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Stevie Awards Winner Rockwell Automation Improves Customers’ Productivity Worldwide


Rockwell Automation in Singapore won a Silver Stevie Award in the Company of the Year Awards categories of the 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.  (The 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards will begin accepting entries this September from organizations through throughout the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. Get your entry kit here.)

1407RockwellRockwell Automation (RA) is the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information. Its Asia Pacific Business Center (APBC) in Singapore serves as the company’s global development headquarters

We asked Co Gia Nguyen, APBC’s Vice President & General Manager, what winning a Silver Stevie at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards had meant to him and his team.

“Winning this award is a testament to the effectiveness of the Rockwell Production System. This allows our leaders and employees to work together efficiently, achieving process and production excellence in our manufacturing facilities to better fulfill our customers’ needs,” he told us. “It also serves as a well-earned recognition and appreciation of our team of research and development, engineering, and manufacturing experts at APBC.”

Delivering Results

The business center was established in November 2005. Currently over 600 employees work at APBC on the following RA automation-control product lines: CompactLogix™; SLC™; Distributed Input/Output; Micro Controllers; PanelView™ Component; and Component Drives.

Nguyen praised the hard work of his team. “The team has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to help the company leverage its end-to-end integrated supply-chain-management process,” he told us. “This award acknowledges Rockwell Automation’s ability to deliver innovative products that command customer loyalty and drive actions, results, and accountability for a competitive edge.”

Positive Brand Awareness

In addition, Rockwell Automation wrote and distributed a press release announcing their win. Nguyen told us that it received “significant coverage in many of the top-tier industry publications across Asia—driving positive brand awareness among our target audience.”

Continued Nguyen: “The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards have provided a platform for good exposure for Rockwell Automation’s brand—not only with the panel of judges and other Stevie Awards winners, but also among our partners and customers, thanks to the media coverage we gleaned through the prestige attached to the awards in the U.S. We believe that by building more brand awareness of the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the competition’s clout in this region will grow incrementally, adding greater benefit to companies in this region.”

Looking to the Future

The APBC’s research and development, engineering, and manufacturing experts are conveniently located near machine builders in Asia-Pacific, a market vital to RA’s growth.

We asked Nguyen what new technologies he thought would most affect his customers in the future.

"Rockwell Automation’s vision is to leverage technology to transcend industrial business barriers and add value to the connected enterprise, as well as to the industrial ecosystem," he told us. “New commercial technologies will seamlessly connect people, processes, devices, and data so industrial operations can be integrated, optimized, collaborative, sustainable, and secure.

“The evolution of a smart, Internet-enabled architecture that transforms data into practical knowledge will lead to sustainable competitive differentiation with enhanced plants and supply networks.”

Improved Operations

Nguyen explained that, in a connected enterprise, plant personnel could capitalize on the business value of possessing the right information at the right time with visibility into production data and supply-chain information.

“The convergence of new technologies that securely connect plant information with enterprise IT systems results in greater productivity, better utilization of assets, and improved decision making,” he added. “By bridging the gap between production and enterprise networks, Rockwell Automation shows how the connected enterprise enjoys intuitive and improved operations, as well as a lower total cost of ownership.”

A More Secure Environment

Nguyen noted that as the historical disconnect between enterprise and production networks is bridged, manufacturers, producers, and utilities will need to understand potential security risks and best practices for developing a more secure environment. As he put it: “Rockwell Automation helps companies protect their industrial control and information systems with effective security strategies.”


With more industrial firms seeking sustainability, automated real-time reporting and monitoring allows on-demand viewing of data that can be transformed into actionable information. “With an eye on energy savings, Rockwell Automation can help operations managers and business leaders design, monitor, and control their energy usage,” concludes Nguyen.

About Co Gia Nguyen

Co Nguyen is Vice President and General Manager of the Rockwell Automation (RA) Asia Pacific Business Center.  He is the head of this legal entity located in Singapore and is responsible for its profit/loss and for managing all relationships and interactions with the Singapore government and other related agencies.

Nguyen joined Rockwell Automation in October 2007. Prior to accepting his current position in October 2010, he was the Business Director responsible for the Distributed Input/Output and Small Controller businesses located in Singapore.

Nguyen has had extensive general management, product development, operations, and account management experiences and has worked for multi-national companies such as Johnson Electric, Honeywell, General Electric, AVX Tantalum and ITT Cannon.  Nguyen also had strong multi-cultural experiences having lived and worked in the United States, Brazil, and Hong Kong. 

