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Extraordinary Associate of the Month: Patrick Downing
By West Music Company
1/17/2018 3:49:00 PM  

Patrick DowningWhether face to face in the store, out on location, working the phone or feverishly typing on his computer keyboard, Patrick exemplifies true professionalism! He has quickly become the face of West Music Quad Cities piano division and works tirelessly to provide total customer satisfaction in each and every engagement.

Patrick’s vast product knowledge, keyboard talents, procedural proficiency, attention to detail, and “can do” attitude, delivers exceptional customer service in every single customer interaction. He expresses the same commitment from assisting one of his many regional piano teachers in selecting the perfect method book for a new student, to an institutional client selecting their next Yamaha Clavinova or Steinway grand piano!

Patrick has built a large community of piano educators, professional players, institutional leaders, students, parents and inspiring musicians and serves them all with complete integrity! He continuously exemplifies our core values through his advocating of music education, building of meaningful relationships and cultivating community! With an infectious smile, robust laugh, wittiness, charm and charisma, Patrick is quick to unleash one of his many impersonations or share a new joke with his coworkers to lighten their day and instantly put a smile on their face!

In my short tenure of managing the Moline location, it’s become clear to me, Patrick truly loves what he does! He demonstrates it each and every day through his actions, words, encouragement, and commitment to serve the Quad Cities music, music education and business community and well as his alma mater WIU!

As told by Ryan West,
Senior Vice President

Tags: patrick downing, piano, wiu, music education, lessons, quad cities, moline
Categories: West Music Quad Cities, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month: Flute Authority Repair Team
By West Music Company
12/20/2017 2:58:00 PM  

flute authority repair teamFlute Authority is a division of West Music Company, Inc. that specializes in the sale and maintenance of professional level flutes. West Music’s involvement in professional level flutes date back to the 1950’s when our founder Pearl West designed and built the first Westwind flute. Since then, Flute Authority has become the North American distributor of several important brands including Trevor James Flutes, Sankyo Flutes, Miyazawa, and lefreQue sound bridge.

One aspect that sets Flute Authority apart is that all repairs happen in-house at our Coralville, IA location. In preparation for being temporarily short-handed the Flute Authority Repair Team – Tonya Adams, Lauren Carr, and Erik Swanson – went to great lengths to coordinate schedules and worked extra hours so that they could meet our stock needs.

They all consistently demonstrate great teamwork, and on top of that are always willing to help with whatever is needed! At one point, Erik and Lauren even tag-teamed setting up a flute in record time so that it could still be shipped that same afternoon (not our typical protocol!).

Speaking of going above and beyond, Lauren took time away from the repair bench and traveled to Judy’s Flute Party (yes, it is a real thing!) with record-setting sales at that annual event. Thanks for always working hard, Flute Authority Repair Team!!

As told by Cathy Miller,
V.P./Director of Flute Authority

Tags: flute authority, repair, lefreque, tonya adams, lauren carr, erik swanson
Categories: West Music Coralville, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month September 2017: Angela Cox
By West Music Company
11/1/2017 3:51:00 AM  
Angela CoxWe are pleased to announce the Associate of the Month! 

Much gratitude and appreciation goes out to Angela Cox for her positive attitude and outstanding efforts during our very busy production seasons of catalog, Back To School, and on into Holiday.

Serving as the lead graphic designer on our highest profile projects, Angela has made extraordinary contributions on keeping things rolling through her current projects while looking ahead and planning for the future.

Angela’s commitment to assisting with the on-boarding of our three new associates in the Marketing Department has been exceptional. She has given many late nights and Saturdays to ensure that West Music continues to have vibrant marketing elements to draw in our customers.

Thank you Angela!

As told to Robin Walenta, President & CEO

Tags: angela cox, catalog, art and design
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month October 2017: Drew Pierson
By West Music Company
10/6/2017 2:32:00 PM  
drew piersonWe are happy to announce Drew Pierson as our West Music October 2017 Associate of the Month!

Throughout 2017 Drew has consistently exceeded his sales expectations. In the month of September alone he had over 300% of his sales budget, with a 30% gross margin. Those are some big numbers! Drew was an integral part of the road transition this spring, picking up key accounts from Dennis Boyd. Drew stepped into these accounts and instantly created impactful relationships with those directors to generate sales. Consistently, Drew is complimented on what great service he provides to West Music customers. He is an asset on the road and we are glad to have him on our team!

Congratulations Drew! Keep up the great work and thanks for all that you do!

