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Lifetime Achievement Awards
For The Call Center Industry



Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine, in the spirit of celebrating our 25th Anniversary, has been proud to designate a special group of individuals and companies as recipients of our “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Most of these individuals and companies have ties to the call center industry going back decades. They were judged to have made some of the most substantial innovations dedicated to advancing the success and reputation of today’s call center industry. Without these special people and companies, the industry would not be half as successful as it is today. In this issue, we bring you Part Two of the tributes to those individuals and companies to whom we presented Lifetime Achievement Awards at our gala celebration in New York City on May 4, 2006.

Edward Blank
Edward Blank Associates, Inc.

Edward Blank (news - alert) is a pioneer in outbound telemarketing. His company, Edward Blank Associates, Inc., was founded in New York in 1970. It became a Top 10 firm, selling products and services from 13 call centers in the U.S. and Canada. Clients included Weekly Reader children’s books, AT&T and FirstUSA. His firm was noted for stringent quality control standards, cutting- edge technology and innovative sales techniques. He began his career in survey research after graduating from City College of New York (CCNY). He also did graduate work at the New York University Graduate School of Business. He subsequently worked for leading marketing research organizations and Litton Industries. He is a past member of both the American Teleservices Association (ATA) and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and is currently a member of the board of Authtel. He is the UN representative for the Jewish National Fund. He is also active in various American and Israeli philanthropic organizations.

Charles Judd
NTS Marketing, Inc.

Charles Judd is CEO of NTS Marketing, Inc., (news - alert) a fullservice call center agency offering inbound and fulfillment. Before starting NTS in 1989 with his son Christopher, Judd designed and implemented direct response fund raising strategies for a number of national member/donor organizations. He was Deputy Director of the Republican National Finance Committee from 1979 to 1980. He teaches fund raising techniques for political candidates, the RNC Campaign Management Workshops, the Campaign Management College, the Concord Conference, the Campaigns & Elections Magazine Training Seminars, and GOPAC. During his previous political career, Judd served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Republican Party; City Council Member and Vice-Mayor of Fairfield, Ohio; and Republican candidate for Congress from the 6th District of Virginia.

Kathleen Kelly
President and Chief Executive Officer
TeleDirect International Inc.

Kathleen Kelly is a 20-year veteran of the communications industry and one of the earliest proponents of Open Communications Systems. She has grown TeleDirect (news - alert) from a small, local Iowa operation to an internationally recognized company and an award-winning leader in Open Communications Systems. She is a member of the American Teleservices Association (ATA) Technology Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of the Arizona chapter of the ATA and a member of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Teleservices Council.

Debbie May
President, General Manager
IEX Corp.

(news - alert) Debbie May is one of the founders of IEX. As President and General Manager, she is responsible for all aspects of the contact center business. Prior to joining IEX, she developed data communications software at Texas Instruments. She has developed and managed PBX and ACD call processing and management information systems as well as workforce management and call routing systems. Under May’s leadership, IEX has experienced rapid growth and has been profitable every quarter since inception. May and her team earned the Pacific Bell Quality Partner award for six consecutive years.

Joe Porfeli
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Spencer Trask Software and
Information Technology Group

(news - alert) Joe Porfeli brings more than 30 years of executive experience in the high-tech sector to the DesignAdvance board. He has led TechRx’s evolution from a high-volume pharmacy software provider into an industry leader in retail pharmacy management technology. Porfeli served as President and Executive VP of Sales and Marketing of TechRx until he orchestrated the purchase to NDCHealth in 2002. Prior to TechRx, Porfeli served as Chairman, President and CEO of REVIVE Technologies Inc., a provider of legacy database and software system conversion services and automated tools. He served in the same capacity with EIS International, a telecommunications hardware and software company, which grew to more than $90 million in annual revenue under his leadership.

