The Boost

July, 2021

President's Message

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Brad French

Respectfully submitted:  Brad French, President

As summer is now in full swing, I am hoping everyone is enjoying the great outdoors and the warmer temperatures.   I know I have been!   Linda recently shared a membership video with the Directors. I recommend that you watch it - link below.  CAM-X is an incredible organization that provides tremendous value to all its members.  I know that my company is involved in CAM-X on many different levels.  The value that it brings is based on your participation and investment in your staff.  Please take the time to watch this video.

Our convention committee has been hard at work, and we have a jammed packed schedule on September 28th, 29th and 30th.  The benefit of the virtual convention is the amount of people that can participate in convention.  The price point is quite low compared to an in-person convention so take advantage of being able to have more participants from your organization.  You can also pick and choose what sessions you want team members to attend.  I have heard from many different members about how they took advantage of this at last year’s convention.

At our last board meeting we also discussed how great it was that more team members from our organizations can attend convention virtually.  While we all agree that there is tremendous value and need to have in-person meetings, we want to figure out how to make convention 2022 a hybrid model so that more from your team can still get value from convention virtually while still having an in-person event.  Our board next year will be working on how to make this a reality.

As I write this Canada has given at least one vaccine to just over 67% of our population and just over 26% of both doses and our US neighbours are just over 53% with one dose and 46% fully vaccinated.  We are getting there!

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Membership Engagement

Leslie Wilson

This year Celebrate what life has to offer. We’ve succeeded in spite of shut downs and closures. Technology, wow that was a HUGE learning curve but you did it. Our staff,  did they ever step up and laugh in the face of change and adversity.  I applaud all of you!! We have adapted and over came so many obstacles. Have there been  struggles; absolutely, but we have or are over coming them. Remember to always take the time to tell those that have brought you through these obstacles what a great job they are doing. Small recognition goes a long way.

Scott Lyons with Extend Communications does just that. He has a passion for culture in the workplace. A place where people want to come to work. If you ask Scott to share about Culture and his people, you will enjoy what he has to say. Thank you Scott for being our Member Spotlight and sharing a bit more about yourself.


Save the Dates….September 28 – 30, 2021. CAM-X Virtual Convention. If you have not seen the line up, make sure you do (see CAM-X Update) and get on board!! It will be great.


Recognizing our own:

If you have someone with in your organization and would like to give them a kudos or shout out, please let me know. We want to recognize them with you!


Fun Fact: The first large-scale automatic digital computer in the United States was the Mark 1 created by Harvard University around 1940. This computer was 8ft high, 50ft long, 2ft wide, and weighed 5 tons - HUGE.

From Agent stations to the big desk, no matter what our position is, we are all successful. What made you successful? Why do you get up every day and work in the company you are in?  Please get in touch with me directly to and tell me your story. We all have a story, what is yours?


The Spotlight is for anyone; agents, supervisors, programmers, sales staff, management and business owners. We want to throw open the doors and make introductions that strengthen the connections within the industry! We want to get to know YOU!  Check your junk folders…..?


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Member Spotlight
Scott Lyons 


Q. When did you join Extend Communications and what brought you into the call center industry?

Extend was started by my grandfather in 1956, so I guess the industry has always been in my blood.   My first “formal” job working at Extend (then known as Brantford Telephone Answering Service) was part-time after school, cleaning pagers with a combination of Windex and WD40 and a tooth brush!   I joined my Dad full time after graduating from university in 1989, so 32 years ago….

Q. Can you tell us a little more about the evolution of your career path with Extend Communications?

The timing of my joining in 1989 was quite appropriate; we were still answering calls on switchboards (plus an Amtelco “Little Guy”), and writing messages by hand.   Computerized equipment was becoming more popular, and I was much more comfortable with these systems than my parents.  We installed our first automated system (Glenayre) that year, and the rest, as they say, is history.

