Apr 09, 2013
In 2012, to commemorate our 40th Anniversary year, ASD redesigned our logo so we could feature some of the real employees who have demonstrated their commitment to the company for many years. As a family-owned business, we recognize that it is our team-oriented culture and collaborative environment that has allowed ASD to become the answering service trusted by more than one quarter of all funeral homes in the United States. Our employees are our most valuable assets which is why we wanted you to meet the real people behind ASD’s logo:
New Accounts Manager, Stephanie Bradford, has been helping funeral homes develop telecommunications strategies for more than 20 years. As one of the most experienced staff member in ASD’s Customer Service Department, Stephanie works with new clients to determine what customizations and tools would fit the needs of their funeral home while communicating feedback and suggestions to ASD’s technical team. She has developed custom solutions for countless funeral homes while providing helpful tutorials and technical assistance to ensure all of ASD’s clients can utilize the tools and features available. Stephanie is also a frequent attendant of funeral home trade conventions, helping clients with updates and customizations right on the trade show floor! When she is not assisting funeral directors at ASD, Stephanie works as a Photographer’s Assistant for her husband, Edward Bradford, and enjoys taking trips with him and their two daughters.
“ASD is a company that encourages its staff to grow and thrive. I have had the opportunity to build strong relationships with both generations of the Czachor family and they are a wonderful family to work for who truly care about their employees,” Stephanie says. “I enjoy being able to help funeral directors resolve their telecommunication issues and provide custom support to ASD’s diverse client base.”
Project Manager, Lauren Kress, started working at ASD in 2002 shortly after graduating High School. While earning her degree, Lauren worked as a Call Specialist until 2003 when she was promoted to work in ASD’s Customer Service department after demonstrating her strong work ethic, attention to detail and outstanding communication skills. Over the years, Lauren has proven herself as an exceptionally adaptable employee, taking on many key leadership roles. She is the point person for ASD’s FuneralSync program and also works with state and national funeral directors’ associations to coordinate ASD’s convention schedule every year. Lauren is passionate about networking with funeral professionals and loves traveling to meet directors from different parts of the country. When she is not working at ASD, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their one-year-old son, Lucas.
“I feel very fortunate for the opportunities my position at ASD has provided,” Lauren says. “ASD has given me a strong understanding of the funeral profession, a career I whole-heartedly enjoy and incredible friendships which I have learned can develop in places you least expect it. I have grown up while working at ASD and feel so grateful for the friendships I have developed during that time. ASD is not only a job to me, it is a family—one that grows every year.”
National Sales Manager and Licensed Funeral Director, Jason Bathurst, began working at ASD in 2008 as a Call Specialist. Jason worked for several decades at a local funeral home but wanted a break from the life of an on-call director. He was familiar with ASD from using our service and wanted to bring his expertise and experience to our company. Within several months, Jason was promoted to work as a Supervisor and frequently taught classes to ASD Call Specialists on important funeral customs and rituals. In early 2010, Jason joined ASD’s Sales Department and began working with prospective clients to determine how ASD can meet their funeral home’s needs. Jason’s perspective as a licensed director helps funeral homes understand how ASD can deliver value to their funeral home. When he is not speaking to directors and attending funeral home conventions, Jason enjoys spending time with family, participating in a local choir group and volunteering for community events.
“As a licensed funeral director, working at ASD has been extremely rewarding for me because of the opportunity it provides to meet and interact with so many fellow funeral directors,” Jason says. “When I worked as a funeral director, our firm relied on ASD after hours so I was already familiar with the company’s incredible services and features. Now, I have the pleasure of working with other directors to help them understand how ASD can resolve their telecommunications issues and deliver convenience to their life.”
New Client Specialist, Sue Fritz, has been a familiar voice to funeral directors for more than 10 years. Sue joined the ASD team in 2002 and began answering calls as a Call Specialist in our Operations department. Within a year, ASD’s managers recognized Sue’s sensitivity handling difficult calls and strong comprehension of ASD’s propriety systems. After being promoted as a Training Specialist, Sue was responsible for ensuring new hires successfully completed ASD’s 6-month training program while helping out with office projects such as verifying the accuracy of new accounts. When a position opened up in ASD’s Customer Service Department, Sue was a natural fit because of her strong attention-to-detail and customer service skills. Today, Sue helps new clients learn how to use all of ASD’s features and gathers feedback from funeral directors on how ASD can enhance their experience. When Sue is not talking to funeral directors, she loves going to concerts, Phillies games, spending time with her family and spoiling her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Rufus.
“For me, the most rewarding part about working at ASD is that I haven’t only developed a relationship with my coworkers, but I have gained a second family,” Sue says. “Over the years, I have learned compassion and patience are key in any situation ranging from someone calling in to find out when services are being held for an old friend or taking first call information from a grieving family. Your compassionate voice is going to be the one that caller is depending on to assist them or console them at that moment. “
Lead Creative Designer, Juan Silva, joined ASD in 2009 as one of our bilingual Call Specialists. Juan received his graphic design education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA while working part time here at ASD. His compassionate phone demeanor, strong attention to detail and proven reliability did not go unnoticed by our Operations team, who promoted Juan to Training Specialist position in 2011. After graduating from the University of the Arts, Juan took on a new role in our Sales and Marketing department as ASD’s Lead Creative Designer. Juan has redesigned ASD’s logo and marketing materials with a fresh look while creating graphic-based tutorials for clients to visualize how to use our features and mobile tools. Internally, Juan’s graphics provide important visual cues for new hires using ASD’s sophisticated training program. When he is not designing for ASD, Juan enjoys other creative pursuits such as stop-motion animation and working on craft projects with his 5 year old son.
“Coming to ASD’s sales department as a graphic designer has been great,” Juan says. “It allows me to contribute to ASD’s already existing success by doing something that I love, and I will still be available to assist callers, which is something I also love doing.”
Supervisor, Will Chicola, has been a vital asset to our Operations team since he joined ASD in 2008. Will demonstrated his sharp communication skills and strong understanding of ASD’s advanced systems while working as Training Specialist. In 2010, he was promoted to a Supervisor position, providing personal support and technical assistance to ASD’s clients utilizing our sophisticated mobile tools, including ASD Mobile. Will’s skilled comprehension of ASD’s technology and services allows him to serve funeral professionals with the highest level of customer service. When he is not speaking to clients on the phone, Will enjoys meeting clients face-to-face at funeral director conventions.
“I have gained an enormous respect for the individuals in the Funeral Service profession,” Will says. “They dedicate their lives to serving others during an immensly difficult time. It is gratifying knowing our services provides funeral directors with more time to spend with their loved ones and doing things they love.”
Our goal is to periodically introduce more employees to our logo over time. Be sure to check for updates!
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