Robin D. Richards
The NTI Group, Inc. (NTI)

Robin Richards leads The NTI Group, Inc. (NTI) (news - alert) as an entrepreneur and visionary strategist, fueling the company’s meteoric rise to prominence as the number-one provider of hosted, time-based mass notification services focused upon assisting government leaders to communicate quickly and efficiently with their constituents. Prior to forming NTI, Richards served as CEO of Vivendi Universal Net USA, an entity created in the fall of 2001 to oversee the U.S. Internet-related companies owned by Vivendi Universal. In this role, Richards oversaw all aspects of six interrelated entities. He was the founding President and Chief Operating Officer of MP3.com, Inc., the Internet’s first and preeminent digital music provider. Previous to MP3.com, Richards served as Managing Director of Tickets.com, Inc., an Internet ticketing service company. As the Founder, President and CEO of Lexi International, Richards brought the company to its ranking as the largest teleservices and database management company in the U.S. by 1991. Lexi International earned the rare distinction of appearing on two consecutive Inc. “500 Fastest Growing Companies” listings, and he successfully sold Lexi to Thayer Capital.

Thomas M. Rocca
KPI Group, LLC

(news - alert) Tom Rocca is president of KPI Group, headquartered in Atlanta. Tom has over 25 years in customer service and sales technology reengineering for call centers. He keeps a continual focus on “staying compliant” on all federal and state call center rulings. Rocca, with KPI Group, provides outsource partner selection; RFP development and management; technology selection and contract negotiation; call center auditing, best practices and sales process flow analysis; sales and service performance enhancement (KPIs); and federal, state and insurance compliance management. Rocca has been an active member of the American Teleservices Association (ATA) since 1987 and currently serves as a past chairman and sits on the national board of directors.

Hayley J. Savage
Senior Vice President,
Sales And Marketing
Influent, Inc.

(news - alert) Hayley has been a leader in the direct marketing industry for over 24 years, having begun her career as Production Supervisor for American Family Publishers, a division of Time, Inc. She went on to a position with CBS/Columbia House, where she was responsible for the domestic and Canadian production requirements associated with membership acquisition for their various continuity music clubs. Recruited by what was then the nation’s sixth largest direct marketing agency, The Direct Marketing Group, Hayley became the company’s youngest-ever Vice President. In 1991, Hayley joined APAC Customer Services as VP of Sales, where she had responsibility for identifying, developing and generating new client opportunities as well as existing client growth. She delivered multimillion dollar contracts for customer acquisition, customer care, e-commerce and ASP applications.

Theodore G. Schwartz
Founder and Chairman
APAC Customer Services, Inc.

In 1973, Ted Schwartz founded APAC, (news - alert) a company he built from a one-person operation to a company with a leadership position in the customer services outsourcing arena and employing over 7,000 people. Schwartz, one of the founders of the industry, has received the prestigious Pioneer Award and has been inducted into the ATA Hall of Fame, as well as the Call Center Solutions Hall of Fame. He has received the University of Illinois Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award and the Illinois High Tech Entrepreneur Award. As an active industry voice, his opinions have been sought by numerous national publications and industry journals.

Tim Searcy
American Teleservices
Association (ATA)

(news - alert) Tim Searcy has had the privilege of serving as a senior executive in the largest and fastest-growing direct marketing companies in the world, including West Teleservices, APAC Teleservices, Transcom Worldwide and Rapp Collins. With sales and CEO responsibilities combined, Tim has been responsible for development of over $2 billion in outsourced teleservices and direct marketing solutions worldwide. Currently, Searcy serves as the CEO of the American Teleservices Association (ATA). As legislators turn their focus from the outbound sales component of our business, Searcy fights to preserve the operational freedom of inbound practices from overregulation.

Douglas W. Smith
Senior Vice President, Sales And
SER Solutions, Inc.

