Dec 27, 2020
On a late December day in 1990, Sharon Batten walked into the tiny office of ASD Inc. (known as ‘Answering Service Dispatch’ at the time) and interviewed for a position as a telephone receptionist. She didn’t know in that moment that the interview would change the course of her life and lead her down a path where she would become a keystone in ASD’s company identity. She had no way to foresee how the events of that day would lead to her become a major influence in the lives of hundreds of future employees at ASD, nor could she know how vital her impact would be on the company in the years ahead.
Today, Sharon Batten is ASD’s longest-tenured Operations Manager – a title she has held since she was first promoted to that position in the late 90s. When she first joined our team, ASD was a much smaller company with fewer employees. As ASD’s sole Operations Manager for more than 10 years, Sharon juggled a great deal of responsibilities, including supervising the entire Operations department, recruiting and hiring new employees, handling HR concerns, counseling staff and conducting employee reviews.
Sharon holding her Milestone Award after being recognized for her longevity with our company at ASD’s 2017 company Christmas luncheon.
During this time, Sharon and our long-time Director of Operations, Ric Cusumano, worked in tandem to oversee our Operations Department and support our growing ASD family. Their collaboration was absolutely vital in steering this ship through a sea of transitions and expansions. From helping our staff adjust to a multitude of changes brought on by mobile technology to assisting with our company’s move in 2006 from a small office in Glenolden to our current location in Media, Sharon and Ric’s strong working relationship has been an absolutely vital ingredient to ASD’s success.
No matter how much our company grows, one thing that has remained a constant is Sharon’s commitment to maintaining a personal relationship with each person on our team. She cares deeply about every member of the ASD family and is committed to helping others to grow within our company. Even with so many of our employees now working remotely from home due to the pandemic, Sharon has not stopped looking for ways to help us all to connect. For instance, the recent post on ASD’s social media and newsletter featuring the nine babies born this year was an idea suggested by Sharon. This is just one example of the many ways Sharon endeavors to bring us all closer together.
Sharing Our Love for Sharon
To celebrate Sharon’s incredible 30-year career here at ASD, we asked our staff to share some of their favorite memories of working with Sharon and some of the ways she has impacted their lives.
Our Favorite Sharon Moments
Here are some of Team ASD’s favorite memories of working with Sharon over the past three decades.
“I have been fortunate to experience several fond memories of the 30 years Sharon has spent with ASD. It was exciting to see her journey throughout the years!”–Director of Operations, Ric Cusumano, who has worked with Sharon for 30 years.
Sharon and Ric at ASD’s 2017 Community Clean Up Volunteer Event
“In 2012 Sharon and I attended a conference in Chicago for the now defunct women’s group, Funeral Divas. When unexpectantly the conference got shut down early, we took advantage of our newly acquired free time. She and I toured the city of Chicago with other women funeral professionals. We hopped a Chicago River & Lake Michigan architecture boat tour and dined at one of the hottest new restaurants in Chi-town. Sharon’s amazing sense of humor kept us all laughing at the unusual turn of events. To this day, I often think of Sharon’s surprised face when she relays this story. Early on in ASD, Sharon was trying to discover if a call was a death call, she asked the nurse, ‘Has the person passed?,’ and the nurse responded that the patient ‘was circling the drain.’”–Treasurer and Family-Member Owner, Kathy Kelley.
Sharon and Kathy during a company fun event.
“I would work with Sharon on Saturday mornings up at the alarm station in Glenolden. Some days, she would have me laughing so hard my cheeks would hurt.”-Sales Office Manager, Stephanie Bradford, who has worked with Sharon for more than 26 years.
Sharon and Stephanie at the 2017 NFDA Convention.
“I have so many great memories of Sharon, but my favorite was when I was training how to answer phones. Even though I wasn’t hired to answer phones, we all need to be trained in order to be able to help at a moments notice. This was way back before all the technology we have now. We had to press a button to answer incoming calls and Sharon would stand behind us with this cutout of a cardinal bird on a stick and she would kinda scare you with “incoming, incoming” indicating a call was on our screen to answer. I will never forget it, still makes me laugh out loud. Many will not understand what I am talking about since our system now automatically answers each call.”-Finance Manager, Dara Dix, who has worked with Sharon for over 23 years.
