The December 2010 Issue of TAS Trader

The 2010 CAM-X Convention Review

By Tom Sheridan, president

As incoming president of CAM-X, I want to thank everyone who attended our joint convention in Las Vegas for their support and participation. We had a great time with over a hundred of our members present. Overall, the session evaluations were quite positive and our speakers and content were well received. Two of the highlights for me were the Gala where our association raised over $50,000 for Breast Cancer and the panel discussion on The Future of Our Industry. John Ratliff is a prince of a guy for publicly having his head shaved, and his company, Appletree, raised $10,000 for the cause before the convention. As a panelist, Brian Gilmore made one of the most positive statements I’ve heard in a while. Basically he said, “To get involved in our industry… join a committee or run for a board… just get involved.” That was great to hear, and Brian expressed it so well during our panel discussion. We have many talented people in our CAM-X organization, all of whom can offer meaningful contributions to our industry.

During the sessions, we learned about “social media” (primarily Facebook and Twitter), and I believe the conclusions reached were:

• It is here to stay, especially with those under twenty-five.
• It is still early in the game for this technology.
• Most of us still have a lot more to learn about it.
• It has great potential to affect our future, how we will do business going forward, and potentially, our future revenue stream.

Another topic that was well received was search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet analytics. This is another area that is evolving and one that most of us need to learn more about in order to hone our skills and understanding within this arena. SEO is a topic that will be covered in greater depth at future CAM-X conventions.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the 2010 convention committee members and to Dan L’Heureux and the folks at WSTA for their participation in planning for and carrying out the 2010 joint convention. Of course, none of it would happen without the convention experience and hard work contributed by Linda Osip and Ida Rowlands. Being convention chair this past year, I had my first real peek behind the curtain, and I received a thorough education about the time and energy it takes to bring together a successful four-day event for a couple of hundred people. Our attendance this year was the best in recent memory, with many first-timers present.

For next year’s convention, Brad French will take over my role as chair. Several of our members have already stepped up and offered to serve on his 2011 Montreal Convention committee. CAM-X is on a roll, our membership is growing, and I am delighted to see our continued success.

CAM-X Raises 50K for Breast Cancer Research

This year, at its Annual Convention & Trade Show held in Las Vegas, Nevada, CAM-X, with the support of both members and vendors, raised an astounding, record-setting $50,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The ever-generous John Ratliff (Appletree Answering Service) not only offered up his lovely locks to be shorn in the “Shave to Save” event, but he also handed over a check for $10,000 – the result of his staff’s fundraising efforts. Before the last lock fell to the floor, another $26,500 was raised to support this worthy cause.

Derek Crisafulli of Icon Salon in Las Vegas generously donated his time and talent to supervise the shave. “I was surprised and proud to be chosen to help out for this worthy cause,” said Derek.

Attendees at the annual fund-raising event were persuaded by Gary Pudles’ (Answernet) awesome auctioneering skills to part with yet another $14,000 before the night was over. “CAM-X members continue to demonstrate their innate philanthropy and generosity by raising a grand total of $50,000 to be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I am so proud – but not at all surprised – at their accomplishment.” said CAM-X executive director Linda Osip.

Amtelco’s John Morley Retires

By Alan Tucker

John Morley, vice president for new product development and senior product developer for Amtelco, retired on September 30. Morley came to Amtelco in March 1979 from the Madison, Wisconsin, city school district, where he taught mathematics and computer science.

His initial assignment was as a documentation writer, producing user and service manuals for the FLC (First Level Concentrator) product. He quickly moved into sales support and customer training, traveling throughout North America for installations, trade shows, and user group meetings.

John eventually gravitated into programming and product development, and he was a major contributor to the development of the Video III system. He served as the principal designer for Amtelco’s landmark EVE (Electronic Video Exchange) system, one of the industry’s first paperless messaging systems. There are still thirty-six EVE systems in operation today, nearly thirty years after its introduction in 1983. “John hit the ball out of the park by a mile!” said Amtelco president Tom Curtin of the development of the EVE system.
John went on to be the tip of the spear in the development of just about every subsequent Amtelco product, from PC-MX, Infinity and eCreator to the Intelligent Series. Most recently,

John was the brains behind the development of the Soft Agent intelligent console application and the Intelligent Series Web Scripting platform. His contributions to Amtelco and its products are so many, so varied, and so crucial that John’s name is listed on the majority of the U.S. patents Amtelco has been awarded.

