Interview with ATSI Convention Chair, Marcy Hewlett

Connections Magazine: Marcy, congratulations on being named chair of the 2006 ATSI convention. What is in store for attendees at this year’s convention?

Marcy Hewlett: It has been a lot of fun getting ready for this convention. Our committee has worked hard at making this one of the best ATSI Learning by Association (LBA)  conventions yet. I know that St. Louis will be hard to beat, but we are giving it our best shot.

This year’s convention is centered on revisiting the best presentations of past conventions. We have Barry Elms speaking about Negotiations and the Art of Getting Paid, Walt Slaughter on Creating Client Commitment, Snowden McFall on Marketing with Low Cost Solutions, Martin Ween on Protecting Your Businesses from Liability Claims, Betty Porter on Employee Retention, John Ratliff on Delivering Service Excellence, and Larry Goldenberg on Pricing. These are all speakers who have presented in the past and who had scored highly on the speaker surveys for both presentation and topic.

We are also incorporating new topics. An open panel discussion, led by Dee Hawkins, Sharon Grossman, Gary Pudles, and John Ratliff will focus on Remote Operators issues, such as where to find them, training, monitoring, legal ramifications, and how to determine whether remote operators are best for your call center. Kevin Bachelor will be leading a discussion on what qualifications to look for when hiring a technician. We will also host a Lite Wireless Data Shootout presented by the American Association of Paging Companies (AAPC) that will demonstrate the latest technical advances in the paging and wireless communications industry and how it affects the way we provide service to our clients. Also, Donna West and Linda Osip will be discussing ways to achieve Top Ops Scoring in the Award of Excellence program.

Connections Magazine: What is the convention theme?

Marcy: Since this year’s convention is being held in Portland, Maine, our tag line is 2006 ATSI Learning by Association: The Maine Event — Port of Calls. All decorations will be centered on the beautiful State of Maine and its wonderful scenery – especially the lighthouses.

Connections: What will be new or different from past conventions?

Marcy: We have actually worked harder at carrying over the success of last year’s St. Louis convention. We are committed to making this convention both informative and affordable. Our early registration fee will once again be kept low at $399.00. We also spent a lot of time developing the LBA Pavilion – the informal learning center found in our Expo hall. This year this area will offer a scheduled series of speakers from within our membership. The LBA Pavilion will also be open after each speaker’s presentation for carry over discussions or questions not answered during the regular session. Lastly, we will again be presenting our LBA Sharing Award to the member or members voted by their peers as sharing the most valuable ideas via lists serve discussions for the previous year.

Connections: I understand the Portland is a wonderful city, what are some highlights that readers might want to know about?

Marcy: Portland is a truly great little city, full of New England charm. The Old Port area is packed with artisan shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, and clubs. The working waterfront hosts cruises, fishing boats, restaurants, and beautifully scenic views. Plus, Portland is a great jumping off spot for day trips to outlet shopping and the L.L. Bean Factory store in Freeport, the beaches of Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, and Old Orchard Beach. Or you can take in the spectacular Maine coast by driving up Route 1 through beautiful villages like Camden and Boothbay Harbor up to the bustle of Bar Harborand the ferry terminal to Nova Scotia.

One of the highlights of our convention will be the Lobster Bake benefiting the Education Foundation. Registration will include a trip to Pearl Island where ATSI and vendors will sponsor an old fashioned Maine Lobster Bake.

One of the reasons Portland was chosen is for its comfortable summer climate and beautiful scenic views.

Connections: Why should someone consider attending this convention?

Marcy: In addition to what I’ve already shared, there will be multiple opportunities provided for education, networking, relaxation, and information. This is the one place that gathers teleservice companies from across the industry, across equipment platforms, and range of services. Nowhere else can attendees get such a broad scope of ideas and information.

Connections: Do you have any closing comments?

Marcy: Yes. There are no excuses not to be there.  It is affordable and informative; the climate is excellent and it’s family friendly and fun!

For more information, email or call 866-896-2874.

[From Connection Magazine April 2006]