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The Boost

June, 2019

President's Message

Photo Pat Vos 2018 to use website and al

Pat Vos

It’s June.  For us northerners who know what life in 24 hour daylight feels like, it is the month with the most daylight.  In the summer of 1982, I worked for the University of Calgary on Devon Island.  I was there for 10 weeks, with a brief interlude to go further north and visit co-workers at Grise Fiord on Elsmere Island.  While there, the sun dipped below the horizon during the last week, but only briefly and it did not get dark.  For someone who suffers from too much dark, all that light was most certainly a treasured gift.

Its’ wildfire season again.  Keg River is home.  The fires west of Manning and south and west of High Level in Albert are not expected to get anywhere near our farms, but the area is shrouded in smoke, and the blanket of smoke retards crop growth.

Our wellness focus this month was about GRIT.  How do you develop GRIT? I have both a soft cover and hard cover version of “GRIT, The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth”.  Interestingly enough I have not finished reading the book… not sure why.  I first participated in “21st Century Leadership” in the fall of 2002.  Then I invested 5 weekends in San Francisco at “Program Leader Training” and eventually decided my purpose was “Ongoing Builder of Human Potential”, now shortened to “Growing People”.  I wrote a book, “Emotional Wellness at Work” which I keep hidden in the drawer because it is not the quality of book I would buy, although Nicole Coleman designed an amazing cover :).  Having a purpose that resonates within is a game changer, and is directly linked to Passion.

GRIT for me was life.  I grew up on a mixed farm in rural remote northern Alberta.  My Grandma was a doctor and both of my parents had graduated from agricultural college, (that is where they met).  Worthy of note, in June I am taking my mom and 2 of her classmates to their 68th college reunion.  How do you get GRIT on a farm?  I am the oldest of 6 children born in 7 ½ years.  A mixed farm in those days meant you were very close to self-sufficient.  We produced chickens, eggs, milk, cream, butter, pork, and beef plus grew a massive garden.  Now we did not get to eat the beef or pork, we sold that to stay afloat financially; a moose generally wandered through the yard about hunting season so we ate moose.  Price was right.  Back to GRIT… we ate GRIT, lots of it.  Boys tell a story of dad teaching me to drive a tractor and pull a wagon we piled roots on while “breaking” the land for farming… and how I drove recklessly and the front wheels of the tractor leaped high enough off the ground they thought it might tip over backwards and kill me.  I do not have any recollection of that event.  I do remember walking miles and miles in the field picking roots…. And eating the gritty soil, day after day and year after year, Perseverance.  In fact I ate a lot of GRIT as we scratched out a living by homesteading land and clearing and breaking it and turning forest into farmland.  We still clear and break new land for farming but now we have tractors with cabs, air conditioning and Auto Steer.

I had a conversation with my mother one day when she was chastising me for not teaching my kids to work.  I reminded her that when she grew up she had to work to live, and so did I.  Life is different now, we turn on a light switch, we have television, we turn up the heat, we turn on the tap, and we flush the toilet.  Our first home on the farm had none of those.  GRIT development was called life. 


Helping my team develop GRIT today is hugely different and considerably more complicated.  Education, awareness, patience, kindness are all factors.  Creating a safe workplace, having conversations and teaching “stick-to-itiveness” is a part, reminding people Rome wasn’t built in a day, be patient with self, take a break but get back at it, all contribute to developing GRIT.


I read lots this month, top 3:  For me they were all page turners.


The Moment of Lift, How Empowering Women Changes the World, by Melinda Gates


The Players Ball, A Genius, A Con Man and the Secret History of the Internet’s Rise by David Kushner


Railroader, The Unfiltered Genius and Controversy of Four-Time CEO Hunter Harrison by Howard Green

President's Message June

Membership Development Committee Report


Gary Blair

Respectfully submitted by Gary Blair


Our monthly Member Spotlight is Allan Fromm of AnSer.  Be sure to catch Allan’s story, it’s a wonderful family business story!


Anyone interested in being our next Member Spotlight, please be in touch directly  Keep in mind, the Spotlight is for owners, senior management, the operations team at any level, sales staff, programmers, supervisors or agents.  Remember, we want to throw open the doors and make introductions that strengthen the connections within the industry! As announced in the May Boost, we can now confirm that the Member Spotlights will now be housed on our website as part of the Member section.  It’s a great way to learn more about your fellow industry colleagues.


The month of May saw a new Member join our ranks.  If you haven’t done so already, please give a big shout out to


Krysta Rondini from Accurate Answer, LLC in New Milford, Connecticut.


