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Team ASD Staff Spotlights - August 2022

Aug 29, 2022

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 dedicated Call Specialists and ask them a few questions about their experiences working for our company.


Barbara Friskey

Joined ASD: August 2007

Positions Held: Training Specialist and Senior Call Specialist


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? I've gained patience and have become a better listener. I work 3rd shift and most, if not all, of my calls are death calls. It could be a family member, hospice/nurse or someone else reporting the death. I have learned how to listen intently to callers especially since these calls are during the night.


What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? My passion outside of work is my family. I enjoy spending time with my husband Jimmy and our 2 children Claudia & Kyle.


What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Always be friendly, considerate and compassionate to the person on the other end of the line. In most cases, they have just lost their loved one or someone just lost a patient. Also, type clear and concise messages. This will help the Funeral Director and your co-workers who may have to relay your message.


Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? Working on 3rd shift, it can be hard to have conversation with a director since most of the time we are waking them up. But there a few removal staff members or removal service staff that stand out such as Brasota Mortuary Service, Carl with French FH/Cremations & Kristen with ATS along with a lot of others too.


Lauren Incardona

Joined ASD: May 2017

Positions Held: Call Specialist & Training Specialist


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD?: I would have to say I have learned a lot. I was already a people person but in my 5 years with ASD I have learned great communication skills. It is hard expressing your emotions through the telephone so I had to learn ways to express my emotions and empathy in a more personal manner. I like to pretend every caller is right in front of me and give them the respect and love they deserve during such hard times. I have also learned more about patience. We handle calls everyday from personal calls, pre arrangement calls, all the way to the first calls from family & nurses. Everyone deserves patience when it comes to dealing with such hardship. I have also learned about team work and being consistent. I love to help all my co workers learn new ways of being thorough and vice versa. We all have to be on the same page in order to help the callers and keep our directors satisfied.


What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? My hobbies, interests, and passions outside of ASD would have to be my family. I am a mother of two beautiful girls and a wife to the greatest husband. I come from a big family and just love to be surrounded with love. Love to hang outside and sit and talk with them. I grew up dancing and love to dance whenever I can. I love going to the beach. My number one passion is seeing others happy. So if I can help in any way then I am there for you!


What advice would you give a new trainee at ASD? The advice I would give to a new trainee at ASD would be to "follow your call control". At the end of the day call control will save you. Also don't worry when you first start taking calls on your own your confidence will come. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help! I always tell all new trainees who I train to always message me anytime and ask.


Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? Oh my goodness I have so many favorite funeral directors that I enjoy talking too. Too many to count! I love when I call them and they talk with you for a minute or two about how you are doing, it makes you feel noticed.


What is a fun fact about you people might not know? A fun fact about me? Oh jeez. Something only family and friends know is that I like to tell "dad" jokes. I know they are silly but they do make you laugh. Also that my life should be a sitcom. Something is always going on!


What's a fun fact about you other people might not know? A fun fact about me? Oh jeez. Something only family and friends know is that I like to tell "dad" jokes. I know they are silly but they do make you laugh. Also that my life should be a sitcom. Something is always going on!


What is your favorite memory from a Team ASD event in the past? My favorite memory at ASD would be at Christmas time when we would bring our kids in to make holiday cards for the local nursing homes or homeless to spread some cheer at Christmas time.


What's your motto or personal mantra? My motto or personal mantra would have to be "Today is a good day to have a good day!" I have so many but that would be my favorite! Don't worry about yesterday have a good day today!


Joshua Makshofi

Joined ASD: August 2019
Job Titles Held: Call Specialist & Training Specialist


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? I have learned the importance of patience. It is so important to be patient in this position. I've also picked up some improved computer skills. The system nuances that I had to learn have helped me and my typing skills have improved due to the nature of the work.


What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I am a big comic book fan. Anybody who talks to me a few minutes will learn that. I am also huge fan of European football (soccer). I am a huge arsenal fan it's something I inherited from my dad. I also love spending time with my wife and playing with our dogs.


What are some of your personal education goals? Right now I am attending Penn State University. I am completing a bachelor's degree in Business Accounting. I have always had strength with numbers so this feels like a natural fit.


What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? I would share some of the things I have learned from others. Ric, Margarite, TJ, Mike, Vianny, Andrew, and Brian were so helpful to me during training and beyond. They taught me to be patient, take the calls one at a time, and pace yourself. The job can be really demanding and if you have something outside going on that weighs on you as well. Try to be light about everything as much as possible. I think you make less mistakes if you slow down and take your time. Don't get frazzled when it gets busy. Stay centered.


What is your motto or personal mantra? Don't wallow in the mire.


Laura Esquivel

Joined ASD: August 2019

Job Titles Held: Senior Bilingual Call Specialist, Training Specialist and Assistant Supervisor


What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? I honestly didn’t know a call center even existed for the Funeral Industry. I’ve gained more of an understanding about it as well and how hard it is not only for the families, but for the directors, employees and those who assist.

What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I love spending time with my family. Now that they are in college I cherish them. Especially since both have made arrangements with their jobs to be available for Saturday family dinner. My other hobbies are sewing, drawing, and photography. My passion is fashion.

What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Take the time to really listen. All people young and old just want to be heard. It was my first K5 class that this really came to heart. I had 10 students and all of them were really different. Learning to listen to their little hearts, well you could just see their faces light up when you helped them or sat down with them at eye level just to let them know “yes, I hear you”.

What is your favorite memory from a Team ASD event in the past? I’ve really only been to 3 and I enjoyed all of them. I hope we can do the Christmas cards again this year and next year the Providence Animal Shelter fundraiser “PAC Bark in the Park”.

What is your motto or personal mantra? “If there’s a will, there’s a way”. This is something I’ve taught my kids and my students.


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

ASD Staff Spotlights - June 2022
ASD Staff Spotlights - May 2022
ASD Staff Spotlights - April 2022
ASD Staff Spotlights - March 2022
ASD Staff Spotlights - February 2022
ASD Staff Spotlights - January 2022



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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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