We never really had a “changing of the guard” or official retirement party for my Dad.  He bought an RV and started spending more and more time away from the office, and I had to figure out how to handle whatever the business threw at us in between calls to his suitcase phone.  Eventually, my brother Todd and I convinced him that we were competent enough to take over, and we negotiated the start of a gradual buyout around 1996.   Todd and I continued to work together until he decided to retire in 2014, and asked me to buy him out.

Q. What was your first CAM-X experience?

I was around 5yrs old when I attended my first CAM-X conference in Bermuda in the early 70s. I don’t really remember much about the sessions, but blasting around on the wrong side of the road on the back of my Dad’s moped was the conference highlight for me!

Q. Can you tell us more about how you've participated or benefited from CAM-X membership?

I spent several years on the board of CAM-X, and was President for the 30th Anniversary party in 1994.  As all CAM-X members know, you will only get out of it what you put into it (actually you can easily get MUCH more out!), and I enjoy learning from, and sharing with, my industry peers very much.   Most of that happens in the bar over a drink(s), but those stories are for another time.  Some of my closest and most valued friends are fellow CAM-X members. 

Q. What does your company look like today vs. ten or more years ago?

At one time we had many divisions – telephone answering, pagers, alarm monitoring, medical alerts, two-way radios, cell phones, and other “sidelines”.  We made a conscious decision to shred all of those and concentrate on our core competency of customer service and telephone (now also email/web/etc) support, and it allowed us to become much more focused.

Then, we shifted that focus from profit to people, and our business was forever changed.  Our VISION is to Extend our People, our Clients, and our Community, from where they are today, to where they Dream to be.   Everything we do is driven by this statement, and it continues to change lives for all 3 of our stakeholder groups.  The results have been quite amazing actually. 

Q. Tell us a little personal background about you, your family and your hobbies or interests

I like to think I have my priorities straight, and I have learned to put my trust in the Lord with all that I choose to do.  I don’t work too hard, and I volunteer a lot of time with various community boards.  I like to mentor and grow people and organizations, and am rewarded by seeing others succeed.  I enjoy time with our 2 boys who have grown up far too quickly, and with my wife Michele who I seem to fall more in love with every day.  I love snowmobiling, skiing, making an angel in freshly fallen snow, or catching a flake on my tongue.  If it has to do with winter, I’m there!  I’m also a part-time cowboy, although I am between horses



Respectfully submitted by Linda Osip, Executive Director


Education Committee Update:

The Education Committee is meeting next week to start planning our fall version of the COACH U Leadership Training. What would you like to see on the program?  Your input would be greatly appreciated.  We want to deliver sessions that address issues that you are currently dealing with.

*Recordings of all webinars are available email

Recent Webinars 

  • Webinar AOE – Linda Osip (Recording available)

  • Webinar AOE Plus – Gary Blair & Deborah Anders (Recording available)

  • Mental Health “Let’s Talk” With Larry Martichenko

  • Best Practices – Hiring & Training in a Remote World

  • Agent Series Part 1:  Conflict resolution - dealing with difficult callers and situations              

  • Agent Series Part 2:  Customer Service, Organization, Communication

  • Agent Series Part 3:  Professionalism, Socializing in the Office, Self-motivation

  • Adapting Learning in a Virtual World

  • Recognition

  • Technology Series 1-AI Basics for TAS, 2-AI & the Cloud, 3-Cybersecurity

Virtual Convention & Trade Show

September 28, 29, 30

Bulk pricing and interchangeable registrations for maximum participation

Register Now

How to make money and save money in the new world!

