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April 13, 2009
More than 300 representatives of independently owned business communications companies in the United States and Canada descended on Coronado Island March 25-27, to attend the 9th Annual Technology Assurance Group (TAG) Convention. This year’s event, entitled “Our Future is in Leading Our Industry,” presented TAG members, all voice and data companies who are territorially protected, with the opportunity to network with their peers, learn about the latest in best business practices, and review the finest in new technology solutions from leading international suppliers and industry experts.
TAG members flock to the trade show floor.
Dale Johnson, TAG’s president & CEO, said the convention’s goal was to prepare members for future growth through a series of leading-edge education seminars with an emphasis on managed services. “Those members who adapt and position their companies as true managed service providers — unifying voice and data solutions — will continue to prosper. We feel this year’s conference illuminated that path to success.”
Roger Wentowski, owner of BTS Technologies, took home the TAG Special Achievement Award for Unsurpassed Excellence in 2008 Sales.
The convention featured a comprehensive education and motivational program, which drew rave reviews from members. Dynamic keynote speakers who entertained and educated TAG members included Dave Hibbard, co-founder of Dialexis, a top sales and leadership organization located in Irvine, Calif.; Scott Klososky, who engages clients on a broad array of advisory tasks that include IT department restructuring, software implementation and design, and technology utilization within countries; and Ross Shafer, a former TV talk show host and now a human resources film producer.
TAG’s Dale Stein shakes hands with keynoter Dave Hibbard of Dialexis.
TAG Members sat in on numerous breakout sessions featuring topics such as: Never Bet Against the American Economy: Some Thoughts on Our Economic Future; 2009 — The Year of Opportunity; Securing Your Future with Managed IT Services; How Does Wi-Fi and WiMax Affect Our Industry; Plan to Sell Your Business for $10+ Million; Diversifying Your Business in a Cold Economic Climate; and a roundtable discussion with industry experts from Vintalk, Broadvox, Excel and FreedomIQ on SIP Trunking Benefits and Best Practices.
A packed exhibit hall at the Loews Coronado Resort and Spa featured more than 50 TAG strategic partners showcasing the finest voice and data solutions.
John Croce of CTD Distributing, Dave Shaw of Digital Systems, and Nancy Fair and Brian Fair of TOPS Telecommunications hit the links.
Attending his ninth TAG Convention and this year’s Elite Sponsor was Bill Hall, vice president of Strategic Programs for ESI, a Plano, Texas-based manufacturer of business telephone systems.
“TAG is the best knowledge-based organization to help us and other members become more sophisticated and informed,” said Hall. “The true value is the education TAG provides and the implementation of that knowledge results in making informed business decisions. TAG is a tool chest; not every member needs the same tool, it’s nice to have all the tools to choose from when you need one.”
TAG president, Dale Johnson, welcomes members to the 9th Annual convention.
Steve Rothenberg, CEO of Sunnyvale, Calif.’s Zultys, a strategic partner exhibiting at the convention for the first time, said, “TAG members are they type of dealers that we want to work with. They are well run businesses, with excellent sales and technical support – they are the whole package.”
Matt Duray, president of Billings, Mont.’s Connect Telephone & Computer Group, and a member of TAG’s Northwest Members’ Action Team Leader, said “the TAG Convention is a wonderful chance for me to get back in touch with members to collaborate on new ideas, meet and network with strategic partners and exhibitors, and learn about new products that can benefit my company. It’s an opportunity for me to really recharge my battery to move forward this year.”
TAG’s Dale Johnson, Digital Planet Communications’ Shawn Schmidt and Jonathan Watkins, and TAG’s Larry Chupp enjoy a cruise on San Diego Bay.
Dale Stein, co-founder of TAG, presided over the annual member awards that recognized more than 40 members for sales excellence in 2008. “Seeing this many members exceed their own expectations in a down economy tells us that our members understand what technology needs to do — it needs to increase a company’s profitability and give them a competitive advantage. Our members understand this approach to provide the customer with business application rather than just price. The amount of training our members undertake for the benefit of their customer is an important aspect of our organization.”
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