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!

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!

You know you're a Valley Girl when... (flashback part 1)

The other day, my computer was down for a few hours to do some upgrades and I found myself rather lost! So I figured it was time to start cleaning up my personal employee folder on the network. After a few minutes, I decided that I need to do this more often! Not because there was tons of junk in it, but some of the old documents brought back a flood of fantastic memories!

One of the first documents I found was from our Christmas party in 2007. Gloria Tonne and I made mini posters and hung them up all around the lounge. They are a collection of memories from around the office, meetings, conferences, health and wellness trips and group get-togethers. Each memory begins with the phrase “You know you’re a Valley Girl when….” So I thought I’d share a few of our old memories (we had close to 80 originally) before I start working on making a new list!

You know you’re a Valley Girl when…

…when you run on “Valcom time”

…when you know what “Valcom” is

…you answer to: a. Crazy Canadian

                            b. One of Pat’s girls

                            c. Valley Girl

…you’ve been inside the Pink Room

 …you have been hot-tubbing with you’re co-workers

…you have worn the birthday sombrero or the foam cowboy hat

…your luggage gets lost before leaving the airport

…it’s not about the destination, it’s about the trip!

…hanging ‘unusual’ objects to your car antenna or roof rack is a pre-requisite for a good team-building experience

…you buy a second-hand pizza from a random stranger for $20

…when you wear scarves, toques, ascots, robes and your co-workers name tag to the hotel sauna, just for the reaction

…coffee is FREEDOM in a cup!

…you are the first to volunteer for examples in seminars

…you make or create your own hats and accessories

…you know what “Road Gold” is

…you put everyone else to bed!

…when you travel in packs and everyone drives their own vehicle wherever you are going

…April Fools ’05 is still on your short list of best pranks ever!

…when you have slept on the grey couch

…you work hard – but play harder!

…you remember Hypno-Marty

…you’ve taken your mom to Mama-Mia!

…you have called a hotel, tow truck, ambulance, realtor, vet and tribal council within the last 15min

…you are on a first name basis with STARS dispatch

…you understand what it means to take ownership

…you know what your stand, stoop, and definition of success is!

…the PIT will always be the PIT (it’s said with fondness!)

…you’ve taken 4 time management courses and still can’t find the time to use it!

…you secretly hope that Troy’s famous perogies will be at the potluck

…you’ve received a tear-jerker card from KV right at the perfect time

…you’ve been surrounded by RCMP officers on your way into the building and have to put your arms up and say “I just work here!”

…you’ve given yourself your job title and written your own job description

…you thrive in emergencies

…you have been volunteered to help people you don’t know, to do things you’ve never done before

…you NEVER sit at the same table with the same people twice

…you have gone to the Russian Tea House

…you’ve toured hotels just because you can

…you know who Wayne, Doreen, Helen and Floyd are

…you know who “He who must not be named” really is

…after your shift you still hear phones, radios and alarms everywhere you go

…Do. Dump. Delegate

…you know what Mumu night was and wish you had been there.

 

I hope at least of few of these have brought a smile to your face today...they make me smile everytime I read them.!

 

We do not remember days; we remember moments. - Cesare Pavese