Welcome Krysta and hope to see you in Edmonton this September at the 55th Annual CAM-X Convention & Trade Show.

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Convention Committee


Garrett Bidewell


Garrett Bidewell, Convention Chair

Happy June Everyone!


I was recently walking through a garden centre.  I was researching roses for a garden idea I have. Going through the different species of roses I noticed such a correlation between our upcoming conference.


There are three types of Roses.


  1. Old or Heirloom rose. These roses are often depicted in master paintings, they’ve been around for ever, and thrived through time. A couple of our speakers come to mind among many, Paul Lloyd and Doug Swift. These are some of our industries highest achievers. Come learn some lessons and how to avoid their biggest mistakes they have made over the decades of Running their TAS business.

  2. Modern Hybrid Roses.  These roses are some of our newest and beautiful species. Long blooming, extremely hardy and disease resistant plants that everyone wants. Beth Divine fits this category among others. Her topic of Plan to Brand, will deliver something that you never knew you needed, but will realize you do. She wants to provide you with actionable and measurable tools to assist you with gaining brand clarity, allowing you to reposition your company on a new trajectory toward momentum!

  3. Species or Wild Roses. These are the roses that have the ability to change the world we live in. Our keynote speaker is just that. Carrie Doll’s topic of the Power of Story Telling has the potential of completely altering your view of the world.


Come and smell the Roses at our 2019 CAM-X conference! (maybe not literally)


I am looking forward to seeing everyone there, meeting old friends and making new ones!


Your conference chair, Garrett Bidewell.


Two Grey Suits

Two Grey Suits 

The Evil Twin I Just Hired

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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.

Have you ever hired a great candidate only to have their evil twin show up for work? During the interview process you met an individual with great credentials who you knew would fit into your company culture, but this is not the person who is now working for you and you find yourself questioning your ability to screen and hire.

In the many businesses we work with the hiring manager is often a person who has significant other time consuming responsibilities. Hiring is seen as a real problem for many managers, they usually are in a hurry to hire and they don’t have all the skills and tools at their disposal to make an informed hiring decision. How many times have you heard a hiring manager say that if the new hire doesn’t work out in 3 months they will try someone else. This is a signal that the hiring manager really does not know what they are looking for or how to look and is willing to gamble with new employees coming into the organization.

Ok, lets for a moment assume that the hiring Manager does indeed have well developed interviewing and selection skills and that they have also sourced candidates on their own via postings, etc.

Recruiting is about being highly skilled in interviewing and selection but just as importantly,it is about being connected and having a large network and knowing how to access various talent pools out there, especially with the advent of Social Media.

There is a difference between good recruiters and great recruiters. Many of us agree that great recruiters are great networkers and relationship builders.

We are seeing hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals/professional recruiters working together to define and create a combined talent strategy with the ultimate goal of hiring best of breed candidates from targeted sources. Some organizations have come to realize the importance in leveraging the networking capabilities of their current employee population to develop a list of “soft” targets – which develop over time for future opportunities.

As mentioned, excellent recruiters are excellent networkers, they engage people, and have a good solid system of evaluation, ongoing candidate contact and information storage. In other words they have a large list of ‘soft targets’.  Our experience tells us that most hiring managers are not very well networked, not all, but most. We see this quite often when managers are in job search mode and they don’t even have 3 or 4 industry contacts to network with!

In recruiting, having the hiring manager with well-honed interviewing and selection skills is actually only 50% of the required skill set. What most organizations are missing is the sourcing capabilities, or being networked into their own industry in a talent identification sense; knowing how to tap into talent pools, where to look, or having candidates in waiting, ready for that that next matching opportunity. Even having well developed interview skills internally in an organization, but going after a smaller talent pool because of lack of sourcing technology and capability can have an unknowingly negative effect on quality of new hires. In other words, you may have found the best candidate, but only in the 10% of the available sources or talent pools you looked at. In fact hiring from a posting is looking at a very small portion of the talent pool out there…the ones who just happened to see your ad, and who were actively looking. Having said this, sometimes you do get ‘lucky’ from an on-line posting.

This brings us to the question  - who is in charge of networking and identifying talent pools at your company? More often than not, nobody. This is a full time job. Even internal staff recruiters often do not have the proper time to do this.

Take a few minutes to explore the HR Power Centre at It contains on-line Employee Engagement training, everything you need for effective people management in the HR Power Centre, and, when you need answers fast, you can talk to a senior HR Professional 24/7 through the HR Hot Line.

