Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
GuildQuality Employee Spotlight: Laura SummerlinNovember 17th, 2016 by
Name: Laura Summerlin
Title: Director of Member Success
Years at GuildQuality: 10
Let’s start with the basics. Where are you from and what brought you to GuildQuality?
Believe it or not, I was born in Decatur and grew up in Marietta – I’m one of maybe ten people who aren’t transplants in this city. After managing a local doctor’s office for many years I experienced burn out for the first time and decided to take a few months to “find myself.” I contracted with Randstad Staffing and asked them to give me every odd job they could find, which they did. I worked for a prestigious law firm and then an architectural firm when GuildQuality came a-knockin.’
You’ve now been with GuildQuality for ten years – that’s what I call dedication. What exactly is your role today?
As the Director of Member Success, my primary responsibility is ensuring our Guildmembers receive the level of care they deserve, at all times. Beyond that, I’m responsible for recruiting, hiring, and overseeing the training and career development of all Member Success Representatives, as well as strategizing and implementing process enhancements and changes to our structure. I’m accountable for the achievement of all goals and metrics of each branch within the member success function, as well as the content shared with our members (i.e. our monthly newsletter and any/all communications relative to their accounts).
So what do you love most about working for GuildQuality?
My output matters.
Any favorite memories?
Back in the good ol’ days when we were still a small start-up, I had moved our call center to Eatonton, GA and hired a team of college students to conduct our telephone surveys. These young folks drove roughly 45 minutes from Milledgeville GA (where GCSU is located) to Eatonton, as we paid well and there was very little reliable work in their hometown. Over the years, our leadership team came to the conclusion that moving our call center to Milledgeville made sense for both our employees and our growing call center. Remember that at this time we were a small company, and as such, required to be watchful stewards of our resources. So, Michael Hardy (our Operations Manager) and I made the move ourselves which also included packing the UHaul (to transfer our furniture and equipment) and UNPACKING the UHaul. When we arrived in Milledgeville we were already exhausted, and decided to stuff ourselves at a local country buffet before unloading the truck. We ate well and then waddled out of the restaurant stuffed to the gills and feeling a little sick. As we pulled up in front of our new call center, we promptly realized that the elevator was out of order –and of course, our suite was located on the second floor. When I think of that day I still remember Michael urging me on with grace, “You can do it!” or, “Hang in there with me,” and, “We’ve got this!” over and over again. I wanted to kill him, but we survived, and opened for business the next day.
That’s a great story – I’m glad you had lots of encouragement from Michael! How would you describe the rest of the GuildQuality team?
Trusting, empowering, respectful.
Wonderful. What are you most excited about for the upcoming year? Professionally or personally.
Our team is growing, and as such, talent acquisition is immensely important, alongside nurturing the potential of the current team, who’s brought us to this point.
Okay, now let’s ask some fun questions. If you could invite three people (dead or alive) over for dinner, who would you invite and why?
This is tough! I’ve literally come up with 20 people which would be a long read. Let’s go with Oprah Winfrey (needs no explanation), Ellen DeGeneres (her humor, kindness, and goodwill bring me to tears on a daily basis), and Brenee Brown (who teaches us that embracing our vulnerability equals healthy professional and personal growth). If I could please add just one more, it would have to be Miss Dolly Parton – I mean come on, is there anyone more uniquely herself, and crazy talented to boot?
I have to say, I saw Dolly perform live a few years ago and it was absolutely amazing. So next question, if you had to eat the same meal for the rest of your life – breakfast, lunch, and dinner — what would that meal be and why?
That sounds awful, but my favorite (and very uncouth) meal that I think I could eat every day is a bean burrito with sour cream and cheese. Why? It’s delicious!
I too am a sucker for burritos, so I understand your decision completely. Continuing the food questions, out of all the restaurants you’ve ever been to, which is your absolute favorite and where is it located?
Spondivits in East Point, GA. It’s not that the seafood is so much better than other notable restaurants in this city, it’s the memories this little dive carries for my husband and me. After a very good friend introduced me to it, this place was my husband and I’s date spot for years. (Fair warning: if you check it out, the place can get rowdy — which is half the fun!)
Okay, last question: what is your favorite television show?
I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m presently binge watching Penny Dreadful. If you’re not familiar with it, please don’t look it up – I’d die of embarrassment. It’s literally Buffy the Vampire Slayer for adults. And potentially even more embarrassing, I’m still obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy after all these years. I should probably lie here and say something like, “Though I rarely watch TV, when I do, it’s only the History or Discovery Channel,” right?
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