Nguyen received his Bachelor of Science, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation employs about 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

Marketing Awards Winner KOSAF Improves the Lives of Korean Students


The Korea Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF) in Seoul, Korea, won two Gold Stevie® Awards in The 2013 International Business Awards: in the marketing awards categories with their National Scholarship PR Campaign; and for Best Twitter Feed.

(Entries for The 2015 International Business Awards will open next January, while the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards will begin accepting entries this September. Get your entry kit here.)

We talked with Mr. Byong-Sun Kwak, Chairman of KOSAF, about what winning Stevie Awards has meant for his organization.

KOSAF“It has been an honor for KOSAF to be recognized in The International Business Awards for the past three years,” Chairman Kwak told us. “We received it as a sign of encouragement and support to increase our efforts for the development of our future human resources here in Korea.”

Reforming the System

Kwak told us that the people of Korea were still in deep shock following the recent Sewol-ho ferry disaster. “It took the lives of many young high school students who had not yet blossomed,” he told us. “As the representative of an organization working to improve the future of young people—as well as a Korean—I felt tremendous regret. Learning from this accident, however, the government and public institutions are seeking ways to reform our social systems, and there are headlines about these reforms every day. KOSAF will also be participating aggressively in this movement, and we will be doing our part to build an even more impressive organization. The disaster has given us renewed incentive to earn the trust of our customers and to build a better future for the young people of Korea.”

Opening Doors for Korean Talent

We asked Kwak how The International Business Awards (IBAs) could be of help in broadening support for Korean students and their post-graduate careers in countries outside Korea.

“KOSAF aims to be a world-leading scholarship aid organization for the development of human resources,” Kwak told us. ‘We hope that by winning in the IBAs we will have an opportunity to share KOSAF’s vision and goals with businesses and organizations all over the world. We want to spread a similar system to other countries as being an exemplar of a scholarship aid organization. Our aim is to build momentum in constructing an international network for global human resources.”

According to Kwak: “We will explore every opportunity for talented Koreans to use their abilities, and to take an active part on the international stage, such as working for a major international corporation that may itself be an International Business Awards winner. We will open every possible door to achieve this, and would certainly like to hear from any foreign organizations interested in our Korean talent.”

Building for the Future

Kwak told us of his hopes for the future. “Not long ago, we held a writing contest for students who had received a scholarship or a student loan. It was really a meaningful event. I was deeply impressed at seeing how so many students had a true appreciation for the national scholarship and student loan system. Their essays showed us their determination to be capable men and women who would strive to repay this social aid.”

Added Kwak: “The contest led us to forget about the financial statistics (2014 budget of 3.7 trillion won—nearly $3.7 million—of scholarship support and 1.2 million scholarship students) and to feel each student’s passion to pursue his or her dream.”

Concluded Kwak: “I think what KOSAF should do is to provide the students with more opportunities to serve our society—not as the object but as the subject of our society. We plan to form a virtual circulation structure that will encourage beneficiaries of national scholarships to voluntarily return their benefits to society so that more students could be supported.”

“The fundamental purpose of a scholarship is sharing. The culture of voluntary participation and sharing should be encouraged if Korean society wants to become more advanced. Since our foundation’s job is not merely working as a public institution but building the future of our country, we will encourage our talented students to achieve their dreams, but with a full understanding of their debt to society.”

About Byong-Sun Kwak

Since Mr. Byong-Sun Kwak was appointed chairman of KOSAF in May of 2013, he has greatly expanded national scholarships to lower the burden of college tuition – and to free college life of worries about tuition fees – by creating the “conversion loan” program and others which substantially cut the existing borrower’s loan rate, along with the stabilized operation of the college student loan. He was awarded the Happiness Deoham Contribution Grand Prize in 2014 for his contribution to society, and he also faithfully fulfills his own social obligation by donating 50% of his private income mainly to scholarship funds.

Before joining KOSAF, Kwak was president of the Korea Education Development Institute (KEDI); a member of the Presidential Commission on Education Reform, Republic of Korea; a member of the Board of Education Sub-Committee of UNESCO Korea; a member of the Presidential Commission on Education and Human Resource Development; and he served as a President of Kyungin Women’s University. He has been awarded the National Medal of Merit from the Korean Government (1986), National Medal for Excellent Service from the Korean Government (2003), and the Pacific Circle Consortium’s Peter Brice Award. His major publications include Curriculum Theory and Textbook, Civil Society and Citizenship, and Search for an Educational Paradigm for the Future of Co-Existence and Cooperation with Focus on the East Asian Situation, among many others.

