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About Diann Turner

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So far Diann Turner has created 27 entries.

Hot Times for NetLink at the NVTC ‘Hot Ticket’ Awards Event

Without a doubt, the most premier networking event for the Northern Virginia technology community in the summer is the NVTC’s ‘Hot Ticket Award’ gathering.

Technology leaders and innovators from the region convene annually at NVTC CEO Bobbie Kilberg’s house to celebrate the region’s movers and shakers in the following award categories: Hottest Bootstrap, Hottest Buzz, Hottest Emerging Government Contractor, Hottest Exit, Hottest Management Team, Hottest Startup and Hottest Venture Capital Deal.

This year, NetLink had the unique honor of being a Hot Ticket sponsor, which proved to be the ideal opportunity to help raise awareness about what we do, who we are and what makes NetLink unique.  We also got some great publicity as a result.  Check out this photomontage from the Washington Business Journal that includes a couple shots of NetLink consultant Carlos Diggs.   We were also included in the official NVTC press release announcing the winners.

Although the weather was a bit hot (pun intended), the event proved to be a major success – especially for the winners.  When more than 550 tech executives get together on a hot summer evening, big things are bound to happen.

Congratulations to all the 2011 Hot Ticket winners and see you all next year at Bobbie Kilberg’s house.  And, perhaps next year someone from NetLink will jump in the pool?

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

CRTC’s ‘BBQ on the Bay’ Brings Sun, Fun, Water and Networking

Last month, NetLink Resource Group had the opportunity to participate in the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council’s BBQ on the Bay, which is an annual event for CRTC members to showcase their innovations, network and have fun in a casual environment.

Approximately 400 people attended what was a spectacular summer-time venue:  right where Back Creek, the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay intersect.  It was the ideal environment for networking with fellow technology executives from the region in a highly relaxed atmosphere.

NetLink proudly plays a major role in CRTC and many other regional organizations because it affords us the opportunity to better develop relationships first-hand with potential clients and partners.

And really there’s no better way to network than by enjoying a beautiful evening on the water with great food, fun and the sun.

A big thank you to the CRTC for hosting such a terrific event.

 

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

In Today’s Marketplace, It’s All About Going Above and Beyond

In order to stay competitive in today’s marketplace you truly have to go above and beyond the call of duty.   From a customer service perspective, this means doing things to best serve the customer at all times.

When I hear examples of  great customer service I like to share them.  What follows are two examples that  are truly inspiring.

Each year, for Christmas or her birthday, my 81-year old mother’s best friend Ms. Ruby, who is 92 years old by the way, always contacts me for gift ideas.  Since Ms. Ruby is not accustomed to e-commerce and doesn’t drive, she still calls up area department stores directly to order whatever she wants to purchase.  Typically the stores very graciously have the purchases mailed.

Just the other day Ms. Ruby ordered a gift from Nordstrom in Annapolis only to discover that the sales person lived near her.  Much to Ms. Ruby’s delight, the sales person offered to drop the gift off on her way home from work.  Yes, you heard that correctly, the Nordstrom sales associate personally delivered the gift herself — and within a 6 hour time-frame

Ms. Ruby has also had similar experiences with Trader Joe’s when ordering gift cards.   Upon her first call to the nearest Trader Joe’s (some 45 minutes away) she learned that an employee also lived nearby.  She too  provided Ms. Ruby with door-to-door service by actually delivering the card to her home and has done so subsequent occasions.

Talk about going above and beyond…

As we have highlighted before, there are a number of organizations that truly ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to service.  These stories are a shining light and reinforce that it is often the individual employee who goes above and beyond.

As a provider of custom web application solutions, we don’t have the luxury of being able to drop off a purchased good at a client’s office, though we do take a similar approach of going above and beyond – even if it means working through the night to ensure that the launch of a web application is successful – to make sure our customers are has happy as Ms. Ruby.

Do you have any inspiring customer service stories to share?

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group


Maryland Chamber of Commerce Kicks Off 2011 Membership Drive

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce plays a major role in advocating for the state’s vibrant and innovative business community.  In addition, the organization is one of the premier hubs for networking and connecting with others – something that I believe is critical to business growth and success.

As a member of the Chamber’s Membership Committee, I am excited to announce that the Chamber is embarking on its 2011 Membership Drive with a very special event at the National Cryptologic Museum.

In addition to providing an ideal forum for business leaders to gather and network, the event will also provide an opportunity for Chamber members to test their recruiting skills.  All current Chamber members will receive one entry to win prizes and recognition during the Chamber’s Annual Meeting for each new member recruited.

On top of that, you will be helping an organization whose sole mission is to strengthen our business community.   How good is that?  To learn more about this free and highly worthy event, click here.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

Opportunity Builders, Inc. Makes World of Difference for Developmentally Disabled Adults

One of the keys to happiness for the developmentally disabled is finding fulfilling job opportunities to lead to empowerment and independence.

