The choice to ask Gina Schaefer to deliver the key note address at the 2015 Langenfeld Annual Meeting was a huge motivational success. Gina’s street level knowledge of the consumer, associate motivational needs and general business acumen made every theme she delivered something we could all relate to in our business. A simple focused presentation coupled with Gina’s embracing delivery style was met with a well-deserved standing ovation at the conclusion of the address.
Tom’s message was very relevant and meaningful. He challenged our company and our customers with some ideas on how to improve business. There is credibility in his message because he feels and faces similar challenges every day at Ace. I would recommend Tom to most any business interested in a message that is real and can make an impact.
Art Freedman has been working with our Ace Hardware retailers all over the world for the last 15 years. Art has a unique style of delivery that engages his audience immediately. Art has been an active participant in the development of our current Customer Service training and is our Helpful Expert in all of our Customer Service video training.
Ace Hardware’s outstanding reputation for service makes them the gold standard for independent retailing. When looking for companies that fit into a Business Session program on service culture, Ace was the obvious choice – and Tom Knox the perfect speaker. Tom’s presentation on Ace’s long-term strategy for amazing customer service was captivating, insightful, and just the inspiration our IGA independent retailers needed. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit.
As a company that firmly upholds our values, it was important for us to find a speaker for our annual Leadership Summit who would inspire our leaders by encouraging values-based behavior. Tom Knox’s presentation as our keynote speaker not only successfully accomplished what we were looking for, but also complemented our Summit in an entertaining and encouraging way. Through his presentation on value-based leadership, our leaders learned the importance of enhancing their unique leadership skills with the company’s values in order to find success. I know that Tom’s insight resonated well with our audience, and we continue use pieces of his presentation every day to support the success of our leaders and our company.
We are a general merchandise retailer as well as a manufacturer and wholesaler. Art Freedman has done several Customer Service Trainings with our entire team. Art’s real world experience, knowledge of Ace Hardware’s Customer Service techniques and presentation style has enabled our company to develop a culture of service which far outpaces our competition.
Gina Schaefer wowed me from the first time we met, when I interviewed her for the cover of my business magazine, http://www.BeInkandescent.com. Not only is she smart, savvy, and incredibly successful, I was particularly taken by how she cares for her employees – especially those who need a second chance. Her work with nonprofit organizations, such as Jubilee Jobs and ThinkLocalFirstDC are evidence of her determination to make a difference in the communities where her nine Ace Hardware stores are located. Equally impressive is the fact that this strong woman is making strides in a male-dominated business – which is why we tapped her to be one of the first women profiled in our 2014 Truly Amazing Women TV series. Gina’s leadership skills, can-do attitude, and success as an entrepreneur make her a powerful role model for everyone hoping to make a difference, and build a sustainable business.
We were recently honored by John Venhuizen’s participation in our spring conference. Our organizations share many commonalities including our cooperative structure, being retail driven and our “David vs. Goliath” challenges. John’s keynote exhibited the passion and “Servant Heart” he and his team share in supporting Independents. Further, John captured the hearts and minds of our audience with the right mix of humor and impactful information. We deeply appreciated John’s powerful message and Ace’s example of success.
Lou is the “real thing” when it comes to passionately living customer service excellence and shares that message with clarity and humor. As a small business owner, he appreciates the practical side of customer service and every theoretical concept he presents is brought to a level of reality.
We will definitely invite him back to our future conferences as a keynote.
The response from our ENTIRE organization to Gina’s address has been overwhelming! We knew that the idea of our folks hearing about the world of hardware for Gina’s perspective would be valuable but we did not anticipate how they would react. Gina made it personal. Her personal story and her honest detail of the daily opportunities and struggles of an entrepreneur launched a sea of ideas from all of the E.A. Langenfeld and TouchPoint 360 Associates of how we can help Gina and all Ace Retailers better…Yeah!!, that’s our job and why our company exists!! Almost everyone that I spoke with directly after you and Gina left asked when she was coming back. Mission Accomplished!