2018 Fall Symposium

September 14, 2017   |   UT Commons Conference Center   |   7:30AM-4:30 PM


The Impact of Contact Centers on Austin's Economy

How will the economy shape up in 2016? What role does our industry play in the local economy? The Austin Chamber of Commerce will kick off the opening general session with current economic data and other interesting facts about the Austin Area Contact Center industry.

OPENING KEYNOTEUnleashing Your Leadership Super Powers | Darlene Templeton



10:00 AM Workshops

 Leadership In Doubt | Jae Knowlton | Author
Are you comfortable with your weaknesses? How do you feel about admitting them to others? Do you spend enough time looking in the mirror?  In this informative and challenging workshop, the speaker shares personal lessons learned over 20 years in his professional journey as a contact center executive: the good, the bad and the transparently ugly. According to Mr. Knowlton, one of the leaders most indispensable and under-developed roles is that of Storyteller, and the Leadership In Doubt workshop draws from pivotal stories over the course of the author's career as a call center leader for a large international concern. Storytelling is not only an integral part of bringing your organizations strategic vision to life for your team, its essential to their capacity to relate to you as someone who has experienced the same kinds of challenges and struggles they have.  An hour’s not nearly enough time to explore deep questions of leadership but it’s a great start!

The speaker describes himself as “Just an EOL – an Everyday Ordinary Leader” who learned many painful lessons in the the trenches of middle management.  He sent 20 years as a call center professional which he describes as "a profession rich with opportunities to learn lessons about yourself and about leading others towards a common purpose".  His book, Leadership IN Doubt is available on Amazon.com  amazon.com/author/jaeknowlton
  • Author of Leadership In Doubt, the story of my personal leadership journey and the integration of my faith and work lives
  • Six Sigma-certified project manager, responsible for completion of numerous projects including IVR expansion and marketing partner support  |  Blog: https://leadershipindoubt.wordpress.com/  
The Quality Conversation | Brad Baumunk | President & COO | Robert C. Davis and Associates
Learn about an approach to driving desired results in contact centers (and in your professional and personal life) based on a proven methodology called The Quality Conversation. Based on the book The Quality Conversation by Robert C. Davis and Associates founder and CEO Bob Davis, this workshop will cover robust call flows, floor management strategies, continuous improvement processes and human relations centered on a meaningful and mutually rewarding dialog that occurs when a person takes and clearly conveys a genuine interest in another individual’s wants, interests, and needs. The approach goes beyond building rapport to show genuine interest and care for others, make an emotional connection and establish real trust. Applying it has driven dramatic gains in sales, customer and employee retention, the customer experience, Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Voice of the Customer (VOC) among others. Discover how The Quality Conversation can do the same for your organization.

Brad Baumunk joined Robert C Davis and Associates (RCDA) as a senior consultant in January 2014 and quickly rose through the ranks to COO and is now President and COO. He oversees day-to-day operations for RCDA and has direct responsibility for client services and new business development.  With a proven track record of more than 26 years in the contact center environment, he has broad experience across industries including insurance, entertainment, telecom, healthcare and merchandising, and he has led diverse workforces on-shore and off-shore across multiple locations. Coupled with an extensive knowledge of call center technology, his skill sets lead clients to maximum productivity and profitability.   Bradley is a versatile customer care leader and holds a BSBA in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His associations include Leadership Harlingen Class XXI (Class President), Harlingen Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors; and the Harlingen Area Education Foundation Board of Directors. More about RCDA http://robertcdavis.net 

Broken Trust and Fractured Teams-5 Actions to Remarkable Teamwork| Scott Carley |GrowthDynamic

When trust is broken on a team, the flow of productivity crumbles, the atmosphere is tense and the return is marginal. But when trust is Remarkable, the flow of productivity is quick, the atmosphere is vivacious and the return is extraordinary.  

