Chief Customer Officer
Q: Please describe your role in the company and why it is important.
A: My primary role in the company is finding qualified individuals for our services, installing the appropriate equipment for them, training them on the service, and ensuring that the service and equipment work in the intended ways – that is, the communication access is there when the user needs it. This is important because there are millions of people in the U.S. with hearing loss that necessitates the use of relay services, like telephone captioning. We love what we do in the outreach department because we change lives with each and every installation. Often, customers begin crying when they use our services for the first time because they are once again able to communicate with people they haven’t communicated with in a very long time. They also gain or regain independence that may have been lost due to their hearing loss. My role is incredibly fulfilling.
Q: What do you bring to your role that adds value to the company?
A: I have been at the company since we launched VRS in 2003, which gives me a lot of experience delivering communication solutions. I like to think I bring a fun, get-stuff-done mentality. We do the right things for the right reasons and we have fun while doing it. If we aren’t having fun doing this kind of work then we need to either check our pulse or move on to something else. I take our company mission of bringing accessible communication to people with hearing loss very seriously.
Q: What does the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) provide for people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing?
A: I think the most important thing the ADA provides is independence and freedom. People with hearing loss no longer need to rely on others to make phone calls … or to avoid phone calls altogether. The ADA also brings a critical funding mechanism for providing these services to those who otherwise could not afford them – or who may not even be aware of them. Since the cost of hearing aids and other aids can be expensive, and many people cannot afford them, it is wonderful that cost isn’t a barrier to communication with relay services.
Q: Please describe how regulations (the government rules) impact what we do as a company.
A: Regulations are in the middle of everything we do. We have to be mindful of regulations whenever we communicate with customers or potential customer groups. These regulations are important because they protect the fund and make sure that only eligible people gain access to these services. We take the regulations very seriously and share the government’s interest in protecting the fund so that these services will always be available to qualified people who need them.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you have overcome – or are still overcoming – in your work?
A: We have had our share of challenges. The first was finding people who needed captioned telephone service – IP CTS – to communicate in a functionally-equivalent manner to a person without hearing loss. These individuals were not well organized since many lost their hearing over time. We found some good options and grew fast. Then, we had to adjust as the regulatory environment evolved. Each day, we work to ensure we follow the rules, while also representing and protecting the rights of people with hearing loss under the ADA. Whatever new challenges are presented in the future, we will keep working tirelessly to overcome them.
Q: What is the best part of your work?
A: The best part of my work is the customer base we serve and the people I get to work with. This job is incredibly rewarding, given the way we change lives. I really enjoy serving the needs of our customer base alongside the incredible employees we have. I would tackle any challenge with the team I work with!