Join ACCA for our Fall Symposium on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at the JJ Pickle Research Center in North Austin! Fall Symposium is ACCA’s premier annual event and a full-day conference that unites industry leaders, dynamic speakers, and state-of-the-art resources for contact center professionals in Central Texas.
What you can expect:
A full day of exciting, relevant programming
The latest industry trends and emerging technology
Learn how to position yourself and your organization for long-term success
Networking and mingling with industry leaders
A TON of fun!
If this is your first time joining us at Symposium, welcome! For our returning members and guests, glad to have you back! We’re so excited to host you.
For 2019, we are offering FOUR programming tracks for attendees:
For the first time EVER, we will also have an Interactive Demo Lab featuring the latest industry technology and trends as well as a Coaching Bar for emerging leaders!
Please also join us the day before the event on Sept. 11 for a day of interactive training workshops at LegalZoom! There will be two sessions: a Real Colors Temperaments Training in the morning and Coaching in Color: A Coaching & Mentoring Workshop in the afternoon. Join us for one or both sessions: details and registration coming soon!
Follow the Symposium conversation by using the hashtags #ACCAFS2019 and #Austin_ACCA !
Interested in becoming an ACCA sponsor and getting your product/service directly in front of your target audience? Reach out to become a Symposium exhibitor and/or sponsor! Booth and table-top exhibit spaces are available: contact us to apply and learn more!
Above all, the ACCA Fall Symposium is a day of professional development and FUN: interactive seminars, innovative ways to make your job easier, awesome speakers, great food, and networking with the best in the industry.
Early Registration BEFORE AUGUST 18 -$100.00 - REGISTER HERE
Registration after August 18 - $150.00 (ACCA Members) / $200.00 (future members)
Day of Event On-Site Registration - $175.00 (ACCA Members / $225.00 (future members)
We look forward to seeing everyone at Fall Symposium this September!
OPENING KEYNOTE: Jeff Toister
Hidden Obstacles to Outstanding Customer Service
It seems like customer service should be obvious: however, research reveals that event customer service professionals face hidden or even counterintuitive obstacles that make it difficult to serve customers at the highest level.
This highly engaging keynote session shares several common examples that affect all of us. The audience will learn through a blend of fun experiential activities, real-life stories, and cutting-edge research.
Participants will learn: hidden obstacles to outstanding customer service how to identify these challenges in the workplace tools to help you and your employees overcome these obstacles
Jeff Toister is the author of 3 customer service books including, Getting Service Right: Overcoming the Hidden Obstacles to Customer Service.
More than 140,000 people on 6 continents have taken one of his training programs on LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com).
Jeff is a member of ICMI's Top 50 Contact Center Thought Leaders on Twitter and a Global Gurus Top 30 worldwide customer service professional.
In 2017, Feedspot named his Inside Customer Service blog one of the top 50 customer service blogs on the planet.
Jeff is passionate about training and is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance.
The Journey of Implementing Workforce Management
Staniscia Woolridge-Holmes, affectionately called "Stan", is the Workforce Analytics Manager at LegalZoom. A workforce management professional with over 16 years experience, she has held nearly every support role imaginable in a contact center from agent to telephony administrator.
Helping contact centers work efficiently while providing best in class service is her passion: Stan implemented a thriving workforce management program at LegalZoom that is helping the business optimize their workforce to not only reach but exceed goals on a consistent basis.
Diversity and Inclusion Panel
Sheila Dunlap, Rúben Cantú, Angela Shaw, Bill Hopkins, and Felicia Johnson
Moderator: Sheila Dunlap
About Sheila: Shelia Dunlap has worked at Trellis Corporation, formerly Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation for over 35 years. In her leadership role as Director of Operations, she has vast experience in customer service, collections and contact center operations.
Shelia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Southern University (Baton Rouge, LA).
Panelist: Rubén Cantú
About Rubén: Rubén Cantú is a first-generation college graduate raised in East Austin as a son of immigrants. He holds a B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from the Moody College of Communications and an M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business, both from TheUniversity of Texas at Austin.He has founded various startups and as a social entrepreneur, his ambitions are focused on establishing a platform through media and entrepreneurship that allows society to reflect on its condition and spur progressive change.
