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Team ASD Staff Spotlights - December 2021

Dec 07, 2021

Our new ASD Spotlight series introduces you to the dedicated Team ASD superstars you have been speaking with over the phone for the years to learn about the real people behind the voices you hear every day. In this post, we profile four of our long-time employees and ask them a few questions about their experiences working for our company.


Denise Bell

Joined ASD: December 2009

Positions Held: Call Specialist & Training Specialist


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD?: I have always been a patient person, however with that being said, since working at ASD my patience and tolerance for people has grown substantially. I definitely treat others differently, especially strangers.


What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I spend as much time as I can with my two teenage boys. Love to explore new places: gardens, woods, trails, etc. Also enjoy reading and doing crafts when I have some free time.


What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Breathe. Focus on each caller, do not worry about the number of calls in queue or what may have happened on a previous call. Stay focused and remember you can only handle one caller at a time. Listen, follow account instructions and relax.


Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? I love the McIlvaines [of Simcox McIlvaine Funeral Home in Lansdale, PA]. They are just so kind and friendly, regardless of how busy they are or how busy we are!! Haha. When I heard that Boyd passed away, I actually cried. He was my absolute FAVORITE!!


Teresa Kobylarz

Joined ASD: September 2014

Positions Held: Call Specialist, Training Specialist & Assistant Supervisor


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? In the last 7 years at ASD, I've grown personally and professionally. It feels great to be part of a team that works hard to achieve great results both inside and outside of work. I’ve found it very satisfying to participate in company sponsored Community events that help give back and support great charities. During the pandemic this past year, my time on the phones has increased my capacity for compassion and understanding to help callers through one of the most difficult times they'll every face. My role in Training has also provided continued growth as I work to guide new Trainees on their path to becoming new Call Specialists at ASD.


What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I'm an eclectic person and my interests vary. First and foremost, I love spending time with my family. Reading and listening to music inspire me (live music, whenever I can). I've always been athletic and have been known as a competitor. I recently joined a competitive shooting league and participate in Steel Challenges (plinking) at least once a month. I also enjoy a "good" round of golf or time at the driving range.


What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Follow ASD Standards, be present in the conversation, and take it one call and one account at a time.


What is your favorite memory from a Team ASD event in the past? The Food Truck Events were a great morale booster this year. It's so nice to be appreciated and sit down with co-workers in a casual atmosphere and get to know them a little better.


Gabriela Downey

Joined ASD: May 2016
Job Titles Held: Bilingual Call Specialist, Training Specialist & Assistant Supervisor


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? Learned that you never know how your compassion and understanding can go a long way from a simple compassionate tone. I've definitely gained to be grateful for life every day and how quick it can turn for the worst in an instant listening to some of these callers.


What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? Working out and doing events such as 5ks and working out for mental health, suicide awareness (I belong to the Delaware County Suicide Task Force). I lost my husband in 2009 to suicide and 2 of my two children struggled with suicidal ideation.


Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? Don Smith the coroner has to be one of my favorites, he is never EVER in a bad mood and always so chipper even at 3am when he calls in.


What is your favorite memory from a Team ASD event in the past? Tough Mutter has to be the most memorable and self-rewarding one.


What's a fun fact about you other people might not know? I was born in Argentina and learned English at the age of 10 when I moved to the Unites States.


Christina "Tina" Boyle

Joined ASD: December 2008

Job Titles Held: Call Specialist & Training Specialist


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD?: I have learned patience and how important it is to be an active listener. I also have gained a lot of appreciation for team work and the power of collaboration. As Call Specialist we rely on each other, whether in taking clear messages, getting coverage for our shifts or just to vent to in our personal time. I feel blessed to work with such amazing people.


What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I love going to concerts and writing. Enjoy spending time with my kids and my close friends.


What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Take a deep breath and try to relax. Remember most callers are going through a hard time and emotionally are everywhere. Do your best to feel empathetic and compassionate. We genuinely are guiding these families and friends into their own journey of loss and grief. Try to be patient and attentive. Do your best to imagine having to make these types of calls and the feelings you would experience if in their shoes. ASD has amazing coworkers to always talk to if you are struggling or have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. We all have been there and understand how hard and anxious it feels for the first few months.


Be sure to check back next month for more Team ASD Staff Spotlights to help you get to know the dedicated individuals answering calls for your funeral home.


RELATED READING

Top 10 Reasons to Start Your Career with ASD

9 Ways ASD Has Supported Staff During the COVID-19 Pandemic

17 Ways ASD Promotes a Supportive Company Culture



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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


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