Doug Smith brings over 35 years of operational and sales management experience to his position of Senior VP, Sales And Marketing, at SER Solutions, Inc. (news - alert) Smith is responsible for setting the company’s direct and indirect sales and growth strategy, and ensuring revenue attainment across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Additionally, Smith oversees SER’s corporate marketing programs to ensure the company’s position as a leader within the marketplace. Previously, Smith served as a management consultant specializing in strategic sales and go-tomarket initiatives within the contact center marketplace. Prior to his work as a consultant, Smith held executive positions at Davox Corporation, where he oversaw both direct and indirect sales channels worldwide.

Joseph A. Staples
Senior Vice President,
Worldwide Marketing
Interactive Intelligence

(news - alert) Joseph A. Staples serves as senior VP of worldwide marketing for Interactive Intelligence. He oversees the global marketing efforts of the company’s contact center and communication product lines. Staples brings 24 years of experience in technology and marketing to Interactive Intelligence, including specific assignments in the areas of computer telephony, unified messaging, mobile wireless, computer networking and computer-based education. Prior to joining Interactive Intelligence, Staples was the principal of FirstLight Marketing, a successful marketing services company. For the six preceding years, he was Executive VP of Corporate Marketing at Captaris, Inc., a provider of business communication solutions. Previously, Staples was the VP of marketing for Callware Technologies, Inc., a provider of unified messaging software. Prior to his employment at CallWare, Staples spent five years with networking leader Novell Inc. in several management positions. While at Novell, he was credited with playing a central role in developing the early stages of the computer telephony industry, including the launch and evangelism of TSAPI, a broadly adopted CTI development platform.

Albert Subbloie
President and CEO, Founder
Tangoe Inc.

(news - alert) Recognized as a telecommunications technology and Internet pioneer, Al Subbloie brings a visionary approach to Tangoe. In 1984, after leaving Andersen Consulting, Subbloie co-founded and served as CEO of Information Management Associates (IMA). He was among the first to develop and market both call center voice and data solutions for integrated sales, marketing, telemarketing and customer service activities. In 1997, Al co-founded Buyersedge.com, an Internet company in the field of reverse auction. Al is credited with one of the patents for reverse auction theory, the Internet paradigm in most shopping sites today. Subbloie also founded Freefire, a Web-enabled eCRM customer interaction software supporting e-mail response, chat and remote telephony in an ASP model involving complex data distribution requirements. Subbloie served on the board for Acsis, Inc., a provider of RFID device management technology solutions and currently serves on the Board of NYC-based Operative Inc. He has also served as Chairman of the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) and now serves as a Board member for the CTC.

Aleksander Szlam
Chairman & CEO
Szlam Enterprises, Inc.

(news - alert) Aleksander Szlam is the Chairman and CEO of Szlam Enterprises, Inc., an information technology and contact center services company. Previously, as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Melita International, Inc. (which he founded and renamed eshare Communications, Inc. in 2000), Szlam took his company from a oneemployee business operating out of his garage and evolved it into a publicly traded, profitable and debt-free global leader of intelligent customer interaction management (CIM) solutions. The company’s first products, built in Szlam’s garage, were an auto dialer and an inbound/outbound call management and notification system. As Szlam completed the “Expedialer” in the summer of 1979, the automated call center industry was born. Szlam was named Inc. Magazine’s 1991 Entrepreneur of the Year, Southern Region, while Melita/eshare repeatedly made Atlanta’s prestigious “Fast Tech 50” list of growing technology companies. Additionally, in 1996 he co-authored “Predictive Dialing Fundamentals,” the definitive guide to the industry’s technologies, their applications and usage.

Gary L. Taylor
Chairman of the Board
InfoCision Management Corp.

