Meet Beth Cooper, ATSI President
Last June, Beth Cooper, owner of Answer Quick in Knoxville, Tennessee, became the president of ATSI (Association of Teleservices, International). It seems that the vivacious, Beth had the world by the horns. She had a successful answering service business, Answer Quick, and she was on the verge of acquiring another service, and married to a budding actor. So why would someone so successful want to add to her very full plate by serving as ATSI president? “Well, it’s a pre-requisite to being a past-president,” she said smiling broadly. “Seriously,” she quickly added, “This was an opportunity to give back to the industry that has given me so much. My company is a better business today because of ATSI.”
That’s the essence of Beth Cooper. She is a smart, successful business woman who is tireless, energetic and always joking. Beth has owned Answer Quick since 1983. While at the ATSI conference last June, Beth was about to close on the purchase of A Message Connection in Chattanooga. At the same time, her husband was about to open in his first play. In October, Beth acquired the customers of AAA Answering Service, also of Chattanooga. Like most TAS owners, Beth was already working seven days a week. We wanted to find out how Beth does it all, so we asked a few questions.
How do you manage all these responsibilities? “I rely heavily on technology. I would be lost without my Blackberry and Outlook,” she said, “I like to be hands-on in my company, but I’ve had to delegate a little more to my excellent staff. I have found that when you can give people a little extra responsibility, they have the opportunity to shine. I can also take advantage of the same services we offer our customers to make our office run more efficiently.”
How does someone prepare for the ATSI presidency? “With ATSI, the presidency is actually a three year process.” Beth said. “The first year you serve as President-elect. I served on several committees as President-elect, including the Convention Committee and the Industry Accreditation Committee. This gave me a good understanding of the important issues at ATSI. After this year’s convention, I will be the Past-President. I will still be involved, but more indirectly. I’m really looking forward to that.”
Did ATSI provide you any help? “I couldn’t do this job without Charlene Glorieux, ATSI’s Executive Vice President. She’s a huge help. She keeps everything in order,” said Beth. “I also relied heavily on the past presidents. They are always there to lean on.”
What was your most challenging task? “It turned out to be this year’s planning meeting for the upcoming year. It was in August, during Hurricane Irene. Many of the critical participants, like Charlene, and some of the board members were unable to make the meeting in person because of the hurricane. That was tough! ”
What have you found most rewarding about serving as ATSI President? “The trust our membership has placed in me to lead ATSI as we work to keep our industry relevant to the business community. That has been the real benefit to this job.”
You can meet Beth at this year’s ATSI Conference, June 13 – 15 in Orlando, Florida.