Centech Solutions

Our Team

William D. Saums

President

Since founding Centech Solutions over 20 years ago, Bill Saums has led contact center consulting projects for firms ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Internet startups worldwide. Clients include AOL, AT&T, Allstate, Blue Shield, CitiGroup, Citizens Bank, Convergys, EarthLink, eBay, ESPN, Expedia, Fallon Healthcare System, Gorton’s Fresh Seafood, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, L.L. Bean, Olin Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Starwood Hotels, SourceGas, Talbots, The Boston Globe, and Verizon. Projects encompassed contact center design and deployment, technology implementation, productivity and performance improvement programs, operations reviews, outsourcing and project management. Centech also conducts customer satisfaction surveys and third party quality assurance monitoring as a service to its clients.Before founding Centech, Bill was Director of International Sales for AT&T American Transtech in Jacksonville, Florida, now Convergys Corporation. He developed a global sales strategy for Transtech’s international direct marketing operations in Europe to transform American Transtech into an international leader in global direct marketing services. He developed outsourcing programs there for Fortune 500 firms including Pitney Bowes, General Electric, Perrier, Reebok, United Parcel Service, and United Van Lines. Mr. Saums also managed a 300 position call center for AT&T’s consumer unit prior to 1990, and provided consulting expertise to AT&T’s first international telemarketing service bureau joint venture with Italcable in Rome.

Mr. Saums holds a Masters in Business Administration from Northeastern University, a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, and he completed the Wharton School’s Executive Training Program. He serves as a frequent guest lecturer for the industry including, the Massachusetts Bankers Association, the Bank Administration Institute, the American Management Association, the Credit Union Association, North East Contact Center Forum, and the Utility CIS/CRM consortium. He is a member of NEMOA (National E-tailing and Mail Order Association); and the International Customer Service Association has published his work on outsourcing. He has served his community as a mentor working with at-risk adolescent youth and presently serves in local town government.

Donna M. Byers
Senior Contact Center Consultant
Ms. Byers has over 20 years of experience in inbound customer service and call center management. At AT&T’s Baldrige Award winning Consumer Sales and Services unit, she managed programs that include customer service and billing, customer enrollment, consumer acquisition and consumer retention, with practical experience in training, supervision, scripting, service monitoring and quality assurance, personnel management, payroll and operations support systems.

Since joining Centech, Ms. Byers has conducted customer satisfaction measurement, operations and call quality improvement programs for Olin Corporation, IBM, Allied Signal, EarthLink, Fallon Community Health Plan, Intel, EarthLink, Phoenix, AT&T Wireless Services, Gorton’s of Gloucester, ESPN, Verizon and SourceGas. When Centech was selected to be a co-sourcing provider for SEND.com’s $20 million advertising launch, Ms. Byers ran the call center operations in Rhode Island. This company received multiple honors for outstanding customer service, and was mentioned on Good Morning America, CNN and other news shows for its exemplary customer care representatives. SEND.com selected Centech again to manage its holiday season calls the following year. Ms. Byers specializes in customer satisfaction measurement and implementation, quality assurance program management, performance measurement, recognition, training, and methods and procedures development. She develops supervisory training processes and methods for service level improvement; and manages Centech’s internal call center operations.

Prior to her work with AT&T, Ms. Byers owned and managed a company specializing in creative design and arrangement. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Sciences and Services from the University of Rhode Island.

HLS PhotoHazel Lewis Shakur
Senior Instructional Design and Delivery Consultant
Hazel Shakur brings expertise in start-up ventures, list management firms, advertising agencies, outsourcing agencies, power utilities, direct merchants, and telecommunications firms. Hazel’s background in instructional design, training, managing contact center vendors, and market positioning techniques has proven to be an important asset to Centech’s clients.

Prior to her consulting role, Hazel was Teleservices Manager for RTCdirect advertising agency. With Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals as a client, Hazel was responsible for launching Claritin™ as the top selling allergy prescription medication with over $1 billion in sales. Through creative use of direct response advertising, database management, IVR applications, live agent programs and fulfillment operations, Hazel helped lead Claritin to record-breaking sales through differentiated service.