Chairman Kwak graduated from the college of education at Seoul National University, and received a Master’s Degree in education at the same university. He also attended the College of Education at Marquette University graduate school in the United States, majored in education, and received a Ph.D.


The Korea Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF) is a quasi-governmental agency under the Korean Department of Education. Its mission is to help anyone to be a capable human resource by operating the financial fund consigned by the government, by bonds issued on the capital markets, and the funds donated by enterprises or individuals. To achieve this mission, KOSAF implements projects such as a national scholarship for low-income students, a scholarship for academic excellence, a scholarship in conjunction with work programs, and a low-interest tuition loan project. Since its inception in May 2009, about 6 trillion Korean won (approximately of scholarships and over 20 trillion won of tuition loan has been supported, and up to 7.8% of the tuition loan interest prior to the organizations foundation has been reduced to 2.9% to ease the student’s burden. The foundation is also building boarding houses to lower students’ living costs, and operating a system which enables more than 400 celebrities to mentor the college students—and for those students in turn to help the studies of elementary, middle, and high school students. At present, about 30,000 college students who receive benefits from KOSAF are participating in the knowledge-mentoring program for younger students from low-income and multi-cultural families, as well as families that have defected from North Korea. 

Entries Now Open for 2015 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service


Top Sales Awards, Customer Service Awards, and Business Development Awards Have October 22 Early-bird Deadline

Today we've opened entries for the 2015 (9th annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals.


SASCS LogoThe early-bird entry deadline, with discounted entry fees, is this October 22.  The final deadline will then be November 19.  After that, late entries will be accepted through January 13, 2015 with payment of a $45/entry late fee.

Finalists will be announced on January 21, and Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be honored during a gala banquet at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on Friday, February 27.

Here's a summary of what's new and different for the 2015 awards:

Increase in Entry Word Limit

  • The word limit for the essay portion of entries has been increased from 525 words to 650 words.

Elimination of Biography Requirement

  • The requirement to submit a short biography as part of each entry has been eliminated.

New Categories

When you're ready to submit your entries, begin here: Register

2015 will see the return of two popular features of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

PCSAFCS LogoIn addition to the possibility of receiving a peer-reviewed honor in the Customer Service Department of the year categories, all nominated customer service departments that are chosen as Finalists also will be included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service.  Online voting will open to the public worldwide in mid-January and will continue through early February.  We will provide Finalists in these categories with tools to help you encourage your fans, followers and customers to vote for you.  The nominee with the most votes in each category will receive a special crystal People's Choice Stevie Award.

The Top 10 Awards are ten best-of-competition prizes that will be presented to the organizations that submit the best collection of entries to the Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, in their own name or in the names of one or more clients.  The winners of these prizes are awarded the Grand Stevie Award trophy.  Grand Award winners in 2014 were:

#1: DP DHL

#2: VIZIO, Inc.

#3: Delta Air Lines

#4: John Hancock Signature Services

#5: Wyndham Vacation Ownership

#6: Turk Economy Bank

#7: Salesforce

#8 (tie): EMKAY and Richardson

#10: PetRays

Contact us with your questions about how to participate in the 2015 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Pushing the Envelope for its Customers Pays Off for Stevie Awards Winner TELUS


The National Field Support division of TELUS Communications in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, won the Gold Stevie for Support Department of the Year in the Support Awards categories of TELUSThe 2013 International Business Awards.

(The 2014 International Business Awards is still accepting entries.  Review the entry kit here.)

According to Mark Klotz, Director of TELUS Communications’ National Field Support, winning a Stevie Award represented an international acknowledgement of his team’s formidable accomplishments, and has contributed to further success in three areas. “First, the team achieved an all-time high team-engagement score, 7% above the ‘best employer’ index that we benchmark ourselves against,” Mark reported.

“Secondly, it elevated our already amazing culture to a level where front-line agents are driving unprecedented levels of continuous improvement. Lastly, it greatly benefited our customers, because the hope of being recognized by the Stevie Awards for a second year in a row has driven my team’s desire to push the envelope on all our key metrics.”

Providing Technical Support
The TELUS National Field Support (NFS) department trains specialists that capture and resolve anomalies that prevent orders from automatically provisioning in the myriad of complex systems.  They repair these anomalies to meet the customer needs prior to their due date.

These specialists also provide technical support to field technicians by aiding the installation and repair of TELUS products and services for consumer and small business markets in a timely and responsive manner.

