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The Boost

September, 2019

President's Message

Photo Pat Vos 2018 to use website and al

Pat Vos

It is fall on the farm.  For grain farmers that = payday.  Or harvest.  Once the crops are in the bin, relief sets in.  They have a full year to move the grain to market by truck and rail.  I am cooking this week so the cook (farmer’s wife) gets a wee break before the hustle of feeding the crew for the next 6 weeks or so that it takes to get all the grain off the fields and into storage.

At our most recent CAM-X Board meeting we were very grateful for all of the vendors who registered and will help us make our convention a success.  It would not be possible to run a profitable convention without the support of our vendors.  Thank you all.

We are pleased with the number of registrations of delegates.  One more ask though; if you have that hard-working deserving person in your organization that you sense has the potential to make a significant contribution in your organization with that gift of “I believe in you” please consider sending them to the convention.  I know it will stretch your budget.  Our agenda is packed with content and speakers with years of industry knowledge.  Whether during the sessions or during happy hour after the value won’t be measured in dollars to attend, the value will be measured by your bottom line over the next several years.

Then there is COACH U.  Thank you to all of the owners who are investing in their people.  Juliana will lead them through a very experiential and exciting day of learning and networking.  Add to that the people attending the Supervisors Certification Program with Leisa.  More great value.

Plus we have the guests you are bringing and extra people joining us for the awards luncheon.  Linda said at this point our awards luncheon will be attended by more than 100 industry people.

Thank you so much, everyone, your enthusiasm for attending is infectious and we are so looking forward to welcoming you to our home city of Edmonton.

Have been slack in the productive reading department, but wasted a rainy day and read a pocket novel. 

Read these two productive books with “Limitless” being my recommendation for this month:

“Limitless, How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live You Best Life, Laura Gassner Otting”

Laura talks about Consonance, and the four elements of: calling, connection, contribution and control.  Laura says “without all four elements, it is impossible to go from confusion to clarity and to feel confident and limitless in your choices”.

“Self-Awareness, HBR Emotional intelligence Series”  

Lessons in the book for me were that improving my Self Awarness is a never ending journey that will undoubtedly end when I die.

Our wellness journey this month was informal.  We hosted our local community dinner, which the “Healthy Communities Coalition” organizes the third Tuesday of every month.  Was thrilled to be a worker on my team… and that looks like this:  I do not listen, I dance to the tune of my own drummer, I do not follow recipes, nor instructions.  Not exactly a model employee.  My best girlfriend said “and you are surprised all of your staff are exactly like you?”  In spite of that some folks thought we were a well- oiled machine :)

Yesterday I realized that I wasn’t getting wellness results” talking” about riding my bike.  So… today I actually got on and rode 10 miles.

Again, thank you so much for supporting our convention in Edmonton and I look forward to personally welcoming each of you.    

President's Message

Membership Development Committee Report


Gary Blair

Respectfully submitted by Gary Blair

Our monthly Member Spotlight for September is Bill Smith of AnswerOne in Brooklyn, New York.  Bill’s story, like many of his fellow Brooklynites, is as colourful as he is himself and you won’t want to miss it!  


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!

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

D’Aracy Rhora and Luke Moyer from

Able Com Answering Service in Toronto, Ontario.




Look forward to welcoming you to both CAM-X and the annual CAM-X Conference & Trade Show in Edmonton next month.  It’s line up is one no one will want to miss!  



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Convention Committee


Garrett Bidewell


Garrett Bidewell, Convention Chair

Great news members! 


We are only a few weeks short of our annual conference. I am eager to offer this years participants intelligible solutions for challenges we all face in today’s ever-changing landscape. 


The leaves here are already getting geared to display their beautiful colours, the speakers are prepared and venue is one of a kind! it’s going to be an amazing conference.


Just like clients are to our businesses, you are to CAM-X, everything! Thank you for all your continued support in our Association! 


Looking forward in see you in Edmonton, Your conference chair, Garrett Bidewell. 

Garrett & Linda Fathers of Confederation
CAM-X News
Two Grey Suits

Two Grey Suits 

My Time is At a Premium ---- I’m Too Busy For HR!!!!

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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.


This is a phrase we have heard quite often as HR Consultants to management. Whenever we hear this phrase, we chuckle to ourselves. We know from our combined 60 plus years of experience that a good part of the reason they are ‘too busy’ is usually because they’re spending too much time trying to resolve people issues without the structure and knowledge to do it efficiently.


Interestingly, when we have been asked to do work load or work balance assessments for organizations, one of the areas where managers are surprised to find they are spending a lot of time is on people issues. Unfortunately, they don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that they could re-capture a lot of time if they were better structured around managing these very same people issues.


Managers are sometimes “too busy for HR” because they simply have never been exposed to the importance and impact that effective people management can have on a business. Being structured around people management would include having clear HR policies, employees working to agreed upon performance objectives, and managers capable of developing employees to become more competent in their jobs, while also knowing how to deal with employee performance issues.