Sharon and Dara at a company fun event
“One of my favorite memories was the great time we had at the NFDA Women’s conference Annapolis MD 2019. Socks!!!”–Strategic Account Manager, Susan Daleandro, who has worked with Sharon for more than 19 years.
Sharon and Susan at an NFDA event.
“The list of memories goes on and on, from the many brainstorming meetings, luncheons, ASD outings and the many community events in the heat of the summer. Sharon knows how to bring out the best in people and challenge you to strive to the next level.”-Operations Manager, Linda Haas, who has worked with Sharon for more than 19 years.
“In 2004, Sharon hired me saying I was not the “normal fit”, due to my southern accent, and she was taking a chance on me. Look how far we’ve come since then. Also, Sharon and I have had so much fun talking, laughing, and spending quality time together both in the office and out during events. It was great singing along to Ed Sheeran songs during his concert.”-Operations Manager, Jennie Brown, who has worked with Sharon for more than 16 years.
Linda, Ric, Sharon and Jennie at ASD’s 2012 Company Christmas Luncheon
“My favorite memory of Sharon is when she brought a newborn kitten into work that her family had nursed back to health and let me hold it. It was the tiniest kitten I ever held in my life and just so incredibly adorable. Sharon understands that a sweet moment like that can totally make a person’s day and she goes out of her way to deliver moments like that to all of us.”-Public Relations Specialist, Jessica Farren, who has worked with Sharon for over 17 years.
“I ran into Sharon at Kohl’s department store and I had the privilege of meeting her mother. She was so nice and kind. I see why Sharon has such a beautiful personality that makes it so easy to interact with her at work.”–Training Specialist, Myrna Russi, who has worked with Sharon for over 14 years.
Sharon being honored for her longevity with ASD alongside our other longtime employees at ASD’s 2017 Company Christmas Luncheon
“Sharon was the person I met with to get the job at ASD. She made me feel very comfortable which helped to ease my nerves. There was a time where I was dealing with some medical issues and Sharon did not hesitate to tell me her own story of dealing with the same issue and let me know that she was there for me no matter what I needed.”-Senior Call Specialist, Christa Hunter, who has worked with Sharon for more than 13 years.
“I have many favorite memories working with Sharon, we have had many laughs working together especially when we tell each other about ourselves. “I just can’t”, “Your heart is bleeding all over the carpet” I’ll never forget that chicken parm you enjoyed that day at lunch and we couldn’t stop laughing in the car on the way back ;)”-Operations Manager, Lori Meehan, who has worked with Sharon for over 8 years.
Linda, Jennie, Sharon, Lori, Ric, Dara and Stephanie at our Team ASD Providence Animal Shelter Volunteer Day
“During a fun event in NYC, Sharon approached me to get a drink with her. While doing this, she invited me to a leadership seminar with her. She told me Managers were asked to pick a Supervisor to go with them and she thought of me. I was truly honored to be selected and we had a great time during the seminar, especially when we arrived late from lunch and had to dance our way into the room. She remembers.”-Operations Supervisor, Andrew Troutt, who has worked with Sharon for more than 8 years.
“My favorite Sharon moments are of her kind words and different occasions when we were sharing stories about things we could relate to one another about. She gives great advice and is always willing to listen whether it is job related or personal.”-Assistant Supervisor, Gina McConnell, who has worked with Sharon for over 6 years.
Sharon spending time with our Supervisor team at an ASD fun event.
“When I was first hired, I remember being so nervous and Sharon always put me at ease with her warmth and genuine concern.”–Senior Call Specialist, Debra Tonuci-Olivieri, who has worked with Sharon for more than 6 years.
