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The Boost

October, 2019

President's Message


Garrett Bidewell

October is here and brrr it's cold here, 


Thank you for your participation in our 2019 CAM-X conference. This year's convention was a success.  There are some takeaways that I feel we can improve on but as a whole, I feel we hit our mark. Thank you for your continued support. 


As this years President, my goals are simple; Providing an Association that is delivering to the members a worthwhile conference and providing tools and insights to continually grow their businesses. One way to achieve this is to have one on one conversations with each of the members, to get first-hand knowledge of the challenges you have. To learn from you what really matters. 


My parents first got introduced to The Telephone Answering Service Industry back in the late 70’s. They purchased the business from my Aunt. This was an investment that paid off in spades after all of their investments in the U.S.A. came crashing down, forcing them to pick up and start over. I can only imagine the pain it caused my family to start over. But, we wouldn’t be where we are if they didn’t. So to make a long story short, my family moved from the southern states (warm weather) to literally the arctic (Grande Prairie). 


Times were tough for them, stepping into a TAS business, never running one before, they were having a difficult time. They were introduced to CAM-X (not called this at the time) as a resource to help them with staffing, training, advertising and pricing. Membership costs were high to them, especially when things were very tight. Throughout time it gave our company help and insight into efficiencies, productivity, and profit. It significantly helped us by introducing us to other owners and company managers and how they resolved their employee issues, grew their clientele, and we learned that they were not alone in these pursuits… resulting in increased confidence and peace of mind.


I am proud to be apart of my family's multigenerational company, This year marks our 52nd year in business and there is a tone of inspiration and challenges to draw from. My family’s commitment to CAM-X has never been stronger. 


I look forward to this coming year! I have an amazing Board of Directors behind me, and I am eager to hear what our brilliant minds come up with. 


Your President, Garrett Bidewell. 


President's Message
CAM-X News


Respectfully submitted by Linda Osip

Our Education Committee led by Committee Chair Leisa McDonald will meet this week to discuss and create an amazing calendar of Learning Opportunites for your teams in monthly Webinars and Lunch & Learn sessions.  All recordings of previous webinars are available through the CAM-X office.

We are planning our COACH U program for 2020.  We need your input: 

What topics would you like to see in the schedule of events?

What are your biggest challenges in the operations centre?


Introducing your 2019/2020 Board of Directors


Garrett Bidewell, Select Call Centre, Edmonton, AB


Pat Vos, Intercon Messaging, Drayton Valley, AB


Brad French, Alliance Wireless Communications, Kingston, ON


Desiree Bombenon, SureCall Contact Centres, Calgary, AB


Gary Pudles,  Answernet, Willowgrove, PA

Cindy Roma,  Telelink, St. John's, NL

Leslie Wilson, Teleconnect International, Wetaskiwin, AB


Steve Newell, Cirrus, Thousand Oaks, CA


Linda Osip,  CAM-X



CONVENTION:  Brad French

AWARDS:  Gary Blair, i24 Call Management Solutions, Montreal, QC

EDUCATION:  Leisa McDonald, Northern Communications, Sudbury, ON




Would you like to get more involved?  Committee work is a wonderful opportunity to network, grow yourself and have fun!   Email

Our Theme for the Year:


CAM-X 2020, the year of clarity


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 Show your staff they are worthy: 

CSR and Supervisor Certification

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The Award Committee ​

  • Survey results are currently being analyzed

  • Coaching, Mentoring and Education are our focus in the coming year

  • Find out more about AOE Plus - contact Linda

Pre Employment Testing Demo Available

Contact for instructions




CAM-X 55th Convention & Trade Show garners rave reviews!


Past president, Pat Vos and Convention Chair Garrett Bidewell hosted our annual convention in their backyard of Edmonton, AB this year, and what an impression it left us with.

Everyone from the staff of the Hotel Fairmount Macdonald to the citizens of Edmonton overall greeted us with a smile and a welcome.


Many of our members took the time to pull me aside to say how much they enjoyed the content, vendors, and facilities of this conference.


I’d like to congratulate everyone who took home an Award of Excellence, an Award of Excellence Plus and Call Centre Award of Distinction


It brought me great pleasure to see Doug Swift inducted into the CAM-X Hall of Fame - so very well deserved.   Constance Masinga-Loville of Direct Line Teleresponse and Marie Wilkins of Alliance Wireless Communications were presented with the Donald Swift Education Endowment.  Trish McMaster was presented with the Barbara Bradbury Mentoring Award.  Congratulations to all!


The following are just a few of the many highlights that we took away with us the morning after our closing gala.


Opening keynote:


Carrie Doll, the long-time news anchor, moderator, and producer of her podcast; “The Inner Circle with Carrie Doll”, set the tone -  by her positive energy and theme - by speaking to the power of storytelling for making human connections. 


