COFFEE TALK WITH WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
Women in Leadership: it's a hot topic for employers, and for December's Virtual Luncheon, we've got a panel of female leaders for a discussion you WON'T want to miss!
Join us as we highlight the unique challenges women face in the contact center industry, women and mentorship, female empowerment, and breaking down barriers to success to smash our goals.
In addition to this FREE virtual luncheon, we are asking for Voluntary Donations be made to Hope Alliance, a local non-profit whose mission is to assist those whose lives have been affected by family and sexual violence by providing safety, services and developing partnerships that lead to hope, healing, and prevention. For more information about the organization, check out their website at: https://www.hopealliancetx.org/.
Also, ACCA Industry Partner, Kelly Services, is matching up to $500 to support Hope Alliance. If you would like to set up a donation, please select this link and in the comment section ACCA.
We are honored and thrilled to introduce this esteemed panel of female leaders for this highly interactive session:
Eileen Edwards (Moderator): Eileen Edwards was born and raised in Wisconsin but has lived in Texas for 27 years. She feels that after 27 years in Texas she is now qualified to be called a Texan!
Eileen earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from LeTourneau University and her career has been in Call Center Leadership for over 25 years. Eileen’s current role is with TML Health where she leads the Customer Care Team as Customer Care Manager for the organization.
Eileen’s career experience has been in Quality Programs, Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Results, Sales, Customer Service, Inbound and Outbound calling, Training, Tactical/Strategic projects and Leadership.
Eileen loves leading teams in a call center environment because every day is different. Call Centers are fun environments where she has built many long lasting friendships and valuable relationships over the years. She loves the call center world because every day is a combination of managing projects, coaching and developing employees, leading strategic planning initiatives and interacting with a diverse group of people and departments.
Eileen’s heart lies in developing and empowering her employees to become future leaders.
Eileen lives in Austin with her husband Dennis, their 13- year old adopted dog Buddy and two chickens – affectionately called “The Girls”. In Eileen’s rare spare time, she loves to read, shop, travel, try new restaurants and spend time with friends and family.
Renee Odunayia: Renee is the Director of Client Services at ModSquad, Inc. She has been on both sides of the table as a vendor and the client side, which has benefitted her greatly in her career as she has an in-depth understanding of client needs and what they need to deliver. She fell into the contact center world doing tech support, working her way up into QA and supervisory roles where she built a strong relationship with Microsoft. She led the offshore vendor management team at EA, overseeing their chat development efforts, and traveled the world in that role, building her reputation as both an ops and vendor management leader. She oversees all North America client relationships for ModSquad, and she believes that success in any pursuit starts with a solid relationship. Renee is also a new board member of ACCA.
Maria Rogers-Cooper: Maria is currently the Global Employee Experience Manager at AMD. Maria is a solution-focused leader with a history of developing and implementing innovative, tailored programs to elevate employee performance, develop top talent, and achieve strategic business goals.
Maria has been recognized for her creative problem solving, a bias for action, and an inherent ability to influence and collaborate cross-functionally for the success of the team.
LaWanda James: LaWanda is a native of San Antonio, Texas; she currently serves as a Contact Center Manager for Visa DPS Risk in Austin, TX. Along with managing her direct reports, she also oversees the SME program that aids the training department and Spearheads a few of the Employee Engagement Rewards and Recognition programs. She is a loving wife and mother to 5 amazing children ages; 18, 16, 14, 12, 6 months old and a 3-year-old Yorkie.
She was previously a Retention Supervisor at Time Warner Cable where she spent 10+ years within the Outbound and Inbound Retention departments. LaWanda started her leadership journey while serving in the United States Army. In 2010, she obtained her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Texas A&M San Antonio and is currently working on her Master’s in Leadership and Management through Western Governor’s University.
LaWanda has led many successful initiatives ranging from Revenue Driven incentives to Employee Engagement morale boosters. Her dedication to being a servant leader has been her constant foundation in her efforts to lead others.
LaWanda’s favorite quote from her favorite author Dr. Maya Angelou is; “If you don’t like something change it, if you can’t change it, change your attitude. While LaWanda is a strong believer in hard work, she also stands by the importance of a healthy work life balance.
Most recently read books: “The Energy Bus” ~Jon Gordon and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”Favorite Books: “The Startup of You” Reid Hoffman “I know why the Caged Bird sings” Dr. Maya Angelou
Nicole Earnshaw: Nicole is the Vice President of Global Success at Alorica, Inc. With over 25 years in the industry, she has held many roles within Client Solutions, Project Management and Customer Experience. While working her way up within the contact center, she found her passion in Project Management. She leveraged those fundamentals to build a new business implementation and change management strategy while at Harte Hanks. Nicole has a long history of success in managing key client accounts because of her relationship building and her focus on the details. While she was often told throughout her career that her approach was too tactical, she feels you’ll never win a seat at the table if you can’t do the basics right in this industry. As a result, she held her ground on the level of focus she has put into each role. Her passion lies with doing things right the first time. In her current role at Alorica, one of her responsibilities is creating a Deal Strategy Plan for new logo wins. The plan serves as a bridge from the win of new business to the PMO Project Lead, Client Solutions, Operations and all support functions. The objective of the plan is to set the team up for operational & financial success through specific risk mitigation planning on the contract that was just awarded. Nicole has found success in her career through hard work, learning from the experts, asking the tough questions and not being afraid to have those difficult discussions with clients when needed. The best relationships you build in this industry are with those that you can be transparent with.
Juanita Castelan: Juanita started her career as an agent with Time Warner Cable before the Charter merger. When she first came on board, she was part of the billing/customer care department. Juanita had the opportunity to spend six years in Customer Care, which she believes laid a foundation for her future growth. In 2007, Juanita transitioned to the Sales team as a Lead. Within the year with the sales team, she was able to transition into a leadership role as the first Retention Supervisor of the Austin team. During her time as a Retention Supervisor, Juanita was able to pilot a few programs for the Austin Retention team. She participated in the Work From Home initiative, New Hire training, Outsourcer Support and assisting with the transition to Charter in the Call Center. Once Juanita had maximized her skills in the Supervisor capacity, she decided to start her transition into the Retention Manager role. In 2017, Juanita was promoted to the role of Retention Manager, where she has had the privilege of leading a group of 6 supervisors and 65 agents.
On a personal level, Juanita has a wonderful husband who has been her support system through all the changes and challenges. Juanita also has two wonderful sons who support and challenge her every step of the way. Juanita has said “ I couldn’t do what I do every day without them cheering me on along the way.”