“My favorite memory with Sharon is just being able to catch up with her. Whether it’s in the office or through message! She’s truly an angel and one of the most caring and loving people I’ve met.”-Senior Call Specialist, Aenslie Rodriguez, who has worked with Sharon for over 5 years.
Sharon with Team ASD and actor, Daniel Roebuck, at the 2017 NFDA Convention
“I don’t get to see Sharon often working 3rd shift but I enjoy getting to spend time with her at the supervisor functions! Concerts, theme parks and luncheons…Sharon is so fun to be around!”-Operations Supervisor, Brittany Wilcox, who has worked with Sharon for more than 5 years.
“My favorite memory of Sharon was when I started crying telling Sharon I was pregnant for the first time (happy tears). I also enjoy all the memories of coming into the office and seeing her with her positive smile, it would help me through my shift.”-Training Specialist, Canda Saengkhed, who has worked Sharon for over 4 years.
Sharon with Supervisor, Jen Hoban, at a local college job fair in 2014
“When I first start at ASD and knew no one, Sharon was always a friendly face, making a point to smile and say hello when she saw me.”-Training Supervisor, Tish Baker, who has worked with Sharon for more than 3 years
“I always have such great chats with Sharon. Especially when feeding the koi fish and noticing the baby ones!”-Advanced Call Specialist, Paige Gillespie, who has worked with Sharon for over 2 years.
“I remember a day when I went to the supervisor station in Ops 1, the skin on my fingertip had cracked and was bleeding a little bit on the keyboard. I called in so a supervisor would bring bandages out for me and Sharon happened to be there as well. I showed her my finger and her heartfelt concern was immediate. She helped me pick the right size bandage and had me take an extra in case I needed it. The main thing I remember is Sharon’s genuine caring and warmth, even though it was just a little thing. Sharon really cares about everyone, and we can feel it.”-Advanced Call Specialist, Toni Montague, who has worked with Sharon for more than a year.
Sharon making Christmas cards with staff at our 2019 Christmas Card Crafting Day
“My favorite memory with Ms. Sharon was when I first started working for ASD. She was sharing the history of ASD and how operations and technology changed through the years. I gained a better understanding and I appreciate the time she took out her day to speak with me.”–Advanced Call Specialist, Lauren Cellini, who has worked with Sharon for over a year.
“When I was first hired, Sharon went out of her way to introduce herself to me and to let me know she was available if I needed anything. Being so new, that impacted me knowing she cared enough to see me succeed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without a smile on her face. her saying hello and smiling has changed my whole day a few times.”–Advanced Call Specialist, Kimberly Pretti, who has worked with Sharon for more than a year.
Sharon alongside our Supervisor Team at ASD’s 2011 Company Christmas Luncheon
Sharon’s Impact on Team ASD
From our longest tenured employees to our new hires, Sharon’s influence has had an enduring and far reaching impact.
“Sharon’s ability to treat other with kindness, compassion and understanding has impacted operations in a positive way.”-Director of Operations, Ric Cusumano, who has worked with Sharon for 30 years.
Sharon, alongside Electrical Engineer, William D’Orazio (left) and Operations Director, Ric Cusumano (middle) being recognized for her longevity with our company at ASD’s 2017 company Christmas luncheon
“I have always loved how Sharon has created personal relationships with many in our company. She is a true champion for the needs of our team members.”-ASD Family-Member Owner, Kathy Kelley.
“Sharon has been a wonderful shoulder, an ear or even a swift kick in the butt whenever I’ve needed it over the years! Congratulations to her on this milestone!”–Sales Office Manager, Stephanie Bradford, who has worked with Sharon for more than 26 years.
“Sharon can get me to see things in a different light since she has been here for such a long time. She keeps me remembering how it was and far we have come.”-Finance Manager, Dara Dix, who has worked with Sharon for over 23 years.
“I’ve worked with Sharon for almost 20 years. In that time, she has been an amazing mentor, always willing to offer advice and guidance. She has the most caring, compassionate nature and shows true concern for all of her coworkers. We’ve had a lot of laughs together. Congratulation on your 30 years!”-Strategic Account Manager, Susan Daleandro, who has worked with Sharon for more than 19 years.