As told by Alex Beamer,
Director of Regional School Music

Tags: drew pierson, school music, road team
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month: Sam Marchuck
By West Music Company
10/1/2017 2:13:00 PM  

Sam MarchukWe are pleased to announce the August 2017 Associate of the Month!

Sam Marchuk represented West Music and himself very well recently at the Strathmore Uke and Guitar Summit in North Bethesda, MD in August 2017. He had the opportunity to teach, plan and promote our products at this event.

Cathy Fink, an organizer at Ukefest, wrote, “Sam was a fantastic instructor at our Ukefest this year. He taught a large beginner class and came in VERY prepared, including large chord charts that he put up on the wall. His students LOVED him and told me that all
week long.”

Sam had the opportunity to perform in 2 concerts, including the featured event for “Strathmore Ukefest” on Wednesday evening for which he was the opener. He played 2 instrumental versions of the Beatles songs — “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.” The concert brought in about 2,500 people from the community and featured food trucks along with several music vendors. Quite a blast!

At the festival, he also had an assortment of ukuleles, books, and accessories to sell. He already has plans on what additional
items to bring to the next Uke and Guitar Summit in August 2018! Thanks to Sam for growing his knowledge and expertise as well as promoting West Music across the United States.

As told to Robin Walenta,
President & CEO

Tags: school music, music education, ukulele
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month, Music Advocacy
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month July 2017: The Liberty Team
By West Music Company
8/1/2017 1:52:00 PM  

West music Liberty HS TeamWe are happy to announce Rod Pierson, Brad Carter, Dick Dott, Marica Fuller, and Tianna Streeter (the Liberty Team) as our West Music July 2017 Associates of the Month!

No challenge is too big for this team and this one was a doozy! The Iowa City School district will open a new high school this August and West Music was charged with outfitting their entire music program with the necessary tools for success this fall. It amounted to over $700k and around 3000 lines. That’s A LOT of product! This team didn’t miss a step from suggesting product and working with director preferences, to inputting and receiving the lines, as well as, invoicing the product and picking up the check!

Rod, Brad, Dick, Tianna and Marcia did a fantastic job representing West Music during this project. Thanks for all the extra effort put forth the last six months! This is one great team!

As told by Alex Beamer,
Director of Regional School Music

Tags: school music, music education, iowa
Categories: West Music Coralville, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month June 2017: Eric Whittaker
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 2:17:00 PM  

Erik Whittaker West Music We are pleased to announce the June 2017 Associate of the Month!

Since transitioning from our General Music department last summer, Erik has sold his way into one of the top combo sales spots in the company. He’s sold $100k of gear in 2017 alone! Erik is very customer focused and has developed a tremendous customer base already, utilizing his vast knowledge of used and vintage gear to quickly gain a customer’s confidence in his abilities. He has an incredible attention to detail when it comes to prepping gear for the floor, as well as merchandising all products - so the floor looks great.

Erik loves getting a neglected guitar in on trade and making it look like new again. He also enjoys utilizing his EBAY/REVERB experience to get the most profit out of every used and vintage in store item we have. He now sits on a West Music initiative team that is outlining a process for other stores to be able to do the same. It’s no wonder June’s Associate of the Month has been awarded to Erik Whittaker!

Congratulations Erik and thanks for all you do!

As told by John Feldman,
West Music Coralville Store Manager

Tags: guitars, eric whittaker, sales, store
Categories: West Music Coralville, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month May 2017: Accent - Operations
By West Music Company
6/21/2017 10:15:00 AM  
accent operations
We are pleased to announce the May 2017 Associates of the Month!

This team outlined supply chain strategies six weeks in advance preparing for the delivery of FIVE container-loads of Accent instruments. The instruments had to be unload by hand from the containers (Kudos to the FC group!) and immediately prepared on pallets to ship out to dealers across the country.

The Accent team pre-planned strategies for receiving, inventory pallet staging, sales order preparation, and communication with our logistics providers. When this inventory hit, we were ready for action! In ONE WEEK, Allan, Meagan, and Joel organized the receipt and shipment of 4,260 instruments on 108 PALLETS. It was a lot of stacking / shrink-wrapping and preparing pallets for freight shipping! Nearly 50,000 pounds of instruments were shipped to 12 different states and Canada inside of a week! You all did an AMAZING job. It was “Operational Excellence” at its best - take a bow!

Robin chimed in and noted that this Accent team and their Operational Excellence work has really started producing dividends.

Congratulations, Meagan, Joel, and Allan and thanks for all you do!

As told by Mike Riley,
Vice President

Tags: accent, operations, warehouse, fulfillment
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Extraordinary 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

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

Tags: john willimas, road, regional, sales, customer service
Categories: Company Culture, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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