Signing up is hassle free. Just go to and log in using your email address as your username and CAMX01 as your password. It's as simple as that.


Hassle-free, effortless HR Solutions for your business ...Because HR Happens


Respectfully submitted by Linda Osip

Our Education Committee has created an amazing calendar of Learning Opportunites for your teams in monthly Webinars and Lunch & Learn sessions.  All recordings are available through the CAM-X office.


Recent Events:

2019 AOE with Linda Osip

Employee Engagement with Gloria Tonne

Amazing Customer Service with Leisa McDonald

Feedback Conversations with Sheila Jessup

Dealing with difficult and stressful calls with Sherry Oxner

Life Work Balance with Leisa McDonald

Bud to Boss with Cindy King

Future Events:

June 5  Goal Setting with Cindy King

June 19 Culture in the Workplace with Leslie Wilson

July 3  Call Distribution with Pete Clement

July 24  Multi Generations in the Call Centre with Bryce Reid

September 17 & 18  COACH U Leadership Training

COACH U – Julianna Cantwell

Exceptional Leadership (Level 1) (full day)

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

 Understand the differences between a technical and leadership role

 Differentiate between formal and informal leaders

 Adapt their leadership style to match the individuals they are leading

 List the three communication factors and know how they impact every interaction

 Identify the six levels of listening and how they affect communications, rapport and relationships

 Separate facts, feelings and assumptions to communicate more effectively

 Provide both positive and constructive feedback to others

 Use conversation to carry out an effective dialogue with others

September 18 & 19  55th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Keynote:  Carrie Doll - The Power of Storytelling

Coaching Leadership with Jamey Hopper

Seasoned Mistakes! with Paul Lloyd & Doug Swift

The Future:  Technology panel

Branding workshop

EOS - Entrepreneurs Operating System with Desiree Bombenon

Three Pillars of Business with Dana Lloyd

Awards Luncheon, Gala & Silent Auction

Spectacular Networking!!!

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 Show your staff they are worthy: 

CSR and Supervisor Certification

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The Award Committee ​

  • At our meeting last week we finalized our focus group questions

  • We are currently dividing up the membership for committee members to make calls

  • Calls should get started before the end of the month

  • Find out more about AOE Plus - contact Linda

Pre Employment Testing Demo Available

Contact for instructions

Member Spotlight
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Member Spotlight

Allan Fromm

Member Spotlight – Allan Fromm - AnSer


Member Spotlight Q & A

Q.  When did you start AnSer and what brought you into the call center industry?  

A.  My dad was president of a Bell & Howell subsidiary manufacturing radio pagers.  He knew of someone who was a radio pager common carrier who wanted to sell her small answering service in Green Bay, WI.

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

A.  We bought Tel/Sec of Green Bay 47 years ago.  I have managed the business from the start. Around 1980 we changed the name to AnSer.

Q.  What was your first CAM-X experience? 

A.  The CAM-X meeting in Whistler.  Such a beautiful part of the world.

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

A.  CAM-X members are among the larger TAS businesses in North America and have excellent management.  The CAM-X membership benefits greatly from these people and CAM-X has had incredible leadership all the years I have been a member.
Q.  What does your business look like today vs. ten or more years ago. 

A.  The TAS business is consolidating and I have been fortunate enough to acquire a number of offices.  In most cases we have maintained a physical presence but have centralized accounting, quality control and general leadership in Green Bay.  I can get to all offices in a one-day trip and every week visit one office or another. 
Q.  What platform do you use?  Are you a member of the user group and why?  

A.  Our main platform is the Amtelco Infinity system. We are a two-hour drive from Amtelco’s headquarters near Madison and Bill Curtin, the founder of Amtelco, and his wife Eleanor, gave us advice when we bought our first business and were very good friends over the years.  But we also have a Startel system we inherited when we bought our Iowa business and have upgraded it over the years.  We also have an OnviSource system that came with an office we recently purchased.  We are members of all three user groups and benefit greatly from networking among the members. 
Q.  Tell us a little personal background about you, your family and your hobbies or interests.  

A.  My sister also owned a TAS business which she sold a few years ago.  I have a BS in Business Administration from Bucknell U. in Pennsylvania.  Worked as an accountant for 10 years, including for Price Waterhouse, prior to buying our business in Green Bay.  Married with 2 children.  Hobbies - have loved our 4 soft-coated wheaten terriers over 30 years (adopted 2 and got 2 as puppies), enjoy hiking and reading non-technical books on math and physics.    

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