2014 International Business Awards Now Accepting Entries

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 05:57 PM

The 2014 (11th Annual) International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, is accepting entries.

Get your entry kit here.

Stevies 2014 LogoAll individuals and organizations worldwide -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small -- may submit nominations to the IBAs, recognized as the world's top honors in business and the only completely international business awards competition.

The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Stevie® Award trophies will be conferred upon top-scoring nominations in each category, to be determined by the ratings of more than 200 professionals around the world, acting as judges..

The IBAs feature 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 1 January 2013. There is no eligibility timeframe for app and web site entries - it does not matter when they were first published.

The early-bird entry deadline, with discounted entry fees, is 16 April. The entry deadline is 14 May, but late entries will be accepted through 11 June with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at www.stevieawards.com/iba.

Results will be announced on 13 August and 2014 honorees will be celebrated at the 11th annual awards banquet in October in Paris, France.  

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

Topics: business awards, website awards, marketing awards, International business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, new product awards, IBAs

Real Estate Investment Tips from an American Business Awards Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 02:43 PM

Theresa Bradley-Banta Real Estate Consultancy in Denver, Colorado, USA won a Gold Stevie® Award in the website awards categories of The 2013 American Business Awards, the U.S.A.’s top business awards program. The company also won a Bronze Stevie® for Company of the Year-Real Estate; and Theresa won the Bronze for Executive of the Year-Real Estate. (Entries are now being accepted to The 2014 American Business Awards - get your entry kit here.) With the rallying real estate market, Theresa provides1401bradleybanta some savvy tips on how to invest wisely.

“I started investing in real estate in 2004, largely by accident,” Theresa told us. “Through my work as a business coach, I realized that I could buy a property, rent it out, and, through the income received, upgrade to a far more beautiful home/office space.  I not only made my money back—and then some—but I also had the home and office of my dreams.”

Theresa was hooked.  Since then, investing in real estate has become her life’s passion and her main source of income. “It’s really as a result of my passion that I chose to become an educator and consultant,” she told us.  Her clients are individuals who want to invest, or are already investing, in real estate-from beginners to pros with million dollar investments.

Over the years, Theresa has seen that certain rules for real estate investment do not change. “Abide by them and income will follow,” she promises. Here are Theresa’s rules:

Education Counts
Indeed it does. If you can afford a coach or consultant, allow yourself that luxury. You will save a lot of time, energy, and money in the long run. As an educator, I’ve found it is not unusual for a client to sign on with the belief that real estate requires little more than the simple desire to get rich. It takes a lot more than that, however!

It’s A Job
Sorry, folks, but investing in real estate is a job. If you have the time and energy for it, great. If not, I recommend you walk away. I occasionally advise potential clients to do just that, which is why a consultant can help big-time to prevent you from losing your shirt—or at least your day job.

The Money Factor
Another myth is that you need to have a lot of money to invest in real estate. You don’t. You just need what I call a “good deal.”  If you have that, the money is there!  So what is a good deal? It’s a property that you just know is perfect-or close to it. In other words, when those additional partners you will need to fund the deal hear about it, they will jump at it.

For example, I found a wonderful 29-unit apartment building (a multifamily dwelling) but I needed investors. I simply chose to ask my brother-in-law; then, lo and behold, two friends of his—total strangers to me—stepped in. Both loved the deal. Not only that, one was a CPA and the other an attorney, so they were able to provide both financial and legal advice. The trick to finding those investors? Just ask! Your next investor might be the person standing next to you.

The Starting Point
Many first-time investors like to begin with residential real estate. This means investing in a residential property other than your own home. I have a neighbor here in Denver who did just that several years ago, and who is now reaping millions. My own biggest triumph was my first investment property: I bought it; renovated it; and sold it.  Real estate almost always appreciates, but it’s the first purchase that—if you do it right—can change your psychology (think confidence!) and allow you to build a portfolio that reaps your own millions.

Look Around
If you’ve never invested before, feel free to begin the way I did by simply driving around and looking for properties I liked.  Picture yourself owning it. Once you set that inner intention of ownership, you are on your way!

Networking is crucial to what I call the Research Phase. Start by networking with professionals who know what you need to know: real estate agents/brokers; property managers in the markets you like; even contractors familiar with the type of property you like.  In fact, any individuals who know the area you are reviewing from the bottom up.