The Pressures of Constant Change

Communications service providers are under continual pressure to optimize operational costs, gain agility, and offer superior services to customers. The business of providing voice, data, and TV services requires specialized skills on advanced provisioning systems in order to provide customers with the best possible service in a highly competitive telecommunications industry.

Making Life Simpler for the Customer
The constant evolution of technologies also puts pressure on the team to proactively evolve their skill sets. This evolution has enabled NFS to remain the support team of choice.

We asked Mark what changes in technology he thought would most affect telecommunications customers in the future.

“I see the integration of services, applications, and content as one of the biggest changes coming down the pike,” Mark observed. “This will allow customers to take advantage of more flexible and personalized services and will make their lives simpler than ever before.”

Driving Continuous Improvement

Setting extremely high standards has enabled the National Field Support Department to answer 91% of customer calls within 20 seconds with an average speed of 15 seconds. All calls are directed to a live agent, and 99.6% of all proactively resolved orders meet the service level agreements, demonstrating the TELUS commitment to the customer. Any orders not meeting the level required are handled in real-time by an agent to maintain customer commitment.

As Mark puts it: “The high quality training, the 365-days/year availability, the stringent service level agreements, and the ‘no phone call goes to voice mail’ policy have made the NFS team into a premier support team.”

Enhancing the Customer Experience
Mark reports that his team continues to challenge the status quo and bring forward innovative ideas to help enhance the customer experience. Says Mark: “Despite the unremitting evolution of technologies and processes, the team continues to deliver high levels of success.”

Staying Organized
Mark’s favorite business app is Evernote. “It helps me stay organized using ‘notebooks’, which can include images, photos, and notes,” he told us. “I can seamlessly sync Evernote on my Windows, iOS, and Android devices. There are also several other useful apps that integrate easily into Evernote.”

Inspired By Change

Mark is excited about the future. “The constant pace of change and emergence of new technologies inspires me every day,” he told us. “With that change comes the challenge to constantly prepare and anticipate methods and processes to integrate new technologies with existing ones while making it seamless and transparent for our customers.”

About Mark Klotz:
Mark Klotz has led the National Field Support team through the optimization of office locations and the implementation and integration of the outsourced portion of the team. He is the department’s biggest advocate of change and has instilled within his leadership team a culture of constant evolution.  His thought-provoking challenges continue to raise the bar for the department. Mark brings to the team experience from Information Services, and from Consumer and Business Marketing, Marketing Communications, Channel Management, Strategic Planning, Sales Incentive Management, and Call Center Operations.

About TELUS:
TELUS is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.4 billion of annual revenue and 13.3 million customer connections. In support of its philosophy to “give where we live,” TELUS, its team members, and its retirees have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. TELUS was honored to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

Vote Now in the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products


Today we've opened voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products, a feature of The American Business Awards in which the general public can vote for their favorite new products and services. 

Voting is now open at

People's ChoiceVoting concludes on 11:59 pm on Friday, August 8. The winners of the crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards will be announced the week before the September 12 awards banquet in San Francisco, California and presented their awards at the event.

There are 42 categories in which the general public can vote for their favorite new products and services of the year. Some of the categories this year include:

Business-to-Business Products
Consumer Electronics
Health & Pharmaceutical Products
Software - Cloud Infrastructure
Software - Web Services
Business-to-Business Services
Consumer Products
Financial Services
Media & Entertainment
Software - Collaboration/Social
Software - Relationship Mgmt
Telecommunications Products

Anyone can vote one time in any or all of the 42 categories.

Make your voice heard, vote now at

New Media 101, From a Stevie Awards Winner


Suzanne McDonald is CEO of Designated Editor in Newport, Rhode Island, USA and winner of the Gold Stevie® Award for Upstart of the Year in the management awards categories of The 2014 American Business Awards, the top business awards program in the USA. 

Suzanne Mcdonald(Join the mailing list for the 2015 ABAs and you'll be emailed the entry kit as soon as entries open again in October.)

We asked Suzanne McDonald to explain how she came to found her company. “When I started in the Social Media business, I had been a successful journalist. By 2006, with the looming end of print as we knew it in the form of magazines and newspapers, it was clear to me that print would ultimately coalescence with New Media. Even though it was early days for this trend, I chose to jump the journalism ship and set a course for the new world of Social Media, which is where I believed the future of journalism lay.

“Since then, I have become an expert in New Media—the area of marketing information, rather than brands themselves—that includes every aspect of social media, plus everything that is crucial to have a powerful and fully integrated marketing platform and results. This can include face-to-face networking or it can include branding. It all depends on the client.”