(news - alert) Gary Taylor received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Akron in 1975. He served as a Graduate Research Assistant in the marketing department while earning his MBA from the University in 1977. He has more than 29 years of experience in direct marketing, fundraising, advertising and the teleservices industry. In 1982, working out of his home, Gary started InfoCision Management Corporation (IMC). Today InfoCision has grown into the third-largest privately held teleservices company in the world. InfoCision’s hallmark is its unequalled reputation for quality. IMC won the inaugural MVP Quality Award in 1993 and has been recognized by Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine as the single highest quality teleservices company. InfoCision is the only teleservices company to win an MVP Quality Award every year since 1993, and has won the MVP Gold Award for highest quality the last seven consecutive years. In 2003, Taylor received the Pioneers Lifetime Achievement Award for the positive impact he has had on the teleservices industry. The University of Akron awarded him the prestigious Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award in recognition of his outstanding business career. In 2005, the ATA bestowed their Pioneer Award on him, and the DMA gave him the Teleservices Excellence Award. Also in 2005, Ernst and Young recognized Gary as an Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, and inducted him into the Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame

Brent Welch
Chief Operating Officer,
Worldwide Operations
Teleperformance USA

Brent Welch has 25 years of contact center industry experience. He currently serves as the COO, World Wide Operations, for Teleperformance USA, (news - alert) and leads the operational teams within the company’s centers. Welch’s extensive experience includes leadership of many of the country’s leading contact center service agencies. Welch also founded TeleServices Partners in 1996, one of the premier contact center consulting groups in the country. Prior to that, Welch was President and CEO of ITI Marketing Services (now APAC), and COO of Matrixx Marketing.

West Corporation
Founded in January 1986, West Corporation (news - alert) has evolved from an inbound telemarketing service bureau to one of the nation’s leading providers of customized contact solutions. Today, many of the nation’s Fortune 1000 companies rely on West to help them grow their business through superior inbound, outbound, interactive, Internet, collections and conferencing services. From the beginning, West’s inbound solutions have utilized sophisticated call processing centers, which combine the skills of well-trained agents with state-of-the-art call processing technology. In 1989, West moved into the emerging IVR processing industry and established itself as the recognized leader in the industry. Soon afterwards, West began offering live-operator, outbound teleservices for large-volume sales campaigns. During the late 1990s, West began offering integrated customer care support and full account management to help clients acquire, maintain and grow their customer relationships. In recent years, the company has added advanced speech recognition solutions to its IVR platform and now offers a full range of Internet services, including e-mail management, chat, callback and form-sharing.

Witness Systems
Witness Systems (news - alert) is a global provider of workforce optimization software and services that provide enterprises with unprecedented visibility into customer service processes, workforce performance and customer intelligence. Through its Impact 360 workforce optimization solution, Witness Systems brings together workforce management, quality monitoring, full-time recording, e-learning and performance management under a flexible, scalable framework that provides a single user interface and centralized access to data and reports.

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For information and subscriptions, visit http://www.TMCnet.com or call 203-852-6800.




Highlights Of The Customer Inter@ction Solutions’ 25th Anniversary Event

Robin Richards, The NTI Group, Inc.
During the special night of May 4, 2006, at Customer Inter@ction Solutions’ 25th anniversary celebration, the honorees of the Lifetime Achievement Awards offered many wonderful comments about their experiences in the industry. Here, we’ve reproduced the highlights of the evening’s acceptance speeches. Congratulations to all the winners.

It was about 20 years ago that I got this idea to join the teleservices industry, except that it wasn’t an industry yet. There was a gentleman named Murray Roman, who some of you don’t know, who really started this thing. He had three brilliant people who worked with him, and one of them is here...Ed Blank. Also Steve Idelman and Ted Schwartz, who began their own companies. That was the beginning of this great industry. It was a wonderful, wonderful journey that I was on for almost eight years. I see a lot of my old friends, and it feels wonderful to be back with all of you.

We were a bunch of folks who were just trying to make a living for our families. We didn’t know from teleservices, we didn’t know it was an industry. We had an idea, and were trying to make a living. And up comes this guy, and his name was Nadji Tehrani. For 20 years, Nadji, you have been the voice, the advocate, the leader, the promoter of an industry that you saw before it was an industry! Before any of us knew it was an industry!