Bernie Torvik, vice chairman of Amtelco’s board of directors, said, “Amtelco was extremely fortunate to find a person of John’s intelligence, integrity, and dedication. “For more than thirty years, John exemplified the ideas and ideals that Bill Curtin had for his beloved TAS Industry,” Torvik said. “John loved a challenge and never failed to meet the ones he faced in developing better products to meet the changing needs of the TAS industry.”

For more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or email info@amtelco.com.

News

Follow TAS Trader Magazine on Twitter and Facebook
TAS Trader’s new  Facebook page lists  upcoming telephone answering service (TAS) conventions and conferences in the Events  section. The Wall contains notifications of new issues of  TAS Trader and TAS news. There is also a huge photo section – currently containing twenty-three albums – with pictures from many TAS meetings over the years. There is even a discussion section, waiting for the first topic to be posted. Join the growing list of people who “like”  TAS Trader’s  Facebook page.  TAS Trader’s Twitter  account is an extension of their  newsfeed ( updates.tastrader.com ) and Facebook pages, providing a brief summary (with a link) of what has been posted on these two resources.

Time Communications Earns Top Scores for Outstanding Call Center Service
Time Communications of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, received the Call Centre Award of Distinction from the Canadian Call Management Association (CAM-X) for the fourth consecutive year, ranking first.  Furthermore, Time Communications is the only call center that has received top Award  of Distinction scores from both CAM-X  and ATSI (Association of TeleServices  International). Additionally, this year Time Communications received the Award of  Excellence from both CAM-X (fifth year) and ATSI (second year). “Our representatives undergo extensive training to provide the best quality call center service possible,” said Mike Eastwood, Time Communications  general manager. “This award is a testament to the entire staff’s dedication.”

Lee McAteer Elected  to ASTAA Board
Focus Telecommunications announced that Lee McAteer, director of employee  development, was elected to the Atlantic States Telephone Answering Association (ASTAA) board of directors at their recent meeting held in Towson, Maryland. ASTAA is a group of telephone answering service executives  dedicated to the growth of the industry. McAteer, a resident of York, Pennsylvania, has been an employee of Focus Telecommu- nications since 1997. Lee was a presenter at the 2005 ASTAA conference, a speaker for the WSTA (Western States Telemessaging Association) convention in 2006, and is  involved in the production of industry training DVDs. His willingness to share his knowledge makes him a natural for the position.

Harold Holmes Joins Telescan
Harold Holmes has joined Telescan as an applications programmer. Holmes comes from Lincoln Beach Software, where he served as lead programmer for thirteen years. Holmes created dozens of retail products for Web developers and  consumers. His products have won many awards, and he has been recognized for his innovativeness. In 2008, Holmes was  inducted into the Association of Software Professionals Hall of Fame. “Harold brings unique expertise to the Telescan development team,” said Patty Anderson, Telescan’s director of sales and marketing. “He will help Telescan remain an industry leader in technology by developing core products to meet the needs of the twenty-first century.”

Trish Brown Receives 2010 Donald Swift Education  Endowment
Introduced in 2008, the Donald Swift Education Endowment (DSEE) was born of the belief that if an individual was given an opportunity not normally available to them, a motivated personality would deliver amazing results. The award is presented to the person who is deemed to most exemplify the mission statement and values promoted by CAM-X. Trish Brown of Connections Call Centre in Squamish, British Columbia, received the 2010 Donald Swift Education Endowment award and attended her first CAM-X  convention and tradeshow, recently held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. “I was truly honored to be selected,” said Trish.

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[Posted by Peter DeHaan for TAS Trader, a telephone answering service e-publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

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About Peter DeHaan

Peter DeHaan is the president of Peter DeHaan Publishing, Inc., (http://peterdehaanpublishing.com) the publisher and editor of Connections Magazine and AnswerStat, and editor of Article Weekly. Peter DeHaan’s personal website (http://peterdehaan.com) contains information and links to his blogs, newsletter, and social media pages.