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ASD Recognizes 20 Employees With “Extra Mile Award”

Dec 29, 2017

When ASD moved from our old building to our current facility back in 2007, we knew how imperative it was to find an office we could grow into over time. It’s incredible to look back at that period over a decade ago and see how many of our employees have remained a part of the ASD family. The longevity of our staff is truly a testament to the supportive company culture we have worked hard to foster. At the same time, it has been quite inspiring for us to welcome so many new highly skilled and dedicated individuals into our employment.

Though our company has grown exponentially over the past ten years, we have never lost that feeling of a small, family-owned company. We highly encourage staff interactions through collaborative projects, team building exercises, social activities, athletic competitions, volunteer events…you name it! This is because we want everyone at ASD to remain connected as we grow and evolve as a company.

In support of these efforts, ASD recently introduced a new “ASD Extra Mile Award” that gives our employees the opportunity to commend one another for a job well done. Every month, several of our employees are selected based on nominations submitted by their co-workers and featured in ASD’s monthly newsletter, The Team ASD Times. This award fosters positivity in the office and helps us to spotlight employees who go above and beyond to do a good job at ASD. Since this award was first introduced last fall, employees in each one of ASD’s different departments have been featured. Our staff appreciates being able to recognize their fellow colleagues and the different ways they contribute positively to ASD.

We will be regularly sharing “ASD Extra Mile Award” Winners on our blog. Below are the first 20 ASD employees to receive this distinguished honor.

1. Sue Norbeck

Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in July 1994

“Sue is such an efficient and outstanding Supervisor. She always goes above and beyond and gives more than 100%! It is always a pleasure working with her.”… “Sue infuses our Operations team with her optimistic energy. She is critical to ASD’s team atmosphere.”…“Sue knows the ins and outs of ASD's call center without a doubt, she always has an answer. She is always there when you have a question. She is always willing to help, very easy to talk to, and knows every detail of the system.”…“Sue is always ready to manage any situation with a smile and provide you with professional assistance without any hesitation. If an employee discovers a mistake on an account, she always makes sure it gets corrected follows up with each employee to give an update. She is a unique and dedicated employee.”… “Anyone who knows Sue can attest to her kind, empathetic and gracious manner. Her guidance has been invaluable to ASD’s operations team.”…“Beyond her outstanding work ethic, experience and incredible wealth of knowledge, Sue is also one of the most approachable and genuine people I’ve ever known.”

2. Bill D’Orazio

Electrical Engineer – ASD’s Technical Team
Joined ASD in February 1971

“If anyone has gone the extra mile at ASD, it's definitely Bill. Bill always puts in the extra mile: coming on weekends to fix problems, not using much vacation to handle alarm service calls, etc.”...“Bill is the only one who knows about fire alarms, building alarms, access control (fobs), etc.”…“Bill works very hard and could have retired years ago, but he keeps on keeping on. There likely would be no ASD without Bill."

3. Dara Dix

Finance Manager – ASD’s Billing Team
Joined ASD in May 1997

"Dara is the all around heart and soul of ASD...She has been with ASD for over 20 years and for the 16 years we have worked together she has always gone above and beyond not just for the Finance department, but for every department at ASD.”….“Dara is the glue that holds ASD together. She is always available and never too busy for any help or advice that is needed.”…“Dara does little things to make each and every one of us feel special and appreciated. She is always smiling and offering helpful friendly advice.”…“Dara is totally committed to all of ASD's customers as well as the company. She is constantly reaching out to customers, monitoring results and making sure they are on the best call plan.”…“Dara is certainly a person that will go to bat for a cause. She is constantly volunteering her time at the ASD volunteer functions and is pivotal in where ASD stands as a company.”…“Dara gives great advice and is always willing to help in any way she can. She is always coming up with new ideas for the Tech Department to help things run smoother in the Support apps for all departments as well.”…“Dara never fails to make employees feel appreciated for what they do and is a pleasure to be around.”

4. Andrew (Andy) Troutt

Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in January 2012

"Andy has always been so professional. He is a great team leader. I’ve heard clients specifically ask for Andy when they have a problem.”…“Andy encourages you and when there is something that needs to be addressed, he handles the situation in such a delicate yet professional way.”…“Andrew never misses work, he is always kind and fair and easy to talk to. I miss having him as my lead! He works on 2nd shift, which we all know is the busiest shift yet he manages it all, from going over things with his team to helping assistant supervisors.”