Bringing Social Media to Educators
Suzanne explained how she had started providing services in New Media to universities. “In the past year I have become one of the national leaders in the movement to bring social media—really New Media—into university settings. I have spearheaded this movement because I saw—and still see—what happens when young people use Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram, but have no idea how to use these tools cohesively to become useful, usable, and effective in a business setting.”

Continues Suzanne: “I believe students must learn these key tools in college and/or graduate school, and then bring their tool-based skills and strategic know-how to the workplace. Doing this, I believe, will make finding jobs a lot easier. There’s nothing like results to prove your value in the workplace, big or small, and today’s metrics-linked communications and marketing makes this entirely doable.”

Top 10 Tips for Students & Businesses
Suzanne has some useful advice for both businesses and university students, the most fundamental of which is: Be sure to get the New Media guidance you need as you move along your online journey. Following are the ten areas where Suzanne feels both businesses and university students need help:

1. The Campaign Counts.  Whether you are a giant global company or a college student or administrator, you must build a comprehensive and consistent focus for your social media/New Media work—and that focus needs to be a “direct hit” with your target audience. 

2. Know your Target Audience.  Believe it or not, most companies—no matter their size—haven’t taken the time to pinpoint their actual target audience. Do it! An often-seen example: Your audience is B-to-B and you are posting some or all C-to-B. 

3. Share Cautiously. The number-one problem in the world of New Media—whether you are a business executive or a student learning the New Media ropes—is oversharing. If you are putting out too much information, some of it will ultimately be detrimental to your image or your cause. And once it’s up, it can be difficult to remove (although this is one of the fastest-growing areas in New Media jobs). If you’re not sure what to post and when, get the expert advice you need first.

4. Ask Yourself: “Are We Boring our Audience?” This may seem like part of the two items above, but in the world of New Media, it very much stands alone. Avoid putting information online that is not of interest to your target audiences. Do that and you risk losing them. Example: Many companies I work with pack their online arenas with press releases that few people care about. My constant advice: Revise those press releases to resonate with your target audiences.

5. Be Smart about SEO.  As noted above, before you post online, make sure that the post is a perfect fit for your target audience. Avoid posting just for search engines (e.g. the press releases). Have a perfect fit first. Then, if you get great SEO to boot, even better.

6. Know Where to Find Your Audience! Yes, you’ve already segmented your key target audiences, but after doing a nice job, you’ve fallen into the next big New Media trap: you’ve forgotten to find out WHERE your audience exists online. Example: Your audience is primarily female, and you really need to be on Pinterest (largely female) but you’re on only Facebook.

7. Know Your Metrics—and Metric Tools.  Are you analyzing what you have done so far and seeing where you succeeded and where you need to refocus or retool? Example: A participant in one highly successful university-based project I ran used Google and Twitter to analyze the results of a campaign and came up with very little. I stepped in and instead compared them to similar campaigns at other universities and— guess what—they came up near the top, which is where they belonged.

8. Know Your Top Influencers. Be sure you know—and know well—who is following you on Facebook; who is following you on Twitter; and who the influencers are on both. It’s easy to get this information, particularly on Twitter, so use it.  An influencer response can yield big results—if not the first time, then certainly over time—and it’s your job to know who the influencers are.

9. Build New Media Relationships. This is an adjunct of the item above, but it also stands on its own as a key aspect of New Media: build relationships with your top influencers and stick with it until you get New Media placements.

10. Be Pitch Perfect! Where do I see companies and university students/administrators miss the mark most often? Call it “off-pitching.” Example: You’ve found an influential fitness blogger who is vegan, and yes, he or she reaches millions—but you work for a snack food company. Don’t pitch that blogger. Instead, look for influencers who are a perfect match for your product or idea or point of view. One “off-pitch,” and the influencers may never work with you again.

According to Suzanne, these suggestions should be looked on as a tune-up for businesses and university leaders. As she puts it: “Be sure to get the help you need, even if you are working with an agency. You need to know all relevant aspects of New Media, and it is sometimes the case that so-called ‘experts’ give you what they know, not what you need to learn.”

Suzanne’s conclusion: “Whatever it is, take the time to learn the fundamentals in order to be able to ask good questions!”

About Suzanne McDonald
Suzanne McDonald is a revolutionary in New Media who started her company, Designated Editor, with the express purpose of educating clients on every aspect of New Media. This includes social media from Google+ to Twitter, as well as WordPress, blogger outreach/strategy, fully integrated marketing, and face-to-face events/networking.

