Feb 15, 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 long-time employees and ask them a few questions about their experiences working for our company.
Joined ASD: July 2016
Positions Held: Senior Call Specialist
What have you gained or learned since working at ASD?: I’ve learned the REAL value of time. I have always tried to be person who was on time. However being here at ASD has really heightened my resolve. Being on time shows respect for the people who count on you and the position you accepted. I appreciate the daily reminder of how precious time is and why you should spend your time with the people you love. The bonus is ASD rewards you for doing what you are supposed to do.
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I enjoy writing and cooking. My true love is cooking. I haven’t done much entertaining since the Pandemic, however when I do cook I try to make it amazing. Experimenting with plant based meals have been fun, my most successful and delicious meal is my General No Tsao Chicken. I use Cauliflower instead of chicken. My sister Nia (her opinion maybe biased) says the world needs to taste my food. I cook with love and you can taste it.
What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Stay committed to learning. If you are not willing to learn, you won’t be able to grow. Stay positive and remember you could one day be on the other end of the phone.
Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? I love Sherrill Kirk from Kirk Funeral Homes [in Marion, AL]. He is ALWAYS pleasant even when you can tell he is in the middle of something. His, “Thank you, Ma’am” seals the deal every time.
Antonia “Toni” Montague
Joined ASD: April 2019
Positions Held: Advanced Call Specialist
What have you gained or learned since working at ASD?: For all of our differences, humans really are all the same. I’ve gained a greater appreciation for love and friendship, in the end they are the most important things in all of our lives.
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I have a love of pets, especially dogs. When I lose a dog I’ve shared my life with, I try to find a rescue that is in the greatest need and give him or her a good home. My goal is to take an abused dog and give him/her the chance to live a good doggie life.
What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Remember to breathe. The calls will get easier to take with time and experience. There will always be one that is weird and different, but that just keeps things interesting. Also, supervision always has your back, they are great people who really want you to succeed.
What is a fun fact about you other people might not know? I trained as an archaeologist when I was younger. I’ve been on digs in France and Mexico.
Joined ASD: September 2018
Job Titles Held: Call Specialist, Training Specialist and Assistant Supervisor
What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? ASD has certainly challenged me. I have learned to be a better listener. I am learning that it is much more than just the words we say, it’s how we say them that really makes an impact on our callers. Being aware of how we speak to others and our tone can make all the difference! I think I am more patient not only with others, but with myself.
What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been given this year to be a trainer for ASD. My advice would be to just breathe, relax, take your time with the caller and really listen. As your confidence builds everything will fall into place. Supervisors at ASD are amazing and can always help, they are a great resource for those questionable calls.
Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? My favorite Funeral Director is Carolyn Brown [of Brown Funeral Directors in Borger, TX.] She always is so bright and upbeat. She makes my day whenever I talk to her.
Joined ASD: April 2018
Job Titles Held: Call Specialist & Training Specialist
What have you gained or learned since working at ASD?: I have learned how to become more patient with my callers. I have come to realize that a lot of these callers are calling for the very first time. My knowledge of this industry has really helped me to better understand the calls and make the callers feel a bit more relaxed. But, you can’t please everyone.
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? Shopping and spending quality time with my family through outings and gatherings.
What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Just be patient and listen to the callers. Put yourself in their shoes to guide you through any situation. What may be urgent to them is not always urgent to the business. Remember the funeral directors deal with a lot of turmoil that we are not even aware of and they rely on us to decipher what is urgent and what is not. If you are uncertain, always reach out to a Supervisor or Trainer, I am always willing to help!
What is your motto or personal mantra? Be the best you can be and do the best you can. Be kind to everyone, you never know what they are carrying on their shoulders
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.
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