“Sharon is a kindhearted person and her willingness to look outside of herself and make those around her better is one of the most valuable contributions.”-Operations Manager, Linda Haas, who has worked with Sharon for more than 19 years.
“I don’t think anyone truly sees just how much Sharon advocates on behalf of staff here at ASD. From the early days to today, she is always looking for ways to help employees through any hardship they may be facing in their professional or personal lives. She takes time to discover what talents and skills others possess and looks for ways to help them shine here at ASD.”-Public Relations Specialist, Jessica Farren, who has worked with Sharon for more than 17 years.
“When first becoming a manager, Sharon really took me under her wing, mentored me, and showed me the ropes until I became comfortable in my position. She has always been a big supporter of mine when I needed it most. I have really enjoyed working with her and blossoming our friendship throughout the years.Sharon has always wanted the best for ASD and its staff. She encourages everyone to be the best they can be and is an inspiration to all.”-Operations Manager, Jennie Brown, who has worked with Sharon for over 16 years.
“Any time I have had any concerns or needed clarity, Sharon has taken time to meet with me, to listen and provide me with positive feedback and the guidance that I needed in a professional and effective way.”-Training Specialist, Myrna Russi, who has worked with Sharon for more than 14 years.
“I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Sharon’s guidance over the years. She has been a listening ear when I needed to vent, a shoulder to cry on when life got difficult and a source of knowledge when I needed professional advice.”-Client Solutions Supervisor, Sherry Martin, who has worked with Sharon for over 11 years.
“Sharon has always been a positive mentor to me, she has taught me a lot of things but the way she cares for people and always sees the best in them is something I look up too. Sharon has taught me that sometimes showing people a little extra compassion can make all the difference.”-Operations Manager, Lori Meehan, who has worked with Sharon for more than 8 years.
“Sharon hired me back in 2012. She was present during my promotion to Assistant Supervisor and Operations Supervisor. Sharon has mentored me in many ways and taught me how to be a good leader and team player.”-Operations Supervisor, Andrew Troutt, who has worked with Sharon for over 8 years.
“Sharon is such an amazing person and an incredible manager. If I have an issue or just need someone to talk to, I know she is always there. I know she really cares about her employees because she always shows it. Not only does she care about her employees she cares about their kids. She always shows my boys so much love when we see her and that means so much to us.”-Senior Call Specialist, Jessica Lopez, who has worked with Sharon for more than 7 years.
“Sharon is warm, welcoming and engaging. She has an open door policy and is always willing to lend an ear. She always greets you with a warm smile and asks you how you are doing? She enjoys getting to know you on a personal level and invites you to share in her life. I love her stories.”-Senior Call Specialist, Debra Tonuci-Olivieri, who has worked with Sharon for over 6 years.
“Sharon is a wonderful part of ASD and here’s to 30 more!”-Assistant Supervisor, Gina McConnell, who has worked with Sharon for more than 6 years.
“Sharon knows how to make people feel valued, appreciated, important and special. She is so quick to praise and it really makes all the difference. She gives amazing advice and will always make time for those who need her. The positive impact she has on this company, and myself, cannot be measured.”-Operations Supervisor, Brittany Wilcox, who has worked with Sharon for over 5 years.
“Sharon is always helpful when I had questions or needed some extra help on how to do something. Everything was always done to the best ability she has, no shortcuts were ever taken.”-ASD Sales Representative, Vincent Melograna, who has worked with Sharon for more than 5 years.
“Just knowing Sharon is a part of the ASD family is a treasure. Although we are always busy, the times Sharon has taken a brief moment to say hello and ask how things are going, showed that there is always time to be kind.”-Senior Call Specialist, Janel Francis, who has worked with Sharon for over 4 years.
“Sharon made starting a new job less stressful for me and helps to create a welcoming environment for new and longer-term employees every day.”-Training Supervisor, Tish Baker, who has worked with Sharon for more than 3 years.