McDonald’s objective is to combine all New Media into a consistent whole, and to do it affordably and thoroughly. By so doing, she has become the leading purveyor of New Media expertise in New England. McDonald's "techie" forum in Newport, Rhode Island, reaches nearly 1,000 business leaders, and her business has doubled in size each year since it began.

About Designated Editor
Designated Editor is New England's leading purveyor of New Media expertise at affordable rates, encompassing every aspect of New Media including Social Media. Founded in 2006 by Suzanne McDonald, Designated Editor is New England's leading source for techie forums, business-to-business networking for technology pros, and for global clients needing one-stop-shopping for a world that has become treacherous to navigate. As of 2013, Designated Editor is a leader in the movement to educate university students nationwide in New Media. For more information go to

Aiming for the Top: A Grand Stevie Awards Winner’s Path to Success


Melissa Sones Consulting in New York, New York, won a Grand Stevie Award in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier business awards program for women.  The 2014 Stevie Awards for Women in Business is now accepting entries, with a July 23 early-bird deadline.  Review the entry kit here.

Melissa SonnesNewThis past November, Grand Stevie Award trophies were presented for the first time in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business to the five organizations that submitted the best body of entries to the competition.  Also a first, the name at the top of that list was not for an individual or company that had been a winner: it went to Melissa Sones Consulting, which had successfully entered several of its clients in the competition.  

We asked Melissa for some insight on this success.  What, for example, did she tell her clients were the most important reasons for entering a professional awards competition such as the Stevie Awards for Women in Business? 

“First, I tell clients or potential clients that awards marketing is the number one form of marketing in the world,” explained Melissa. “Just look around you: car companies run TV commercials noting that they are number one on J.D. Power and Associates; others on TV say they are topping Angie’s List. There are many examples.

The Power of Awards

“Second, I tell them I have had personal experience with the power of awards. I won a major award years ago and it changed my life and brought opportunities my way that might not otherwise have come. In my experience winning awards has worked, so I encourage my clients to win awards themselves so that they can do the same for their businesses, ultimately attracting lots more business.

The Thrill of Winning

“Reason number three is the awards ceremony itself.  While I focus on the applications and the actual winning—so far, 99% of those we have entered for major business awards have won something—getting up in front of a large audience comprising a wide range of business owners is a thrill. That’s why I took a table at the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women In Business Awards and encouraged my clients to come. Four of them won Gold Stevies, and it was very exciting!

“A fourth reason is that I want my clients to have a marketing tool that they can use over and over again. Win once and you can put it out there forever. I love that, and it’s effective.

Value for Money

“Finally, there is the cost. As a major marketing tool for a company of any size from sole proprietor to corporation, awards marketing is extremely affordable—a big bang for your buck, as they say. Pay a very affordable fee and we work to help you win. We are also “winner spotters,” so if we believe you can win, you usually do.”

Winning a Grand Award

We asked Melissa what winning a Grand Award at the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business had meant to her.

“I was surprised when I won!” she told us. “It meant that the focus of my company–the only awards consulting company of its kind in the U.S.—is working.”

Additionally, Melissa told us that her awards consulting company does more work with the Stevie Awards than with any other awards competitions.  As she puts it: “Everything about it makes sense for the many businesses I work with. The applications themselves allow for creativity without being too time-consuming; the team at the Stevies is available whenever I need help, such as when filing an application or following up on a trophy order; and the awards have names or titles that I happen to like from a marketing standpoint.  Winning a Women in Business Award or an American Business Award or an International Business Award appeals to my clients, most of whom have come back for more awards, with the Stevie Awards for Women In Business at the top of the list so far!

Living in Integrity

Melissa has been a professional writer her entire adult life, and running a marketing awards company incorporates that.  As she told us: “I have always done exactly what I want to do ONLY if what I want is in my Integrity, no matter what, and I continue to do that. The latter is part of Living In Integrity.”

Continued Melissa: “I also do business differently and it works! I use a tool that I share with clients and with others. Tools For Living Free is a special two-sided educational publication based on talks given by Roger B. Lane, Ph.D., the Founder/Director of Cosmos Tree, Inc., a nonprofit Educational Foundation based in New York City. The Tools For Living Free pamphlet that I most often use–and which gives me and my clients a roadmap for doing business–is titled How To Run A Business (Your Life) Spiritually.  It shows the importance of clear communication; of ‘seeing all things anew’; of letting go of any attachments to results (huge for me when it comes to new business); and the importance of handling the tasks ‘that will make a difference.’ In business, that could be tasks that move the company forward, i.e. newer, more creative options (instead of the same old same old) or something that is a service to others.”

