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Extraordinary Associate of the Month October 2016: James Fleming
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
We are happy to announce James Fleming as the West Music October 2016 Associate of the Month!

Since James started with West Music, he has helped lead the Mezzanine through a very successful and organized rental season. With the help of a brand new rental program and process, James and his team successfully filled roughly 1,300 rental instruments this past fall.

Always staying on top of store audits and having a non-existing wait list, his attitude and calm personality, and his willlingness and eagerness to learn, makes him an asset to West Music.

James is willing to take on any challenge that is put in front of him, all the while exceeding expectations.

The fall rental season is always busy for everyone. This past season, James made a challenging and stressful time seem easy.

- As told by Alex Beamer,
Director of Regional School Music

Congratulations James! Keep up the good work, and thanks for all you do!

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Tags: warehouse, mezzanine, employee of the month, october
Categories: West Music Coralville, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associates of the Month August 2016: Piano Delivery Team
By West Music Company
10/4/2016 8:00:00 AM  
We are happy to announce the Piano Delivery Team, Jeff Weimar and Adam Miller, as our West Music Associates of the Month!

The West Music Piano Delivery Team and Receivers at the Fullfillment Center helped move a mountain of pianos this past month, getting the University of Iowa School of Music ready for their own back to school season. Not only did the team unbox, prep, and deliver a huge number of new Yamaha uprights, Clavinovas, and Steinway grands, they also collected and consolidated, the university pianos that have been living in various university facilities over the last eight years.

The Piano Delivery Team was instrumental in saving a large number of pianos during the floods of 2008 for the University of Iowa and the return of the pianos to the School of Music marks the completion of all the hard work the team does every day.

It's been a busy time to balance all of the customer requests during this busy season, but the fact that many customers are willing to wait for Jeff and Adam's exopertise is a testament to the care they take on every move to make sure the customer is satisfied.

Congratulations, Jeff and Adam! Keep up the fantastic work and thank you for all you do.

As told by Ryan West,
Senior Vice President

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Tags: piano, piano movers, piano delivery, piano delivery team, adam miller, jeff weimar
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month July 2016: Ryan Seaba
By West Music Company
8/26/2016 8:00:00 AM  
We are happy to announce Ryan Seaba as our West Music July 2016 Associate of the Month! Ryan’s hard work this past summer has not gone unnoticed.

As a Customer Service Representative in our General Music department, Ryan works with our customers on a daily basis. His recent follow-through on an order caught the attention of the customer. Ryan was processing web orders and noticed back-toback duplicate orders by the same customer. He reached out to the customer to verify and followed up with tracking information. He received the following response: “Thank you for contacting me Ryan. No, it was unintentional and I appreciate that you cancelled the second order. I will remember this kindness. The gathering drum arrived today and we love it! We’re using it in our dance studio and I’m confident that it will bring a lot of smile. Thank you for your excellent customer service!”
Dionne, Happy Customer

Ryan has also recently begun recording our monthly Messages on Hold, for both the General Music division and our retail locations. He has worked back and forth between IT and the Marketing department to understand his new responsibilities. “Since Ryan assumed the role of “Voice of West Music” last month, and now handles recording our Message on Hold, he has executed his role over and above, by not only recording beautiful voiceovers from the scripts, but adding his own originally composed music covering many different genres. Thanks Ryan for your terrific and unique contribution to your role as Voice of West Music!”
As told by Lisa Lafler,
Director of Marketing

Congratulations, Ryan! Keep up the fantastic work andthank you for all you do.

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Tags: extraordinary associate of the month, ryan seaba, customer service
Categories: Company Culture, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month June 2016: Daniel Richmond
By West Music Company
7/6/2016 8:00:00 AM  

At West Music Quad Cites, we have affectionately called him “Dan the Man” since he joined the West Music family right before Christmas 2015. In just six short months, Daniel Richmond has quickly become an integral and influential member of our staff and our entire company. Daniel has made the West Music experience extraordinary for many customers and with the school year fast approaching, we know he’s just getting started!

Additionally, Daniel has identified opportunities with key centers of influence throughout the Quad Cities, as well as an opportunity for clarinet step-up sales. His extensive musical knowledge and outstanding musicianship is a key factor to his success - you should hear him play the piano!

Cathy Miller had this to say about Daniel as well: “Daniel’s knowledge of the clarinet and motivation to translate his knowledge into sales at West Music is nothing short of inspiring! He clearly cares deeply about serving the clarinet community to the best of his ability. It’s been such a pleasure to work with Daniel as he explores the possibilities for growth in this area!”

Additionally, Daniel leads by example. His professionalism and integrity are evident and influential by all who work with him. It’s a joy to watch him work with our customers. He is excellent at qualifying and identifying discerning needs, and when it comes to beginners starting their new instrument, Daniel’s enthusiasm for making music is particularly contagious with those students!

Congratulations, Daniel! Keep up the fantastic work and thank you for all you do!

As told by Patrick Downing,
West Music Quad Cities Store Manager

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Tags: quad cities, Daniel Richmond,
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month May 2016: April Humphrey & Katie Senn
By West Music Company
6/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Discover opportunities through change is one of the core values of West Music. This dynamic duo embraced this value as they planned, prepared, and implemented our new band and orchestra rent-to-own program.

April Humphrey and Katie Senn have been the champions of our new customer-centric campaign. They took the time necessary to research beginning school music programs from some of the top retailers around the country. Then they took this detailed information and workshopped concepts with an internal cross-functional team to create our new and comprehensive program. Once the program was outlined, April and Katie worked together to create valuable training materials for all West Music associates and display helpers that interact with customers in our communities.

Finally, they spent traveling to all locations to train and re-label all student-level inventory. I can confidently say that West Music is now well prepared for a successful spring rental season, in large part to April and Katie’s efforts.