Do Your Research
Do your research due diligence by going online to find the best resources. There are two blog posts available on my website that between them list some 15 sources for market research, including market data, demographics, and key articles.

Know The Real Numbers
Make sure you know the numbers. A mistake I see investors make most often—including the pros—is that they go with the proforma numbers given to them by agents or owners rather than having an expert go over them. You must have an experienced mentor or real estate investor on tap to help you with this. It may cost you some money (although some may do it for free), but this is something you have to do or you will make costly mistakes.

Invest In Apartment Buildings
While many beginners choose to start with a single-family residential property, as a consultant I sometimes recommend the next level up: invest in multifamily dwellings, or even apartment buildings. Investing in an apartment building is a logical first step. Advantages include cash flow from rental income, tax benefits, and property appreciation. That’s why I wrote a book last year entitled Invest In Apartment Buildings: Profit Without The Pitfalls.

The Over-Renovation Trap
Be sure to take a good look at the tenant base when researching a multifamily dwelling in which to invest. Where I so often see people go wrong—including the pros—is that the first thing they do on completing their purchase is to over-renovate the property.  Before any purchase, take a simple look around and be realistic. DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH A PROPERTY! Like any relationship, the chances that it’s going to change because you want it to are not high.  If there are beat-up cars lingering in the parking lot, it is not a given that you will suddenly attract a bigger-spending tenant base.  Or maybe the building is in a neighborhood that, no matter what you do, will never attract the tenants you’re after.

The Landlord Trap
For me, being a landlord is a joy. It’s a lot of work, but I love it. If you don’t want to be a landlord—and even having a property manager means overseeing the manager—this is not the field for you. I love being a landlord, which to me means the pure joy of providing a beautiful, well-managed space that my tenants can call home. What a gift that is to give!

Have A Great Team
Make sure you have an A-plus team around you, no matter the cost. These include contractors, property managers (if you are not choosing to manage the property yourself), financial experts, etc. The better your team, the better you will do. 

Get Educated
I’m ending where I began, because it’s crucial: Make sure you have someone on hand to educate you. A client of mine initially didn’t quite have the confidence to pull off a deal, but through our weekly sessions he now does, and he has just successfully invested in a multifamily property. It’s the confidence that counts!

For more information on investing, resources, and articles, visit www.theresabradleybanta.com. Be sure to read Theresa’s informative blog.

About Theresa Bradley-Banta
Theresa Bradley-Banta, founder and CEO of Theresa Bradley-Banta Real Estate Consultancy, is an award-winning consultant, published author, and a sought-after speaker on reality-based strategies for buying, owning, and operating multifamily investment properties. She specializes in helping clients become ever more knowledgeable about the art of real estate investing. The TBBREC client base runs from beginners to professional investors with millions in investment income.

Theresa Bradley-Banta has been featured in The Equifax Finance Blog, on the radio show Chat With Women, in Scotsman Guide, on The Lucy Ann Lance Show, in The Fordyce Letter, and in AOL’s Daily Finance, among others.

Topics: business awards, website awards, stevie awards, management awards

A Simple Methodology Spells Sales Success for Stevie® Awards Final Judging Chair

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 02:33 PM

Mike Ortegon, Director of Global Sales Operations at HomeAway, a Stevie® Award-winning online marketplace of vacation rentals based in Austin, Texas, will Chair the Final Judging Committee for the Customer Service and Contact Center Team categories of the 2014 Stevie®ST SD Chair ORTEGON Awards for Sales & Customer Services, the world's premier sales awards and customer service awards. The results will be announced on February 21 at the gala awards banquet in Las Vegas. We talked to Mike about the challenges facing today’s sales teams.

“Today’s sales professionals are challenged by savvy customers and prospects,” says Mike Ortegon, Director of Global Sales at HomeAway.  “Thanks to digital and social media advancements, they have many channels of information and are consequently better informed during the purchase cycle. As a result, it is essential for sales professionals to stay one step ahead in preparation, to anticipate upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and to be consultative throughout the process.”

We asked him what steps he would recommend companies should take to establish standardized sales procedures across countries and regions. “You might be prone to think a unique product or service requires a special sales process,” Mike told us. “Some may even argue the selling process has to continually change, but my experience is that the change is occurring in the buying process, as noted above. Today’s buyers are more informed than ever.”

