminski
As always, it was a pleasure being with the teleservices community at the recent ATA Washington Summit. The overall Summit far exceeded my expectations. The choice of the Gaylord National Hotel was a stroke of genius – it was great to have shops and restaurants within the hotel in order to accommodate the guests.
Of course, we were not there to just have fun. The sessions and speakers were the best ever. The keynote address on Monday by Jim Kohlenberger, executive director of Jobs4America, really set the tone to kick off the event. As former chief of staff for the White House Office of Science and Technology, he shared some interesting “job facts.” He mentioned that IT drove 85 percent of the job growth in the 90s. He also mentioned that jobs continue to be the top priority in Washington and that 4,000 jobs have been added each month for the past two years. Most importantly, he praised the ATA for their efforts with Jobs4America. At this point, fifty ATA member companies have signed up with the initiative and have committed to provide much-needed employment throughout the contact center industry.
On Tuesday, we heard from Julius Genachowski, chairman of the FCC, who spoke to us about broadband and high-speed Internet and how it affects America’s economic growth, global competitiveness, and most importantly, jobs. He also touched on Jobs4America and the importance of this initiative. Instead of using a podium, the staging of Phil Grudzinski and the chairman in easy chairs having a discussion was quite effective and comfortable for both the speakers and audience.
There was also the opportunity to attend a variety of sessions conducted by several industry experts. Mitch Roth started things off with an update on some of the changes and trends within the federal government. I was fortunate to be able to attend most of the sessions, which were informative and covered topics that are important to the teleservices industry.
The last speaker on Tuesday was Lois Greisman, associate director, Division of Marketing Practices – FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. She updated us on a variety of Do Not Call issues, consumer privacy legislation, fraudulent telemarketing schemes, and “robo call” (prerecorded messages) complaints. The robo call issue is a huge concern to the FTC – complaints are on the rise and currently exceed the total robo call complaints for 2010. Lois asked the ATA and its members for assistance in ridding the industry of those who make these calls illegally.
I was very pleased with the overall ATA Summit experience. I encourage anyone who has not attended an ATA Washington Summit to add it to their to-do list for next year. It is sure to be a memorable and productive experience.
Noreen Kaminski, vice president, Government Affairs and Legislative Compliance, has been with DialAmerica for more than thirty-five years. Noreen’s in-depth knowledge of the operations side of the business as well as her client services experience makes her more than qualified to lead DialAmerica through the complexities of legal and compliance matters.
[From Connection Magazine – December 2011]