Panelist: Angela Shaw
About Angela: Angela Shaw is an accomplished HR professional. She leads the human resources function in an amazing organization every day, teaches an Essentials of HR class at Austin Community College, and is a dedicated servant leader in the volunteer HR community.Angela believes in walking the talk therefore, as an advocate speaks up every chance she gets in supporting everyone to activate their power for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Panelist: Bill Hopkins
About Bill: William E. "Bill" Hopkins focuses his law practice at Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton LLP on defending and protecting health care providers and health care professionals in matters of Administrative law, Regulatory Defense and Litigation. Mr. Hopkins has also spoken at the local, regional and national level regarding licensure, compliance and enforcement matters. He obtained his law degree from the University of TexasSchool of Law in 1995. With regard to Diversity, Mr. Hopkins has always been at the forefront of the issue, pushing for change in the legal industry. He has served as a Hiring Partner in Charge of Recruiting for a past law firm and addressed diversity issues.
Panelist: Felicia Johnson
About Felicia: Felicia Johnson is the Founder and Managing Director of The Gatson Group, a Diversity & Inclusion consulting firm specializing in translating diversity & inclusion strategic goals into practical results. In addition to strategy development and execution, Felicia also offers online training and in-person customized workshops on topics including Principles of Inclusive Leadership, Unconscious Bias, Winning Strategies for Effective Recruiting and Retention, and Leveraging Inclusion for Business Success.
Creative Problem Solving
Is your company burdened with too many solutions to problems? An endless supply of new product ideas? Is morale too high(again)? If so, this is a good presentation to skip!
About Ron: Whether climbing 1,000 foot cliffs or managing a contact center, Ron Safarik takes on many challenges. 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. Ron has over 30years’ 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, World Insurance and the Fringe Benefit group. At FringeBenefit Group, he is responsible for the customer experience including managing their contact center.
Leading With Authenticity
Lead with authenticity to inspire and connect to your employees! Instead of short caller interactions based on a goal, leaders must manage long-term relationships with employees who differ in personality, communication style, priorities, and values.
How can a leader consistently motivate and influence many different kinds of people every day? In this session, learn how authentic leadership uniquely influences people to connect with you, develop skills in authentic communication through practice, and learn communication skill-building exercises that can be used with your management team.
About David: David Staab is a communication coach and trainer in workplace leadership skills. He has over a decade of experience in customer-service roles and leading teams of client-facing service people. He is driven to deeply understand how people create trusting relationships and navigate conflict effectively. He is a regular speaker and writer on topics of communication and workplace culture. In his free time, he volunteers with a nonprofit to build public workshops on authenticity and relationship skills.
Hiring Best Practices, Coaching, and Onboarding for Contact Center Environments
Finding the right talent can be one of the most challenging and exciting jobs a person can do. All too often, leaders hire for skill and terminate for behavior. A Credible Leader pays attention to making the right hire, onboarding effectively, communicating consistently, and giving feedback and coaching to keep employees motivated and productive. During this presentation, participants will learn about proven interviewing practices, onboarding strategies to create seamless experiences for new employees, and keeping feedback and listening flowing for the life cycle of the employee.
About Bob: Bob Lewis has more than 25 years of experience in leadership and management coaching and training, public education, human resources and leadership and management training. He has worked extensively to help corporations and organizations develop talent management processes, including behavioral interviewing, coaching and counseling employees, setting up mentoring programs, building leadership assessment tools, identifying and developing strengths, developing and implementing leadership programs and certifications, and employee retention and exit strategies. He has developed and delivered these training workshops to state and federal government, national and local corporations and educational entities throughout the United States.
Energize Your Workforce
How can we keep our employees engaged and productive amid constant change? In this session, you will learn how to energize your staff, refine your communication skills, improve teamwork, and creative a positive work environment through the principles of improv and 'on your feet' exercises. Learn how to get your team to connect, support, and adapt on the fly, building bridges in the workplace with kindness, laughter, and inspiration.