In this fast paced and interactive workshop, Your team will learn the simple but powerful steps to radically repair and foster genuine trusted relationships at work and at home.  Scott will illustrate the four core competencies of Trust: Intent, Integrity, Capabilities and Results.  Then using work-life scenarios, he teaches the 13 Trust Behaviors outlined in Stephen Covey’s book; Speed of Trust.  They are…Talk Straight, Demonstrate Respect, Create Transparency, Right Wrongs, Show Loyalty and eight other trust behaviors. Finally you have a solution!  Takeaways include:  

  • The Power of Remarkable Trust in Teamwork
  • The Five Actions to Remarkable Teamwork
  • 14 Trust Accelerators
  • Specific Office Applications    
  • Role-Play Activities & Group Collaboration

Scott Carley is a NSA / VISTAGE Speaker and Executive Coach. He is a natural born storyteller.  He is an articulate and animated communicator. When he speaks, audiences listen, learn and laugh!   Scott used his trust-building skills to lead his organizations to the top 2% internationally.  His energetic and approachable mannerism put the team at ease and creates a willingness to participate.  He will pull answers from members who have hit a mental block!  The group discussion, questions and worksheets are an integral part of his presentation.  GrowthDynamic.com

11:15 AM Workshops

Elevate Customer and Professional Communication through Core Values 

Michelle C. López, MBA | Director, Corporate Learning Randall Holahan, Program Manager  & Corporate Facilitator| LegalZoom 

According to Anne Loehr, Huffington Post blogger, "Values give us our sense of purpose. On a leadership level, when we align with our values on a daily basis, we have more energy and feel more fulfilled because we are leading from what’s important to us. When we don’t align with our values, we feel less authentic and become demotivated about our daily lives, which reflects in our leadership." Others state that understanding ones values is the start of understanding how to achieve true happiness in life.  In this fast-paced, highly interactive workshop, we will look at how we lead with our values and use this information to improve interactions with our leaders, employees, customers.  We address two (2) principles:

  1. As an individual, I should know my core values and have the ability to easily articulate them to others, regardless of who I am addressing

  2. In a job interview my core values should the inform the discussion, whether I’m applying to a new company or trying to fill a role on my team

 Participants should expect to walk away with a tool they can use at work or at home to:

  • Listen and identify Customer’s core values based on interactions with them
  • Identify and understand your team member’s values and how to reward them in ways that are meaningful to them
  • Sharing and living your values so that your team knows your motivations as a leader and holds you accountable to act consistent with those core values
  • Share your values with your managers so that he/she knows how to reward and recognize you

Next Generation Contact Center| Panel discussion

Contact Centers are changing fast driven by the ever increasingly critical role they hold within the enterprise, and our Austin Contact Centers are leveraging new ideas and technology to meet the demands. These changes are not without risks, and our panelists are seasoned professionals that have lived this journey, and we are excited to have them share “real life” experiences with how transformational ideas within leadership and technology can improve retention, agent productivity, and the overall customer experience.

John Kenny | CIO, SVP of Technology | rateGenius

John Kenny

John leads the technology group at RateGenius which is a nationwide, web-based vehicle refinance loan broker.   The company has a contact center with nearly 200 agents helping to match customers with over 150 lenders across the country.  John has spent most of his career in the Financial industry delivering custom point of sale and CRM systems.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas and Texas Christian University.  During his career, he has consulted with Price Waterhouse Coopers and led the technology functions at Cash America & EZCorp.

Michael Villarreal | IT Director | Blue Apron

Michael Villarreal, PMP, ITILMichael leads the Austin technology group and Contact Center at Blue Apron which is a nationwide, subscription delivery service where you cook incredible meals from scratch at home.   The company has a contact center in Austin growing to over 400 agents helping to support their customers, growers, and distribution.  Mr. Villareal is a graduate of the University of Texas.  During his Austin tenure & career, he has worked with IBC Bank, Spredfast, and Business Ink in addition to Blue Apron.