“Sharon has always been a great support system for me. She is always willing to listen if I ever feel the need to talk! She makes me feel valued and appreciated as an employee and a person. Sharon just rocks!”-Advanced Call Specialist, Ambar Diaz, who has worked with Sharon for over 2 years.
“Sharon is truly such an amazing woman! She is extremely helpful and really cares about all of ASD’s employees,”-Advanced Call Specialist, Paige Gillespie, who has worked with Sharon for more than 2 years.
“I find Sharon’s warm smile, kind words and positive presence all the time. I’ve had other jobs with managers who were cold and only cared about the work, not the person doing the work. Not to say Sharon doesn’t care about the work we do, of course she does, but she really sees and cares about each and every one of us and we can feel that caring.”-Advanced Call Specialist, Toni Montague, who has worked with Sharon for over a year.
“Ms. Sharon is a genuinely caring person. Her delightful soul brings light and inspiration to ASD.”–Advanced Call Specialist, Lauren Cellini, who has worked with Sharon for more than a year.
30 Years – Countless Lives Touched
A few messages our staff wanted to share with Sharon on her 30th anniversary.
“Sharon you are a dedicated, loyal, supportive, employee, friend and family! Congratulations 30 years with ASD!”-Director of Operations, Ric Cusumano, who has worked with Sharon for 30 years.
“Always remember the pic hanging in your office of you, me & Ric at the nursing home.”-Finance Manager, Dara Dix, who has worked with Sharon for more than 23 years.
“Thank you, Sharon, for sticking by me! Has it really been 30 years since you started working at ASD? I guess time flies when you’re having fun. Thanks for your years of service, hard work, friendship and paving the way for so many of us! I am so lucky to work with you!”-Operations Manager, Linda Haas, who has worked with Sharon for over 19 years.
“Congratulations on your 30 years of service. It is an honor to work with you! Thank you for your expertise, great attitude and personality.”-Training Specialist, Myrna Russi, who has worked with Sharon for more than 14 years.
“First, I want to say congratulations on 30 years with ASD! I’m sure you weren’t nearly as nuts when you started! <3 Next, I want to thank you for all of the support and motivation you’ve given me over the years. I so appreciate the time you give to each of your staff members.”–Client Solutions Supervisor, Sherry Martin, who has worked with Sharon for over 11 years.
“Wishing you many more years of good health, lots of love, and happiness! You deserve the best!”-Senior Call Specialist, Debra Tonuci-Olivieri, who has worked with Sharon for more than 6 years.
“Happy anniversary Sharon! I hope you feel as appreciated and valued as you make everyone feel every day. You deserve all the love and happiness today and always!”-Operations Supervisor, Brittany Wilcox, who has worked with Sharon for over 5 years.
“Sharon, I appreciate your warming smile and admire your commitment to ASD and its employees.”-Senior Call Specialist, Janel Francis, who has worked with Sharon for more than 4 years.
“Happy Anniversary, Sharon! Thank you for your positive energy and encouragement.” –Training Supervisor, Tish Baker, who has worked with Sharon for over 3 years.
“Congratulations! Your time at ASD is impressive, not so much for the number of years, but for the great things you do each and every day.”-Advanced Call Specialist, Toni Montague, who has worked with Sharon for more than a year.
“Sharon’s 30-year Anniversary encourages me to work hard and accomplish my goals in life. Congratulations on your Milestone, Ms. Sharon!”– Advanced Call Specialist, Lauren Cellini, who has worked with Sharon for over a year.
“HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SHARON CONGRATS ON YOUR 30 YEARS!! I am looking forward to working the next 30 with you!!”–Advanced Call Specialist, Kimberly Pretti, who has worked with Sharon for more than year.
Congratulations Sharon on 30 years with ASD! You are such a valuable member of our team! Thank you for all that you do to help and support our ASD family. May you continue to inspire us for many years to come!
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 Jess@myASD.com