Simplified Methodology

“Many sales people are familiar with the ‘four, five, six, seven...sales cycle’ methodologies,” added Mike. “In reality, each of these can be boiled down to four steps: Qualify; Research; Propose; and Close. A simplified methodology enables people to focus on the sale, not the process.”

Concluded Mike: “It is always important to pay close attention to cultural differences, although just because someone speaks a different language doesn’t mean a different sales process is needed. For example, in some countries such as Southern Europe and Asia, face-to-face selling is a common practice, while other cultures are fine with a phone call. In any scenario, you still need to qualify, research, propose and close.”

Benefits of a Stevie® Award
HomeAway won a Gold Stevie® for Sales Operations Team of the Year in The 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. As Chair of one of this year’s Final Judging Committees, he is fully aware of the benefits of being a winner.

“Winning the Stevie® Award really brought to light the effectiveness of the HomeAway team in their first year together,” Mike told us.  “It brought about an even greater appreciation for the experience, talent, and determination possessed by each individual. It was great to be rewarded for our hard work and, ultimately, the team had better camaraderie and became even more motivated to improve sales effectiveness.”

Added Mike: “Winning the Stevie® Award in 2013 showcased the HomeAway sales team’s focus on adding value to the organization through industry-leading tools and best practices.”

Creating Lasting Memories

We asked Mike what most inspired him about his role at HomeAway.  His simple answer: he gets his inspiration from the HomeAway team and product. “We have fantastic people who are passionate about their work,” he told us. “Ours is a product that helps families and groups find their ideal getaway and focus on the most important part of traveling together: creating lasting memories.”

About Mike Ortegon:

Mike Ortegon joined HomeAway in March 2012 and is the Director of Global Sales Operations. In this role he is responsible for supporting sales leaders across the globe with tools, training, and sales insights to help make well-informed business decisions; and to run effective and efficient teams while aligning to corporate strategy.

Previously, Mike worked for Harte-Hanks as Global Account Director focusing on multichannel, data-driven solutions for Fortune 100 companies. Throughout his career, Mike has been in management, operational, and sales and marketing roles in North America, EMEA, Latin America, and APAC.

About HomeAway:
HomeAway is the world’s leading online marketplace of vacation rentals, with sites representing more than 773,000 paid listings of vacation rental homes in 171 countries. Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online.

Topics: customer service awards, stevie awards, business award, sales awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service, contact center awards

129 Preliminary Judges for the 2014 Sales & Customer Service Awards

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 @ 01:36 PM

As the final round of judging for the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service begins, we would like to acknowledge the 129 professionals worldwide who participated in the preliminary round of judging.

SASCS LogoRecognized as the world's top customer service awards and sales awards, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer service offer a wide range of categories to recognize the achievements of sales, business development, contact center, and customer service professionals.

The preliminary round of judging, conducted from November through through mid-January, determined the Finalist nominations in this year's competition that are eligible to be considered in the final round of judging.

The following professionals participated in preliminary-round judging of the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  We thank them for their time, insights and interest.