One very special organization called Opportunity Builders, Inc. (OBI) brings this vision to life by allowing the developmentally disabled to lead productive lives by providing vocational training and employment services.

Each year, OBA hosts its Mardi Gras fundraising event.  This annual event has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars.  I had the distinct pleasure of serving on OBI’s planning committee for its 13th annual Mardi Gras event, which took place on February 5th at its 40,000 sq-ft facility.

 

The event was a resounding success with almost 400 people attending who enjoyed the “street” party-like atmosphere that included live music, food, entertainment, casino games, bingo, and a silent and live auction.  It really was an amazing set up and the early word is that the event exceeded last year’s revenues.  In addition to my time, I was also honored to be able to donate items for the silent auction and bingo.

Having little knowledge of OBI prior to this event, I can say that working on this event was truly a worthwhile experience.  It was uplifting to see OBI’s clients participating in the event and having such a wonderful time.

At NetLink, we firmly believe in being active in organizations that lift up those who need help.   And we urge others to do the same.  If you are interested in donating funds (or your precious time) to a great organization, OBI is a great option.  You can learn more about this organization here.

 

In the Name of Service: Those Who ‘Walk The Walk’

The definition of service is “work done for others as an occupation or business.”  We would agree with this basic tenet, but the idea of service goes much, much deeper than this simple concept.  Service is really the foundation for business growth, competitive differentiation, success and prosperity.  It’s really about going that extra distance – whether expected to or not – to please customers and clients.

Of course, there are different degrees of service.  Some companies claim that they focus on stellar service, but never really deliver.  While other organizations both talk the talk and walk the walk.

Following are companies that we believe are true pioneers in service.

  • Nordstrom: Since 1901, national clothing and show retailer Nordstrom has stuck by the unchanged philosophy that the key to success is to offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value. Nordstrom is so renowned for its customer service that it actually had a book written about it called “The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: A Handbook For Implementing Great Service in Your Organization.”
  • Marriott International: The Fortune 500 global pioneer in lodging has a long history for providing top-notch service.  The company trains its administrative assistants to step in as banquet servers, and one time a Marriott associate literally gave the pants off his legs to a customer.  On a personal note, I checked into a Marriott hotel for a three-day business trip that was ultimately cancelled three hours after I arrived.  Rather than being charged for one night (when I was only in the room for three hours), they did not charge me anything upon check out.
  • Southwest Airlines: From devising a foolproof system for easily and quickly boarding passengers to training all of their flight attendants to add a bit of fun during flights, Southwest is rightly known for providing excellent service.  For example, the airline once offered two free roundtrip vouchers to passengers who were stuck during a 5-hour de-icing delay.  Most airlines leave passengers hanging whenever there is a weather issue – not Southwest.
  • L.L. Bean: According to a Bloomberg/Business Week Survey, catalog/Internet retailer L.L. Bean was ranked number one in customer service because of its lenient returns policy, inexpensive outdoor gear and clothing, and the fast responses from its Maine call centers.  Bean also offers free shipping to its credit-card holders, including free returns.  When the company closed a call center, it offered the displaced employees the opportunity to work from home.

From giving a hotel guest a pair of pants for an important business meeting to giving away free flight vouchers, all of these companies stand out for one simple reason:  they go above and beyond to meet and exceed customers’ needs.

In addition, many of these companies use the web to differentiate their businesses, as well as offer information and tools to better serve their customers.  As information technology serves as a major enabler for allowing firms to gain competitive advantages with their business processes, it ultimately also allows them to offer top-notch customer service.

These iconic companies are breaking new boundaries in terms of service.  At NetLink Resource Group, we strive to be as service-oriented as these companies.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

Chesapeake Regional Tech Council Holiday Mixer Brings Seasons Greetings, Networking Opportunities and Wine

While it is the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season also means networking on the corporate holiday party circuit. Though many of these parties offer the same standard fare and opportunities, one particular party stood out from the rest: Chesapeake Regional Tech Council’s 2010 Holiday Mixer.

NetLink Resource Group had the privilege of being a sponsor of this special event that took place at the Annapolis Maritime Museum on December 14. The gathering brought together more than 180 business executives from Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington DC, where good food, fun and networking was the order of business.

As the CRTC holiday mixer chair, I was honored to play a role in bringing this event to life – from securing the venue and coordinating the catering and hanging up decorations. It was well worth the time and effort it took to make the holiday mixer such a special event!

In addition to networking with partners and clients, Steve Short, NetLink President, won the wine raffle and took home a case of wine. Congratulations, Steve and we hope you will share it with the NetLink staff!

The Chesapeake Regional Tech Council plays a major role in promoting the business community our region. Being active on a number of CRTC committees provides me with a high level of both professional and personal satisfaction. I recommend all technology businesses in the area to consider joining this organization – and get involved with special events like the holiday mixer.

Season’s greetings to all and here’s to a prosperous 2011!