Jenifer Jackson | Director of Customer Success | Reachforce

Jen JacksonCurrently Director of Customer Success, Jen Jackson has been in the contact center vertical since she joined Dell right out of high school. She quickly rose through the ranks and has streamlined contact center functionality in a variety of technology conglomerates as well as start-ups, giving her a broad perspective on what it takes to make a contact center environment of any size effective. Leadership by example is Jen’s forte; by connecting with her employees personally, Jen is able to learn what’s important to each team member and can ensure that there is a clear and strong career path within the organization. Jen clearly communicates the importance of work/life balance, resulting in continued loyalty, significantly reduced turnover, and a genuinely authentic culture.

Zach Jones | Contact Center Technology Solutions | Simplify Corp.

Zach JonesZach Directs the contact center practice at Simplify, an IT consulting company that works with over 200+ enterprise clients supporting all levels of IT infrastructure with a considerable focus on emerging contact center solutions that drive productivity, efficiency and cost control. Simplify™ serves as a liaison between its clients and almost all of the major service providers in the industry today driven to make their clients' impossibly complex business reality become simpler, more cost effective and completely transparent so they can leverage the industry with a best-practices approach throughout the ongoing communications lifecycle.

Jeremy Franklin | Director |Service Center with Austin Radiological Association

Jeremy Franklin, Contact Center Director for Austin Radiological Association responsible leading a 65 seat center supporting patient scheduling for the organization. Jeremy leads based on the core belief that efficiency is universal – everyone has something to share and areas to improve on. From a strategic perspective, Jeremy’s experience in early roles in customer service, as well as managing the technical infrastructure of the contact center, supports a more holistic understanding of the impacts of the wrong KPIs. Jeremy rose through the ranks within a diverse base of companies ranging from Computer Science Corp. (CSC), Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the London Borough of Newham, bringing with him a unique perspective that ranges from a leading edge technology services provider, a frenetic pace of one of the nation’s largest public metro transportation networks and the cultural contrast of managing a center within local government in the U.K.

1:15 PM Workshops

JD Power 2015 Drivers of Customer Satisfaction  | Mark Miller | JD Power

J.D. Power and Associates is a leading global marketing information services company that conducts independent consumer surveys of product and service quality, customer satisfaction, and buyer behavior. Each year, J.D. Power interacts with millions of consumers around the world to better understand their opinions, perceptions, and expectations about a variety of products and services.

In this presentation, Mark unveils the current research about customer satisfaction including:

  • What customers really care about
  • Why who you know is more important than what you know
  • The three dynamics changing the role of the call center

Mark leads global strategy and market development for the Contact Center Practice at J.D. Power and Associates including the Certified Call Center program, the Certified Technology Service and Support program and contact center performance improvement consulting. He has 20 years of experience in sales, operations and customer experience improvement - several with Fortune 500 companies and large foreign-based service providers. 

True Colors of Customer Service | Stephanie Blanck M.Ed.

Are you curious about your own unique personality style? Is there someone in your life you would like to understand or get along with better? Would you like to find out how others see you? True Colors® is a practical and easy to apply model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament. Understanding the distinctive ways in which different personalities approach communication is key to success in all you do.  Before you can give great customer service, you need to have self-awareness in your own style of responding to others. By using "color", one is better able to understand and connect with the different styles and needs as opposed to the use of technical formulas, symbols, or numbers.  In this fun and interactive session of True Colors, you will be given a hint as to your own temperament, style and needs for success and in turn some insight into your customers, clients, and colleagues.   Participants will learn:

  • your individual color style    
  • methods for helping you succeed with people who have a different Color style  
  • How to prioritize and spend time on what matters

Ms. Blanck became a certified True Colors Trainer due to her need to understand and work effectively with a wide variety of people in her career.  She began her career working for the Bell County Cooperative for Exceptional Children while living in Austin.  In 1986 she became a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) for the Georgetown Independent School District. During her career, she volunteered throughout the county with the police department and nonprofits that focused on the needs of children. In 2009 she began her own consulting business, IEP Associates specializing in leadership development for professionals across the country.

