Meet the Center for Services Leadership Team

To kick off the 2014 Compete Through Service symposium, we would like to introduce you to our team. We look forward to connecting with you this week at the symposium!

Mary Jo PicMeet Mary Jo Bitner:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?  

Flagstaff, in the summer or fall.

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for? 

University of Washington, Huskies, my alma mater.

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role? 

I have been with CSL since 1987 and am currently the Executive Director.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL? 

I love working with our member companies and seeing the interaction/shared learning between our board and faculty network.  I love seeing the tremendous growth in knowledge and practice over the years.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

Amazon in general. And Amazon Prime, specifically – I love it and use it all the time!

Alicia HolderMeet Alicia Holder:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona? 

It is hard to pick one – Arizona has so many great places to visit. I feel incredibly lucky to live so close to Sedona and it’s beauty takes my breath away. I think it is even more beautiful than the Grand Canyon and I love how you can become immersed in it. Any place that is not 115 degrees in the summer is great with me!

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

Weber State.  I went there my first year. Of course, the Sun Devils just crush them, but it is fun to root for the underdogs.

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

Almost 18 years! I am currently Director of Business Partnerships. I run our Symposium, our Institute and much of our board activities.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL? 

I love being part of a university that is changing the way that universities impact their communities – both their local communities and the academic disciplines they serve. We have such a great team of people here at the CSL – both our staff, our faculty and our extended communities or our board and faculty network. I get to work with fascinating people every day who are working hard to provide great experiences for their customers and students.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

Amazon is one of my favorite examples of a company that provides a great service experience – they make it so easy to take care of many things online and that takes a lot of errands off my plate. I am thrilled to have Mike Gathright who runs their customer service for North American at our event this year.

Amy OstromMeet Amy Ostrom

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona? 

I enjoy visiting Flagstaff. I love getting the chance to go hiking or horseback riding, especially when it is hot in Tempe.

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?   

None. I bleed Maroon and Gold.

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I have been involved with the Center for more than a decade and have been the Research Director for the past three years.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

It is wonderful to get to work with our Board members, Faculty Network members, and CSL staff who are all passionate about service. As the Research Director, it is very rewarding to help facilitate and support research endeavors and collaborations that generate new knowledge about service.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

I experience great service from my colleagues in the CSL and the Department of Marketing at ASU each and every day. Too many to pick just one! I am really lucky.

Denise FirengMeet Denise Fireng

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona? 

It’s difficult to pick just one, but my family loves to visit Munds Park just south of Flagstaff to escape the summer heat and enjoy the beautiful pines.  It’s truly one of the most beautiful places in Northern Arizona.

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for? 

I don’t understand this question.  There is no other college team I would root for other than the Sun Devils!

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role? 

In my role, I am responsible for the management and coordination of our marketing and communication efforts, as well as provide support for various aspects of our executive education programs. Over the course of my 16 years with the CSL, I have held various positions within the organization, and was promoted to manager a few years ago. While 16 years is quite a long time, it feels as though it has just flown by because the CSL has been an incredible place to work and build a career.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL? 

There are so many things! I love that the work we do connects the business and academic worlds. The research and education we provide truly has an impact on how businesses engage with and treat their customers. Mostly, it is incredibly rewarding to work with and learn from an amazing group of people.

  1. What is a great example of customer service? 

The most memorable service experiences touch your heart. When my oldest daughter was only about a year old we were on vacation and stopped after a busy day for a relaxing dinner at a local sushi restaurant. My daughter fell asleep in my arms just as the food arrived. We didn’t have her stroller, so I was clumsily trying to eat with her sleeping in my arms. The owner of the restaurant appeared and in limited English told me she was going to make me more comfortable. Right there she fashioned a kind of crib for my daughter out of two chairs and some rolled up towels! I was able to lay her down and my husband and I were able to enjoy a nice leisurely dinner while our daughter slept. I’ll never forget that act of kindness. Of course we left our server a big tip, and for years after we continued to frequent that particular restaurant. The owner would always remember us and greet us with a smile.

Darima

Meet Darima Fotheringham:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?

Whenever we have out-of-town visitors, we take them to Sedona. The views are amazing and there are so many entertainment options, from hiking and camping to shopping and spas.

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

Both my husband and I are Sun Devils! It’s probably the only thing we are in complete agreement.

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I’ve been with the CSL for a year and a half. I work on the CSL Thought Leadership initiatives. One of them is managing this blog. Let me know what topics you found useful and what else you’d like to read about on our blog!

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

Working at the CSL is intellectually stimulating and never boring! We have an amazing team, smart, energetic, professional and fun to be around. I also enjoy meeting great people through events like the Symposium. People who come to these events are very passionate about services and I find that, coincident or not, they are also some of the nicest people. Must be something in their DNA!

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

I think great customer service starts with attention to service design. When you design your service thinking about the customers, their needs, what’s important to them; you don’t have to spend as much time explaining how the service works or fixing the same problem over and over again. Managing a broken service takes a lot of time and effort, time and effort that could be spent on learning and being proactive about changes in your environment – such as evolving customer needs, disruptive innovation – to deliver service that’s always relevant, timely and beats the competition.

Rose BohlerMeet Rose Bohler

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?

Lake Havasu City

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

Given I’m part Irish, I’ll have to say Notre Dame!