About Melissa: Melissa Love is the founder of Everybody Up! She has over 20 years of pedal-to-the floor experience working with companies nationwide such as Apple, Samsung and Expedia. Figuring out a way to get things done, work around obstacles and find opportunities for growth for her clients and employees has been her life-long mission. Sticky client situations are her specialty as working the front lines with clients has prepared her to bob, weave and hit any problem head on. She now combines her leadership and communication skills with applied improvisation tools to help businesses encourage individuality and vulnerability in the workplace. Melissa’s programs include team building, employee engagement programs, networking and public speaking workshops.
Finding the Right Tech to Solve Your Problems
Is your organization getting the most out of your venders? Join Alan Forster and learn about how your organization can maximize your procurement with a key balance on gaining the best pricing and the performance with the Top 5 Top Critical Areas where your organization can impact change.
About Alan: Alan Forster defines success through delivering value for the organizations that he serves. His approach ensures that the success of all parties concerned are aligned.
Based in Central Texas, Alan’s current and past clients span commercial business, state & local government, education and non-profit sectors. He currently serves a diverse set of organizations as a volunteer and professional leader.
Alan is a past multi-year board member of the Austin Contact Center Alliance. He has been engaged in the design, implementation and maintenance of major contact centers and critical infrastructure for 30+ years. He isa n advisor to Contact Center leadership teams as they leverage the latest technology solutions to deliver world class value for the missions that they serve.
From Front-Line Warriors to Leaders, Regardless of Title
Michelle López, Founder and CEO of P.E.A.R.L. Paragon Consulting, LLC, is a devout learning enthusiast! For over 30 years, she has recognized the power of the human spirit and has a knack for seeing what people typically don’t see in themselves. Her why is to help create a world where others see their potential and discover their why so they can live a life of meaning every day without question, doubt, or apology. She is a passionate entrepreneur, motivational speaker, facilitator and coach who finds new ways to create palpable landscapes in which individuals can choose to be empowered and equipped with a mindset and an arsenal of tools to vivaciously thrive in whatever area of life they choose to cast their nets.
Michelle currently serves as the Senior Director of Learning and Development where she lives out her why every day. She has had the honor to work with many LegalZoom learning enthusiasts. Together, they have contributed to growing LegalZoom into a Learning Organization through the development of LegalZoom University. Her external focus is on facilitating that same type of awakening in organizations in which they can clearly see that a balanced formula to a healthy bottom line is directly tied to their number one most valuable asset–their human capital.
The Future of CX in the Call Center
In today’s consumer-conscious world, what’s the only thing between your customers and the door? An effortless customer experience! During our session, you will learn the dramatic impacts customer experience analytics can have on a company’s performance and walk away understanding the value of quality and performance management transformation using the synergy of human intelligence and artificial intelligence.
About Jim: Jim Iyoob is the Chief Customer Officer for Etech Global Services and is responsible for Etech’s strategy, marketing, business development, IT, program implementation, operational excellence and product development across all Etech’s existing lines of business.
He is passionate, driven, and an energetic business leader with a strong desire to remain ahead of the curve in outsourcing solutions and service delivery: with 30 years of experience in inbound, outbound, chat, analytics, AI and social media, Jim has an impeccable track record of innovation and advanced business intelligence.
The Secret Sauce for Effective Customer Engagement
Customer experience (CX) has been become a strategic differentiator for many successful brands. Research shows customers spend more money on brands that offer loyalty programs, and those that deliver a satisfying experience at every turn (online and offline). What is your business doing to develop a strategic and seamless omnichannel customer experience program across customer touch points?
Join us to learn where to start and the 5 key steps to gaining traction in your omnichannel CX model.
Rusty will share his experience and key learning from across the Consumer Electronics, Technology, Entertainment industries. We’ll also discuss: website chatbots, live chat, social media monitoring and support, proactive communications to new buyers, transactional support - all where the call center is the core pivot point. Are you ready for a seamless Customer Experience Program across all your touch points?
About Rusty: Rusty Langford is the Vice President of Client Services & Customer Experience Support at Harte Hanks. In his more than 25 years at Harte Hanks, Rusty has been involved in all aspects of direct marketing and customer management.
