CS Week | May 18-22, 2020 | Fort Worth Convention Center | Fort Worth, TX
It’s a Wrap:
CS Week 2019 and “Focus on Phoenix”
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This June eNews previews CS Week’s quarterly magazine, Summer 2019 Newsline set for electronic publishing to your inbox and posting to www.csweek.org on June 17. There, through photos and text, readers can re-live CS Week 2019, held April 8 – 12 at Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ. This eNews features topics that missed being published in the run up to CS Week 2019 or that would have landed on the Newsline cutting room floor since it is limited to 24 pages. Enjoy these shorts and watch your email inbox for the link to Summer Newsline.

CS Week’s Board of Directors and staff enthusiastically thanks all those identified here plus other logistics and event specialists whose capable hands helped make 2019 a week of outstanding educational value and connection opportunities. Together, it’s all good.
Host Utility:
Supporting Utility:
Industry Sponsors:
Don’t ‘cha love it when everything goes to plan and even more when Plan B works out?

With almost a dozen major educational and networking venues, hundreds of presenters, dawn-to-dusk daily schedules and moving parts to make heads spin, CS Week 2019 and Conference 43 are now in the history books. Check and check.

“Focus on Phoenix” was a resounding success, so say hundreds of attendees who completed surveys and event evaluations.
Women in Utilities 250
CS Week’s Women in Utilities venue proudly sponsored the March 2019 Young Women’s Leadership Symposiums in Tampa Bay, FL. Here’s a letter from Symposium attendees Melissa Cosby and Karen Sparkman, both of TECO Energy, describing the event experience:

“Thank you for asking Melissa and me to attend. It was a great experience for the both of us. It allowed us to spend time with impressionable young ladies that will soon venture out into the world, unaccompanied. Most of the young ladies were either Seniors or Juniors in high school, still determining what route they wanted to pursue in various fields. We spoke with them about utilities roles, particularly those that are often underrepresented by women and minorities. We also had a chance to chronicle our own paths that got us to where we are today. A couple of the ladies seemed impressed that we were able to juggle being professionals, wives and mothers all at the same time.
“Regarding the program, it was very well organized and flowed effortlessly. The facilitators and guest speakers were magnificent and touched on topics that were appropriate for the audience of young ladies (i.e. empowerment, good judgement, decision making, risk taking, not settling for mediocre, hard work leads to success, etc.). There were several interactive events where the entire group was able to participate.

"Thank you again for asking us to represent CS Week.
Melissa Cosby
Mgr, Customer Experience Strategy
Karen Sparkman
Dir, Customer Experience Ops
Learn more about CS Week’s Women in Utilities , its 2019 theme, “Mastering the Art of,” and its three-pronged educational and networking program that offered four webinars , a Conference workshop and its second annual Sunrise Event, where 300+ women gathered to enjoy breakfast and hear motivational speakers Denise Kruger of Golden State Water Company and Jessica Pacheco of APS.

Have questions about Women in Utilities? Contact Shawnna Ansley  at 903-821-8648.
311 Centers Recognized for
Municipal Service Excellence
In addition to its Expanding Excellence Awards that salute individual achievement and company projects/implementations, CS Week also annually recognizes one centralized government customer service center that has consistently demonstrated a customer-focused approach to improving local government. 2019 nominations resulted in both a 311 Award of Excellence winner – City of Baltimore 311 and finalist – LA311 (City of Los Angeles 311 Contact Center).

Click on the Baltimore or Los Angeles logos to read CS Week’s 2019 Press Release announcing the improvements and initiatives that led these large cities to receiving these coveted honors.
In May 2019, LA311 call center management presented a webinar to discuss their journey to applying for and becoming a finalist for the 311 Award of Excellence, including tips and pointers for the application process. Click LA311 to watch on-demand.