Melissa is certainly providing a service to others, as her achievements testify.

About Melissa Sones

Melissa Sones is a seasoned, results-focused communications and media relations consultant and writer in the lifestyle arena. Her clients include companies in fashion, beauty, food and restaurants, consumer products, public relations, health, international investment banking, retail, and family publishing.

Known for her corporate seminars on "The Art of Pitching" as it relates to lifestyle, Melissa is a former columnist for Food & Wine; the former beauty editor at Self magazine; fashion features editor (and member of the founding team) of Mirabella; fashion critic for the New York Post; and fashion editor for United Press International. She has been a regular contributor to Glamour and her pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, and Redbook, among others. She was also a contributor to the Zagat Guide on Shopping. She is the author of Getting into Fashion, A Career Guide (Ballantine) and Full Frontal Fashion: Never Worry Again About What To Wear (Plume/Penguin Group), which was featured in People Stylewatch, on The View, and in other national publications. She has been quoted on lifestyle in O, The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple. Her company specializes in creative thinking and knowing what's coming down the pike before others do. The New York Times featured the company’s creative approach in a 2009 article. In 2013, Melissa Sones chose to make awards and awards marketing the main focus of her company.

About Melissa Sones Consulting

Melissa Sones Consulting (MSC) is an awards consulting company that helps individuals and businesses win the top national and international awards—with a special emphasis on business awards. 99% of the companies MSC has entered for a top business award have won something. If you want to win, you want to work with MSC. For more information, go to

Learn all about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, and organizations they run at

American Business Awards Announces First Group of Stevie Winners


Beats Electronics, SunTrust Bank, and Yahoo, Inc. Among Winners of Gold Stevie® Awards;New Product and Tech-related Winners to Be Announced at Second Event in San Francisco on September 12

The 12th Annual American Business AwardsSM announced Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie® Award Winners last Friday night, June 13, at the first of two gala award ceremonies taking place this year.

Stevie Awards logoFriday evening’s ceremony took place at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel and honored winners in categories for customer service, human resources, corporate communications, live events, publications, videos, and selected categories for company/organization, management and marketing.  Winners in all new product and technology-related categories, and other management, marketing, and company/organization categories, will be announced at an event at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on September 12.

The American Business Awards, the top business awards program in the U.S., honor an all-inclusive spectrum of American business people and organizations -- from non-profits, emerging start-ups, major public companies and government agencies, to corner-office executives, corporate communicators, support staff and customer service teams.

Notable Gold Stevie Award Winners announced on Friday include:

­   Communications, IR, or PR Executive of the Year: Susan Johnson, AT&T Inc.

­   Marketing Department of the Year: Univision Communications Inc.

­   Public Relations Agency of the Year: PMK*BNC

­   Company of the Year - Food & Beverage: Checkers and Rally's Restaurants, Inc.

­   Executive of the Year - Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations: Amanda Currie, Adconion Direct

­   Customer Service Department of the Year: Wells Fargo Treasury Management Client Delivery

­   Global Issues Campaign of the Year: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

­   Support Team of the Year: Electric Insurance Company

­   Best Consumer Event: NASCAR, Inc.

­   Best Public Relations Video: Peabody Energy

­   Most Innovative Company of the Year - More Than 2,500 Employees: Yahoo, Inc.

­   Human Resources Team of the Year: UST Global

AMD won five Gold Stevie Awards on Friday, more than any other organization, while Quality Systems, Inc. took home four. Winners of three Gold Stevie Awards are Medtech College and MWW.  Organizations who took home two Gold Stevie Awards are Accenture, Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance, AT&T, BDS Marketing, CapitalOne ShareBuilder, Engility, Hager Fox Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Home Instead Senior Care, Makovsky, NASCAR, Inc., Pacific Life, Renters Warehouse, SCRA, Slack and Company, and Univision Communications.

More than 3,300 entries were submitted to The 2014 American Business Awards, and 240 executives nationwide participated in judging to determine this year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners. 

For a complete list of the Stevie Award winners in this year’s American Business Awards visit

Every new product or service nominated in The 2014 American Business Awards will automatically be included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products.  Voting will open to the general public on July 7, and the winners will be honored at The American Business Awards ceremony in San Francisco on September 12.

Last night’s presentations were taped and will be broadcast by Biz Talk Radio ( on Tuesday and Friday nights.

