Greetings PACE Members!

You have all been on my mind constantly as we, the inhabitants of the planet Earth, face one of the most unpredictable and unforgiving challenges of our lifetime.  I think you will all agree that everything has changed in 2020, from the way we work, to the way we go to school, to the way we interact with family, friends, and strangers.  So, before I say anything more, I want you to know that the health and safety of our PACE members and their loved ones is always our highest priority and at the forefront of everything that we do.

While the Coronavirus has hit us with unprecedented change, the world has responded with amazing courage and resiliency.  We have turned upward to our united community and to PACE to adapt to new ways of working, learning, socializing, and growing our business.

In my company, our priority is on ensuring the safety of our employees while not letting down our support commitment to our customers.  We have gone to great lengths, with both our internal sites and our outsourced partners, to innovate on how we deliver on this promise in the light of these new challenges.  I am certain that many of your business discussions have also turned to topics around how to deploy work from home agents; how to best utilize technology to support customers; how to create a community of emotional support and continuity for your employees facing personal stress and how to navigate the financial challenges faced by companies and individuals while maintaining your efforts to grow your business.

I was in the midst of two global RFPs when we were first hit with a travel ban in February.  I am now spinning up new sites in three new countries, using virtual site visits and virtual training, something we would not have considered before this pandemic inspired our innovation.

I am an optimist and always looking for the bright side.  Whether it’s that working from home means a shorter commute or less time spent on hair and makeup or whether it’s that we have more time with family and pets or we are thinking more about our family and friends, especially our seniors who may be isolated.  I think this virus has caused us all to be a little more human, to prioritize health and to come together and quarantine, to prevent others from getting sick and our hospitals from being overwhelmed.  As the mother of a hospital RN, this part is very personal to me.

This virus may isolate us in our homes for now, but it brings us closer together as a community as we are all going through this together.  We are united in our challenges and we are all focused on rising above this by leaning on each other.  This is where PACE comes in.  We are a membership-based community that has been built on a fellowship principle.  We help each other, we learn from each other, we rely on each other, we teach each other, we hire each other, we keep each other out of trouble, we partner with each other and we stand united as a community.  This has always been the DNA of PACE, but now more than ever, I am appreciative to know that we, as PACE members, are not alone.

While we are all scrambling to figure this out, PACE has taken decisive action to support our members.      Understanding that contact centers represent an essential hub of communication and support and that many companies lost capacity and access to employees, we set up a database of members that have contact center capacity, technology, equipment or consultative services and solutions, that could be deployed quickly to assist members in need.  You can find these listings on the PACE website homepage.

Another call to action was the way that many of our members, who have contact centers or outsourced sites in international locations, worked together to provide for updates and information such as, government restrictions, in different countries, that allowed our members to make the best decisions possible, regarding their business continuity planning with current information.

But perhaps the biggest initiative that PACE took on was the decision to postpone our flagship event, ACX’20 (Annual Convention and Expo) rather than put any member or attendee at risk.  Not only did we need to re-evaluate ACX’20, but also the premier CX Council Leadership Summit, which was a special event scheduled to occur in front of ACX’20, for members and potential members of our PACE CX Council, including some of the nation’s largest brands.  We worked diligently with the property in Florida to negotiate a date change, but as more information unfolded on the recovery of our country and with full focus on the safety of our members, we have made the decision to not hold ACX’20 as rescheduled in August, but rather to unite all of our great events and move ACX’20 to occur, in conjunction with our famous Washington Summit.   You see, community is more important than ever, so we wanted to bring our PACE community together for support, for learning, for networking and hopefully, for some buying, selling, and hiring too.  We are moving ACX’20 again, to September 21-23 outside of Washington, DC and combining it with our best in class Washington Summit, to occur right before ACX’20, on September 20-21.  The union of the events is the best of both worlds.  And, we are also still going to offer the much anticipated, inaugural event of the CX Council Leadership Summit.  This invitation only, peer to peer education and networking event for Corporate CX professionals, will also occur right before ACX’20, on September 20-21 and run simultaneous to the Washington Summit.  With this model, we offer world class education and networking for everyone and we have a chance to celebrate the full scope of our resilient PACE community.

I anticipate that you will have many questions as we navigate our way to our new normal and we are all in this together with the same questions.  Rest assured that the PACE staff and the PACE National Board of Directors will work closely with our hotel partner, to ensure that our environment meets all known safety protocols, some of which are still to be defined.  We will be creative in our execution and we offer a combination of onsite live and virtual experiences.  It may not feel like the ACX or Washington Summits of the past, but it will be an opportunity to come together to overcome adversity and grow together, without limits.

There is much work to be done, but our lineup of fabulous speakers, thought leaders and sponsors have all shown us tremendous support as we move to this new chapter.  You will see much more about this event, which we refer to as “ACX at Washington Summit”, over the coming months.  We will provide updates as we learn more and we will always be committed to providing a high quality, memorable experience keeping your safety and well-being as our highest priority.

 

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve you.  I cannot wait for a long over-due celebration of PACE member resiliency.

Respectfully,

Lori Fentem
PACE – Chair of the National Board of Directors
Ring/Amazon – Head of CS Third Party Strategy & Operations