I remember all the different things that you did, Nadji. First of all, I want to say I’m grateful, I’m humble. I came to New York after being away for almost 14 years because you asked me. What you’ve done here you should be very proud of, and your family should be very proud of. I was speaking with Kathryn Barber before, and she commented that when it comes to this industry, Nadji sees it before everybody else. I said to her, “I agreed with you 18 years ago, and I still do. But a man who keeps seeing it for 20 years in advance of everybody else is a conscious, competent visionary. He had an awareness in this industry in the beginning. Nobody knew about this industry, we called it telemarketing. And it turned out to be the call center industry. And it’s a damn good thing to be associated with. When people ask me about my early days, I say, “I was a telemarketer, and I’m proud of it.”

In the early days, Nadji said, “We have got to get the politicians to know who we are. There are five million Americans employed in telemarketing.” He did all these calculations, and he looked at me and said, “You know, one day this industry will be bigger than General Motors.” You had such passion, and you started writing letters to politicians and open letters to the President and Congress.

And then you said, “I think quality is very important,” and you came up with the MVP [Marketing Via Phone] Quality Awards, and everybody began to apply for them. We learned from one another, and said, “Hey, that’s a pretty good idea.” And all the sudden, everybody began with best practices, and the whole industry was lifted because of those MVP Quality Awards. I remember the first award…Ted Schwartz of APAC got the gold MVP Quality Award. Unfortunately, I only got the silver award.

We worked so hard, and we acquired awareness, political and economic. Then we had quality. Then this young man named Rich Tehrani shows up, and Nadji said, “My son is very, very smart. He likes this technology stuff. What do you think?” And Rich started writing about technology, fifteen years in advance of everybody else.

On the plane on the way here, I began to think. What has this great industry done in the way of technology? Call routing. Think of all the industries using call routing today. Database management. Offer cycle management. They all came out of this industry. How about monitoring? You can’t pick up a phone to call a company nowadays without hearing, “This call may be monitored.” It happened here. It happened in this industry. Also, scheduling and optimizing software, which today is the most critical component of Walmart’s business, and most other Fortune 500 businesses.

Finally, you promoted us, Nadji. You tirelessly promoted every person in the industry. You seemed to know which companies were good and which people were good. I’ve known this man for 20 years, and he never says, “I did.” It’s always “you guys.” “You guys are great. You guys are readers. You guys did some amazing things.”

Tonight, you’ve given out a lot of Lifetime Achievement Awards to people who are very deserving. But I can tell you, once in your life, I would like everybody to stand and say, “The Lifetime Achievement Award tonight goes to Nadji Tehrani.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Steve Brubaker, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, InfoCision Management Corp.
What we are here to celebrate is the amazing achievement TMC started in 1982. What an organization! What an industry they have built. To Mr. Tehrani and the staff, let’s give TMC and all the team behind that a hand. Twenty-five years! What an accomplishment! I would like to take a moment to recognize Mr. Tehrani. We go back a long way, but it takes someone with vision, someone who determines there’s an opportunity and goes out and gets things done.

Ray Golden, Senior VP, Blended Solutions, InPulse Response Group
What I most admire about Nadji is his courage. He had the courage to be the only one in the world to come out with a magazine called Telemarketing. Whether people liked it or not, he promoted our industry in its keenest light and promoted the legitimacy of this marketing vehicle that helped us all, and he continues to promote us today.

Ron Harris, VP of Investor Relations, Convergys
I just want to say that we, at Convergys, are very respectful of the accomplishments of this industry. We appreciate being recognized in an industry that is very exciting and very competitive, and it’s helping make the world flatter. We are delighted to be recognized among such great individuals and companies, and we appreciate the recognition for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jack Early, Founder, Early Cloud & Co.
I feel to a certain degree that I’m blessed because Nadji remembered the “Old-Timers’ Division” tonight. Many of us have come, achieved, gone, moved on, come back, gone again. I see many young faces around this industry, which thrills me. But through the whole period of change, there was one beacon, and that beacon was Nadji Tehrani. He was the steward who minded the store, who stayed with the deal when it was tiring and fatiguing and all of us came in and out, but there was one person who always carried the banner, and that is Nadji.