About the Stevie® Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in five programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  A sixth program, the German Stevie Awards, will debut later this year.  Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.  Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Sponsors and partners of The 2014 American Business Awards include Biz Talk Radio, CallidusCloud, Citrix Online, Cvent, Engility, John Hancock, LycaMobile, PetRays, and Softpro.

International Business Awards Deadline Extended to July 9


Yesterday was the final entry deadline for the 11th annual International Business Awards, the world’s top business awards program.

By popular demand, we have decided to universally extend the final entry deadline through Wednesday, July 9.  No additional late fees or penalties will be required, and late entries will not be penalized in any way in the judging process.


Stevies 2014 logoThe IBAs typically receive nominations from organizations in more than 50 nations and territories and are the world’s only completely international business awards competition. All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries.

This business awards program features a wide range of categories to recognize achievement in every aspect of the workplace, including

See the full list of International Business Awards categories.

Nominations should cite achievements since January 1 2013. There is no eligibility timeframe for app and web site entries - it does not matter when they were first published.

Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards will be announced on August 13, and the winners celebrated at a gala banquet at the Westin Vendome Hotel in Paris, France on October 10.

Do not hesitate to contact us with your questions about how to participate in The 2014 International Business Awards.

Who's Coming to The American Business Awards Next Friday?


The first of two awards banquets for The 2014 (12th Annual) American Business Awards, the premier business awards programs in the U.S.A., will be staged next Friday, June 13 at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.

* Get your tickets here

* Reserve guest rooms at the Fairmont Hotel here

Stevie AwardThe customer service, human resources, live events, publications, public relations & corporate communications, support and video awards categories, and selected categories for company/organization, management, and marketing, will be presented in Chicago next Friday.

The app, IT, new product and service, and website awards categories, and other selected categories for company/organization, management, and marketing, will be presented at a second event on September 12 in San Francisco.

So who's coming to the gala in Chicago next week?  Here's a current list of the organizations who've already confirmed their attendance.

97th Floor
AAA Auto Club Group
ABM Franchising Group
Acorda Therapeutics
Adconion Direct
All Florida Paper, Inc.
American Medical Response
American Solar Direct
BackBay Communications
Bankers Warranty Group/Bankers Financial Corp
BDS Marketing, Inc.
Best Doctors, Inc.
Bloom Health
Bloomin' Brands
BMO Capital Markets
Capital One ShareBuilder
Checkers & Rally's Restaurants
Cisco Systems
Citrix Systems
Cub Cadet
CyraCom International, Inc.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Dean Evans and Associates
Digital Grin Communications
Diligent Board Member Services
Echelon Design, Inc.
Electric Insurance Company
Empire Today
EPS Financial
Experian Marketing Services
Extraordinary Events
Fazoli's Restaurants
FBMC Benefits Management
FleishmanHillard (for AT&T)
Fora Financial
Google, Inc.
Graebel Companies, Inc.
Grand Canyon University
Grass Roots Meetings & Events, Inc.
Grow Marketing
Hamilton Jewelers
HighPoint Global
Home Instead Senior Care
Hyatt Legal Plans
Hyundai Motor America
Information Builders
Integral Ad Science
Kowa Pharmaceuticals
L.C. Williams & Associates
Level 3 Communications, LLC
Locus Telecommunications, Inc.
Makovsky Integrated Communications
Marriott Vacations Worldwide
MassMutual Financial Group
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Minacs Marketing Solutions
MOSAIC Rehabilitation, Inc.
Move Management, Inc.
Nongshim America
Omnitracs, LLC
One Eighty
Oswego Community Unit School District 308
Oxford City Football Club, Inc.
Pairelations, LLC
Pepco Holdings, Inc.
PetRays / CardioVet
Quality Systems, Inc.
Realityworks, Inc.
Redbud Financial Group
Renters Warehouse
Roof Diagnostics Solar
Roth Staffing Companies, L.P.
Ryan, LLC
Saatchi and Saatchi
Sentient Interactive
Sentric, Inc.
Slack and Company
Snowbound Software
Stratus Interactive
SunTrust Banks, Inc.
Teletrac, Inc.
The 5th Avenue Theatre
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
The Remi Group, LLC
The Webster Group
Trex Company
U.S. Green Building Council
UAE Embassy - Consulate Division
UAE Embassy - Police Division
Utah Basement Kitchen & Bath
Velie Law Firm
Virtusa Corporation
Washington Street Properties
Wells Fargo Bank
Wheels, Inc.
World Water Works, Inc.
Yext (Representing Citibank)

Want to network with this impressive group of organizations? Get your tickets here.

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