Successful Journeys Lead to Awards and Recognition at HDI 2015


by Leslie Cook


Each year, HDI awards the highest honors in the technical service and support profession. These awards recognize the individuals, teams, and organizations that have most enhanced the image of the service management industry by achieving and maintaining the highest standards of excellence in technical service and support.

This year's conference was another exciting, motivating, and rewarding experience for all. It’s such a thrill for HDI and Robert Half Technology, our premier award sponsor, to recognize our finalists and honor our winners each year. There are leaders at every level in an organization, and HDI has long recognized the value each individual brings to a team and each team brings to the IT organization. We're so proud of all of our award winners, and we wish them continued success.

Click on the images to watch the award ceremonies!


Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award: John Custy

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner at HDI 2015 It was an honor and a pleasure to award John Custy the 2015 Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award. John has more personal credentials in the service management industry than anyone else I know. He’s a service management consultant, instructor, author, and speaker, and his list of credentials is impressive, including ITIL Expert, Distinguished Professional in Service Management, ISO/IEC 20000 Consultant, Kepner-Tregoe Instructor, HDI Certified Instructor, and HDI Support Center Manager (plus almost every other HDI certification). John is a member of the HDI International Certification Standards Committee, a past member of the HDI Strategic Advisory Board and HDI Training Advisory Board, and an active member of the HDI Faculty, where he serves as a subject matter expert for the development of HDI standards, curriculum, and certification exams.

John spent six years as the director of professional services for SSPA, during which time he developed the SSPA Support Center Certification program (SCP). Before joining the HDI Faculty, John was a director at Groupe Bull, a product manager at Performance Management Software, a director of sales and support at Minitech, and a director of IT at a computer company called Wang.

In addition to his many achievements, John travels the world educating, speaking, and consulting. John is from Boston, and he spends his spare time—when he can find it—at his home on Cape Cod.

HDI Analyst of the Year Award: Andrew Hedman 

Service Desk Tier 2 Analyst, Solar Turbines
Representing HDI San Diego and the Western Region

Analyst and Technician Winners at HDI 2015

Andrew Hedman has been with Solar Turbines for about two and a half years. In his current role, he is responsible for handling support calls from internal customers, training staff, and ensuring staff are aware of outages, policies, procedures, and the general process for day-to-day operations.

Within the support organization, Andrew is a true advocate for continuing education and trouble-shooting. He encourages others to improve themselves, not only to improve the organization but also for personal self-improvement. He believes it’s important to gain knowledge on subjects you’re unfamiliar with and set personal and professional goals to continually improve. Andrew also thinks it’s important to never give up and do everything in your power to solve a customer’s problem.

HDI Desktop Support Technician of the Year Award: Jon Hess

Technical Support Analyst, PepsiCo
Representing HDI Orange County and the Western Region

Jon Hess has worked for PepsiCo twenty-eight years. As a technical support analyst, Jon supports end users and handles desktop support throughout six PepsiCo locations in southern California and four in Alaska. One of Jon’s passions is knowledge sharing with his colleagues across the country. He created a one-stop-shop for all field IT personnel, including all of the information they would need to troubleshoot any issue, in any location.

In addition to being great as his job, Jon believes it’s important to have some fun along the way. “It’s really all about having fun for me,” he says. “But besides that, I don’t just go and fix people’s issues. I show them what their issue is and I try to teach them how to fix that issue if it ever comes up again, so they can be one step ahead of it.” Jon has a keen ability to communicate and interact with customers on their level. He loves what he does and it comes out when he works with customers to solve their issues and when he helps his colleagues understand and overcome their challenges on a daily basis. Every day, Jon goes home somebody’s hero. You can’t beat that!

HDI Manager of the Year Award: Chris Meadows

IT Senior Support Manager, Lowe’s

Manager Award Winner at HDI 2015 Chris Meadows is the IT senior support manager on the Lowe’s IT Service Desk Service Solutions Team. Chris has been with Lowe’s for five years. As the senior support manager, Chris is responsible for providing customer escalation support, reporting, and analytics. He also supports the team’s service desk tools and the knowledge management and quality assurance programs.

Chris is a true advocate for best practice maturity. He believes we must see ourselves as change agents on our own teams, and that believe has driven Chris and his team to deliver better performance and efficiencies throughout the organization.