5. Renee Mancer

Training Supervisor – ASD’s Training & HR Team
Joined ASD in March 1994

“Renee is a veteran at ASD. She is also an instructor here and is constantly striving to make sure that all the information she has is up to date to assist in producing the best candidates for this ever-evolving atmosphere.”…“Renee is such a FANTASTIC teacher and I look up to her, she really goes the extra mile and gives great insight and explanation when helping me with anything I've ever had a question about.”…“Renee has made me into a better ASD employee by answering my questions and following up with explanations or examples, sending me in the right direction towards success. She is someone who is always approachable when questions arise.”…“Renee has proven her dedication to the company time and time again, both through her exemplary work ethic and outstanding attendance. She has trained so many of ASD's long-standing employees.”...“I feel I have grown into a better employee because of Renee.”…“Renee jumps at the chance to be part of any volunteer function that ASD has. She is the epitome of a truly devoted and caring employee and I believe she is honestly deserving of the ASD Extra Mile Award since she always goes the extra mile."

6. Kristy Soderland

Technical Analyst – ASD’s Technical Team
Joined ASD in November 2005

“Kristy is always willing to help with a smile, not afraid to tackle tough issues!”...“Kristy always goes the EXTRA Mile to help with system issues!”…“I think we can all agree that Kristy is the glue that holds this place together.”…“Kristy recently helped PCS to implement a "synopsis" feature for our Daily Report of accounts, saving the customer service department valuable time each day.”…“Kristy is always available for home computer issues, which alleviates stress in Operations!”…“Kristy does an excellent job communicating technical updates and issues.”…“Kristy is always very friendly and professional at all times. She assists all times throughout the day with home computer issues. She communicates to Supervision with updates from the technical team. She is Superwoman!!!”

7. Eric Oppeltz

Assistant Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in March 2015

"Eric is one of the most selfless, hard working people I have ever met. For the past two years, he has hardly ever needed to miss a day of work. He is extremely pleasant and always puts a smile on my face. Eric has even walked to ASD from his home in a snow storm and made it to ASD for his shift."..."Eric recently agreed to become a Call Specialist Trainer. He has been taking great calls and has always been eager to help, so it made the entire Supervisory team and many of the Call Specialists very happy that he agreed to become a Trainer."..."I can't say enough good things about Eric. He has offered to help jump cars, carry out home computers, and even though he just worked a full shift, he will help cover hours for Call Specialist's in need. For a while, we had a dip in the graph, right around 11p. Eric was always the one to extend himself an extra 20-30 mins after his shift to accommodate that dip."

8. Jen Hoban

Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in June 2000

"I would like to nominate Jen because no matter how bad your day is, she makes you smile. She has such a positive energy.”…“Jen is always there to answer any questions you have concerning work and even if you just need to talk about life.”…“Jen is always available and willing to help with questions, issues and open hours.”…“Jen’s years of experience have only enhanced her level of excellent customer service. She is always professional and patient with clients and staff alike.”…“Jen will always take time to explain an issue and how to resolve it. She answers every question without hesitation and always has a positive attitude. You can never tell if anything is wrong with her because she always has a smile on her face.”…“Jen’s initiative working open hours has set a great example for the rest of us to follow. Her patience and calm demeanor should be mirrored by all."

9. Sandy Palmore

Human Resources Administrator – ASD’s Training/HR Team
Joined ASD in July 2004

"Sandy P. is the BEST! She is a great listener! She will help you with anything HR related even when she has a lot going on…Her role within the company is key to the relationship between employees and employer....Sandy does a great job of helping and supporting each and every one of ASD’s employees. She makes sure everyone understands all of the different benefits available and keeps everyone informed of changes or updates. We’d all be lost without Sandy!"

10. Will Chicola

Technical Analyst – ASD's Technical Team
Joined ASD in October 2008

"Will goes above and beyond for every department to ensure our technology is properly functioning so that we can achieve our job duties. When something is asked of him to help make our jobs easier, he never hesitates to do his best to get the task done so quickly!”…“Will is always available to help in any way he can. If you have a technical issue or question he will go out of his way to find the answer and make sure you understand the issue and solution fully.”…“Will is great at giving advice and guidance, and can always make you laugh.”…“Will always goes above and beyond. Always right there when you need him. He is continually coming up with ideas that really help the company as a whole whether it's the technical, sales, operations, or billing department."

11. Lori Bongiovanni

Operations Manager – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in May 2012

“Lori always goes the extra mile to help others. She is very easy going and easy to approach. I feel comfortable going to Lori with issues and concerns.”…“Lori takes care of her team of Supervisors and makes sure they have everything they need to succeed. She always has an open door to help others when in need and is great directing people as needed in a very professional and friendly manner.”…“Lori has always been such a great team player.”…“Lori always has time to speak with you no matter what…She is an all-around nice person who is genuine and cares.”

12. Andrew McCune

Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in March 2014

"Ever since I was hired, Andrew has been very supportive in every way I've needed him to be. I cannot think of any other employee that deserves this like he does. I owe a lot to him in regards to growing with the company because any time I was thinking about whether or not I wanted to go for a new position, he was always pushing me to do so."..."Anytime I've had a question, Andrew has always taken the time out of whatever he is doing to assist me."..."Andrew positively impacts ASD in a good way every time he is here by the way he treats call specialists, supervisors, and managers all with respect. If you need him for something, he is there. That is going the extra mile, and he does that every day."..."If someone asked me to describe Andrew in one word, it would be leadership. Supervisors are a team and Andrew really demonstrates this."