Carrie left us with many tips for how to come up with stories - we all have them.  and why we should begin with one each time we speak in front of an office meeting or to a hall full of convention delegates. We connect through shared experiences and feelings.


We were very happy to have COACH U tagged onto the Conference this year. The attendance was great and their participation gave us the opportunity to get to know our up and coming stars.


We instituted our own version of Ted Talks this year with our CAM Chats. Each one of them gave us a lot of insights through the stories of our peers. I’d like to thank Bill Tucker & Bill Hildreth (Answer 365), Sydney Ryan & Cindy Roma (Telelink), Michael Leibowitz (Call Experts), Scott Lyons (Extend Communications) and Sharron Lawson (Alliance Wireless Communications) for their generosity and insights.


Paul Lloyd & Doug Swift shared their stories of the biggest mistakes they made and Jamey Hopper gave us a valuable lesson in why and how we should nurture leadership skills in our companies.


One of the most popular events was the panel discussion on The future of new contact centre technologies” - Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

Moderated by Gary Pudles the panel featured three technology leaders, Trent Johnson, Corry Janssen & Ashif Mawji. There were many takeaways from this session, but the revelation for me was how quickly AI and ML have begun to integrate into our member’s businesses.


Sharron Larson shared Alliance’s fitness & wellness project and Desiree Bombenon shared valuable tips on how to run operations using the “Entrepreneurs Operating System” (EOS).  Beth Divine of Devine Solutions Group gave us a Branding and social media workshop.


Of course, this successful convention would not have been possible without the ongoing support of our many vendors.


Startel, Szeto, Amtelco, Cirrus, Pulsar360, Your Answer Solutions Center, Trillys, Team SNUG, Devine Solutions Group and ATSI.


I look forward to seeing you next year in Kingston ON, September 29 – October 2, 2020. Cheers, Linda


VISION     20 / 20     CLARITY

Two Grey Suits

Two Grey Suits 

Toxic Leadership

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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.


Many people, at some point in their careers, will encounter a toxic leader. This is a manager who bullies, threatens and shouts, and whose mood swings dictate the office atmosphere. Toxic leaders are bad news for organizations. They bleed the energy and enthusiasm of employees, and often lower organizational productivity and damage corporate reputation. For small or start-up organizations, the toxic leader may even prove fatal to the business. To tackle the toxic leader, organizations must first understand who or what they are dealing with. What Makes a Toxic Leader Tick?


What Makes a Toxic Leader Tick? This can be a difficult question to answer, and has been widely debated. Some people believe that the need for power and recognition is what ultimately creates and motivates the toxic leader. Others think that incompetence or insecurity drive toxic behavior in some people. The toxic leader is often described as self-centered, often petty, abusive and interpersonally dangerous and harmful. Toxic managers can appear in different guises; the control freak manager, the unethical manager, the overly aggressive manager or the dictatorial and passive aggressive manager. Regardless of the guise, employees always know one when they are faced with one. Toxic leaders prefer an unstable environment where their own unpredictable behavior is the norm. They are often moody and their emotional sensitivity is high. They are difficult to work for, because they often change their minds, can’t sit still and pay little or no attention to others. Toxic leaders often shout, weep, sulk, and gush, often without any apparent sense of embarrassment.


What We Can Do… The best way to tackle toxic behavior is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Organizations can accomplish this by:


• Developing an organizational culture that strongly discourages toxic behavior. Have a stated set of organizational values, then interview with the goal of determining whether the candidate subscribes to those values. Detailed reference checking is also essential. Utilize a rigorous hiring process that screens out those who are likely to be, or become, toxic managers.

• Rewarding and promoting leaders who demonstrate that leadership success is not attained via toxic behavior.

 Where toxic behavior is apparent, it is important to talk to the individual to try to get to the root of the problem. For instance, their behavior may have become toxic due to an ongoing stressful situation in their personal life. If an organization decides to try to help a toxic manager, they should be offered coaching with a qualified professional, who can get to the root of their toxic behavior and help them to change. It is also advisable to encourage the individual to have a medical examination to assess whether any underlying condition could be driving their toxic behavior, e.g. anxiety, depression, etc.



We are not perfect. We all have our own particular behaviors, some that are engaging and others that are less so. It is important to be able to spot even the earliest signs of toxic leadership, and intervene to prevent such behaviors from harming employees and the organization even further. The HR Power Centre’s Recruitment and Performance Management modules can be particularly helpful in dealing with these issues.


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

  •  A comprehensive on-line training course on employee engagement

  • An ever expanding training library of e-learning webinars on critical HR topics

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

  • 24/7 HR Hot Line


Signing up is hassle free. Email  

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

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