Teresa Allen, Owner, Common Sense Solutions, Shreveport, LA, USA
Amal Al-Najjar, HR Manager, Fluor - Kuwait, Kuwait
Mohammad Alreeh, Lt. Col., Ministry of the Interior, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Johnny Anderson, Vice President, Bulldog Solutions, Austin, TX, USA
Dmitry Aristarkov, Executive VP, National Association of Contact Centers, Moscow, Russia
Tristan Averett, Associate Manager - Enterprise EHR Support, Allscripts, Salem, OR, USA
Sam Baddeley, Senior Manager, Sales and Customer Service - Management Consulting, Accenture, London, United Kingdom
Paul Bilodeou, VP Sales and Marketing, The Brooks Group, Greensboro, NC, USA
Jill Blankenship, CEO, Frontline Call Center, Eastsound, WA, USA
Angela Blevins, VP Customer Care, Bluegreen Corporation, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Jeanne Bliss, President, CustomerBLISS, Pacific Palisades, CA, USA
Bob Botelle, Exec VP Merchant Services, Chief Customer Officer, Litle & Co, Lowell, MA, USA
Nick Broadbent, VP Global Support, DataCore Software, Reading, IN, USA
Jim Brodo, SVP Marketing, Richardson, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Peter Bush, CEO, New Swansea Bay, Port Talbot, Australia
Lucia Caron, Manager - Customer Support, Enterprise Intelligence Solutions (EIS), Verint Systems Inc., Herndon, VA, USA
Ana Castellanos, VP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Oakwood Temporary Housing, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Patrick Cheeseman, Head of Customer Support, Hotel Tonight, San Francisco, CA, USA
Peter Chiarelli, Sales Manager - Advertising Sales, Cablevision, Woodbury, NY, USA
Jackie Coffey, Director, Government and Consumer Markets, Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida, Point Vedra Beach, FL, USA
Michael Conley, Director of Operations Mid Atlantic, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, North Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
Ruth Cox, Client Support Manager, One Call Now, Troy, OH, USA
John Cushman, VP eSales & Service, AT&T, Bedminster, NJ, USA
Kelly Dantas, Media Director, SDI Distributor, Yonkers, NY, USA
Robyn Davis, Owner, When I Need Help, Columbis, SC, USA
Jim de Jager, Operations Director, UPC DTH Leasing S.à r.l., Howald, Luxembourg
Jim Dickie, Principal, CSO Insights, Denver, CO, USA
Kevin Dominigue, VP, Customer Services, TRUMPF, Inc., Farmington, CT, USA
Alan Dowler, Operations Manager, Hamilton Jewelers, Princeton, NJ, USA
LaVon Edwards, Director of Sales, Century Link, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Annette Eland, Claims Customer Service Manager, Esurance, Rocklin, CA, USA
Ted Elliot, CEO, Job Science, San Francisco, CA, USA
Anita Ellis, Director of Sales, Calderon Textiles, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Ron Essig, VP, Products & Services, Marriott Vacation Club, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Andrew J. Filipowski, Executive Chairman & CEO, SilkRoad Technology, Winston Salem, NC, USA
Laura Fischer, Customer Service Coordinator, Kohl's Department Stores, Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Simone Fojut, Chief Editor, SFO Medien GmbH, Wiesbaden, Germany
Dave Forsberg, EVP Sales & Marketing, Marketstar, Ogden, UT, USA
Heisha Freeman, EVP Sales & Marketing, The Move Management Center, Dallas, TX, USA
Chris French, VP, Customer Success, Globoforce, Southborough, MA, USA
Michael Galante, Speaker, thesalescoach.com, Preston, MD, USA
Stephen Giersch, Director Instructional Design, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Orlando, FL, USA
Stephen Gill, President - Consulting, SGA, Derby, United Kingdom
Robert P. Gillespie, Executive VP, New York Community Bancorp, Cleveland, OH, USA
Stanley Goodrich, Public Relations Manager, SYSPRO, Costa Mesa, CA, USA
Robert Gregory, VP of Customer Support, Media Temple, Marina Del Ray, CA, USA
Jimmy Griffith, Director, Solution Center Operations - Extended Protection Solutions, Assurant Solutions, Fort Worth, TX, USA
Judy Guffee, Senior Manager Customer Service, med fusion/ ClearPoint Diagnostic Laboratory, Louisville, TX, USA
Heidi Guzman, MBA - Customer Service, Consorcio Kairos, Villahermosa, Mexico
Gabriel Heijmer, Innovation & Development Manager, Swedavia AB, Stockholm, Sweden
Jim Heininger, Founder, Dixon|James Communications, Oak Park, IL, USA
Phillip Horvath, SVP - Professional Services, Merchant Partners, Redmond, WA, USA
Jennifer Hrycyszyn, Vice President, Greenough Communications, Boston, MA, USA
Tunde Hubina, Customer Care Director, UPC DTH S.à r.l., Howald, LA, Luxembourg
Linden Ingram, EVP Sales, Imparta Inc, Austin, TX, USA
Tyson Jacques, Customer support manager, Hoteltonight, Dover, NH, USA
Jeanne Jalufka, Sales Marketing Consultant, Pearson, Corpus Christ, TX, USA
Kala Jarugumilli, Sr. Manager, Customer Success Operations, NetApp, Sunnyvale, CA, USA
JP Jones, Owner, Collipsis Web Solutions, Tulsa, OK, USA
Meltem Karateke, President, IMI Conferences, Atasehir, Istanbul, Turkey
JoAnn Kay, Customer Care Director, Graduation Source, Port Chester, NY, USA
Chad Kestner, Director, Client Sales & Service, RCI, Carmel, IN, USA
James Koons, Chief Privacy Officer, Listrak, Lititz, PA, USA
Elzbieta Krawczynska, Quality Specialist Trainer, Bank Zachodni WBK S.A., Poznan, Poland
Suresh Kuppahally, SVP, Engineering, Operations and Customer Success, Replicon Inc, San Mateo, CA, USA
Yamini Kurup, VP Customer Experience, Aditya Birla Financial Services, Mumbai, India