To learn more about CS Week 311 and its annual conference – ENGAGE311 and exhibit hall - EXPO 311, contact Amber Wiens  at 903-821-8721.
Accelerating Digital Transformation for Utilities by Improving Digital Customer Engagement and Experience

Date: June 11, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm, Central
Speakers: TBA from Smart Energy Water and Utilities, Inc (Corix Group)

To keep pace with ongoing industry transformation, energy and water utility service providers are remodeling their business processes to leverage digital technologies that not only meet customer expectations but also deliver a greater impact across utility customer value chain. A more flexible and agile service model with customer focused strategy will accelerate the end user experience through digital channels. In this webinar, experts will share how AI, cloud, mobile and analytics are helping energy and water utilities. Learn more and register for this webinar.
Innovations in Blocking Utility Phone Scam Calls
Date: June 26, 2019
Time: 12:00 pm, Central
Speakers: Mitchell Young, Exec Dir of Identity Risk Solutions and Marybeth Degeorgis, Sr Product Mgmt Dir of Communications Solutions, both of Neustar
Did you know that utility customers are ten times more likely to be scammed over the phone than through any other communication channel? With the dramatic rise in unwanted robo-calling and caller fraud, some utilities report receiving thousands of phone scam complaints annually from customers. Sound alarming or familiar? More so than ever, utilities need to protect their customers and their brand’s reputation.
Neustar can help. As the leading provider of caller ID services in the US, Neustar can stop fraudsters before your customer picks up the phone. Protect your customers against scams through action, not just education. Learn more and register for this webinar.
D-backs vs. Rangers: Fans Capitalize on MLB Schedule and Place
It doesn’t happen often, but when CS Week coincides with the major league baseball schedule in the host city, our attendees love it! Headquartered in Sherman, TX, CS Week offices are just 80 miles from Globe Life Park in Arlington, the Texas Rangers’ home, so when we learned our guys were playing in Phoenix during CS Week all we could see were team colors red, blue and white. Many CS Week attendees felt the same and bought game tickets.

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, diehard and sunshine fans enjoyed balmy temperatures as they listened to the walkout music and the smack of the catcher’s mitt. The Diamondbacks eked out a W in the first game with a 5-4 final score, while the Rangers coasted to a 5-2 win in the second. The Diamondback’s home field Chase Field in downtown Phoenix was just a short walk from the Phoenix Convention Center and surrounding hotels.
CS Week is currently finalizing four popular video series for release on www.csweek.org this summer. Watch for emails soon announcing:

1.    2019 Executive Perspectives
This five-part series spotlights 7-8-minute interviews between CS Week Board Member Todd Arnold and respected industry executives on timely topics facing utilities. Weekly video links will be released starting in July, then become on-demand so utilities can continue to use these shorts as discussion starters.

This year’s industry thought leaders are:
Gerardo (Jerry) Galvan
VP, Customer Care Services , Austin Energy

Bill Shepherd
CCO , Gainesville Regional Utilities

Louise Scott
VP, Customer Experience , Southern Company Gas
Monica Whiting
VP, Customer Experience, TECO Energy

Kumi Premathilake
Sr VP, Advanced Metering Infrastructure , Aclara
2.   2019 Attendee Perspectives
Listen as these fast-paced videos present utility peers discussing their takeaways from CS Week and its real value when they get back to work.

3.   2019 Vendor Perspectives
Hear from vendors about how and why they enthusiastically sponsor and exhibit at CS Week.

4.   CS Week Highlights
By varying conference locations every year, CS Week brings thousands of utility and industry professionals to great cities. Each offers local color, regional food and drink, cultural, sports and historical attractions and its own multi-cultural vibe for the week-long Conference experience. 2019’s video visits Phoenix.
Keeping a secret is sometimes hard, but when it comes to matters of the heart, Key Account Forum Manager Shelley Carter knew the answer depended on her tight lips.
Through his administrative assistant, Orlando Utilities Commission’s Key Account Executive Derrick Williams contacted Shelley in late March wondering how to set up a surprise engagement proposal while attending Key Account Forum in Phoenix with his girlfriend, Brittany. With Monday’s networking reception and dinner set for historic Wrigley Mansion, Derrick knew he wanted to pop the question in such a beautiful setting.