Thank you April and Katie for all you continue to do to help our customers play now and play for life!

As told by Robin Walenta,
President/CEO

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Tags: rent-to-own, students, band, orchestra
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month April 2016: Cathi Dorr
By West Music Company
5/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Kathy Duncan calls her Taz, like the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes! In Rod Pierson’s words, this must be in reference to “her Tasmanian she-devil work ethic and how she efficiently flies about the store in a cyclone of customer service activity.” She talks fast, walks fast, and is here to work! But when necessary, she can stop on a dime and make time for product training or helping out a customer in the store. Of course I’m talking about Cathi Dorr! Her year so far has been AMAZING!

Sales aside, it is really hard to say what she does better...Selling? Or baking? She randomly brings in baked goods for the team ‘just because she felt like baking.’ Everything she brings is remarkable. She will say it is because she is Italian, but the truth is, she has serious talent.

She serves with integrity to all of her customers and has built a community of educators that trust her, some of which have been working with her for decades! I can’t tell you how many people I meet who are graduating high school and beyond who cite Cathi as their inspiration to start playing music, to become a music educator, or as the person who helped them find the professional instrument that they play on today.

Cathi is an indispensable part of our musical community! Thank you Cathi for all you do!

As told by Leif Rehnberg,
West Music Quad Cities
Store Manager

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Tags: cathi dorr, education, sales
Categories: Company Culture, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month February 2016: Jenny Denk MT-BC
By West Music Company
2/24/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Jenny DenkSince she became the first music therapist for West Music in Urbandale, Jenny has taken the area by storm! We knew Jenny was a good egg when we hired her but had no idea how amazing she truly is! While we initially thought it would take some time to fill her caseload, she had found enough work to keep her busy (and then some) within just a few months!

Jenny started the SoundReach choir and had 7 people show up to the first semester. She now has 20-30 people who regularly attend and some semesters are upwards of 40 people! Jenny’s passion for music therapy is evident in everything she does! From learning Vietnamese songs for a Vietnamese patient who spoke no English, to being with patients as they are actively dying, Jenny quickly creates rapport and tries to learn whatever she can to make the session a beneficial one for everyone involved. Jenny is also very involved with the Iowa Chapter of Music Therapy and the Iowa Task Force for Music Therapy Recognition, and you can often find her at the Capitol advocating for music therapy licensure.

She is a team player and goes above and beyond to keep her fellow music therapists engaged and to recognize their achievements, so we are so happy to be able to recognize her and all of her hard work!

Congratulations Jenny and thanks for all you do!

As told by Kelly L. Carlson, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapist-Board Certified


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Tags: Jenny Denk, Music Therapy, Urbandale, SoundReach, Iowa Chapter of Music Therapy, Iowa Task Force for Music Therapy Recognition
Categories: Music Therapy, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month December 2015: Stacy Schnathorst
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Stacy Schnathorst was designated as Project Manager for the coordination and project oversight of the Navision - MODULA - Vertical Lifts (VLMs) for the Fulfillment Center. Stacy developed a detailed project plan and provided oversight of inventory data and development of test case scenarios for IT integration and resource planning for the VLM project. Stacy collaborated with the Sikich IT team, their engineers and West Music’s IT personnel to ensure integration requirements were well understood by all parties. He coordinated and led all slotting activities along with re-classing of over 3,500 SKUs during one of West Music’s busiest months with ZERO disruption to the customer. After installation, Stacy coordinated testing and training materials along with issue resolution management to ensure a successful implementation.

Stacy did an outstanding job of project oversight through all stages of installation. The VLMs are working beautifully. According to Kevin Futrell of Sikich, our loading success rate was 99%. That means that of every 100 items we attempted to load, 99 fit in the assigned VLM compartment size. This is the highest success rate Sikich has experienced in six years of installing VLMs.

Outstanding job, Stacy!

- As told by Mike Riley, Fulfillment Director of Operations/Vice President

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Tags: Stacy schnathorst, fulfillment, MODULA, vertical Lifts, Sikich
Categories: Company Culture, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month January 2016: Milo Mettler
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Milo is incredibly dedicated and hardworking. He has been repairing band instruments here at Kephart-West Music Decorah since 1977. His attention to detail and skills have earned him well deserved respect in the area. Recently he was referred to as ‘Milo the Magician’ by a local band director for keeping his school instruments in good working order! Milo is efficient and runs a great one man shop. His quiet, soft spoken manner makes customers feel at ease when leaving their instruments in his care.

Congratulations, Milo, and thanks for all you do!

- As told Ann Kephart, Kephart-West Music Decorah Store Manager

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Tags: milo mettler, repair, kephart, decorah,
Categories: Company Culture, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month November 2015: Web Team
By West Music Company
1/14/2016 8:30:00 AM  
The Web Team is not just the newest indie band breaking out, they are also an incredible team that has been exceeding our customers expectations on a local and national basis. In the past year they have helped lead West Music on the web to incredible growth and have continued to raise the bar on our promotional efforts, staying in touch with our current customers using new tools like autoresponders and on-site chat and bringing new customers to experience the power of shopping with West Music.

This past November they helped lead the charge to the best ever Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend on WestMusic.com and PercussionSource.com and are currently facilitating updates to Westco Educational Products websites.

In addition to our home grown websites, the web team also facilitates selling on Amazon, EBay and Reverb, thereby increasing our reach with new customers and finding great homes for products that have not been picked up in our traditional sales channels.

Way to go Jen, Stephen, John, and Michael for continuing to exceed expectations on the web!

- As told by Ryan West, Senior Vice President

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Tags: web, web team, online, ebay, reverb, amazon, website
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