Michael LeBarron, Lead Engineer, Gemvara, Rockland, MA, USA
Verna Lee, Marketing & Business Development Consultant, McTech Corp, Cleveland, OH, USA
Shane Lewis, Asst VP of Sales, Sundance Vacations, Kennett Square, PA, USA
Scott MacGregor, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Flo-Tech, Middletown, CT, USA
Jennifer Maldonado, Sr. Program Manager, Global Client Experience, Cornerstone OnDemand, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Wessam Massoud, Programme Delivery Manager, Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Center (ADSIC), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Deb Matthews, Director - Customer Experience, nexVortex, Herndon, VA, USA
Rowena Maxwell, Senior Principle - Customer Service, Accenture, London, United Kingdom
Lauren McKenzie, Customer Service Representative, JumpSport Inc, San Jose, CA, USA
Colin McKillip, Chief Executive Officer, Butcher Enterprises, Windsor, ON, Canada
Curtis McLaughlin, Customer Support Manager, AllClear ID, Austin, TX, USA
Chad O. Mills, COO, Carahsoft Technology Corp., Reston, VA, USA
Jay Mitchell, President, Mereo, LLC, Irving, TX, USA
John Monroe, Director of Communications, Stellar, Irving, TX, USA
Brian Moriarty, Vice President North America Sales, General Cable, Highland Heights, KY, USA
Jane Mullins, Sr Support Manager / Director, Technical Support Management Professional, Hayward, CA, USA
Michele Nylander, Client Relationship Director, CallMiner, Inc., Fort Myers, FL, USA
Brock Omohundro, Sr. Operations Manager - Training and Development, John Hancock, Portsmouth, NH, USA
Julius Orayo, Regional Head- Customer Services, The Jubilee Insurance Company of Kenya Limited, Nairobi, Kenya
Jacque Plair, Director - Americas Deployment & Corporate Services, IHG, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Churchill Dass Prince, Founder and CEO, Sales Intellect Company, Chennai, India
Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager, Empire Today, Northlake, IL, USA
Bryan Rand, Vice President, North American Sales, SDL International, Plano, TX, USA
Mark Repkin, Chief Revenue Officer, iPromo & Memory Suppliers, Morton Grove, IL, USA
Peter Rifkind, Director of Client Service, UltraLinq Healthcare Solutions, Inc, New York, NY, USA
Charlie Riley, CMO, PLS 3rd Learning, Buffalo, NY, USA
Nick Robertson, VP of Sales & Marketing, kCura, Chicago, IL, USA
Elizaveta Rybinskaya, Customer Care Director, OTTO Group Russia, Moscow, Russia
Megan Ritchie Saffitz, Director of LEED Support, US Green Building Council, Seattle, WA, USA
Randy Selleck, Sr. Director, Call Center Operations, Assurant Solutions, Atlanta, GA, USA
Behar Sensoz, Customer Complaint Management Specialist, Turk Telekom, Istanbul, Turkey
Tibor Shanto, President, Renbor Sales Solutions, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Ramin Shokrizadeh, Product Manager, FreshBooks, Toronto, Canada
Gary Shumaker, President, C2 Solutions Group, Inc., Reston, VA, USA
Manu Singh, Contact Center Manager, Dubai First, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Alec Stern, Founding Team, Vice President Strategic Market Development, Constant Contact, Waltham, MA, USA
Manfred Stockmann, President, Call Center Verband Deutschland e. V., Berlin, Germany
Doug Storbeck, Sr. Director of Operations, KM, Plymouth, MA, USA
Fred Stickroot, President, HomeNet, New Port Richey, FL, USA
Andrzej Szczepaniak, Deputy Director, Central Settlement Services - Santander Group, Bank Zachodni WBK S.A., Poznan, Poland
Jeff Tang, Senior Manager, Technical Support, The Active Network, The Active Network, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Will Tarrant, Co-Founder/Owner, Service Metrics Group, Plano, TX, USA
Özge Tekalp, Directr - Alternative Sales Channels, Türk Ekonomi Bankasi A.S, Istanbul, Turkey
Lucas Tennant, SE Regional Vice President, Sales - Payroll Division, Benefitmall, Franklin, TN, USA
Christopher Tepas, Chief Marketing Officer, Emkay, Itasca, IL, USA
Bob Thomas, Director of Business Development, Prorizon Corporation, Kennesaw, GA, USA
Corina Toader, Senior Associate Operations, WNS Global, Bucharest, Romania
Ron Torten, VP, WW Sales, Inphi, Santa Clara, CA, USA
Cathy Townend, Product Manager - CSA Travel Protection, Europ Assistance, San Diego, CA, USA
Tina Turnbow, Regional Scheduling Manager, Solis Women's Health, Addison, TX, USA
Abdiel Urriola, Sales & Marketing, Puma Energy, Panama
Lori Van Dyke, Manager of Customer Care, Access One Inc, Chicago, IL, USA
Vincent Vanden Bossche, Managing Director, Call Communications, Ottenberg, Belgium
Chris Vassan, Communcations Lead, Cisco Systems, Inc., Raleigh Triangle Park, NC, USA
David Vasquez, Customer Care Executive, Ally Bank, Charlotte, NC United States
Shelley Verdejo, Director, Facilities, Acquisition & Adminstrative Services, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Washington DC, USA
Madalina Vilau, Managing Partner, Expo Media, Bucharest, Romania
Laura Walter, Corporate Marketing Manager, Enterprise Fleet Management, St. Louis, MO, USA
Jeremy Watkin, Director Of Customer Service, Phone.com, Poway, CA, USA
Tim Watson, Vice President - Mobile Applications, Parentlink, Provo, UT, USA
Matt Weston, Director, Client Services, TradeKing, Charlotte, NC, USA
Floor Wijburg, CEO, W&I Consultants, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Rusty Williams, Co-Founder, Align Sales, Wayland, MA, USA