As a contact center professional, Hazel has developed approaches in agent training, management training, program management, performance results management, program development, agent motivation and other areas that have created tangible differentiation in the marketplace. She co-developed and delivered supervisory training course that has been particularly effective in providing long term sustained improvement in service levels for Centech’s clients, as well as agent training that resulted in remarkable reductions in the adult learning curve for large quantities of new and diverse topics.

In addition to her advertising agency experience, Hazel was a co-founder of GrandPartners, Inc., she worked in the marketing department at the Washington Post, and managed a large contact center operation in Atlanta, GA. In her work with Centech, Hazel managed the training development and delivery process for SEND.com, AT&T Wireless Services, Verizon, Convergys, Publishing Services and Crane Stationery.

Hazel holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from American University, and resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and children.

Brian M. Gillespie
Senior Contact Center Consultant
Brian M. Gillespie is an internationally recognized expert in direct marketing and contact center operations. Since 1985, Brian has managed every aspect of call center management including marketing, sales and operations. His experience spans the globe, including products and services, large concentrated call centers and small dispersed centers. As a consultant, Brian has worked on projects with over two dozen Fortune 500 companies. In his assignments, he has worked with companies to dramatically decrease costs, increase service and improve employee satisfaction. Brian has also operated as acting CEO with one company, helping to turn around a failing business unit.

Prior to entering the consulting field, Brian held the position of Senior Vice President at ITT Sheraton Reservations where he was responsible for generating over $1 billion in revenues through 12 call centers worldwide. Responsible for more than 650 people and a budget of over $60 million, Brian doubled the profit margin of this group in three years while improving employee satisfaction by 10% and customer satisfaction by 25%. For these efforts, he was awarded the Chairman’s Award, the highest recognition available in ITT. Before joining ITT, Brian worked for AT&T. At AT&T, he improved after-market sales and service to small businesses, installed new call centers and supported AT&T efforts in the mid-1980s to maintain its market position. Due to these efforts, AT&T added millions of dollars to its profitability. During this time, Brian was awarded the Direct Marketing Association’s Echo Award for his work on Integrated Direct Marketing programs.

In his work with Centech, Brian has specialized in developing custom forecasting models for predicting call volume in both traditional call center environments as well as in e-commerce environments. He also works with implementing off-the-shelf workforce management products for contact centers.

Mr. Gillespie has spoken for several professional groups including the Direct Marketing Association. He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from University of Michigan and Bachelors in Civil Engineering degree from Purdue University. Brian currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.

Tom Wallace
Telecommunications Consultant
Tom Wallace has over thirty years of experience in the telecommunications industry. His current consulting clients include financial institutions, telecommunications companies, high tech companies, state government, law firms and health care providers. He was formerly Director of Marketing at Aristonics Corporation, and prior to that, spent twelve years with AT&T helping organizations like Fram Corporation, Textron and state governments manage their telecommunications networks. He specializes in the use of Voice over IP telecommunications systems and ACDs, private voice and digital data networking, to deploy these technologies for high volume contact centers.

In his consulting practice, Mr. Wallace has conducted assignments for Analog Devices, 3-Com, CVS, Motorola, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hewlett-Packard, SourceGas and AT&T Wireless Services. A typical large engagement included a company-wide assessment of the company’s national telecommunications network, including multiple customer care centers, and several outsourced contact centers from multiple providers. Network consolidation engagements typically include a mix of premise based and network based systems, TDM and VoIP technology and voice recognition systems to design, source, configure and implement an intelligent call routing network serving a virtual contact center with multiple locations, home agents, and outsourced agents.  These sophisticated networks deliver a consistent experience for customers across all locations, maximizing the utilization of available staff based on the best skills match for each call.

Mr. Wallace received his degree in Business Management from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.



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