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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: 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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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



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!



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



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