NAEO 2016 Annual Conference

Last week I attended the 2016 NAEO (National Amtelco Equipment Owners) Annual Conference. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “It never ceases to amaze me how helpful and willing to share knowledge the people in this industry are!” So to keep in the spirit of the organization, here’s a summary of my experiences this trip!

An overview of this year’s conference highlights and take-aways:

  • This years’ conference was held in San Diego, CA at the Hilton Resort & Spa on Mission Bay.

  • Reconnecting with friends and industry colleagues, making new ones, and serving as a conference ‘buddy’ for a first timer.

  • The first keynote speaker Colin Sprake is a heart-centered Business Sherpa, author, speaker, and trainer. He left us with tools and strategies we can use immediately in both our personal and business lives to achieve greater success and make a positive impact.

  • The second keynote speaker Michael Gunther spoke to us about building a collaborative team environment and how to become the leader that our teams desire.

  • I got some one on one time with Amtelco and TAS Innovations. Once again our vendors were super helpful in answering my questions and helping me with anything I needed.

  • For the first time I ran for the NAEO Board of Directors; unfortunately I did not get voted in. But with all the consolation hugs and words of encouragement I received, I’d be ok with losing every time! I feel truly blessed by all of the support I received! Rossi, Ian and Robert did get voted in and they are great additions to the board. I wish them all the best during their term!

  • There were great Operations, Sales/Marketing and Technical breakout sessions as well as the wonderful Round Tables discussions! As it often happens, I wish I could have been in more than one session at a time as there was just that much great content! The conference committee put together a fantastic conference again this year!

An overview of the technical and software information we learned:

  • Learned more about SQL,= and stored procedures

  • Learned Crystal Reporting and some different ways other centers are using it.

  • A ‘refreshed’ direction on moving forward with IS (Intelligent Series) programming

  • New programming ideas to better assist some of our clients

  • People don’t like change, so call it ‘enhancements’

  • Thinking positive is only half of the equation. The other half is how you feel. If you think rich, but feel poor, you will always get what you feel.

  • Vision + Expectations + Communication + Accountability + Development + Innovation + Balance = TRUST

Other memories and things I learned on my adventure:

  • Best Buddy Brian is the best Buddy ever!

  • The newly formed Band of Misfits is a ‘catch-all’ group of all my friends

  • ‘Lord Robert’ appears when you least expect and will grant one wish and/or help you cross something off of your bucket list

  • The Gaslamp District is full of laughs and adventures

  • It’s easy to tell if it’s the first time you’ve used Uber

  • Kurt is great at creating taglines “Stick a NikiFORK in it and consider it done!’

  • We really do enjoy calling each other Slackers! However it can make it more difficult to find each other lol

All in all it was a fantastic trip! Thank you to everyone at the conference and of course everyone at the office who covered for me while I was away!

Why I love attending the NAEO annual conference

The National Amtelco Equipment Owner's (NAEO) annual conference starts next week and it got me thinking about what specifically I look forward to. There are so many things I had a hard time narrowing it down, but these are probably my top 10 reasons/benefits (in no particular order):

1. Have loads of fun, laughs and adventure

2. Meet new people

3. Reconnect with some 'old' friends (in person)

4. Sharing ideas and support with industry colleagues

5. Visit a city I've never been to before; or explore different areas of a city that I have been to before

6. Learn about new software and features

7. Learn new programming skills/techniques

8. Learn more about different industry best practices

9. Discover more opportunities on how to be more involved with the association

10. Bringing back all the new ideas and experiences back to share with our crew!

 

Gloria, Taryn, Cheryl & I taking a break from the festivities in Dallas, TX (2014).

Gloria, Taryn, Cheryl & I taking a break from the festivities in Dallas, TX (2014).


NAEO 2014 Annual Conference

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 Cheryl, Taryn, Gloria and I attended the 2014 NAEO (National Amtelco Equipment Owners) 30th Annual Conference earlier this month. Yet another great event! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “It never ceases to amaze me how helpful and willing to share knowledge the people in this industry are!” So to keep in the spirit of the organization, here’s a summary of our experiences this trip! 

An overview of this year’s conference highlights and take-aways:

  • This years’ conference was held in Dallas, TX at the Omni Hotel. It is a beautiful new hotel close to shopping, restaurants and historical landmarks like the JFK Memorial. Luckily we were able to see a little bit of the area while we were there!
  • Reconnecting with friends and industry colleagues, making new ones, and serving as conference ‘buddies’ for first timers.
  • Keynote speaker Cy Wakeman is a national keynote speaker, business consultant, New York Times bestselling author, and trainer.  Her message showed people how to turn excuses into results and transform unhappy employees into accountable ones.
  • We got some face time with Amtelco and TAS Innovations. Once again our amazing vendors are working to implement changes we have requested!
  • There were great Operations, Sales/Marketing and Technical breakout sessions as well as the wonderful Round Tables discussions! The four of us split up so we could attend as many sessions as possible. Still wish I could be in two places at once sometimes!

An overview of the technical and software information we learned:

  • Very excited about our journey into SQL! The possibilities seem to be endless!
  • I attended the Amtelco Infinity maintenance session again this year and still took over a page of notes!
  • New ideas to ‘up our game’ for in-house call rating
  • Cheryl and Taryn both attended the IS course and have some great ideas to move forward with!
  • Think like a franchise and replicate ALL processes
  • Don’t Turn Ropes into snakes!