We estimate that >80% of companies with 10 - 100 people are losing 30-50% of their people productivity because they don’t have a structured approach to managing their employees’ performance. By this we mean creating complete job descriptions, negotiating performance objectives, putting in place a structured performance review process and giving managers the skills to effectively coach their employees. TwoGreySuits’ HR Power Centre has been carefully designed to help small to medium sized businesses address these concerns. All the information, forms, processes, educational pieces and guides are right at your finger tips. You don’t have to waste time looking for answers. It’s is all right there in front of you in the six key modules in the HR Power Centre. Think about the time to be saved and the productivity gains to be captured. Really, how can you be too busy for HR?



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

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.   Contact  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

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

Future Events:

September 17 & 18  COACH U Leadership Training  

Special Pricing:  1st and 2nd Delegate at $399.00,  Additional HALF PRICE $200.00 

Register now:

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

Closing Keynote:  Doug Swift

Opening Keynote for Convention:  Carrie Doll

Awards Luncheon Included!

Afternoon Certification program

September 18 & 19  55th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Register now:

Keynote:  Carrie Doll - The Power of Storytelling

Developing Leadership to Replace You! with Jamey Hopper

Seasoned Mistakes! with Paul Lloyd & Doug Swift

Tech Wizards:  The future of new contact center technology - AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC

Plan to Brand Workshop with Beth Divine

EOS - Entrepreneurs Operating System with Desiree Bombenon

CAM Chats (our version of TED Talks) Passionate conversations with Bill Tucker, Bill Hildreth, Sydney Ryan, Cindy Roma, Michael Leibowitz & Scott Lyons

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

Member Spotlight

Bill Smith

Boost September Member Spotlight Bill Sm

Member Spotlight – Bill Smith of AnswerOne

Q. When did you join/start AnswerOne and what brought you into the call center industry.

A.  In 1967, my sister was working for an answering service which was shut down by the police department because they got caught processing bets for the mob.  At the time I was working for The Brooklyn Union Gas Company and I had been looking for a business opportunity and I thought why not an answering service.  I called the phone company to have the cord boards left where they were, I got approval from the police to open a service ( which was required at the time) and my sister spoke to some of the customers to stay on.   At the time everyone was hard wired so when all the dust settled and we were ready to go only one customer stayed.   My sister moved into the building to handle the calls and when she wanted some time off my wife and I would wrap up our newborn son to stay there and handle calls.  I continued to work at the gas company and did mainly focused on sales for our company.   When my sister passed away in 1974, I left the Gas Company and took over the company full time.

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

A.  I’m not sure career path is the right phrase.  My main objective was to grow the company, especially since we had only one client in the beginning.    I joined associations, my local Chamber of Commerce, I got to know industry members and I learned that if something didn’t work to try something different.  And I did a lot of reading on sales and running a business anything that I thought would help me grow a company.    Over the years, I purchased the accounts of over ten small local Answering Services.

Q. What was your first CAM-X experience?

A. I believe that it was in St John’s Newfoundland.  It was a wonderful experience.  I got to play Kiss the Cod and actually order cod’s tongue at a local pub.   I learned here that the CAM-X members partied as hard as they worked on their businesses.

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

A.  As with other associations our company belongs to, CAM-X has offered learning experiences that have made it possible to improve our company.   The award of excellence program has been such a helpful tool.  It is a benchmark for us to strive for in providing excellent service for our clients.  I have to say it has helped us retain our clients, as well as helped us obtain new ones through referrals from our old. 

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

A. Calmer.  Our employees have changed.  The way we hire has changed.  We have some operators that have been with us for over 30 years.  And we do have some operators that come and go.  Our main objective when hiring is to make it a win-win situation for us and the operator.  We have students and mom’s who need part-time work as well as full-time employees.  The thing is we have rules, and out of respect to our “good” operators, no one gets to “get away” with breaking the rule.  That’s not to say we don’t try to work things out so that we don’t have to let someone go.   But the operators who think they do not have to come to work if they don’t feel like it, or can come in late on a regular basis because they are so great at what they do, we’ll never ask them to leave, are mistaken.  I have an operator who walks 3 miles to work in all kinds of weather, is never late, scores in the 90’s on the AOE and is loved by our clients.  Is it fair to him that we allow someone, who may be a fabulous operator, to set their own schedules?  

Q. What platform do you use?  Are you a member of the user group and why?

A.  We have used Amtelco since we switched from cord boards.     We went from the Video3 to the EVE and now the Infinity.  I have been an active member of NAEO for many years. 
Q. Tell us a little personal background about you, your family and your hobbies or interests.

A. I was born and raised in Brooklyn. As a kid growing up I was a member of a drum and bugle core, I played snare drum.   The band members still stay in touch to this day.

I’ve always been a bit of an ”entrepreneur”.     Making money was always fun for me.  I would make paper carnations and sell them outside of Greenwood cemetery on Mothers day and on the 4th of July and Memorial Day, I  would sell flags along the parade route.   I learned my first business lesson here.   My Father would buy the flags at the wholesale market, but when I came home that night, his hand would be out for me to repay him.

As a young kid I would buy newspapers at the candy store and then resell them at the bars along 7th Avenue at a higher price.     Some of the patrons were very generous.

I have 4 children, eight beautiful grandchildren, two stepdaughters, and since I married Joan, we seem to have an assortment of cats and dogs at various times running around.

And honestly, I have to say, I love a good casino. 


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