Listen to Keynote speaker Kirk Weisler

Tuesday, September 28

12:00 – 12:10              Opening Remarks & Welcome with Brad French, Leslie & Heath

12:10 – 1:15                Keynote:  Kirk Weisler:  Aaahhh, The Refreshing Leader

1:30 – 1:55                  Gary Pudles COVID Story

2:00 – 2:25                  Vendor Time

2:30 – 3:15                  Crystal O’Hara – Remotes:  The whole nine yards

3:30 pm                       Kirk Weisler:  ZIP, ZAP, ZOOM!  Overcoming Fatigue in Remote Teams

Wednesday, September 29

12:00 – 12:45              AI Case Studies with Michael Leibowitz & Desiree Bombenon

1:00 – 1:30                  Jeff Doyle:  Smiledog Story and Starfish Culture

1:30 – 2:00                  AGM

2:05 – 2:45                  Cyber Insurance:  Kevin Casey

3:00 – 4:00                  Break Out Networking

Thursday, September 30

12:00 – 12:25              Pricing Strategically - Do you know your worth with Gary Blair

12:30 – 12:55              Vendor Time

1:00 – 1:45                  Sales & Marketing Strategies:  Aaron Boatin & Steve Newell

2:00 – 2:45                  Pat Vos – How to weather the storms

3:00 – 4:00                  Awards Presentation & Closing Remarks

Pre Employment Software Update:

We are actively working to add Personality Profiling as an option

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 Show your staff they are worthy: 

CSR and Supervisor Certification

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Pre Employment Testing Demo Available

Contact for instructions


Two Grey Suits 
Just Cause:  The Law and Practice in Relation to Job Performance


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This article is part of the TwoGreySuits Managing Employee Performance Series and is offered by our partner, TwoGreySuits as a service to our members.


By Megan Burkett, Employment Lawyer (at the request of TwoGreySuits)


An employer can dismiss an employee by providing reasonable notice of termination of an employee’s employment contract, or pay in lieu thereof. In the alternative, an employer can dismiss an employee without reasonable notice or pay in lieu if the employer has just cause to do so. Providing reasonable notice is the most common option, as just cause is an increasingly difficult standard to satisfy. Generally, the court takes a contextual approach in deciding whether the employer dismissed the employee for just cause. The court will determine whether the nature and seriousness of the employee’s conduct can be reconciled with sustaining the employment relationship, or whether the conduct of the employee has made it impossible for the relationship to continue.

Establishing just cause on the basis of incompetence or poor performance is arguably one of the most difficult grounds to substantiate in court. To establish that an employee should be dismissed for just cause on these grounds, the employer will have to show


  • that the employee has, over time, performed below the objective standard of performance expected for the position held by the employee;

  • that the employee has been notified that his or her performance is being questioned, giving the employee the opportunity to address the employer’s concern;

  • the employer must then provide the employee with this opportunity; and

  •  if the performance does not improve, the employee must be provided with a warning that specifically states that failure to improve will result in termination of employment.

All of these factors would be addressed in a properly drafted progressive discipline policy. It is important for employers to understand that there is a gap between the theory and practice of the law of just cause. Only with this understanding can employers take the steps necessary in attempting to bridge this gap. Employers are urged to put a progressive discipline policy in place. This type of policy imposes increasing levels of discipline and provides employees with an opportunity to improve.

For example, an employer could begin imposing verbal warnings, then written warnings and finally termination. The severity of the incident should justify the level of discipline imposed.


The final incident prior to termination, also referred to the culminating incident, should be substantial enough to justify the termination. Employers should also keep in mind that the progressive discipline policy is meaningless unless it is circulated to and understood by all employees, and adhered to in an efficient and consistent manner. Termination for just cause should only be used in select circumstances where an employee’s behavior or performance clearly meets the standard. It is important to assess each situation and determine whether an employee’s behavior or conduct is enough to satisfy the standard of just cause.

TwoGreySuits is a leading-edge provider of on-line human resource management information, processes, tools and forms servicing the North American market. They have integrated the HR practices associated with the key drivers of Employee Engagement within the well-organized information on the website.

To login as a user:

  • Enter your email address and Password CAMX01

  • If you are not currently signed up, please email me directly


The TGS System is a one-of-a-kind product that includes:


  • The HR Power Centre for dealing with the day-to-day people management issues that inevitably arise

  • 24/7 HR Hot Line

  • Topical regular Blogs suitable for reprinting by the Association members