Other memories and things we learned on our adventure:

  • Texas is the land of contrast from the vibrant colors in their landscape to their forms of energy production.
  • Cheryl and Taryn love free stuff!
  • Towels are multi – purpose. They can be towels, shawls, bonnets, and so much more!
  • Bill can form any cowboy hat using the condensation from his glass.
  • Texas loves their food – felt like we were on a ‘foodie’ holiday!
  • As good as it sounds, we don’t want an office filled with BMW’s!
  • Playing the church game in Texas is a bit overkill.
  • Abilene is like a mini vortex – hard to leave!
  • HWY 90 is elusive.

 All in all it was a fantastic trip! Thank you to everyone at the conference and of course everyone at the office who covered for us while we were gone!

Your Are Your Own Best Asset!

For many of us positive thinking has become a way of life. For that we thank, in large part, Pat Vos. She has opened many doors to learning and personal growth for everyone within the company.  As I continue to learn and grow I have consulted different people, read numerous books and been to different courses.  A major theme that trails through all of them is surrounding yourself in a positive environment.  Listen, read and discuss things of a positive nature or topics which will increase your knowledge.  This creates the perfect environment for growth and development.  In a sense, what you’re doing is learning and developing a larger perspective on life, allowing you to view things from multiple "eyes" so to speak.  

This video is one of my favorite things to watch.  Whether I am having a good day or an average day, it seems some part in this video helps me out at that moment.  Every time I watch it I am able to take something new away from it.  Steve Jobs was a creator, inventor, entrepreneur and inspiration for many. This speech is a gift of his experience and wisdom from his trials and tribulations that he faced through his journey on earth.  Jobs reveals more about himself here in this speech for anyone who is unfamiliar with it. 

The saying, “you can’t see the forest through the trees”, can pertain to life.  When something arises, an issue or challenge it can sometimes be difficult to know which way to go.  In most cases, we are not the first ones to go through that situation. In all cases, someone else has been through something similar. Allow them to help, allow their experience to teach them AND teach you! One way of doing this is watching different videos and read books.  Take time to expand your brain power and wisdom.  You are your own best asset, invest in it.    

I hope you enjoy this video and watch for more to come!

NAEO 2012 Annual Conference

Cheryl and I just got back from the 2012 NAEO (National Amtelco Equipment Owners) 28th Annual Conference. As always, what a great experience! It never ceases to amaze me how helpful and willing to share knowledge the people in this industry are. In the spirit of sharing information, I thought I’d do my best to summarize our experience – both at the conference and our travel adventures!

An overview of this year’s conference highlights:

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  • Reconnecting with friends and industry colleagues - as well as making new ones! 
  • Keynote speaker David Fabricius is an internationally renowned YPO-WPO and Fortune 500 corporation speaker. He offered outstanding leadership perspectives, productivity strategies and success strategies in his wonderful presentation. He has inspired us to “Raise Our Sails”.
  • We got some face time with Amtelco and other software providers. We asked for some changes and improvements for the programs we use and we are getting some of them right away! We also got to hear about the new products that are available and what is coming down the pike!
  • There were great Operations, Sales/Marketing and Technical breakout sessions as well as the wonderful Round Tables discussions!
  • As the saying goes - location, location, location! If you haven’t been to the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, it is a beautiful hotel. It is spacious, urban and lots of fun!

An overview of the technical and software information we learned:

  • SQL and Crystal Reporting are the ‘cat’s meow’. You are able to customize the information and design of the reports you create.
  • New ways of designing reports, and key questions to ask ourselves.
  • No matter how many times I attend the Amtelco Infinity maintenance session, I still take away new ideas and information.
  • Social Media is just like technology – it’s ever changing, and I still always learn something new each time I attend a session or course.
  • New ideas to help engage our remote attendees at staff meetings.
  • Ways to possibly streamline our staff meetings a bit more.
  • New ideas on how to utilize the layout of our Infinity software as well as programming it.

A few of the key messages presented in some of the sessions:

  • Commit to solve the identified areas of opportunity.
  • Value an employee’s opinion, but challenge them to think outside of the box.
  • Remember to make the people you interact with feel like they are the most important thing to you at that moment.
  • Create an open and positive environment for your employees.
  • The answers lie in the reports.
  • Be open and truthful no matter how hard it is.
  • Don’t undervalue the time of a programmer.
  • Managers speak to people’s heads and leaders speak to people’s hearts.

Other things we learned on our adventure:

  • Cheryl and I probably shouldn’t travel together
  • Double and triple check your flight information
  • Have a third party check your flight information
  • Go online and  carefully check your flight information
  • Being polite when asking about the occupancy of a table does not always have positive results
  • West Jet employee Pedro is very helpful and considerate
  • Following pedway etiquette is appreciated
  • It’s disappointing when family restaurants close before 7pm in an airport
  • When stuck in an airport, Travelocity can save you!
  • Hotel roller coasters are tons of fun – but not the smoothest ride!
  • To get something for free, just enter: makeitright
  • The view from the Stratosphere is absolutely breathtaking at night!
  • Seeing Motley Crue live has turned me into a much bigger fan :D

 All in all it was a great trip! Thanks to everyone at the conference and of course everyone at the office who covered for us while we were gone!