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I’ve been with the CSL since April 2013. I’m an Accounting Assistant for the Center and Department of Marketing as well as an Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Service Research.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

Everyone always has a positive attitude. It’s great to work with a group of people who are truly passionate and believe in the work they’re doing.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

Last December, I ordered RSVPs for my wedding though Wedding Paper Divas, which is a part of Shutterfly. I was on a tight deadline and needed to get them out right away so I paid for express shipping. My order wasn’t moving along in the process so I called them. They let me know one of their facilities lost printing capability–this happened to be the location of my order. They immediately apologized and let me know they were working to resolve the issue and my order should be shipping within 2 days. They also gave me 20% off my order for the inconvenience. Couple days later and my order still hadn’t shipped so I called again and they said my prints were in the printing queue and would be shipping the next day, they noticed I’d already called and was told it would have been shipped by now so they refunded me 100% and still sent the order. Through the whole process they were very courteous, apologetic and spent the time to tell me exactly what was happening. I really appreciated that, I didn’t ever have to get angry or tell them I wasn’t satisfied–they were truly doing everything they could without me having to ask.

Sarah JohnsonMeet Sarah Johnson:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?  

Prescott–I love to visit the Sharlot Hall Museum and have dinner at The Palace! And The Spot is a great place to take the kids – always a fun time!

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?  

I should root for the Hokies, as VT is close to my hometown of Radford, but I gotta say Georgia Bulldogs – UGA was my second choice after ASU.

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?  

I have been with the CSL since January 2014 and I’m the Administrative Secretary.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?  

I love the variety – we host so many great programs and events, it’s never boring & I’ve met the most wonderful people!

  1. What is a great example of customer service?  

I think great customer service begins with making a positive connection – when problems happen, technology flops, or other help is needed, if we approach an issue with a solution-based attitude, you can transform conflict into a symbiotic connection.

Sarah CanalesMeet Sarah Canales:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?

The Four Seasons, Scottsdale, or Oro Valley!

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

University of Arizona–my husband is alum.

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I’ve been with the CSL six years and my current role is Business Operations Manager.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

The great group of people I get to work with.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

Nordstrom doesn’t have your shoe size so they order it for you and send it without shipping charges.

Jon Pic for blogMeet Jon Pabillaran: 

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona? 



Flagstaff and Sedona

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

(blank stare)… squirrel!!!

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I’ve been with the Center since September 2012 and I’m currently the Events and Conference Assistant. I help with planning and managing logistics and attendee experience during events.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

I enjoy working with such amazing, dedicated, competent individuals.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/airlines-dog-employee-sniffs-owners-lost-items/story?id=25724657

Ajit RaghunathanMeet Ajit Raghunathan:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?

Honestly speaking, I haven’t seen most of Arizona. Of the places I have seen, Flagstaff is a really beautiful place. It has good hiking trails and it snows there during winter.

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

None. Always a Sun Devil.

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I have been with CSL for 4 months; I joined this summer, and I work as the Student Office Assistant.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

The people! Everyone here at CSL is so friendly, welcoming and great, I am really glad I am working here.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

I think a good example of customer service is the policy of Rolls Royce to deliver the best customer satisfaction. To fulfill this policy they  customize each car in accordance to the customer’s specifications, they will provide help and advice about any aspect of the car.

Kaitlin OngMeet Kaitlyn Ong:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?

Old Town Scottsdale! I love all the different dining and shopping options.

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

ASU is the only team I root for – I’m not much of a football fan. Go Devils!

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I have been with CSL for a little over a month and I am a student worker.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

The staff and the service-oriented culture. It’s so great to be a part of a program that unites education with business to bring companies a customer-focused culture.

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

An example of great customer service is when a server, in a restaurant, provides the guest a fast and friendly experience while meeting all of their needs.

IMG_6398Meet Donna Stone:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?

Sedona is my favorite destination spot in Arizona. Its red rock beauty and cooler-than-Tempe temperatures attract the southern inhabitants, like myself, who are looking for outdoor activities like hiking and wine tasting.

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

University of Arkansas Razorbacks – Woo Pig Sooie!

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I am a Graduate Assistant and have been with the CSL since August 2013 when I started in the W.P. Carey Full-Time MBA program.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

Whether it is breaking research or a renowned guest speaker, the Center always has exciting news. I had the opportunity to attend the symposium last year and the Services Leadership Institute in the spring–both provided a fresh look at the service industry as well as

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

Olive & Ivy, a restaurant in Scottsdale, has phenomenal staff. While every experience there has been more than positive, each server is attentive, knowledgeable, and personable, creating a special experience for each guest. It is my favorite restaurant in the valley, not only because it serves delicious cuisine, but because its service is top notch, too.

Venkata PicMeet Venkata Subrhmanyam Ghanta:

  1. What is your favorite place to visit in Arizona?

The Grand Canyon and Camelback Mountain

  1. Other than ASU, what college team do you root for?

IIT Madras

  1. How long have you been with the CSL and what is your current role?

I have been with CSL since August 2014. My current role is a Graduate Assistant, working closely with Alicia, Darima, and Sarah on various assignments.

  1. What excites you the most about working for the CSL?

Along with the many professional opportunities the CSL offers, I love the independence and flexibility it allows its student workers. #EmployeeEmpowerment

  1. What is a great example of customer service?

While there are several specific examples of great customer service, I focus on the customer experience aspect resulting from the customer service encounter. To me, that means error-free products and services with detailed explanations so that the customer doesn’t have to call. Get it right the first time-that’s great customer service.

2014 Halloween_CSL

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