Focus Telecommunications president Donna West is this year’s recipient of the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI)’s esteemed Maryann Wetmore Lifetime Achievement Award.
ATSI’s outgoing president Josue Leon surprised Donna with the honor during the organization’s Annual Conference’s Awards Gala on June 14 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I had no idea – not even a clue,” said Donna. “It just never occurred to me that I might have been chosen.”
Developed in 2014 and named for industry leader Maryann Wetmore, the Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest-ranking honor given by ATSI each year. The award is presented to individuals that have made significant contributions to the communications industry.
“[Donna was] one of three primary contributors to the first ATSI – HIPPA Training, which took hundreds of hours,” said Josue.
Donna, he explained, was the primary author for the Excellence Training Series for Agents and Supervisors. These three 45-minute training videos featured Focus Telecommunications employees and were professionally filmed over the course of three years.
“The filming was done by her staff, in her office, as was the voiceover,” Josue continued. “All of this at her expense.”
The videos continue to be used as educational tools to this day.
Donna is also a two-time former recipient of ATSI President’s Awards, and the ATSI LBA – Sharing Award. Additional accolades include the NAEO Member of the Year Award and the SNUG Don Berry Award.
With help from her peers, Donna resurrected the ATSI Education Foundation and revived it, chairing the foundation and serving on its Board for many years.
Over the last two and a half decades, she has chaired conferences and seminars, written newsletters and advertisements, and spearheaded workshops for every industry organization.
She is dedicated to improving the answering service/contact center industry for everyone. She believes, “A rising tide lifts all boats. Our industry can provide cost effective assistance for nearly every business, and in todays tight job market we want to offer high quality alternatives to employers everywhere.”
Surrounded by a ballroom of her associates and peers, Donna accepted the award to a standing ovation.
“I was caught between being proud and humbled and embarrassed,” She said of the honor. “Of course, I was crying when I got up to the podium… but I was truly overcome.”
Donna, who said her father always taught her to leave a place better than she found it, continues to do so with her award-winning answering service, Focus Telecommunications, and her endless contributions to the industry.