Interested in judging the 2015 awards?  Apply to be a judge here.

Topics: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, excellent customer service, customer service excellence

Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Announce Finalists in 8th Annual Competition

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 10:59 AM

SASCS logoFinalists in the 8th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals, were announced today.

A diverse group of organizations and individuals around the world are among those recognized in the customer service awards, contact center awards, and sales awards categories.  Organizations with Finalists in multiple categories include AllClear ID, Bluegreen Vacations, Cars.com, Delta Air Lines, DHL Express, EMKAY, FedEx TechConnect, Canada's FreshBooks, John Hancock, Lennox Industries, LiveAnswer, Marriott Vacation Club, Marsh U.S. Consumer, Parlant Technology, PetRays Veterinary Telemedicine Consultants, Property Insight, Richardson, Salesforce, SoftPro, SurePayroll, Inc., Turkey's Turk Economy Bank, ValueSelling Associates, VIZIO, Inc., Turkey's Vodafone, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership. For a full list of Finalists by category, visit www.StevieAwards.com/Sales

Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be announced during a gala banquet on Friday, February 21 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Tickets are now on sale.

More than 1,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition, an increase of 36% over 2013.  Finalists were determined by the average scores of 129 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges.  Entries were considered in 43 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 43 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers. 

More than 100 members of seven specialized judging committees will determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging, to take place January 27 - February 5.  

Beginning today, the general public will be able to cast their votes for their favorite providers of good customer service in the People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service Department.  Voting is open at http://www.stevieawards.com/Service.peopleschoice. Winners of the People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service in multiple industries will be determined in mid-February and honored at the awards gala in Las Vegas on February 21.

About The Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in five programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business 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 www.StevieAwards.com.

Sponsors and supporters of the eighth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include the BusinessTalkRadio Network, Competence Call Center, and ValueSelling Associates.