Ray Hansell, Chairman, MaraStar Communications
There are several things that made this industry happen. They are the formation of the trade associations, publication of the trade journals, and trade shows. And two of those three things, this guy [Nadji Tehrani] was all over in the early 80s. We’re an industry. We’re something to be recognized. And back in the 80s and into the 90s, he took that, and put a big red bulls-eye on his head, and took a lot of flak in the process of [helping this industry].

Kathleen Kelly, President and CEO, TeleDirect International Inc.
I just have to say over the last 20 years that I have been in the industry, this industry is amazing. We’ve been impacted by stock market ups and downs, negative press, dotcoms, 9/11, restrictive legislation...and every time, [this industry] figures out what it is, embraces it, and every single time, we’ve continued to adapt and grow.

Joe Porfeli, Chairman, CEO, Spencer Trask Software & Information Technology Group
I got a phone call 12 years after I left [this] industry. My assistant said, “There’s a fellow named Nadji Tehrani on the phone,” and a smile came onto my face. This fellow evokes great emotions in everyone.

Tim Searcy, CEO, American Teleservices Association (ATA)
I love this business. I love everything about it. I think what’s so interesting about our business it’s that it’s completely efficient. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, it doesn’t matter how much college you had or how much money you have. At the end of the day, if you do a good job, you can go from the calling room to the boardroom, and I’m a living testament to that. I want to thank Nadji, because he’s not just a good friend, he’s a visionary. I want to share something with you. One of the things that people don’t think about, from Nadji, is that he is “the answer.” When we have questions, serious questions, and when we were starting this industry, Nadji answered our questions. And when the dotcoms came, Nadji answered the questions. When it came to going offshore, Nadji answered those questions.

Doug Smith, Senior VP, Sales And Marketing, SER Solutions
[Via letter]: Nadji, I want to thank you and TMC for honoring me with a Lifetime Achievement Award for my contributions to the industry. I truly regret that I was not able to attend the gala event to personally accept my award and enjoy the company of so many other deserving recipients. I am flattered that you and Rich think of me in this manner. I thoroughly take pleasure in supporting the contact center market and the challenges of applying technology to help satisfy call processing/management applications. It certainly has been a pleasure knowing you over the years and being associated with your quality publication.

The award will be displayed in a visible location in our office and I will always be grateful for the recognition. I look forward to many more years of our friendship and association with TMC.

Sheri Idelman, Vice Chair, Chief Operating Officer, Co-founder, Solutionary, Inc.

Steve Idelman, Chairman of the Board, CEO, Co-founder, Solutionary, Inc.

[Via a recorded message played at the event]: Hello to all our esteemed colleagues, as Nadji himself would say. Sheri and I really wish we were able to be with you all tonight. We talk about and think about our former comrades from time to time. We thank our allies and competitors alike for your roles in our careers, especially people like Ed Blank, Jon Hamilton, Kathryn Barber, Joe Porfeli, Ray Hansell, Robin Richards, Brent Welch and many other fine friends and associates I’m neglecting to mention here. Sheri and I could not possibly accept our award tonight without seriously bowing to Mary and Gary West, and without acknowledging Ted Schwartz and his entire family. And of course there is, and always will be, a very, very special place in our hearts for you, Ray Golden.

Last, but not least, I ask you all to raise your cups and toast with me: To our esteemed colleague, Nadji Tehrani, and to you, Rich, Michelle and all the other Tehranis on the entire family tree. And to the entire team of professionals at TMC. We lift our cups in your honor and we thank you for what you have always meant and done for us, and for everyone in the industry. More than any other thing we might all say here tonight, Nadji...this one’s for you. Because as I always liked to say, “There is no biz like phone biz.” Congratulations to everyone.


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