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August 2009 | Volume 28 / Number 3
On The Line

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2009 ATA Convention and Call Centers CARE Program

By Tim Searcy,

This year, the theme of the ATA Convention and Expo, which will be held in New Orleans on Oct. 4-7, is "Answering the Call." Answering the Call is about understanding how to maximize the value of every contact with each customer or prospect. We will provide answers to tough business questions, share success factors including how to leverage technology and social media, and find out about the most pressing legal issues regarding operations and management. We will also focus on how we use the power of our employment base to make a difference on legislation in Washington, D.C. and locally in our own communities.

Convention sessions will offer specific implementation strategies and numerous exhibitors will showcase and analyze emerging technologies and new services. Attendees will be encouraged to network in the ATA expo hall. Be sure to join the fun during the ATA-Political Action Committee Fundraiser at the House of Blues where we´ll be celebrating Cajun-style. The Annual ATA Awards Gala and Casino Night festivities will be followed with a late night event on Bourbon Street. To learn more or register to attend the 2009 ATA Convention & Expo, visit

Answering The Call will also mean focusing on those in need through the ATA´s growing philanthropic initiative, Call Centers CARE. Contact center professionals in the ATA actively contribute to numerous charitable causes of their choice. The ATA also organizes association-wide philanthropic efforts during national meetings such as the upcoming convention. We want to world to recognize the efforts of our members as they continue to serve as good community partners.

As in the past, the Call Centers CARE initiative will put the hearts and hands of our members to use at the end of this year ´s ATA Convention and Expo for a local service project. The City of New Orleans was intentionally selected for our convention site to answer the philanthropic call of a city that still needs economic support and development.

Here are several other examples of Call Centers CARE projects:

  • Attendees of the recent ATA Washington Summit gathered to volunteer their time in support of two local Washington D.C., organizations, Thrive DC and DC Kitchen. At Thrive DC, a homeless service center, volunteers prepared and served breakfast for 200 individuals and prepared food for the evening meal. A second group of volunteers worked at DC Central Kitchen, a community kitchen that provides more than 4,500 meals a day. Meals were distributed to approximately 100 agencies in the D.C. area.

  • ATA partners with the American Red Cross where chapters and member companies host blood drives in conjunction with area Red Cross organizations. In conjunction with an April Technology Forum hosted by the ATA´s New York Metro Chapter and member company DialAmerica, 12 units of blood were donated and over $1,100 was collected for the local blood bank, Community Blood Services.

  • In March 2009, ATA´s Arizona Chapter coordinated a diaper and underwear drive collecting more than 2,000 undergarments and diapers for the Sojourner Center, which provides shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence. The Arizona chapter has been committed for the last four years to volunteering and making donations to help similar organizations that support victims of domestic violence.

Other recent Call Centers CARE efforts include: a $2,000 donation to Toys for Tots´ New York Metro Chapter; a donation of 12 bags of toys for Arizona Children´s Center patients; and $7,000 in donations to domestic violence organizations´ Arizona Chapter.

I am proud of the professionals in our industry who make an effort to have a positive, professional and personal impact on the lives of others. So many people who attend our events anticipate the Call Centers CARE activities because they allow them to make significant contributions while volunteering alongside other contact center professionals. I encourage you to keep "Answering the Call."

Editor´s Note: For more information about Call Centers CARE, or for assistance in organizing a local philanthropic event, contact ATA Director of Member Services, Lisa Nye Ford at (317) 816-9336.

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