2009 ATA Washington Summit Report

The American Teleservices Association (ATA) furthered its state and federal advocacy efforts April 26-29, during the 2009 ATA Washington Summit, the association’s annual three day legislative conference.  An opening night reception kicked off the Summit with nearly 200 new and returning ATA members with an opportunity to network and meet with industry peers.

A full day of events began Monday, April 27, with opening remarks and continued with a panel discussion titled, Our Reality Check — The ATA Self-Regulatory Organization (ATA-SRO). Subsequent to the presentation from Federal Trade Commission representatives, News and Views from the FTC, Tim Searcy, ATA CEO, discussed the industry’s legislative priorities and strategies for the remainder of the year.

“Once again, the success of this year’s ATA Summit has demonstrated why the contact center industry must continue its strong commitment to growth, stability and compliance,” said Tim. “As we prepare for our annual convention in October, members are asking for ongoing presentations and dialogue around the importance of compliant operations and the impact of the ATA-SRO.”

Monday’s sessions ended with a review of Labor Relations in the Contact Center led by Chad Richter, Labor Law and Relations Attorney for Jackson Lewis and Mark Boyd, CEO for Goodwill Industries-NJ & Philadelphia.

The events Tuesday began with breakfast and advice on lobbying from retired Congressman David Evans.  The keynote address, Procurement of Government Contracts for Call Centers, presented by Paul Karch, Founder and Chairman of Gardant Global received high marks.  The day continued with several discussion panels; Compliance Officer’s Forum, Realities of Federal and State Compliance, and Building a Culture of Compliance in the Corporate Environment.

As is now tradition at ATA national events, the ATA Political Action Committee (ATA-PAC) hosted a fundraiser and a legislative reception.  The ATA-PAC successfully raised over $10,000 to support its year-round advocacy efforts.  A separate legislative reception was held where attendees had an opportunity to share concerns and open lines of communication among contact center leaders and legislative guests; Rep. John Shimkus, Rep. Tim Murphy, Sen. Ben Nelson, and Sen. Jim DeMint.

On Wednesday, business professionals responded to the call-to-action from David Plate, CEO for the American Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services.  David gave an inspirational presentation that encouraged ATA members to remain engaged in a more meaningful way in the communities where their contact centers are located.  Participants committed themselves to further the philanthropic efforts of the ATA’s Call Centers CARE initiative by assisting two non-profit organizations, DC Thrive and DC Kitchen.

[Submitted by ATA]

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Connections Magazine. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.  Read more of his articles at PeterDeHaanPublishing.com.

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