Topics: sales excellence, best customer service, best sales department, business awards, stevie awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, company awards, contact center awards, customer service excellence, Customer Service Team of the Year, award-winning customer service, best sales practices, peoples choice stevie awards, sales award, Sales & Customer Service, sales team awards

Chairs Named for 2014 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Final Judging Committees

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 @ 04:11 PM

The following seven executives have been appointed to head the final judging committees that will determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie® Award winners in the 2014 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  (All the category groups can be viewed in more detail here.) The winners will be announced at the awards gala on Friday, February 21 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Becky JohnsBecky Johns, Vice President of MarketBridge in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, is Chair of the Final Judging Committee for the Sales Achievement and Sales Individual categories.

Becky Johns works with clients to improve marketing and sales productivity by developing and executing integrated data-driven marketing and sales strategies. At MarketBridge, a global provider of digital marketing, sales enablement, and customer analytics solutions, her experience centers primarily on building brand loyalty through customer acquisition, engagement and retention programs and developing online and social media communities. Becky recently led her MarketBridge teams to win back-to-back Gold Stevie Awards for Sales Training Program of the Year in the 2012 and 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service Awards, as well as a Silver Stevie for Brand Experience of the Year in The 2013 American Business Award.

George OrrGeorge Orr, Vice President of Client Services at kCura in Chicago, Illinois, USA, is Chair of the Customer Service & Contact Center Achievement Final Judging Committee.

George Orr is vice president of client services at kCura, a developer of web-based e-discovery applications for managing large volumes of electronic evidence during litigation or investigations.  A member of the kCura team since 2007, George’s department is responsible for much of the company’s client-facing activity. Over the past few years, George has helped the team’s processes evolve from “brute-force problem-solving” to a set of polished procedures that ensures a positive customer experience every time. Prior to taking the reins of kCura’s client services department, George worked as the messaging systems manager for Rotary International, a Chicago-based non-profit organization specializing in humanitarian funding programs.

George is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to being a Relativity Certified Administrator, George also has extensive Microsoft and infrastructure training and is certified in both arenas.


Mike Ortegon

Mike Ortegon, Director of Global Sales Operations at HomeAway.com in Austin, Texas, USA, Chairs the Final Judging Committee for the Sales Team and Sales Department categories.

Mike Ortegon joined HomeAway in March 2012. As the Director of Global Sales Operations, he is responsible for supporting sales leaders across the globe to help them make well-informed business decisions and to run effective and efficient teams while aligning to corporate strategy.  Throughout his career, Mike has been in management, operational, sales, and marketing roles in North America, EMEA, Latin America, and APAC. 


Sanjeev GargSanjeev Garg, Global Head of Customer Care, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit at TATA Motors in Mumbai, India, is Chair of our Customer Service & Contact Center Individual Final Judging Committee.

Sanjeev Garg has been the Global Head of Customer Care for the Commercial Vehicle Business Unit of Tata Motors since December 2011. His customer care group is spread across four continents and supports more than 3 million Tata Motors vehicles through 2,300-plus service touch points and over 33,000 retail networks of spare parts. In 1996, Sanjeev joined General Motors Ltd and was instrumental in launching new initiatives for the customer satisfaction index and new Competitive Intelligence processes. His work at GM encompassed global geographies including South East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Under his leadership, GM was ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction in the Middle East, ahead of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.

KellyThomasThe Chair of our Customer Service Department Final Judging Committee is Kelly Thomas, Assistant Vice President, Client Relations at OppenheimerFunds, Inc., in Englewood, Colorado, USA.

Kelly Thomas began working with OppenheimerFunds 29 years ago and currently is assistant vice president of Client Relations at its Denver Campus.   Her leadership philosophy is to act with integrity and pursue excellence.  She believes a leader should be able to take risks, to challenge the status quo, to inspire others, and to create a healthy work environment that will encourage and foster team collaboration. In addition to her leadership role within OppenheimerFunds, Kelly serves as the president of the City of Centennial Chapter for the National Association of Professional Women

BenHerkenhoffBen Herkenhoff, Customer Interaction Center Manager at Outsell, LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Chairs our Customer Service & Contact Center Team Final Judging Committee.

Ben Herkenhoff has been the manager of the Customer Interaction Center at Outsell for the past two years.  Outsell LLC is a digital marketing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that is transforming the way brands engage with consumers. Its Digital Engagement Platform offers clients the ability to consistently engage with consumers across distributed sales networks from the national to local level. Ben’s team at Outsell won the Stevie® Award for Contact Center of the Year in the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Ben tells us he is “excited to get started” on the final judging, and has worked hard to put together a great committee.

