Reno, Nev., was the location for the 33rd annual Association for Services Management International (AFSMI) Education Summit and Expo, held October 26-29 at the Reno Hilton Resort. Attendees enjoyed an educational summit that centered on services and those companies that support the service industry.
“Services: The Next Generation” was the theme of the event, where over 50 of the industry’s most influential and visionary experts convened to share their expertise. The Summit featured keynote addresses from Anne M. Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox; Bob Bragdon, publisher of CSO magazine; Dr. Gary Bridge, VP and global leader, Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco Systems; and Ron Silliman, senior analyst at Gartner. A world-class expo showcased the latest technology and products.
AFSMI announced the winners of its International Service Quality Award during the event.
The annual award, presented on behalf of AFSMI by ServicePartners, the research division of The Gasparovic Group, recognizes the company that receives the highest rating for service quality from their customers as measured in AFSMI’s Annual Industry Study of Service Quality for S-Business.
For the first time, two companies, Reynolds & Reynolds and Sealed Air Corporation, tied with the highest rating and shared this year’s award. Hector Ramos, VP of customer service, accepted the award for Reynolds & Reynolds, and Paul Convertito, national service manager, accepted for Sealed Air Corporation. Reynolds & Reynolds is a provider of integrated solutions that help automotive retailers grow, manage change and improve their profitability. Sealed Air Corporation is a global manufacturer of materials and systems for protective, presentation and fresh-food packaging in the industrial, food and consumer markets.
“The two companies receiving this award have demonstrated exceptional service to their customers as measured by AFSMI’s annual study of service quality, which is based on first-hand evaluations by the customers themselves,” says Walt Gasparovic, president and CEO of The Gasparovic Group, who conducted the study. “Both companies are to be commended for their dedication to service, and I am confident they will serve as good models for any company trying to achieve service excellence in today’s demanding marketplace.”
Companies interested in registering to be considered for next year’s award may register online at www.gasparovic.com.
AFSMI also recognized four top industry executives with a new award presented at its S-Business Education Summit and Expo. The new award, the AFSMI George O. Harmon Award, honors individuals who have made significant contributions to their company, the industry and AFSMI. This year’s recipients are: Edina Soboleski, president, Interim Service Executives, Bethel, Conn.; Sid Saleh, president, Center for Services Marketing, Golden, Colo.; Kevin Wheatland, managing partner, CCG International, Stockholm, Sweden; and Shuya Takaku, managing director, Oki Customer Advanced Technology, Tokyo, Japan.
The new award, formerly known as the AFSMI President’s Award, is named for George O. Harmon, who played a major role in the association’s formation, served as its second president, and was a long-time supporting member. “All four individuals receiving this award have made extraordinary contributions over the years, earning the respect of their peers through outstanding managerial and leadership qualities that enhance the professionalism of s-business,” says John Schoenewald, CEO of AFSMI.
CEO Also Awarded Another leadership award was passed out and this time AFSMI was on the receiving end. AFSMI’s CEO, John Schoenewald, received an award for his outstanding leadership in the service industry from the Service Industry Association (SIA) at the recent AFSMI S-Business Education Summit and Expo.
The SIA is a non-profit association of enterprises involved in the support of high-technology products in the marketplace, represented by their top level executives, whose role is to promote the best possible range of alternatives and choices of services for those products, and support of the customers who use them. The mission of the SIA is to promote access to an open, competitive market for the service and support of high-tech products.
The leadership award has only been given three times in the past: once as a result of U.S. Congressman Knollenberg introducing SIA’s bill in Congress, which was later passed and became part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; once to the general counsel of SIA for his lifetime achievement of protecting customer choices created through Open Access in the Service Industry, which is a major part of SIA’s purpose as an association; and this time to Schoenewald.
“The SIA Board and I decided to recognize John Schoenewald with this award for deciding to move ahead with the AFSMI conference in October 2001, only a few weeks after 9/11, when most association CEOs were canceling or postponing their events,” says Claudia Betzner, executive director of the SIA. “In addition, John has consistently shown his openness and willingness to work with SIA to put together a plan that would ultimately benefit both associations,” she adds. This resulted in the implementation of a plan that began with a joint C-level Executive Summit, which the two associations co-hosted in March. The two organizations now also extend joint memberships and provide discounts to each others’ members on training. •