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Extraordiany Associate of the Month April 2017: Ann Kephart
By West Music Company
5/10/2017 12:52:00 PM  
Ann is an absolute pleasure to work with. Her insight, feedback and analysis of sales and operational strategies are greatly appreciated among her colleagues. Ann’s customers greatly value her service and are as loyal as they come.

Have you seen the Decorah store lately? The store is expertly merchandised and always looks fresh for her customers, accomplished through Ann’s leadership. Ann took the re-brand to heart and has worked with our Marketing Team to develop a sharp layout and look with an inviting hometown vibe.

Ann is an active leader in the Decorah business community and serves on the Decorah Chamber of Commerce and is part of a Small Business Retail Board. In addition to her business outreach, Ann is the Director of the Nordic Dancers, which is a really big deal! It doesn’t stop there; she is constantly volunteering at Decorah High School, Luther College and at Nordic Fest. You could not get any more in-tune with the happenings in a community. The associates in the Decorah store constantly share their admiration:

“Her dedication to our customers and our team is essential to our continued success. She is always positive and encourages us to always be our best, also! Ann is constantly thinking of new ideas and new ways to help us be successful and is always willing to lend a helping hand, no matter what.”

“She is always going above and beyond for everybody she works with. We could not ask for a better Store Manager for our store and I can’t think of anyone that deserves this kind of recognition more.”

Congratulations, Ann, and thanks for all you do!

As told by Katie Senn,
Retail Sales and Operations Manager

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Tags: Kephart, decorah, commerce, Nordic Dancers, Luther College, Nordic Fest
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month, West Music Decorah
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month February 2017: John Williams
By West Music Company
3/14/2017 8:00:00 AM  
Think of a West Music associate who creates lasting customer relationships, is always ready to help fellow associates in need of support, and consistently offers valuable product knowledge. Does the name John Williams come to mind?

John always has a “can do” attitude! He does a fantastic job addressing all customer questions and will find a path through any obstacle that may prevent them from achieving their musical needs and desires.

John is eager to offer support to our associates and will do everything possible to help them be successful within their West Music careers. Prior to my tenure at West Music, I personally had the opportunity to work with John Williams in a sales setting. John’s relaxed sales approach, vast product knowledge, and great sense of humor made it extremely easy for me to ask, “why would I not buy this?!”

A customer recently commented “He set aside some parts that came into the West Music Cedar Rapids store for me that I found out are no longer made, but fit my very old Clavinova perfectly!” This is just one of many examples of John’s commitment to customer service.

John’s leadership and customer focus are just a few of his strengths. He is an inspiration for all of us here at West Music!

Congratulations, John, and thanks for all you do!

As told by Jim Midcalf,
Director of Regional Sales

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Tags: john willimas, road, regional, sales, customer service
Categories: Company Culture, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month January 2017: Shivan Dohse Morton
By West Music Company
2/3/2017 4:15:00 PM  
Whether on the phone, electronically, or face-to-face, Shivhan provides EXCEPTIONAL customer service to flutists everywhere. Her product knowledge, skill as a professional player, and experience contribute to her amazing ability to turn customers’ words about what they are looking for into a tangible item. Want a dark sound with chocolaty harmonics, substantial resistance, flexibility, and a fluid mechanism? Poof! Shivhan has the perfect flute for you.

We frequently hear how much customers and our dealers appreciate her thoroughness and care. Those of us who have the privilege of working with her feel the same way. Not only does Shivhan do a great job of serving each and every customer, but she backs this up with a high level of attention to detail. She has most of our inventory serial numbers memorized to the point where we are considering renaming her Shivision. Ok, I might be going too far with the nickname, but it’s true that she memorizes serial numbers! Quiz her sometime and prepare to be amazed.

Shivhan loves what she does, which is clearly demonstrated through her actions. Thanks for your positivity, your enthusiasm, and your commitment to bringing your A-game every day, Shivhan!

Congratulations, Shivhan, and thanks for all you do!

As told by Cathy Miller,
Vice President

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Tags: shivan, flute authority, flute
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month December 2016: Chris Eck
By West Music Company
1/18/2017 9:43:00 AM  
We are happy to announce Chris Eck as the West Music December 2016 Associate of the Month!

Chris is being recognized for his passionate pursuit of all of West Music’s education efforts that reflect our mission to help customers play now and play for life. In the past year, Chris has led West Music’s Lesson Program to add new team members and teachers, create and refine curriculums for our group lessons and classes, and managed to teach his own lessons and classes as well! He does all this with focus, quiet encouragement and support, and active collaboration with many team members in the company and our larger musical community.

But don’t just take my word for it, other West Music associates notice Chris’s great ability to play well with others too!

“Chris is an amazing asset to West Music…It seems Chris has built meaningful relationships with every person he has been in contact with, sharing his undivided attention and care to meet their needs.”

“My mother came to town around Thanksgiving and I surprised her with her very own ukulele. I had mentioned to Chris that I had bought her a uke and he offered to give her a free lesson while she was in town. She loved every minute! She’s never played a instrument in her entire life. She’s still talking about it and she practices everyday. Thank you Chris for making her feel special and proving that you can learn an instrument at any age!”

“Chris does such a great job coordinating the Lesson Program and working with the Studio Coordinators. He is always so willing to go out of his way to help anybody in any way he can.”

- As told by Ryan West,
Senior Vice President

Congratulations Chris! Keep up the good work and thank you for making our mission a reality every day!

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Tags: chris eck, conservatory, lesson, music education,
Categories: Conservatory, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associates of the Month November 2016: PASIC Crew
By West Music Company
12/7/2016 3:34:00 PM  
Congratulations to the entire PASIC team for an outstanding job at the show! We had the best customer service team at show, outshining the other exhibitors. Customers noticed and were attracted to our booth, wanting to be able to test, review, and talk to our team about the products they were about to purchase. It was truly an interactive customer experience that everyone appreciated. The proof was in the sales and number of green Percussion Source bags milling around the floor, a whopping 400!

Our PASIC rookies John and Megan went through trial by fire (or should I say drumstick!) They had the hang of it in no time and were helping customers left and right. Megan rocked it by helping folks qualify for our PASIC promotions and John helped us break new ground at Bands of America, reaching even more new faces.

Eric was Master of the Stick Towers, helping find specific models and encourage testing on the snare drums (and moving some too!) Whether it be tambourine, mallet or triangle inquiries, Alex was the man, managing to keep a watchful eye over the booth at all times too! Adam made new friends and was able to connect names with faces of loyal customers who have shopped with us for years. He has quite the following, some customers have photo requests with him!

This PASIC crew was truly awesome. Everyone pitched in where needed as soon as they saw a customer in need. High five to all.

- As told by Lauren Calkin,
Percussion Source
Director of Customer Relations

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Tags: pasic, percussion, crew percussion source
Categories: Drums & Percussion, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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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
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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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,
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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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
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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