Currently, Rusty is responsible for the client services for all contact center programs at Harte Hanks. He has a broad array of customer experiences including customer support, multichannel support, lead management, direct sales, event management, and web-based initiatives.
As an established CRM practice leader, Rusty has had the opportunity to speak to several professional organizations and conferences including the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Direct Marketing to Business (DMB), the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Technology for Call Center Solutions Conference and is a frequent speaker at the Harte Hanks’ Customer Forum. He has also been featured speaker in CCW’s Forrester special reports and webinars, and On24’s CX-related webinars.
Women in Leadership Panel
Liz Feezor, Leslie Wingo, Brittany Naylor, Renee Odunaiya, and Lauren Kurtz
Moderator: Liz Feezor
About Liz: Liz Feezor is a writer and creative strategist who launched her career in contact centers. After 15 years in the corporate world, Liz struck out on her own in 2018 to launch Liz Feezor Creative, a firm dedicated to helping wholehearted professionals and conscious businesses tell their stories.
With previous roles in global human resources, employee benefits, technology consulting and translation services (English/Spanish), Liz draws on a wealth of professional experience to create high-impact messaging for her clients. In addition to her writing work, Liz speaks on a variety of topics and contributes editorial pieces to local and national outlets.
Liz is the VP of Communications for the Austin Contact Center Alliance Board of Directors.
Panelist: Leslie Wingo
About Leslie: A 20-year advertising veteran, Leslie Wingo leads an agency of people across multiple offices at Sanders/Wingo.
She is a respected community leader in the areas of marketing, social welfare, and cultural diversity. Leslie is responsible for the firm’s strategic direction and overall business development.
She has stewarded campaigns for State Farm, United States Postal Service, Burger King and other blue chip brands. In 2012 and 2016, Black Enterprise Magazine named Leslie as one of the nation’s Top Women in Advertising and Marketing.
Panelist: Brittany Naylor
About Brittany: Brittany Naylor leads the Support department at Evernote. Previously, she held positions at Service Direct, where she built and managed the CX department from the group up, and at Apple, focusing on new hire training, career development and new product initiatives. She is passionate about identifying gaps and opportunities in the customer journey and advocating on behalf of those customers and the CX teams that support them on product initiatives.
Brittany is the founder of ATXCX, a local meetup community dedicated to amplifying great customer support in Austin, as well as a member of Support Driven, CX Accelerator, and the Customer Experience Council.
Panelist: Lauren Kurtz
About Lauren: Lauren Kurtz is an HCM Consultant for Major Accounts at ADP. Lauren believes strongly in the 'move forward, give back' mentality and has cultivated a network of strong, supportive women who walk the same walk as well as a supportive fiancé who happily refers to himself as a feminist.
Lauren is an active Advisory Council member for Herdacity and serves as Co-President of Austin's Ellevate Network chapter. She has mobilized both members and community organizations in identifying meaningful and relevant topics and spearheaded a number of highly attended networking events including International Women’s Day panels in both 2018 and 2019.
Panelist: Renee Odunaiya
About Renee: Renee is an enthusiastic and passionate management professional, specializing in superior customer experience and operations management. With over 17 years of customer-focused experience, she has a history of proven quality, efficiency improvement, revenue increase, the ability to produce highly effective support teams, and stellar client relationships.
While obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Business Management, Renee found her contact center career niche early on as a Microsoft Xbox agent, where theability to deescalate an 8-year-old who just lost 50 hours of gameplay was a natural talent of hers. Working her way through all the tiers, escalations, quality support, and supervisory positions, she quickly became a well-rounded operations manager capable of and often called up to put out the toughest fires. Vendor management on both the client-side and vendor-side is where her passion lies. Renee is known for her direct, but fair leadership, high level of confidence in problem-solving, never giving up attitude, and always leaving people, projects or tasks 10 times better than she found them.
Over the past several years, Renee has worked for and partnered with large organizations such as Electronic Arts and Google Nest, as well as smaller start-up style organizations like BigCommerce. Currently, she is Director of Client Services at ModSquad Inc overseeing all North America client operations.