Ansa SekharanThe Chair of our Final Judging Committee for the New Product & Service and Solution Provider categories is Ansa Sekharan, Senior Vice President, Global Customer Support at Informatica Corporation in Redwood City, California, USA

Ansa Sekharan is senior vice president of Global Customer Support at Informatica Corporation, an independent provider of data integration software and data masking technology. He is responsible for establishing Informatica as a trusted partner for customers worldwide by ensuring their success with Informatica's products.  Ansa has a very busy schedule, dividing his time between Redwood City, California and Bangalore, India, as well as other global Informatica locations.


Topics: sales excellence, judging, stevie award, stevie awards for sales and customer service, sales achievement, sales award, sales award, Sales Performance, Sales, judges, Finalists

5 Examples of Inspiring Women in Business Awards Winners

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Jan 09, 2014 @ 11:35 AM

We have published the full-text of the Gold Stevie® Award-winning nominations in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and what a treasure-trove of inspiration, drama, and information they are!


The results of the 10th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business - the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run - were announced in November in New York. The awards feature categories to recognize the achievements of individual executives, business owners, and employees; for-profit and non-profit organizations; and new products and services, marketing and public relations campaigns, and media created by or for women.

It's been our tradition to publish the full-text of Gold Stevie Award-winning entries (after the winners have the opportunity to redact any confidential information from them). Gold-winning entries are among the popular features on our web sites. They're vastly educational and entertaining, and they're great examples of entries that judges have scored highly, so they're models for future entries.

Here are some of the Gold Stevie-winning entries you'll find online now.

Frieda Caplan, founder or Frieda's, Inc.

Frieda received a Lifetime Achievement Stevie, and one of the biggest cheers of the night, for her humble and inspiring acceptance speech.

 Frieda Caplan

Redicka Subrammanian, CEO of Interakt Digital Communications

Redicka started her business at a table in a coffee shop in Singapore, and now is a Gold Stevie Award winner for Entrepreneur of the Year - Business Services.

 Redicka Subrammanian

Elizabeth Xu, Group VP-Engineering with Acxiom Corporation

Big Data is a big topic these days, and Elizabeth was recognized for her achievements with a leader in big data.

 Elizabeth Xu

Final Salute, Inc.

Final Salute's mission is to provide homeless female U.S. veterans with affordable housing. They were recognized with two Gold Stevies in 2013, this one for Event of the Year for their Ms Veteran America Competition.

 Final Salute

She Takes on the World Inc.

Natalie McNeil's She Takes on the World has won won several Gold Stevies over the years for her web site that focuses on business and personal development for women entrepreneurs.

 She Takes on the World

Read all of the Gold Stevie Award-winning entries in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business today!

Entries for the 2014 edition of the awards will open in May. Join the mailing list so that the entry kit is emailed to you as soon as it's available.

1 Week to Sales & Customer Service Awards Final Entry Deadline

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Jan 07, 2014 @ 12:34 PM

Submit your entries today at www.StevieAwards.com/Sales

Tuesday, January 14 is the final entry deadline for the 2014 (8th annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. These are the world's top honors for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries.

Review the entry kit now - you'll find it online, here. The entry kit contains all of the information you'll need to be able to prepare and submit entries to the 2014 awards.

BellagioThere's a lot that's new and different for the awards this year, including our new Grand Stevie Award trophy.

Finalists will be announced on January 22.  All Finalists will ultimately be named Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award winners.  The winners will be announced during a gala banquet at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on Friday, February 21.  (Attendance isn't required to win.)

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature categories to recognize achievement in every aspect of the worklife of sales, business development, contact center, and customer service professionals:

  • Individual Sales Performers
  • Sales Teams and Departments
  • Sales Achievements
  • Individual Customer Service and Contact Center Performers
  • Customer Service/Contact Center Achievements
  • Customer Service Departments
  • Solution Providers to Sales and Customer Service Professionals
  • New Products and Services used by sales and customer service professionals

Don't hesitate to contact us with your questions about how to participate in the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

P.S.  Need a few extra days to enter?  Contact us.

Topics: sales excellence, customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, excellent customer service, contact center awards, customer service excellence