Doing a reconnaissance trip beforehand, Shelley and Derrick settled on a small terrace overlooking a canyon where he and Brittany could find a private moment.
Shelley’s casual mention of the incredible terrace view prompted Derrick to lead Brittany up and past the spiral staircase where two photographers were poised. With rose petals and champagne ready, Derrick proposed, and Brittany said, “Yes!” The photographers captured the lovely couple with the Mansion and Phoenix’s night skyline as backdrops. Next, with permission, Shelley announced what had just happened to a dining room of Key Account Forum attendees. After rounds of applause and congratulations that evening, Williams remained a celebrity for the rest of the Forum.

The couple plans to wed in November 2019. Congratulations to the happy couple!
CS Week is Pleased to Introduce
-Rachel White-
Shelley Carter (left) & Rachel White (right)
Joining this spring during the run-up to CS Week 2019 as a trainee under the veteran leadership of Shelley Carter, CS Week’s newest staff addition is Rachel White, a May 2018 Texas A&M graduate who majored in tourism marketing and minored in business. “It worked out,” Rachel explains, “I’m actually in a job that I studied for, and it really fits what I think I needed.” Describing herself with four words - lighthearted, funny, kind and caring – Rachel was raised in Howe, TX, just a short drive from CS Week’s headquarters.

With Shelley’s retirement, Rachel takes over the managerial duties of Key Account Forum, CS Week Research and Expanding Excellence Awards. She is responsible for planning with venue executive and CS Week Board member Mark Wyatt for the two-day Forum. She also solicits, gathers, compiles and reports on the annual Benchmark Survey for CS Week Research, creating a 75-page report that members review and discuss in their day-long Roundtable Meeting. Rachel also manages the annual Awards process, which this year added the Rising Star and Distinguished Leader individual awards. 
“What I like best about my job is seeing how customer service-driven it is,” Rachel said. “I like interacting with people and seeing all the moving parts come together.”

When not at work in her fulltime job, White enjoys traveling. “I’m a big weekend trip person, driving or flying to a destination as often as I can.” Another of Rachel’s hobbies is improv comedy. While in Aggieland, she led improv workshops especially around building leadership skills. Rachel also loves hiking, lake kayaking and playing with her dog.

The next time you call CS Week’s main phone number perhaps Rachel will answer the phone, and you can get to know her better. Otherwise, stay tuned for CS Week 2020 in Fort Worth where Rachel stands ready to manage her new assignments, with a bit of humor and a lot of care.
Attendee Opinions Count to Shape the Future of CS Week
2019 Gold Sponsor

Check them out at
Thank you to all CS Week 2019 attendees who stopped by the Perficient Digital booth outside Conference 43’s Exhibit Hall and responded to their short electronic survey.

With 40+ years of history making utility customer service and its supporting IT front and center at annual conferences and throughout the year with digital engagement, CS Week is proud to partner with this sponsor to perform a comprehensive branding study. Using anecdotal inputs and attendee survey data, Perficient Digital and CS Week are working together to shape the future look and feel of what is widely regarded as THE premiere utility customer service conference. That new image will likely be introduced at Conference 44 in Fort Worth, TX and rolled out during summer 2020.
Need a Great Gift for Your Graduate? Think Leadership Lessons Learned from Our Mentors
Looking for a meaningful gift for your 2019 graduates? CS Week Publishing has the answer. Click Amazon or Barnes & Noble to quickly and easily order books that promote the message and values you’ll want to share with special grads.

Twenty-nine of his co-authors joined David McKendry for the book launch of Leadership Lessons Learned from Our Mentors: Time-Honored Values That Are Shaping the Utility Customer Experiment of the Future at Conference 43. Dozens of fans attended the signing event where they bought books and asked authors to personalize messages on their chapters.

Besides the launch party, McKendry of the Canadian Electricity Association was joined on Friday’s General Session stage by Connie McIntyre of Southern Company Gas (retired) and Vinay Sharma of London Hydro for a leadership panel. Moderated by CS Week Board Member Todd Arnold, these three told stories about their childhood and professional mentors, reminding attendees of the power of virtues and unconditional support. Aren’t those some of the lessons we want to transfer to the next generation…your high school and college graduates?
CS Week Publishing stands ready to help utility professionals become published authors. Do you have a story you want to tell? Need help getting started? Contact Lisa Collins for answers to your questions or call her at 903-821-8675.