In her spare time, Renee enjoys going to the gym, spending time with family, and Netflix bingeing. However, her most important and fulfilling task is being a mother to a 20-year-old daughter, and boy/girl 8-year-old twins who make life incredibly fun. From martial arts, basketball, and football tournaments to "early-adulting" challenges there's never a dull moment.
Recruitment and Retention Panel
Mark Brody, Christy Torrance, KatLynne Joerg
Moderator: Mark Brody
About Mark: Mark Brody is a customer-focused Contact Center Industry Professional with over 25 years of experience spanning multiple industries to include client management, quality assurance, contact center leadership, and workforce management expertise.
He launched Brohawk Solutions, LLC. in August 2018 and is the current President for The Austin Contact Center Alliance (ACCA) and Board Member for the South Central Chapter of The Professional Association of Customer Engagement (PACE).
Mark works with small to mid-size contact centers looking to improve operational efficiencies and employee engagement, ultimately leading to improved customer experience.
Panelist: Christy Torrance
About Christy: Christy Torrance is a highly motivated, energetic and results-oriented Sales and Marketing consultant with Kelly Services, providing her clients with superior customer service and solution-based approaches designed to fit each individual client’s staffing needs and fostering successful business relationships.
An entrepreneur at heart, Christy has owned and operated two self-made businesses and understands the importance of keeping people and teams engaged to reach goals. She credits her career successes to her sense of optimism and drive to succeed, and her motto is “When your passion and purpose become greater than your fears and excuses, you will then find a way.”
Christy is the VP of Sponsorships for the Austin Contact Center Alliance Board of Directors.
Panelist: KatLynne Joerg
About KatLynne: KatLynne Joerg currently represents Allergan as a Talent Acquisition Manager, leading the Austin recruitment effort at Allergan. She works closely as a Talent Acquisition Business Partner with leaders from Customer Operations, Inside Sales, and Product Surveillance to identify talent needs, progressive recruitment strategies to attract and hire top talent in the market, and cultivate a recruitment brand for Allergan here in Austin.
Prior to this role, she has worked in the Tech Industry at Google and spent a vast majority of her career in the Medical Device space, where she developed a team to deploy a Talent Acquisition strategy with a global reach. KatLynne holds a MS in Strategic Human Resource Management from the University of Denver and a BS in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo as well as her PHR Certification.
Panelist: Milan Batinich
About Milan: Milan draws from more than 15 years of combined Contact Center Management and Recruitment Management experience. His greatest talent is creating valuable connections and forming them into mutually successful relationships. Milan has assisted dozens of companies with their bottom line by providing award-winning service. His professional vision is to partner with Contact Centers across the country to help them reduce attrition while increasing their customer experience and employee engagement through Outsourcing, Recruiting, The Predictive Index, and Consulting. His mission to help others and improve their lives and companies is reflected in Milan’s integrity, accountability, and ethics.
Milan is a certified Predictive Index Survey Analyst, Certified Predictive Index Partner, Certified Talent Optimizer, and holds a Ministerial License with the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI).
Panelist: Micah Hart
About Micah: Micah Harthas built and ran successful Contact Center Organizations for over 20 years. His background includes sales, customer service, and technical support. He has worked with various internal and BPO companies including, Charles Schwab, Dell, Sitel, Dish Networkand General Motors. His passion is building successful Customer Experience Centers that focus on the customer while building a positive internal culture.
Currently Micah is with Next Insurance, building their Customer Service and Sales Divisions here in Austin. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Next is a tech forward company that is re-imagining the way insurance is done for small and medium businesses. Their mission is to make insurance simple, affordable, and transparent with policies tailored specifically to the business needs. “We take care of our customers, so they can take care of theirs.”
The Future of Contact Center Panels
Zach Jones, Duke Whitman, Dan Stalker, Brandon Knight, Colby Huth
Technology is changing fast, join this panel of Technology Thought and “Practitioners” Leadership. What next in the drive to leverage technology to solve key challenges within the industry like recruitment, retention, and productivity? Learn and add your voice to the mix with real life experiences, risks and rewards.
About Zach: Zach cultivates relationships with some of Simplify'slargest clients—he brings a wealth of knowledge in his ability to identify the appropriate provider within the information technology marketplace, break down complex solutions, and demonstrate cost and operational benefits for businesses. He expertly aligns his clients with the provider that best suits their needs.