13. Anne O’Reilly

Client Solutions Supervisor – ASD’s Customer Service Team
Joined ASD in March 2008

“Anne has a very genuine love for what she does. She is always happy and smiling.”…“Anne has truly proven herself as an incredible asset to the company and has a deep understanding of all of ASD’s systems and training procedures”…“The customer service team works extremely hard behind the scenes and aren't recognized nearly enough for the hard work and dedication they have to ASD and the success of the company. Anne is very good at what she does and the relationships she keeps with the employees who work under her leadership is imperative for the department to run as smooth as it does.”

14. Josie Miller

Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in June 2013

“Josie is a terrific supervisor, she is always willing to go the extra step with helping people with any questions they have. She is helpful in answering questions about funeral home and alarm calls.”… “Josie is always kind and cheerful which is contagious throughout the company. She is a wonderful co-worker and the perfect example of what the ASD Extra Mile Award stands for."

15. Aaron Wylen

Assistant Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in September 2016

“In his brief year with the company, Aaron has shown, dedication, responsibility, compassion and loyalty: four key attributes any ASD employee needs in this industry.”…“Aaron moved to 3rd shift a few months ago and he acclimated quickly. He is always on time and ready work with a smile and a pleasant word for everyone despite going to school full time during the day. After just completing alarm training, he saw a co-worker struggling to follow the training segments. He offered to share his notes and helped to ease her anxiety without any prompting. He was so reassuring and knowledgeable, she was confident enough to take the tests”…“Since I started and met Aaron, I've admired how he handles calls and remains professional. He is a wonderful friend but when it's time to learn he's open to helping and is extremely thorough and patient when it is time to buckle down. I am confident I will succeed if I am privileged to continue training with him!”...“Aaron was recently awarded Call Specialist Trainer. This will positively impact ASD because those who will train with him in the future will receive the same benefits as anyone who has trained with him previously! He's incredibly dedicated!”

16. Lauren Knox

Training Specialist – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in April 2015

“Lauren is the most selfless person there is she is always helping someone out whether it be a ride to work, covering a shift, organizing a fund raiser etc. She not only goes the extra mile at work but in her personal life as well.”…“Lauren is an all-around fantastic person that I don't think is recognized enough…She is always looking for ways to bring a smile to someone’s face.”…“Lauren really supports her friends and co-workers. We are lucky to have her!"

17. Juan Silva

Lead Creative Designer – ASD’s Sales and Marketing Team
Joined ASD in September 2009

“Everything Juan delivers is first class, nothing is just basic or passable, he makes everything look like it is the top of the chart…From the NFDA convention in Boston to the ASD Christmas lunch with employees and owners, Juan makes everything shine.”… “Juan is unbelievable asset to ASD. He is incredibly skilled at graphic design and is an awesome team player that contributes to just about every ASD project, not to mention hopping in to take calls whenever a bilingual person is needed.”…“Juan handles several projects at the same time, multi-tasking is an everyday event for him.”…“From producing marketing materials for conventions, to developing internal app menus for ASD Mobile to creating designs for TEAM ASD T-Shirts, Juan is involved in almost everything that makes ASD the top company in our field."

18. Brittany Wilcox

Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in January 2015

"Brittany is a great co-worker and friend, inside and outside the workplace. She is always pleasant no matter what is going on in her personal life or if it's crazy in the office. She always has a smile.”…“Brittany’s positive personality is one of the many great things about her. She talks to you as a friend even when she needs to talk to you as a supervisor and is always approachable, always willing to listen to your needs and goes above and beyond to help in whatever you need.”…“Brittany is easy to talk to and will guide you through any problems you may be having in a step by step, non-judgmentally way. She makes sure you understand the situation before hanging up."

19. Andrew Yavil

Supervisor – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in November 2015

“Since Andrew has become my team lead, he has always gone out of his way to make sure his team succeeds. He is always there to happily answer any questions and if he does not know, he finds out and comes back right away.”…“Andrew has personally pushed me to be the best assistant I can be, always giving me tips on how to improve. Since he became a Supervisor, I have seen Andrew pushing to learn everything and anything he can. He is constantly sharing those tips with his team so everyone succeeds!”…“Andrew is an asset to me as a lead, and to ASD in general."

20. Michelle Grobes

Advanced Call Specialist – ASD’s Operations Team
Joined ASD in June 2015

“Michelle goes above and beyond for her colleagues. For instance, I need help during the week because of my kids and their schedule. Rather than have to hustle trying to find coverage, month after month, she has my back.”… “Michelle is a dedicated employee and amazing friend. I'm grateful to have her in my life. She is always willing to help out a fellow employee."

Be sure to check back to see our next ASD Extra Mile Award Winners.



About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD's company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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