When I asked Chris whether or not he had a motto, he was quick to respond: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last and a servant of all.” He is passionate and charismatic, particularly when it comes to industry best practices and advancing the service desk, and he definitely has a heart for the service desk. He has tremendous respect for his team, and he’s committed to elevating them and rewarding their success. Chris’s team, I turn, believes in Chris, so much so that they secretly nominated him for this award as a way of saying thank you!

HDI Local Chapter Officer of the Year Award: Sandy Seroskie

Representing HDI Capital Area

Officer of the Year Winner at HDI 2015 Sandy Seroskie is a member of the HDI Capital Area local chapter in Washington, DC. She’s currently the VP of content and public relations on the chapter board, but she has served in many other roles, including VP of communications, VP of programs, and president of her HDI local chapter. In addition to being a volunteer at the local level, Sandy has served on the HDI Member Advisory Board as a regional director and chair. She’s currently a VP on the One Association Board.

Sandy has been involved with HDI since 2001, when she attended her first HDI Annual Conference & Expo. She returned from that conference inspired and passionate about the HDI community. When the call went out in 2003 to launch a chapter in Washington, DC, Sandy was thrilled to be able to bring HDI to her local community. With Sandy’s support, engagement, and encouragement, Sandy helped build HDI Capital Area into one of the most successful local chapters in the entire network.

Sandy is passionate about teamwork. She believes local chapter officers must be there for each other, help each other out, and do the best job they can for their members. Sandy’s also passionate about connecting with other people in the industry. She’s learned much through her connections with others in the HDI community, which has made her a better person, a better wife, a better mom, and a better employee. What Sandy’s found is, the more she’s given to the community, the more she’s actually received.

HDI Team Excellence Award: Whataburger

Team Excellence Winner at HDI 2015 Whataburger is a fast-food burger chain in the southern United States, with more than 700 restaurants and almost 150 franchisees from Florida to Arizona. The Whataburger Contact Center takes care of all restaurants in the chain, supporting their technology, registers, back-office computers, WIN technologies, and printers. They also recently assumed responsibility for supporting HR’s Taleo Software.

Sylvia Long, manager of support center and systems administration, accepted the award on behalf of the team and organization. The team’s mission is to win their customer’s hearts every time, and they achieve that mission by focusing on their customers’ needs one call at a time, owning each issue, and making sure it gets resolved.

When asked why Whataburger won this award, Sylvia replied, “Because I feel like we’ve finally grown up.” Last year was a year of change. They implemented new tools that made them a true call center, including a quality management program, a workforce management program, and a more stable IVR and ACD tool. These tools provided all of the metrics they needed to analyze and improve the business. But the cherry on the top was being able to participate in the HDI Retail Forum. Many of the things Sylvia has brought back from the Forum meetings have enabled her to implement changes for the good of the team.

HDI CSAT Elite 50: University of Pittsburgh, Financial Information Systems Support Center

CSAT Elite 50 Winner at HDI 2015 Every year, HDI recognizes the fifty support centers with the highest scores in customer satisfaction, as determined by the HDI Customer Satisfaction Index Service. This year, the University of Pittsburgh’s Financial Information Systems Support Center earned the top spot on the HDI CSAT Elite 50.

Carrie Armstrong, manager of customer support, proudly accepted this honor on behalf of her organization. Carrie’s team is the technical services team for financial information services at the University of Pittsburgh. They support about 800 customers across the university, in the business and financial areas, and they’re dedicated to providing the highest level of technical support instruction and services to their customers.

Carrie attributes the center’s success to her team of support analysts. Customer service is their top priority. They go above and beyond, no matter what the challenge or issue (and regardless of whether the customer who calls is a supported customer), and they’re always giving and sharing great ideas. Each analyst is HDI-certified, and many attend local chapter meetings on a regular basis, so they can connect with and learn from others in the HDI community. “If they see a need for improving customer service,” Carrie says, “They bring it to me and we put it in place.”


For more information about the HDI awards, including submission criteria, guidelines, and deadlines, please visit ThinkHDI.com/Awards. You must be an HDI member to submit yourself or someone else for an award. Not a member? Join today!

Tag(s): people, membership, culture, community, supportworld

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