Working in the Customer Experience marketplace, change is a constant. Over the last 2-3 years there has been more change in the tools available and operational practices of the Contact Centerthan any time prior. Agents are being asked to work in an Omni-channel environment handling customer interactions on Voice, Chat, Video, E-mail, SMS, and Social. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is bringing an entirely new set of capabilities to the CustomerExperience. The tools your organization utilizes and the disciplines built around these interactions will determine success with your customers. Offering solutions ranging from complete replacement with the leading cloud contact center platform providersto augmenting and improving existing investments with best of breed solution components, Zach has a track record of helping Enterprise organizations find the right strategy to fit their specific needs. (Cloud Contact Center Platforms, WEM/WFO, AI/BOTS, Speech Analytics, LD/TF Toll savings).
Zach is the Contact Center Solutions Practice Lead at Simplify, a technology consulting firm based in The Woodlands, Texas.
About Brandon: Brandon provides the strategic direction for Serenova’s channel partners around the world, focusing primarily on engaging current partners to continue to drive the adoption of Serenova’s innovative contact center solutions. An accomplished sales management leader in the contact center market, Knight has more than 27 years of experience specific to the cloud, telecom and contact center industry, with a significantCCaaS, PaaS and SaaS background. Most recently, Knight was the Cloud Evangelist for one of the industry’s leading Master Agents and Serenova partner –Intelisys Inc., a ScanSource company and the nation’s leading Technology Services Distributor. In that role, he worked closely with Intelisys Sales Partners to educate and communicate the benefits of cloud technology in the contact center. Knight also has a long track record of thought leadership across the cloud and telecom industries as a keynote speaker, panelist, webinar host and trainer in the cloud.
Brandon is the Senior Vice President of Channel Sale at Serenova.
Panelist: Colby Huth
With over 20 years of IT experience and specializing in managing contact center technologies over the past 11 years, he brings a variety of experiences, use cases and best practices to better develop a contact center environment. With seven years of experience in hospitality and four years in the financial industry, Colby understands the needs to communicate technical topics in non-technical ways. Either building out voice environments in Cisco Call Manager and Contact Center Express or helping to redesigna Cisco UCS with NIMBLE storage, Colby has managed to work with a variety of technologies to insure that designs are established in a way to best optimize the entire environment and not just an individual request for change. Colby continues to embrace change and work with those around him to insure that change is the only constant.
Case Studies - Real Life Lessons Panel
Rob Nussbaum, Liam Delap, Michael Tamer, Tim Lavin, Tim Lootens, Roger Lee
Dive deep and pull back the curtain on real life deployments of emerging technology and examine the promises and results when companies leverage a variety of promising technology that includes cloud contact center, artificial intelligence, gamification and Omni Channel. What worked? What failed? Key Lessons learned before you risk your center!
Moderator: Rob Nussbaum
Panelist: Liam Delap
VP of Customer Solutions, SmartAction
About Liam: Liam Delap has served as an enterprise technology consultant and senior success manager throughout his entire career, working with dozens of well-known organizations across the U.S. to transform their customer experience. As the VP of Customer Solutions, Liam serves as a senior customer experience architect for both existing and prospective clients with a focus toward business outcomes. His dedication to understand each client’s environment and need allows Liam to design custom solutions that provide significant return on investment and the greatest possible customer experience.
Liam is the VP of Customer Solutions at SmartAction.
Panelist: Michael Tamer
About Michael: Michael J. Tamer is a 35-year veteran of the customer contact industry. Michael is the author of the book, The Four-Minute Customer, which outlines his Customer Experience managementphilosophies, andwas at the forefront of the contact center qualitymonitoring industry. Throughout his career, Michael has been teaching the benefits of qualityand customer experienceto organizations all over the world, including the United States Senate. As the President and CEO of Teknekron Infoswitch, Michael introduced the industry's first quality monitoring product, which led to the "this call may be monitored for quality purposes" phenomenon heard today on all 1-800 numbers. Proponisi offersa SAAS solution for contact centers that drives frontline performance and employee engagement.
Michael is the CEO and President of Proponisi.