Stephanie attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology. She attended Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos for her Masters and her class was one the first pioneers in School Psychology. She serves on numerous boards including the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of Georgetown, Georgetown Area Junior Forum, Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau Board and is the founder of the Junior Leadership Georgetown program.  She lives in Georgetown with Michael, her husband of 37 years and has 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

2:30 PM Workshops

Creative Problem Solving | Ron Safarik

Is your company burdened with too many solutions to problems? Stuck with an endless supply of new product ideas? Is morale too high (again)?  If so, this is a good presentation to skip!

The truth is, most organizations struggle with finding creative solutions to everyday challengesCreative Problem Solving, presented by Ron Safarik, uses humorous stories, anecdotes and historical examples to help you and your colleagues break through the mental blocks that limit your thinking. Ron will awaken the creativity in all of us (yes all of us!) and show us techniques that will improve brainstorming sessions, empower staff, and lead to a happier, more productive work environment. Expect an engaging session that will enable you to bring new focus to your personal and professional goals!  Here’s What Past Attendees Are Saying:

  • Very entertaining…a powerful message!
  • I've seen this several times and its never the same!
  • Ron is a very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and interesting presenter, who passionately believes in his message!
  • Ron tapped into a reservoir of my brain that I have not used for a while.
  • Creative and entertaining – Ron really thinks outside the box!
  • His very open and humorous style made it fun! 

About Ron: Whether climbing 1000 foot sheer cliffs, running over 62 miles in a day or challenging his audiences to think outside the box, Ron is a high touch example of how to find creative solutions for common challenges.  With over 20 years experience in the market research, insurance and financial services industries working for leading companies such as A.C. Neilson, Farm Bureau Insurance, The Principal Financial Group, Conseco, and Fringe Benefit Group, Ron Safarik has seen and done it all. He’s led nearly every type of market research, new product development, process improvement, customer service and retention initiative imaginable, and now brings his insight, expertise and engaging humor to audiences around the region. 

The Magic of Change: The Illusion, The Excitement, The Reward | Tom Brittion | Speaker with the Magic Touch!

Nothing impacts productivity or stands in the way of reaching goals more than fear of change.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Knowing what to change and when to change it can make the difference between success or failure.  Using a touch of magic, speaker/author Tom Britton will spark new ideas about Change and Serving Customers and employees in new ways. Takeaways include:

  • Knowing when to CHANGE and when to HANG in there
  • Using the illusion of Change to delight your customers
  • The 3 Faces of CHANGE. Which one are you?
  • Changing from better to best and reaping the rewards – The “OREO” Technique

Tom Britton is a magical speaker and author of business book, The Magic of Change.   His diverse career includes 7 years as a successful bank president, 2 years as a contact center manager and now Full-time professional speaker. More about Tom  http://www.tombritton.com

Managing Workplace Stress | D’Andra Marquez | Dale Carnegie
According to a study done by Ernst & Young, 24% of U.S. employees said their work-life balance is getting tougher to manage. As family members and employees we have many different responsibilities that need our attention. The challenge is understanding where the balance is so that we don’t add unwanted stress to our lives.

In this dynamic workshop, you will discover the key areas that drive success for people and choose your areas of focus.  We will look at principles to help us manage stress, and put a plan together to help us maintain work/life balance. Lastly, we will discuss how to build others through recognition to create and maintain a positive work environment in 2017.   You won’t want to miss this opportunity to set goals and recharge! 

Presentation: Find Work-Life Balance in 2017 ACCA.pdf

Diandra is a dynamic trainer and account manager at Dale Carnegie Training of both Austin and Houston. Over the last 3 years she has worked with numerous community associations around the Austin area in helping these groups understand the importance of human relations and communication in the workplace. She has also provided corporate solutions training for Dell, VMware, Round Rock Independent School District and more in leadership, communication, presentations and stress management.

Diandra received a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing at Texas Woman’s University where she also was on the women’s basketball team. During her time there she was able to commit her time to different volunteering opportunities. She also has a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from Texas State University. Her commitment to the Austin Children’s Services has been a passion or her and she has served as a member of the ACS Guild Volunteer program for 3 years.


Thanks to our Symposium Sponsors:

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P.O. Box 14300, Austin, TX 78761-43  |  email: info@austincontactcenter.org 

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